The final team trip for the team before we call it a year was to UCI Bucks County Classic in Doyelstown Pennsylvania. With two races a UCI 103 mile hilly circuit and a tough 50 mile criterium on Sunday, bot events looked to be right up our alley.
The RR started in New Hope PA on the NJ Border and traveled 6 miles to a very difficult circuit for 6 laps and then an "easier" run in to Doyelstown. With around 8,000 feet of climbing for the race this was going to be very hard race with very few finishers. I told the team to ride the front from the beginning and that there would be a separation in the field. Almost immediately a group of 16 riders formed with all of the real teams represented by either 2 or 3 riders. We came out on the short side with 2, Joe Lewis and Ty Magner so with those 2 we were totally confident in those two making it to the finale. Those two experienced 2 wheels changes and 2 different bike changes during the next 4 laps as the break dwindled to 10 riders. When the riders exited the circuit the attacks came quickly putting everyone in the red. Ty was up the road with United Health Care rider Lucas Eusar and Ben Jaques Maynes from Jamis / Sutter Home. Joe, Kiel Reijnen(UHC),Steve Fisher(Hagens/Berman) and Matt Cooke(Jamis) caught and passed those three with a super hard attack, they instantly distanced themselves from the rest of the break and it was clear the race was down to this 4.
Cooke attacked over a small bump and disposed of the young Fisher but the other 2 responded and stuck right on his wheel. With 300 meters to go Kiel got the jump on Joe and held his lead to the line. Joe came around cook for second. A super ride for everyone in the break and a real delight to watch.
Ty rolled in with his group and Oscar and Joey shot out of the field to take 11 & 12. That was enough points to pass Optums Chad Haga for the year long NRC championship series putting Joey in Second place to Kenda 5 Hour /Energy's Francisco Manceabo.
Day 2 was a super cool criterium course in picturesque Doyelstown. There is a big city wide art fair, food fest going on and we were to be the icing on the cake. A 2 hour race with 8 turns a 50 mph decent and a back breaker accent made for a truly fun and dramatic race. After some good and bad racing a lone rider was 25 seconds clear with 2 to go. Oscar Clark ripped a half a lap and launched Joey like a champagne cork into the gap. Joey took his time catching him a the bottom of the climb and sprinted to the line with plenty of time to post up in fine style. Ty rolled in for 4th narrowly beaten by a reborn David Guttenplan.
So, a first and a second for the weekend, I was super pleased with how we rode as a team and how the guys performed individually. Racing in this area is and always has been a blast. The roads, the turns the people the hills the tradition....it all adds up to great US racing on US soil. We need more races and more weekends like this...thanks John.