Credit goes to Cyclingnews and VeloNews for these!
It was definitely worth it, though! Snagged both the top amateur and the top under 23 jerseys with a time of 13:09, good enough for 14th place overall.
Getting called up to the front for these NVGP criteriums is crucial--they're only 60 minutes and all-out from the gun, so staying up front is both safer and easier. It's also awesome to be up there with guys who fight for stage wins at Tour of California!
Standing next to my good friend and former teammate Tom Soladay in the orange Wheaties sprint jersey (AND the red Most Aggressive jersey, to boot!).
Here is our super-fast climber Rolf Eisinger putting in a monster effort to set up our other climber, Ian Grey, for the first King of the Hill--they went 1-3! Awesome team effort and way to stick with our plan: attack from the gun on the tough initial climb out of town.
This part was a blast--the entrance to the hectic, technical finishing circuits was a deep gravel road followed by a FAST minefield of a downhill. WOW. I knew it well from last year and followed a nice little breakaway about 1 mile before the entrance, then dropped the guys in the break to just barely stay in first going into the gravel. The entire OUCH train basically absorbed me and, like in Tour of the Battenkill, I simply followed master 'cross racer Tim Johnson--always a safe bet in conditions such as these.
I think Rory Sutherland (in the black/green King of the Hill jersey) found the only guy he can actually draft that isn't already a teammate!
Tonight is going to be a FAST, technical run through uptown Minneapolis. I've heard that it's the trendy, hipster part of town and the Friday night crowd should be going insane! The race doesn't start until 7:45 PM, and Dad is driving up to watch! My plan is to stay at the front and be safe while conserving as many matches as I can for tomorrow's queen stage in Mankato.
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