The weather conditions for the Greenville Spring Series got even worse than at yesterday’s River Falls race. Saturday the riders faced constant rain, but no wind and the precipitation never got that hard. Sunday was a whole different story. In the morning the rain was lashing down accompanied by a strong wind and a sudden drop in temperature. This was truly a day of racing survival.
The women racers bore the brunt of the poor weather with the rain pounding the peloton unmercifully. Not to mention that the temperature at the start of the race was at 57 degrees and dropped to 43 as the laps counted down.
These conditions thinned the field before the flag was dropped.
On the first lap Erin Burton rolled away from the peloton on one of the rolling hills the make up the Donaldson loop. XO Communications rider Monika Sattler went with her and suggested they work together. This surge reduced the field that was still in contention for the win to six. However after organizing and working together the group was cut further to just four racers.
The race was shortened to four laps and on the last circuit the group dropped one of the riders – it was down to three.
At the last Donaldson race Sattler had made the mistake of pulling to the line, this time she had learned her lesson.
She sat on her breakaway companions: Cristina Lindsey (Headstrong) and Burton. With two kilomeers remaining Burton attacked. Sattler played poker with Lindsey unwilling to pull those last kilometers. Meanwhile Burton was gone, taking the victory. Lindsey chased with Sattler tucked in her draft. Finally the XO Communications rider sprinted around her taking second place – again.
Yesterday’s winner and his Team Type 1 squad lined up one more time. However Philip Gaimon of Kenda decided to continue his road trip to Maryland and skip this last race.
Just like previous Donaldson races a break went away on the first lap. And just like before it was large enough to contain all of the heavy players so there wasn’t going to be a hard chase.
Fortunately for the men, the rain had stopped and the road was drying out. This change in weather conditions saw riders tossing their rain capes into the crowd as they came through the start/finish area.
On the last lap a lone rider could be seen on the horizon riding hard for the finish line. It was team Type 1’s Tanner Putt.
Ty Magner (Team Type 1) explains the action in the last half of final lap.
“After multiple attacks by Tanner, Joey, and Dan, Tanner was able to sneak away half way into the last lap. The break seemed very tired, and no one person seemed to want to pull him back. In the end, this worked out great for us grabbing the second win of the weekend, and me wrapping up the overall.”
Sprinting hard for second place was his teammate Magner followed by Andrew Meyer (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Charles Hutcheson (XO Communications/ Battley Harley-Davidson) and Noah Metzler (Global Bike).
As mentioned Magner’s second place finish cinched the overall omnium win from Frank Travieso (RealCyclist.com) due to his participation in all of the races. In third place was Charles Hutcheson. The XO Communications squad had traveled down from Virginia every week to race in the Spring Series.
“We came down because the weather is usually better than DC,” explained Hutcheson. “Where else can you race against riders like George Hincapie or Frank Travieso? Also, the race was organized really well which makes an eight hour drive worth it. ”
Steve Baker of Hincapie Sportswear reported that while he didn’t have the exact number of participants in the series it was the most widely attended of any previous edition.
“We appreciate everyone coming and it was a very successful series,” said Baker. “We got lucky with the weather except for this one weekend. Regardless we are already looking forward to doing it again next year.”
Each week the pro 1/ 2 field was consistently stacked with either top level pros or strong local riders making for excellent and exciting weekly racing. The women’s field was combative with breaks and attacks being a common factor in the racing. There was also an increase in the junior fields with as many as 60 riders toeing the line in some of the races. All in all a very successful series