By: Sylvi Teich (email@example.com) | Published June 22, 2019
During the Pro/1/2 races, I take notes on what’s going on in the race (i.e. who’s attacking, who won primes, what team is on the front chasing) so I can remember better when I’m writing. When I started writing this and I looked down at my notes, I noticed that I didn’t have much written down, which makes sense because it was a pretty clear cut race. An early breakaway lapped the field and Rachel Langdon (Fast Chance Women’s Cycling p/b THTF) won the sprint, with two of her breakaway companions, Skylar (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) and Samantha Schneider (CWA Racing p/b Trek) coming in second and third respectively.
The word on the street is that the Velocause Centraal rider and Cat 2 leader, Andrea Cyr was the one who got the breakaway started six minutes into the race. The Grafton course is not your typical crit course, it has a sort of stunted triangle shape with six corners and a very long finishing straight. The course is longer than the first two stages and unlike stage 1 and 2, it’s harder to see the various groups in front or behind you, since the course isn’t a straight shot. In most races, it takes a little while for a break to stick and the first break doesn’t usually stay away for the entire race. At Grafton, the breakaway proved this ‘normality’ wrong. Not only did a break form at six minutes into the race, but it stayed away, and lapped the field. The breakaway consisted of Cyr, the Schneider sisters, Sam and Skylar, Winnie Spoor (Fast Chance Women’s Cycling p/b THTF), Rachel Langdon, Nat Redmond (Fearless Femme Racing), and Kaitlyn Agnew (Amy D Foundation). There wasn’t really a chase from the field, even once the gap to the breakaway lengthened.
The breakaway managed to lap the field with thirteen laps to go. Even if they won the final sprint, someone who wasn’t in the break that lapped the field would get eighth on the stage. The break stayed within the field until the final sprint where it was everyone for themselves. The final placing on the stage was Rachel Langdon in first, with Skylar Schneider in second and Samantha Schneider in third. Andrea Cyr kept her lead and will continue to wear the Oarsman Capital Cat 2 leader’s jersey, while Nat Redmond moved into the overall lead and the Lowlands Lion Points Jersey.
The Men’s Pro/1/2 field got up to 86 riders at the Giro d’Grafton. I guess a lot of riders were inspired by Stefan Schäfer’s solo victory in East Troy because the stage was full of attacks by solo riders. None were successful and the race ended in a bunch sprint. Cesar Marte (RCC) won in front of a huge crowd ahead of Matthew Rice (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) in second and George Brian Jackson in third.
The finishing straight at Grafton had a headwind, which made it that much more difficult and the turn onto the straight that much more dangerous. On the second lap in, Eric Hill (Project Echelon), Robert White (ABD Cycling), and John Heinlein (Vol Gas Racing) tried to jump off the front to get a breakaway started. The field was quick to reel them back in. Throughout the rest of the stage, more riders decided to try the solo attack, including Theo Gilbertson (NZ Cycling Project), Tobin Ortenblad (Donkey Label Racing), Wolfgang Brandl (ADHD Catella), and the Cat 2 leader, Travis Wold (New England Devo p/b Cadence Wealth Management). Some other teams like VeloFit Australia were also consistently on the attack towards the beginning of the race.
With seven laps to go Travis Wold attacked and it looked like the peloton might make the same mistake they did the night before in not chasing. Though it soon became clear they would pull him back into the pack and the stage would end in a bunch sprint. In the end, it was Cesar Marte who put speed on the rest of the group to take the win. Matthew Rice was close behind, finishing in second place with George Brian Jackson finishing in third. Marte moved into the overall lead while Travis Wold kept his lead and stays in the Oarsman Capital Cat 2 leader’s jersey.
You can join us again on Sunday at the Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic!