Tour of Ohio
Stage 1 Worthington
This stage was the only crit in the tour. It was a 1.3 mile circuit, with a hill. Last year I was in a break that lapped the field, so I new this course was hard and could be decisive. The race started out fast and with in 5 laps a break was up the road and Brian was in it. I bridged across and was cross eyed from the effort win another attack went and the break split again and Brian covered it and this was the move that would be racing for the win. Brian was 4th and I was 7th. I lost about 35sec but I knew that there was a lot of racing left.
Stage 2 Granville
This was a hilly 50 mile road race with an up hill sprint. I want to try to get the KOM jersey so I got in to a 2 man break for about 12 mile only to get caught at the bottom of the KOM! That sucked because I used a lot of energy for nothing. With about 5 miles left we it a nasty 1k climb and I cramped up as the winning move went. Luckily Brian caught on before the finish and was 6th. I end up 8th and on lost about 20 seconds.
Stage 3 Hocking Hills
This was 64 miles and about 10 real climbs. I new that this would be a deceive stage. Our plan was to stay fresh till the last 10 mile which had the hardest climbs of the race. A 3 man break just rolled off the front and had like 6 minutes at one point. Like I predicted the last 10 mile blew the field apart and I end up 5th about 2 min behind the break. I was relatively happy with result because I was able to stay with the strongest riders in the race on the climbs. Brian was about 30 seconds back in 8th.
Stage 4 Nelsonville
This was a 63 mile rolling to hilly road race. Steevo from Pittsburgh was in yellow from winning the Hocking Hills stage. We thought that Happy Tooth would attack and try to get there jersey back, so Brian and I were going to cover and try to get in a break. About 10 miles in Brian got in a break and it rolled out to about 30-45 seconds. The break was caught with about 10 miles to go and I counterattacked and got in a group of 4 we drilled it and I won the sprint! Yes! My first Tour of Ohio stage wins in 9 years! Brian was 10th.
Stage 5 Gallipolis
This was a 64 mile hilly stage with an up hill finish. Our goal was to try to get some time back and win another stage if we could. I got into a short lived break and when we got caught Brian counterattacked and was in the winning move. Brian ended up 3rd and I droped my chain at the bottom of the finish climb like an idiot, should have big ringed it like a man. I ended up 11th and Brian moved in to 2nd overall and I was in 5th.
Stage 6 McArther
This was 55 mile hilly road race. We thought that we had a chance to will the overall because everyone was tired and we tried to conserve energy all week. The race started out hot, people were throwing down from the gun and it was hard. About half way in I attacked and got away before first and one of the hardest climbs of all week. A group of 3 came a crossed on the next KOM climb and we blew the race apart. The break was Steevo, Andy W, Fouche, Brian and me. We dropped the yellow jersey; Patrick Raines and his team and we killed it for the last 20 miles. Andy W attacked with about 5 miles to go and I brought it back and won the Sprint and stage! Brian was 3rd and took the overall win! This was one of the best days I have ever had bike racing. I won two stages and ended up forth overall, it was a great week!
If you haven’t done Tour of Ohio you are missing out. The Tour of Ohio has some of greatest race courses in the country bar none. Thanks to Brian and Josh for making it a great tour. Ride on!
Steevo write up.
Patrick Raines Team