I’ll take that!

Don’t think I was complaining in yesterday’s post. I’m willing and ready to learn. I’d much prefer to have someone teach me where I might be going wrong then to just let me go my way and make a fool of myself. I’m stoked to be in the great position of being a member of the POA Cycling Team. I can’t think of a better way to learn.

Rodney Dender waits for Fork Shoals race to start

Rodney Dender waits for Fork Shoals race to start

We lined up Saturday’s race with Thomas Smith leading the omnium points for the series. Joining him was Darin Marhanka, Rodney Dender, and Jae Bowen — any of which could win the race. Riding in support of these leaders was Phil Humbert, Mark Caskey, Phil Ball, and myself.

Jonathan Pait wonders if he'll finish the race

Jonathan Pait wonders if he'll finish the race

Before the first lap was over the race was pretty set for the remainder of the event. In the first group was Rodney, Darin, Thomas, and Phil H. Up there with them was Windsong Bicycle Shop rider Charlie Brown.

Thomas and Darin work in the winning break

Thomas and Darin work in the winning break

However, it should be pointed out that what helped set this up was a great early attack and breakaway by Mark Caskey. Not more than a couple miles into the first lap, Mark took off and built a break that lasted up near to the start/finish of the first lap. This made the other teams do the work while the POA team could counter and react.

Mark Caskey takes the pressure off with an early break

Mark Caskey takes the pressure off with an early break

Back in the peloton was Phil Ball, Jae Bowen, and myself. I felt bad that Jae was back here because it would mean that he would drop some in the omnium points standing. He didn’t seem to mind. He was busy working to make sure that Charlie Brown’s teammate Ryan Jenkins was kept out of the mix toward the front.

Phil Ball sits on Ryan Jenkins' wheel

Phil Ball sits on Ryan Jenkins' wheel with Jae and Jonathan following

Unfortunately, Thomas told me that he made a mistake that he thinks cost him the race. As you can see, it was close, but Brown took the win. But just as I am learning to race as an individual, the team is learning to work together as well.

Thomas Smith comes in second

Thomas Smith comes in second behind Charlie Brown

Well, the team must be learning. As I was typing this blog entry, I learned that in today’s Masters 35+ race the team finished 1, 2, 3, and 6. Thomas came home first to hold his position in the omnium. Phil Ball put yet another new name toward the top with a second place finish. I was unable to be there and even if I could have been at the event, I would not have been able to race it since we are allowed only 8 riders per team.

Can’t wait to hear that story!

You’ll notice @eddieheltonphotography.com on each of the photos. Thanks to Eddie Helton for taking pictures at our Greenville events. Check out his site here: eddieheltonphotography.com and see more photos from the races.