After starting off the season as a team last weekend at the Niagara Classic, all of us were stoked to get our late spring campaign going. With our fresh BMC teammachines and POC helmets from The 11 inc we departed the Jet Fuel Coffee Shop in Toronto and were Vermont bound.
Stage 1 at Killington is well known as a very fast stage, and in the past has finished in bunch sprints more often that not. The 4-lap, 116km course featured KOM and intermediate sprint points every lap in addition to multiple fast descents. With that knowledge, the Jet Fuel boys raced patiently; following attacks and staying out of trouble.
Early in the 2nd lap Luke ended up in a small breakaway that gained 30 seconds on the field, but was brought back just before the KOM. At the end of the 2nd lap, I was caught behind a crash, going down and landing on my shoulder. I got up quickly, and performed the damage assessment: Bike unscathed, but dusty; Kit unripped, but dirty; Shoulder quite tender, but no blood anywhere. Glancing over at the 2 guys on the road, I was grateful to be alright, and promptly chased back on to the peloton.
At the end of the 3rd lap, I found myself near the front and feeling pretty good. I decided to attack on a rise and looked back to find I had a gap on the field. I briefly waited for 4 other guys to come across to me and the 5 of us started jamming with 30km to go. Building a 35 second lead on the field, we continued to work together in hopes that we could stay away, preventing a field sprint. At the base of the KOM climb, the peloton behind us was catching up, and sure enough we were doomed.
Heading into the final 5km Chris and Robert rode on the front to keep Kevin in a good position for the final sprint. The final was incredibly fast, covering the final 2.4km in 2min 15sec, maxing out at 82km/h. Kevin managed a Top 10 result today, and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s stage that finishes up the Killington ski hill.
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