Fitchburg-lonsjo classic 2003, USA 26 – 29 June 2003 Stage 2 – Aubuchon Hardware Circuit Race, Fitchburg, 60km

Stage 2 – Aubuchon Hardware Circuit Race, Fitchburg, 60km

Greg Moran’s Aubuchon Hardware company was the proud sponsor of today’s circuit race.  Our plan was to ride defensively to retain the leaders jersey but to also try and win the stage.  It was a welcome relief to hear that due to the extreme heat and humidity, the organisers decided to shorten our race to 12 laps (60km), instead of 13 laps.

The circuit finish line was at the top of Pearl street, a 300m 5% climb.  A Saturn rider attacked right from the gun and Joan Wilson (TDS) was quick to jump out after her.  Just as she was approaching the lone rider off the front and only 1km into the race, Joan punctured.  Unfortunately this was the end of Joan’s race, as she spent the next 7 laps time trialling alone, until the peloton eventually lapped her.

I was near the front when Joan punctured and was able to shut down this early attack.  To minimise further attacks throughout the race, team TDS rode hard on the front, frequently forcing the peloton into a long single line as each rider tried to find some shelter from the wind.  Erin did a fantastic job at covering a number of attacks by Teams Saturn, Basis and Diet Rite.  Christine and Shawn rode hard on the front until fatigue eventually set in and they lost contact with the main group.  Erin and I continued to keep the pace high until the end and set Sarah up perfectly for her second stage win.  Katie Mactier (Saturn) and Tina Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite) filled the remaining podium places, respectively.

The win gave Sarah valuable time bonus seconds which we will need to defend the jersey in tomorrow’s mountain top finish.