Hi to all,
This was written by Nathan’s Director and I thought it was so good I wanted to post it on the site. Very soon we should have photos posted from the race.
I’m going to try to keep it brief. Yesterday was the worlds trials road race held thirty miles south of Nashville, TN. It was hot and humid and long, for juniors. The race was a nineteen mile hilly run out to a twenty one mile circuit they did three times, also very hilly. We started with five riders in the eighty plus field of all the best juniors in the US. Our plan was simple, no mistakes and let the race come to us. When it’s this hot and long the early move is usually not a great move. I left for the feed zone ten minutes before the start to beat the crowds there; that didn’t work. Feeding was going to be critical today with the high heat and the long laps. Gabriella, besides me, is probably the best feed zone feeder I’ve seen. She ha s incredible vision for the guys and fast hands and never seems to miss a feed. We staked out our spot and wai ted. The lead police car came by leading a solo rider going like he was late for dinner……..Three minutes later the field. No problem, with what was ahead I was not worried. All the guys took a feed and we waited.
Next lap four new guys off the front, followed one minute thirty later by two with another thirty second gap to Nate B rown, twenty seconds later by a Garmin rider then Gavin and one other and the field twenty seconds back. Still no problem. These races change quickly but I was getting looks from some directors in the feed zone like “What are they u p to? What are they waiting for?” I get the basic info from the wheel van, Anders flatted twice, two separate times, Nate flatted a rear and Lawson flatted a front. Still no problem, they were all there except Lawson who was chasing back on. Since Lawson won the time trial on Saturday, I knew he was a good bet to get back, plus there was nothing I could do.
Next and last lap the lead police car comes by and we wait…..one rider, it’s Nate, solo riding like the school principal is looking for him. He has twenty seconds on one rider then we wait……Two minutes later there are four and the field another minute thirty later. This was it. Gabriella and I had both spoken to Nate about stepping up, getting his head out of his butt and getting on with making the worlds team. Nate, as the top road racer from the US and one of the best in the world last season was finding out that being “the chosen one” is not all it’s cracked up to be. The wins didn’t come as easy as last year even though he’s stronger then he was then. We, as a team, were not riding for any single team member in this race. They all were going to have their chance to auto qualify for the worlds team but if you wanted the team’s support, you needed to put yourself in a position to win, then the team would support that. We had gone over several possibilities that could happen and this was one of them. We said very little to Nate or any of the guys in the few second s we saw them. What was there to say? They knew what they had created and they were living up to their potential, all of them.
After they passed we made the dash for the finish line and waited. It was hot waiting. I could only imagine how hot it was on the bike. The police car came into sight and there was Nate, solo, the Nate I knew from last season, the big race winner. He was back and better then ever. He crossed the line and down the road with Gabriella, recovery drinks in hand, running after him. Nobody in sight so I watched the tearful greeting the two of them shared down the r oad away from everyone else. Two minutes later one rider, three minutes later four then the field sprint won by Gavin. We killed them with teamwork I knew, I just didn’t have the details.
The details: Lawson single handedly kept tempo making sure no lead got out of hand for the first thirty miles until he flatted. Anders and Ian, on the second lap blew the field apart with a monster hard ten mile effort, brought back the break and set up Nate for the winning move. When it came back together Nate went so hard up the midway hill, according to the National Team c oach, Benjamin Sharp, nobody could respond at all. Twenty five solo miles later we win, Nate wins; same thing. As Ian came across the line he looked at me and asked if Nate did it, thumbs up from me and Ian let out a big “Yeah…..!” There was no ” I wish it wa s me” from any of them, just a job well done.
After the race while we were waiting for the awards to happen this big dude, bigger then me, balder then me, looking mean, came up to me, the team and some of the parents and asked ” Are you the team director of the Hot Tubes team?” Yes, ” I wanted to tell you that I was driving the wheel van for their race and in all my years, including when I raced in Europe, I have never seen a junior team race so pr ofessionally. You guys had a lot of flats and none of then ever got flustered. They even said thank you to me when I did a slow wheel change. They were calm, co ol and very fast. None of the other riders who flatted ever got back on but all of your boys did. It was a pleasure to watch them race.” All I could think of to say was “thank you.” I don’t know who was more proud at that moment, the parents, Gabriella or me.
Thanks for reading,
Director: Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.
Two Shaker Road G100
Shirley, Massachusetts 01464