A day of rest and then Adam and I started the Tour of Ohio up near Kenyon College, Paul Newman's alma mater, in case you didn't know. Gambier, Oh., is where we were and after we signed in, kitted up and filled the bottles, we were off and rolling. It was hot and humid as the pack raced up and over the rollers in the Ohio countryside. The circuit was 10miles long and we were in for 6 laps. It wasn't too bad save for one steep little pitch on the backside of the course that was little ring for sure, and the finsihing hill which was long and steep like the feed hill at Pescdero. There we all the usual midwest boys there as well as a four man squad from Toyota United. The attacks came and went and the agression stayed high. There wa s a little move on the left of the steep pitch and I was in the right place at the right time, bridged up and we were off. Josh Thornton (toyota), Paul Martin (Texas roadhouse), a Priority Health rider, an OSU rider and myself rolled through and put time into the pack all the way to the line. We dropped the P. Health rider and the OSU rider on the final lap, plunged down the hill and cmae to the finishing climb where I waited and wiated, then hit out, swung right, and kept shifting until I put up the hands. Another win and the yellow jersey to boot!. Bonus. All I really wnated to do was win a stage, but getting the leader's jersey was unexpected. It'll be hard to defend, and Adam and I won't really attempt it, but if it falls into our favor, then so be it.
Yesterday was a brute of a day out in Hocking Hills, where the USCF once had the National RR championships. Wherry and Jamison had won the amatuer race there. We raced around a different circuit, but it was hard all the same. Adam got into a great little move about halfway through the race which put pressure on the teams with no one in the break- as well as a team with a rider in the move. Texas Roadhouse and Priority Health both went to the front and set a good tempo, while the Abercrombie team and I sat on and bided our time. There were some good climbs to come and we ended up catching Adam's group, which had splintered, near the top of one and then I found myself in a 12 man split racing into the valley. Thornton was becoming one with my rear wheel and I thought at one point that he was trying to climb into my rear pocket he was following me so closely! What can you do?
Up and down a few more climbs (it was relentless) and a few more splits and we rolled to the final KOM which was about 5km from the finish- which was an uphill drag. The break was Thornton, Martin, Lea (toyota), another rider, and myself. Lea sat on for about 15km then just rolled off after the last KOM climb and I was in a pickle. Chase and drag Thornton and Martin up to Lea and they would attack me, not chase and Lea would gain huge time. So I just rolled tempo and dragged Martin and Thornton both up to the finish. I'd gone a little harder than I'd wanted up the final climb and I payed for it in the sprint- Thornton just came past me at the line. Annoying.
Adam raced really well and finished up in 7th place, in the $$ and in the hunt for a top ten overall. I stll hold the leader's jersey by 5 seconds as I write this, but you never know what'll happen today with 100km or racing and a steep finishing climb. We'll just have to race our bikes to find out!