The Stevens-The Cyclery men’s team headed to Syracuse on the weekend with a strong contingent of riders. Matteo Dal-Cin reports on his winning efforts.
This weekend the Stevens team and I attended the Omnium stage race in Syracuse. For the first two stages we only had a small contingent as many of the guys had to work Friday but they only missed the TT and Hill Climb so were present for all the races we could work as a team.
This meant that the three of us in attendance for all four stages would be our team’s GC hopes. Stage 1 was the HIll Climb which consisted of a 13 km run up to a 2 km hill. A few attacks animated the early kilometers but the Ekoi team quickly went to the front and set a quick pace that kept the pack together until the base of the climb.
As we hit the slope of the climb riders started to surge around the train on the front and the race was on. Conor O’Brienwent on the attack about a kilometre and a half from the line and floated about 10 seconds ahead of us for about half of the way to the finish until the pack started kicking for the line and he got reabsorbed. I kicked with less than 500m to go and strung it out on the steepest pitch. As the grade eased settled in I held on for the win to take maximum points.
The next day we had a TT in the morning and a crit in the early afternoon. I posted the best time in the TT and furthered my gap on second place in GC who was now nine points down. We quickly packed up the car and headed off to the Criterium where we met up with the rest of our team who made the early drive down that morning.
Conor and I who were both well placed on GC made the day’s break in the crit and Conor helped me compete for the intermediate points sprints. I wasn’t terribly successful and lost some points both in the intermediates and in the final but was still able to get third on the day and hang onto five points of my advantage.
Going into the hilly road race our plan was to try to control the race by allowing an early break go to eat up the intermediate points so I wouldn’t have to contest the three sprints on the day then assess our situation later in the race. Everything went to plan and going into the second-to-last climb I said to the boys it was time for them to race and I would mark second place — the only rider within reach on points to me for GC. They lit it up on the hill and a break formed of 11 riders now chasing the three day-long breakaway companions.
The second-placed GC rider and I were left in what remained of the peloton but now all the big point spreads were up the road so I was content to let my teammates duke it out on the day and just roll in if he didn’t want to chase back up to the bridging group. Conor got third on the day and I rolled in 10 minutes later with enough points in 15th on the day to keep the GC win. It was a fun weekend and my first GC win so I was super pleased.