Memorial Day Weekend Race Report by John Pratt

Day 1 Burlington Road Race

Gearing up for the race, I was excited and a bit nervous to be going for my first 100 mile race of the year. The team plan was to race aggressively and set up Jessie for a breakaway attempt. Our SBR Quantum racing team did a fantastic job setting the pace in the early miles. I was pretty stoked to see Matt Brophy and me make one of the first breakaways of the day. Although it was fun to be off the front, it was a ton of work breaking through the wind and it was a bit of a relief when the field finally dragged us back in a few miles down the road. The attack, recover, rest, and attack again was the way the race played out for me. When Jessie got away about 45 miles into the race, I started marking moves to try and prevent others from wanting to chase down Matt Brophy who was riding in 6th place and Jessie who was riding 3rd on the road. After the turn around, I found myself having to mark a lot of moves from Novo Nordisk, Gateway Harley, and Texas Roadhouse. Nick Grigsby did a fantastic job working to help police the front to give Jessie and Matt the chance they needed to get away. While chasing down moves with him, my legs finally started cramping about 35 miles out from the finish. I soldiered on to the end and crossed the line a tired but happy member of the SBR Quantum team that had scored an awesome 6th place result in the Burlington Road Race.

Day 2 Snake Alley

Long story short, I love snake alley. When I was tooling around the antique stores on main street, I
spent some time looking at the collections of collectibles in the stores. One of the ladies there told me that Snake Alley is super unique because it is the curviest road in the world. I thought that was pretty
awesome and was super stoked to have a chance to race it on my BMC Time Machine. Well, I was at the line ready for the onslaught of 20 assaults of the formidable challenge known as Snake Alley. My race was to be my shortest ever. The whistle blew and in the opening 100 ft. a rider from Texas Roadhouse tangled with my front wheel and blew out my spokes. I stood there all by myself as everyone else rode away to tackle the curvaceous climb and I simply walked back to the car with my one wheeled bike hoping that the day’s rest would give added strength to my legs for the Melon City Criterium.

Day 3 Melon City Criterium

Today was all about Grant. He was an absolute beast in this crit while I was suffering just to stay in the race at all. The climb was ferocious and the wet conditions and speed bump at the bottom of the hill make me unnerved. I missed my chance to stay in the race when Daniel Holloway moved to the front on the downhill about 15 laps into the race. I followed him for a bit, but my recent tangle-up the day before had put a mental block in my head to charging headlong into a fast-moving group. I lasted about half the race before finishing early with a 12 man chase group.

Day 4 Quad Cities Criterium

I began wondering if the people orgainizing these races had ever seen a flat corn field. That’s all I train on and these crits seemed more like the rockies than the Midwest. Oh well, whatever the course, I’m out there to give it my best. After a good team talk from the difficult performance yesterday, I fought as hard as I could to stay at the front no matter the pain. I also just tried to have fun and enjoy the race. I don’t know if others could see it, but I was smiling the whole time. Some of the mental blockage from past crashes and tangle-ups disappeared and I was able to take a flier off the front to try and bring back a chase group that was threatening to catch the incredible Grant. Solo, off the front, eyes dead to the world absolutely unresponsive to encouragement or taunts, he powered his way in a fashion that deserves only the highest praise. After I was dropped 20 laps into the race, I immediately joined the teammates on the hill cheering him on, pouring water on his overheating body, and yelling every sort of encouragement. It was an incredible ride and I’m proud to say that I’m on Grant’s team. Great things are coming and I can’t wait to be a part of it.