Team takes 3rd Overall in the USA Crits Series

After nine races across nine states I packed up my bike and headed to the final race of the USA Crits Series. The series had started in March down in Tuscon Arizona and had made its way to Idaho, Georgia, New York and many other states. Gavi Epstein, Conor Mullervy, Ariel Mendez Penate, and I headed to Las Vegas to defend our 3rd place position in the team competition. The USA Crits Finale was hosted by Interbike 2013 which is a massive convention for the bike industry. It was great to see our sponsors there: Stan's NoTubes, Champion System, IRC Tire, Giro, Smith Optics, K-Edge, Clif Bar, and Speedplay. We also got a chance to see some of the amazing new products they are releasing in 2014. The day of the race we went for an early spin and then stayed off our feet to get ready for the night's race. At around 8pm we headed to the race course which was in and around the outdoor expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. After a few warm up laps I knew that it was going to be a very fast and very techincal race. The turns were all wide and fast which helps keep the pace high, and with such a talented field there would be few breaks in the action. We got to the start line in good position and the first 15 laps of the race were blazzing fast. Conor and I focused on staying in the front while Gavi fought his way up to the front after being caught in a crash. Conor took a few cash primes and Gavi made a few moves off the front, but the race was fairly controled as a two man breakaway dangled about 30 seconds off the front for about half of the laps. Then in the last 10 laps the United Healthcare team took it upon themselves to bring back the two guys out front and I tucked in behind them to try and contest the field sprint. With only one lap remaining I was in 8th position but a hesitation by the rider in front of me cost me a few places at the finish. I sprinted for 11th place and one of my best finishes of the year, but I was disappointed not to crack the top 10. Gavi and Conor finished in the top 20 and we got enough points to keep our position as 3rd best team in the series. We were proud to be on the podium with the two best criterium teams in the country, UHC and Smartstop/Mtn Khakis and can't wait to take them on next year for the title.

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