Nick thrilled about his win at the finish!
Nick Hand raced in the Gateway Cup Tour of Francis Park and took the win in Cat. 3!
Here is Nick’s race report to his coach, “This was the Gateway Cup Tour of Francis Park. 80 man field. Flat 1.9 mile square course. Sat in the whole time on a rider's wheel I know always finishes well. I was also watching the omnium leader who is from NYC. With a few laps to go, I finally started moving forward. My teammate Brian had been waiting at the front for me to come up and give him the go. I was 5th or 6th wheel with 1.5 to go and started telling Brian to hit it. He pulled on the front as long as he could and the NYC rider's team took over. There was a little jostling and keeping position but had tons of energy and no problem holding my spot. As we came to the last turn a single rider started moving faster than the rest of the train in front of me so I jumped on his wheel, finally leaving the wheel I had been shadowing all day. We took the turn wide which was what I was hoping for. The rider in front of me did not jump and I did not want to hesitate. I jumped hard and was quickly in the 53x11 and could hear the wheels trying to come around. I held a bike's length for the win.”
Nick’s sprint finish!
Nick’s second season goal was to do well Labor Day weekend and he really trained hard and listened to when to rest and when to train hard he is an awesome athlete and deserves this win. Nick raced the next day at Gateway Cup St. Louis Hill Giro Della Montagna where he placed 2nd in the Cat. 3 field!
Here us what Nick reported back following the race, “Today was a rectangle crit with the front stretch being a long downhill and the back stretch being a long uphill. The plan was to sit in and go with about a half a lap to go. Teammate Mike Rickey has done this move a few times and it has worked very well for him. The race was really pretty easy again, not as easy as yesterday but there was really nothing happening. The hardest part is really not getting over anxious and doing something stupid. With 2 laps to go the field slowed right where I was looking to attack and I was hoping it would happen again and I would hit them hard. I am not sure who went to the front but the speed went up pretty good as we hit the start stretch and it stayed that way. As we hit my spot to attack I determined that the speed was too high and I wouldn't get enough of a gap, if any at all. I decided to grab a strong wheel and wait as long as I could to sprint down the long hill. Coming into the final turn I swung outside to stay on my fast wheel and coming out of the turn I hit some hay bales slowing me some. I had to jump hard to get back up to speed but remembered to sit back down as we still had about 450+ meters to go. My fast wheel got a big gap on me but I had a couple good wheels to follow still. As we closed in on the line my fast wheel was out front of everyone, I down shifted and jumped hard spinning my cadence up fast and then stared dropping gears to keep my speed climbing. I was closing fast and passing a lot of people. I was able to catch first place, it just happened to be right after the line, but it was enough for 2nd place. This was a huge result still, as The Hill is many racers main goal all year. (Mike's) I wish I could have won it for Mike, but I hope that he is proud of me.”
Nick again did awesome and he wanted to win for his teammate, Mike Rickey, who I also coach, because on Friday evenings race Mike had a terrible crash where he broke a finger tore off part of another finger and has some muscle/tendon damage to his leg and all over road rash. So my best wishes for Mike on a speedy recovery.
PCG Coach: Bill McLaughlin