Basically had a rough day wearing the #1and only managed to finish in a group finishing for 5th in OECS and 10th overall. I think I was 11th in OECS and 16th...there were about 45 riders at start and all were interested in chasing me as every time I moved I had guys on me like flies.
I did not contest the very fast twisty dangerous final as I need to pick my battles and now will have to refocus for John T in Anguilla in 2 weeks
Robert Marsh of Antigua won the OECS and was 2nd overall behind Chris Pradel riding for a St Martin club. Tyrone Thomas of Grenada got 2nd and 4th overall Ronnie Bryant got 3rd from Anguilla and 5th overall Both these guys took individual flights and then hooked up they just slipped away up the road ~2h30 into race...they were not as marked, even though Tyrone is well on his way to becoming an amazing rider Robert and Chris made, in my opinion a suicide break move 15 minutes into the 3hour30min event...they rode a solid race and I take my hat off to them...lucky for them they had a strong St Martin group and a fully dedicated Antigua team (something I simply did not have) and as it turned out the 13 St Martin riders were working together for Chris even though they represented 3 different teams...I am very disappointed as I thought they were all great rivals so made a tactical decision to be patient after all it was extremely windy and rolling hills that were very draining for such a small break to succeed...once I realized what was going on I tried to organize the rest of the oecs teams to contribute to a pace line at the front...I spent the better part of a 90 minutes trying this, doing the bulk of the work which St Martin TV will prove...then I basically had to give up as I was getting no help except from my guys here in Nevis (the least experienced of all the OECS riders)...Mark Smith made a valiant effort to try help on first lap but then basically was dropped on first big climb due to his efforts ~30minutes into race...he did get back on but at that point was trying to survive...he then suffered a mechanical on second lap and ended up stopping at 3 laps (of 5)
At the 2hour mark I had to back off, I had managed to keep Robert and Chris within a minute with the sporadic help of riders here and there and as soon as I gave up their lead rocketed to 4 minutes and that was that. I figured I would just turn this into a training ride and preparation for the John T coming up in 2 weeks...I did try some counters but realized none of the stmx guys would work with me and then Tyrone and Ronnie made their moves. This was a hard race to finish but I am glad I did as I know that I am climbing well and still have some punch in Anguilla there will be 80 plus riders and lots of team so I should be able to read the race a little more dependably I am making no excuses...I did the best I could today, HOWEVER...it just goes to show that bike racing DOES INVOLVE team work and the lack of support certainly did NOT help me in this extremely tough race...basically if I had teammates helping we could have shut down this break early before it became a dangerous situation and by then I obviously would have known that the stmx crowd were all riding as a big team and I would have been able to adjust my tactics accordingly. I will take this experience and try and learn from it...