Last Wednesday, I traveled south to the Bay State for my second (seventh?) event of the summer, the Gran Prix of Beverly. This was my first city crit since I won Concord last summer, and only my second non-collegiate event of the season, after opening the summer at a race in New Jersey with my new team Sunapee Racing.
A little backstory on the evening: the night before I raced the A race in my local practice crit, and was shelled by two Cat 1 racers while trying to hold their wheel in the break for about 15 minutes.
So when I showed up for a huge Cat 4 field on a flat and fast course, I was anticipating a race with the pack.
But my legs thought otherwise.
After a quick neutral lap, I found myself sitting towards the front of the field for a couple of laps, and thought I'd try something.
Halfway through the fourth lap, I put a quick surge in off the front to open up a gap and was let go for a lap and a half until a lone rider branched up and joined me. We stayed away for a few laps (and a prime) until the pack closed the gap to under three seconds, at which point my breakaway partner faded back to the front of the bunch, leaving me dangling like a carrot.
And Torin La Liberte (@TheSkimeister) easily takes the prime, still off the front with one breakaway companion #GPBev— Gran Prix of Beverly (@granprixbeverly) July 26, 2017
A really fast carrot.
@TheSkimeister still off the front, now solo! Looked to be brought back but kept giving it "the business", as we say in cycling (?)#GPBev— Gran Prix of Beverly (@granprixbeverly) July 26, 2017
Field is looking progressively sadder as the laps tick down and @TheSkimeister evades their capture. 10 to go.— Gran Prix of Beverly (@granprixbeverly) July 26, 2017
Another surge put me back out front by 10 seconds, and that was the smallest gap there was until after the finish. For 17 laps I time-trialled it off the front, opening up 25 seconds on the 60 person field behind me through to the finish.
It was my first win on that large a stage, with more than just racers as spectators, and a very amused race announcer and live-tweeter.