The following are Kent Myer’s own words about the brilliant coordinated efforts of our Cat 3 squad (Kent, Nate Sheetz, and Aaron Wade) that helped him win the Cat 3 GC at Corsicana this year:
Corsicana was one of the first stage races I did last year right after getting my cat 3 upgrade, I had such a great time I was looking forward to the race this year as all of the courses fit my strengths pretty well. We rolled into the host hotel early evening on Friday to find they had managed to lose our reservation, but luckily had a few teammates to bunk up with on rollaway beds.
It was really nice to wake up at a somewhat normal hour before a bike race Saturday morning and have time to eat, shower, shave, etc without rushing before the time trial start. We rolled out to the high school parking lot and started getting trainers and gear setup for the warm up with plenty of time before my allotted start. The weather was threatening rain and was pretty windy which was making me a little nervous. I had a big problem pacing this course last year because of the short distance and the tailwind which was there again this year. I went through my warm up protocol for about 40 minutes and was feeling pretty happy about how the legs were feeling afterwards. I left the TT start house and went out pretty hard, settling into a decent rhythm knowing that this was going to be a very short intense effort. About halfway through the race it was raining and my glasses fogged up so I took them off and threw them across the road to later be retrieved. 9:40 behind my teammate Nate Sheetz, Voodoo 1-2 and other teammate Aaron Wade coming in the 6 spot! Great start to the weekend, this result should give us quite a few options should something happen to any of us in the ensuing races.
The crit course is one of my two favorite in Texas, it is fast, technical with the bricks and hard corners, and a wide open long tailwind finishing straight. With Nate and My time gap after the TT neither of us was concerned with the intermediate sprint bonus, and I decided to float around in the top ten during the race and chase anything down that looked dangerous. Last year Caleb Hulsey rode away from the 3 field and was never seen again, lesson learned. The crit played out just about exactly how I thought it was going to, ABM1 trying to hurt everyone. Our strategy going in was to mark these guys and close anything down they launched as they had Patrick Hallett in 5th sitting 8 seconds off of me and 15 seconds from Nate. After chasing him all day both days in Fayetteville, I really didn’t want to do that again so we marked him the entire race. With two laps to go, I was in a good position a queued up on Anthony Rosich’s (Rozik) wheel. He put in a big effort on the last half of the final lap and put a small gap on the field with myself and Kevin Gregory (King Racing Group) in tow. As we turned on to the final straight it was apparent he was going to take it home, so I patiently waited until about the 200m mark to start my sprint. I got the win and the time bonus, Kevin Gregory 2 and Anthony Rosich 3. Nate had someone sit up in front of him and lost about 8 seconds and conceded the GC lead to me.
Sunday morning road race, two words: NATE SHEETZ. It was chilly when we got to Purdon and started to get ready to start the road race with a steady 20-25mph wind. The road race course is bone flat and circumnavigates some farm land so the course is extremely exposed and prone to crosswinds. It was apparent this was going to be an epic battle; luckily I had two teammates with me that were willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure our win. There were times on the first lap I was doing 300w and 12mph, it was that windy. Lap one brought a bunch of attacks, mostly from ABM1 and Nathan Aikele. About half way through Ali Sobhani, Tyler Cutbirth, and Patrick Hallet were taking turns teeing off on the field and Ali’s move started up the road getting away. Aaron Wade came from the back of the pack and shut it down with Nate before they could get too much time. Little did I know, Nathan Aikele had rolled off the front of that move solo and put about a minute and a half into the field. As we came through lap 1 Nate came around and said “get ready”, I don’t think we are going to get any help pulling this back. He looked at me and smiled and said “I am going to leave you a spot and put the rest of the field in the gutter. I knew having the current cat 3 state TT champ on my team was going to be great this season, little did I know how great. For the next lap Nate (solo) closed the gap and managed to shatter the field down to 7 guys, dropping the rider sitting in #2 GC. We had me, Nate, Tyler, Patrick, Nathan, Kevin, and Mark Baerd in the selection. Nate continued to ride tempo for a majority of the rest of the race, and I covered a flurry of attacks that came coming into the finish. Nate absolutely rode his heart out and kept me out of the wind ALL DAY. It was a definitely a herculean effort on his part. About 1.5k to go, Nathan Aikele put in a big attack but because I had been out of the wind most of the day I was able to bridge to it and sit on his wheel as we approached the finish line. I did no work on the final approach but just sat on Nathan’s wheel as he opened up a gap over the remaining riders and we both rolled across the finish line together, him taking the win for the road race.
I was frantically looking for Nate, as he rolled across the finish line with a big victorious yell knowing that he had sealed the deal and singlehandedly won the race for me. I gave him a big hug, and bought him the finest steak dinner that the Corsicana Applebees could provide. Racing together as a team is so rewarding it is hard to explain, but I am certainly looking forward to the next race with my Voodoo teammates.