Chris Winter and myself lined up for the final of the Tiger Lane series on May 1, 2013. Chris had been able to make it to all of the races and had done very well, so the goal for the day was to try and get him a podium spot and secure an overall podium as well. Despite threatening weather and a complete downpour during an earlier race, we were lucky to have good conditions during our event with little to no wind. There was an excellent showing from the Marx-Bensdorf squad, as well as Team 901, Hering Gas, and Jonathan Brown a local junior phenom from Memphis. The race was very active with multiple attempts to get people off the front. I was in almost all the breakaways, trying to pick and choose what would be most advantageous for Chris, but mostly trying to keep it together unless we could get Chris off the front with the right combination of riders. I was able to pick up some primes during the race, but passed on a $100 cash prime fearing the counter attacks close to the end of the race. Will Stoffel quickly picked up the cash. Marx Bensdorf did an excellent job of animating the race, with quick responses and counters to most moves, and Jon Brown, Team 901, and Hering Gas were also quick to try and capitalize on any pace fluctuations.
After two failed brief breakaways with Scott Newberry and Dale Sanford, I realized it was gonna stay together. With 3 to go I moved up front and tried to keep pace high, then with 1 to go made sure I had Chris on my wheel and strung it out. Unfortunately, I was spent from an active race, but was able get Chris out of the last corner first before I sat up. This wasn’t optimal positioning for him, but it could have been worse. Brown, King, and Bryant Funston were on Chris’s wheel and ready to drag it up the final 200m. Chris was able to keep a top 5, and secured a podium spot in the overall Standings (picture in blog below). Jonathan Brown won the days race, with an excellent jump from the corner, with Jon King taking second and securing his overall series Win.
Tiger Lane Criteriums are an excellent race series, and the most fun you can have on a Wednesday night during the spring cycling season. Props to Team 901 and Matt West for making this an excellent annual event. Everyone was friendly, the prizes and primes were excellent, and the course was safe and open clean corners. Thanks again to the officials and race organizers for a successful and safe event.