On Friday, April 18, Teammates Nick Jowsey, Caleb Welborn and Josh Whitmore packed into the trusty Greenlife Grocery/Subaru benefiting globalbike (GSG) van, and headed to the Winston Salem Cycling Classic to race the Category 1/2 Criterium.
The course was a 1.5-mile out-and-back with two 180° turns and a hill in the middle. The hill was gradual on the way out, but steeper on the backside immediately following the first corner, which played a major role in wearing down the field in the 75-minute race.
Attacks launched from the gun, with the team represented in every move. Twenty-five minutes in, Nick attacked on the steep part of the hill with a Finish Strong rider tight on his wheel. The pair quickly established a decent gap. A few laps later, two riders bridged to Nick, who was now solo, with Caleb sitting on their wheels. The break soon swelled to six riders, and after some verbal “encouragement” from Greg (not sure which team), it rolled smoothly, with everyone contributing. The gap grew as Josh did excellent work breaking up chase attempts back in the main bunch.
A rider in the main bunch had a high-speed collision with a large traffic cone, and an ambulance was called. The race was neutralized with two laps to go, so the breakaway and the main bunch soft-pedaled around the course for about fifteen minutes while the medical personnel removed the downed rider. Nick and Caleb used the time to discuss their plan, which was for Nick to attack on the steep part of the climb, and for Caleb to follow chase moves.
Once the race was on again, they did just that. Nick attacked with 1.5 laps to go, and no one in the break was able to follow. Nick came around the final corner with plenty of room to celebrate the victory, and Caleb sprinted across the line shortly after to take second place. Josh also finished in the top ten with a strong sprint for tenth place.