The whole AMD junior squad flew to Pittsburgh this past week for the highly anticipated Junior nationals. Dean Laberge was nice enough to host six of us (Micah, Ben, Marcus, James, Chris, and Myself) with the other three staying nearby. The TT was our first race and, unfortunately for Dean, our start times ranged from 9:15 all the way until 1:45. The course, as previously described in the Masters' reports, was a 5k stretch of freeway done four times (out-back-out-back). Each stretch had two "climbs" which were maybe 3% for 1k. At the end of the day, James Laberge finished 10th in the 13-14, Davis finished 12th and I finished 5th in the 15-16, and Ben and Micah finished.
The next day was the road race. Ben and Micah started at 7:30 and the 15-16 were to set off ten minutes later. 1 minute before the 15-16 start the officials delayed the race due to the 30 man pileup in the 17-18 race. Luckily Ben and Micah made it threw and Micah finished an amazing 11th. The 15-16 race finally started at 9:00 and Davis, Daniel, and I all finished in the top 25 with 24th, 19th, and 16th respectively. Joel used a lot of energy early on to help Davis back into the race after a broken spoke.
The final day was the Crit. The rain was coming down very hard on the way to the venue, which was mediocre at best, but stopped right before we started to warm up. As the 15-16 toed the line, it started to drizzle again and over the course of the 40 minute race, the rain started to come harder and harder. No breaks stuck and the race was undoubtedly going to finish in a sprint. With two and a half laps left, it started to dump rain. An inch of water covered the road and no one could see the rider in front of them. It was an exhilarating experience. I ended up fourth in the sprint while the rest of the rain soaked field trickled in afterward.
All in all, the AMD juniors were on the podium twice with four top ten finishes. We had a lot of fun racing and spending time together. Thanks Dean for cooking, chauffeuring, and supervising us rowdy juniors!
Joel and I are now in Belgium and will have race reports for you in the near future.