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Winning the Winston Criterium & Returning to Europe!

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Once again its been a hectic month or two and so too much to write about in a single blog post. I really should start writing a book! So I am going to keep this fairly short and sweet focusing on another victory (in the Winston Criterium) added to season 2013 and a return to Europe after five months away!

Winston Criterium
Nighttime fun!
Winston Criterium
Winning in Winston!

So it was decided I would make a return to Europe to coincide with National Championship weekend towards the end of June. The weekend before however would see another important race in the home city of Team Smartstop P/B Mountain Khakis, Winston-Salem. In its inaugural version and with pending UCI status for next year the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic would be important anyway.

Throw in the fact that it was in the home city of the team and the importance multiplied greatly!

After strong showings in the criterium the night before myself, Chris Uberti and Curtis Winsor were in the main break of the day early into the road/circuit race. Having felt so strong the night before and on the day itself, I was certainly in race winning mood. With our main rival team also having three riders in the breakaway it was clearly going to be a big showdown in the closing stages.

I’m glad to say I got the better of that showdown, after covering an attack from our rivals inside two laps to go, I then managed to go clear and ride solo the final 12km to the finish.

Race long breakaway and solo to the line… not the first time thats happened.

Teammate Chris Uberti then made it an even better day by making it a 1-2 for Team Smartstop P/B Mountain Khakis!

Sounds so simple, clearly it wasn’t but right from the get-go I was in one of those moods where I truly felt it was going to be a winning day… and so it proved!

Winston Criterium
Winston-Salem Cycling Classic Success!

So winning in Winston came on the Sunday and come the Monday I was boarding planes from Charlotte to New York and then onto London. What a way to end that part of the season and to return to the UK with another win in the bag.

Winston Criterium
Top of the podium in the USA, and now for the Nationals…

Unfortunately fortunes changed by the following weekend with the National Championships being a write-off due to sickness. Having spent the days leading up to it in bed zapped of energy, suddenly the good feelings of the weekend before had disappeared.

I started because “you never know” but I soon realised that being on a bike was not where my body should have been at that time. A trip to the doctor, some anti-biotics and some rest has seen the body return to its good state again… still in UK… cue go to Wales for some British Cycling Premier Calendar action…

The good feelings were back!

Unfortunately an untimely flat tyre and being left with a long chase was the ultimate undoing on this occasion. I eventually made it back into the race after coming across Flavio Zappi further along the course who made quick work of getting me through the “normal traffic” back up to the race (thanks Flavio!).

Winston Criterium
Hanging out in Wales!

Unfortunately the rest of the race ultimately became just a good training day, but result aside the way I felt bodes well for the rest of the season ahead. Back in England, I just had my first spill of the year.

Hitting some diesel dropping on a bend, luckily it wasn’t on the faster section of the descent. A few more war wounds added to the collection but luckily nothing too serious.

Winston Criterium
First spill of 2013!

For now this blog posting comes from England.

Where exactly the next one will come from is not yet known. It’s been great to spend some of summer-time at home with my family and I even spent my birthday in England this year which is the first time I can say that for a while.

Of course I’ve also made a return to Belgium in this time and after six months away it was certainly great to be back to the place where so many of my previous blog posts have come from!

Winston Criterium
Back to Belgium!

Once again please support ‘The Dave Rayner Fund‘ – they help support us cyclists racing in foreign lands:

Winston Criterium
Winning!

Until next time … Dan

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