The Harvest Racing team showed up in force for this past weekend's Twin Bing Classic road race just outside of Sioux City, Iowa. Billed as 7000+ feet of climbing over 80 miles of rolling Iowa farmland, this race had all the makings of a USAC Spring classic.
The team rolled out of Omaha early to survey the venue. The course was as hilly as promised, and a prevailing 25 mph wind would prove decisive during crosswind sections.
Unfortunately, during race registration, the race promoter announced that the course was to be shortened by one lap, stating high winds and a good chance of a looming thunderstorm as the reason. With that, the race became 52 miles instead of 80.
A hilly and windy race at any distance is a formidable challenge for any team. But with Harvest having six members in the field, the team was well-suited for a longer race's war of attrition. At any rate, we quickly modified our plans for a shorter, more intense race.
The peloton remained together during the initial rollers in the crosswinds and the ensuing headwind section. When the crosswinds returned, the attacks began. Brady Murphy answered the first, established by members of Queen City and KAOS cycling teams.
When the break was brought back at the base of a long climb near the end of the first lap, Jordan Ross and Paul Webb countered. Their effort resulted in splitting the field of 30, with Lucas Marshall and Mark Savery joining Ross and Murphy in the selection. Ross then rolled off the front, remaining away for the next five miles.
When he was brought back, Savery launched three consecutive attacks on short recoveries, forcing the rivals to chase each time. The break was split again on the penultimate climb to the finish, with Ross and Marshall secured in it. Murphy and Savery worked together to regroup with the break. From there, Savery made a fourth attack to string out the field, setting up Ross and Marshall for the final push to the top of Climbing Hill in a pack of six.
Ross jumped at the 100m point, throwing down a violent attack up the 12% grade, but his efforts fell short as sprinter Lee Bumgarner (Kaos) came around him before the line. Marshall rounded out the third spot on the podium seconds behind.
Though we liked our chances at a longer race, we are still proud to have Harvest Racing represent two of the top three spots of the podium.
Our next race is the Chris Lillig Memorial/Old Capitol Crit in Iowa City April 25-26.
Thanks for following Harvest Racing. Looking forward to our next report.