Carlos Alzate wears the Green Jersey for the 4th straight day. Matt Cooke is top ten in the GC, two minutes back, Freddie Rodriguez and Andres Diaz are both sick, Sam Johnson and Kai Applequist are strong but they aren’t crit riders, Chris Hong is a climber and Erik Slack is too, what’s to be done? Stage wins are good but jerseys are better. Jerseys are on the podium every day, they are important, they are to be protected.
Like every race, this race is an opportunity. To win, to protect the jersey, requires some mystical, mathematical amalgamation of strategy, execution and luck. Part science. Part rising moon. Part whatever. Exergy need to make it happen, they need to put something, anything, together.
Freddie waits for his call-up but it never comes, he starts dead last. The break, which break is no threat to the GC yet is strong and fast and disciplined, goes before Freddie can make it to the front. Suffering a pinch flat, Slack falls to the back. Carlos, burned-up from covering moves on his own, also misses the break.
The race is spread-out, Exergy is spread-out. No other team is threatened, the onus is on Exergy.
The downtown scene is loud and chaotic. Two-way radios are banned, it’s impossible to communicate, difficult to manage.
The break is six strong and 1:35 minutes out. Exergy makes it to the front once or twice but never as a group. Nothing comes together. Nothing happens.
The field, with Carlos in it, is lapped and the break reabsorbed. Frustrated but committed to the principle, Carlos sprints for the finish line. He wins seventh.