Already Friday and three races under out belt. This time we were running with a much smaller squad and had to change tactics a bit. We had Grant, Charlie, Keith and I. We realized that IHS (Bixby, Fraham and Craven) were just worried about Charlie and planned their entire strategy around him. That left Grant to fly and we knew it, so we understood first in the omnium. Now we had to race for 2nd. Isn't that the irony here, somebody is always racing for 2nd and against Carolina Masters that seems to be an accomplishment.
From the gun, I jump on the front and set tempo, a pretty hard tempo, single file, for 3 or 4 laps before seeing how things would play out. I could tell real quickly that the wheels were getting ready to fall off. I stayed on, pushed my way back through and up to the front for one more dig and had Charlie on my wheel for all I had left. I really didn't want to pop, nor do we ever, but this night it was inevitable. So, finally there I go, but not before Grant and Keith are in a move with two others. Unfortunately the two others are not strong and one is The Cheat. Why is he referred to as The Cheat you may ask... well, Mike clearly articulated to Grant during the break that he would not contest the finish since Keith and Grant were doing all the work to stay away. I rode on the back of the break for a while and finally popped again. Tactical mistake again as they could have eventually pulled me back to the pack. The field lapped me and I stayed on the back to finish my workout.
Grant gets 2nd, Keith gets 3rd and the sprint finish from the field was the most important race of the entire series and it came down to this. Charlie jumps Fraham and the field right after turn number five and has separation. Fraham's teammates fight like hell to get him up there and here he and Charlie come to the line like a drag race. The Judge gives Fraham a little bit of his own medicine and defeats him for the sprint and the yellow jersey. OUCH! Grant is only a point or so behind. The guys looked great and I wish I could have contributed more. I felt like hell and it had been a long week already including my crash in the Cat 3 field in Mocksville. Oh, did I leave that off? Yes, after that my body decided it wasn't going to participate in anymore Cat 3 races during the week. I couldn't afford any more pain and the races were back to back. Plus the Master's races are much faster than the Cat 3 races, so I had plenty to worry about.