After a tough, and successful few months of racing, Silber was off for a rest while they ramped up for Tour of Alberta. But rest doesn’t mean sitting around, it means a change of pace in racing. For Michael Le Rossignol, Alex Cataford, Elliott Doyle, Matteo Dal-Cin and Nicolas Masbourian that meant taking on the Northeast’s legendary and soul crushing Tour of The Catskills Stage Race.
Michael Le Rossignol breaks down how the race played out.
Stage 1: TT (16km)
The opening day was a time trial. Since this was just a 3-day race, the plan was to go hard and leave nothing behind. The goal was to go 1-2 on the stage with Alex and Teo, in no particular order (although the team had their money on Cataford). There was also a 3-way side bet between Michael, Masbo and Elliot, that I won! In the end Teo won the stage by 20 seconds and Alex took second. This really set the tone for the weekend.
Stage 2: 110km Road Race
After the TT, we were heavy favorites. That said, as a team we had some lofty goals: protect the yellow jersey, gain control of the polka dot and green jersey, win the stage and as a bonus, get 2 guys on the podium.
We wanted Elliot in the green jersey, and he won the first two intermediate sprints in a spectacular fashion — no one even came close to challenging him. Then, Alex and Teo set a hard pace up the climb all three laps to control the field and limit attacks. They basically served up the KOM points on a platter to me, and they tasted great.
Our loose plan was to look for Elliot or Teo in the final (Matteo won this stage last year). Alex went up the road in a late move and the pack could not chase him down. The rest of us sat in and watched Alex do his thing, dropping everyone in the last 300m on an uphill sprint finish. He nabbed the win and took the green jersey with Elliott second in the standings. Mission accomplished. Boxes checked. Two out of 3 stages done. One to go.
Stage 3: Devils Kitchen Road Race – 176km
The final stage was home to the infamous Devil’s Kitchen climb. The field’s motivation was waning from the start. We set the tempo for the day, ensuring nothing dangerous would get away. Finally we let a 2 man move go, giving it some leash.
The first KOM and sprint came and went allowing us to lock down both jerseys. Now we had to retain the 1-2 overall and win the stage. The 5 of us set tempo for 80km, working extremely well together. On the second climb of the day the break had 3min30 and we wanted to start to reel it back. Alex and I picked up the pace and the pack shrunk by more than half from our efforts. Unfortunately, due to their tremendous work early in the day, Elliot and Nick were victims of this hard pace and we had to ride a bit short handed.
Alex, Teo and I marched on for 80 more KMs with no help from any other teams. We dragged the whole pack to the bottom of the kitchen and then Matteo took off. Alex and I watched 30-seconds back from a small chase group as Matteo rode everyone but two guys off his wheel. We all sat on our respective groups and Teo sprinted for the win with Alex and I going 4th and 5th on the day. We truly needed all 5 of us that day, and I could not be more proud of our efforts.
We did it. Every goal we set, we achieved.
General Classification: 1st Place – Matteo Dal Cin, 2nd Place – Alex Cataford
KOM Jersey – Michael Le Rossignol
Sprint Jersey – Alex Cataford (2nd Elliot Doyle)