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Veal Report – International Cycling Classic Milwaukee Speed Week

by Ed Veal

July 17, 2011 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – Racing bikes is like riding an emotional roller coaster. It is incredibly hard dealing with the ups and downs over the course of a season. One minute you’re celebrating a great result and the next you’re as frustrated as hell that you let one slip away. This season I have had way more slip-aways than I care to explain and I can tell you dealing with every close call after close call has been wearing on me quite a bit.

Our trip down here started off the same as the entire season with me coming a very close second at the Detriot Crit. The following day made up for things with Kevin Hazzard getting a huge win for us and I had a big part of the lead-out for his sprint. We celebrated and it was a a much needed team victory.

Now hopefully you see the roller coaster analogy. The low of getting beat and the high of enjoying an amazing team win. But wait there’s more. On Monday (June 11)  we missed the the first Speed Week race due to getting caught in a huge storm. We are a little bummed out but no biggie until I heard that my Ontario rival Jeff Schiller (Garneau) took the win. Congrats to him but that news stung a bit.

 

 

 

On Tuesday I started off great but on the 5th lap of the road race I hit a pot hole and the rear tire went BOOM at the base of the climb…a.k.a = Race over! On Wednesday we raced our guts out and did a lot of things right but missed the move and watched as Schiller racked up his second win….painful to say the least.

Thursday was my best day of the week as I ran things for most of the day and ripped the group apart only to have my legs give on me with 10 to go. My teammate Anthony took a flyer inside two to go to salvage a great day and get an amazing 6th place but I couldn’t fight the cramps and limped home in the sprint. Then came Friday (July 15). In our pre-race meeting I told the boys I was going to ride it the same way as I did Thursday – I wanted to be aggressive and put the hurt on early. If I fell apart late in the race like I did on Thursday they were going to have to step up and take over.

My aggressiveness almost cost me on lap 2 as I strung things out and went into the chicane a little too hot. I clipped a pedal trying to jam out of the corner and gap the guys on my wheel. The back end of my bike slid out and I scared myself and the guys around me. One Chemstar rider came up to me and said “Man..I just shat myself” as he placed his hand on my back with a grin. I laughed and told him he wasn’t alone as I shat myself a little bit too! Still it didn’t stop me from hitting the corners hard and it also didn’t stop me from driving the pace.

By being aggressive I found myself in a few moves and by the 10-15th lap of the 61-lap, 100km Crit, I was away with a very strong group of eight riders which included Kyle Fry from Garneau. We drove it really well to start and quickly got a solid gap. Every lap we seemed to gain a second or two and the group of eight worked very hard to make things stick. After about 20 laps we had got over a minute on the pack and I was pretty convinced we were going to lap the field. We got close enough to see the tail end of the peloton and that is where we stayed. The pace was high but we didn’t push things anymore and we all worked to keep the tail end of the peloton in sight on the straight away.

This is the way it stayed lap after lap until about 12 to go. There were a few guys in our break who wanted to get to the main field to meet up with their teammates and they pushed the pace to make the catch happen a little sooner than I would have liked. It’s hard to control eight guys when you roll up on 40 and I figured the attacks would start right away. I rolled to the front of the group and let my guys know we had just lapped them and sat second wheel waiting for one of the original eight to launch. Pete and Kevin got to the front and then Sean gave the call to Anthony who was just up the road in a chase group to drop back and get into the rotation with the guys on the front. It was as pro as it gets.

The Chemstar team put a few guys in the rotation and the Jet Fuel/Chemstar boys kept the chase group just up the road off the front in sight and lined out the field. Lap after lap we paraded through the start finish leading the charge with the crowd going nuts and banging the boards. With the eight of us one lap up it was going to come down to the last few laps and I was convinced someone was going to jump the train and try the late flyer.

At four to go nothing. Three to go – same thing. When we went inside with two to go I screamed at Pete Morse to get ready for war because an attack was coming…still nothing. As we got the bell for one to go my heart rate was already through the roof.

 

 

The pressure of being led out for 10 laps builds up and the pace goes through the roof. Anthony and Kevin took their last pulls and then a few guys tried to swarm us in the last two corners. Pete stood and sprinted to get me to 5th wheel into the second last corner and rocketed into the last one going inside and stood coming out of it as we got to the center of the road and he put me right at the front.

Without hesitation I jumped like I have never jumped before and gave it all the gas I had. It was a long one (300 meters) but there’s a slight downhill and it’s flat and wide open. I looked up and see nothing but clear road and then I put my head down and took it all the way to the line. My first win of the season and the biggest of my career!!

The rush of emotion was out of this world, I screamed to the heavens and then tried everything I had not to ball my eyes out. Pete rode up and we had as close to a gay encounter as I have ever had as we hugged and yelled as we all enjoyed a very sweet victory. The hand-shakes and pats on the back from all of my competitors was well worth the months of frustration and close calls. When I got back to the start-finish the crowd was going wild and the rest of my team was there waiting for me. Let’s just say it got emotional.

After getting interveiwed on stage and having a little fun with the crowd we stuck around to shake hands and get pictures with the crowd. People were lining up to have there kids get pictures with the team… how cool is that?

It was an incredible day and couldn’t have been more perfect. I want to sincerely thank Pete Morse, Kevin Hazzard, Anthony Walsh and Sean Kelly for helping achieve my greatest moment on a bike.

Last race of the week is tonight at the Downer (June 16) at 5:45pm. We just got back from a morning spin and the legs feel like they just might have another 100kms in them….stay tuned.

 

 

Results (brief)

July 11 – Richton Park Criterium

1. Jeff Schiller (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
2. Ho Burr (Hkg) Team Hong Kong
3. Andy Baker (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
4. Yuen Chi-Ho (HKg) Team Hong Kong
5. Feng Chun-Kai (Tpe) Action Cycling Team

10. Marco Li (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
24. Chris Balestrini (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose

July 12 – Willow Springs Road Race

1. Feng Chun-Kai (Tpe) Action Cycling Team
2. Laurent Beuret (Sui) Team Atlas Personal
3. Lee Wei-Cheng (Tpe) Action Cycling Team
4. Ho Burr (Hkg) Team Hong Kong
5. Martin Acosta (USA) MCGUIRE CYCLING TEAM

8. Ryan Aitcheson (Can) Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist
14. Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
19. Jeff Schiller (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
22. Kevin Hazzard (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
32. Marco Li (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose

July 13 – Brown Deer Park Challenge

1. Jeff Schiller (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
2. Andy Baker (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
3. Cole House (USA) RealCyclist.com
4. Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Donckers Coffee Jelly Belly
5. Matt Gorter (Nzl) Subway Pro Cycling

8. Kyle Fry (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
15. Ed Veal (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
33. Ryan Aitcheson (Can) Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist
35. Marco Li (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
39. Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
41. Chris Balestrini (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
49. Matt Degiacomo (Can) Team London

July 14 – South Shore Cyclery Classic

1. Michael Chauner (USA) Team Cykelcity
2. Matt Gorter (Nzl) Subway Pro Cycling
3. Ho Burr (Hkg) Team Hong Kong
4. Thomas Soladay (USA) Kelly Benefits Strategies p/b Optum Health
5. Pat Lemieux (USA) Pat Lemieux

13. Mathieu Roy (Can) Gaspesien
18. Pierre Etienne Boivin (Can) Team Spirit
35. Ed Veal (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
41. Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
48. Chris McGarity (Can) Team Saskatchewan
49. Antoine Matteau (Can) Gaspesien
58. Laurent Dallaire (Can) Rocky Mountain
67. William Blackburn (Can) Gaspesien
68. Kyle Fry (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose

July 15 – Brookfield / Maximized Living Criterium

1. Ed Veal (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
2. David Guttenplan (USA) Chemstar p/b United Healthcare
3. Hans Dekkers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet- Colnago
4. Chad Burdzilauskas (USA) Texas Roadhouse Cycling
5. Lee Wei-Cheng (Tpe) Action Cycling Team

8. Kyle Fry (Can) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose
10. Ryan Aitcheson (Can) Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist
15. Mathieu Roy (Can) Gaspesien
21. William Blackburn (Can) Gaspesien
23. Chris Mcgarity (Can) Team Saskatchewan
39. Pierre Etienne Boivin (Can) Team Spirit
40. Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
43. Laurent Dallaire (Can) Rocky Mountain
45. Antoine Matteau (Can) Gaspesien
51. Sean Kelly (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta
52. Kevin Hazzard (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta





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