August 07, 2015 (New York) – Veloselect Racing Team went down to the 2015 Tour of the Catskills motivated and ready to face what was about to come. We arrived to a beautiful day on Friday July 31, in the morning, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and scenery only seen in movies. We took three riders including our new signing James Piccoli, along with Cameron McPhaden and William Blackburn.
The first stage was a 10 mile (16km) TT held on the road we came in on, a very picturesque location, and was successful for us. Piccoli was 3rd in the time trial and both McPhaden and Blackburn finished strong.
The circuit race, which was staged at Wyndam Mountain, a beautiful Ski Area, was the start and finish of stage two. The team’s plan was to keep James on the podium or better yet, to move him up into second or first. It went to plan and Cameron pulled back a late attack by the Silber rider in 2nd overall and launched James before the final climb to the finish. James finished within 5 seconds of the leaders and did not lose his podium position. The team was motivated and ready to race hard in order to keep James Piccoli standing on the podium.
For those who don’t know the third and final stage of the Tour of the Catskills, the course starts in Tannersville New York and included a climb in the Eastern United States that is famous with a reputation for taking no prisoners. The Devil’s Kitchen climb is the last part of the queen stage, which was 108 miles or 174 km.
Our plan was to have Cameron or Will in the early break to take pressure off of James. With our game face on we were ready to do what had to be done. William Blackburn went in an early break that was swept up at the first feed zone to take pressure off of James. Cameron was protecting James as we were the second team riding behind the Silber Pro Cycling Team and keeping James on the podium.
James had a mechanical after the second climb, a broken rear derailleur cable, and our rider Cameron McPhaden gave up his chance at the stage by swapping his bike and his shoes so James could keep on riding to keep his third place. James went for it and Cameron and both Will gave it their all. James finished the stage and ended up 4th by a mere 5 seconds to the third place rider. We fought the good fight and chapeau to our team.
Lastly we have to thank Amy and Dieter, the race organizers, who graciously housed the team with their family and welcomed us with open arms. The Drakes are one of a kind and Cameron, I (Lyall Beattie), James, and Will want to thank them for an awesome weekend on the course and off. Also to the USCF officials who did an awesome job.
The tour of Catskills should be a race that a lot of people should put on their calendars. If we had more races like this on the calendar cycling will continue to flourish and grow stronger to keep our youth interested in the sport and achieve higher heights like some of the winners have achieved in the past and in the current calendar year.
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