Posted by Editoress on 04/27/12
Jordan Cheyne of Team H&R Block won the 2012 Tour of Walla Walla with team mate Rob Britton taking fourth. An incredible team performance by additional team riders Justin Kerr, Mike Sidic and Craig Jones supported the win during this four stage Tour in Walla Walla Washington.
The race began with a fast road stage that placed Rob in fifth and Jordan in 12th, both very close in time over the finishing climb. This set the stage for what was to come.
The next morning saw the guys ride a clean Criterium, staying out of trouble but not losing anytime to the GC riders. This was the plan in order to save the effort for the third stage, the Individual Time Trial (ITT).
In the afternoon ITT, Rob rode a very good race, finishing only five seconds behind Ian McKissick (Audi), as both of them put one minute into most of the others. Jordan also had a solid ride, which put the team in a very good position. Not leading the Tour was perfect going into the final stage, since it put pressure on Audi to protect Ian's lead.
After a team dinner the plan was to protect Rob and Jordan all day and do the following: The team knew that the race had to be really hard after 100 kilometres. Therefore, the plan was to have Craig shadow Rob, send Mike off in the early moves, have Justin cover feeds and communication with the Team Director Mark Ernsting, and have Jordan attack with 50-60 kilometres to go, to try and put pressure on GC with a win, or have others chase to set Rob up for a final attack.
The initial move was not covered, and gained 3-5 minutes at times. But, Justin was able to come back to the caravan for several feeds and discuss the strategy. The plan was to not panic and stay to the plan set out.
This was understood by the guys and, with 60 kilometres to go, Jordan and Mike bridged across to the break. Now there were nine riders about three minutes up the road. On the last lap two things happened: Rob was able to elude his nearest competitors and Jordan covered an attack from the break up the final climb before a flat 20 kilometre run to the finish. Rob chased hard, getting little to no help from the six riders sitting on him, and brought the gap down to two minutes to the initial break. But, at the same time, Jordan was able to put an additional 50 seconds with two others on the break. This resulted in Jordan taking the overall win and Rob placing in fourth. Post-race, Jordan thanked all his teammates. The team came into the Tour with less riders than many other teams, but stayed together for the fight that resulted in a fun overall win.
Report courtesy Team H&R Block
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