Canadian Cyclist


April 19/14 19:02 pm - Winston-Salem Classic Road Race report

Posted by Editoress on 04/19/14

Team SmartStop have once again proved that they mean business after Travis McCabe won the 108 mile UCI-ranked Winston-Salem Cycling Classic yesterday, with team captain Zach Bell coming in third.

The team once again executed Director Michael Creed's plan to perfection controlling the peloton, covering dangerous moves and getting five guys into the final 20 man selection.

While the attacks started from the get-go, Team SmartStop bided their time before making any decisive moves. A group of three riders, including Oscar Clarke from the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, broke away early on in the race but the peloton did not let them get too far out of their sights. With roughly eight laps to go Zach Bell was in a chase group of five, trying to bridge their way across to the breakaway three.

With the race breaking into pieces in the final laps, Travis, Zach, Joshua Berry, Rob Britton and Eric Marcotte were present at the front of the race after bridging across to the leading group. The group consisted of some big threats to Team SmartStop's success, including Will Routley from Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and eventual second place finisher Joe Lewis from the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team.

While the guys were getting up the road, Jure Kocjan followed the wheel of Redlands Bicycle Classic winner, Joey Rosskopf, to ensure he was taken out of contention for the top spot of the podium in Winston-Salem.

Michael believes that Jure truly showed the team how professionals ride yesterday with his performance: "When I signed him I told him about this race and it was one of his main objectives for the year but when he saw the opportunity to mark Rosskopf he took it."

"I am so proud that he was able to show the others what real sacrifice and team work is."

Having five riders with him gave Travis the ability to relax a little and save some energy for the final sprint. "They really played a huge role," said an exhausted Travis, "having them there was huge, it meant that I could save energy. I still get really anxious in that situation but having them there helps to keep me calm and grounded."

"It is so nice to know that any of those guys could win the race if they were in the winning break, I was able to sit comfortably and force the other teams to chase, it was a really, really good feeling."

In the final lap of the 7.2 mile course and with four teammates by his side, Travis knew that this was no David and Goliath race, he was there to win and he had the legs and confidence that he could make it happen.

"Josh was there to lead me out from the feed zone to the base of the climb, which put me in a good position," explained Travis. "I knew if I could come over that climb with a gap it would be hard to close so I punched it when needed and I had my teamate lead me out perfectly."

This is Travis' first UCI race win but he says although it is a huge result in his career, he would count his stage three win at the Redlands Bicycle Classic as being bigger. Not to discredit yesterdays win he said: "It was awesome but Redlands put me in my first yellow jersey. Yesterday's win is a boost in confidence, knowing that I can and seeing it happen is reassurance that I am not just a sprinter."

"These hard one day races are really good for me."

"It is tremendous," said Michael, "it is one thing to know the team is capable but it is another to prove it, at the risk of sounding cocky we never lost control of that race."

Coming into the final stretch Travis was roughly eight seconds clear of Joe Lewis with Zach Bell winning the sprint from the chase group of six riders.

"Zach has really proven himself to me, I did not know much about him before I signed him but he has become a real captain and leader and an asset to the team. I am really happy we found him. He was in the early break and then the next break, I truly believe that after Travis he was the second strongest man in the race."




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