Performance Manager Eric Wohlberg reports on the team’s successful tactics in stage four of the Tour de Korea, which saw Eric Young claim his second victory of the race:
156 kilometers today with one category 3 climb at the halfway point, plus some surprise treats along the way. Guys were very motivated today as a field sprint was in the cards. We were hoping to put a sprinter with a worker in any significant move to increase the odds of a stage victory. As usual the pace was very high from the flag drop. A move of 14 or so quickly developed after a flurry of opening attacks. We had great representation with Jeremy Durrin and Alex Candelario. Sadly there was a GC threat in the move (A Korean rider at 3:30 down) which wasn’t ideal, but most of the teams were very happy to see the break roll. The move quickly went to 2:30 with the Hong Kong and Max Sports teams riding hard to contain. Unfortunately, attacks from the break over the KOM really hurt the moves rhythm, but both Cando and Durrin fought hard to stay in contact and then chased back up to the leaders.
The main field accelerated on the climb, turning the race into a triathlon. Tom Soladay and Mike Sherer positioned Ken Hanson and Eric Young at the base of that climb, allowing both of them to crest close enough toward the front to chase back on the very fast descent and landed safely in a group of 70 or so riders. The gap to the breakaway quickly evaporated, and at the 100 km point, the field was largely intact, chasing three of the survivors from the initial move.
This was a great situation as the chase to defend yellow would continue with or without us. We choose to sit back and ready ourselves for plan B, which was to launch a blistering attack into the final 90 degree left hand corner inside 1 km to go. Once again Durrin answered the call and hit out at 1.5 km to go and delivered Cando, Hanson and Young into and through the last corner. From there is was our patented turn and burn, and Eric lit them up for our second V of the race.
It was a good day for us and the guys can rest well tonight after a job well done.
Photo Credit: 2013 Tour de Korea