Fouche Gap Road Race – Rome GA
On April 7, three members of LITESPEED-BMW headed to Rome, GA for the Fouche Gap Road Race. Chris Brown, Matt McCarthy, and Hank Beaver would be taking on a dozen Team Type 1 Devo riders, 8 Irondata riders, 3 Hincapie/BMC development riders, 3 Kenda/5 Hour Energy pros, 1 Exergy Pro, 4 United Healthcare of GA riders, 2 Global bike riders, and Competitive Cyclist pro Cesar Grejales – as you can see, a very stacked field! The course was a rolling 78 mile course that finished on a 1.2 mile, 7.8% grade climb near Rome GA called Fouche Gap.
The guys were attentive from the gun but didn’t go with a very early move knowing Cesar, Sergei, TT1, Irondata and United Healthcare of GA were not represented and would need to chase. This move got 2 minutes on the group and an organized chase began to take place with LITESPEED-BMW rider Hank Beaver contributing to the chase (basically sacrificing himself) so Chris Brown could save his energy for the later part of the race when the break was brought back.
With 14 miles to go the break was brought back and other attacks started heavily at which point Chris went with several and instigated other moves and Hank still had some snap in his legs from chasing and went with some other moves. Since a lot of the peloton was able to sit in most of the day while 10-12 guys chased the break a lot of riders had fresher legs than normal and wouldn’t let any moves get more than a couple of seconds up the road. So coming into the finishing turn before the finishing climb Chris made sure to put himself in the top five and in fact hit the bottom of the climb first but was then passed by several pros. Chris dug deep and finished 8th, duking it out till the end and within sight of the 5th place finisher. Hank was smoked from his chase effort all day for Chris (nice work Hank) but still finished up in the top ½ of the pack.
So a great sign for the team as Hank and the most of the team head to the GA State Criterium Championships in Macon, GA and Chris Brown hits up a TBRA series race in Sparta TN en route to his quest to win the TBRA series this year (his first attempt to win the series). Reports coming soon!