Hot Tubes - Winning as a Team - Verge America

Hot Tubes - Winning as a Team - Verge America

Hello everyone,

This past weekend I brought four members of the team - Simon Jones, Matteo Jorgensen, Noah Putt and Gage Hecht -  to the Lacrosse Omnium in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. I chose this relatively obscure race because we needed to build the teamwork, trust, confidence and an all for one attitude that we’ve always had at Hot Tubes. This team has talent and some great personalities, but the guys are still new to each other and they need to learn how to win a race as a team.

 This was a points race (not a timed race) so a good place in each stage would dictate the winner.  The race was three stages:  1) a two and a half mile up hill time trial; 2) a seventy mile road race and 3) a one hour criterium.   We decided to race in the Pro 1-2 category even though we would have to race in junior gears against older racers in regular gears.

We started on a high note in the time trial with Matteo setting a new course record by twenty-five seconds. He was only eclipsed by the former record holder and last year's winner and hill climb specialist by a mere six tenths of a second. Gage rounded out the Time Trial podium in third finishing just another second back from Matteo. Noah placed thirteenth and Simon in the low thirties.

This was the first Pro 1/2 race we were doing as a team and I thought going in we had a chance to win. Now I knew we could. The team was feeling really confident for stage 2, the Road Race, the next day. Four or five kilometers into the Road Race a group of eight attacked and got clear. It was a windy, hilly cool day and I wasn't worried at all. There was almost no chance they could stay away. The problem with “almost” is that it leaves the door open for “maybe it can happen” and on this day it did. The group never got a big gap as it hovered at about 1:35 for most of the race. With about twelve miles to go Gage took his shot, got away clean from the field and soloed to within twenty seconds of the break, but never could quite catch them. While Gage was making his way across, Matteo got clear with two others and caught a gassed Gage on the last lap. We finished tenth and eleventh on the stage and the entire team was spent, but still confident.

This was the first Pro 1/2 race we were doing as a team and I thought going in we had a chance to win. Now I knew we could. The team was feeling really confident for stage 2, the Road Race, the next day. Four or five kilometers into the Road Race a group of eight attacked and got clear. It was a windy, hilly cool day and I wasn't worried at all. There was almost no chance they could stay away. The problem with “almost” is that it leaves the door open for “maybe it can happen” and on this day it did. The group never got a big gap as it hovered at about 1:35 for most of the race. With about twelve miles to go Gage took his shot, got away clean from the field and soloed to within twenty seconds of the break, but never could quite catch them. While Gage was making his way across, Matteo got clear with two others and caught a gassed Gage on the last lap. We finished tenth and eleventh on the stage and the entire team was spent, but still confident.

At dinner I watched and listened as the guys discussed the race and what they needed to do to win the General Classification. We were still in it sitting third and fifth in GC only three points out of the tie for the lead. At breakfast the next day we formulated our plan. We didn't need to win the Crit to win the GC, but the guys really wanted to win it so we were going all in. Simon is our fastest finisher right now, but he couldn't win the overall. Matteo and Gage could win, but we needed some luck and good legs and we had both on day 3. 

We were super aggressive all day but junior gears against senior's and pro's in senior gears made getting away on a very fast course really hard. Matteo finally got away late and had a good gap, but the field was neutralized for a crash that required an ambulance on the course allowing everyone to recover and dooming Matteo’s advantage. In a field sprint, we are disadvantaged because of junior gears, but Simon is fast and Matteo has had some fast finishes this season.  Also, Gage is the current criterium national champion so I sat back and watched. By the end Simon came through the last turn too far back to win, but he was able to take second.  Matteo finished in sixth making it really close for the GC.

After a half hour of waiting and tabulating, the promoter came out with the results, it was a TIE!   We had discussed this at our breakfast planning session. The tie breaker goes to the time trial results and with Matteo's second place in the TT, WE WON!

It was great to watch as the guys celebrated.  Now they knew they could WIN AS A TEAM. Everyone did their part each day and pushed themselves farther than they thought they could and they we're rewarded for that effort. Not once did I hear, "how did I do?" The team won and that was all that mattered.

A special thanks goes out to Simon’s dad, Billy Jones, for hosting us in Wisconsin.

I'm proud of our guys and am looking forward to our next team outing Memorial Day weekend.

Verge Brooklyn: 67 35th Street, Suite B502, Brooklyn, New York, 11232 USA

HOURS

Monday
9am to 6:00pm EST
Tuesday
9am to 6:00pm EST
Wednesday
9am to 6:00pm EST
Thursday
9am to 6:00pm EST
Friday
9am to 6:00pm EST
Saturday
Email or Call
Sunday
Email or Call
EMAIL
CALL
MAP
HOURS