Stage 2 of the Vuelta Independencia was a 140km circuit race with a few short climbs and a flat finish. With a number of hard stages ahead and very few race days in our legs, our team plan was to generally stay out of trouble, make sure we didn’t miss any serious moves, and go for a result in the likely field sprint.
A number of moves came and went until partway through the race a move of about 10 riders established itself. The team with the race leader went to the front and the gap began to tumble. After getting third in an intermediate sprint, I mostly hung out in the field, and tried to enjoy the ride.
Heading into the sprint my teammate Nate Freed kept me up near the front. With about 3k to go we made it through the last, fast downhill corner in good position. The last 2k we sped through a narrow one lane road, dogs, dirt, and spectators on one side and a large median on the other. With wind coming from the front/left, the field ended up pinched on the right side, so I decided to take my chances on the left hand, windy side.
I missed an opportunity to follow a move at 200m to go, so I jumped late from 8th or 9th wheel. I ended up 4th on the stage. In cycling, its hard to be satisfied unless you can land on the podium. I will be looking for more opportunities to land my first UCI level podium finish in the next week.