US AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLORADO – Sunday was another outstanding early-season day for road racing at the early season Front Range Classic with COS Racing landing on the podium at least once during multiple challenging races amongst packed fields and tough national-level competition. The road race took place on a fast 13-mile hilly course on the US Air Force Academy.
More than a dozen COS Racing riders entered the Mens, Womens, and Masters Road Races. According to multiple competitors, the preceding week’s blizzards had cancelled travel plans for many professional and elite teams headquartered in Colorado resulting in a surge in elite-level participation in this event. By race morning this meant that nearly every race was full with a waiting list for many categories. This was not limited to professional categories. Nearly every race reached capacity with fields of 75 riders. Although the fields were large, the hilly course rapidly stretched out most fields into small groups and individuals riders.
In the Mens Masters (40+) Pro/1/2/3/4/5 race, four COS Racing riders – David Neis, Glen Larson, Ian Matteson, and Erik Hartel – competed against a sold-out field of mostly-elite level riders. On the first lap, a group of seven created an early break which resulted in a brutally-fast start for the event as other teams chased to close the gap before the climb. By the middle of the first climb up Pine Drive, the Masters’ field had largely exploded into a small lead group, multiple smaller chase groups, and a long line of stragglers. David Neis was able to catch was able to bridge to the lead group before the summit and remained there throughout. On the same climb, Larson, Matteson, and Hartel fell off. Larson and Matteson were able to hang with the lead-group stragglers until a second group coalesced around them. Led by Larson, this group rode to a respectable mid-pack finish. Neis stayed towards the front eventually finishing 17th overall. Afterwards, looking a bit dazed, Neis stated, “I expected this race to be hard, but not that hard.”
COS Racing riders from the
“…from my perspective, the [final] shakeup happened around the fire station. I just kind of looked back and saw that there was a good-sized gap that had opened. I ended up cramping a bit so lost contact with the group of 10 or so, but got back on.”– Peter Jackman, 5th in Mens Cat 4/5 race
Jackman sprinted to fifth place from a small lead group with the remainder of the COS Racing team finishing shortly thereafter.
Other COS Racing Riders Peter Tonn and Matt Brady, as well as Liz Woods and Marisa