Mitchell Ford talks about his experience in the Collegiate Men’s B Road Race at the Cardinal Omnium
The 2018 Cardinal Omnium started at Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant in Starlight, IN and featured a hilly 12.3 mile loop. The Collegiate B field consisted of 13 riders, with 5-6 from Indiana University, 3-4 from Wisconsin, and 2 from Notre Dame. This left me and one other rider as lone wolves, looking to play off of the work of the larger teams. Given the course profile and the presence of two very powerful teams in the race, I decided it would be smart to sit in and save my energy for the first portion of the race. With the narrow roads it was hard to move up to cover any breakaways, but I took my chances and conserved my energy. The first two laps were hot and fast. IU and Wisconsin attacked each other over and over again, forcing the other team to counter each attack. I continued to sit in and follow wheels because I didn’t want to wear myself down from the back and forth attacks, none of which were sticking. With the high pace it was easy to coast up the majority of each hill. For a brief moment there was a promising solo break by another team, but he didn’t last long as dominant teams pulled hard to bring him back. I tried to attack on one hill near the middle of the race but was unable to get a gap. By the third lap, the group had become convinced that no attacks were sticking that day, and the pace dropped accordingly. The pace was moderate for laps 3 and 4, as everybody was conserving energy for a bunch sprint. My legs were feeling great at the end of the race, but it was difficult to get a good position coming into the final right hand corner with the big teams jockeying for position. I didn’t want to do anything risky so I took the outside line on the last turn. I overtook 4 people in the sprint to finish 4th overall. All in all it was a good race, as I was able to work against two strong teams the whole race and in the end just barely miss the podium.