Monday, June 9, 2008

Holloway wins a war of attrition

O'FALLON, Mo. — Favorite Daniel Holloway held off the elements and the field in the premier race of the Tour de Winghaven on Sunday.

"It was really hot. I knew it would be that way, but I had to remind myself to keep taking fluids," said Holloway, 21, the U.S. elite criterium champion and silver medalist at the 2007 Pan-Am Games. "I knew that in a hot race, whoever comes the best prepared will win."

Holloway covered 25 laps of the 2.69-mile circuit in 2 hours, 45 minutes, 26 seconds, just ahead of Carlos Vargas, a native of Colombia who races for the Texas Touch Cycling Team. Chad Cagle of the Mercy Cycling Team, based in Oklahoma, was less than a second behind in third.

With the temperature in the mid-90s, the wind gusting to more than 20 mph and the dew point near 70, the race was a war of attrition. After five laps, a group of 14 led by Holloway had opened a lead of 30 seconds on the remaining 95 riders.

By the halfway point, the leaders had been trimmed to a half-dozen and had built a lead of one minute on a half-dozen chasers. The peloton — the main group of riders — was down to about 60 and four minutes behind. The leaders caught and mixed in with the peloton with three laps remaining and regrouped at the head of the field with a mile to go. Holloway made his winning move about 150 yards from the finishing line, on a steep incline.

"Every lap up the final hill got tougher and tougher," Holloway said. "I had to save just enough to open the gap."

Holloway collected the first prize of $4,000 from the total purse of $20,000, largest for a single-day race in Missouri.

Daniel races on Williams 58 and 38mm Carbon Tubulars.