McCabe Soloes to Victory in Winston-Salem 2014
American Travis McCabe of Team SmartStop Pro Cycling used a perfectly-timed attack on the final climb to solo to victory in the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic men's professional road race.
McCabe had time to celebrate ahead of another American, Joe Lewis (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team), who was runner-up ahead of McCabe's teammate, Canadian national road champion Zach Bell, who sprinted to third out of a small group five seconds later.
"This is huge," McCabe explained after being celebrated on the podium. "Our team is based out of Winston-Salem. It's our home town, so it was a race we really wanted to win. The team was always there in all the moves and all of the splits. It's a big win for us. We're really excited."
The chaotic race came down to a group of 14 riders which formed in the final nine laps of the 171-kilometer race that comprised 15 laps of an 11.4 kilometer circuit. A three-rider escape group of David Cueli (UnitedHealthcare of GA presented by The 706 Project), Matt Green (Astellas Cycling Team), and Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear Team) stayed away out of that group for several laps starting at that point. A seven-rider chase group formed behind those three, and Green was eventually dropped. A group of 10 formed with three laps to go, but there was a regroupment of 34 riders about half a lap later.
Attacks continued to fly, but a strong counter attack by Will Routley (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) with two laps remaining upped the pace in the group significantly. By the time Routley was caught due to an acceleration from Bell, there was only a lap to go and the front group had splintered.
Several teams were well-represented in the small group that contested the finish. Team Smartstop had four riders, Hincapie Sportswear had three and the Optum and 5-Hour Energy presented by Kenda squads each had two. Team Smartstop took over the front to set up McCabe, with the 2013 U.S. national elite criterium champion launching his winning attack on the final climb.
"I went on the steepest part – the last 50 meters of that climb," McCabe explained. "It was sort of like a stair-stepper. You had the kicker, it flattened out, then a kicker, and then the last 50 or 100 meters it was just steep. I knew right there we had four guys. I just lined it up and we just took a chance and I went as hard as I could up over the hill. It was so short after the hill that if I could get up and over with a gap, I could recover over the rollers. If anyone caught me I had enough of a kick. So I just took a chance and it played out really well."
Team Smartstop Director Michael Creed said McCabe's victory in the UCI/National Racing Calendar event builds on the team's earlier accomplishments this season: a stage win by McCabe at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, second and third at last weekend's Novant Health Invitational Criterium, and a runner-up finish with Rob Britton at Vuelta Independencia Nacional in February.
"To see the guys who didn't know each other from the start, who had very few connections amongst them, come