For their part, the Elite Men at the first day of the Highlander Cross Cup in Waco, Texas took to the challenging course with little concern for the toll it may take. The pace was fast and riders never let off leaving all but the strongest to straggle in.
Start was fast and smooth, and saw Tristan Uhl (Giant South) with the hole shot. Attached to his wheel was Zac McDonlad (Streamline Insurance), a racer we haven’t heard or seen much of this season, but who recently announced he’d be on Alchemy Bikes. Also in close pursuit, and onto the first stretch of grass was Chris Durmmond (SPCX p/b RK Black) out of Oklahoma.
It looked to be a good group, and a controlled start with Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh Clement) sitting back in about fifth slot. That wasn’t going to be the case for long though.
In pursuit were Uhl, Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) and Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling Team). Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX/Trek) did not get attached to the chase group, and was forced to bridge during lap two.
Within the very next lap the rigorous pace was starting to take its toll on the chase group and local hero Uhl was hanging on as best he could. Little gaps kept opening up, which Uhl fought to close back down. Eventually, the pace was too much, and Uhl was out. Same song, different verse, and Wells was out too.
Lindine and Durrin were grinding away in pursuit of Driscoll, and leaving the stragglers to fend for themselves.
Next lap through the pits, and Uhl went for his pit bike, but it had a rear flat. He was beyond the turn at this point and forced to ride a half lap with a flat. No luck with his ‘A’ bike being ready either. Uhl was out of contention with this unfortunate mechnical.
Wells held off Payson McElveen (Competitive Cyclist) for fourth while a last lap jump from Lindine leaves Durrin in third, with Driscoll taking with a commanding win, and his 3rd win in the series.
Read our report of the women’s race at day 1 of the Highlander Cross Cup here, and be sure to stay tuned for our day two race report.