Riders Diary Chris Jones: "So Close To Making It Happen"

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06.04.2008/Chris Jones is a second-year professional for Team Type 1. His breakout season as a rookie included four victories, 14 podium finishes and ninth place at the U.S. national road race championships. He and his wife, Cassie, live in New Haven, Conn (USA). Cyclingheroes will publish a race diary with Chris Jones during Redlands, the US stage race continues through Sunday. Today: "So Close To Making It Happen."

©  Vero Image
Jones follows the wheel of Rock Racing's David Clinger. ( Vero Image)

From the gun, Saturday’s 90-minute criterium around the streets of Downtown Redlands was fast. Rock Racing was trying to set a tempo fast enough that they wouldn’t get swarmed. But they weren’t riding fast enough that you couldn’t attack. Of course, everyone wanted to be at the front and guys were really anxious.

Team Type 1 was trying to be optimistic and get into breaks whenever possible. Shawn Milne was in one, Moises Aldape was in one and even I got in one. When Shawn’s break went and then stuck, I knew it would stay out because I was riding right next to (race leader) Santiago Botero and his teammate, Oscar Sevilla, and heard them say, "Good. Good."

After that, everything kind of calmed down. Our team director, Ed Beamon, really knows how to call a race and with about 10 laps to go, he told us to get a critical mass of gusy at the front to jump in behind the chase to discourage other teams from helping pursue the breakaway. It worked because with a lap to go the break was still about 15 seconds in front and was not going to get caught.

We knew Shawn was the fastest guy out of the four in the sprint. So we thought for sure we were going to win. I thought to myself that it would take something drastic to happen to keep him off the podium. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. He crashed on the second-to-last corner of the race. When I saw him on the side of the road, my heart sank.

As I write this, he is at the hospital having his wrist X-Rayed. We already have two guys – Matt Wilson and Dan Holt – out with broken wrists. I hope everything with Shawn is OK.

Our luck is going to turn here soon. We’re so close to making it happen that it’s got to happen sooner or later. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

Sunday’s final stage, the Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race, is a challenging 91-mile (146.5 km) race featuring a climb on each of five laps around a circuit, as well as two time bonus sprints. Jones is 2:15 behind overall race leader Santiago Botero of Rock Racing.

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