James Engle @ the Fayetteville Stage Race
James Engle had a great race in Fayetteville last weekend. The three stage cycling event consists of two long road race stages plus a 6.5 mile TT in between them. James raced in the Cat 4 division this year and raced hard from start to finish. Here is an awesome race report from James:

"I went into the weekend feeling pretty good, had put a lot of miles of training in to get me ready for my first Cat 4 stage race.On Saturday the race started out pretty tame, rollingup tothe base of the "hotspot" climb we were just crawling along. Climbing is my nemesis, so I made sure I was up towards the front and I easily made it up over the climb. Sat in the pack all the way aroundthe first lap. As we approached the hotspot, I was about mid-pack and the race picked up as the front of the pack raced for the "hotspot" bonus. By the time we made it up and over the climb I was at the back. I noticed that JJ was falling back pretty quickly, so I called out to him that we could latch back on together. We shortly made it backto the group, but I had definitely burn a few matches doing so. From this point on I was only able to hang onto the back,and could never improve my position in the group. As we went through the feed zone and made the left turn, the pace picked up and I just could not hang on. All of a sudden the chase car went by me and I was on my own. I chased hard to stay close and sure enough on a short little downhill I was able to get back on. Then we made it to the right turn to head down the final stretch, there was a little rise, the pace picked up and I was done for. I kept my effort up and caughtJJ and another rider. We took turns working to keep our losses down and we rolled into the finish.
The race was done and I was wore out. We were staying in a house close to the course, so some of us went back there, cleaned ourselves up and rested.It was time for the TT.My goal wasto get into the top 20 and was going to give it all I had. Matt Long started 2 riders ahead of me and I told him he was my rabbit. As we cued up, I was joking with Matt, told him I wanted to catch him by the time we madeit to thefirst right hand turn. From the start I got my speed up as quickly as possible, at this point I realized my legs were screaming and this was going to hurt. In my TT training I have learned to use my LT as a guide for my effort. I kept HR within a few beat of my LT the entire time, and it hurt like heck! I watched the rider that started in front of me and realized I was gaining on him, this sure gave me a boost. I saw him pass Matt, then I went by him giving a quick yell of encouragement. As we were approaching the right hand turn, I realized I possibly going topassthe rider ahead of me on the corner. I made the decision to slow enough to get through the corner and pass him after that. As I passed this rider I moved over to the left to get around him, and all of a sudden he picks up the pace and does not allow me to slide back in front of him. He rode next to me for about a mile and I could not shake him, then all of a sudden he was gone. As we made our final right had turn I noticed another ride up the rode, so I set my sights on catching him. Passed this rider about 1/2 mile from finish and there was one more for me to get, but we cross the line before I couldcatch him. Finished 17th, had an average speed just under 24mph, my fastest TT yet.
Sunday's RR I was feeling very tired. During my warm-up, I tried to just spin my legs and loosen them up. The race started and I sattowards the front, as we went through the little downhill before the Hotspot climb I found myself off the front. I thought this could work for me, I would be at the front going into the climb and I would easily be able to stay with the lead group. Man, was I wrong. On the climb, I was being passed like I was standing still. As we reached the top there were riders everywhere. I pushed my effort as hard as I could to get back on. I passed Lee and told him to get on my wheel. I did not realizeuntil later, but I had a line a riders behind me. My small little group worked hard to try andcatch back on, but we never did. We chased the lead group the entire first lap. I finished the race with one of the riders from my chase group. I tried to out sprint him at the line, but he got me by a wheel.
Had a fun weekend. I learned a lot from the race and look forward to the next one."
James Engle, Time Trial at the Fayetteville Stage Race


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