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"We’ve been kind of building up to this for a long time with this group of guys, this generation, and we’re really excited to put on a good showing in Richmond,” Bookwalter said.

Photo: BMC / Tim De Waele

BRENT BOOKWALTER

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30.09.2014 @ 02:53 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Despite never having proven himself in a 260-kilometre long race, Alex Howes was a protected rider in the six-man U.S. national team as the course theoretically suited him down to the ground. The 26-year old American eventually has been able to finish no higher than 30th after he went down in a crash with 4 laps to go, but together with his more experienced countryman Brent Bookwalter was pleased with their performance before the World Championships will be held on their home soil next year.

 

The U.S. national team lined-up with a rejuvenated squad this year, build more with having next season’s World Championships in Richmond in mind than impressive results expected to be achieved in Ponferrada.

 

Eventually only two riders from the six-man squad managed to finish the event – most experienced Bookwalter and their protected rider Howes, crossing the line in 25th and 30th place respectively.

Both riders agreed that Sunday’s race was incredibly tough and were full of praise for podium contenders, who managed to save enough energy to go full gas on the final climbs.
 

“It was a tricky course with some really nasty downhills,” said Howes. “I was feeling pretty good up until a little fall with like four to go or so. I had to do some chasing but the boys helped me out, helped get me back up there.”

 

Bookwalter also insisted that his younger team-mate would have done much better if he hadn’t crashed with only four laps to go.

 

“We had four guys that we wanted to get into the race as deep as possible and see where it shuffled out,” Bookwalter said. “None of us are really proven at this level at 250km, but I think we’re all getting better each year. I thought the race was really hard. We were down to only a couple guys with a few laps to go so Alex and I were just trying to hang tough. I think he was actually probably better than me, and then he was unfortunately caught up in that little bit of a crash so that took a lot of energy out of him.”

 

“I felt like I had one speed. I could peg it at basically threshold the whole time, and guys would attack and kind of come back, and guys would move up the field and come back, and I was just grinding along at the same speed,” Bookwalter said. “It wasn’t quite enough to get into position to go for a top 10 or a good result, but I gave it everything I had all the way to the very last meter.

 

“It was just fast the whole day. It definitely ramped up at the end but not as much as some of the other worlds that I’ve done in the past. This one was just fast and hard all day. Those guys obviously had an unbelievable acceleration at the end. We were so deep into the race and everyone was so tired. That’s one of the things that make these one-day races so beautiful and dramatic is it really takes every last ounce out of you.”

 

The BMC Racing rider also revealed that yesterday’s efforts filled whole American team with additional motivation to excel in the next edition of the event, which will be held on their home soil for the first time in 27 years.

 

“We’re really inspired to have a chance to race worlds in Richmond next year,” he said. “We have a great group of guys here and a few guys that aren’t here. We’ve been kind of building up to this for a long time with this group of guys, this generation, and we’re really excited to put on a good showing in Richmond.”

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