Carrying momentum from two victories the weekend before with wins in Vermont and Utah, Team Jamis traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, for round three of the US Cup ProXCT at the Bump and Grind.
The race was to be the debut of new team member and six-time Israeli national champion Rotem Ishay, 22, in the Jamis colors, and he didn't disappoint, quickly joining Canadian Olympian Seamus McGrath at the front of the race.
After the race, American Olympian Todd Wells acknowledged the 22-year-old Rotem's aggression, "Rotem was one of the few guys to repeatedly push the pace. He was always attacking anytime there was a lull. He caused most of the split at the front of the race. That kid's going to be dangerous."
As the front group whittled down from a group of 10 in the early laps to ultimately seven riders on the last lap, the final selection came down to a crush of power and speed over the last hill with three kilometers to go. McGrath's experience and savvy allowed him to stay cool and focused, holding onto fifth place to round out the podium and mark his return to US racing.
"Explosive racing is a style that challenges me," said McGrath, who credited the hardtail Jamis he rode for its role in his success. McGrath's Jamis teammate Ishay, in his first race as a senior pro, held onto ninth place after his early race aggression.
The team will race next in Vail, Colorado, at the Teva Games, and the then at the fourth round of the US ProXCT in Cheyenne National Park, Colorado.