Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle made its presence known last weekend in one of cycling's most prestigious events, the 76th Critérium International - the biggest race the team has entered to date. The team's young Aussie sprinter Ben Johnson took top honours in the King of the Mountains competition in Stage 1.
Gray skies greeted the peloton at the start, and the day's stormy weather served as a fitting backdrop for an aggressive day of racing. Timing his move perfectly, Ben Johnson attacked and maintained a small advantage to win the KOM points at the top of the côte de Barbe-en-Croc.
Team leader Danny Pate demonstrated on Sunday during stages 2 and 3 that his health and form are improving - good signs as he returns to the States this week to contest the US Open and Tour de Georgia. During the morning's road race (98.5km from Les Vieilles Forges to Monthermé), Pate attacked early - on the first ascent of the Côte du Mont Malgré Tout. He was quickly joined by three others, including eventual overall race winner Jens Voigt. Unfortunately, Pate suffered from his hard attack and fell off the lead group's pace. However, it was a sign of good things to come for the afternoon's time trial.
The final stage, an 8.3km time trial in Charleville-Mézières, the former Under-23 time trial World Champion proved himself amongst the best. Pate set an early fast time and remained on the leader board for quite some time before ending up with a fine 11th place result.
More on the Team Slipstream/Chipotle's journal pages.