An incredible experience in the USA
Prologue: Time Trial
Under a hammering sun, Team3M started the prologue as an underdog. Several US-based teams are way more used to this kind of TT’s. But under the circumstances, Christophe Sleurs did a good job. Together with Stef Van Zummeren, he ended in the top-20. They only lost like 30 sec on specialist Zirbel from Optum.
Evening criterium in St Paul
Team3M had not forgotten that the day before, they had a tremendous meet & greet with the 3M employees at the 3M campus in Minneapolis. After a quarter of the race a group of 7 riders took off including Gerry and Stef. The rest of Team3M made sure the gap stayed over 25 sec. for a very long time in the race. With Timothy held up in a crash and Tom victim of a puncture in the last 5 laps, both Gerry and Stef were working hard to stay ahead of the peloton. Only 2 laps to go, Stef jumped and tried to bring victory home.
That didn’t work but Gerry still got a nice 9th place. Stef scored as most aggressive rider and brought Team3M on the podium that way.
Cannon Falls road race
Team3M wanted to make a big move today. In the beginning of the race, everything looked under control. Only halfway the race, a group of 13 riders took off including Gerry. Although all 5 other Team3M riders worked hard to bring this escape back, it stayed away.
Gerry took 7th. Too bad the peloton lost more than 3 minutes on that brake, this meant the other 5 riders of Team3M were most likely out of competition for the overall, but you never know…
criterium in Minneapolis
This evening turned out to become a night to remember for all Team3M members.
Early in the race a group of 7 riders took off, including Timothy. This brave move turned out to be the right one as this move stayed away… Timothy got 3rd, and Gerry 7th and Christophe 9th. This gave Team3M the title of ‘best team of the day’. The team-performance was one of great professional class.
Menomonie Road race
The nice result of yesterday made the desire to win even more grow. In more than 20 attacks, where all the time, there were Team3M-members involved. After about 25 km, an escape of 6 riders including Tom Devriendt turned out to be the right one. This group got max. 3 min 15 sec advantage. A typical ‘Belgian’ down-poor made Team3M feel like they were racing at home in the rain. The group of Tom stayed away and Tom as plain simple the strongest rider of the day and won the sprint pretty outspoken. Gerry got 9th and Christophe ended 22th, making sure Team3M, once again became the best team. On top of this, Tom also got the price of most aggressive rider.
The final criterium in Stillwater...
23 laps, with a wall of 12 to 24% climbing each time..... That was the challenge for the ultimate race of the North Star Grand Prix.
Team3M did a recon-ride on this circuit a week ago at their arrival. Right away, we knew Gerry and Tom could do very well in this race. Team3M wanted to attack early and make the race hard, towards the end, we would try to get Gerry in the right position.
Team3M was in every attack all day long, Tom went away with 5 other riders and scored most aggressive rider for the second day. With his attack, he did put teammate Gerry in a easy spot towards the end. 5 laps from the end, all came together again. 3 laps from the end a rider went and got max. 8 sec. Team3M stayed cool and did put everything on the end jump of Gerry, ........ Gerry came 30 cm short for victory, but scored second, Tom got 4th.....
Team3M left some footprints in the Minneapolis-area
3 podium placings: 1st in Menomonie, 2nd in Stillwater and 3rd in Minneapolis
3 times best team
3rd place team GC
3 times most aggressive rider (once Stef, Tom 2 times)
Team3M made progress, thanks 3M to help us make progress possible!