March 12, 2011
Sequim, WA - Tour De Dung marks the opening of race season for many Northwest riders. The first of this two race series would prove no different this year as virtually all categories sported full fields. The Category 3 field was the first race off in the morning and the Audi Cycling Team was represented with Ted Chauvin, Phil Spencer, Max Coleman and super sprint talent Chris Eagon.
The hostilities were initiated almost immediately as Audi riders Max and Phil began an attack, counter attack strategy with the hope of getting a group off the front. Early on Phil jumped on a move by SCCA/Starbucks strongman Mark Mirante and was joined by the ever active Alex Telitsine of FareStart p/b Cobalt Mortgage. The three put in strong pulls but despite their best efforts there were still too many fresh legs in the group and they were pulled back. Max immediately countered only to be met by a similar fate.
After a series of unsuccessful efforts, Max and Alex made a strong bid to get away and quickly distanced themselves from a peleton that was rapidly loosing it's will to chase. There was a small chase group of 4 riders working hard to join and Phil bridged up to the chase group as they slowly reeled in the two riders up the road. Another small chase group joined up and by the end of the first of 5 laps, the break was 11 riders strong. With four of the areas top cat 3 time trial specialists in attendance, there was plenty of firepower and this would prove to be the decisive move of the race.
The break rolled through the picturesque Sequim countryside slowly gaining time on the main field. All riders were pulling through and at the end of two laps they had gained 2:40 on the field. By the fourth lap a number of riders started missing pulls or were just sitting on the back so Max began to attack on every little climb hoping to loose many of the tired legs and wear down the rest of the break away group. He and Olympic Orthopaedic Associate's Vaughn Nelson seemed to have the best legs and with 5 K to go Vaughn made a solo bid to get away on his own. He was brought back but not without considerable effort from the chasers. The efforts of Vaughn and Max had whittled the lead group down to 8 riders as they entered the final kilometer.
Alex was the first to jump with 200 meters to go and Phil reacted immediately with the rest of the group stringing out behind. As Alex started to fade Vaughn moved past hard on the left side of the road and Phil tried to match his acceleration on the right. Vaughn had a bike length at 100 meters and the Audi rider could not get any closer crossing the line in second with NWCC-Dimensional rider Jeff Beltramini claiming the final step on the podium. Max crossed in 6th position and Chris would take the field sprint for 9th placing 3 riders in the top ten.
This would represent more than the first race of the year for Audi's Ted Chauvin. Having been hit by a car on a training ride, Ted has spent the past year healing and in rehab from his extensive leg and ankle injuries. Tour de Dung would be his longest ride and first race back since the injury.
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