Early into the event, one of Victor’s teammates attacked solo.

No one attempted to go with him, Victor hovering the front, ready to protect his teammate.

He watched the riders in front of him, and he was actually able to relax a bit and enjoy the peaceful non-chaos of the front wedge of the race.

With 7 laps to go, Victor told Woody he would try to bridge. And Victor launched.

And he was gone. Victor put his head down, knowing at this pace he would catch his teammate up the road and have Foundation 1st 2nd in the race, together off the front. Then he realized a rider had caught his wheel from behind.

What Victor didn’t know is his teammate up the road had actually flatted – and was lapped. Good thing Victor had attacked! The team was still truly in contention to win, throwing the heavyweight blows in the race that create true impact.

Victor did a lion’s share of the pulling, and a few other riders were able to bridge… The group was now 5-6 riders. Victor knew he was more spent having been in the break, but these new passengers had just bridged – who would have the advantage in the finale was not known.

They roared through the last straight, a slight uphill, Victor pounced and sprinted as hard as he could — “a long sprint,” Victor said.

He was able to hold everyone off and cross the line first. “The race was pretty cool – it was the first time I won money in a bike race.”

Victor said although at times you can feel uncomfortable in a crit, he overall felt safe out there – when a rider has these instincts early-on, typically that indicates a strong season is ahead. Vincent said he wants to get better at carrying speed through the turns, while also developing more restraint, not always feeling the responsibility to pull.

Congratulations, Mr. Gras – wishing you the very best 2015 possible. First race, awesome first step.

Professional photography courtesy of marcoquezada.com/nyvelocity