Since his return to racing earlier in June after knee injuries kept him away in the beginning of the season, the 29-year old has been showing great form with top 3 finishes at Commerce Bank Leigh Valley Classic, stage at Joe Martin Stage Race and a stage win in Tour of Arkansas.
In mid-June, Brad Huff, Mike Friedman, Colby Pearce and Bobby Lea competed in the track Olympic trials and when we talked, USA Cycling had not announced the squad for the Olympic games. Today, the Olympic team was announced and it included Lea with an automatic selection and Friedman with a discretionary nomination for the Madison.
What was the plan today with only 3 Jelly Belly riders racing?
We had a little of combine with Team Type 1, they’re good friends of Matty Rice, we tried to work together throughout the race, not freaking out, paying attention, being patient. It usually comes down to a field sprint, we got lucky. Actually it’s not luck, it’s a lot of risk, it gets really dangerous because it’s hard enough where it weeds out people but then it’s not hard enough because everybody can kind of jump around you coming into the corner so you have to be really attentive and stay on the gas until the last moment and then slide right in.
Tell me about the last corner.
I came into the last corner probably third… Freddie Rodriguez and Nic Sanderson. Nic Sanderson crashed, caused Freddie to crash and I came through the corner first so I just had to go, I couldn’t float it. I pretty much wound out Rahsaan and Ricardo Escuela, I got them up to speed and all they had to do was give a little pop. You know I was content with that because it kept me out of trouble, if I had tried to float it a little then they would have been more of a swarm so it’s just better if I really stay on the gas and risk losing to possibly win.
How are you since returning from your knee injuries? It was a knee injury right?
Knee injuries and stuff, I’m just happy. I’m just happy, to have a podium place was even better. My team is really supportive, they really believe in me and it makes me feel good so that’s why I gut it out and tried to hold on.
Have you heard about the selection for the Olympics?
Not yet, I know the truth and Mike Friedman is definitely the first pick of the group. Even if I don’t get picked, my best friend gets to go to the Olympics, it’s like a dream come true no matter what happens.
So (in closing) is everything okay with your knee?
Yeah, I’m just getting old. (laughs).