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Kissena Prospect Park Pro-1-2-3 from Tony (June 22 update)
Thirteen lap race -- my plan was to sit at the back for the first 11 laps. Did not feel very good. Moved to the front with two to go. There were two men off the front by 20 secs at this point. Eugene Boronow and Dave Somerville. They went with four laps to go at the bottom of the hill in a subtle, roll-off-the-front move. I attacked at the top of the climb with 1 3/4 lap to go. Caught by 9th street. Attacked again at bottom of hill and got away solo with 10-15 second gap. Couldn't make it stick and caught by group of 10 with field just behind, two miles later at top of downhill.
Didn't contest sprint, even though I was in top 10, on Pollo's wheel, coming out of curve after downhill. It was wet and I was afraid of a crash. There were several -- all behind me. Eugene won (hoorah!) and Mengoni also got third, fourth and sixth. Jason Bremer didn't place cause he gave his wheel to Wilson Vasquez. I keep trying to stick these solo late moves but they haven't worked yet." -- Tony
Nina Wins State Time Trial Championship(June 22 update)
Housatonic Hills Pro-1-2 from Tony (June 18 update)
The first lap was taken at a steady pace, thankfully, so I didn't get dropped until the middle of the first climb
on the second lap. I was happy many were dropped before and with me.
I rode with about 5-6 guys until the 2nd climb when one other guy and I rode away.
Aside from being joined by a Sportsbook guy for the last 8 miles of the second lap, we rode alone together for the rest of the race and finished 27th and
28th. It was a very hard, hot race but I am glad I finished and am happy I lasted as long as I did in the field. I probably should have tried to start
the climb near the front. I hope it pays dividends in Fitchburg.
Some UPMC guy won, with Melite "Pulla" Heredia of Toga second. Jason Bremer of Mengoni was away with the UPMC guy until he lost his rear shifting --
he rode the end of the race with only the 15 cog in back and still hung on for eighth. Stephen Badger of CRCA-ReMax won the Connecticut State Championship." -- Tony
Housatonic Hills Women 1-2-3 from Leslie (June 18 update)
I was struggling to stay in and thought that I was well placed going into the hills on the second lap near the front. There were actually a lot of
attacks going on between Verizon and Richard Sachs, but I was feeling comfortable and usually sitting on someone's wheel as they covered the
attacks. Unfortunately I started to slide back somewhere on the first major hill and next thing I knew I was off. Not really sure what happened other
than heat and exhaustion and maybe some sort of mental issues.
I rode alone for a long time until a few women came up on me and I worked with them. I dropped my chain at a steep part of the course, but eventually
slogged back up for the company. There were six of us (including Yvonne Ilton of Verizon) for the last eight miles, but no one other than Midori Nakamura (Sanchez/Metro) and me seemed
interested in making up time on the rest of the field -- even though we were racing for 30th place (or thereabouts). On the steep part of the finishing climb
Midori and I fell off the back of our little group.
Catherine Powers of Richard Sachs won. Some noticeable newcomers are Katie Lambden (CRCA/Gotham) and
Becky Koh (CRCA/Radical Media) both of whom just upgraded to 3s and came in top 10 in this race." -- Leslie
Housatonic Hills Masters from Kurt (June 18 update)
The 35+s was strangely only about 80 riders starting on a beautiful day ,as
opposed to the 125 that started last year in the rain...?
Gary was feisty going off right away and speeding us up quickly, but the field was not letting him go. I spotted Bernie McGary of CTS and I said 'go with my teammate
and I'll control it for yaz.' Sure enough they went away for a good ways until the top of the KOM when Gary eased off the pace and we all caught the
much bigger field of cat. 3s that was weaving up over the hill. As the leaders of our group sprinted for KOM, I was towards the front of the main
bunch struggling around the cat. 3 pack. My lack of energy was completely evident as I just watched the race leaders roll down the other side, from
my perfect bridging position ... oh well.
Our then combined pack of 3s & 35+s just stayed together for the next 28 milie lap with me avoiding the toppling cat. 3s (stopping completely once)
from behind, and JT and Gary doing better up ahead towards the front of the approximately 150 rider pack.
About 10 miles from the finishing hill the officials decided to stop us and discuss how we should separate from each other (brilliant thinking), so
after a minute or so they sent the 3s off, then held us for two more minutes to go down the big descent.
More luck bestowed me as i then hit a big hole at about 40MPH and popped a spoke on my rear Zipp to give me more of a workout on the final part of the
race and up the finish hill as it rubbed against the brake pad.
Gary continued his strong riding as he went ahead a few miles before the finish hill and started up it with about a 10 second lead on the rest of us.
I think there were maybe two places left. Gary was caught by about 10 or 15 guys to end up about 20 something place. JT and i were just behind him,
struggling in. Roger Aspholm of Westwood Velo won, with John McKone of CCB second and Bill Yabroudy of AFD third.
Seriously though, I had a great time and I'm sure we all had a good workout (for Fitchburg)!" -- KG
Tour of High Bridge Masters from Tony (June 11 update)
Loved the course but I was tired as I had done the 1-2 race. In the Masters race, Roger Aspholm and Troy Kimball, the two strong Westwood Velo guys, put the hammer down on the climb just before the descent on the 2nd lap and split the field. I was at the back and had to bomb the descent -- 48mph -- and TT along the river to bridge to the front group of 15. Kurt, with a leadout from JT, bridged a mile later and we were the only ones to make that split. On the next lap, it was a repeat of the previous one.
Roger and Troy attacked on the backside climb. I was at the back on Kurt's wheel. He closed some gaps and at the top of the climb, just as four riders went clear, told me "Go across!" I then did a repeat of the previous
lap and bombed the descent and TTed along the river. After a very painful, "the world is turning black at the edges and I can't see too well" effort, I made the bridge and five of us were away. That was it until the end of the race
except I couldn't respond to Roger's and Doug's attack with a half lap to go. In the last mile cat and mouse, Troy also got away and I ended up fourth. Kurt was in the next group and took ninth." -- JT
Empire State Games Qualifier (Women) from Nina (June 11 update)
The Conrad's women accomplished what we set out to do this morning! Leslie and I (accompanied by Lance), talked strategy on the ride down, and then, lo and behold, our lead-out prayers were answered when we came upon Ann
Mullen! It was awesome to have three of us at the line in our fancy pants new duds.
I was patient and waited til six to go before counter-attacking like a wild woman up the hill. First time around, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen of Radical Media got on my wheel and we stayed away for about a lap before being caught. Then at four to go a little voice in my head said to try again. I have never ridden so hard in my life. This time i was totally determined to stay away with or without any help from Bronwyn, who again, clawed her way up to me. I really did feel like my head was going to roll right off my shoulders, and i was hoping that it would. I couldn't be sure how far back the field was--there were a lot of random riders on the course--so i opted to ride to the line, in effect giving bronwyn a great leadout. I guess i had watched too much of the giro, and thought that after towing her around for 4+ laps, she would be gracious and give me "my" win. but hey, that's bike racing, and I should have known
better, although i don't know that i would do anything differently.
In the field, Ann set Leslie up perfectly. There wasn't much of a train to follow, so she lead out, and Leslie must have been hot hot hot to take second in the field sprint behind Frances Harrison of Sanchez/Metro for fourth overall!" -- JT
Empire State Games Qualifier (Men) from JT (June 11 update)
We had Lance, Kurt, Tony and me in the race, which had a big field of 120 officially signed up, and a few more guys sitting in for the ride. The pre-race started badly for me as I forgot my waterbottles. Luckily Eugene had some extras. Thanks! About seven guys, including Kurt, went away on the first lap. This included Scot
Willingham of Sanzchez-Metro, Ed Bennet of NEXT, Gerry Martinez, and a Brooklyn Velo Force guy.
They got over a minute quickly. After a couple laps Inson Wood asked me "Where's the pace car" and like an idiot I answered by saying "In front of the break." So he, his Foundation team, and Kissena start chasing. I wish they'd take the initiative to start a break rather than just chasing people who do get away -- this behaviour contributes to too many local races ending in field sprints.
The break was caught about halfway into the race (after about nine of 18 laps) at which point there was all sorts of small action which we were in about half of. Not ideal, but pretty good. Tony was away alone for a couple miles at one point. And there was at least one crash in the middle of the field, with some controversy about who/what caused it.
Anyway, I think with three laps to go (maybe four) David Cavallo of Magic-Blue Ribbon and another guy (Keith Ryan I think) got away and more people bridged up to them in ones and twos. This was looking bad for us. I tried to goad the NEXT guys, who had everyone at the front and no one into the break to bring it back. But they're too clever for that and sent Rob Lattanzi and Xavier Melendez across instead of just chasing. Very good riding by them, very bad for us.
Lance tried to cross with two other guys -- they didn't make it but brought the break closer. Then I tried. Eric Ragot followed and spelled me once, then dropped back. I just barely caught the break, on the hill, after about two minutes in the wind. I was very satisfied to have bridged like that, but was hurting big time. So I sat on a lot.
Jason Bremer and George Suter joined us later, and that was it. About ten guys away and we rode to the finish. Some people were pulling a lot. Some (like me) a little, and a couple not at all. There was no real attacking (apart from one guy sprinting a lap early). In the end Xavier launched a long, long sprint. Everyone hesitated and Xavier crossed the line first, then confessed to the officials that he was a lap down. So Kevin McNeil won over Daniel Byrne of Sanchez/Metro and Lattanzi.
In retrospect I was lame in the finale and did only five pedal strokes all out in the sprint. I should have been more focused on the race and sprinted for real, rather than not just being happy to stay in front and qualify.
Sanchez/Metro has put a nice set of photos online." -- JT
Jiminy Peak from Reem (May 9 update)
I did the women's cat 4 field. The first lap moved along at a moderate pace, with the first real acceleration happening at the long hill before the turn into the steeper climb at the finish. The pack broke apart at the steeper climb, and unfortunately, I had to chase back after losing some time on the climb. About six of us worked together though, and we were back with the pack shortly. The race was safe, with some bursts, but no major breakaways. It turned into a sprint finish at the end. I finished 18th (hoping for better). CRCA came in very strong with Becky Koh taking 2nd, Midori
Nakamura 3rd and Kimilee Taylor 5th. " -- Reem
Spring Series Final Round from Tony (May 2 update)
I really wanted to place in Floyd today but couldn't pull it off. I attacked at the gun, had 3 people bridge up in the next 2 miles and spent the next 14 of 18 laps away. We had 40-50 secs but were chased down with 4 to go. I contested the sprint (will wonders never cease) but I have a lot to learn and ended up 15thish. " -- Tony
Monson Road Race from JT (May 2 update)
What a fun event -- and beautifully organized. I did the 30+ and it was action-parked. Andy Ruiz rode away at the start and then about 12 of us got away and were flying. But it was too early and we were caught -- at which point Bill Yabroudy and Roger Aspholm (the only guy in the earlier move) broke away. They got a big gap and Bill's team had good control -- at one point there were two small groups off the front behind his break, each with one of his teammates in them.
Anyway, Ruiz got his CCB team to chase and coming to the hill the second to last time we were almost at the break. So Roger just dropped Yabroudy (!) and rode the last eight miles alone. And won. He is very, very strong.
I was in good position for the sprint for second, despite some clown from Onion River grabbing my jersey, and had delusions of actually winning the group for a moment. Then I blew up and crawled over the line in fifth. Which was good.
Becky Koh of CRCA/Radical Media won the women's 4, Catherine Powers of CYBC/Sachs won the women's 1-2-3 and I think Kevin Molloy of CRCA/Sakonnet won the field sprint for 4th in the p-1-2. He won the Palmer RR the previous day (with Stu Gillespie of Havard and CRCA second)." -- JT
Habitat for Humanity CR from Gary (May 2 update)
Cold rain and strong winds lashed at the riders as we waited for the start of what would be an hour-long masters race. Anxious to get going, the break formed immediately. We dangled off the front never getting more than 5 or 10
seconds for about 5 miles. Then we organized and spent the rest of the race on our own. We were five for a while, then three. Two laps from the end, on the hill to the finish, I lost contact with the other two. I hung on for third,
ultimately finishing behind Desmond Slattery and Neil Stansbury, who won.
The next race (Cat 3) was a war of attrition with a relatively small group of 18 ultimately finishing together. Emboldened by my off-the-front-efforts in the previous race, I left the group with two laps of the 2.2 mile circuit
remaining. I was caught just inside a kilometer to go ... tried to sprint ... and died, only to crawl across the line in last place.
Believing that I was superhuman, I started the 1/2/3 race -- Josh Davison, of past Team Renaissance, says hello from his new home in Lower Marion, PA -- hoping to ride another hour to complete my training goals and then pull out.
Well, I pulled out alright. I was cooked! Hanging on by a thread! And whimpering! I kept thinking, "I can't do this" but telling myself "Just one more lap" and it was only the fourth lap. Then I started pulling out of my pedal. What a timely mechanical! I had broken a pedal cleat! Yeehaw, only I was too tired to say it. Spent the rest of the day in a daze. " -- Gary
CRCA Time Trial from Tony (May 2 update)
I did the CRCA TT on Sat in the cold rain. It was going well until, on the 2nd lap, I hit a pothole at the bottom of the descent off 110th St hill and had a rear flat within 1/2 mile. I rode the flat for 3 miles into the finish but had to take it easy in the curves. Smiley won in 26:56 and I got 2nd in 28:00. I did a 13:30 the 1st lap and a 14:30 for the second. Even without the flat, he would have won. He is one hell of a TTer! Gives me something to aim for next time. " -- Tony
Sandy Hook Time Trial from Tony (April 6 update)
"Sandy Hook TT -- seven miles, cold (45F) and windy. Oh yeah, rainy, too. I felt good today. I won the 35+ and finished third overall (15:48), 21 seconds behind winner Gui Nelessen. I missed second by two seconds. Very pleased and looking forward to tomorrow. Tony " -- Tony
March 29 CRCA Team Cup Race from Leslie (March 30 update)
"Today’s women’s race in Central Park seemed like it was faster and harder than any of our other races in the last couple of years! Half due to it being a points race and half due to the strength of the teams. It was a big field (about 25) with all the teams well represented Sanchez/Metro, Polo, Renaissance (or whatever they are now), Axis, a number of strong new individual riders, and of course -- Conrad's.
In addition to every lap being a sprint for points, there were constant attacks coming mostly from Sanchez/Metro and our very own Ann 'Smooth & Silky' Mullen and Aubin 'The Hammer' Sullivan. It looked like there were a couple of times that Ann or Aubin might sneak off with another rider or two, but
each time the attacks were reeled back in and countered, and reeled, and countered and reeled.
Jamie 'The Machine' Nicholson was doing double duty, shaking things up with attacks and trying to deliver me for points. Unfortunately my matchsticks weren’t able to get there for those measly three places. Those places were usually taken by four people - Frances Harrison (Sanchez/Metro), Sara Sauvayre
(Sanchez/Metro), Caryl Gale (Polo), and Ann Marie Miller (Polo). After each sprint a group of about six would get off the front. I’d be tacked onto the back and hoping to hang in, but each time it seemed that the sprinters would look around see that all the other sprinters were there, and wait for their teammates.
Caryl Gale won the overall; I got sixth. Looks like women's racing is going to be super-competitive in the park this year with a number of teams with depth!" -- Leslie
Grant's Tomb Criterium from Nina (March 23 update)
"Jamie was truly a superstar today. She and Katrina Davis (Richard Sachs) countered an attack I made the first lap and were out there for the rest of the race. It was no easy ride in the field. While the overall pace would slow, there were some pretty fierce jumps from strong regional riders. Ann looked so smooth and comfortable the entire race. Regina rode impressively in what I think was her first race as a cat 3. this was a tough one for sure." -- Nina
Results: 1. Katrina Davis, CYBC-Richard Sachs; 2. Jamie Nicholson-Leener, CRCA-Conrad's; 3. Yvonne Ilton, Verizon; 4. Catherine Powers, CYBC-Richard Sachs; 5. Frances Harrison, CRCA-Metro/Sanchez