Monday, November 24, 2008

Whitmore Cup, ECCC 'Cross Continued

Departure - Exams

Ok, So I left on Friday night after my last exam which was surprisingly easy, which was good because I really didn’t study at all. Fortunately it wasn’t an engineering class so I wasn’t too concerned about it. When I finished up I had a few hours to kill before I left so I rode the trainer in my room to stretch the legs before my race in the morning. I left around 4pm and did the pretty easy drive to Fort Lee, NJ where I stayed with my uncle for the evening to keep me from doing a 5 hour drive solo all the way to Southampton.

Day 1

In the morning I woke up around 6:15, made a pit stop at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed some wicked cheap gas and headed over the George Washing Bridge for the 2 hour drive out to the Hamptons. I arrived pretty early and went directly to registration. Which sadly was really, poorly run because it was A) outside, where ti was about 12 degrees with the wind chill next to a building, and B) run by one person. I eventually got my number, got changed and rode around for a while with Alex C, Sully and Matt B from UVM who were also there for valuable collegiate points. We did a short spin up the road to warm up, which was desperately needed because I was wearing almost every piece of cycling clothing I own and was still cold. But nonetheless I ventured on and made my way to the start where I gingerly removed my jacket and stood freezing for few minutes before the start of the B race.

Like usual I started in the back row and hoped for the best. I had a really poor sprint at the gun and quickly found myself hanging on for dear life to the leaders. For most of the first lap I stuck on to the main group while the leaders got away. I hung on for dear life for about a lap or two when the field started to string out and found myself continuously going backwards. I eventually ended up with a Westwood Velo guy and a Rutgers guy who I rode with for a couple of laps. By the time I saw lap card for 3 to go I could feel myself getting tired and sensed the leaders coming up to lap me, which they did with 2 to go and I just kept on cruising. Eventually the Westwood Velo guy gapped me along with the Rutgers guy, but he had a fall on the last lap on a small power uphill on the back side of the course. I ended up passing him and finished somewhere in the low 30’s and had beaten 1 other collegiate rider so I got a good amount of collegiate points by coming in 8th.

After a short cool down spin on the road Sully, Matt, Alex and I hit up the local Starbucks for some snacks and then came back for the Men’s Elite Race, which was kind of boring. Basically, Ryan Trebon got a gap on the other strong guys like Todd Wells, Jeremy Powers, Jamey Driscoll and Jesse Anthony and won with a 50 second gap on the chasers. So it was a pretty powerful performance but not super interesting to watch. I took some short videos, posted below.


I also was really freaking cold at this point and had fashioned a cape from this old wool blanket my dad had given me (see photo).

Oh My Lord It's Cold!

Day 2

When I woke up on day 2 I pretty much knew from the get go that I was going to have a bad day. When I got to the venue I changed early and got a few practice laps in and discovered that the course was pretty fast compared to the day before aside from two really hard up hills. I rode around for a while before the race on the road with Sully and Matt.

Again I had a really bad start and found my self on the wheel of the Westwood Velo guy from Saturday and Adam L from Drexel. I stayed with Adam for a while through most of the technical sections but he finally broke away from me after a couple of laps when we hit the pavement. I spent the rest of the race pacing off of the Westwood Velo guy and then attacked him just before the last woods section and rode away fast through the single track. I finished the race with a fairly good wheelie and got a few cheers. I didn’t beat any collegiate riders but I got some ECCC points. It wasn’t a great race but I was glad I raced.

The elite race was one for the ages. It started fast and Trebon got a flat on the first lap. He eventually made it to the pits for a new bike but Todd Wells, Jesse Anthony, Jamey Driscoll and Andy Jacques Maynes had broken away. Trebon sprinted like a mad man to get through the field. He eventually found himself with Andy Jacques Maynes. Todd Wells and Jeremy Powers then dropped Jamey and Andy with Trebon in 5th. On the 2nd to last lap though Powers got a flat and Wells rode in solo for the victory, but Jamey came up big and dropped Andy Jacques Maynes earlier and got 2nd. Trebon also caught and dropped Jacques Maynes and passed Powers to claim a well deserved 3rd place. It was a really awesome race.

Because I am on break I went home to Massachusetts via boat from Orient Point NY. Which was really cool because I got on the same boat as all the pro’s. On the boat I sat next to Jesse Anthony, Adam Myerson, Jamey Driscoll and the RGM Watches – Richard Sachs team. It was pretty cool to be around all the elite riders and realize they aren’t the big bad ass dudes that media makes them seem to be. I also talked to the Famous Colin Rueter of about how he and his website really going places, who lapped me during the race earlier, so I may end up in one of his infamous race videos, from a camera mounted on his handlebars.

I made it home and saw the family around 9:30. I guess I’m gonna train this week in preparation for Bay State Cross on Saturday and try and earn more valuable ECCC points.


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