Headed down to Cheshire, CT on Saturday for another race in the Zanconato singlespeed series. It was our first time doing this race and boy were we glad we made the trip. Excellent course with a really fun woods section that would be a blast on a mountain bike. Saw lots of the usual suspects from the singlespeed races this season and there was a sizeable field of over thirty riders. Cory had a terrific race and won the sprint for the final spot on the podium. I had a good race and finished one spot ahead of the race predictor in 7th.
Exciting two days of racing out in Northampton at the Cycle-Smart International. On day one Devin duked it out with the usual suspects at the front of the race, narrowly missing out on the win in a thrilling sprint. Congrats to Devin on his fourth Verge podium of the season. Day two gave us the first hint of winter - a chilly 40 degree day that had us breaking out the thermal skinsuits. The cold also brought along a spate of bad luck - a broken spoke, a flatted tubular, and a post-race gashed sidewall. But as usual a fun weekend out in Noho -- thanks to Adam and everyone who makes this race such a great time every year.
This was a fun race this year. Applecrest Farm was open to everyday patrons and cyclists alike celebrating the harvest. Their farm
stand was open with lots of delicious local treats, fruits and
vegetables. Hot cider and donuts were of course delicious. Everyone
was buying them. For the kids, they set up a petting zoo and a hayride,
not to mention the pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Burgers, dogs
and beer? Yeah, they had that too. The farm really stepped up their
game this year. They even brought in a live Bluegrass band. Super fun
On to the racing...
The course starts off on a wide open area of the orchard and winds
into a few tight turns before a set of barriers on the other side of a
180 degree turn. From there it goes straight through a row of trees to a
small field and around a patch of corn. Into the orchard it's up and
down a few rows with tricky turns and hidden dips in the ground to keep
you alert. No picking these apples please. After a few zigzags, you
come up to a pump track they made out of five mounds of dirt and then back
through the corn stalks briefly. From there you have to go up a slight
incline to the pit area and right back down a fast downhill. Watch out
for the bumps!! More rows of trees to an access road and dusty sand
run-ups near the cabbage patch. The first two were not rideable at all
and barely run-able either. It was more like climbing up a small cliff.
The third was rideable but only if you got it exactly right. Many were
successful and some created a mess. After that it was back in the
orchard again with 180s and another big mound of dirt before the long
uphill quad burner to the finish.
I had a very good start. Over the barriers I
was somewhere near 25th position out of a lot of guys. I gave up a few
on the first lap as we settled down but it was all good. There was a
really bad crash at the pump track though. I think guys went in way too
hot and lost control after getting some air. Thankfully I missed it.
On lap 2, near the run ups, someone crashed into me as I rode up
the last hill but I was able to stay up. It wasn't until I was there
again on lap 3 that I realized he broke the buckle on my shoe. It fell
off on a dismount but I yelled out and got it back as I came around the
second run up. Shoe hand-up! It was very loose though and by the time I
got to the barrier I lost it completely. So, I did lap 4 with one shoe
and lost a bunch of spots. I came back around, picked it up and put it
on as tight as I could. Made it through the last two laps and picked
up maybe half the spots I lost.
The whole thing was a blast. I don't even want to get started on
the costume race. Some guy was in a full size giraffe outfit, 15 feet
tall!!! It was the best. This has always been one of my favorite races ever since I first
started racing cyclocross. I can't wait for next year.
Congratulations to Devin who landed on the podium both days at the Gran Prix of Gloucester! Tremendous weekend of racing for the team in multiple categories and we look forward to the next round of the Verge series this weekend.
Good racing for the team this past Sunday in multiple categories at Suckerbrook. Cory was tops on the day with 4th in the singlespeed race (following Saturday's 6th at White Park) and Devin landed in 7th in the Cat 3 race after starting in the back row (day of reg). Some pics:
After looking at the predictor I decided to reg for the 45+ race.
Figured it would give me a chance for a front row start based on points
and would also allow me to watch the singlespeed and the 3/4 race.
Cory, Tucker and I had done this race last year and it was a great
course. Very little change this year though some of the turns were a
bit easier and they removed one rooty section. Very open start leading
into multiple grass turns, then around a soccer field, thru fast, flat
barriers, up a hill and then down for a tricky 180 degree turn around a
tree, back up and onto a paved climb. Climb tops out on pavement for an
out and back stretch, then a sweeping paved downhill thru a brief
gravel section on to grass for a few tight turns before hitting a good
run-up. More up, down, turns and through a rooty section (a little like
the upper part of Noho) then to the back section with more wide grassy
fast turns to complete the lap.
Lined up in the front row. Botched the start a bit but got into 4th in the
first few turns, was in second when we exited the barriers. Guy in
front of me dumped it around the tree and I was at the front of the
race. Never been there before, kind of a shock. Stayed on the gas for
the remainder of the first lap and remained in the lead. Cory and Dan
urging me on when I hit the run-up for the second time. Heading down
the paved path in the back section of the course I saw a gap between the
stakes and kept going straight - quickly realized that section of tape
was broken and I was off the course! Leapt the tape back onto the course
with one guy behind me, three dudes had passed us when he followed me
off the course. Someone must have busted through that tape on the first
lap and apparently other guys in my race made the same mistake as me.
So now in 4th chasing the three leaders. Went through the finish and
saw 5 to go. If I remember correctly I nearly made contact with the
back of the group after the barriers but then they dumped me on the
climb. Kept chasing for the remainder of the race but the gap to the
three leaders held around 30 seconds, my gap to 5th place about the
same. No matter how hard I tried to close it I just couldn't get back
to them and they ended up increasing the gap and I put a little more
time into the guy in 5th. Finished up just off the podium in 4th. Thanks again to Cory and
Dan for the coaching throughout the race -- kept me steady and on the
gas with that one mishap off course my only mistake.