Sunscreen. ‘Tis finally the season of sunscreen and that means that bike racing of all varieties is really in full swing. The last two weekends have been pretty perfect as far as racing weather goes, and there is only a small window of bike racing opportunity here before we’ll all be complaining about how hot it is, racing with a mostly-clean ice sock stuffed down our jerseys.
The last two weekends have had the B2C2 crew travelling to the wannabe New England State, Connecticut, the great state of New York, the dinkiest State, Rhode Island, and all over our home turf right here in Massachusetts for road and mountain events. A handful of us went up to Mike Norton’s notorious Quabbin Reservoir Road Race to test the legs on the first real road race of the season. A really beautiful, hilly course played out well for some teammates (like our dancy climber, Zsolt #1) and resulted in several hours of very sad times for others. Meanwhile, several folks on the team intent on having a bit more fun played with the kids at Ride Studio Cafe for their Diverged Ride.
On Sunday, a massive group of us were down at the Kenda Cup East Series in CT. The course was fantastic - fast, climby, swoopy, muddied with wood chips - and marked the first MTB race for several teammates including Preston, Sharon, and Lydia. After five screaming hot laps, Mike rolled through the finish in a respectable 9th place in the pro field. On the elite women’s side, Julie placed 4th overall in the CAT 1 race (1st in her age group), while Hannah also took 4th in the CAT 2 race behind some wicked fast women including at least one professional cyclocrosser. Preston, in usual fashion, attacked his first ever mountain bike race for a 2nd place finish in the CAT 2 race, beating out many, many dudes who have been racing their bikes almost as long as Preston has been riding one. Sharon, on the screaming hot path back to tip-top racing, placed second in the first-timers race after battling through significant old-man traffic. Lydia, feeling very sad after Quabbin the day before, had more fun than she bargained for and is now hooked on MTB racing for life. Other teammates stayed closer to home, going out for (and scooping up much prime glory in) the first Wells Ave of the season and having a grand time at the Ronde Rosey.
The real features of this first weekend of May were the Women’s Woodstock Cycling Gran Prix in Woodstock, NY and the first EFTA series race at the Battle of Burlingame in RI. With the B2C2 women’s team growing into a truly fantastic squad, this unique, women-only event was the first road race the women’s team was targeting for the year. The race is also held just a short way from Julie’s hometown, and with her knack for climbing, the team was looking to deliver Julie to the final, decisive climb as rested as possible. After an untimely mechanical at the base of the first climb had Lydia chasing back to the main field, teammates Hannah, Cindy, and Alex immediately took to getting Julie into a safe and shielded position at the front of the field. All bets were off once the field ascended onto the sun-soaked climb. Julie managed to stick with the lead group up the climb, taking third in the QOM competition and getting out-sprinted at the last moment for a well-earned 4th place finish overall. Lydia took the win in what roadresults.com is calling the “field sprint,” while Hannah, Cindy, and Alex came barrelling across the line shortly thereafter. This race deserves a post all on its own (so be on the lookout for that… it is coming); The race is an incredible event highlighting the passion and aptitude of women in the sport. The sentimental value also runs deep, held ceremoniously near Mother’s Day every year and complete with a live rendition of the National Anthem performed at the start grid every year. No other race in the region does such a good job at creating awareness and a truly special event for women and it is all due to the fantastic effort put forth by the dedicated race director, Martin Bruhn.
At the Battle of Burlingame, Ian, Kevin, Will, Mike, and #Charlie each found success in their respective fields, with Mike taking a decisive win in the pro field. Will put out an especially fantastic effort, taking the win in the single speed race and third overall in the six-hour race… which is how we know that dad watts are the best watts. Ian placed first in the senior expert category ahead of teammate Kevin in sixth place. Also of note is that long-time frenemy Cary the “Mantis” was handily defeated by #Charlie in round one of what promises to be an excellent season-long duel. Stay tuned for more.
Greg, Lydia, and Preston also had an excellent time avoiding crashes and playing in the Wompy Training Crit National Championships of the World, less affectionately known as the “Mt. Blue Criterium.” Although there were no results to speak of, all three put in a good day on the bike, riding to and from the race, and refueling on a healthy number of burritos on the way back from our number-one supporter, Boloco.
See you all next time!