#readytoBrumble (et. al.)
After a slightly delayed start, the racing season in New England is finally in full swing (yes, I know. There was a MTB race last weekend and Ninigrit (No. 1) was last month. But for the sake of tradition, just pretend those don't exist for the next 5 minutes)
Brumble Bikes Kermesse
What's this? A new road race? WITH FULL LENGTH ROAD RACE DISTANCES??? The hype train was off-and-running early for this one, and the racing didn't disappoint. Greg offered the most coherent (and sassy) race report from the Men's 3 field:
I raced Brumble, Men cat 3 along with Mike M. and Zsolt the First. Three skinny dudes in a flat, windy road race. The perfect squad, really.
Things were pretty exciting right from the gun. Things got cooking pretty good on the tailwind front stretch. Some A+ marshalling at the first turn meant a whole bunch of dudes blew the turn and went straight. Fortunately everyone got sorted out pretty quickly and was able to chase back on. The attacks were flying, and a clearly-strong guy in blue went up the road. On lap 2, he was already getting out of sight. I was concerned, because I figured he would be able to take it all the way to the finish so I did a little social engineering to get a quasi-organized chase going before dropping back into the pack. After a lap, the group had pulled him tantalizingly close, Mike jumped across, the group lost interest and the now 2-man break started to disappear into the distance. Zsolt and I did our best to help it disappear by tapping out some false tempo and covering attempts to bridge up. The general disorganization and unwillingness of anyone to work together probably did more good than my feeble teamwork, but it was good fun to get all hammery.
"Hey look! I think I see a tail-wind field sprint down there! I wonder wha.."
"Here, let me help you"
After three laps, I was beginning to feel pretty good about the situation. I could already see the coveted water bottle next to my name on Road Results. Maybe Mike would buy us some donuts with his prize money? Dare to dream. But then, as we headed up the narrow road toward the backstretch, a familiar, small figure in blue and orange came into view. The beast man up the rode had dropped Mike. Crap*. Time for a field sprint, on legs already caramelized by three laps of chasing down attacks. I'll cut to the chase on the field sprint report: kitten_falling_down_stairs.gif. Still, it was a fun and hammery road race of a sort we don't get to do very often around here. Looking forward to hopefully doing more Brumbling next year.
(*no donuts. Damn)
Close, but no cigar. So let's move on to Lydia's race in the Women's 1/2/3. She'd like to give you a race report, but she's still a little broken from her 35+ mile TT effort. After about two laps the field was blasted apart by the ocean "breeze" that southern Rhode Island is notorious for, and most riders were left solo or in groups of 2-3. Nevertheless, she soldiered on and rode herself into a stupor over the next 2 hours, finding a wheel to draft only in the last lap (she did of course leave enough in the tank to win the 2-up sprint for 12th). She was appropriately stoked to see her competitors on great form in the early season, throwing attacks and making legs hurt all over the place. It promises to be a good year for women's racing in New England.
And then there's Preston in the Men's 1/2. At 88 miles, this was the longest race he'd ever done. So when the break went up the road he thought: "LOL! that looks hard!" A little while later a chase group went, which he admits he kinda wanted to be a part of, but wasn't ready for. Then a little while after that it looked like another chase was forming. And he was READY. But he missed that, too. Someday he'll figure out how this bike racing thing works. But for now he just had to settle with sprinting for 30th against what was left of the "field."
All said and done, there wasn't much glory for the B2C2 road squad at the inaugural Brumble Bikes Kermesse. But it was a blast. A big thank you to Amos and the CCB squad for putting a new race on the calendar!
et alia (a.k.a. Hopbrook Dam)
Kevin, Ian, Kenny, and Mike went to the traditional New England MTB season opener at Hopbrook Dam in CT.
Kenny, fresh off a few months of Intense Spaining and Mike, who managed to not-crash himself into a win last weekend at the Pukwudgie Frozen Blizzard-a-thon p/b April in New England would be racing in the elites, while Kevin and Ian would line up with the cat 1 field.
The course was equal parts unpleasant gravelly climbing and fireroad descending, with an emphasis on the "gravelly" bits. Laps were short, very fast, and - after the 2nd lap - littered with bike racers in varying states of implosion. Joining Kenny and Mike was a Mr. Aaron Snyder, a Transylvania Epic regular (and generally delightful human) who drove all the way from PA to
take our lunch money get in some early season racing.
Kenny pulled off a fine 6th place, while Mike blew the sprint for the podium after hanging on to the group all day.
All glory goes to Ian and Kevin, for they won their respective races and lifted high the chalice of victory.
et alia (a.k.a. ECCC)
We also had a number of riders masquerading as college kids for the weekend up at the Dartmouth ECCC weekend. And by "a couple" I mean 7. So kind of a lot.
On Saturday racers lined up for the infamous frat-row crit. Our 4 men (Nick Smith, Nick Esposito, Kenny "the real" McNeill, and Brandon King) claim to have nothing to brag about and results aren't posted, so who are we to disagree. The women, however, were part of a massive MIT salad-shooter operation that terrorized the women's A/B field.
On Sunday Nick had an (uncharacteristically) good performance in the men's A road race. So good, in fact, that he MADE THE WINNING BREAK! Until he got dropped. BUT! He did manage to keep it together for the the end of the race, nabbing 3rd in the field sprint. Which is actually pretty cool. Good job, Nick. You're ok.
In the women's road race, our MIT/B2C2 contingent again tried to run train on the field. The operation was a little less successful than the day before, but everyone managed a top-10 finish nonetheless.
And that's pretty much it for this weekend. 16 people, 3 different races, 2 different disciplines, lots of fun, and a couple results. See you kids out there next weekend!