Nothing Fancy here people, just a classic New England Road Race with all the usual characters. At least this is how I remembered it from years past. Sterling was a favorite race of mine. I recall competing in this race from 2002-2004 as a CAT 1. Sure, I might have done it as a 3 or a 4, but most of my memories are from the 80 mile suffer-fest that I began describing above.
But now its 2012 and I am a bit older. I could have entered in the masters race but I recall either making or getting in the breakaway in every year in the past. Why would this year be any different? Oh boy…here is why.
New England Race teams are killing it! Kudos to CCB, NCC JAM Fund and Bike Reg. Back in the day, a handful of riders like Mark McCormack, Kevin Monahan, Derek Bouchard-Hall, and the usual New England suspects would make the racing hard. Now you have great depth amongst the locals and they are riding with solid tactics, with fitness and with anger. Racing has been fun! Plus, sprinkle in a little Jess Anthony, Will Dugan, and Tim Johnson action, and things get real. Massachusetts may be only a few latitudinal lines below VT, but it is like a tropical island this time of year. 80 degree weather is tough considering the doom and gloom of Vermont lately.
In the Pro 1,2 Race we went up the hill at what I would consider a pretty good pace. So what if it was neutral, it felt great. But that’s about where the tempo riding ended. Honestly, I can’t recall what lap it all went ballistic but luckily I was at the front. I might have even been driving some of the pace but I was not alone. In fact, I looked back and saw that I was there with about 25 others. It wasn’t a breakaway, but a very high powered split. I was shocked to see 3 CCB Riders, 2 Bike Reg,a few NCC Jammers, Tim Johnson and Jesse Anthony. Missing from the move was Will Dugan but with only a minute gap, I knew it would not be long.
The racing was fast but not too crazy. I was trying to balance my desire to contribute to the pace and my intentions to save energy. I even told CCB Rider Dylan McNicholas that they should drive it harder since it was a good finish for him…but they had a better plan. We covered the first 56 miles of the race in less than 2:10. Ouch, I guess we were rolling.
Then the attacks started. It seems the minute gap that we had was not comforting enough. Tim Mitchell, Alec Donahue and Josh Lipka threw down a move that I just missed, proved to be fatal. At 2 laps to go, Timmy Johnson smashed the finish hill and rolled away. I guess that move came together some time later. I kept trying to get away but it was no -mas. I had some punch, but no staying power. My last ditch effort on the last lap went absolutely no where but, I stayed away in the winning break for 18th. I was quite pleased with the effort and after wiping copious amounts of salt off my face, felt surprisingly fresh.
There it is, a no frills race report…at least what I remember of it.