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MRC Membership Elects new President, VP

On Wednesday 11/1 at our monthly all club meeting the Minuteman Road Club held elections for officer positions to be held for the 2017/18 season.

Incoming MRC President, Jeremy Cratty (L) and Vice President, Bill Turner (R)

Returning Officers were re-elected to their positions by a show of hands from the members present at the meeting:

Treasurer – Ken Chadwick
Secretary – Fintan Duffy
Membership – Mark Bernard

For non-returning officers President John Smith and Vice President PJ McQuade the following nominees were elected by a show of hands from the members present at the meeting:

President – Jeremy Cratty
Vice President – Bill Turner

From John Smith:
As outgoing President I would like to thank all the club members for your support over the last 4 years. We have experienced significant transformation in the club over these years whilst continuing to focus on our goal of developing and promoting the sport of bike racing in New England. We have seen the level of active race participating members increase substantially over this period and have also seen our uniforms on the podiums in every category and discipline ( Road, Cross, MTB ) with incredible regularity. We have been able to create a racing team program that is without equal and we have had the honour of helping some new and younger member of the team realize their full potential and move on to professional racing. I am especially happy to be passing over the presidency to Jeremy Cratty. His creativity and drive for excellence in everything we do has been at the heart of most of these developments and I know he will continue to push MRC to be the absolute best. Thanks again to everyone for 4 great years. – J.S.

From Jeremy Cratty:
It’s an honor and a privilege to be the next President of the Minuteman Road Club. I’ve been a member for about 10 years and the club seems to get better every year.

On behalf of the club, let me send a huge THANK YOU to John “Smudger” Smith for a job well done over the last 4 years. During his term we accomplished some unprecedented things. We stepped up our membership and sponsorship efforts which has allowed us to fund the success of our Road Racing and Elite CX teams. We’ve also been able to maintain our stable of cycling events while donating money to fine charitable causes like The Ken Harrod Memorial Fund, NEHSCA, and the Boys and Girls Club.

I look forward to working with the rest of the BOD and all MRC club members to keep building on all the successes we’ve had over the last number of years. – J.C.

Recent Entries

CX Training Races at Ski Ward, Shrewsbury, MA

Landry’s Bicycles and The Minuteman Road Club are putting on training races at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury for all abilities.  Weather you are a seasoned pro or a newbie, this course will help you tune up your cyclocross skills!  Next practice races will be September 6th, 13th and the 20th.



A Scotland MTB Odyssey

John “Smudger” Smith turned 50yrs auld so he and his mates fancied a mountain biking trip to ye olde Scotland and the Western Highlands. The weather was a wee bit claggy but we had a crackin’ good time. Day 1 we were a bit scunnered by 12 hours of trains planes and automobiles but had a brilliant “hike” up the Devils Staircase in Glencoe and a belter of a descent. I was properly buggered after slammin’ ma heid, nothin’ a bit o’ Haggis couldn’t fix.

Day 2 was an all-day affair in Skye. We rode from Boreraig to Kilbride and we were sorted at the Camasunary Bothy for the night, Ben was out his face after 3 bottles of whisky.

Day 3 took a wee bit of a “swim” along the Glen to Sligachan. We were a bit clatty so we took a walk-about in Skye for some sight seein’ and a tour of the Talisker Distillery. Brilliant accommodations in Plockton as the night was a fair drawin in.

Day 4 was seriously mingin’. We took the Coffin road up a dodgey ascent from Applecross across the glen to Shieldaig. It was a beltin’ ride despite the dreich. After a wee bit of skoosh we took a chancer at the Torridon Hotel whiskey bar but were told “Awa’ an bile yer heid.”

Day 5 and the sun come out for a bit. It was a wee climb to Bealach na Lice through to Coire Grannda and descent to Achnashellach. All sorted for our 2nd bothy night until we were swarmed by midges which was a bit of a barnie. The breenge to Coire Fionnaraich was a bog but we were greeted with Smudgers mates and another 3 bottles of fine single malt. Bill Turner got properly blootered and was a bampot on the descent to Coulags the next day.

Day 6 was our last day of riding as we headed to Laggan Wolftrax trail park. These trails were less than 1000 yrs auld and the baws, Pare would have gaun dinger. We were a bit jiggered so we headed to Smudger’s sisters in the lowlands in Earls Ferry for a night in the scratcher.

Day 7 was a tourists affair. Some of us hit the links while Smudger and Greg Jackson went riding along the beach and Smudger got scuddered not once but twice like a slecher. Then we went out for a swally along the streets of Edinburgh and some tatties and neeps and bit of vino collapso with Smudgers other mates.

Ma heid was nippin’ in the mornin and I had the whirlypits on the way to the airport. Aye it was a crackin’ trip that I won’t soon forget.

— Jeremy Cratty, MRC DS

5/10/17 Directeur’s Chair

…We’re back with another edition of Directeur’s Chair and insights from MRC’s DS Jeremy Cratty

Minuteman Road Club: It has been a busy last three weeks for the MRC race team with the two hilly races in Monson, Quabbin, and the sprinters revenge at Myles Standish. Tom Coleman continued to absolutely crush it at Monson and Quabbin with two top fifteen results in stacked pro fields. Have we seen the best of Tom this year or is there more in the tank?

Jeremy: I don’t like the word tank. It reminds me of when the Celtics were the worst team in the league and ended up with Ron Mercer (Sorry basketball joke, cyclists won’t understand). But back to the question, we may have in fact seen the best of Tom, word on the street is he had to make some major concessions with his better half to do the Velotooler series. We have a better chance of seeing him dominate the Turkey trot 5k before his next bike race.

MRC: Last year the Cat 3 team was on fire and seemed to pick up a win or a podium every weekend. Jacob Lipcon nabbed a solid 3rd place last weekend at Myles Standish but that proved to be the biggest result of the late spring season got MRC Cat 3’s. First tell us a little about working to set up Jacob at Myles Standish and then expand a little on the difficulty of the Cat 3 team this year opposed to last.

Photo courtesy Mike McCabe

J: There’s a number of factors involved here: 1) Two of our fastest Cat 3’s are now 2’s so we’re running low on what I like to call “closers.” 2) We capped how much free stuff we can give out for podium bonuses, all part of the “BAS” protocol (Bankrupt Avoidance System). Apparently people are motivated by free stuff. 3) I retired and gained weight so I can no longer yell at my teammates in hilly races. Luckily there are no hills in Myles Standish so I can sit in and yell at people to work and then I lead out our sprinter. Maybe Jacob is our new closer?

MRC: Jacob gives a pretty accurate account of the chaotic finish at the Myles Standish race in his race report in terms of discussing how many variables are at play in addition to the fast dangerous finish chute. How do you describe the finish ? It is a crap shoot or is there a legit strategy?

J: First of all, the Myles Standish finish has a name; the FoD (Funnel of Death). Add to that the torrential downpour and it’s probably the sketchiest finish in Cycling, even ahead of Stage 1 at the Killington Stage Race. So yes there is a strategy, pucker up, expect to die, and hope for the best. Also it helps to have a teammate that can’t climb and makes up for this by attacking every descent with reckless abandon hoping that will make him more of a man.

MRC: Fintan Duffy and Christopher Gibson also walked away with podium places at Myles Standish. Fintan made a two up move from a long way out with cycling legend Paul Curley and Chris played sprinters roulette. Given the rainy conditions and what sounds like a mess of logistical errors could Saturday be described as an “anything goes” day where you need to be ready for just about anything?

Photos courtesy of Katie Busick Photography

J: 4 laps or 5 laps, minor details people. Not knowing when a race is going to end makes it more exciting, right? Seriously though, Fintan “Scruffy” Duffy has been on a tear so it was no surprise he took down a great result in the Masters 55 race. Gibo (ok not sure if anyone calls him that) also got 2nd in the Cat 4’s with a quality sprint through the FoD. Thank god for that, after the Moto-person neutralized newcomer Robbie Raymond, who by all accounts was solo-ing to a sure victory, Chris was there in the end. Gibo better be careful, he won last year, so he’s lining up for a solid “Sandbagger of the Year” nomination.

MRC: Looking back at last year and the experience of the road race team this is where we started to see guys drop off and race less. Looking at the calendar what races do you see MRC targeting between now and the end of June?

J: I’m contemplating starting an Office Park Crit series, cause you know, who doesn’t love an office park crit? But seriously let’s not forget about the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race!

MRC: Right! We’re just under a month away from the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race in Harvard. With the recent decline of road racing in New England, KHRR is one of the last bright spots on the calendar. MRC is fortunate enough to have the support of a beautiful classic New England town of Harvard and a great sponsor in Wachusett Brewing Company that sets up an incredible beer garden on the town common. What is the best way to keep great events like this growing and heading in the right direction?

J: Beer gardens, obviously. Who doesn’t love a good beer garden? First there is delicious beer, and plus its healthy ‘cause of the garden part. I’m willing to bet that if every race had a beer garden then Cycling would be the most popular sport in the country. Even NFL fans would probably agree. It would also slow down the average speed of the climbers which would be good. It would be like reverse doping. Lastly, it also helps to partner with the Fire Department of an awesome town and do something that benefits the community. We’re good people too, despite our predilection to beer gardens.

MRC: Close on the heels of the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race will be the Wachusett Brewing Longsjo Legends Ride. This is a follow up to last years wildly successful Wachusett Brewing Co. Gran Fondo. With Minuteman Road Club once again a title sponsor what will change with the association to the Longsjo Crits?

J: Don’t get me started on Beer Gardens again. Seriously, the Longsjo name is synonymous with New England bike racing. The race began in 1960 as the Longsjo Memorial Race, in memory of long-time Fitchburg resident Art Longsjo, who competed in both the Winter Olympics as a speed skater and at the Summer Olympics as a cyclist. Past champions include Chris Horner, Evelyn Stevens, Tyler Hamilton, local legends The McCormack brothers, Davis Phinney, Wayne Stetina and Lance Armstrong. I cannot confirm or deny that they will all be at the Legends ride, but I suggest joining us to find out.

MRC: Thanks for your time Jeremy, anything you’d like to add that we’ve not gone over?

J: Yes! All the women racers out there should be afraid of Sharon Benedict’s results lately. She’s super strong and will continue to crush their souls!

MRC: Thanks!! Looks like I know who I’ll be tracking down soon for an interview!

J: Good Luck with that… she rides more than everyone on the team!!

4/21/17 Directeur’s Chair

Now that we are a well over a month into the season it seems a fitting time to bring back the Directur’s Chair. To be honest it has taken Jeremy Cratty nearly a month to get back to my initial interview request after I missed a few days of riding. For the most part the format will remain the same this year unless creativity strikes in club approved manner. Keep an eye toward the homepage for weekly updates as the racing continues to heat up.

MRC: Before we get into the racing let’s take a minute to examine your halfhearted attempt at retirement. Basically you raced until Longsjo, took some time off to play golf and drink beer, and came back for a limited CX season. In addition you are racing on the roads earlier than you ever have in your career.

What gives?

Cratty: Let’s just say I mentally retired from caring about road race results. Now I’m just a super domestique for people who can realistically win races. And if the race goes uphill, I’ll be the guy in my underwear running after you.

MRC: Did you really want a cake that bad in downtown Fitchburg?

Cratty: Oh yeah, I freakinggggg love cake. Ok now you reminded me why I really retired. I may retire a few more times…

On to the racing…

MRC: Last year was the first year of the restructured MRC race program and it proved wildly successful. At one point there was fear that it would bankrupt the club because guys were riding out of their minds. What is your quick take on year one? Were there lessons learned that will be rectified in the second year?

Cratty: My first take on year 1, people love money and free stuff, even in very small quantities. I also noticed that people lose interest as the New England season gets out of May. To take advantage of the early season focus, we’ll be putting an emphasis on the CCB Velotooler Series which should be exciting.

MRC: Following up on that point what are your goals as the DS heading into 2017?

Cratty: Obviously we want to continue to win, but also I’d like to recruit some new talent to round out the ranks as our guys upgrade to 2s and 3s. Based on some early season group rides we have a few new diamonds in the rough that should shine brightly (sorry, overuse of clichés).

Tom Coleman first Men’s 3/4  in  the 2017 Coastal Classic.

MRC: During your “retirement” you picked up Tom Colman and I as athletes. Cross proved wildly successful for me and Tom is dropping bombs at early season races. What’s the secret? Do you actually know what you’re talking about when it comes to this stuff?

Cratty: Yes. I learned how to read at a very young age (7 or 8yrs old). I stopped during college but then picked it up again. It’s amazing what you can learn from books. I’m basically a walking Cliff-notes of bike training.

MRC: Last weekend at the Coastal Classic (This is how long ago this was written) MRC had a big day with Tom taking the win in the 3/4 and a top ten in the 1/2/3. As director what goals do you have coming into the next month of the season?

Cratty: I predict Tom will also come in 2nd at Marblehead in the P123 then upgrade to Cat 2. Just a hunch!

MRC: At the Coastal Classic tempers were raging in the 3/4 with MRC stopping up the chase and generally being pests throughout Tom’s mammoth break. You were involved in a small dustup with one of the Race CF riders. What is your take on blocking and disrupting the chase? Where is the line in the sand that should’t be crossed by a team with a guy off the front?

Cratty: In all seriousness, we don’t “block”, that’s a bush-league tactic. But there’s nothing wrong with riding on the front, pulling through, soft-pedaling, and making people work for it. Just don’t head butt me because I’m 3rd wheel and won’t let you ride me off the wheel.

MRC: Any parting words for the team to get guys out the door to the races?

Cratty: Bring some Wachusett beer of course. And wear your shoe covers and aero shell #saveawatt

Patrick Collins to join Team CCB International

MRC member Patrick Collins will join Team CCB International for the 2017 racing season. This move will allow Patrick the opportunity to progress to the next level in our sport whilst continuing his college education.

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photo: Katie Busick Photography

Team CCB International is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity funded by donations that focuses exclusively on developing U23 talent for individuals who are pursuing a full time college or graduate-level education. Patrick will have the opportunity to race at major one-day events and stage races on the East Coast, such as the Philadelphia International Classic, the Winston-Salem Classic, and the Reading 120. The team will also compete in events in Europe and Asia.

The Minuteman Road Club extends our congratulations and well wishes to Patrick for the season ahead, we can’t wait to see what he can do as part of this team in 2017!

Read more about the full Team CCB International roster on VeloNews: http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/11/news/nonprofit-ccb-team-releases-roster_424479

Presenting the MRC 2016/17 Elite CX Racing Team

The Minuteman Road Club in partnership with Wachusett Brewing Company and Fast Splits are excited to announce the creation of an Elite Cyclocross Racing team for the 2016/17 season.

elite_cx_kit

The team will consist of Patrick Collins, Mark Miller, Chris Pare, and Brian Hughes who will focus on the Regional Elite and UCI level races culminating in the National championships. You’ll be able to see them race in their newly designed Minuteman-inspired race kits by Mr. White Design this weekend at the KMC Cross Fest in Thompson CT. We are looking forward to cheering them on at the races. Good luck guys!!

http://www.wachusettbrew.com/

http://www.fastsplits.com/

http://www.mrwhitesdesign.com/

Minuteman Road Club Cyclocross Reg is Now Open!

Registration is now live for the 2016 Minuteman CX on Oct 9, 2016 p/b MRC, Wachusett Brewing, Landry’s Bicycles, and Yasso Yogurt!

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(photo: Katie Busick Photography)

You know the CX season is in full swing when you get to the Bolton Fairgrounds in Lancaster, breathe in the crisp fall air, marvel at the terrific fall foliage, and shred the woodchipped turns as you pass through the stables!

Equal cash payout to the men’s and women’s elite fields! Landry’s Bicycles has stepped up to the plate and is providing GENEROUS gift cards to the podium toppers in the non-elite races.

EVERY winner in each category will also get a fresh baked apple pie from Bolton Orchards!

More about payouts and other details of the race in our race flyer.

MRC CX is also part of the NEBRA CX BAR (Best All-Around Rider) Series, tracking points for multiple categories over 14 races.

Single speed racers: Harpoon Brewery is the beer sponsor for the Zanconato SSCX Series. Podium finishers will receive some of Harpoon’s delicious brew and winners of the SS races will also receive an apple pie!

You’ll be competing on grass, pavement, with the addition of some hoppable logs!

Don’t hesitate, get to BikeReg now – https://www.bikereg.com/2016-minuteman-road-club-cyclocross

CX Practice Races p/b Landry’s Bicycles and Minuteman Road Club

It’s back! Wednesday night cyclocross training in September!!

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When:
September 7, 2016 @ 5:15 P.M.
September 14, 2016 @ 5:15 P.M.
September 21, 2016 @ 5:15 P.M.
September 28, 2016 @ 5:15 P.M.  — CANCELED!

Where: SKI WARD, 1000 Main Street Shrewsbury, MA 01545

The course will be challenging, allowing you to hone your skills before the real racing begins! Features in- clude barriers, downhill off- camber 180’s, fast S-turns, and lots of twisties.

From Boston and Points East
Mass Tpk. to route 495 north to route 20 west. Follow route 20 through Northborough center one mile. Just past St. Rose of Lima church bear right at light on to West Main Street. Travel 1.5 miles to Ski Ward on left.

From Points West
Route I-290 east to exit 23 south onto route 140 south. At first light turn left onto Main Street. Travel 1.5 miles to Ski Ward on right.

From Points South
Route 495 north to route 20 west. Follow route 20 through Northborough center one mile. Just past St. Rose of Lima church bear right at light on to West Main Street. Travel 1.5 miles to Ski Ward on left.

How Much: $15 entry fee. Must have a valid USAC license though one-day licenses will be available. Held under USA Cycling event permit. All USAC rules apply.

RACE FORMAT
There will be at least 3 – 20 minute races with about 10-15 minutes in between and will run until dark so if you can’t make the first one don’t stress you can hop in the next one. We’ll have barriers, run ups, tight turns, and race scenarios. Starts – Clipping in your pedals straight to sprinting for the hole shot!

If you are new to cyclocross this will be a good way to get use to racing in a relaxed training atmosphere be jumping in to your first race.

If you already have expierence in racing cross this will be a good way to brush up on skills and have a mid-week training race.

The Ski Ward lodge will be open afterwards with fine offerings such as burgers, fries, and beer – so bring more $ than just your entry fee with you!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Short Track MTB/CX Training Series at Ski Ward!

Do you like racing bikes?  Planning on racing CX this year?  Want to school some shaved-legged roadies?  Like beer?  Own a mountain bike built in the last 20 years?  Want to show some hairy-legged mountain biker how to climb?  Interested in dropping the hammer on a bike-snob from MRC?  Do you have enough upper-body strength to play beach volleyball (optional)?
mtbcxtraining

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, come out to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, MA on 3 consecutive Wednesday nights starting on August 17th 2016.

Landry’s and Minuteman Road Club will be hosting a 3-week Short Track MTB series that will eventually transition into a Cyclocross (CX) training series in September (stay tuned for dates).  We’ll be racing MTB’s in 3 heats:
  • 5:26pm – A Race (Really fast people)
  • 6:10pm – B Race (Mildly fast people)
  • 6:50pm – C Race (Soon to be fast people)
$17 entry, same price pre-reg or day-of! Reg page here: https://www.bikereg.com/landrys-bicycles-stxc-presented-by-minuteman-road-club
We have a fun and challenging 1 mile course up and around the ski hill, and yes the bar will be open (and so will the beach volleyball court).
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