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Race Report: Minuteman CX is Quintessential New England!

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Racers gathered yesterday under the glowing fall foliage for the fourth edition of the Minuteman Road Club Cyclocross Race p/b Landry’s Bicycles in Lancaster, MA. The morning racers faced damp course conditions and chilly temperatures, but the clear sky brought the sun to warm the course, removing the chill from the air on a quintessential New England autumn afternoon. By the time the Elite races and Zanconato Single Speed races were underway, the course had completely dried, making for some fast racing. The course featured wide, sweeping turns, some winding through a tricky sand section. The course had its technical sections as well: stairs, barriers, and the venue’s signature twists through woodchips under the barn roof.

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Kate Northcott (NESS Team New England), who took second place in this venue mere weeks ago behind European Cyclocross Champion Helen Wyman at Midnight CX, was off from the whistle in the Elite Women’s race. As Northcott took control of the race, Catherine

Sterling (Bikeman.com), Leslie Timm (Ladies First Racing), and Melody Chase (Gus CX/Ralegh) worked to reel in the leader. However, Northcott, having a stellar season so far, was gone for good. The leader rode her own race – at lightning pace, free of bobbles and mistakes – and the chase group settled in for a battle for the remaining podium spots. Sterling launched an attack, shaking Chase loose, and the race was decided. Northcott rode in for a clean win, as Sterling crossed the line second. Chase followed in third, and Timm held on for the fourth spot.

The fastest race of the day took to the course, with Dylan McNicholas (PolarTec), Jerome Townsend (Joe’s Garage p/b BikeReg.com), and Peter Goguen (Race CF) taking an early lead in the Elite Men’s race. Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) and Nick Keough (Keough Cyclocross) organized a chase, but the three leaders seemed to only add seconds to their lead.

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Meanwhile, Frankie McCormack (Clif Bar/Pactimo) was busy dieseling his way to the chase with son and teammate Brendan on his wheel. Goguen lost contact with the leaders, leaving McNicholas and Townsend to battle for the win, as Brendan connected with the chase. McNicholas and Townsend fought hard for the victory, staying together throughout the final laps, but the win was ultimately decided by who hit the loose gravel turns before the finish first. It was Townsend who claimed the win, McNicholas hot on his heels in second. Goguen finished third. Myerson gapped McCormack to cross the line fourth, and Keough rolled in sixth.

In the Zanconato Single Speed Series, men’s series leader Mike Rowell (Bikeway Source/Bell Lap Racing) took the win, but not easily: Rowell had to fend off Matt Sousa (Cuppow/Geekhouse/B2C2) for the entirety of the race. Sousa claimed second, while Benjamin Pagano (Bikeway Source/Bell Lap Racing) finished third. In the women’s race, each podium finisher was racing her second race of the day: Joanne Grogan (Cyclocrossracing.com) won, while Clara Kelly (NEBC p/b Cycle Loft) crossed the line second, and Michele Smith (Hup United) claimed the last podium spot.

— by Cindy Brennan

For complete race results, visit the 2014 MRC CX page on CrossResults.

See more of Katie Busick’s photos here.

Recent Entries

2014 Minuteman Road Club Cyclocross p/b Landrys Bicycles is October 12th!

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Turning of the leaves and crisper mornings can mean only one thing: the Minuteman Road Club’s annual cyclocross race, now in it’s fifth year at the Bolton Fair in Lancaster, is right around the corner on Sunday, October 12! What better way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of Holy Week than to return to a grassroots cyclocross with a great vibe and fun atmosphere.

Remember how we doubled our elite payouts last year? Well, we’ve bumped them up ANOTHER 50% for this year. That’s right, winners of the men’s and women’s 1/2/3 race gets $300! Landry’s Bicycles has stepped up to the plate and is providing GENEROUS gift cards to the podium toppers in the non-elite races. 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 16 categories over 13 races.

Single speed racers: Harpoon Brewery is now the beer sponsor for the Zanconato SSCX Series! You can guess what will be waiting for you should you make the podium in one of the SS races

You’ll be competing on grass, pavement, an EXPANDED tractor pull area (with BIG ess turns!) and wood chips. We’ve got Chris Paré collaborating with Colin Reuter for course design – you won’t want to miss what they come up with!

Don’t hesitate, get to BikeReg now – this is right about the time that the 4/5 and 3/4 fields start to fill up: https://www.bikereg.com/25780

Triathlete Hans Thamhain, 77 – Long time member of MRC

Former MRC triathlete Hans Thamain passed away Thursday after crashing his bike in Hyannis a few days ago. The details are fuzzy. Nobody seems to know if he was hit by a car or run off the road, or if he had some medical episode. He was in a coma for a couple of days before passing.

Hans was amazing: he was 77 and was still racing Ironman triathlons and teaching at Bentley. In fact he qualified for Kona for the fifth time this year.

The MRC sends out condolences to his family and all who knew this remarkable and kind man. Details of services here.

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MRC Roars Back With The Ken Harrod Memorial Bike Festival

The Minuteman Road Club is pleased to announce the Harvard Firefighters Association Ken Harrod Memorial Bike Festival p/b the MRC on Saturday May 31, 2014 in Harvard, MA. The Festival will include BOTH a USAC sanctioned road race AND a bike ride both of which will benefit the Harvard Firefighters’ Association. Registration is now open for both the race and the ride.

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Those familiar with the road race the Minuteman Road Club has hosted for the last 19 years will appreciate the similarities and differences this new venue offers. The approximately 10 mile course loops clockwise out of Harvard Center and rolls over some of the 495/Metro-West area’s most familiar climbs. (You can see the course in this Strava Segment). The race course will challenge competitors as they climb Westcott and then Warner Road to the highest point in the loop then after a brief descent, back to climbing on Green Road. This is followed by a rapid descent to Still River Road where two more gradual longer climbs await – the second of which brings racers back to the start/finish in the center of town.

Registration is now open for the race: https://www.bikereg.com/ken-harrod-memorial-road-race and closes May 28th, 2014 at 5pm. Read More..

MRC Year End Party a Great Success

 

This past January 25th, 40 MRC members and s/o’s joined at the International Country Club in Bolton, MA, for an evening of great food, drink and awards. Classic New England winter weather greeted attendees as they arrived at the venue: a couple of inches of snow on the ground along with a gentle flurry floating down.

 

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Jeremy & Courtney Cratty with Greg & Kelly Jackson

Read More..

Town of Sterling Does Not Issue Permit for 20th Sterling Classic

Minuteman Road Club is saddened to announce that the Sterling Classic Road Race will not take place in 2014.

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, the Sterling Board of Selectmen voted to not permit the race for it’s 20th year.

Unfortunately, a truly classic race and a staple of the Massachusetts road race season will not have a chance to celebrate it’s 20th year. Over the last few years, a vocal minority of residents and on the Board was able to sway opinions against holding a race in Sterling, regardless of the quality of the organization or how much revenue it generated for the town.

As a club, we remain committed to fostering and promoting bike racing and will look into potential alternatives. Hosting a race in 2014 is a long shot, but we are actively looking for new partners to host our race. We will also need the support of the cycling community to make anything happen. We look forward to your support!

Minuteman Road Club.

MRC Gives Back, Donates $500 to Sterling Rec. Dept.

Members of the Minuteman Road Club donate $500 to the Sterling, Ma Recreation Department. L to R: Doug Kennedy (Treasurer), Chris Pare, Bill Turner (Race Director), Judy Janda (Sterling Recreation Director), Mark Bernard (Membership Director)

Members of the Minuteman Road Club donate $500 to the Sterling, Ma Recreation Department. L to R: Doug Kennedy (Treasurer), Chris Pare, Bill Turner (Race Director), Judy Janda (Sterling Recreation Director), Mark Bernard (Membership Director)

 

In recognition of and gratitude for the ongoing hosting of the Sterling Classic Road Race in the town of Sterling Road Club made a donation of $500 to the Recreation Department on the morning of November 27, 2013.

On hand were club Treasurer, Doug Kennedy, past President Chris Pare, Race Director Bill Turner and Membership Director Mark Bernard. Accepting the donation on behalf of the Recreation Department was Sterling Recreation Director Judy Janda.

The contribution will distributed to offset expenses for free Community events that the Sterling Recreation Department sponsors. This includes the Summer Concert Series, Holiday Tree Lighting, and Easter Egg Hunt.

The Sterling Classic Road Race, which will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary in 2014, features both amateur and professional cyclists competing on an 8 mile loop with an exciting but grueling uphill finish on Meetinghouse Hill Road.

Nolan Garon Tops Men 4/5 Field at Cycle-Smart Int’l Day 2

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Nolan’s race report:

Waking up the morning of the race at 5:15 may not be the best way to win a bike race but apparently it did not make a difference Sunday. Getting there and seeking that it was 43 degrees was also not very fun to see but this is cyclocross isn’t it? After I got pinned up and signed in I went out for my first recon lap before my race. About halfway through my pre-ride I knew that this course would suit me having no run up and a very punchy “climb” and some nice fast turns.

When I got to the startline I lined up next to the same people that I raced on Day 1, so my hope was that their starts would be just as good today.

The whistle blows and we are off, I gun it from the start and after the first two corners we had established a lead group of four. They keep on the gas for about 1/3 of a lap and I notice that the group does not want to do any work so coming by the pit the first lap I really open it up and decide to take my chances off the front…

This came at the perfect time because next up on the course was the steep “hill” – really more of a steep bank but going up it first was a good idea because the guy in third seem to botch the only possible line that you could take slowing up the entire field.

For the rest of the lap it was pure pain for 4 minutes trying to establish a sizable gap. By the time I got to the finish straight I had staked out a 20 second gap and was still feeling strong so I just kept hitting as hard as I could for the next lap.

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When I hit the barriers on the second lap I still was feeling good but by the middle of the third lap I could feel my power starting to fade especially in the straights.

One thing that did start to pick up were the amount of heckles that you will get coming down the tent row and when you go through the more populated areas, “Sandbagger!” and “Cat up!” really tend to get annoying when you have never even won a race or had more than 3 total upgrade points.

Okay so enough of that, let’s get in to the last lap.

By this time I am using all if the will that I can muster just to be able to hold the gap that I had built up. What really helped that last lap was my dad and Dave Warner (Green Line Velo/ZipCar) both yelling splits to me as I was going on my last lap to keep me going because the laughing dog rider and josh Araujo of Geekhouse were in hot pursuit.

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By the last few corners I was in disbelief that I had pulled off a win in a race this big! I was only predicted 18th! As I come into the finishing straight I nearly made a horrible mistake by almost taking both of my hands off of the bars as I crossed the line but then I remembered that that might not be the best idea.

It really felt great to be able to finally get a win at a race of that caliber also a plus is that I can upgrade and that means that I don’t have to wake up at 5 am to go to a race! I really don’t think that I could have done it without all of the group rides and the cross practice series for keeping me motivated to finish my first cross season. On to Sterling!

Minuteman Road Club Cyclocross is October 13th!

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UPDATE: In error, we had no specific place for Cat 5 Jr’s to race. This has been corrected and they can now register for the 8:30 slot and race with the Junior Cat 4’s!

The Minuteman Road Club’s annual cyclocross race, now in it’s fourth year at the Bolton Fair in Lancaster, is right around the corner on Sunday, October 13!

Big news: we’ve DOUBLED the payouts over last year’s race, 1st in the Elites now gets $200! EQUAL PAYOUTS Men vs. Women, as it should be! Winner of the Men Juniors 1/2/3 and winner of the Women’s Juniors 1/2/3/4 gets $100. More about payouts and other details of the race in our race flyer.

You’ll be competing on grass, pavement, an EXPANDED tractor pull area (with BIG ess turns!) and wood chips. Depending on the weather, it could be as dry and dusty as Gloucester was… but with just a hint of moisture it muds up very nicely! This is NOT simply the Midnight Ride run in the opposite direction: our race designer, Chris Pare, is putting together a course that will be unique and challenging.

If  the end of the Holy Week of Cyclocross has left you asking yourself, “What now? When will I see my NECX friends again?” MRC CX is the only answer!  Registration closes Friday October 11 at Noon! (handy BikeReg link)

MRC Cyclocross Training Rides Start This Weds 8/28!

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No categories, no prizes. Just pure cross on a challenging 1.5 km mostly grass course with barriers and some elevation. Mud is possible. Lots of turns to allow you to hone your skills before the real racing begins. This year’s course will NOT have as much lung-busting climbing as before, and will be bi-directional so we can mix it up a bit.

Starting this Wednesday 8/28/2013 and for the following three, September 4, 11 and 18.

More info on our flyer here.

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