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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).

Recent Entries

Directeur’s Chair: The Lost Episode

directeur-chair-mrc-200px[Remember folks, “saving as a draft” is not the same as “publish now”. Here’s a DC post from 6/13/16 that got overlooked.]

 

MRC: Hi Jeremy, long time no talk… whats new?

Jeremy: Well we went through the meat of the schedule, and let’s just say I feel like a turkey burger (but with bacon because it wasn’t all bad).

MRC: Last we talked you and the rest of the team were gearing up for the final edition of the Tour of the Battenkill. Tell us of some of the highlights.

J: Yeah Battenkill was the beginning of what I originally termed “3 weeks of Glory” which included Killington and our own race, the Ken Harrod Memorial.  Battenkill was solid if unspectacular.  We had strong teams in the Women’s 3/4s, Men3s, 4s and 45+ which yielded a bunch of top 10s.  Our Women’s team had a great race putting two riders on the podium and two more in the top 10.  In the men’s races, for a while we didn’t think we’d get anyone to take the top spot (except in the beer tent).  Luckily in the 5s John Morrissey saved the day with a monster sprint to take the win and in the celebratory bedlam I dumped a beer on his wife (sorry about that).  Killington was its usual sufferfest, I’ll leave it at that.

MRC: On the heels of Battenkill you and the rest of the Minuteman Road Club had to change gears a little and get ready to host the 4th annual Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race in Harvard, MA.  Even though there were a few crashes the day turned out to be an amazing success!

KHMM PodiumJ: As usual, the Ken Harrod Memorial was an instant classic.  Great weather, solid turnout, a beer tent (see a theme here?) presented by Wachusett Brewing Co., and one singularly amazing win by our own Patrick Collins in the Pro/1/2 race.  The excitement built as Patrick had made the winning break, and President and part-time Race MC John “Smudger” Smith got to call the winning sprint.  I’m sure he said something inspiring, but none of us could understand his Scottish accent.  On a separate note, our own Race Director, John “The Pirate” Raguin came in 5th in the Masters race to put an exclamation point on his tenure as he hands the baton for next year.  Also Josh “Ham” Burgel-er nabbed 5th in the Cat 4 and can officially be removed from top candidate for Sandbagger-of-the-year.

MRC: It’s safe to say our sponsors are a little excited as to how the season is going.  I was with TJ Morse from Wachusett Brewing Company and he was on the phone with the owner of the Brewery screaming “WE WON WE WON!!”

KHMM FinishlineJ: It’s been really fun to partner with new sponsors like Wachusett Brewing Co. over the last few months and the results have been off the charts.  Luckily they make a Light IPA or we’d have to switch over to downhill MTB racing.

MRC: A few weeks back was the Massachusetts State Road Race Championships at the Purgatory Road Race in Sutton Ma.  Once again MRC had a few incidents but came away with success!

J: We’ve had a lot of wins so far, but also a lot of crashes.  Lazer should expect a call, because we’re hemorrhaging helmets.  Luckily they work or we’d need a few more racers too.  At Purgatory we got to see Jason Croteau on form, and he came away with the Massachusetts Masters State Championship jersey while finishing 3rd overall.  It’s good to see the “Hulk” back at it, and on a climby parcour no less.

Croteau_State_Champ

MRC: Wrapping up a busy few weeks MRC hosted the 1st Annual Wachusett Brewing Company Gran Fondo!  By the looks of the pictures it seems like everyone had a great time!

J: I sure did!!! And I think everyone else did as well.  Someone at the beginning said it wasn’t a race, but a handful of us treated it that way, to my discomfort.  It was harder than most races, with some challenging terrain and road conditions.  Luckily there we’re 2 strategically placed Aid Stations with a vast selection of refreshments, oh and a beer tent!!!!  Special thanks to Scott Conchieri for organizing the successful 1st annual event.  I can’t wait until next year.

fondo group

MRC: Hard to believe that the season it already at its midpoint.  What are some of the races your squads are targeting to round out the year?

J:  I have my eyes set on one event right now, the Longsjo Classic starting this Friday in Leominster.  Three days of awesome crit racing and we have a strong crew of Cat 3/4s, Masters and of course Patrick Collins in the Pro/1/2.  I expect some incredible results, or else I’ll ban all Wachusett Brewing products until further notice!!!

MRC: Thanks again for your time Jeremy.

J: No problem, I’m contractually obligated to conduct this interview.

RACE REPORT: ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR THE KEN HARROD MEMORIAL ROAD RACE!

The Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race presented by the Minuteman Road Club (MRC) occurred on June 4th, 2016 in Harvard, MA, marking the race’s third year in the town. Named for longtime Harvard firefighter and bicycling enthusiast Ken Harrod, the race benefits the Harvard Firefighters Fund, and brings more than 350 amateur and professional racers to compete on the beautiful and challenging roads of Harvard.

(photo: Jeff Dieffenbach)

(photo: Jeff Dieffenbach)

This year’s edition, aided by sponsorship from Wachusett Brewing Company, Privateer Rum, Murphys Insurance, and Landry’s Bicycles, ran over multiple laps of the same 10 mile course used in 2015, including the roughly 2.5 mile, 350 foot climb up Oak Hill. Each racer competed in one of 8 categories, and new for 2016 were a women’s P/1/2 race in a split field and a men’s Masters 55+ race in a split field. Wachusett Brewing Company supplied a beer tent complete with fire truck, providing refreshment for racers and spectators in the picture-perfect 70-80 degree weather. Read More..

5/23/16 Directeur’s Chair

directeur-chair-mrc-200pxWe’re back with another edition of Directeur’s Chair! But this time we’re giving Jeremy a little break. As we await the BattenKill 2016 race reports from our Men’s and Women’s squads, we are taking this opportunity to talk about a couple of the events we have coming up.

On Saturday June 4th The Minuteman Road Club will present the 3rd Annual Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race in Harvard MA.. Starting and finish in historic Harvard Center racers will do laps on a 10 mile circuit on some of the nicest back roads and farming areas in central Mass.

 

Throughout the race everyone will tackle everyone’s favorite training climb, “Oak Hill” in Littleton Ma. Where on the middle lap of each race a KOM or QOM will be awarded and presented by Wachusett Brewing Company. (note: if a winner is under 21 years of age and for Cat 5, a medal will be given)
Registration and more information about the race are located at https://www.bikereg.com/ken-harrod-memorial-road-race

RRloop

A couple of weeks after the road race, the MRC will be presenting the 1st annual Wachusett Brewing Company Gran Fondo on Saturday June 18th. This event has a full day of fun lined up that guarantees a memorable day of cycling in the beautiful setting of Central Massachusetts.

FONDO_LOGO_250Plan on a fantastic ride that starts at the Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, MA then loops around country roads in the towns of Fitchburg, Ashburnham, Ringe,Westminster, Hubbardston, and Princeton summiting Wachusett Mountain, and makes its way back to the the brewery. Three routes (120km, 85km, and 60km) have been created to accommodate riders of all abilities that insure beautiful views and challenging terrain on quiet roads. All rides are punctuated with an after-ride party at the brewery where everyone can enjoy music, food, raffles, and of course Wachusett Beer!

All proceeds from the Fondo will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield and the New England High School Cycling Association. For more information or to register please go to https://www.bikereg.com/wachusett-brewing-co-gran-fondo

Also for those who raced the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race, you are eligible for a $10 discount on the Fond entry fee, details on the discount can be found on the KHMRR race registration page.

5/11/16 Directeur’s Chair

directeur-chair-mrc-200pxWe’re back with another edition of Directeur’s Chair. Celebrating again another strong weekend of racing at the The Myles Standish State Forest Road Race in Plymouth, MA we catch up with MRC Directeur Sportif Jeremy Cratty.

MRC: So Jeremy what color and model Skoda did you end up choosing? That’s four more wins for MRC at The Myles Standish Race, Congrats!!

Jeremy: I couldn’t afford a Skoda, so I bought a used moped from my crazy Uncle Fredo. The good news is we can use this for motor pacing…

MRC: Two wins in the Cat 4’s and the Women’s Cat 4. I’m thinking soon you’ll have a strong Cat 3 Men’s AND Women’s team.

J: Chris Gibson came out of nowhere to win the first Cat 4 race which was a nice surprise, with his buddy Nick Leger coming in 3rd and Kevin Teves grabbing 6th. Nick and Kevin’s reward for their hard racing was road rash for Nick and a private tour of Beth Israel Plymouth Hospital for Kevin. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team. Smartly, Sarah Shipley just rode away from the group to avoid sprinting into the Myles Standish Funnel Of Death. Also, don’t forget Chris Pare’s breakaway victory in the Cat 3 and Winslow Woodacre’s sprint win in the 2nd Cat 4 race. Winslow won by less than a tire width with a classic bike throw. He clearly benefitted from the “Bike Throw” clinic we held earlier in the season.

2016_woodacre_mylesstandish_750px

MRC’s Winslow Woodacre wins with a bike throw!

MRC: Besides the four wins for the team you personally raced well. Three races and three “top tens” on the day for yourself. You’re becoming a regular Reggie Dunlop.

J: Yeah I grabbed 9th in both the Cat 3 and 45+. But my best result of the day was the surprising 8th place I somehow got in the Cat 4 race. That’s pretty hard to do when, a) you’re not a Cat 4, and b) I was watching from the sideline in civilian clothes. Luckily I didn’t get caught up in the crash…

MRC: Unfortunately with all the success it didn’t come with a little price in the Cat4A race.

J: Yeah our Sponsorship Director has some work to do, as we ruined a few brand new Lazer Z1 helmets (ugh and the AEROSHELLS!!!) and Verge Speedsuits. Hey at least we know they work… I’d like to wish Kevin Teves and Nick Leger a speedy recovery. Looking forward to having them back on the bike.

MRC: Looking ahead what’s next on the schedule? Anything that the team is really looking forward to?

J: There’s a couple of short easy races coming up in Battenkill (NY) and Killington (VT). I think they’re crits or something like that… And lets not forget about the 22nd edition of the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race that we are hosting. This will be our 3rd year running it in Harvard featuring everyone’s favorite, the Oak Hill climb. Free beer for the K(or)QoM winner of each race, which is always nice.

MRC: How about the Wachusett Gran Fondo we’ve been seeing advertised? What can you tell us about it?

J: Did I mention free beer? Actually it’s not totally free. But for a bargain price you get an incredible ride, with a Mt. Wachusett summit, great food, music, and of course lot’s of delicious Wachusett brew. It will be held on June 18th starting and finishing at the Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, MA. Registration and more information can be found on BikeReg.com at https://www.bikereg.com/31276 It will be an amazing day, lets make it happen people…

MRC: Anything else you’d like to add in closing?

J: The only concern we have with our success is the win bonuses are adding up at a staggering rate. Stay tuned for details on the first annual MRC Bake Sale.

Read Myles Standish 2016 race reports in the MRC racer’s own words: http://www.minutemanroadclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=7585&p=43414#p43414

REGISTRATION OPEN: 2016 Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race

For the third year in a row, the Minuteman Road Club has partnered with the Harvard Firefighter’s Association to put together the Ken Harrod Memorial Road Race. The race will be held on Saturday, June 4th, 2016.

2015KHRRmontage

The race course will be the same route as the 2015 edition.

There are a few additional changes to the 2016 edition as we try to build upon the success the race has had so far in Harvard:

  • Addition of a Women’s Cat P/1/2 field that will be run with the Women’s Cat 3/4 field. Each will have separate prize purses and different colored numbers to be able to distinguish the competitors in each field.
  • Addition of a Masters 55+ field that will be run with the Masters 45+ field. Each will have separate prize purses and different colored numbers to be able to distinguish the competitors in each field.

Important links:

Race flyer with information

Reg NOW at BikeReg and get more info

Awesome video of the race

4/26/16 – Directeur’s Chair

directeur-chair-mrc-200pxWe’re back with another edition of Directeur’s Chair. Celebrating another strong weekend of racing at the Quabbin Road Race in Ware, MA we catch up with MRC DS Jeremy Cratty.

markMiller_quabbin_2016

Mark Miller, photo: ©Pete Talbot

MRC: Jeremy, Congrats on yet another weekend of great racing! You must be pleased with the way your race squads have come together and race as a team.

Jeremy: It’s truly amazing what people will do for free stuff. Dangle a nice helmet in front of them and a free beer at the end of the race and they’ll do anything… Seriously, there’s 2 ways to win an amateur bike race, solo away at 6 watts/kg or have a team frustrate the living crap out of everyone until they give up. This past weekend we did each!

MRC: Is there a standout moment in the race that comes to mind?

J: In the Cat 3 race at Quabbin, we executed the very underrated “alley-opp” technique where we send a worker up the road in a break, and then the team leader bridges across to their teammate, uses them like a piece of trash to be discarded, then goes on to win the race.  I was the piece of trash, Mark Miller was the winner.  Last time I saw that executed properly was between Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana in the Vuelta (which is a fair comparison I think)

Quabbin 2016 Finish!

Dave Mingori, photo: ©Pete Talbot

MRC I noticed that Dave Mingori scored his second win in as many weeks. Looks like you’ll have a new Category 3 racer to add to the squad.

J: Yes Dave’s on a mission since last year’s GMSR, definitely one of the most improved racers on the team. And it’s good we’ll have a new guy in the Cat 3 because the regulars are getting sick of me sending them to the front.
MRC: Also, one of your new editions Josh Burgle looks to be on good form already. I’m assuming he’s soon to join the Category 3 ranks.

J: I’ve been “racing” against Josh for years on the Monster Bullet-train. I always thought he was a Cat 3 anyway. We have a word for those types of guys, I’ll leave it at that 🙂

MRC: Lets talk about your Category 2 squad. Initially it was just Patrick Collins but now with Joe Magro coming back to MRC and Jason Croteau joining the club it looks like you’re going to be quite the force in the 2’s.

J: Actually we have several other Cat 3’s very close to making the jump. I actually told Patrick to slow down before he mistakenly upgrades to Cat 1. Next thing you know MRC will be a Continental Pro team and I’ll have to quit my day job and buy a Skoda.

MRC: Anything else you’d like to add in closing?

J: I’m going to need a massage after all this typing.

MRC: Maybe you need to look into a team soigneur?

J: YES!!!!!

NEW: Directeur’s Chair

directeur-chair-mrc-200pxWelcome to a new feature on the MRC website called Directeur’s Chair. Throughout the season we’ll speak with members of our racing teams and get recaps from our new Directeur Sportif, Jeremy Cratty.

Below is an interview we did with Jeremy on the heels of a successful weekend at the Chris Hinds Memorial Criterium in Rhode Island.

MRC: Jeremy first off, thank you for your taking the time for this interview. More importantly congrats on being the first ever Directeur Sportif for The Minuteman Road Club. You must be very excited.

Jeremy: Yes I’m very excited. I’ve always wanted to be in a position where I could tell people what to do, no questions asked.

MRC: We’re a few weeks into the 2016 season. What are your thoughts so far?

J: I’m definitely feeling an increased excitement around road racing, which was the point of the whole program. I get emails everyday with questions about races, strategies, who is on form, what the weather going to be like, should they use chamois cream. You know, important stuff.

MRC: Is there anything that has surprised you that you weren’t expecting?

J: Well I expected some good results, but even I was surprised when we came away from Chris Hinds with 2 victories. It was especially sweet because we came up with detailed strategies and the team executed them exactly as planned. It’s further proof that team racing delivers superior results than an “everyone for themselves” approach you typically see in amateur racing.

MRC: What are you looking forward to for the rest of the season?

J: More wins and more Wachusett beer consumed! Seriously though, winning an early season crit is one thing, but I can’t wait to plan some tactics for bigger races like Quabbin and Battenkill. Should be EPIC!!!!!

MRC: Any other comments you’d like to add in closing?

J: Stop reading this and go do some hill repeats!!!!!

MRC: Thank you for your time Jeremy. Looking forward to talking with you throughout the season

2016-race-team-photo

 

Welcome, 2016 MRC Sponsors!

It is with great pleasure that the Minuteman Road Club announces our official road race team sponsors for the 2016 season. Returning are the support of Landry’s Bicycles, Rudy Project, and Verge Sport. We are proud to announce our new road race team title sponsor Wachusett Brewing Company. Also supporting the Minuteman Road Club are Privateer Rum, Enterprise CarShare, Murphy’s Insurance, and Intra Systems.

2016 sponsor collage

Landry’s Bicycles – Full service bike shops in Boston, Norwood, Natick and Westborough. Everything the beginner or the pro would need, professional bike fitters, sales and service. The MRC’s oldest and most stalwart sponsor!

Wachusett Brewing Company – Wachusett Brewery founders Ned, Kevin and Peter developed a significant appreciation for beer while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Adventures in biking, canoeing and hiking that led the trio to the Northern New England states allowed them to visit some of the first operating craft breweries. Armed with a “we can do this” attitude the three cast off from their careers in engineering and biology to found the Wachusett Brewing Co. in 1993. Wachusett Country Pale Ale was introduced to the beer fans of Massachusetts the next year after lots of experimenting to get the formula just right. When Wachusett opened, the three designed and built most of the equipment; did the brewing and filling, selling and delivering, and everything else that a small startup brewery needed.
Along the way the founders were joined by some of the most passionate and capable co-workers in the brewing industry. Wachusett Ales continue to be hand crafted with the finest ingredients available, bottled, canned and kegged in our Westminster facility. Wachusett Brewing Company has never strayed from the founder’s plan to brew and sell the freshest, highest quality beers possible.

Privateer Rum -America embodies freedom. And the men and women who served as privateers during our Revolution embodied it too. And passion. And a gritty, bare-knuckled determination to fight the good fight. And to profit from their success.
There was no easy way to win against the greatest sea power in the world. So privateers innovated. They changed the rules of engagement, and ultimately the outcome of the war.
Today, that same spirit drives us at Privateer Rum. A spirit that demands doing what you believe is right. Doing it well. And doing it your own way, even when this means defying convention.
Freedom. Innovation. Conviction. It’s in our DNA. It’s in our rum.

Enterprise CarShare – Enterprise CarShare is an automated way to rent a vehicle by the hour, the day, or overnight. A variety of makes and models are parked in your community – where you live, and where you work – and are accessible 24/7.

Murphy Insurance Agency – Murphy Insurance Agency is among the largest independent agents in Massachusetts with locations in Bolton, Groton, Harvard, Hudson, Marlborough, Medway and Mendon. We represent 29 companies and have access to many more. Where you purchase your insurance makes a difference. Murphy Insurance offers you one reliable relationship for safeguarding your financial stability – whether your needs are personal, business or both.

IntraSystems – IntraSystems empowers companies to deliver secure, on-demand access….anytime, anywhere. As a Citrix Platinum Solution Partner, our certified engineers design, deploy, implement, and maintain complex IT infrastructures throughout the U.S. Our mission is to provide secure application delivery, virtualization services, and secure network infrastructure solutions centered on the principles of excellence, service, and quality.

Rudy Project – Sunglasses, helmets, goggles and other gear. Rudy Project works in cooperation with athletes from all fields, listening to what they want and need – they never stop researching to find the latest and best materials available to realize cutting-edge products.

Verge Sport – The inspiration behind Verge Sport came from the clothing needs of an elite athlete. Racing in the European road cycling circuit throughout the early 1990s it became obvious to Michael Magur that the custom technical apparel needs of athletes were outpacing what was being delivered — the wheels turned and Verge Sport was born in 1996. Since those first orders on through to today, customer satisfaction has been at our core. Our goal is for you to be happy with not only the final product, but the entire ordering and communication process involved in bringing your design to life.

We look forward to another amazing season and want to thank all our sponsors for believing in us.

MRC Recognizes 2015 Achievements, Welcomes New Sponsors

Congratulations everyone, the awards dinner on January 23rd was a fantastic success just like our 2015 season.

Thanks to Jeremy Cratty for getting the International to take care of us again this year. What a great venue.
Thanks to Russ Campbell for putting together the slide show, award trophies and presentation.
Thanks to Mark Bernard for pulling together all the stats.

2015 was an amazingly successful season. Minuteman Road Club raced in 239 races resulting in 53 podiums and 151 top 10 finishes!

We recognized our achievements at the dinner with the following awards and winners:

  • U23 racer of the year – Patrick Collins had a great road season but it was just a precursor to an unbelievable cross season that culminated in 1st place in the season long NECXBAR series. 1st place in New England!!!
  • Top female racer of the Year – Megan Woodacre with 3 podiums in her 1st year of racing an outstanding way to start her road racing career.
  • Top male racer of the year – Brad Bradford progressed from Cat 5 to Cat 2 in 1 year and clocked up 7 wins, 3 2nd places and 1 3rd along the way. A quite remarkable season. What else is there to say? Well Brad certainly did with lots of praise for the club and and an impassioned farewell as he has moved back to Toronto.
  • Most improved – Winslow Woodacre with 2 wins and 3 other podiums in his 1st year road racing showed that there is a lot more to come.
Patrick Collins receives his Top U23 Award from Jeremy Cratty.

Patrick Collins receives his Top U23 Award from Jeremy Cratty.

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