MRC Sports 7 Top 20 Finishers at 2011 Battenkill

The Minuteman Road Club produced laudable results at the 2011 Tour of the Battenkill last Sunday April 10th. Of the 17 team members entered, nearly half garnered top 20 finishes and two placed in the top 10 of their respective fields.

Matt Pierson working his way up Meetinghouse Road - Beth Trinkett photo

In the Cat 4 Grey field, when John Smith flatted about 7 miles in, MRC mates Stefan Wawersik and Rob Follansbee demonstrated how to work as a team to get him back in the race. After Wawersik swapped wheels with Smith, Follansbee heroically bridged Smith all the way back into the race. Very pro.

Later on, Doug Kennedy made his contribution by leading Smith out at the finish resulting in an 11th place finish for Smith and Kennedy in 12th.

The men’s Cat 5 35+ Pink field found three members in the lead group through the halfway point: Jeremy Cratty, Scott Sweeney and Russ Campbell. The moderately warm but very dry day and the unrelenting climbs took their toll on all of the racers as that pack deteriorated into smaller and smaller, more spread out groups. By the end, Cratty fought to a 6th place finish, Sweeney gaining 8th and Campbell in 12th.

Other top 20 finishers were Gary Sclar in the Cat 5 35+ Yellow field outlasting a field that saw 1/3 of the entrants DNF to attain 16th postion and Lynn Thornton, who placed 15th in the Women’s Ca4 35+ field.

Read the exciting race reports and see photos from the race in the MRC forum.

MRC Sends Largest Team Ever to Tour of the Battenkill

The Minuteman Road Club is sending it’s largest team of riders ever, 17 in all, to “America’s Queen of the Classics”, The Tour of the Battenkill taking place tomorrow, Sunday April 10, 2011.

After a snow-bound winter of indoor training and, until March, few opportunities to get outside and ride on local roads, team members will finally get the chance test their mettle against the challenging 64 mile course that features paved and dirt/gravel sections, killer hills, spectacular views and a reputation for ripping a cyclist’s legs off.

Many have headed up to Cambridge, NY a day early to pre-ride the early portions of the course in order to size up the road conditions and early climbs, in particular the notoriously steep “paved with dirt” Juniper Swamp Road. Many feel this is a major make-or-break point in the race.

Weather for this early season race is looking miraculously good with moderate winds and predicted temperatures at mid-day into the high 50’s. Even for those with earlier starts, they should be riding out in at least 40º temps. With the lack of rain all week, one can expect they will be faced with dusty rather than muddy conditions tomorrow.

Best of luck to our teammates and stay tuned as race reports start to trickle in tomorrow night!

Cat 4 Team Gives Strong Showing at Myles Standish

Sunday April 3, 2011 – Plymouth, MA – Getting the early season going well this past weekend, John “Smudger” Smith and Chris Pare navigated rough roads and squirrelly fellow racers to top 10 finishing spots at the Miles Standish State Forest Road Race. Their successful efforts were supported by teammates, Todd Savage and Stefan Wawersik.

A field of fifty-two Cat 4 racers competed on the four lap, 5 mile course on a sunny day that featured 40-50º temperatures and 15 mph winds out of the northwest.

The first three laps consisted of the usual mix of tentative and unsuccessful breakaways. Savage led the race for most of the third lap, then the course, ravaged by a tough winter of plowing and frost heaves, caused a crash on the final lap that put Wawersik out of contention. However, Smith and Pare were still in the chase as they approached the final sweeping left turn before the finish.

Pare found himself on the outside of the turn with the cyclists in front of him drifting further and further outside to the right as they exited the turn, edging him briefly off the course and forcing him to rely on his CX bike handling skills to a) not crash in the pine needles and b) get back on the course. Despite this, he hammered on and finished a very respectable 7th.

Meanwhile, John Smith, who was on the inside of the final turn, put his head down and engaged his powerful sprint. He approached the line with three others, his tire-width lunge for the finish enabled him to capture 4th place.

Way to go guys!

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