Sucker Brook

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Gumbo
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:06 pm
Location: Stow

Sucker Brook

Post by Gumbo » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:12 pm

Well my second race went alright. Raced Cat 4 open which was the first race and was only 30 minutes, it was 4 laps. Placed 48 out of 72. Lined up in the fourth row but probably was not aggressive enough at the start and got passed by a lot of racers quickly. In the first 180s it was a clusterf..k and I had to dismount and a rider behind me cleaned me out and I went down. Then I could not shift out of my big ring unless I braked aggressively (this afternoon I found that my SRAM shifter had slipped out of the pin alignment so I think I am good to go for the Midnight Ride). On my first pass over the wood bridge I hit it and instantly went down and spun around on the bridge, I got up and ran but could not find a ridable gear for a while but then settled in for the rest of the race.

I thought my pace was decent and I had reasonable dismounts and resaddling. The shifting issue went on the whole race and messed with my head a little. I decided to run the whole sand pit each time through since I fell on my first attempt during warmups and decided not to bog my bike down with too much sand. At the end I held off a rider who was on my tail the whole lap and reeled in a rider in front of me with a strong finishing sprint to edge him by 1/2 a bike length. Stayed and watched a super showing in the Cat 3/4 race by the MRC team. I tried to cheer them all on but I am pretty sure I called Paul by the wrong name (Dave) the whole race but am not sure (I will blame it on the two spills). It certainly was no mud fest like there was in VT yesterday. Course was very fast and I wish it had some more technical riding.

Look forward to seeing many of you this Wednesday!

Also need to give Kudos to Anna Savage who cranked along and did a great job despite having expended herself on a Mt. Monadnock hike yesterday (which by the way apparently took Todd out of contention but I will let him give his version of the story).

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jmp2478
Voiture Balai
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:11 am

Re: Sucker Brook

Post by jmp2478 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:14 pm

After racing the first two weekends in the 45+ 1/2/3/4 field I was looking forward to lining up with folks I could be competitive with, my old buds in the 3/4 Master's 35+.
And I made a plan. (1) After trying various lines through the sand in warmups I decided that the fastest way through would be to ride in, and dismount at the first turn. (2) Having seen a woman fall during warmups on the wooden bridge I modified my approach to make sure I was coming in square. (3) No matter how bad I was suffering I was going to keep looking forward to try and make up spots, rather than looking behind in an effort to defend.
So much for planning.
I started in the second row along side Chris Pare. The whistle sounds (seemingly without warning) and we're off. After things settle out past the Firehouse I find myself in about 6th place going WAY faster than I should as our little group is trying not to let the leaders out of sight. I stay with the group as we approach the sand. At this point I'm reminding myself of "the plan". I decide not to listen. I rode in, dismounted, just like I was supposed to, but decided that I could remount and ride out just like the guy ahead of me did. NOT. I completed the remount and my bike sunk about 8 inches into soft sand and I stopped short. 3 or 4 guys go riding merrily by. By the time I get going again and clipped in, I'm chasing from the back. Fast forward to the wooden bridge. Again, I'm reminding myself how slippery this is and the line I need to ride. Well somehow I screwed it up and am on the deck faster than a french prizefighter. 6,7,8 guys pass me while I get myself moving again, only to discover my bars are screwed up. I decide I need to straighten them up and pull over right after the barriers. At this point I watch as 2 of my crossresults nemeses go cruising by while I'm standing still. I figure at this point this is a good day gone bad. But it's still early. So I put my head down and rode angry. Caught the nemeses in two laps. Kept digging. Made up some more places, typically in the sand (while I was running, just like I had planned). During lap 5 I violated the 3 part of my plan and took a peak behind me. HOLY MOLEY, there's a bunch of guys right behind me! You mean I have to ride this hard for ANOTHER LAP and can't just phone it in from here? Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Last lap was especially rewarding as I passed a guy I had been drafting down the back straight in the sand as he decided to ride it and I didn't. Ended up with a very satisfying 12th.

I gotta say the Myerson camp really paid dividends today. My start was about as good as I am capable. And I kept hearing this little voice in my head saying "largo, largo" and "green is grip". Those tips really helped in the sections leading up to and from the backside stairs.

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atomkin
Autobus
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:56 am
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: Sucker Brook

Post by atomkin » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:49 pm

Lined up in the heat for the Cat 3 race with Matt. We were next to each other in the third row. I had a great start, hitting 30 mph in the opening stretch, and was sitting around 12th wheel as we approached the 180 bottleneck. I held on pretty well through the first two laps, and was starting to fade in the third lap, when I flatted just after passing the pit. I had my SS in the pit, but I had to run my bike roughly a mile back to it, knowing that I would be lapped by the time I got there. In the end I finished a lap down, DFL, but at least I finished. Next time Matt, the mustache will win.

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pace21
Maillot Jaune
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Location: Franklin, MA

Re: Sucker Brook

Post by pace21 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:28 pm

Had a great race today. Old habits die hard and I spent today battling my ultimate nemesis, Dan Baker. He's a great guy and a fierce competitor, but he makes way more watts than me, which was not good on a course like Sucker Brook. We've squared off probably half a dozen times and the layout of the course (power vs technical) usually determines the winner. This was my first time doing this race, and during my sighting laps in the morning I decided that watts would rule the day since the course is 90% power sections (yuck), 5% dismount/run (double yuck), and 5% technical (you can guess...). I knew Dan "I qualified for Kona" Baker wouldn't have a problem with the first two, so that leaves 5% for me.... We caught up before the race and I commented how I hadn't seen him at any road races this year since Myles Standish in early April, to which he replied "yeah, that was my last road race -- I've been focusing on 'cross ever since". Hmm. I think I have my plan -- draft/wheelsuck as much as humanly possible.

The plan worked for the first two laps, and Dan and I checked out with 3rd probably 30 seconds back after 2 laps. In preride I was able to ride the sandpit for 2 out of 3 laps so I figured my odds were good, but on the end of the second lap coming through the sandpit I bobbled, unclipped, and dismounted. A gap of 10 meters opened and unfortunately the sandpit is right before like half a mile of straight drag racing. 10 meters became 25 before I knew it and then it was over. I spent the remaining laps in a cycle of losing 15 or so seconds per lap on the power sections, and making up 5 seconds or so on the technical sections, mostly by riding the sandpit. In the end though I could only limit losses and he eventually had a minute lead, which I turned myself inside out on the last lap to bring down to 45 seconds (or so the sandpit tifosi said) but after that sandpit I rolled it in and the difference was back to a minute at the end. In retrospection, I probably should have played it conservative and dismounted cleanly halfway through the sandpit just to assure I could stick to my original wheelsuck plan, but other than that I had a solid race (besides 2 inconsequential low-sides) and I'm stoked with the result.

The cheering from the MRC faithful was so motivating.... In addition, people I didn't even know were cheering for me (by name!) -- Thanks random people, that was cool....

Solid races by other MRCers in my race also but they can tell their stories....

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SFC
Lanterne Rouge
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:51 am
Location: Mendon, MA

Re: Sucker Brook

Post by SFC » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:57 am

Race report from the back of the cat 4 pack. It was my second race of the year and compared to quad cross i did better. As usual i was lined up at the back but i had a good start and managed to pass a few riders before the grass section. Lots of crazy stuff happening at the first twisty bit with folks laying on the ground screaming, i was lucky enough to avoid it. I settled in to a group until the third lap when i got a flat, I had to run to the pit and get a wheel change. I thought for sure I was dead last as 8 went by, i finished to race alone and got 60th out of 72. I was nice to see so many from the club looking forward to Gloucester. Tim.

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