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

Podium shot e

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.

Day 2 attack 5

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.

Nobody is sight 2

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!

MRC’s Russ Campbell Notches Back-To-Back MTB Wins

After competing in his first mountain bike race somewhere around 1988 when he was 27, MRC’s Russ Campbell waited a little while before entering another MTB race: 25 years. He must have learned a thing or two along the way because he won two races in a row in July.

The inaugural Gnar Weasels Cometh, on a rocky, muggy and buggy Saturday racecourse in Foxboro, was the scene of Campbell’s first win. Competing in the 50+ Novice field with four others, his margin of victory was pretty decisive: the gap to 2nd place was 11 minutes! (read his race report for Gnar Weasels)

130802_rac_riding

Left: Russ in his first MTB race ever c.1988 Right: Competing in his second one 25 years later.

Two weeks later, again competing in a newly offered MTB race, the Barn Burner at Adams Farm in Walpole, MA, Russ lined up against 13 other 50+ Cat 3 racers. After two circuits of the 5 mile loop that featured a lot of turny single-track and some challenging rock gardens, Campbell came out on top once again. (read his race report for the Barn Burner)

130802_racpodiums

Campbell atop the podium at Gnar Weasels Shredeth (left) and Barn Burner (right).

Battenkill Podiums For Two MRC Members!

Doug Kennedy Men's 40+/4's finish line Battenkill 2013

Doug Kennedy finishes first in the Men’s 40+/4’s 2013 Tour of Battenkill

A solid contingent of Minuteman Road Club racers was able to produce not just one but TWO podium finishes in the 2013 Tour of Battenkill on a chilly April 13 in Cambridge, NY.

The Mens 40+ Cat 4 field started off with an early crash, which Doug Kennedy deftly avoided (no doubt calling upon his CX skill set) then settled into a frustratingly sleepy pace for the next 40 or so miles. Nevertheless, the continual grind of climb after climb did manage to have riders being shed from the main field along the way.

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