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)

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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)

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

19th Annual Sterling Classic Results Include an MRC Podium

The Sterling Classic Road Race returned for it’s 19th year on a day that early forecasts hinted at a return of the biblical weather of 2010 yet it turned out to be merely cloudy, a little damp and the perfect temperature for racing.

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MRC Members PJ McQuade, Chris Pare and Doug Kennedy lead the Mens Cat 3 field up Meetinghouse to start their first lap.

 

Nine fields of racers made their way around the hilly 8 mile course throughout the day with marshaling and pace car support from volunteers who were not only members of the Minuteman Road Club but other clubs, residents of the Town of Sterling and Boy Scout Troop 189. Also on hand was the team of SRAM Neutral Race Support vehicles and their drivers, ready to supply racers in need of a wheel or a bike.

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Cat 4’s Shake Up Wayne Elliot Circuit

wayne eliot cat 4 payout

Show me da paypah!

The Minuteman Road Club Men’s Cat 4 team, in a display of teamwork that lasted throughout the race, produced outstanding results at the Wayne Elliot Memorial Circuit Race in Merrimac, MA on May 14th, 2011. Early in the 5 lap, 32 mile race over characteristic New England roads (read that as : pot holes, frost heaves and cracks everywhere) Doug Kennedy and Len Engle softened up the field with early breakaways, supported by crafty blocking moves by Chris Pare.

On the final lap, a questionable solo break got away during a neutralization FOR AN AMBULANCE but Doug Kennedy sacrificed himself with a heroic bridging move that bought his team back into the fray. Not long after, Jeremy Cratty initiated a punishing leadout followed by Len Engle, Chris Pare and John Smith. Engle nearly goes down when a rider in front of him veered into this path. He managed to stay upright and finish 6th.

Pare has a heart-stopping moment as he nearly gets involved in Engle’s troubles and finished 4th. John Smith dodged all of this, sprinted for the line in the clear but was nipped at the last moment and got 2nd.

In the Men’s Cat 5’s, John Raguin showed why he’s moving up to the 4’s in his next race by eluding crashes that occurred around him, bridging huge gaps and accelerating to the the line in a pack sprint to finish 5th.

Read about the race in the competitors’ own words here in our forum.

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.

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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