(the triumphant return of Todd Hamel)
A large crowd tonight for the Throwdown. Over 60 riders. Good to see some faces that have been missing these last couple of weeks. Good to see Mike McG back on the bike despite a broken collar bone. Todd H is back and inspiring fear whenever he rides by. Chris Jones, back from races in Cali, stopping in for a ride to shake off the jet lag. A full Keltic crew and a couple of extra Target Training riders. Throw em all together and we sure to have some General Hospital style drama.
It all started nice enough but as soon as the ride turned off RT 10 it got going like an open-bar wedding. Chris C, showing he can play by the rules, jumped first and fast. Eric M, probably looking to repeat the ride they had last week, jumped right on his wheel. Hunter P and two other riders went as well ( tall guy on a Cervelo, and unknown Orbea rider from last week ).
The quartet flew down the road and got a gap, but back in the field, Keltic was riding to bring them back along with the likes of Peter P, Jacob H, Little T and Todd H. A split soon happened and by Mount Sanford Rd, the peleton was in two. It was perhaps the fastest start in over a year ( or more ) for the ride
The leading four were working well together, but by Mountain road it was evident that it was all coming back together. The break was caught just as it passed the route 42 turnoff. Turning onto Mountain road, Todd H and Craig L from TargetTraining drove the field up the climb. For the next mile and a half, no one person can be singled out. The pace was super high and everyone was putting in effort.
Getting thru the light on West Main St, the group was about 20 or 25 strong, with no sight of the chasing Peleton at all. The usual suspects were all there. Good to see both Foley’s made it, as well as a down-but=not=out Mike McG,
On Moss Farms, Hacker went right to work solo style. He was quickly chased by Eric M and a Duke (?) rider. Joe K from Cheshire Cycle, along with Rondo, stayed on the arrow head of the field. Hacker was never too far off, and by the corner for Jarvis he was just a few bike lengths away. He did however get a friendly bus ride from a Van the slipped thru the intersection before the field did. The boost gave hacker what he needed to stay off the front until after the Chicane. Again, everybody was doing a good job keeping the pace high. The stronger guys seemed content to ride nice with everyone instead of starting the vicious cycle of attack\counter attack, so a breakaway was unlikely. Hacker was caught and by the turn onto Knotter, all was together. Steve Grey, fresh off a win in Plainville last weekend, tried to power off the front, but never got farther than 10 bikes.
There were no further attacks until Hunter P rode off the front going up the rise of west Johnson Ave. But this too was short lived and by Reinhard, all was together. Going up that climb, Chris C sprinted off the front, but as before, there was always a couple of guys to pick up and cover the gap. Credit Sunday’s Bethel winner; Little T with getting to the Schoolhouse corner sprint before everyone else.
Nothing to report, unless going fast is worth reporting, till the end of the slight climb up Peck Lane. This is where Little T gassed it and rode off the front, in front, of everyone. The field then passed some shortcut-ing guys who are usually right at the front the whole ride. Their missing the cut was indicative of the overall speed of tonight’s ride.
Moving onto RT 10, a traffic light let Jesse, Hunter and Todd thru while the others stopped. The trio went into TTT mode and was able to stay away till the Stop n Shop sprint. Spinergy Rev X sponsored athlete, Little T, came away with that again. Hacker and Steve G gave him chase.
The Field caught all the worst lights on the way back, and flying into the final meters, Keltic and Stage 1 were driving. Hacker waited patiently to show up at the front, and when he did, he popped off the front and was able to hold the gap for a 1\3 mile. Peter P put in a good effort to trump him in the end, but needed another football field worth of tarmac to do it.