A slower ride for once as the rain clouds part way for the throwdown.
The rain ended promptly at 3:45 and by 6 the roads were pretty much all dry. A thinned out crowd of perhaps 45 rolled out of the Sleeping Giant parking lot at 6:01 PM
Turning off RT10 saw little action going on up front. Tall John from Stage 1 snuck off the front with Dillon P in tow. Soon after a small group containing Guido, Todd H, Matt the new Empire Cycling rider, and a couple of others was gassing it to get up to the duo. By the end of Brooksvale the group had been established, and even tracked down an "early out of the gate" Rondo. Strong riding from Peter P, Joe K, Mason from Dartmouth and Julio from Stage 1 kept it close.
Turning onto Mountain Rd, Hacker deftly set himself up for a strong bridging effort. But once he did, the whole group seemingly sat up and was soon caught after the crest of the first riser on Mountain Rd. The pace down the rest of Mountain wasn't that exciting. many different guys had a share in driving the pace.
Onto Moss Farms where Chris Butler from CCR shook the dirt from his shoes and rode off the front. He got about 20 yards before a cast of characters woke up and started in after him. By the end of Moss, going down toward Jarvis, we had another small split in the field. Matt, Chris C, "Look" rider, Matt from Stage 1, and others were pushing the tempo. But it all came together for the "chicane".
Once again, Little T drove the pace up the hill toward Marion, but this week, even in this hotspot of asphalt, the pace was controlled and all was together with relative ease going towrads the industrial park and the hills of North Cheshire. The slowdown let Chris C ride off the front the entire length and past the corner of Knotter. But it came back together with some strong riding by Rondo, Peter P and Joe K (pushing a cross bike and 35 mm tires this week!). Guido again tried to jump off befroe the corner of West Johson, but he never got more than a few bikes up.
The pace picked up a bit on West Johnson, Peter P, Hunter P, and Matt from Empire all chipping in. Matt rode strong thru the intersection of Peck and West Johnson. This set up a strong pull by Hacker with Julio in tow. They powered off the front, turning onto Reinhard with seemingly no one around to mark it. They kept up the effort to the Schoolhouse sprint point ( Hacker ). Rondo and Stage 1(Tall John) gave chase down the hill.
Turning onto Peck, Mike McG and Chris C, among others, had a hand in keeping it going into the wind that never made up its mind. It was all over the place today. Turning back onto RT 10, everyone was together and the wind was mostly from the back. Nothing too exciting heading into the center of Cheshire. Everyone had plenty of chance to setup for the jump up to Stop n Shop. And it was Mike McG getting that one with a couple of guys kicking hard to stop him.
Blazing back into Hamden, the usual suspects were pitching in. Rondo, Mike, Matt, The Foley's, Stage 1 as a team, Mason, Peter P, and Andy G from Keltic, (filling in for the missing Eric M) were all present and active. Tall John laid it down pretty good in the final half kilo, letting Peter P power away to the finish, just holding off a yielding Rondo.