5:59 & 1\2 start time doesn’t go over too well with some…
A respectable group of perhaps 40 riders out tonight. The ride got started at the agreed upon 6 pm. Rondo shot out of the parking lot with a couple of guys in tow, and the rest slowly followed…. Slight problem though… The Stage 1 guys and Mike McG were in the bathroom, answering nature’s call.
The Cheshire Cycling Crew does not condone such an act of carpet-bagging…. We were rolling up just as Ron and the others were rolling out and we didn’t know.
Anyway, once on route 10, Rondo, armed with a stiff tailwind and deep dish carbon hoops, was out to capitalize on the pants-down situation… He hit it hard with Greg Ciocc (?) from Keltic and another rider in tow.
The field behind also cranked it up really quickly, led by Craig Luekens and Eric M, and by the turn off route 10, everyone was together.
The fast pace didn’t let up there… And the Medics ( less Mike ), Eric M and Ron were drilling it. Also up there were the Yalies again, Dave McC, Adam on a Red C-Dale and another youngster on an older Trek. Single file it lit up thru the back roads… Meanwhile, as if the Stage One crew didn’t have enough chasing to do over the past weekend, were still behind, but were working well together to close down the premature gap. Coming up to Moutain Rd, Guido, back from being utilized in North Dakota to stop the Red River, pedalled off the front with another rider ( Peter P? ) but traffic issues turning onto Mountain killed that. The high speed continued down Mountain road… And thanks to the tail wind, it was perhaps a record-time run from the start of the ride to the light on route 68. Ridley Ben, Daddy Luekens, Adam, Peter P, Tri Guy with Knee-Highs, BlingBling Maison from CCR, and Gregg F from CCR all pitching in. The field had spit off a few riders by the time the light came. The field waited for a few seconds then rolled thru the green. The Stage 1 group was just rolling up as the light turned red and had to wait. A few guys ( and a girl ) protested the forward advance of the Peleton… But such as is what makes the ride so special, they were waiting for no one…
Onto Moss Farms were the craziness didn’t stop… Luekens and Yalie-Adam attacked early and sent the rest of the ride reeling, Ciocc from Keltic gave chase, Hunter P closed a couple of gaps, Eric M was setting a good pace…. Ken just Ken also was trying to leash the front…. Luekens and Adam succeeded in getting a gap by sheer muscle over the small risers on Moss Farms. As the ride went into the Chicane the damage was evident. The 2 leaders, being chased closely by a lone Guido…. Then Eric M, Hunter P and Ridley Ben, and then a small chase group of maybe 12 or so… Meanwhile, further behind, the Stage One group had gone back to good ol fashion hard teamwork, and was gaining on the front. Mike McG doing the lion's share, but had Crazy Chris, Chris C, Tall John, Little T, Todd H all pitching in as well.
On the hill past the chicane, the 2 leaders were within striking distance, but Guido got taken back by the hill. Hunter P jumped hard on the hill and bridged the gap just as Craig and Adam were ramping the speed back up on Marion. Despite efforts from Peter P, Chris B from CCR, Eric M and others, the gap went up to the 3 pretty solidly. Once Hunter P got settled in, the 3 went to work and rode strongly together, stretching the gap the whole way up to the sprint on Reinhard. Craig let Hunter sprint off with no contest for 1st up the hill. As the 3 were cruising down to Peck, the gap was finally coming down, as Guido, Chris B, Tri Guy, Ken Just Ken and Peter P were working hard to bring it back.
Some traffic for the turn onto Peck Ln slowed the 3 leaders and by the end of the long hill over the crap roads on Peck, it was all back together. Everyone rode nice up to route 10, were Peter Kenny and Gregg F took the ride thru the corner and up the hill past Cheshire Park. Into the headwind now, things slowed down, but guys like Rondo, Peter P and Eric M kept it moving along decently. Not fast enough to hold off the Stage One group though, and moving up to the StopNShop Sprint, they made the connection and Chris C, Mike McG and Little T were riding straight up and thru the head of the ride toward the sprint. Little T had no problem snatching that prize.
The group left for dead at the start would now make sure to be heard amongst the others and the ride thru Cheshire was a dramatic affair. Once past the lights, everyone turned their attention to the common enemy, Mister Pimp-Headwind. Mike McG, Chris C, Tall John… all of em…. were up there, just keeping the tempo that it took to catch back on. Luekens, Adam, hunter P, and Peter P were there as well, drilling into the wind. Heading into the finale, there was some hesitation, some splintering, some sitting-up. A small group with Adam, Guido, Little T and a couple of others broke clear, and it was Guido sticking it out to the very end.....
If this was a sign of things to come for the summer it should be interesting… Yalies running amuck, Little T (somewhat) kept at bay, Scott CR1’s instead of Cannondale’s everywhere, cops running guys off the roads, Rondo getting angrier and even more unapproachable…… Its gonna be wild