The 2 group nonsense continues as the ride gets all fast and new-look.
The B group headed out 5 minutes early and the group was larger this week probably cause of the threat of rain. It ended up being about 30-35 riders in each group. Again, most of the strong guys went second, including the return of Empire Matt, Guido, and Chris Jones. Couple those with the CCR crew, the Bubble boys, Target Training’s Ed Angeli, Time Trial Pete, and Todd H’s Coppertopped hair, and the A group was blazin. The B group had French Casey, Rondo, and Eric M…. Good to see Casey back in action.
Off of route 10, it was John Gregory and Dave Hartmann setting early tempo. Then Mike McG, also with a new “dew”, and CJones took over and set tempo heading onto Brooksvale ave. The pace heading up to Mountain road was solid.
Turning onto mountain and up the risers, Empire Matt, on a TT bike, had jumped up to the front along with Craig L. Jones and Mike McG joined them quickly and there was a brief split as the foursome hammered it up the hill a mile or two faster than normal. The front of the group behind wasn’t having any of that and quickly closed the gap… Peter P, Thomaas B and Little T sewing up the gaps.
The rest of the way down Mountain rd was quick, with a group of 8 or 9 heading up the efforts at the front. Tall John, Crazy Chris, Julio L, Todd H and Maison from CCR were up there with the others doing work.
Onto Moss Farms where again, in a scene that would be played out a bunch of times tonight, Empire Matt surged off the front and Jones tracked him down. Crazy Chris, Mike McG were also up there with Luekens. That kept the pace high as the field flew thru the chicane, led by Thomaas B. Up the hill past that, Empire Matt hit it. Hard. Really hard. Others were scrambling for a piece of the wheel. Jones, Little T, Mike McG. Hunter P, Peter P. All were flying in pursuit. Matt kept up the gap up thru the corner and beyond, with Peter P, Hunter P, Jones and Mike coming up to form some type of group, but it was pretty much all together. The A group came within 5 seconds of so of the B group, just as it turned into the industrial park.
Once thru the lights and onto Mount Vernon Rd, it was Mike McG and New Haven’s version of the “3 Amigos”; Luekens, Empire and Jones setting tempo. There were others up there too of course. Notably, Tall John, Ed A, Julio, Maison, Little T, etc. With the tailwind, the pace was crisp, not falling below 28 mph. A couple of times, it seemed there was a group getting off the front…… Whenever Empire Matt would look for aero-bar-breathing-room off the front or when there was a slight pitch in the road and a gap would open up. But all in all, it stayed together and the pace was fast. Peter P got hit with a flat and dropped out as the crazy pace over the rough spots took its toll.
Turning onto Welch Rd, there was a pause in the speed, then it looked briefly like Luekens was going to have a go off the front. Mike McG was up there too and so was Jones. Chris B was also moving up and looking for daylight off the front, but the pace was just too fast. Little T jumped from 4 bikes back at the base of the hill and rounded everyone well before the corner. Coming thru after was more Stage 1 guys, Crazy Chris and Julio L, along with Hunter P. Little T kept up the attack and was up the road as the trio, Crazy Chris, Julio, and Hunter P was closing the gap. Julio killed it and caught T and then kept on going past. Then Hunter P took a turn as things were shuffling around behind. Mike McG and the New Haven crew were all right there and then had a good go off the front. Luekens, Jones, Empire, McG, Crazy Chris, and 1 or 2 others might have seen the game winning break if it weren’t for a red light by the highway. Things got rolling along again lazy like, but by the decsent down West Street, Empire Matt was fully stretching the limits of his 56 tooth chainring, pulling the ride out single file down the hill. After that, things calmed down all the way back to Route 10 in Cheshire.
There were plenty of guys rotating thru on the way up to the Stop n Shop sprint. Little T jumped from a ways back, taking Hunter P and Maison along for the sprint. Julio L was also there looking to sneak away. Neither could come around and Alessio got it by a healthy margin.
For the ride back to Hamden, red lights kept it slow. Although noteworthy was Tall John getting thru a light on his own. That was all he needed to attempt the long ride back by himself into the wind. After clearing Cheshire, the field ramped it up again with Empire Matt getting a few last good pulls in. Jones, Luekens, Thomaas B, and Guido were up there as well with others.
For the finale, Little T looked to jump at the right moment with a bunch of guys kicking his heels, but a rider in Bethel Cycles jersey was able to come around him at the last moment. Seemed little matter though, as Tall John was able to hold off all with his ninja red light skills and rode in first, fair and square all alone.
Good fast ride… Can we get some details of what went down in the B group?