A decent sized group was out tonight, despite the 5:30 start time. With only fun charity rides, long NH hikes, or tortuous cross races left on the calendar, everyone seemed up for a jab or two and right off Route 10 Guido was up there trying to get something started off the front. Bergie was having nothing of that and pegged that gap back quick for everyone. Then it was Eric M and Chris Mahoney trying to sneak off but again, the pace was quick thanks to Chris C and others and it was all together heading to Mountain Rd.
Hunter P and Greg Ciocci flew up the first slopes there got things rolling. Peter P was up there too along with Mike McG and Little T. For a second there was another gap on the 2nd set of risers but that was short lived as guys like Yalie Adam and Joe K were moving up. For the rest of the trip down Mountain, there were plenty of guys willing to work and the ride snapped like a carbon fiber whip. Yalie Adam was once again powering off near the end of Mountain, maybe to sneak off. He had Hunter P and Dillon P right there but with the red light, it all came back together again.
After the ride nearly suffered a collision with a car from behind on Moss Farms. It was French Casey leading the charge with John Gregory, Julio L, Chris C, Eric M, Rondo, etc. all close behind. Rolling into the chicane was pretty calm with no one really gunning it. Once at the top though Rondo, Chris C and Chappy Chris hit the gas and no one followed immediately. Once there was a gap it seemed like everyone would just rather wait and see how this one turned out instead of chasing the happy trio down. The gap went up to 7 or 8 seconds as Yalie Adam moved to the front and set a catch-em tempo. Then, as pigs were flying across the road nearly making bacon of themselves, Rondo turned it off and let the Chris’s roll off. Gianni Bugno was rolling in his grave* as the breakaway of 2 then disintegrated. It was pretty much all gruppo compacto heading into the industrial park. There, Guido (?) gave it a go and gapped the field briefly with Chris C still fighting it out off the front. Behind them, Peter P was leading the rest. Chris turned first onto West Johnson and gave it another stab but Peter P and Hunter P were right there and then it was Hunter P’s turn to go and he rolled off alone. The front of the field went into a brief tempo mode, giving Hunter a decent gap heading up to Rienhard. Guido was the first to jump and jump hard he did, going right past Hunter P hitting the corner first with a decent chance to get the sprint. Behind there was a real deal chase group riding away from the rest, Mike McG, Ken just Ken, Joe K, Greg Ciocci, Julio L, Peter P. Little T was close behind. That group swept up Hunter P and set the sights on the German. Just as the catch was being made, Little T jumped, taking most of the group with him but only Joe K had the fighting chance. T stuck it out and hit the corner first. Behind, Hunter P and Ciocci were rolling thru and collecting the near dead in order to keep up a gap off the front. A group of 5 or so got going fast down the back side, but traffic turning onto Peck Ln stopped everyone, bringing it all back together.
Coming up to Route 10, there was a brief move off the front by Peter P, Chris C, Chappy & Hunter P, but that didn’t last too long. From there the pace was decent up to the Stop N Shop sprint where a small group was quick to get into position off the front. LittleT, Julio L, Ciocci, and Peter P. Little T out-dueled Peter P for this one, making it two in row.
Moving thru Cheshire, TT Pete was seen dangling off the front, no doubt looking to pounce on any chance to get a gap to drive it home with. Guido was also up there getting ready to hit it in between lights. Once thru town, Julio L came up to the front and drilled it. Leading out all for a solid kilo before the likes of Mike McG and Eric M pulled thru.
For the final couple of clicks, the pace slowed for a second or 2, giving an unlikely Dillon P the honors of burying himself for Rondo, Little T, Hunter P and a couple of others. The race to the end was a 3 way battle till the Guido came rumbling thru in time to pass Little T and let him know how it was going to end. Little T sat up and rolled in right behind Guido, Hunter P and Bergie right there as well. Although for standing during the final, (cough - ahem - err) “sprint”, he gets a big fat DQ on this night.
Great ride everyone… Probably only one more week of these shenanigans left.
* Gianni Bugno is alive and well and probably, along with his fellow Romans, cursing the near overnight dominance of SRAM Road groups.
A running account of the "race without an entry fee"..... The Tuesday night ride