The final ride of 09 leaves us all a little teary eyed.
There was little parking lot talk of this being the final edition of the TWC. But once the riding began in earnest, you could def sense that guys were looking to leave it all out there with the hopes of putting a mark on what has been a pretty darn good year for the Throwdown.
Right off route 10, Ridley Ben and Thomaas B were early instigators. Hunter P got involved along with Guido and that was enough to spring the day’s first group willing to role the dice against the impressive forces behind. Also in the break was Eric M, Dillon P and Chris Mahoney (?). That rolled along thru the Mount Sanford and then thru the cobbles , but some traffic turning onto North Brooksvale slowed the group and it came back together. Right after the catch Chris C moved to the front to make himself known as did Lityle T and Mike McG. Also moving up was Hacker and Chris Jones. Good to have CJones back out on the ride, especially with a nice little I'm-riding-a-Cross-bike handicap.
On to Mountain Road where Thomaas B and Hunter P got things going up the first riser. There was another momentary gap but it came back together behind Chris Jones, Mike McG and Little T. From there the pace was good as the heavy hitters stayed near the front and kept the pace making brisk.
Onto Moss Farms where pace was decent again, Peter P, Guido, and other beefcakes keeping it real. Hunter P and Guido led everyone into the Chicane, with Guido dropping back a bit to collect himself for the attack. There was no activity behind Hunter P till Guido came surging off the front again. No one immediately responded, but a couple seconds later Hunter P jumped off the very front to slowly catch Guido a little past the corner. Guido’s surge plus Hunter’s broke the front up a bit, and a few riders took advantage to drill it after the corner. Steve Grey and a Bethel Cycles teammate, Eric M, and another rider ( Peter P?) came up and with Guido and Hunter off the front, a break was formed. This rolled along for a kilo, with Guido and Hunter P doing the brunt of the work. Behind the usual guys were riding tempo, slowly bringing it back. By the industrial park, it was all together again, although Steve Grey remained at the front and pushed the pace up till the corner of West Johnson Ave.
Coming up to Reinhard, the speed was a little higher than usual, as no one was really attacking the front. ( cue Chris Butler? ) Jones and Hacker moved up to the front, doing what they do, and was putting the pressure on the sprinters behind to keep em close. And plenty of sprinters behind there were. You name em, they were were present and accounted for. Really…. At this point in the year, do we even need to name them??? Anyway up the first part of Reinhard, Steve Grey actually found a way to still be up there but he was as good as a pig on a spit up there spinning slowly and dying quickly. Hack Attach and Jones continued to stay at the front locked in “dare me to go” poses. Julio L may have been the first to jump proper, but Little T was right behind him. Also there to respond was Joe K, who ended up being the only one to fight Little T to the very very end. Little T hit the corner first tho by a meter or 2, continuing his nearly unbeaten season in the trivial throwdown sprints.
After the corner, 16-teams-a-year-Jones and Hacker continued the strong riding, fyling down the road toward Peck lane as the working class sorted themselves out behind. They hit Peck Lane with a thin 4 second gap over Joe K and then another 3 seconds to the peleton. Joe K would try to catch them on Peck, but he would get brought back by the field. The 2 up the road however, kept the gap steady up to Sandback Rd. Behind them, Guido came up to the front and pulled everyone with a vengeance from the old train tracks to Route 10, a good kilo+. That cut deeply into the gap. A red light right immediately at the base of the hill on Route 10 slowed the chase and delayed the catch another couple of minutes. In that time, Julio L was also needed to come to the front and take a long drag on the front. With it still fast, and still strung out like a junkie after Yom Kippur, it was kinda anyone’s guess for the Stop N Shop Sprint. Kinda because not too many doubted that Little T was gonna bend chainrings to lock up his sprinter‘s Tee shirt prize. Still…. He had some work cut out for him, not being in the front 12 bikes or so with 300 meters to go. Mike McG, everyone’s teammate except for Chris C, came by Little T and dragged him up to and past the fornt, leaving Little T only a bit of homework to do to get past Hacker and a couple of other guys who were in a decent spot.
Rolling thru a tired rush hour Cheshire, for the last time this year was bitter sweet. You almost had to smile with affection as a truck pulled out and nearly took out the front of the ride. Thomaas B tried to ride off the front. No dice. The usual guys were doing the work down into Hamden, plus Jones and a cute chick in a ACT jersey (name?). In the end, Julio L, Chappy, and others ( where was Guido!? ) had a chance, but Little T sealed this year up for everyone.
Who knows what a week will bring… Maybe the sun will pause in the sky for us for one more week of immature fun on 2 wheels. We doubt it tho.
All n all, it was a great year. Please be sure to check out the new “best of” survey on the sidebar and leave your vote. Come over to the shop and buy a SG tee, we’ll have a dart board with a picture of Rondo on it.