Weekend race training proves valuable for the real prize….. The SGR
Everyone was slow in getting going as Mike McG and Little T led the ride into the back roads. Dillon P and Ciocci got things going though soon after, and Mike was obliged to follow suit. Also present at was Chris Mahoney, Eric M, Todd H and Jacinto. The ride crept along Mount Sanford and then onto South Brooksvale with no one really taking the initiative. Coming up to Mountain road, Julio L, Hacker, and Joshy G were seen making their way up to the front and it got strung out a bit from that. Hacker drilled it fr a bit once past the climbing part of Mountain Rd and that got things going as well. Halfway thru the Mountain the CCB duo moved up along with Chris B and Hunter P. That kept the pace high and guys like Joshy G, VQ Rob, and the Tall Timex Girl rotated thru and contributed. Coming up to the light there was a surge from CCB and Joshy G, no doubt to try to catch a green light, but everyone had to stop.
Things got going quick on Moss Farms when Hacker zipped up the right side and hit the front with CCB. The pace was crisp as no one was letting any real gaps form to the pacemakers. Hacker and Eric M led thru the chicane and some weird traffic slowed the group a bit. Hacker sat up a bit on the hill up to Marion and Eric also slid back. The trip up to the turnaround was a little slower than usual. On the run in to Route 322, Larry M and a CCBer snuck off the front, to which Mike McG and Hunter P responded quickly and bridged up. The four had a small gap that could’ve been dangerous if they made it thru the light alone. But everyone else, led by Guido and Chris B snuck thru the light with varying amounts of conviction. Hacker kept up the pace and Guido along with Hunter P joined up with him. That was short lived though as everyone else behind got their act together quickly. After that, a small group was allowed to ride off. ( Thomaas B, Chris B, Ciocci, Eric M, Larry M, Todd H and a couple of others ). It was slow getting going behind them but once it did, it went fast and it put the screws to more than a few riders. A couple got popped off the back ( and one was even thrown right off his platform pedals into the grass ) thanks to the slow-then-fast speed as it was single file to reconnect with the lead group, who was also booking it. Within a mile or so, it was all back together and normal up at the front. From there it was standard fare up till the false flat, where efforts from Larry M, Joshy G, Rondo, Hunter P, dropped a couple more. It led also led to a good sized group getting a gap a kilo down the road. CCB pinned it along with Zane’s and it was a scramble for the front of the peleton to catch up. Once they did Hunter P, trying to open things up for some of the CCR guys who don’t have “Little T finishing speed” attacked. It drew out the CCBer, Chris B and Little T. The gap was covered by Gregg F, Mahoney and VQ Rob but the front was anything but organized turning onto the corner of Welch Rd.
In the ensuing scramble, after Chris B made a strong pull and allowed a small group to ride into the corner with about a 20 meter gap. Steve Grey, Hacker, Matt Sack from CCR, Ciocci and maybe one other, with enough room to hold it to the sprint. Hacker was able to stay in front of Matt S, who surprised all with a hard fought “second”.
Heading down from there and going thru the subsequent lights, the strong trio of Eric M, Joshy G and Hacker snuck off the front and held a gap all the up to route 322, despite some decent chasing from Mike McG, CCB and Hunter P.
Once over 322, Chris B tried to sneak off the front, but wasn’t given much room. It was splintered and disorganized heading up to Peck ln and then slowed down to get back onto Route 10. Going thru the first couple of lights on Route 10, Eric M and Josh G sneaked off the front again and were making a bee line to the Stop n Sprint. Behind them, Mahoney, CCB and Larry M were setting tempo at the front. Behind them, the real trouble was brewing as Mike McG was setting up Little T with Vq Rob and Hunter P playing rock-paper-scissors for his wheel. Mike launched Little T in the usual spot and only Hunter followed, T was able to get by Eric M and Joshy, who now looked slow, and took this one with a small to middland amount of room to spare.
The run-in to Hamden was standard fare, with lots of arm chair quarterbacks surging up to get some last minute TV time. It led to a larger then usual group with a shot at the finale. Guido and VQ Rob pulled hard one last time to make sure there would be no faking it, and between the trio of Mike McG, Little T, and Larry M, it was a loose call with Little T taking the corner first.