The Short Loop strikes back!
Hey, it's the short loop again...
There was a good group out tonight for the ride. Notably missing was Eric M, Rondo, JoshyG and Little T as well, who is recovering from hernia surgery. We all wish him a speedy recovery. Feel better T, the ride is not the same without you macho'ing it up in the sprints.
Things started out pretty quickly when Chris C moved up to the front and took an early flyer, inviting any who wished to try for the long break. Team Gaul and Dillon P obliged and there was a quick trio up the road with Thomaas B chasing. The break would get caught pretty soon with Hunter P bringing the pack up. It was all together thru the cobbles as Mahoney, Team Gaul and Dennis from GHCC set a good tempo. Some traffic in the subsequent corners brought the good pace to a halt. It going a bit again
as Hacker brought the group up to Mountain Road. Mahoney and a Team Thule rider got it going on Mountain Rd. After the risers, there was some fragmenting going on at the front. CVC ( Peter P and BenGe ) moved up and got the front proper again with CCR ( Chris B and Hutner P ) coming thru after that. The rest of the way down Mountain was normal with a group of 12 of so rotating thru nicely.
Once on Moss Farms, CCR dropped the hammer with Gregg F, Joe “the beast” K and Chris B moved off the front quickly. Along for the ride was Jacinto. A chase group formed up with Peter P, LaFlamme, and the rider from San Fran. Hacker jumped from way back to bridge the gap, taking Hunter P and Team Gaul along with him. Hunter P doing his best Shleck impersonation dropped his chain but was able to get it back on and jumped back up to Hacker's wheel, who was by this point, overhauling the 4 leaders. More guys would follow and soon it was all back together. Team Gaul and Stage 1 led everyone up onto Marion and everyone got ready to dive into the industrial park. LaFlamme, Team Gaul, MaHoney, Joe K and a couple of others led it thru the park and everyone was down right giddy when the ride turned onto the new pavement of West Johnson ave.
It was back to the good ol days for the run-in to the sprint, with everyone trying to walk the line betweeen conservative and aggressive for the climb up to to Rienhard. Peter P and Thomaas B were leaning more toward aggressive, and moved off the front slightly with Hacker and Hunter P were right behind. Chris B pedaled thru them all and quickly got a respectable gap with 150 meters to go before the turn. Hacker took off and joined up with Chris and a late jumping BenGe also made the jump, but was quick to get disconnected once on Reinhard. Chris B and Hacker had a solid 70 meter gap at the base of the sprint hill. Thomaas B and Team Gaul were heading up the pack as the climb started. Hunter P jumped from a couple of wheels back and got a gap. Jacinto also jumped up and came by Hunter P. The 2 were close the whole way up. Meanwhile, Hacker was leading out Chris B in a half-speed sprint and with impeccable timing, moved off the front. Hunter P was able to come around Jacinto and settled between Butler and Hacker, but this one goes to Hacker.
On the backside Hacker kept his gap up for a little while but would be caught soon on Peck lane as Chris C, Joe K and others came up quickly to resume full speed ahead. A car got in between the front group on Peck and the rest of the peloton. Everyone was fortunate the driver seemed cool about it. It slowed the front group down and by the old train tracks, it was all together again. It took some balls to voluntarily hit the front of the ride once back onto Route 10, as there was a pretty stiff headwind. Peter P, Thomaas B, LaFlamme, Team Gaul and a couple of others were up to the task. Heading into the Stop n Shop sprint, a healthy group of guys rode off the front ( Chris C, Dillon P, BenGe, Seven Rider, Peter K, a couple of Bethel riders, Bill Thompson, Team Gaul, Mahoney, Hacker and LaFlamme ) . Mike McG jumped from the front of the second group, taking along Hunter P. Those 2 quickly rode thru the front group but Chris C was up the rode. Chris was the only one that took advantage of being in the front group, and started his sprint at the bast of the hill. Hunter P lost contact with Mike halfway to the sprint and then it was just the Irishman chasing the ??? ( Greek? Polish aborigine? ). Depending on who you talk to and where the imaginary line is drawn, Chris C may have stayed out in front long enough. It was very close. The judges ruled in Mike's favor though and the ride continued into the headwind, back into Hamden. The final section of the ride was pretty sedate. Chris Butler rolled off the front with a kilo to go, taking Dillon P and Peter P with him. Jacinto tried to gun them all down but was put out in front way too early. Mike McG overhauled the front with 350 meters to go, taking along Team Gaul and Hacker. No one was able to come around McGinley though.
A good ride.... Everyone made up for the lost miles with more intensity.