Windy day at S.G. brings out the best in everyone....
A big ol North wind greeted everyone for the ride tonight. Somehow it made things a little more interesting then usual. It wasn't the largest crowd, not more than 35 riders. Right from the get-go, a small group pushed off the front. Koski, Bob German, Weaver (?), Suto, Chris C and a couple of others. Guido then jumped up to the group and that started the chasing behind. Meanwhile the ride is less then a mile from Route 10 and blasting into the headwind, so there was plently of guys seeking refuge wherever possible. Eric M made the jump and that really whipped everyone into shape. Alas, a corner with some traffic slowed the front group and brought it all together for the ride to Mountain road. A new guy in a Verizon vest would hit the front a couple of times and pick up the pace. There was also a new guy in all black ( Cervelo? ), a new guy in a CVC kit and the great Peter Petrillo as well. So between the new faces and the wind, the ride wasn't routine.
The Mountain rd section was a steady pace with a good group of guys pushing the pace. Eric M looked antsy a couple of times and surged off the front. Ratta, Tim, was also up there turning the screws. Chris C rode into a gap with Thomaas B and a couple of others toward the end of Mountain road but the light was red.
The pace slowed down on Moss Farms as the front of the pack grew weary of the wind. Same thing for the chicane and the rizer up to Marion. Guido once again pushed the pace there and towed along a group of 5 or 6. Chris C, Jacinto, the Frenzilli Monster, Hunter P, and the Verizon dude all were up there but no one followed thru after the corner it all got rounded up for the ride into the industrial park. Chris C was active up front all the way down Knotter and rolled off the front with a couple of New Haven guys and the Verizon dude. After a little game of "Who's on first" at the front of the peleton, Dillon P and Peter K took matters into their own hands. They charged off the front, chasing down the group in time for the corner of West Johnson, doing a good job of setting up teammates, Rattatatat and Hunter P for the sprint. The Verizon dude kept up the attack after the corner and was waitin for no one! Hunter P rode up and thru the group but got stuck in the middle of the growing gap to the lone leader and the field behind, now led by Guido at a respectable pace. Verizon dude started to slow and was sliding back to the group with about 100 meters to the corner of Rienhard. Rattatatat and MaHoney were now leading everyone up and thru the corner and into the base of the climb. Ratta started the sprint but was no doubt gassed from setting the strong tempo. Eric M, Little T and Peter P were the ones to jump, and it quickly turned into a 2 horse race with Peter P getting gapped with 100 meters to go. Little T had the position battle and was able to come over Eric M, but needed pretty much the whole drag to do it. On the backside, Guido kept the pace up and rounded up everyone before the turn onto Peck Lane.
The tailwind was Peck was epic and it was easy for the group to charge up the false flat there at almost 30 mph. Verizon dude wasn't satisfied with that crap and attacked. Chris C, Jacinto, Eric M, Hunter P and a couple of others were up to the challenge and went with him. The tailwind made sure no one was cracking tho and it was back to all together as everyone went over the old train tracks. The tailwind kept up the pace once back onto Route 10 and it all stayed together for the run-in to the Stop n Shop sprint. There was a couple of guys up there driving the train for the sprint, Koski, Weaver, CxC (?) and a couple of others. Ratta jumped from about 3rd wheel and took along Eric M. It was another good sprint, with Tim able to stay out in front of Eric just barely.
Everyone was keyed up on the tailwind heading in thru Cheshire and it was full on ( cars or no cars!) the whole way back to Hamden. A couple of guys had a go at the front with attacks. Dillon P and Ratta most notably with 750 meters to go. Eric M, Bob, Jacinto, Chris C and Guido covered it and went thru to the end, with Little T slugging it out with Eric for the final push. For the hill finish, there was only a couple of guys that went up Shepard. No one wants to finish with a true climb apparently.