Forget the New England Road Race Championships... Long Live the Sleeping Giant Ride!
Mello mood at the parking lot for tonight’s ride. Maybe there was some residual fatigue from the Litchfield Hills century. Good to see Luekens and French (bulldog) Casey. Aaaaaaaand away we go. Guido made no attempt to hide his intention to start the ride out quickly once off route 10. He rolled off the front and Benje went up as well. The 2 didn't work together ( always work together kids ) though and behind the speed crept up till it was all back together. Divine Electric and Hacker were up there with Larry M and a couple of new faces. The speed stayed high till Mountain Rd where French Casey led things off followed by Chris C, Hacker and Ciocci. Some gaps were allowed to open up to teammates pushing off the off front. Credit Divine E with keeping things together till the second set of risers. Hunter P and Guido then hit the front and strung things out single file for a little bit. Gaps were starting to appear and Guido was at the front pushing it when a car coming onto Mountain rd slowed everyone down. When it got going again, Chris C could be heard proclaiming “I love you!”. Whether that was to Nuemotion for warning Guido about the car or for someone else, it will make a nice addition to the official Chris Crowle soundboard.
Onto Moss Farms where it was super fast right away thanks to Guido, Ciocci, Jacinto and a couple of others. Heading into the chicane though it was bunched up. Larry M and MoMoney drove the pace to the corner of Marion, taking along Guido and Tri Doug. Again, Divine E was there to bring up the rest. After the corner Hunter P pressed on, getting a gap that lasted till the turn for the industrial park. Everyone stayed together till the light despite a couple of guys going hard to perhaps get a gap.
The light on 322 was green so everyone sailed thru, putting the hurt on any stragglers who would normally play catch up. The speed to Mount Vernon stayed high and no one got off the front. Once on Mount Vernon a small group started to put the hurt on. Steve Grey, Chris C, Ciocci, Mike McG, Todd H and Joe K were nearly getting a gap but Eric M and Divine brought it back. Shortly after that Guido took advantage of the regrouping and sped off at the same time as Hacker. MoMoney dug in and bridged the gap as well, making it 3 up the road heading into to the false flat. Behind, the group was cautiously allowing the break room to roam. The trio dangled out in front for a while, 40 yards or so. Going by the firing range, it got going again and it all came back in time to set up for the turnaround.
Going down Welch, no one really took the horns, and instead, it just stayed reasonably fast with guys setting up for any potential run in to the sprint. At the hill Ciocci, Chris C and Steve Gray all seemed to jump at the same time. Mike McG, Eric M, Joe K and Hunter P were close behind. A car in the corner forced another bottle neck, but once thru, Ciocci, and Chris C hit the gas and the group of 5 gapped the rest quickly. Mike McG moved up to finish out the lead-out and Hunter P jumped first from a couple of wheels back and was able to stay in front of Eric M, who was the only other one to make a sprint.
Soon after that, Nuemotion and Chris B made it thru a red light in front of the rest. Those two would fight thru the descent down the rest of West St. They made a good go of it but would be caught a few hundred meters before 322.
Once thru the light, Hacker jumped off the line in a sprint, no doubt to work on his cyclocross starts for the upcoming season.
No one was game for the long ball thogh so he slowly got back into the group as the peleton chugged up Peck lane. Once onto Route 10 it was at first a blitz with a Devil's Gear rider, Danbury Audi, Todd H, Eric M, Chris C, Tall Dennis and Chappy! Drilling it up the hill. It settled down a bit but then quickly ramped up again for the sprint as lots of guys were moving up front to set tempo. Everyone wanted to lend a hand ( if you can't beat em, join em )... Danbury Audi, Tall John, Mike McG, Guido, Tri Doug, Chris B, Benje and a couple of others. Hacker slipped thru the right side at the same time as Eric M charged up the left but couldnt hold on the whole way to the top. Little T nearly came around Eric M as he sat-sprint.... sitted-sprinted...seated-sprint..... whatever. Impressive.
The trip back into Hamden was uneventful. There was a little squirreliness but everyone got along. For the end there was again a good sized crowd up front as Eric M rolled thru the very last ahead of Nuemotion and a couple of other guys who were right there. Chris B got a bit of a jump on the hill but was tracked down by Hunter P, who got to the top first. MoMoney also was there for 3rd, having not gotten enough of a workout in.