The return of the Fantano's!
Great to see Rondo and Robyn out on the ride tonight. Not great that Rondo broke his rear mech on the way over and didnt really get the most out of the ride.... Cause oh-boy was it a doozy. Big group out tonight. Some decent team representation as well. Central Wheel, Devil's Gear, Amity and of course Stage 1 and Cheshire Cycle all seemed to be riding with their respective solidarity. All that, plus the strong tailwind starting out made for an interesting and enjoyable ride.
The tailwind musta given some folks an idea or 2 too many and there was a group that shot off right on route 10. Despite the fact that it's been repeatedly called a faux paux, Tall John, Mountain Man, Hacker, Danbury Audi and a couple more took off. Where's Chris C when you need him? Tonight he took the night off, probably in anticipation for the rock n roll race that is known as Sterling on Saturday. Anyway, a couple of guys jumped the gap, Dillon P, Nuemotion and even Chris B made the early jump perhaps sensing the trouble. Traffic on the corner off route 10 brought everyone back together again or else it would have been an interesting early chase thru the backroads.
With the tailwind, no one was going to get away early on. The speed stayed high thank to a few guys up front. Thomaas B, a Tall Dude from Amity ( name? ), The Full Nalini, Paul Casey ( who needs no nickname ) and a couple of others. Thomaas B and Tim the Hipster rode away a small gap as the ride came up to Mountain Rd but some strong riding from Todd H, Joe K, Little T and others brought that back. The chase + the risers on Mountain Rd was enough to get everyone to slow it down a bit and that's when Guido took off. He no doubt was looking to tear off a good group but the fast first miles put protagonists like Hacker, Tall John, Mike McG, Jacinto, Hunter P, etc buried back within the field and not in a position to jump. Guido charged along alone all the same and stayed out there for a couple of kilo's. Paul Casey looked to be ready to counter once the catch was made but it stayed all together to the light, which went green for the whole field.
Bikeshop Bob led everyone thru the squeeze that happened at the light right after the corner, and the subsequent bottleneck let a group get up the road. Hacker jumped, taking along the Full Nalini, Nuemotion, a new guy on a nice Specilized, Jacinto, Hunter P, Ciocci and a couple of others. That put a good group up the road but it took a little while for everyone to get together, and even then, some guys immediately checked out. Back in the pack, the tall guy from Amity did good work getting the gap closed for the rest of the peleton. It was all sewed up when a car at the intersection before the chicane took away the momentum of the leaders.
Once past the chicane, Little T jumped, taking Todd H with him. They got off the front with Guido, Hacker, Mountain Man, Rory D, and Danbury Audi. Hunter P and Mike McG let the gap go and then jumped across once onto Marion. That put another group up the road but it was never much of a threat as the field responded to the horsepower up the road. The field once again got the light but it only served to slow things down on the other side. Joe K tried to ride off a gap and was mashing his way slightly off the front for the first couple of kilo's. Then Mike McG drove a nice pace up to the false flat section ( which we have gotten word will be completely re-paved after the plumbing work... We may need to divert if it means a gravel road in a week or 2 ). Midway thru the false flat, QuadZilla jumped off the front with a strong move. Again, the response was slow, probably due to the confidence the tailwind was giving everyone. He stayed out for a little but was rounded up soon after the firing range.
The chase was enough to give Guido a chance to get in a dig up at the front, which in turn let Hacker slowly get a gap heading into the corner. Along with him was Gregg F. Those 2 rounded the corner onto Welch with maybe 40 meters. They traded pulls down Welch as the field was shuffling around behind them. Gregg F dropped off coming up to the hill, leaving Hacker with quite a ways to go for the sprint. Certainly not impossible though given his track record of late. The headwind was strong though. Behind, the Cheshire guys got fortunate and took control of the chase as Chris B was slowly pulled the gap back along with Joe K while Hunter P followed anyone coming up from the field. The Full Nalini put in a good effort to pull everyone back but it soon became just Chris B and Jacinto riding up to Hacker as Joe K throttled down, letting Chris B gap Mike McG in the process. Chris put in a pull like only he can and got up to Hacker and by sheer attrition was the first to the sprint line.
Those 3 had a gap that looked like it would be tough to bring back but red light going over 84 brought it all together. After the double corner, past the descent, Guido took to the front again and set a good tempo aling with Tall John and Mountain Man. Hacker briefly looked like was going to go but it stayed all together to the light on 322. Tall John kept up the off-the-front-stuff once onto Peck Ln and his efforts were thwarted by traffic as well. Heading up Peck Lane it was Guido, Thomaas B and Bikeshop Bob as volunteers to work into the wind were scarce. It didnt stop Paul Casey from putting the hammer down once more as the ride got back up to route 10 but it was all together heading up the hill by Cheshire Park. The field went into orange alert when Hacker pushed his way off the front once past the hill but a red light would soon reset everything for the run in to Stop n Shop. Once the light went grren it was full speed up front, thanks to Jacinto and Mike McG. They were towing Little T, Hunter P, The Full Nalini and Hacker. Little T jumped into the wind first, with only Hunter P there to fight him. With the headwind it went all the way down to the line and it was very close... Hunter P was benefiting from momentum but Little T wouldn’t fade. So we're calling it a tie.
After the sprint Guido was there and tried to round up the sprinters for a mad dash off the front but had no takers. He kept going solo for a while but was caught as Mike McG, Jacinto, Thomaas B brought up the field. Once again for the finale, there were guys sitting up and slowing down too much. That led to some bunching up and it wasn't really a clean n fast run-in. Guido picked up the pieces and made run in thru the inside just as Mike McG was steam-rolling thru on the right. Guido got the jump as Mike pulled the chute, leaving 4 or 5 guys to pick up the pieces. Dillon P burned last matches, leaving it to Hacker and Little T. Guido's big gap was erased by the wind and the endless meters before the light. Little T would come up and over him and then Hacker would come up and over T at the last moment.... So it all depends on when you call it. Up the hill went the usuals and Chris B dispatched Mountain Man and Hunter P on the real man's finish.
Great ride everyone!