Garmin Sharp! What the wha?
It's not everyday a "pro" shows up to the SG ride. Before everyone starts poppin stiffys, let's keep in mind that was a 16 yr old Cat 3 (?!) on the Slipstream DEVO team. Still, it was pretty cool to have CT's Tom Dudzik out on the ride tonight. As one would expect, he was watched like a hawk, but still managed to mix it up off the front a bit and he ended up riding off the front late in the game.
But back to the start, there was a pretty good crowd out tonight to get revenge on the bad weather of last week. It started out quick enough, with a group early on trying to get a gap before the crap road section. There was some more aggression showed on the early sections of Mountain Rd with Little T, Guido, Sasha from CCB, Timmy Hip, Pescatore, and maybe a couple of others getting an early gap. Mike McG was mostly responsible for shoring up the 40 meter gap soon after. From there it was all together. Hunter P tried to sneak off before the light but it was red, so all together for the jump onto Moss Farms.
Another group started to ride off the front early on, Dillon P, Danbury Audi, The Full Nalini, Rusty, Thomaas B and a couple of others, it was short lived though as the pace ramped up behind with Tommy D, The CCB Toss-up, Hacker and others coming up quick. No one was really punching it when it counted, so it was all together going into the chicane and up to Marion. Once again, a small group would soon after split from the front as the ride got to the short loop turnaround. This time it was Gregg F and Dillon P covering the gap. Hunter P again tried to get something going off the front but with no takers, had to settle for rolling up to the red light alone.
The pace stayed decent on Mount Vernon. There was some surges, some interesting gaps, some weaknesses shown in the peleton... The pace was disrupted by further construction on the false flat, and Mike McG wisely brought the ride to a more neutral pace to get thru the dangerous section. After that it all together for the last miles into the headwind. Hacker tried to sneak off a little ways before the corner. Hunter P was along for the ride and despite the 2 trying to get a gap, there was no way that was going to be allowed by the front of the field. Guido, Mike McG, The Full Nalini, A couple of Central Wheel guys etc, were mostly responsible for the brief chase.
Hacker kept up the assualt as everyone turned onto Welch, and he had a couple of guys there to try to convince to work at the long ball. The gap was never that much though as the peleton slowly ramped up the speed and ticked off the final 350 meters to the corner pretty quickly. Hacker went thru the corner first with CCB Sasha and maybe one other guy, but by that point everyone else who had worked to keep up the gap was checking out. From the field LIttle T jumped hard at the base of the hill on Welch, and then Hunter P. Those 2 had some traffic to get around, and soon it was just Little T and Sasha chasing down the short gap remaining to Hacker. Hacker tried to jump on once they came by but couldnt really make the latch. Little T has little problem jumping up from there to get the sprint. Those 3 kept up the attack on the backside, and a group of 7 or 8 had come together after the sprint hill and were just joining them when a light coming up to the I84 interchange stopped the group, or else it would have been tough to chase them down. It's hard the get the traffic light dice right thru this section though. So everyone was allowed to jump back on, gruppo compacto and with the tail wind, most were able to sit in and catch their breath.
The ride back into Cheshire was more of the same. Tommy D, Mike McG, and one other (Rusty?) broke off a little gap near the top of the riser on Peck Ln, but it was short lived. Once the peleton got onto Route 10 and up the first hill, it started getting a little more interesting up front... Sad to say it was mostly due to lights, and not hard riding. It started with Rory D getting under a changing light alone right after the hill by Cheshire Park. He kept up the solid pace, looking to get up the road. Then, a small group of about 6 or 7, motivated by Hacker, Jacinto, Guido and backed up by Pescatore, Gary from Central wheel (otherwise known as the bad guy shape shifting cop from Terminator) and Mountain Man slipped under the next light as it was changing. The rest of the field stopped. Once it got going, there was some initial quick response to try to bring it back the 8 or so up the road, but it was not going to happen. Up in the very front, Rory D was fighting tooth and nail to get to the stop n sprint point but Hacker got to him halfway up the hill and took it from there. Not satisfied with that, he easily convinced the young Garmin gun to keep up the onslaught, along with Jacinto and Thomaas B. With a couple of lights in their favor, they were gone in moments, not to be seen again. Hacker and Garmin Tommy would shed the others en route to finishing the ride off the front.
Behind, the peleton was trying to sort out who would perhaps form a chase group and there was plenty of guys willing to drill it thru the center of Cheshire, but subsequent red lights brought the field together, that's the way it would stay for the rest of the ride. There was the usual jockeying for position in the final k, and a few guys went hard for the end like they normally do. But, the marbles were being takin by the guys up the road.
Good ride everyone.