Where is everybody!?
It was a night for the hard-cores today. The usual Stop n Shop loiterers plus a couple of New Haveners, a handful of Cheshire guys, a couple of others (great to see Henk from CVC out there tonight) and you have a group of about 20-25 ready to head out into the cold and dark....
Right from the gun, French Casey looked ready to continue his tradition of tempo ratcheting. He was pushing the pace even before the ride left route 10. Soon into the backroads, Chris C jumped hard, drawing out Hunter P. That soon became just Hunter P as Chris dropped back. It was grouppo compacto soon after. Chris C would strike out a little while longer, taking along Special Ed, but that too was brought back, mostly due to Joe K riding strong tempo up front.
Onto Mountain Rd, where there was a brief separation to a group 5 or 6 ( Chris C, Mike McG, Joe K, Jacinto, new guy Rob and one more???). That group got a gap of maybe 40 meters but it was never an out of control situation for the Peleton. Onto Moss Farms where Hunter P jumped hard straight from the start, taking along Special Ed. Those 2 got up a quick and substantial gap before anyone tried to do anything about it. Christian D jumped off the front of the Peleton, taking one rider but they were only able to halve the gap as everyone came up to the Chicane. By the uphill to Marion, it was just Hunter P up front as Special Ed had rejoined the charging pack. Soon after the corner for Marion, it was all together once again.
Going into the industrial park, French Casey rolled off the front once again, but everyone was content to ride a solid pace and slowly bring him back, which indeed happened by the corner of West Johnson. On the risers there, no one really attacked. Instead the pace continued to be pretty solid. Even so, maybe 6 or 7 guys had lost contact with the group at that point as the pace overall was good and there weren't too many bodies to hide behind.
Heading past the 4-way intersection with Peck ln, Hunter P rolled off the front and was allowed to get a gap. He got 50 meters or so but was on his way backwards by the corner. At the top of the climbing, before the brief plunge, it was all together again, although the front 5 or riders were commanding the pace and setting up a decent run into the sprint. Chris C, French "climbing" Casey, Jacinto, Mike McG, Joe K, New Guy Rob, and Little T. Chris C would start off the sprinting proper, but was quickly passed by Jacinto and Joe K. Those 2 would stay close for the long drag race but Jacinto was able to cruise away in the final meters.
On the backside it was bit fractured which led to French Casey, New Guy Rob, and Hunter P a chance to ride off heading onto Peck Ln. That trio worked hard to get a gap and they stuck it out till the top of the false flat there. Behind, Chris C led the group up the hill, and then sped off the front, taking along Mike McG. That eventually led to a group of 5 off the front for the remainder of the way to route 10. The corner was slow, allowing the field to catch back on for the trip back into Hamden.
The speed heading into Cheshire was good, 3 or 4 guys doing a bunch of work to keep the speed high, Mike McG, Calfee rider, and Chris C primarily. For the sprint, Hunter P followed Mike McG wheel out of the bunch and was able to cruise up the hill in front a still recuperating-from-surgery Little T.
Heading back into Hamden was the usual game. For the finale, French Casey took aim in the final meters but had Joe K on his six. In a battle of aero-frames, Joe's nice new Scott Foil (2013 models available for a song at Cheshire Cycle!) won this round, as Joe was able to slide around in the final moments.
Great ride everyone! Everyone else is missing out on some great midweek World Championship action!