The SG ride waits for no man... Except Jacinto, on his last ride with us...
The rain held off for the 20-25 riders who came out for the ride tonight. Everyone was keen on sending off Jacinto and Guido in style. Jacinto moves back to Portugal on Friday. Surely it can be said that he made the most of the weekly SG Ride, not least of all because he was a true regular, but rather because he added to the ride, and didn't just sit in.
We'll all be fortunate if just one rider can pick up the slack.
Right from the get go, Guido was quick to get to the front. Initially he had along Jeff Weaver and Pescatore for help and for a moment early on, the trio was making headway on the backroads. Soon after a couple of guys (The Full Nalini, Dillon P, Hacker, Mike McG, Hunter P, etc) started chasing in earnest and it was all back together. Getting onto Mount Sanford, Hacker took to the front along with Nuemotion and those 2 got a gap within a few seconds. Young Suto, and Hunter P were was quick to get involved and soon a select group was chasing down the leaders as everyone barreled toward Mountain Rd.
There was no real gaps heading onto Mountain but the pack was stretched out due to the smaller field and the fast pace set by the chase. Hunter P hit the gas on the first set of risers on Mountain and split off a gap that Young Suto, Hacker and Mike McG were able to add to. Nuemotion came up a few seconds later and then Ben Bruce made it up as well. That lead group kept the pace high for the next 750 meters and onto the next set of the ramps.
Behind, the job of chasing fell on Guido. As he poured out the power, no one was able (or willing) to chip in, and the helter-skelter chase wasn't going to bring back the break very easily. Up front, the lead group actually got the light on route 68/70, which all but sealed the deal. The lead group (Hacker, Nuemotion, Hunter P, Ben Bruce, Mike McG, Young Suto) got one bigger as The Full Nalini was able to squeeze thru the light and latch onto the break.
With the light in the break's favor, all that was needed was teamwork and a sharing of the pace-making, which is indeed what took place. With a smaller group behind and even fewer to match the Kaiser's pace, the break would not normally be caught.... However......
As the peleton made its way thru the chicane, Jacinto broke a spoke. A lengthy repair job kept a group of about 7 or 8 stopped for a long time. An equal sized group kept going. One of the riders waiting was The Sernyak, who soon after getting going again, got hit with a flat, adding even more time to the wait. Once that was taken care of the group decided to shortcut and ride against the route to meet up with the rest in a reasonable time frame. Although it was encouraged that the group should NOT get involved with the break, if it was still going when it was met.
Way up the road, the break wasn't without its own incidents. First a driver pulled out in front on Marion and rode along at 20-25 mph, just off the front of the break, even hitting the brakes at a couple of spots to make sure to stay close and in the way. Despite yelling and arm-waving the driver was not going anywhere. Hunter P rolled up alongside, banging the rear panel, which only served to piss off the occupants more and led to a shouting match.... Tho the passenger in the car was dead-on in his assumption... Hunter P can be pretty “douche-y”. Incident #2 for the break happened with 250 meters to go for the midpoint sprint. The group had been trading pulls well, but on Marion, Hacker attacked, with Nuemotion and Young Suto responding. It was enough to un-hitch The Full Nalini and Ben Bruce. After the hill and the corner, the leaders hit the head wind and slowed to regroup. Nuemotion jumped hard from a good distance out and as Young Suto was going to match the attack, his chain dropped. Mike McG, Hacker, and Hunter P were all close enough to notice and no one advanced past without first making sure the chain was back on. Nuemotion got to the sprint point first without a chase from behind. Those five would re-group and keep going with the break.
A short time later on Atwater St, the Jacinto/Guido group had actually ran into the 2nd group on the road, who also decided to make shortcut. So it was back together for the peleton for a short moment and then the break came steam-rolling by. So before the ride went back over 322, it was pretty much all together again. Guido, full of piss and vinegar at this point, wasted no time in turning the screws on the rest, getting gaps on Peck and then on Route 10 along with Hacker.
For the Stop n Sprint, Hacker got it clean over a 2 or 3 others. The ride back into Hamden was uneventful. In the smaller group, Guido charged clear for the finale with only Jeff Weaver to answer in the final 300 meters. The 2 went down to the wire with Weaver staying on the gas just a little while longer.After that 5 pizza's were eaten quickly (Thank you Dana R and Julio L) and no Haribo gummy bears made it out alive...
Good ride everyone. Again, best wishes and safe travels to Jacinto Pereira. If there is a crazy, unruly, fast group ride sprint to win in Portugal, he will surely get it.