05 April 2010

Bucknell Race Report

This weekend saw great weather and great racing. It kicked off with the Men’s D TTT. Contrary to popular belief it is nearly impossible to delay a race start while the course is being marshaled. As Nick and Tod headed out on there TTT they managed to miss the non existent marshals and venture off course. Eventually the moto official caught up to them and informed them that they were probably off course. Two other teams suffered the same fate but Tod and Nick still managed to beat them.
Next up was our Men’s A squad. Brian, Jake B. and Steve all kitted up. Brain was on carbon overload when he added his disc to his set up. Steve was also in carbon mode as he brought out his fancy wheels. Jake B. just relied on his natural ability and 1999 era Tour proven set up. They managed to come in a very respectable 7th scoring 42 points. Our Men’s C squad, Ethan, Tim, and Ben went out strong and came back taking the last 14 points.

As the morning wore on it was time for the road race. The course was fairly rolling, but the story of the day was the moto official and the wind. With the yellow line rule in effect on roads that not only lacked yellow lines, but the width of a standard 2 lane road the moto made sure to exercise his authority. Riders through out the day kept being sent to the back of the group. Brian remarked that the wind was like a spring classic and ripped fields apart, this proved to be true, but not the only thing ripping fields apart. The first race to finish was the combined Men’s D.

Tod and Nick managed 13th and 14th. The race ended with the longest sprint in history, something like ½ mile or so. To make it through everyone relied on a second wind. Tod was relying on his third as he had spent the majority of the race on the front of the group. Next to finish was the Men’s C race. Not to be outdone by the Men’s B field of last week a spectacular crash managed to take the vast majority of the field out. Ethan was our first rider to remount and squeaked in for 13th, one spot out of points. Tim collected him self and rode in. Ben decided to get a real feel for the road. Continuing with the organization found in the time trial no medics were to be seen in the parking lot. Eventually they returned and sent Ben to the hospital. 2 stitches in his hand and some sweet gauze later Ben seemed in high spirits, then again that could be the meds. While Ben was gone we showed our concern by inspecting his bike, of course no one wanted to touch most of it now that it had some nice red accents.

Natalie, our only female rider, went on her way in the much too short Women’s Intro race. After receiving 3-4 miles of couching the riders were let lose for the remaining 5 mile. She came in 9th and with a big smile. I think we hooked another racer.

At 3pm and 3:05pm the Men’s As and Men’s Bs went off. The game of lets look at each other’s back sides was in full swing. No one wanted to set a pace through out much of the races. Eventually a few riders broke in my race and sitting on the back proved to be the end of my race. The small gap kept growing until I got a nice training ride in. In the Men’s A race the winds split Steve and Brian off the race. The cross wind on the back country was particularly fun as everyone lined up on the yellow line giving absolutely no one a draft. Jake B. got tired of looking at the rider in front of him and made a break for it. He managed to hold off the A field for a full lap. Upon catching him a counter attack was launched. This proved to be the winning move. In the end Max Korus extended his yellow jersey lead with a solo victory. Jeffrey Salvitti proved that home field advantage is alive in cycling by taking 2nd for Bucknell. Jake came in 26th, with Steve in 30th.

After everyone showered we went to The Original Italian Family for dinner. Steve, Brian, and Jake managed to steal all the vegetables for their veggie pizzas, leaving those of us who ordered salads with Iceberg lettuce toped with three tomatoes pieces. The proportions were great and everyone seemed happy. Perhaps the mood was lifted by “the Greatest Story Ever Told” playing on a spectacular 8in TV.
With a full nights sleep we all headed over for the campus criterium. Nick and Tod were off first in Men’s D. Tod was seen on the front for most of the race with Nick not far behind. Tod grabbed more points with his 5th place, mostly due to his lack of sprinting speed after setting the pace for the race. He also managed a 4th and a 3rd in the two primes. Nick came in 14th. The course was fun with many ups and downs, most before and after turns. There were a few crashes in all the races, but Cornell riders had had enough pavement and kept the rubber side down. In the C race Tim took some time pulling the race around and Ethan sat in the lead group. Oliver took 2 2nds in the primes before taking 5th and Ethan in 12th for a single point.
Natalie continued to discover the sport of bike racing in her criterium.
Unfortunately much of her past competition was no where to be found and she rolled across the line in 8th. But again she had a big smile on her face and is looking forward to Army.

After the most annoying and pointless 2 hour intermission I lined up for the B crit. I took a few practice laps with Cornell Legend Vanya. I studied his careful turn selection and precise gear selection, for he only has 7 outback. I did not pay enough attention. The race went single file from the gun. Starting in a drive way and making everyone turn 90 degrees onto a narrower road seems pointless. Eventually people started popping off the back. I was one of them, but continued to ride hard. I eventually formed a group of four. Our 4th member was an embarrassment to my state of origin, a UNH rider who never pulled through. My group saw something like 7 to go as bystanders yelled that we were still in points. I continued my trend of setting pace for about 60% of the lap trying to drop our leech. As we came onto the final straight the official was whistling at us and letting us know our race was over. F&M and Army sprinted around me and contested the last point. I rolled in for 17th in what will be the best B finish of my career. I got to see the end of my race, always an interesting feeling. It turns out riders were continually being popped. The lead group was 6, with chase groups of 4 and 4.

All in all it was a great weekend weather wise and race wise. Cornell notched in to 18th. Yale came in 3rd. Next weekend is an Ivy League show down in New Haven. The best team gets some prize. While I am not one to wish harm to anyone, it would greatly benefit Cornell if the Women of Yale did not show up as they notched 50 points in the TTT, RR, and Crit. I hope to see everyone out next weekend. As one of two current members who raced Yale, I can say it was a great well run race. The only complaints anyone gave last year was about the weather. Provided there is no freezing rain it will be an awesome weekend. As an added bonus the Cornell Cycling and Fine Dinning Club (who doesn’t want to be cool like RIT, http://cyclingandfinedining.blogspot.com/ ) has a chance to eat at the infamous Louis’ Lunch. No not the lame food truck on north, the inventors of the hamburger, http://www.louislunch.com/ just make sure you use all your ketchup in the race.


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