After a nice week of sunshine in Ithaca, the weather took a turn for the worst with a snow shower as we left for Yale. Although foreboding, the weather at Yale was much nicer. But before we start the story about some amazing racing there are a few other things...
On our way we were hungry and stopped for diner at Moe’s… very important. The drive took us about 5 hours. We were very happy when we finally arrived. Sean got to pick the hotel this weekend… Red Roof was his choice. Verrrrry nice (wa wa wee wha) with free dial up internet (free wifi is coming this May!) and a very refreshing coffee machine in the lobby. Obviously this is the best hotel so far but unfortunately the hotel didn’t serve a continental breakfast, so we had to grab something on our way to the race on Saturday.
Saturday wake up time was a nice early 6:10am. Upon stepping outside it was quite cold. Naturally we all headed for some food. Deciding on a Dunkin Donuts we filed inside. Sean managed to have some serious fun. After ordering his sausage, egg, cheese, bacon, everything bagel, he moved to the line to pick-up his order. Some random guy seemed to take it, but the workers did not seem to mind. Cynthia asked Sean to grab her sandwich. Her sandwich came up and he picked it up. The employees decided to ask why Sean was still waiting. He said why and she told him that the order was not on the screen. She then said that they would not make it. Sean said that his sandwich was stolen, they basically said too bad. Sean hurled his receipt to the floor in a fit of hunger and the employees got really mad. They yelled (and demanded him to pick the receipt from the floor) and decided to make him his sandwich, and for his trouble they gave him a bonus sandwich. Both of which he enjoyed after his race.
After this nice start we went to the race where we all started with an individual time trial (ITT). Max and Eric were up first (men’s D). ‘An ITT is always hell. If not, you’re not trying hard enough’, is what Eric told us afterwards. Both did well and got in ….. Next were the men’s C. In the Men’s C ITT Tod managed to best both Greg and Kevin, and Sean finished the best of the bunch, despite realizing he had a broken cleat before his race. Sean caught his 15 second rider, Tod didn’t get anyone or get passed, and Greg was caught by a few of the stronger finishers in the field. Most importantly to the fragile male ego, Cynthia did not beat any of the C boys. Cassie did her first race of the year in women’s C. Elena did her first race ever in women’s Intro. Both were very happy to do the race and will race next weekend. Cynthia did her first race in women’s B. That’s a lot of firsts. After a pretty good start, she had to hop of her bike to put the chain back in place. In the end she still got in 2nd, which really surprised her.
After the ITT it was time for the circuit race. Max and Eric (men’s D) had to go top off again. Eric seemed really strong and hanged out in front of the pack for most of the race. It was Max’s first mass start race and he everybody was blinded by his awesome Italian bike (Sean: ‘Jealous!!!!!’). Eric finally got 16th and Max 48th. Next up was Cornell’s biggest concentration of riders, Men’s C. Sean W. was back in the C field and Tod had made the move up, Kevin and Greg also joined the fun. There was some talk of strategy around the cars before the race. Sean also frantically put his new cleats on his shoes. At the gun Sean moved to the front of the group and was soon followed by Tod, Kevin and Greg. The instructions at the beginning of the race were that the riders would be doing 4 laps, climbing the hill on the 4th lap. This happened to be the same amount of laps that the Men’s D did. For the next 3 laps Sean decided he wanted to pull the race around. With every rise in the course Sean set pace to shed people. This did not do much good, but kept all four Cornell riders at the front. During the mean time the course marshals decided that it would be fun to allow cars in front of the pace car. Fortunately no crashes happened but there were several car related slow downs in the race. Sean also had to yell not once but twice at the pace car to actually drive. On the final climb Sean was first wheel. He tried several accelerations to drop some of the field but everyone was right behind. In the end Sean managed to roll into 12th for one point. After the men’s C, women’s C were on. Cassie was a little bit nervous but it was a fun race. She got 19th in her race. Elena was up next! She did really well and got in 6th! After Intro’s women’s A/ B were up. Sean and Gregory were tired of Cynthia talking insecurities about her racing but they didn’t say anything. MIT and Harvard girls were leading (mostly A’s) and the B’s just followed. The girls in the front seemed to love the hill, because they were sprinting it up for the first 5 laps. Cynthia could (barely) hold on. Every time people would try to escape, but the pack would catch them again. In the end it all came down to the final climb. In the end Cynthia got in 5t and was totally broken. In the men’s A field we saw Wacek. They were going really fast and our Polish hero could hold on. He ended in 15th place and earned some sweet points.
After the first day we were all very hungry. We went to a fancy Italian place to pick up some calories. There was no nice movie on the TV so Tod started telling stories of well endowed leprechauns and duck decoys. I’ll only tell this: Chug a duck: Buy a duck decoy and cut the beak of. Put 3 ….. in it and say: ‘Chug a duck’.
After a nice night of pizza some people had difficulties getting up but we do everything to race of course. We dropped by our favorite Dunkin’s Donuts (Sean stayed in the car) and arrived in time for the men’s D crit. Eric was working hard and pulled the field at some point. Max had a harder time and had to work all by himself. Unfortunately Eric’s work didn’t pay of in the end because he got involved in a crash in the last lap. Both D men finished their race. Early on in the Men’s C crit Sean was seen on the front, chasing down an early break. Greg, Tod, and Kevin also moved towards the front of the field. Somebody had decided that the yellow line rule was in effect. They managed to yell at everyone who actually knew how a crit worked and advanced up the inside. This made it quite easy for the Cornell boys to move up in the field. As the race continued Sean started drifting further back in the field, as it became apparent he had lost some legs. Tod and Greg managed to stay up front. Kevin decided it would be fun to get taken out by a BC rider in turn 2. He managed to get back up and finish the race. On the long straight going into turn 4 (of 5) Greg moved up the inside right behind Tod. He yelled at Tod to go. Tod quickly went to the front, but they had picked up a passenger. A Harvard rider had used the move to leap frog to the front and away from the field. Tod managed to hold his own towards the front coming in 14th, with Greg not far behind. Sean rolled in at the back of the field, and Kevin had a strong finish despite his crash. Elena showed everybody that she doesn’t belong in intro’s by scoring some points! We will see her in women’s C next week. Just before the women’s A/B Cynthia got some problems with her chain for the third time this weekend. She could hop back on her bike to catch up with the group. They were really working and but nobody was dropped, the whole group stayed together. People were getting sketchy in the last few laps and they had to pay. They were passing on the inside of the corner and a crash was born. Cynthia was on the outside of the corner and stayed up. Now it was only her and some A girls (almost the entire B field was wiped out). The A girls were sprinting and two more girls crashed. Cynthia was able to pass them and won the B race!
Summary: It was an awesome weekend! Be there at Army!