Green and Gold Criterium, New London, CT
Green and Gold Criterium
With a low key weekend for racing in New York City, several of Team Sixcycle-RK&O's riders made plans for a weekend of racing in Connecticut starting with the Green and Gold Criterium hosted by CLR Racing in New London. With riders registered for the Cat 4, Cat 3 and Cat 1/2/3 fields the team left the city before the break of dawn and headed north. A race report and selected images from the day are posted below, stay tuned for race video from the Men's Cat 3 field.
The entire Team Sixcycle-RK&O crew for the Green and Gold Cat 3 race were on 2012 Litespeed bikes (each with a different component set):
- Matthew Vandivort - Litespeed C1R with Shimano Di2
- Bryan Fried - Litespeed C1R with Campagnolo Record
- Roger Parmelee - Litespeed L1R with SRAM Red
Green and Gold Criterium Links
Green and Gold Criterium Race Report from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Matthew Vandivort
Following a breakfast of champions (ham egg and cheese on an everything bagel) from a conveniently located food cart in upper Manhattan our two car caravan headed north for New London and the Green and Gold Crit.
I admit to knowing little about the crit course or even New London prior to arrival at the race site, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover a fast six corner course - on the water no less.
While the weather - grey skies with a steady breeze - left something to be desired, we quickly set about the task of warming up. Charlie Bird was representing the team in the Cat 4 field while Roger Parmelee, Bryan Fried and myself were carrying the team colors in the Cat 3 field that also included fellow CRCA racers Al from BH/Comedy Central and JJ / Daghan from Asphalt Green.
A ride along the bay towards the Long Island Sound revealed New London's multiple beaches (most of which appeared to be private based on the plethora of no trespassing signs) and gave us the opportunity to discuss race strategy. Unfortunately upon returning to the race site we learned that Charlie had crashed out of the Cat 4 field after clipping a pedal, though thankfully he was in good shape other than road rash and pending bruises.
Our Cat 3 field started with a neutral lap followed by 35 laps around the six corner course that included one long sweeping corner and a slight rise in the finishing straight (which also featured a headwind for good measure). The race started out at a modest pace though things quickened after Roger got off the front of the pack along with Al from BH/Comedy Central and one other rider. They were brought back after a few laps galavanting off the front of the field and while various attacks followed (including one impressive solo effort that stayed away for some time) it soon became clear that the race was settling in for a likely field sprint.
With five or six laps to go the field was strung out and several riders, including Bryan, got a small gap on the field and pushed ahead in hopes of breaking the field. While the break was quickly reeled in Bryan rolled the dice and went for the late race solo move. He dangled off the front of the field for several laps but was eventually brought back in as Roger and I prepared for the field sprint.
Unfortunately with two to go and while sitting five or six wheels deep a rider in front of me blew his tire mid corner and crashed - taking another rider with him. I managed to avoid the carnage but was gapped from the front of the field where I had been waiting for the field sprint. While I was able to close the gap before we received the bell, I was somewhat gassed from the effort and didn't have much gas left in the tank for the final field sprint - ultimately rolling across the line in seventh.
While I had been hoping for a better result given the late race crash I was pleased to have stayed upright. Shortly after the conclusion of our race the grey clouds that had lingered all morning opened up with an absolute downpour - soaking the master's field that followed ours. With another day of racing planned for Sunday at the Lime Rock Criterium, we decided to bail on the 1/2/3 race and headed for the closest diner for chow. After devouring some appropriately named meat lovers omeletes we hit the road for Litchfield and day two of racing in CT.
Green and Gold Criterium Video