GMSR Race Report: in the final weekend of the summer Team-Sixcycle raced the Green Mountain Stage Race, the traditional conclusion to the 2012 road racing season. As a four day stage race, GMSR is one of the biggest races in the Northeast and with eight riders in attendance the team had a full squad racing throughout the weekend and ultimately returned home with a terrific 8th place finish for Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens in his first Cat 3 race. The team has posted numerous pictures from GMSR on Facebook (see the link below) and Bruce's GMSR race report is included below.
GMSR: Green Mountain Stage Race Criterium Pictures
GMSR: Green Mountain Stage Race Report from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens
The Green Mountain Stage Race – GMSR – my first race as a Cat 3 rider and my first race with team Sixcycle-RK&O. I was thrilled and psyched to be wearing the team's kit (thanks Louis Garneau) for the first time in one of the biggest races of the year!
GMSR is a 4 day stage race, starting with a 6 mile time trial on Friday, a 72 mile circuit race on Saturday, a 70 mile road race on Sunday with a mountain top finish and a tough 21 mile crit in Burlington Vermont.We drove up Thursday.
It was a nice and relaxing 6h drive with Roger Parmelee, one of the 8 guys from the team representing Sixcycle-RK&O at GMSR. Roger is that kind of guy you always feel comfortable with and with whom you can have awesome chats.
Before unpacking we decided to go for a quick ride and explore tomorrow’s time trial course. The sun was going under and the scenery of Vermont was just wonderful. The day ended in our rented house – all arranged by Corey Morenz, another always smiling team mate – with a big bowl of pasta and a last bike check-up.
Ready to start!
GMSR Stage One: 6 mile individual time trial
The time trial started with a 3 mile climb and a 3 mile slight decent. It is something for real “powerhouses” that can climb. Not my preferred course but I was pumped up to go for it especially after doing the warm-up surrounded by all the team mates on the rollers.
It was the first time I wore my team kit and saw everyone in the team's custom Louis Garneau jerseys – Ben, Johny B., Bryan, Nelson, Daniel, Corey, Roger and Charlie. I immediately felt super welcome surrounded by these gentlemen. No way would I disappoint them today!
The time trial took me 15 minutes and 32 seconds and positioned me pretty well in 17th place. The feeling of pushing yourself right from the start, the constant burn in your legs is tough but the reward knowing you pushed yourself to the limit feels great.
GMSR Stage Two: 72 mile circuit race
3 and ¾ loops of about 19 mile. Each loop had a 2 mile climb and a sprint for the green jersey. Roger was our man for this! Unfortunately, he felt sick during the race - including some pretty severe vomiting - and therefore couldn’t battle at full force. It was a bummer as the whole team did a phenomenal job at chasing back breaks and controlling the race. Despite that, he held on and finished with the pack.
Even without a Roger at full force the team has some strong guys that can sprint well. One of them is Corey. With about 4 miles to go Bryan drove up the pace and set the stage for a bunch sprint. It ended up being a pretty disorganized sprint. Corey was on the left and I found the wheel of Ben on the right. We both sprinted and finished in the top 10 closely followed by Ben.After the race, Charlie prepared a delicious team dinner out in the mountains of Vermont. No words for this, the picture tells it all… [insert picture]
GMSR Stage Three: 70 mile road race:
This is the stage where all the GC contenders battle it out! It’s pretty much flat, but it ends with a 6 mile climb called baby and app gap. This is the stage I was looking forward to most and curious how I would do surrounded by strong Cat 3 riders and not Cat 4 riders anymore ☺
After a stupid crash in the beginning (the guy in front of me fell and I flew over him), gentleman Nelson waited and we quickly got back in the peloton.
Then the race started promising with some really nice racing and attacking. As of that moment gentleman Nelson turned into a “machine” going into every break and pushing the pace up the front. I think that only ended when the final climb started. Impressive Nelson! Feeling better than yesterday, Roger took second in the intermediary sprint for the green jersey.
Hitting up the final climb Ben, Corey and myself were there and ready for it! Feels great to be part of team Sixcycle RK&O riding as a team of friends and gentlemen! Ben launched a smart attack in the middle of the climb but unfortunately it didn't stick.
The first part of the climb (baby gap) wasn't that fast and going up the second part (App gap) I pushed the pace which caused separation of about 15 guys. At that point with 3k to go everybody rode as fast as possible. It was pretty brutal as the climb became steeper and steeper towards the end with peaks to 20%.
I ended just in the top-10 followed by Corey and Ben. I gave it all I and therefore could live with my 10th place even if was dreaming of stage victory. I moved up the GC from 15th to 10th place.
All in all, it was another very nice team day, which we concluded with lots of flatbread together with a bunch of guys from various teams. Another really cozy evening out in Vermont!
GMSR Stage Four: 21 mile criterium
The final stage - 34 laps of 1k each in the center of Burlington.
This is the toughest for me and I was a bit nervous and anxious before the start to crash again after yesterday’s crash. The team mates noticed it and did a fantastic job at giving me some good “crit-tips” which made me feel more comfortable. Without a team there is no success!
In a crit the key is to always be at the front as the pace is just incredible fast and there is little opportunity to move-up. In a way it is comparable to an F1 race. The top 10 GC riders are called up towards the start line first. It felt like the gladiators where called into the arena! 3-2-1 and off we go.
The pace immediately spiked. I was at the front and tried to break away to go and get some bonus seconds to move up in the GC. A couple of guys nipped me before the line and I dropped back. I suffered for about 15 laps in the pack trying to move up. It was tough tough tough!
With about 5 laps I found the strength to move-up and with 3 laps to go I tried to break away but I hadn’t enough power in the legs anymore. Finishing with the pack and some fellow team mates made me very happy.
Ultimately ending 8th in GC made the long drive back home feel good ☺
Big thanks to all the team mates and Sixcycle-RK&O. Couldn’t imagine a better end of the season!