Despite horrific weather conditions at the Killington Stage Race, for those New York City racers that stayed local to contest the Tour of Somerville the weather turned out to be altogether pleasant for two of the three days of fast and furious criterium racing. Team Sixcycle-RK&O was in action throughout the weekend, including at Sunday's Bound Brook Criterium.
Bound Brook Criterium Race Report by Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Matthew Vandivort
Heading into the Tour of Somervile I had few expectations. Mostly because I had never experienced the three days of criteriums that comprise the Tour of Somerville schedule - I traditionally spent Memorial Day Weekend far away from New York City and far away from anything bike related. This year, however, we moved our traditional Memorial Day Weekend vacation ahead by one week, in part in order to race the Tour of Somerville.
Of course when making this decision I didn't put much thought into the fact that 10 days aboard a sailboat - approximately 1,681 miles from my bike and without anything close to resembling exercise for the duration of the trip - wasn't exactly great preparation for three days of crit racing. On top of that, upon returning to New York the Sunday prior to Memorial Day Weekend I immediately got sick - extending my vacation from all things bike related to the better part of 20 days.
Thus as I headed to NJ for the second day of the Tour of Somerville, the Bound Brook Criterium, I found myself wondering whether I would have been better served by retreating to the trails of NYC for another day on the CX bike. However with three teammates racing Bound Brook I couldn't resist jumping into the action and thus found myself lining up on Sunday afternoon alongside Rog, Bryan and RSun.
Lacking a well thought out race plan, we went with the next best thing - hitting it from the gun. Before the start line was out of sight behind us, Rog was on the front, dragging a small group away from the peloton. When that was pulled back I immediately went to the front and kept the pace high, insuring the field was stretched out through the first few laps.
As my effort was winding down a solo rider attacked off the front of the pack. Being perhaps 4 laps into a 16 lap race - and not feeling particularly energetic following my first efforts on the bike in weeks - I wasn't particularly concerned. Of course as two riders bridged up to him the anxiety level increased slightly, and so I eventually returned to the front with the goal of keeping the gap close, assuming that our ~90 person peloton would ultimately shut down the break.
Of course in the end that's not how it played out - the gap held steady throughout much of the race. We'd put in some big efforts on the front, pulling the three riders back ever so slightly, but then the field's chase would quickly go limp. With heavy legs I was in no place to bridge, and thus instead reverted to a futile existence of long pulls on the front, hoping to bring back a break that was working well together and that would ultimately stay away. Such is bike racing. Unfortunately these long pulls at the front don't make for the most exciting race footage.
As the race wound down a few riders snuck off the front of the peloton, attempting to bridge to the lead group, which remained perhaps 30 seconds up the road. With time running out and the chase still lacking impetus I went to the front with just under two laps to go, rolling the dice with a big effort aimed at finally getting the lead group close enough that the pack would shut them down and one of my teammates would be in position for a win (at this stage I didn't realize that Rog had just been caught behind a crash and thus was out of contention).
Shortly after crossing the finishing line and hearing one lap to go we caught the last of the riders attempting to bridge, but as my legs went dead around corner three the break of three still had 15 seconds on the peloton. Of course at that stage there was little I could do so I pulled the cord, sliding off the front and eventually rolling across the line far enough back from the pack that I was listed as DNF in the results.
The break stayed away in the end - finishing with a 7 second gap - and Rsun finished 11th on the day. Certainly not our best result as a team, but with Rog walking away uninjured from his crash and beautiful weather it was a great day at the races.
Bound Brook Criterium Video
Video from the Cat 3/4 field at the Bound Brook Criterium, including the crash (at 8:14) that unfortunately took Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Roger Parmelee out of contention.