With the Bethel Spring Series winding down Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Josh Rovner is still wearing the yellow series leader jersey. And so for the Circuit Francis J Clarke Criterium the squad set about protecting that GC position. However the race would play out quite differently than expected. The play by play, from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Ryan McGarrity.
Bethel Spring Series Report from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Ryan McGarrity
After doing Battenkill the day before I wasn’t that motivated to head out to Bethel, but since Josh Rovner was leading the series for Team Sixcycle-RK&O, and with prospect of sunny Spring weather on the horizon I dragged myself out of bed to meet Josh and Richard Scudney at MUD to venture up to CT.
After a late arrival and a quick rush to get changed we lined up. The goal for the day was to keep Josh in yellow and to see if my legs had anything left after Battenkill. After the first preme, I rolled off the front and figured I should keep going, at worst I would get caught and after getting in some nice training efforts.
After a few laps of solitary confinement, two riders bridged up to me. Kuria Njenga (Houlihan Lokey) and Dennis Rutherford (Rockstar/Signature Cysles). We worked together slowly edging way from the field. The 3 of us were putting in long pulls and slowly starting to feel the effects of the headwind on the back stretch, then out of nowhere we were met by teammate Richard Scudney. He put in a mighty effort to bridge the gap up to us, and after a short recovery he gave us the needed imputus to keep this break away.
After handful of laps we started getting time splits. At first we were confused - we heard both 1 min ahead and 20 seconds ahead. At first we didn’t know what was going on behind us until finally it dawned on us that we were catching the field and they were only 20 seconds ahead of us. About this time we lost one rider from our break, but thankfully behind us our teammates were doing a great job taking any motivation out of the field by marking every move off the front and with roughly 6 or 7 laps our surviving group of three we caught the field.
Once this happened confusion reigned. None of us were really sure what to do next, so we joined our teammates - Friedo, Corey and Josh - up at the front where Scudney and I watched our fellow breakaway companion to make sure no one escaped off the front. Once the bell lap rang, our teammates took to the front to help keep Josh in position relative to other GC leaders while I kept my eye on Kuria Njenga, the other survivor from our break.
After the days effort in the break, it was difficult for me to keep the wheel of Corey and Josh ahead of me, but I dug deep and managed to finish ahead of Kuria to take the win, with Scudney doing the same to take second place, giving Team Sixcycle-RK&O the 1/2 double on the day. There were a number of bonuses on the day as Corey Morenz placed seventh in the race, Josh keeping his leader's jersey and the squad taking the lead in the Team Competition.
After watching our teammates in the P/1/2/3 field, we celebrated a great day of racing by spending our winnings at the Sycamore diner before hitting the road to get back to NYC.
Bethel Spring Series Pictures from Photo Rhetoric and Josh Rovner