Due to schedule conflicts we brought a much smaller squad to the Tour De Millersburg compared to the 2015 edition of the race. While our numbers may have been smaller, Tom Hendry was still in lovely Millersburg, PA in early August flying the Health Warrior colors at the races... ...and the petting zoo. His recap from a weekend at the Tour de Millersburg follows below:
Tour de Millersburg Race Report from Tom Hendry
Ah yes, the Tour de Millersburg. For the past 10 years the small community of Millersburg, PA has been hosting the Tour de Millersburg. For me, it is one of the toughest “mini” stage races in the Northeast. What makes it so hard? The TT course is just a short, flat, out-and-back course. The crit, however, is ridiculous. It's a typical four turn crit course. But, what makes it particularly daunting is the short, 200- meter, 8% climb that you have to ride over 40 times. In addition, the race takes place at the hottest point of the day and attracts some of the most talented riders in the Northeast. It's a beast.
One of my goals this year was to just finish the race this year. I failed in that goal, and that was after riding an easy tempo in the TT. I did make it twice as long as I did last year, though. Sadly, the heat coupled with the 800-watt digs every lap wore me out and were just too much for me. Alas, maybe next year I'll actually finish.
The road race, however, is one that I love. The course is an 18-mile loop that you cover four times. It's rolling, punchy, open to cross winds, and even has a short, three minute climb mixed in to shake things up. Another great thing is that Millersburg is a rural/super suburban town. So “super”suburban that abiding by the yellow line rule isn't necessary. The yellow line rule is only strictly enforced on a small section of the course, making for a more safe and far more interesting race. More people can move to the front of the race, making for a more lively and animated affair. Last year I just raced the race to see how I felt, with no ambitions other than finishing. This year I was shooting for a top 10. My thought was that a move would go off the front on maybe the third or fourth lap and if a move does go, I need to be with that move. The finish is a long fast downhill that swoops thru downtown Millersburg and into the finish. Being 130lbs. helps when going uphill, yet is a hindrance when going downhill. Gravity and the aggressive jockeying for position I experienced last year left me feeling nervous about hanging around for a bunch sprint. Yet, somehow, that was the card I was left to play. A few power houses had already escaped off the front and were fighting it out for podium places. The rest of us were fighting for the leftovers. Thankfully, I was able to make it through the downhill section around 10th wheel, and from there I was able to surf wheels and finish 6th. 4th and 5th were almost there, but my sprint skills aren't up to snuff and I got pipped at the line. Overall, I had another epic weekend of racing in Millersburg.
And here's a ProTip: Hit up the Golden Nickle for drinks and grub. And check out the Lake Tobias Animal Sanctuary to keep your loving GF amused and not bored from seeing dudes doing circles in spandex.
Already looking forward to next year!