Two To Go
This is it. The home stretch. With just two races left in the season long CRCA Club Race Series it's the time of year where the early mornings in Central Park feel particularly painful on tired legs and minds, even as the later sunrises mean shorter and shorter races.
Despite a building sense of fatigue and our minds shifting toward cyclocross it's hard to pass up these early mornings in Central Park precisely because the combination location, community, and low cost make the CRCA Series quite possibly the best race series in the country. Sure the early mornings are hard, and yes we loved the Driveway Series but that's a different style of event altogether - for our money we'll take the grassroots warmth of CRCA any day of the week.
As for the actual race it was my favorite kind of race: where a teammate gets in a break and stays away. On this occasion it was Ted doing the hard work for the squad, sneaking away midway through the race in a move that got pulled back before going clear again with about two laps to go in what was a short (75 minutes) and well-paced (27mph average) morning of riding in circles in Central Park. Once Ted got away we were living the good life back in the pack - covering moves as they tried to escape and monitoring the time gaps with the hope that we would be able to avoid a field sprint. Thankfully the break stayed away, Ted got fifth and the rest of us got to roll across the line without any stress.
From there it was back to the usual routine: storytelling at Cat's Paw (Liz from CityMD matched Ted's performance with a 5th place showing in the women's field after initiating a break on the first lap) before retiring to a nearby coffee shop to refuel and strategize for next year's CRCDF season with the team's coach, Mikael Hanson.