A race, a ride, two breakfasts, and a century before noon
Men’s P 1/2/3 Race Report – Lucia Deng
Because races in Prospect Park do not have a Women’s Field, I use them primarily for training purposes: to get in some long miles (riding to/from the West Bronx thru Manhattan to Brooklyn), for some speed work, and to practice following wheels in a large and fluid pack. Depending on how the race plays out at the front, it can be fast but smooth surfing, or it can be muy caliente 🌶️. This past weekend’s race was kind of neither. It felt slower than typical to start, and while there were definitely moments where I had to hang on for dear life as what felt like the last straggler in the peloton, the overall pace was actually quite manageable. Unfortunately, the slower pace and constant bunching of the group likely led to two crashes, one of which sent Tom Hendry to bail out over a curb and onto the grass. Thankfully, he came out relatively unscathed. Others were not as lucky – hope you heal up quick Sean! I managed to skirt around both, made it to the finish on the lead lap, and was happy to see the rest of the 1/2/3 squad, Matt, Clark, Johnny B & Daghan all in one piece.
After trading some war stories, and savoring a clementine treat from Cyril, we headed to grab coffee to perk us up for some bonus miles. Despite Corey & Clay trying to kill me by hammering toward our post-race breakfast stop, my legs stuck with it and I rewarded myself with one of the best egg & cheese sandos at the Market & a cola. I don’t remember much of the return other than I grunted and whined a lot to myself and it felt like the wind was blowing from every direction, including from above. But, as we spun back across George Washington’s bridge, my mood turned around and I felt great! What a fun time we had playing bicycles with our new teammates – officially now, post-merger. 101+ miles in toto, sunshine, lots of laughs and many virtual trophies to pad my ego. Can’t wait for more summer days like this with the squad.
Men’s 3/4 Race Report – Clay Jones
Chip (Chip is BACK), Cullen and I lined up for the 3/4 race with a singular goal: get Cullen into the points. He’s just two points from graduating into 😸😸😸, and he called a plan that basically worked…about as well as bike racing plans can work. The idea was to keep the race together as best we could, while saving matches to get Cullen into position before the top of the hill. Chip managed to get into every break attempt, and the field chased them all down – including one heroic effort by Emma Fudge on Fifth, who hauled one back for Angelo all by herself. (It’s fun to see teams do team things well.) Unfortunately for Emma, she ran into the back of the second of four neutralizations on the day.
As the last lap came around, we were all together, and followed a few NYCC wheels to the front (thanks!), and I traded turns with Foundation and NYCC to keep the race fast through the flats. Chip took over for me when the race turned uphill, and left Cullen on the eventual winner’s wheel with 30 seconds remaining. We didn’t do a good enough job stringing the race out to make it selective, so the sprint was wide and aggressive, and Cullen went from being in a great spot to contest the win to absolutely the wrong spot in an instant. We learned a lot, rode safe, ran the plan…and we’ll figure it out next time.
After all of my big riding lately (Ras, Farmer’s Daughter, big transfer rides on gravel tires, and the Tour of the Unknown Coast), I was feeling more than ready to pack in three breakfasts and a century with the bigger, better post-merger TBD crew. All in all, a great day on the bike, and I’m feeling ready to get back to actually racing again after an early season marred by injury and dented confidence. Stoke levels approaching normal, folks!