With Series I of the 2017 Rockleigh Crit on the books and Series II starting this week, TBD's Ted Teyber reflects on one of the best parts of American bike racing -- weeknight crits.
Between May and August Thursday night is officially Rockleigh Crit night for not just for the To Be Determined squad but for a big cross-section of the NYC cycling community willing to head across the GWB in search of high speeds and a welcoming community of racers. Each season the Rockleigh Crit is actually split into two series, each consisting of 5 races. Last Thursday Series I ended and this Thursday (today) Series II begins.
TBD's Matt Vandivort started Series I off with a solo win and the leader's jersey. The squad followed that up with Richard Scudney taking another solo win later in the series. Through a mixture of bad luck and and circumstance we weren't in the mix for the overall as the series wound down but as is typical for "The Rock" it was an exciting finale nonetheless...
A Close Battle for the series win
The final race of Series I began with two riders - Juan Pineda and Erlin Garcia - tied for the series lead at 48 points. Pineda had the leader's jersey for the finale after out sprinting Erlin for the win the week prior but there was additional competition from prior series leader Juan Saurez. Saurez had the leader's jersey starting in week two but after missing a big breakaway in the second to final race he was now trailing the two leaders by five points.
With 15 points on the line for the winner of the final race it was destined to be an exciting finish. TBD was a bit short handed in the finale due to illness and travel schedules but we were determined to spice things up. I attacked often to try to get off the front but with the GC battle up for grabs it was difficult to escape. However true to form Scudney launched a critical flyer with 3-4 laps to go that was only caught on the final lap. Scudney managed to hold on for 8th place while Juan Pineda and Erlin Garcia sprinted for the series win. Ultimately it was Erlin that took the win and with it the overall victory in a great series of racing at the Rockleigh Crit.
Final Laps for the Series Win from Ted Teyber's Bike:
A Look Back at Rockleigh Crit 2017 Series I
The Ride Out - And Back
For those that can get out of work in time for the 1.5 hour ride to a 6PM Rockleigh Crit start, the ride to the race is another bonus of this Thursday night ritual. It is a 70+ mile day when riding to and from the race from Manhattan, setting you up for a Friday of openers/recovery before a weekend of racing.
While we do not have mountain climbs, regional road races are dying, and some serious and necessary questions are being asked about the future structuring of amateur races in general, as of this writing the NYC race calendar is the best in the country, IMO, and makes up for most of the other drags about being a NYC cyclist....
Bicycle Racing Pictures
The NYC-Metro area is lucky to have Bicycle Racing Pictures documenting many of the weekly races this year. Below is a highlight of some of their great work from Series I of the Rockleigh Crit.
Although we may not have won the series, Series I was everything that I hoped racing in the elites would be with TBD. We had a dedicated squad who raced week in and week out and raced selflessly for whoever had the best chance that day. We took two wins. In races we didn't win, we were active in animating the race, if not controlling it. This is what being on a team is all about, and the best part of racing for TBD.
Ted Teyber is a New York City based cyclist and land use attorney who joined To Be Determined for the 2016 cyclo-cross season.