Rockleigh Crit Series I Recap

Rockleigh Crit Series I Recap

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 first race of Series 1 was a cold and wet one.  Matt Vandivort made it all worth while by soloing to win.  And we were all smiles on the drive back to NYC.

The first race of Series 1 was a cold and wet one.  Matt Vandivort made it all worth while by soloing to win.  And we were all smiles on the drive back to NYC.

Startline of Series I Race #2.  Matt Vandivort in the Series leader jersey.

Startline of Series I Race #2.  Matt Vandivort in the Series leader jersey.

Matt Vandivort in the leaders jersey of Series I, Race #2

Matt Vandivort in the leaders jersey of Series I, Race #2

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....

As happens in racing, Matt had a few mechanicals throughout the Series, including racing without a rear derailleur (electronics died on ride out).  To his credit, he raced with 2 speeds (FD only) and managed to still animate the race getting in multiple breaks, until flatting while off the front as neutral laps ended.

As happens in racing, Matt had a few mechanicals throughout the Series, including racing without a rear derailleur (electronics died on ride out).  To his credit, he raced with 2 speeds (FD only) and managed to still animate the race getting in multiple breaks, until flatting while off the front as neutral laps ended.

The Squad after Race #3

The Squad after Race #3

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.  

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Daghan Perker (Turk) in good position for Corner 1.

Daghan Perker (Turk) in good position for Corner 1.

Race  #3.  Managed to take a prime, for the first time in a long long time.

Race  #3.  Managed to take a prime, for the first time in a long long time.

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Race #4: the start of a break

Race #4: the start of a break

Race # 4.  Richard Scudney and Ted Teyber with a gap on the field.  Unfortunately, I had flown back from Geneva that morning, and did not have the appetite to hold Scudney's wheel.  When we came back together, Matt countered attacked and got a small gap to the field solo. However bad luck struck again and Matt got a flat tire in corner one - just as free laps ended. That was basically end of our race. 

Race # 4.  Richard Scudney and Ted Teyber with a gap on the field.  Unfortunately, I had flown back from Geneva that morning, and did not have the appetite to hold Scudney's wheel.  When we came back together, Matt countered attacked and got a small gap to the field solo. However bad luck struck again and Matt got a flat tire in corner one - just as free laps ended. That was basically end of our race. 

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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.


Once again a big thank you to all of the photographers who came out to the Rockleigh Crit particularly Bicycle Racing Pictures who captured many of the images herein. Head over to their Facebook Page to see more of their great imagery.



Ted Teyber is a New York City based cyclist and land use attorney who joined To Be Determined for the 2016 cyclo-cross season.