Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bikeman Eats the Beanpot - Boston Beanpot 2.0

Bikeman ventures deep into the pain cave while trying to steer clear of bonksville.

The race before the race was won by the green and gold.

The weekend started off with snow.  Lots and lots of snow fluttering down from the skies in both solid and liquid forms making the drive down a less than fun experience (driving-wise, still entertaining though!).  Upon arriving we found out the planned Circuit race had been changed to a day of Time Trials, both Team  and Individual.  Luckily, Day 2, the Beanpot 2.0 Campus Criterium remained unaffected by the weather and ran as scheduled with Men's and Women's Collegiate Races in the morning and USAC races immediately following in the afternoon.

Day 1 - Westminster, MA - TTT and ITT - Boston Beanpot 2.0
Our day started with a mixture of delicious pancakes, maple syrup, orange juice and snow.  Lots of cold, white, fluffy and stupid snow.  Because of the recent accumulation of precipitation, our schedule of events had changed from a TTT and a Circuit to a TTT and an ITT, also known as a day in the PAIN CAVE.  We arrived in Westminister with classic UVM Cycling style, a style which explains itself.

Right to left: Scott Igo, Harry Goldman and Joshua Saxe
cross the finish with the fastest TTT time.
TTT - For the TTT we decided to reform teams to be equally suited in ability and body types.  For a TTT all riders work together by using the rider in front of them as a blocker, riders take turns being the lead rider and blocking wind, thus creating a slipstream for teammates to ride and rest in until it is their turn to pull. Teams of equally sized riders are efficient when riders take pulls for short amounts of time, making sure to keep a pace which all riders can maintain until the finish.  Our four-man team of smaller riders, including myself, succeeded to post the fastest time of 35:16.28 over 12.5 miles to take the win, while our four-man team of larger riders was close behind with a time of 35:29.82, resulting in a 1-2 finish for UVM Cycling!  I would like to point out the use of equipment amongst the winning team more specifically the converted Haro Mountain Bike ridden by Scott Igo who utilized road fork and drop bars to complete the conversion to a "Road Bike" and special for the occasion, an aero disc wheel for extra "badassery."

ITT - The ITT was less of a team event.  In fact, the ITT is the definition of a non-team event.  All riders pace themselves to produce the fastest possible time over the distance of the marked Time Trial course.  Individually I was happy with my performance.  After catching two riders in front of me, and dropping a rider who caught me on the final climb of the ITT, I posted a 5th place finishing time of 18:06.50, roughly 5 seconds behind Jake "The Hebrew Hammer" Warshaw who finished in 4th with a time of 18:01.19 over the 6.3 mile course.

Day 2 - Somerville, MA - Criterium and USAC Criterium

Tanner Haskins and Josh Saxe take a visit through the
pain cave without going through bonktown.
Collegiate Criterium - After getting a good nights rest on the most comfortable couch in the world, we traveled to Tufts Somerville campus for the legendary criterium which was last raced in 2007.  The course was technically demanding, with 6 corners and three sets of cobblestone walkways spanning across the finishing flat.  The course started with an easy left hand turn into a quick descent which led straight to a blisteringly fast 90 degree left hand corner.  The corner of death was followed by a smooth semi-flat straight away leading into corner 3 and 4, an uphill switchback followed by a brief flat into the climb after corner 5 and 6 in to the finishing stretch.

The racing was fast and furious.  The brakes were rarely touched anywhere in the course.  Coming out of turn 2 on to the flats was the most forgiving section of the race due to the helping hand of the tailwind.  Coming into the climb and on to the flats was by far the deepest in to the pain cave I went in the whole race.  The upper flat finishing stretch was tainted by a brutally strong headwind which made the apex of the climb a chore and half to push through.  I managed to finish in 16th place in the Collegiate Criterium, a satisfying placement considering criteriums are by far my weakest event.

Returning to the pain cave of Beanpot 2.0 Criterium as
an Onion!
USAC 4/5 Criterium - Later in the day I had a repeat performance amongst the USAC 4/5 field, finishing in 17th place among the 18/49 finishers.  While the pace was faster and I was exhausted, I managed to push myself further into the depths of the pain cave for a finishing result.

Coming up next...
Next weekend I will be venturing to race the legendary Battenkill, a classic race of the East Coast.  Feared by some, won by others.  Hopefully I will be able to travel to Yale to compete in the first day of races before the Battenkill Road Race on Sunday.  Yale was my first collegiate racing weekend last year, where I was pulled from all races besides the Time Trial.  I would love the chance to be able to return to Yale and put the race in it's place.  After all, no one has ever won a race in which they don't start.

Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!

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