Monday, March 18, 2013

Philly Phyler - Snow, Hail, and Team Omnium Points

We got on the Team Omnium points board! (I'm still not sure exactly how those points are calculated but who cares because we are on them!)

The Philly Phyler is a joint race put on by at least Drexel and Temple and maybe more Philadelphia schools but I'm not sure. It was a long drive to get there and the looming forecast of snow and rain for Saturday's race didn't help.

What did help was the awesome host housing we had courtesy of Dan Gray from Drexel's team. It was a huge house with plenty of space for us and he even bought us breakfast.

Saturday - Snow/Sleet/Hail mix throughout the day, mid 30's

The course for this race was a 6.5 mile course that had a little bit of everything. A short descent into a long flat section along the river that went into a little climb that looped back around to the road along the river. Then another short climb that lead to a 1k section with some turns and a little more technical riding than the rest of the course. There was also a truck that had smashed into a telephone pole that had not been towed yet that made for some strange scenery while riding up the hill on the back side.

The Men's D race was combined into 1 field and started the day off with 3 laps of the course. It was just Alec and me from RISD and Sandy and Manu from Brown for this race and we definitely got the best weather of the day only seeing a few snowflakes. The race started off relatively uneventfully until about 2 miles in there was a crash on the flat section along the river, 2 riders went down but the field carried on. Alec and I hung out towards the back and I stayed with the group for about a lap and a half and Alec faded somewhere a little before I did. On the last lap I sat up to wait for a group that was coming up on me and as we were riding up the climb on the backside we saw a rider decide not to take the 90 degree turn down to the road along the river and instead smash straight into a curb and front flip over the guard rail and land in a very small grassy section. Luckily he was standing up when we passed him on the way down and he seemed to be alright.

70 Starters/19.5 miles/Winner's Time - 54:18
43 - Michael - 1:00:47
54 - Alec - 1:03:30

The Men's C race was also run as a combined field and was a good race for Jules and could have been a good race for Lukas had he not thought the second to last lap was the last lap. The race was 4 laps of the course and had Lukas not thought the 3rd lap was the last lap might have been up there with Jules. Instead he tried a few attacks on that lap and spent a lot of his energy only to realize he still had a lap to go. Jules on the other hand, stayed with the front group and sprinted for his best placing this season, 10th (a one man break got away on the last lap and won). The weather for this race began to deteriorate and both Jules and Lukas were wet and cold by the end and had the pleasure of riding for a little with some small hail falling from the sky.

64 Starters/26 miles/Winner's Time - 1:08:16
10 - Jules - 1:08:57 (3 points)
30 - Lukas - 1:12:16

The Women's C race was the last race for RISD of the day and the weather was a little bit better than the Men's C race before it. Jane as usual was our sole racer and rode 3 laps of the course. It wasn't her day and for the first time she did not get any points on the day, making the team points competition a little closer since Jules got points in his race. Jane stayed with the group for the first lap but slowly fell off and rode solo across the finish line.

31 Starters/19.5 miles/Winner's Time - 59:03
18 - Jane - 1:05:12

The Men's A and 1/2 field was supposed to race 7 laps of the course as the last race of the day but that race was called off after two laps due to sleet and hail.

Sunday - Sunny, high 30's to low 40's

Sunday was a basic 4 corner crit on Temple's campus that had a slight downhill between turn 1 and 2 and a slight uphill between turn 3 and 4 and a little wind thrown in for fun.

The Men's D's once again went first in a combined field with an 8:30 start time to make sure we were frozen at the start. Alec and I fell off the back after a few laps and I pulled around the course for a lap or two after that. Alec soon rode past me and I was left by myself to try and not get lapped, but that happened anyway when the front group passed me on the last lap. Alec on the other hand managed to get in a group finished in the same group as Manu (the Brown rider).

58 Starters/11.3 miles
41 - Alec - 02:42
47 - Michael - 1 Lap

The Men's C's also raced as a combined field and was once again a successful race for our cycling duo Lukas and Jules (Maybe we should refer to them as Lules or Jukas?). Both held good position through the whole race and finished in the main group behind a two man breakaway. Jules was able to once again get some points and sprint to a 10th place and Lukas comfortably rolled in with that same group. As a side note, Jules also finished one place ahead of our host for the weekend, Dan.

66 Starters/14.7 miles
10 - Jules - 0:13 (3 points)
30 - Lukas - 0:13

And again the final race of the day for us was the Women's C but it ended on a disappointing note with Jane crashing out with 2 laps to go. Jane had been in good position the whole race and as she was heading out of the final turn of the last prime lap she got tangled up with another rider and went down. With the exception of a few scrapes she was fine but her front wheel got a little bent up so she wasn't able to get back on and finish the race. Overall I think she was more upset that she didn't get to finish out the race and more than likely get a high placing if not win it than she was about the actual crash. Also the fact that Jules is now within one point of overtaking the team points lead from her wasn't sitting well.

33 Starters/ 9.1 miles
DNF - Jane - (Crashed out)

Somehow Jules got us on the ECCC team leader board and we now sit in 44th over all (25 in D2 schools) with 3 points.

The RISD team points competition is still a two rider race with Jane still in the lead but Jules on the verge of taking over after a solid weekend of points for him.

RISD Team Total Points - 19
Jane - 10 points
Jules - 9 points

Song of the weekend has to go to the ironic playing of Chumbawamba's song Tubthumping which Alec put on when we got in the van to leave after Jane's crash. For those unfamiliar with the song it has a chorus that goes "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down."

Next weekend is a Sunday Crit at Bard College in New York so look for that report next week.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Grant's Tomb Crit - A One Day Classic

A solid day of racing for the RISD team on a beautiful day in New York.

The Grant's Tomb Crit is put on by Columbia and they apparently worked pretty hard the day and night before to set up and clean up the snow from the course. The course itself was a nice L shape with 4 left hand corners and a nice sweeping turn at the top to put you back on the finishing straight. There was a little kicker of a hill between turn 3 and turn 4 and a false flat up the finishing straight.

On to the races.

Saturday - Sunny and in the high 40's low 50's

We got to stay with Evan Murphy who started the team a few years ago. He raced in the Men's Pro/1/2 and came in 12th. He had a teammate up the road in a chase group and was playing the good teammate role of just sitting in the bunch and watching what was going on. He got third in the field sprint to finish out his day.

65 Starters / 25.2 miles
12 - Evan - 1:10

For us collegiate racers we had 5 racers in the Men's D2, 2 in the Men C, and 1 in the Women's C. Brown had 2 in the Men's D2, 1 in the Men's C, 1 in the Women's C, 1 in the Women's B, and 1 in the Men's A.

The Men's D2 race started off well for all of us but eventually we all fell off the front. I sat for a few laps between the main group and a group off the back that eventually caught me because the guy I was with didn't really want to work. The group that had Alex, Erik and Tom (Brown rider) in eventually caught me and we rode together until we were pulled about a lap later. Personally I thought getting pulled made no sense because we weren't lapped and there were only one or two laps to go but oh well. A congratulations goes out to Nikolas and Alex for finishing their first race for RISD!

27 Starters / 9.9 miles
15 - Erik - P&P (Pulled and Placed)
17 - Alex - P&P
21 - Michael - P&P
24 - Alec - P&P
25 - Nikolas - P&P

The Men's C field raced as one big field instead of two smaller fields like last week, so there were 71 starters in this race. Lukas did well for most of the race but eventually fell off the front group. Jules stayed with the front group until the end, keeping himself well position through the entire race, and his group lost four seconds to a Princeton rider who made his winning move a few laps before the finish. He just needs to work on that final sprint and a win in this race will soon be ours. He also finished one spot outside the points.

UPDATE! Jules also got 3rd in the final prime lap to add two points to his total, sorry I missed it yesterday.

71 Starters / 13.5 miles
13 - Jules - 0:04 (2 points)
47 - Lukas - P&P

Jane had a great race in the Women's C race and just like Jules needs to work on that final sprint and we will have a win in this race soon too. Jane was in the top 10 the entire race and in the top 5 for most of it helping chase down a few attempted breaks here and there. She also got 3rd in the 2nd prime lap giving her a few more points on the day. An MIT rider took the win with a sprint that put a four second gap on the front group.

32 Starters / 12.6 miles
7 - Jane - 0:04 - 6 points (2 for the prime)

We still haven't made it into the official team standings but here are the points standings for the team so far, Jane is pulling away.

RISD team point total - 13
Jane - 10 points
Jules - 3 points

Next weekend we head to Philadelphia for the Philly Phlyer which is a 14 mile ITT or TTT, 6.5 mile circuit race (3 laps for Men's D, and Women's C, 4 Laps for Men's C) and a classic four corner crit on Sunday. Here is the flyer if you are going to be around

I'll try and post some photos as we find them tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rutgers Recap - A Race to Remember

Not to brag but man that is some alliteration in the title for this post.

This past weekend was the season opening race at Rutgers for the ECCC. Friday, eight RISD riders and five Brown riders piled their bikes, gear, and clothes into 2 vans and the trip was underway.

Saturday's race was a relatively flat .8 mile Crit with no terrible corners and a good race to get the season underway with.

I won't go into too much detail about each race but just know much fun was had by all.

Saturday - Mostly cloudy, probably around 43, saw a few snowflakes.

Five of us (and two from Brown) started the Men's D2 race at around 8:35 in a field of 33. The race ended after 9.6 miles of racing with no major issues and Erik in the top 15 and the other 4 of us, let's just say not in the top 15.

11 - Erik - 0:30
23 - Peter - 1 Lap
24 - Michael - 1 Lap
25 - George - 1 Lap
26 - Alec - 1 Lap

Lukas and Jules started the Men's C2 race (with one Brown Rider) in a field of 44. The race lasted 12.8 miles and at the finish Jules was in the top 20, Lukas on the other hand cramped up towards the end and pulled out of the race. Jules also got 4th in the first prime sprint and got himself on the points board with 1 point. Not a bad race.

19 - Jules - 0:30 (1 point)
35 - Lukas - Cramped up

The final race with a RISD representative was the Women's C with Jane lined up at the start with a field of 25. The race ended 11.2 miles later with Jane in the points with a solid 12th on the line. From what I remember it was her first race so not a bad finish.

12 - Jane - 0:35 (1 point)

Sunday - Mostly cloudy, probably around 45, windy

This course was a little different and the race was run as a circuit race instead of a crit so there were no prime laps and the rules were a little different. The course was 0.9 miles and it could basically be broken down into three parts, a third flat, a third climbing, and a third descending. So all the races followed this miserable pattern, hammer it up the hill, hammer it down the hill, hammer it on the flat to the hill and repeat.

The D2 field was the same crew for us but shrunk to a field of 24 and only lasted 9 miles. Once again Erik did really well and finished in the top 15 and the rest of us got lapped but Peter still made it into the top 15. Alec had some shifting issues that wouldn't let him shift to his small ring on the front which made it pretty fun to climb the hill after a few laps.

11 - Erik - 0:51
14 - Peter - 1 Lap
19 - George - 1 Lap
20 - Michael - 1 Lap
21 - Alec - 2 Laps

Same guys raced the C2 race with a field of 39 and did really well with Lukas bouncing back from the troubles of the day before and finishing in the top 15 and Jules finishing in the top 20. Both of them were in the main group for almost all of the 13.5 miles of racing but on the final 2 laps MIT launched a brutal attack on the hill and Jules faded a little and Lukas faded on the final time up the hill on the next lap. Either way, a great ride by both of them.

15 - Lukas - 0:42
17 - Jules - 1:39

And once again Jane lined up by herself at the start of the Women's C race in a field of 22 and even with a few mechanical issues (a dropped chain or two which we think we can blame on one of the Brown guys) still finished in the points again and is now the RISD points leader. Not a bad weekend for her. As a side note about this race, the girl that won was from Columbia (who has as a sponsor) and won the race by soloing off the front for the entire race and winning by over a minute on second place. A potential sandbagger if she continues to race in the C's I'd say.

12 - Jane - 1 Lap (1 point)

Most of the team went home after this race but Lukas and I stayed with the Brown racers to watch their last two riders race, one in the Women's A/B and one in the Men's A. In the Men's A race we got to watch the field be lapped by the eventual winner and a few confusing laps while that happened. A very entertaining race even though it was not even a close finish.

We have no team points in the ECCC standings because of some strange way they score everything but in my running season score this is what I have:

RISD - 3 total team points

Jane - 2 points (Leader)
Jules - 1 point

Overall it was a great first race for everyone I think. No one hit the pavement and I don't think any work was done for school, which always makes for a good time.

This weekend we head to NYC to race the Grant's Tomb Crit at Columbia and some of the riders are also staying to race the road race on Sunday in Watchung Reservation, NJ (personally I am just racing Saturday because I have filled my time in New Jersey quota for the year.)

So if you are going to be around NYC on Saturday here is the race schedule. We should have riders in Men's D2 and C2 and Women's C so come out and watch!

I didn't get many pictures (I'll try harder this weekend) but here is Jane working hard up the hill to secure the RISD points leader title.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fall 2012 Photos

A selection of images from training to cyclocross.

We've had an awesome first semester!  Can't wait for the road season!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012-2013 Gear

Super excited for the season! Great sponsors to work with and team just keeps on growing. 
So much support from the school and from the faculty at RISD