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2013Rutgers

2013 Rutgers Race Reports

Race Report by Joey Yacono

Saturday's 2.2mi Prologue Time Trial: Men’s C1

I have to say, I was pretty excited for this time trial. Recently, I've been taking a liking to short time trials and suffering thru them as I have recently discovered, I am pretty good at suffering. After waiting in line with Josie and Calahan we rode back to the parking lot and braved the cold to get into gear. We all hung out in the main parking lot together warming up. I got in a quick warm up on Dan's rollers when he took a break and just moving and in my jacket to maintain my body's temperature. Once I heard the call for Men's C staging I quick rode over and found myself towards the front of the line. I got to chat with a Penn State rider who was an aero helmet. He seemed to be a great guy and a well-trained rider, so I decided I was going to try to chase him the whole time.
3...2...1... commence the suffering! Once I was off, I clipped in, in rhythm with my pedal stroke very luckily and sprinted to quickly pick up my speed. Best start to the season I could have imagined. I rode pass the Drexel fan section and felt awesome despite being cold. I felt like a pro racing past people lined along side the road. I quickly cleared my mind of everything other than the Penn State rider in front of me and I had closed the gap down from the 15 second difference to ~5-10 seconds. I looked down and read 30mph off of my computer and decided I was going waaay too hard too soon, so I eased off. I saw the turnaround nearing and looked down and realized I had slowed down too much and was at 20mph. I wasn't paying attention to anything other than the Penn State rider and decided that I was done pacing with him and maintaining the 10-second gap. At the turn around, I pointed a bit too close towards hitting the cone and rather than making a sweeping turn, I basically got to the cone, skidded, endo'd on my front wheel, pivoted, and sprinted to pick my speed back up to ~25mph. It was a pretty stupid thing to do and I could have easily ruined the race right there, but I was lucky. For the ride back to the finish, I twisted my computer away as I didn't want to look at my speed, my legs were now my gage. I was closing in on the PSU rider and a second one that he overtook. I was feeling great, moving but not too fast. I saw the familiar turns looming towards me and realized I was almost finished. I was pretty upset because I ended up saving too much. I got out of my saddle and sprinted up the hill and just motored as hard as I could for the final couple hundred meters. I was focused but not on the right thing. I managed a 12th place finish but I feel like I could've done better. I was in pain, but I didn't suffer enough to feel like I really pushed it hard. Now that I know that course, I will better prepare for next year. I was a bit disappointed with my standing, but for my lack of training due to schoolwork, I couldn't really complain.

Saturday's 35min Livingston Campus Criterium: Men’s C1

After Josie, Calahan and I wandered around to the next parking lot for the criterium in the one and only, Pebbles, we just sat in the car, ate, and and kept warm. I was still in kit from the TT and was layered up and cold. I rode over to the course and took two laps on it and decided it was going to be "fun." Dan and Eugenia parked up by us and Tom's car seemed to be nowhere in site. He eventually showed up and we all hung out for a bit just talking and hanging out. Once Calahan started gearing up and getting prepared for his Crit, I decided to start to prepare for mine being it wasn't too long after his. I rode around Rutger's campus a bit and admired the size of it. It was a pretty cool campus. I got pretty cold and decided it was time to wander back to the course and watch Calahan start. I cheered him on for a few laps and he had pretty good position at the back of the first half of the group towards the outside of the course. I rode back up to the car and started to focus on my race and envisioning what I was going to do. I had my lines planned out and decided where in the course I was be able to gain position if necessary. I was pretty excited to be racing with Derek, Dan, and Tom. Once Calahan came back to the car he talked about it and he seemed pretty frustrated about other riders and their awkward lines. That made me nervous as I assumed there were plenty of new upgrades in the Cs considering I was one of them. I rode down to the course again to just keep moving around and realized that the intro race was about to end and quickly rode back to let Tom know. We all showed up to staging and were all in the back together.
At the whistle, I had another smooth clip in. I quickly worked my way from the middle back of the pack to the outside. I saw Tom quickly make his way up and wanted to get up there with him as quickly as possible. Going down into turn 2 at the bottom of the course, I took a wide line and shot pass almost the entire pack. I lead the group from turn 3 up into turn 1. I decided I didn't want to burn up my legs this early in the race so after I look my wide line on the outside of turn 2 lap 2 I let some people pull thru. At this point, I realized that most of the pack in the Men's C field didn't want to work. I had to pinch off a rider just to get a wheel. By the time I grabbed a wheel I was in the back third of the pack. I had a hard time figuring out who was on my team as everybody had different sleeve colors. Going into turn three wide I managed to make up about 10 positions or so and managed to fight for a wheel in about the middle of the pack. Lap 3, going into turn 1, I was clear to take a wide line and I managed to again, pass a good portion of the pack to take my wide line into turn 2. I hit the turn pretty hard and cut it pretty close to the outside curb while dodging the potholes. I sprinted and managed to get behind a huge rider. He was a godsend as my legs were cramping up from the lack of hydration. I was almost spinning behind this rider and somebody ended up stealing my wheel from me by bumping my handlebars putting me into the middle of the pack. I worked my up to the front to lead the pack going into lap 4. Right before I took turn 1 I thought I heard time mention my name over the microphone and that was a pretty cool experience. I then took a hard leaning turn into turn 1 of lap 4 with a big smile masked with pain on my face. Going into turn 2, I let a gap form between the pack and myself, as I was aware of the pack taking awkward lines. I took my wide sweeping turn and was able to take a more aggressive lean and shave the inside corner pretty hard. I had two riders behind me, I'm not sure whom, but they followed me up to the pack and up the outside of them into turn three. At this point, the only thing going thru my head was, "If I here a preme lap bell I'm toast." RINGRINGRINGRINGRING ... I'm toast. I managed to hold on in the middle of the pack at the laps just all felt like one continuous lap. I lost count, had tunnel vision, and just wanted to finish at this point. After a few laps I found myself in the front at the start/finish line, another preme lap started. I was very quickly swallowed up and spit out the back. I took this opportunity to water board myself in an attempt to get some water in me. Rather than drinking and feeling refreshed, I choked on it and was out of breath. I took my line and managed to grab a wheel and was pulled back up to the pack. I made it thru another preme. There was another preme at some point but I took turns from yoyo-ing off the back of the pack and grabbing a wheel in the middle of the pack. Dan offered some words of encouragement and it was nice seeing a teammate nearby. Just seeing the teammate helped me feel like I had some company and helped ease the suffering. My legs were shot, my calves were cramping up, and I had nothing left in the tank. At the sprint I had great position coming out of turn 3 on the last lap. I sat on the last wheel on the outside and went to stand up out of the saddle to start to pass people. I immediately fell back into saddle only to have to suffer thru a calf cramp to the finish. With about 50 ft left in the race my right calf and hamstring locked up on me and I ended up crossing the line with one foot clipped out hanging uselessly. Dan and I finished “strong” with the pack. What I took from this race is I need to get actual training in so I can hang out towards the front 10 or so riders so I don’t have to worry about the people just clinging onto wheels for dear life like I ended up doing. Fighting for wheels was pretty hectic at points and just hanging out of the side in the wind wasn’t really an option for me at points.

Sunday's 45min Thompson Park Circuit Race: Men’s C1

Sunday morning was a bit colder and windier. Once at the course I rode up to registration to help Maureen get her numbers. We were a bit early so we had to wait. Once back at the cars, Calahan was prepping for his race and went to go take a few laps around the course. I decided that was a smart thing to do so I did the same on my own time. The course was pretty cool and it was very short with no real turns in it. I liked everything about the course other than the damn hill. Climbing has never been my strongest aspect of riding, but I’ve made it a point to make myself better at it. Just taking the two laps around I figured that this was going to be a quick race and that somebody was going to be attacking on the false flat in the middle of the hill. I looked like a fun course and was pretty excited to hit the bottom of the hill at full speed and not have to worry about any turns. Back to the cars I coasted. I geared up and threw my hoodie and jacket over everything to keep warm. I decided to use chemical toe warmers because frozen toed races are no fun and add some unnecessary suffering. I rode my rollers for 30 minutes or so while cheering on Calahan when he went by into the uphill. I zoned out with my headphones cranked up and started to get pumped up. I still had a good bit of time left before the Men’s C1 race. Hydrating as much as I could, knowing I would not be drinking much during my race. At one point, Derek was riding rollers next to Josie’s beloved Pebbles, Eugenia was riding rollers, Tom was riding his trainer, and I was riding rollers next to Tom’s car. It was pretty cool warming up with the gang. Tom mentioned his legs not feeling ready but I assured him we’d be fine. We heard the Men’s C1 being called to staging and I rode over in my Columbia hi visibility throwback Powder Keg jacket to keep warm. We got a pretty decent position in the second row of riders all bunched up together. We started getting the run down of all the rules for the race so we started shedding our jackets. I threw my jacket over Tom and it ended up landing on the back of his bike because it got caught in the wind. Dan shedded his arm warmers and they ended up getting caught in the wind as well and blowing right back to him pretty much. Some of the guys lined up behind us starting cracking some jokes as it was pretty comical, but shortly after that and sharing a Hammer Gel with Dan we were on the road. Rounding “turn 1” for the first climb I was up towards the front couple riders. I took the inside of the turn and carried my momentum into the turn. I heard all the gears shifting and chains rubbing and wanted to wait a little to shift down to keep the pace up and avoid bunching up. I ran out of gears in the big ring and didn’t want to shift into the little ring so I was out of the saddle by the time the false flat in the middle of the climb had passed. At this point, we were nearing a side lot where Vermont had a fan section as well as UVM(I think?). At this point a Vermont rider being called out by his teammates attacked and went to the very left of the road. Another rider attacked on the right. Two snakes of riders were swarming pass me so I shifted down and sprinted to keep towards the front. At the top, riders regrouped and began the descent. I don’t remember how fast we were going but it was pretty cool getting to max out on gears and just pedal as fast as I wanted. I was on the inside of this turn and coasted pass the ~10-20 riders that were in front of me. I carried that momentum into the climb and shifted into the little ring and down the cassette at the same time, just as my momentum slowed down and I had to catch my own weight. I stayed up front until the false flat and pulled off into the wind for another rider to pull thru. The rider behind me was just sucking on me wheel and didn’t want to pull thru. Eventually someone came thru and a train of riders followed. I eventually climbed my way up the hill off to the side of the pack. We strung out going down the hill and I took my line and again made up my position again to the front-ish. I didn’t lead up this climb but I stuck with my line I took the first and second lap. I felt the burn down to the bone in my legs AND I LOVED IT. It really sucked but the fan section up on the climb running along side and just yelling in your face really was a great motivator. At one point a Vermont rider towards the front got a push up the hill from a teammate watching the race and that kinda pissed me off. He didn’t break away but it was when he happened to be attacking and everyone else had to put out that much more power to catch him. I am not sure which lap this was but coming down the decent I managed to pass up to the front and show face again going into the climb. I shifted, perhaps too aggressively, and my chain dropped. “Are you f***ing kidding me, keep shifting, get the chain to grab, chain please catch, just do what you are supposed to” I very quickly slowed down and the pack began to swallow me. The rider directly behind me bumped off me while I kept shifting up and down trying to get my chain to grab on one of my front rings, I didn’t ever care if I had to muscle it in the big ring, I just wanted to maintain position. I had to stop, I was skipping left and right off of unaware riders behind me and was a risk to everyone else. At this point I yelled, “Heads up! Chain drop!” and I threw my right hand up so riders could more easily identify the problem and avoid colliding with me while I was delicately balancing at 5mph. I was stilling shifting up and down with my one hand on the bar and a rider just clipped my handlebar and almost knocked me over. After everyone had passed me I quickly stopped, lifted my wheel and shifted one more time and took one soft pedal. CHAIN’S ON GAME ON! I quickly got up and went to sprint to regain position and I quickly looked behind me and noticed Tom had dropped. I eased off of my full throttle adrenaline rush and worked with him up the hill. We didn’t really regroup together until the downhill where Tom pulled thru hunched over his handlebars in aero position. We were moving pretty fast. I followed close enough to keep a draft and I pulled thru going into the climb. Tom was burning up. I road next to him and gave him a push with my left hand to give him some momentum to carry into the last bit of the climb. It seemed to help but he said his legs just weren’t working. He seemed not exhausted, but more so like his legs were just giving out on him. I pulled thru on the downhill and I heard a whistle blow. We were both pulled. I was pretty livid as the pack wasn’t close to lapping us. At that point in the race, I just wanted to get some mileage in and ride the course, as it was a fun one. We both coasted into the parking lot confused as to why we were pulled. You win some, you lose some. I shook the anger off and quickly changed into something warm. I went back to the edge of the parking lot to cheer on Derek and Dan. Derek was still up with the lead group. Dan didn’t seem to be anywhere in site and then I heard the whistle blowing like crazy again. Everyone was getting pulled and Dan was one of them. He lasted two or three laps more than Tom and myself. I went to ride up to him and talk to him and he seemed to have been pretty calm about it. I started complaining about the official pulling me and he quickly calmed me down and reminded me it was the beginning of the season.

Other:

Other than all the racing that was going on, the trip was a great time. The ride down wasn’t too bad other than the time of day. Hanging with the team was fun and cheering everyone on was great. During the crit, Brett and I got creative with the GoPro and stuck it in a crack on the edge of the road. The shots turned out great and I’ll work on getting them onto facebook or my dropbox for everyone to check out. Cheering on the women’s C race on Sunday was also pretty entertaining. The Vermont guys were aggressively cheering them on so naturally I joined in on the fun. We were borderline harassing the main chase group to go faster and telling them to stop shifting because they were complaining about their chains dropping in response to our cheering. We encouraged the stragglers on the back to work together and to catch up with the riders nearby them. Some completely tuned us out while a few of the other girls were getting a good laugh from it all. I mistakenly was cheering on a Pitt rider thinking she was in Udel kit and teammates and the Vermont crowd harassed me for it. We all got to cheer on Eugenia during this all and I started yelling at her in Spanish. “Mas rapido!” and such. She found it pretty entertaining and just shook her head at us. At one point Calahan was running along side her yelling at her to go faster and such and that was pretty fun to watch. Cheering on Josie and Mo during the intro race was also pretty fun. Mo looked strong in the front group and did pretty awesome for her first race. Josie was with the mass of strung out riders behind the lead pack and also showed her appreciation for the cheering and yelling with laughter and a big smile. Overall, I thought everyone had a solid weekend and I look forward to HOPEFULLY being able to race up in NY with the team. It was also awesome getting to meet the MIT rider David that needed to bum a ride. He was a pretty cool dude and I’m glad we got the chance to meet and hang out with him.
Also, I need to work on shortening these things up. Unless people like the length and reading them I will keep the walls of words coming.

Race Report by Brett Houser

So the official (*) first weekend of Drexel Cycling's road season is now over. We're one week into the ECCC road season and it's doubtful that I could ever fully relay to y'all reading this how excited I was -- and still am -- for the turn-out we had this weekend at Rutgers, let alone the quality of people we have representing Drexel in our conference and abroad! My goal in writing this isn't to talk about the racing or the results. I'm sure we would all much prefer to hear the racers' own tales of the races as they raced them rather than regale you with my musings from the sideline. Instead, my goal here is to tell you how what I saw -- or rather, how good I felt -- as our squad came together and encapsulated what I like to think of as the ECCC spirit. That rare ability collegiate teams in our conference have for creating a sense of incredible, positive models of team comraderie, all while showcasing a supportive atmosphere for other racers, both veteran and new. The sheer enthusiasm and raucous support they showed for one another in their respective racers was a [expletive deleted] phenomenal display of support! (Drexel had racers in Division 1 Men's B, C, and D; Women's C and Intro.) But the most amazing thing I witnessed was their encouragement, cheering, and general reverence for any and all cyclists in every race -- from any school, in any category -- their ingenuity of always shouting just the right thing avoided the moments of possible near-mockery and elicited tons of supportive excitement for the pelotons as well as the lone riders still on course. (Myself strictly excluded, as I did shout some excitedly mistaken remarks to Alex Lambi from Temple during Saturday's race that were both confusing and oddly sexual. Having misspoke while yelling instructions, the confusion felt by those in attendance in regards to my remarks I was palpable and embarrassing.)
But Drexel? Wow! They were a model of team excellence and made me proud to hear "of course they're from Drexel!" Statements like that were made in gleeful reference to the enthusiastic cheering section from an otherwise lonesome/unattended corner of the course, where bewildered racers knew they had no teammates but couldn't ignore the ecstatic nature of the fans cheering every time they rode.

"Of course they were from Drexel. They're awesome!"

Now folks, I want to see some race reports before you get bogged down with the Phlyer and finals! At least one racer from every race/category this weekend. Not to be sexist, but I'd like to see one from Josie, Eugenia, and Maureen, each. However, Tom and Neal are required to write one as our President and Treasurer. Calahan should also write a race report, having been one of those things (I forget which) in the past. And if I may take this moment to congratulate Joey and Derek for their performance this weekend! To my readers: Wondering what performance I'm talking about? Hmm, good point. Well, then maybe you two should also write a race report, just so everyone knows what I'm congratulating you for! And Dan, my favorite racer from last year whose reports fell to the wayside of fantastical epochs from racers who are no longer with us: Give me something grand! (Seriously though, I want you to write a super-grand race report from this weekend, Dan! Topple that Nick report from last year about his slain "steel behemoth!")
(*) Discounting the ACCC races at NCSU in North Carolina the other weekend, this was the first ECCC weekend where any and all points are calculated for Drexel Cycling.

Race Report by Tom Calcagni

*Note: It may seem that I'm very harsh on myself in this race report (which is true), but it’s so that others can learn from my mistakes.

Saturday Time Trial:

2.2 miles? No big deal. I’ve done this time trial the last 2 years; I know the distance intuitively by now. I feel confident that I’m going to do well—it’ll be a piece of cake! Nope. I was wrong.
This time trial is probably the most difficult to master. If you try to sprint because you think it’s such a short distance, you will blow up and be tired before you get to the turn-around point. Go too slow, and you obviously lose precious time. Any mistakes will make a huge difference—literally every fraction of a second counts because the race is so short. With that said, I did terrible. I couldn’t clip in at the start and when I finally did I had to sprint to make up for any seconds that I lost. I was unable to catch my breath and had to slow down a bit too much. Then I slowed down even more for the turn-around and took it too sharply. When I finally neared the finish line I couldn’t even bring myself to pedal faster or harder—my legs were freezing! It felt like my knees were exploding when I stopped.

Saturday Criterium:

Another disappointment. My plan was to do a quick pull at the front just to make myself known and then hide in the pack until the last 4-5 laps—huge mistake. I made my way to the front and, unbeknownst to me, most of the Drexel C squad followed. I pulled at the front for an entire lap which was too long. I slowed down and moved to the side to let others pass, but no one came through. Then I slowed down even more to force people to pass. I hid in the pack for about one lap and realized how exhausted I was. I noticed more and more riders passing around me, and then finally I was at the back. We heard the bell for a prime (sprint) lap and the field reacted. I kept losing the group around each corner because I had to slow down so much at the back and then sprint to catch back up. Finally, I was by myself and the pack was only about 20-30ft in front of me. I kept trying so hard just to grab a wheel, but they were always just out of reach. It was like this for another 5 or so laps before Derek dropped out of the pack. Him and I worked together, each taking strong pulls and fought to stay in the race for as long as possible. With about 4 laps to go, we got pulled from the race. At least Dan and Joey finished the race with the group.

Sunday Circuit:

Yesterday was better. We were scheduled to race for a whopping 45 mins which meant repetitively climbing the hill and inescapable pain each lap. My plan was to stay with the pack for as long as possible. The second time up the hill is when I got dropped by the pack. I lost too much time towards the top of the climb because all I wanted to do was recover. I had to double my efforts on the descent just to attempt to catch up. At the third lap, the pack was still within sight. As I was beginning the climb on my third lap, I noticed Joey at a complete stop because of a dropped chain. We worked together for a bit, but then Joey did most of the work after I was unable to push myself any further. After about 6 or so laps, we got pulled from the race for being in the way of the main field (which was nowhere in sight). Derek, being the great climber he is, stayed with the pack for the entire race and finished very well too.
I wish I got to stay in the race for longer and I was angry that Joey and I got pulled so early in the race. I can’t speak for him because he was just having a case of bad luck, But in regards to my race, I know now that it’s not the fault of the official for pulling me that made my race short: it was my lack of training and my lack of effort that caused my race to end so quickly.
Despite my disappointing results, I had a blast with the team! We were cheering everyone on—not just Drexel people, but everyone. We formed a cheering section on the climb at the circuit course and helped motivate and support each person that braved the hill each lap. It was great hanging out with the team, taking photos, attempting to navigate through New Jersey, and sharing after-race stories as well as sharing snacks. Hope to see everyone next weekend in New York!

Rutgers Race Report by Maureen Gribb

I look forward to reading everyone's reports from Saturday! I was not able to go but had a lot of fun at my first race on Sunday (thanks to a great group!).

Saturday Criterium

Josie and I both raced Intro's for the Criterium. I was excited to have a partner for my first race. We went over to the training a half hour before. Learned to pay attention to everyone around me because a rider can slip up even at 5mph and crash into you. When we did do our Intro lap. I road easily up the hill and tried to listen to Tim but he was up with the first rider. The whole time I was just thinking - "30 mile hill ride yesterday was a bad idea. I am so sore." When will took off for the 4 lap race, I could not get clipped in so spend the first climb with one foot in. At the top of the hill I had a second to clip in finally. After going down the first hill, I noticed we started to climb the second hill so slowly so I just raced around to get to the top and took about 6 girls with me. When descending the second time, a girl weaved in and out of bikes and knocked another girl over right in front of me. The crash freaked me out and I thought I just really do not want to crash and am staying away from her. Now there was 5 of us climbing the hill. I thought the pack was right behind us too so just tried to keep up. I just followed along staying in the middle of the pack. Going down hill, everyone sped past me and picked up the pace at the bottom (without me noticing we picked up speed). I tried to catch up and was close at the top but did not go all out to blame myself for not killing the hill to get closer to them (we only had to do 4 laps!). I work hard to down hill to the finish line and finished fifth. I felt good but not tired, maybe a little sore.

It was great to have everyone cheering on the side and there after the race. Thanks for making my first race fun! We ate, chatted and cheered all day (and froze a little).


Race Report by: Eugenia Chalbaud Santeliz

Okay this will be fun to write but remember that I am international and sometimes my English gets messed up and doesn't make any sense. Bear with me.

So I was really pumped about my first race here in the USA, I had done several triathlons back at home but never a legit road race. On Saturday I made the mistake of going to bed really late and I guess that affected my performance in the time trial and the crit. I felt miserable on both of them, seriously miserable. I was thinking what the hell did I do in my past life to deserve this kind of torture.The time trial was sooo effing windy and I had no idea what to do. Brett did warn us that it would be THE hardest time trial ever but I still felt like I didn't give it my hundred percent. The crit wasn't any better because the girls started yelling about keeping lines and I didn't know what a line was but then I thought: Like hell she's going to take MY line! Anyway a lot of crazy thoughts on that crit. I got dropped pretty quickly and couldn't get back to the field. I got lapped a couple of times I think. Tried to work with one of the girls but I just couldn't pull her so she just passed me. Joey was in the corner trying to cheer me up but I had already made up my mind that this was going to be a bad time. Calahan and Dan were the crazy fans before the finish line, really funny guys it actually helped me finish. On the positive side I did feel more confident in the cornering (thanks to the clinic). Oh and now comes the funny part about Saturday. Most of you saw me eating a squished doughnut, let me tell you it tasted AWESOME and I would totally do it again if I had to! Brett, I loved your cape and your coaching advice was legit. Anyway, Sunday was pretty cool. The course seemed a lot more difficult because of the climb. A bit of a discussion as to whether you should or should not go to the little ring. When it was close to my time to race (half an hour before, actually) I just started riding around in circles on the parking lot, just chilling and there was the cutest golden retriever puppy. IT WAS SOOOOO FLUFFYYYY I had to get off my bike and go pet it. Okay so somehow I ended up in the first line for the start, completely unintentional. I was just standing there with my camo thing around my head (I felt badass, probably looked like an idiot but was actually cold) and five seconds later I find myself surrounded by girls on bikes. So the race starts, the climb kicks in and of course I think to myself "this is going to suck". I lost the pack in a couple of laps but realized there were a bunch of other girls in my same situation so we kind of worked together for a bit. I definitely had the best fans ever! You guys seriously rock! If you hadn't been there I probably wouldn't have made it to the top of the climb every lap. Joey yelling in Spanish, Calahan I don't know what you were doing but it was funny and Dan was actually running next to me, I didn't know who was doing more effort you or me. Also the guys from UVM were really supportive. My bike is an Allez (in French it means "GO") and I guess they must have read it on my bike and they started screaming that to me which made me laugh. Learned a lot on this race and I feel even more confident on my bike now. Let's not forget how we got lost with the UVM guys on our way to the crit, Jossie's pinkie shoes, Mo screaming "Don't feed the sea gulls!", Tom Tom and the cat food/ gold fish and Dan the Caterpillar. Sorry for the extremely long email but I had a ton of fun with all of you and I'm really looking forward to racing with you guys.


Frozen-Toed AWESOMENESS!! By: Calahan Kirkner

ITT:

Got there early without my packet but stood in line and filled it out, but was only left 20 minutes to get ready, did half of the TT course to warm up, got back to staging in time to stretch and get psyched for the first count-down of the season. But like usual, waiting in line was just enough time to cool down. I managed to talk to the UDel rider in front of me and found out that he came in second for last year's army TT, so I expected to watch him ride off into the distance as I started. I got to the starting line and then the count down… 4… 3… 2… 1… I pushed off and spent what seemed like an eternity clipping in but I know it had to have been 2 or 3 seconds, while still spinning and the UDel rider was still in my sites and i pushed to catch up with him. I know i was going a bit faster than I should have, having just cooled down waiting at the start, but I was getting closed to him, must've been less than 5 seconds behind at the turnaround and i saw him look back and murmur "Sh*t…" and he picked up his pace to about 10 seconds ahead of me by the end. After going just a bit too hard at the beginning I just couldn't keep it at the 5 second gap. Came in 20th of 40, best start to a cycling season so far.

Crit:

Started by taking a lap of the course, the bottom section was total crap. and the incline back to the start was luckily just an extra push. Of course, at the starting line, I was the only one willing to joke around because everyone else was taking it too seriously. And my pinning job was criticized, which Brett then helped me out with. I then got into line with 4 UConn riders that asked, "Yo, Drexel, You alone" to which i replied "Yeah" and they responded, "Then you're with us" and i thought to myself, "F*ck, yeah, these guys are awesome." The whistle blew and we were off! Not getting into each lap, the overall feel of the race was classic D's…. no one knew how to hold their lines, lots of swerving, but that made it exciting in a near-death experience type of way. Throughout the race, I worked with the awesome UConn guys and they made room for me in lines, genuinely great people. Of course all of the NYU guys were complete assholes for the entire race, causing at least 2 crashes at the bottom of turn 2, and there was one more on the incline, when a rider got too close to the edge of the road and went off, taking 2 or 3 guys down with him. When there was a break, I tried to organize a chase and took the lead of the pack, and ultimately wore myself out. Came in 22 of 34, still not bad, but could've done better if I had let the breakaway go.

Circuit:

There was a hill… f*ck hills… 27th of 37… oh-well

Misc:

After the race on sunday, we had a blast cheering everyone on, whether they were racing or not.
AND a couple of passers-by got some bike envy when looking at my bike… made me feel great about the build.
AND it was cold

GO DREXEL!

Calahan out!


Rutgers Race Report by Josie VanLoozen

Saturday

Managed to wake up (kind of) on time!!!!!
Drove over with Calahan and Joey. Luckily we found a Wawa and I was able to get my donut fix before arriving at the race.
Preemptively knew how little I would enjoy racing first thing in the morning and didn't even register for the time trial. I spent the time I would have been riding curled up in ->Dan's sleeping bag trying to regain feeling in my toes. I would say it was a rousing success.
Drove over to the crit course, stayed warm in pebble for a while.
Watched lots of people ride bikes.
Rode my bike! Got dropped from the field in the first preme lap, got flurried on for a minute, didn't finish in last! Counting this as a success as well.

Watched Neal's race, went home, passed out.

Sunday

Got to the course really early, found ideal parking spots, everyone started going out to see the course so I stayed in my warm car and ate more donuts.
Realized I was freezing, sore, and probably didn't want to do the 45 minute C race; went over and asked Tim if I could do the 20 minute intro race instead. Got his approval. Awesome.
Watched lots of bike races, hung out, and saw some really cute dogs.
Went to the intro clinic where they taught us not to look at the ground/our feet during a start. Rode the course with Tim and the other coaches, realized everyone was lying when they said the hill wasn't that bad (maybe I am just a huge wuss about hills, stop judging me!)
The race was only four laps and pretty uneventful. Some girl almost took me out on the first lap going up the hill, so I decided it was best to give everyone lots of room. Rode around in circles a couple more times, decided I really do hate hills. Dripped snot allllll over my frame. Started catching up to some girls on my last go up the hill, got to the top and my front derailleur refused to let me back into the big ring for a while, managed to get past them going down the hill, got destroyed by the wind at the bottom of the hill, and they ended up passing me by the time we got to the finish. Not dead last, counting this one as a success as well. There's a chance this was the coldest I've ever been.

Lessons learned

I should probably train before racing? Or have at least ridden a bike within the last three weeks. That's a thing most people do, right? Someone should have told me.
They weren't kidding when they named this the "frozen toed opener".
I am totally incapable of resisting donuts if we stop at Wawa on the way to a race.

YEAH BIKES! I'll see everyone again at the Phyler weekend, looking forward to it!

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Page last modified on February 26, 2014, at 02:20 PM