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Report2006-04-01

Penn State Weekend

Date: 2006-04-01
By: Stefan, Hairs

Penn State Criterium

Men B (46 Starters)

  • 12th Chris Hair
  • 37th Adam Leman

Men C (62 Starters)

  • 17th Stefan Grecu
  • DNF Mike Coyle

Men D2 (34 Starters)

  • 6th Collin Hair
  • 17th Dan Moyer
  • DNF Steve Bronstein
  • DNF Brian Gordaychik

Team Time Trial - 4.8 Miles

Men B (13 Teams)

  • 10th Drexel 12:14.89

Men C (16 Teams)

  • DNS Drexel

Men D (10 Teams)

  • 5th Drexel 13:21.86

Road Race

Men B (54 Starters)

  • 16th Chris Hair
  • 20th Adam Leman

Men C (62 Starters)

  • 25th Stefan Grecu
  • 32nd Mike Coyle

Men D (53 Starters)

  • 27th Collin Hair
  • 32nd Dan Moyer
  • 34th Brian Gordaychik
  • 44th Steve Bronstein

The PSU weekend was full of long two-laned driving, thick smelly morning apartment fogs, vegan ice cream, drunk 3 A.M. wrestling roommates, schmonsters, and oh yes, another weekend jam packed with awesome collegiate cycling action.

Saturday kicked of the action with the Historic Bellefonte Criterium. Saturday morning the team learned who not to trust with directions and even brushed up on some French in learning the real meaning of “Bellefonte”! The course was basically a city block tucked in a quaint small town featuring four corners, a slight up-hill, and straight burn for the line. The D-Unit was up first with Dan M, Steve B, Brian G, and me, Collin H. starting the race. As usual the D-Unit claimed their spot in the front and Dan. M eased the cutting race tension and gave us the advantage by unleashing whatever crawled up and died in his ass at the line. I blame him solely for the apartment’s morning fog, but he succeeded in throwing a few teams off their game, most notably Army from their grunts and sour faces. The race itself was rainy and even muddy, but super fun. Dan M. led the charge and set pace for the first couple of laps, with me sitting in with the front and Brain G. and Steve B. sizing up the field and planning the Drexel break. To the discern of most of the field, the slight uphill became overbearing multiple times through claiming the race of 14 riders, almost half the field of 34 starters, including the hard fighting Brain G. and Steve S. eventually. Dan M. fell off the pack somewhere, probably due to intestinal problems, and finished strong with 17th place. As for myself, I took a bad wheel in the second turn and got burned on the downhill and was too much of a girl to latch back on. Fortunately, I did get to practice my “Spreemming” skills and picked up 2nd in both sprint laps with a final of 6th place. Therefore, I claim the D-Unit leader’s jersey with 22 points from the absent Doug Markgraf with a measly 17.

The C and B races were really boring in comparison with no one matching the D-Units overall sexiness, speed, and good looks. Mike Coyle’s street smarts and super caffeinated coffee machismo were not enough to scale the wall of 62 C men starters and like many in his field, sadly did not finish and get the chance to neither spreem nor frint to the line. Stefan Grecu, the largest cyclist in ECCC history managed to stay ahead of the wave and held on for 17th place, spreemed for a point, and weighed down so heavily on his bike that he broke a spoke…intense. Personally, I’m scared of the huge C field and both are noble men and fearless warriors for holding it down every race. The B men, Chris Hair and Adam Leman are two crazy cats. When they’re not snuggling together in parking lots, grinding with each other to Mark A’s techno race music, or riding their trainers together for hours before the big dance, they can be seen tearing up the B field from the front, the back, the middle, or even from a measurable distance. Adam Leman looked ridiculous with orange bibs, banana Drexel yellow, and pink wrist bands, but finished hard in 37th. If he weren’t so damned fast up those hills and everywhere in-between, the D-Unit would accept him with open hearts for his fashion sense and overall awesomeness. Chris Hair finished 12th on the day and looked strong in the pack, trying to bridge the gap between a three man break group that did hold out for the win. With boisterous claims as being as fast as a Joe Kopena to steak a microphone, Chris is finding himself writing checks his body can’t cash. He’s on notice.

Overall, Saturday was great with a lot of exciting racing that finished up with the TTT event. The Drexel TTT squads saw a lot of waiting, screaming, and laughter. The highlight being when the pace motorcycle behind the D men TTT squad came to a complete stop behind us after the up hill start. But when all were finished, there was much rejoicing and surprisingly, the D men came in 5th out of 8 finishing teams and the B men came in 10th out of 11 finishing teams. Afterwards, a diner was held for racers and friends alike were Army depleted their hunger rounds on the dessert table with their shock and awe tactics. Also, Mike Coyle ate twice his body weight in spaghetti, Brian G bought himself a $50 t-shirt, and Steve B. whined about a missing meatball.

Back at State College, the team went out for a tour of the campus which included such mature antics as flat tires, being completely silent walking up to a group of girls and giggling after passing by, crazy ice cream flavors, and a late night trip to a super Wal-Mart and even watching girls water polo. Day Light Savings time screwed with us all as a felt like a had just fallen asleep when 40,000 cell phone alarms chirped to life. Sunday featured the Mount Nittany Winery Road Race, which was a rolling 5 mile lope that featured no real challenges except for the final climb which was a km at 6%. The D-Unit had a solid race, with most of the guys intact until the short up hill section of the course eventually dropped Dan Moyer, Brian Gordaychik, and Steve Bronstein off the main group. I dropped off the group during the final climb and picked up 27th, about a minute and a half behind the leader. Dan Moyer grabbed 32nd , 4:20 behind the leader. Brain G picked up 34th , 4:43 behind and finally Steve Bronstein came in 11:45 behind the leader at 44th place out of 53 starters. The race itself was sketchy to say the least with narrow roads, no one holding a line, and multiple riders pushed out in the dirt, gravel, and cow pastures on the side on the road.

The race was definitely not a spectator’s race, however because of the enormous Excursion the Dick family brought along, we were able to see the finish of the B and A men’s races. Us D men witnessed the C men finish from atop the climb at the winery where Stefan Grecu powered his way up the hill to grab 25th place. Letting Eric from UPenn beat him at the line was his only mistake. Mike Coyle finished strong right along with Stefan in 32nd place out of 62 starters, both only about 30 seconds behind the leader. Both seemed happy with their race and even happier that it was over. The B men were propelled in their race by the D-Unit and the Dick family excitingly ringing cow bells as they passed the short up hill part of the course. Both Chris and Adam looked sexy in yellow and as Adam said after the race, he “Smiled on the inside.” Chris apparently murdered a Tufts rider for bumping him on the final climb, however, we resurrected him and he came by and apologized which demonstrates the spirit and class of ECCC cycling. Chris got 16th place and Adam a close 20th out of 54 starters. All in all, some good racing by the Drexel dudes.* Finally, this weekend was better than most because Joe Kopena was silenced and banished to the pace car for Sunday’s races. Undoubtedly, he’ll make his glorious comeback for the Beanpot and solidify Drexel as the official AV and race spectator guides for the ECCC.

- Collin Hair

In order to balance out Collin's 2-pager, I'm summarizing my race report in 3 words- all starting with 'F'

Fartaceous, Frustrating, Funburn

- Chris Hair

I guess the best place to start would be the drive up. There’s nothing like having the windows open on a warm day while driving and listening to Rusted Root at a ridiculous volume. Rusted Root only to be replaced then by Explosions in the Sky, so I had an awesome drive up filled with the dark outlines of mountains, rivers, the warm air, and awesome music. I arrived at Penn State only to run into some people from the highly appraised UPenn women’s water polo team at the Mt. Nittany Wheelworks Bike Shop. I then proceeded to be swindled into the raffle because the thought of a custom painted track frame for a giant like myself sounded pretty darn cool. Shortly thereafter, those conniving UPenn water polo people convinced me to have pizza… but then again, I could be convinced into anything. Finally after driving back and forth on the same road and passing Chris looking for me, I made it to the apartment… much to my delight, I slept next to Bronstein on a kitchen floor. Let’s just say that it led to an interesting first night. Bronstein started it off with goodnights to everyone, the moon, and then kindly asked Joe where babies came from. After he received an unclear answer, or no answer (I can’t remember, maybe Joe just doesn’t know?) he asked Moyer what his favorite insect is. Next came some wall knocking, myself laughing and encouraging him (according to Joe), until he tried it once more and Joe jumped out from behind the wall and got him with water. We had an interesting night when the housemates came back and greeted us with a “Hey there campers!” while we were all trying to sleep. They then went to their respective places only to begin to wrestle and punch floors or whatever sorts of debauchery those Penn State boys are into. Lights dim - Here ends the scene.

Day 2 (Saturday) starts at 6 am with everyone packing up and Coyle just sitting up in his bed for 15 minutes contemplating Socrates lessons of desires and self-control and whether cycling is really worth it. We arrived at Bellefonte and started unpacking and getting ready for a slick course. Of course when I lined up for the C race, it started raining the hardest. I’ll summarize: began a break with a Skidmore guy (don’t remember what happened next but I had to slow down like mad and I was caught by the pack), someone skewered my rear wheel and snapped my spoke clean on the uphill (cost me energy), last turn a guy from Yale and I bumped shoulders and it could have ended bad but we slowed some and got everything under control, but was only able to pull out 17th. After my race, Bronstein, Brian G., Coyle, and I went to a café only find that it is a pirate theme café, which made my whole day, well that, and the fact that it was the best hot chocolate ever. The B race started well and the rain had stopped. Chris and Adam, good to see two sexy yellow jerseys making their rounds in the Cat. B. Then came the Men’s A race, and the 3 men previously mentioned and I went to turn 2 because we knew there had to be some carnage. We witnessed a 3 man crash, unfortunately involving a Penn rider, but it was pretty intense. Nothing like some crazy fast racing and Flogging Molly to make a great day. Throughout the day(and weekend) there were many your mom jokes, but the best was Bronstein’s response of, “My mom doesn’t have a mouth!” I’m sure you all can figure out one way or another of what joke was made. The team then packed up and headed for the Team Time Trial. Adam, Chris and myself warmed up for the TTT and left for the start, only to find out that they were 13 minutes behind schedule. What did we do to pass the time you ask? We looked at Blimpie awnings and had downhill rolling races between our very own Chris Hair and the infamous Josh Furman of UPenn. The men’s B TTT started alright for about the first 50 ft. I won’t go into details for the sake of my pride, but at least we beat Army.

Insert Collin’s recap of the dinner here.

That night started well with Bronstein and I going to the UPenn women’s water polo game and shouting at them. The best part about it is he and I walked about a mile circle to the pool, only to find out that it is literally 150 yards from where we were staying. Bronstein and I then came up with a plan to call Joe and tell him we were in jail. Bronstein made the call, and I just turned around the whole time and didn’t let out a sound. BUT apparently Joe could hear me, but Bronstein and I think he was bluffing and using strategy just to make us think he knew we were lying so we would fess up. Afterwards we ran into Joe and Adam, who knows what they were up to, and we ended up going to the creamery**. We then made our way to the Walmart supercenter, where I learned how to pick the perfect bananas. We made our rounds (Joe possibly still on sugar buzz), looked at potential Darth Vadar racing masks, and left happily. We returned to the apartment for a restful evening. I was sleeping very well until Bronstein started oooing in the middle of the night. (like moo without the m). That’s about it.

Day 3 began with a cold morning. Men’s C was up first to race followed by men’s D a minute later. I made my rounds in the parking lot to get warmed up and headed over. We knew it would be interesting when all we heard from Coyle before the race was, “Bronstein you’re an idiot!” I looked over and noticed that when Bronstein re-pinned Coyle’s side number, he pinned it upside-down… Race Summary: Mens C was really shady for the first 3 laps with some people riding in the dirt because they wanted to be more in the front at times and just got pushed over. Coyle and I stayed sort of in the middle and saved more energy, unlike some who thought they had to be in the front for the first 3 laps. The 4th lap I dropped my chain and couldn’t get it on by shifting so I had to stop and get off to put it back on. I caught a Bucknell rider at about 5 miles and he and I worked together to catch back up for about 3 more miles. Going into the last turn for the winery road I was in 4th position, but after pushing so hard to catch the main group my legs were about done when we hit the hill. Coyle and I finished strong and rode back with the D guys. I had to depart after my race, but overall it was an amazing weekend. Thanks.

-Stefan

  • Joe’s second helping of ice cream that night. The vegan gods are not happy.
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