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2009 NCCA Nationals

May 8th and 9th


Front Range Road Race

  • Division II
    • 48th Tim Manzella

CSU Downtown Crit

  • Division II
    • 49th Tim Manzella

Race Report

So, I made it to Nationals, which was my goal for the season even with a couple setbacks before and during the season. The racing was hard, and the competetion was even harder than most races that I have done. The road race featured 30 miles of hill climbing before reaching a 4 lap circuit that was ~15 miles each and then a 10 mile hike back to the start area that feature another couple climbs. The crit was a figure 8 that was longer than previous collegiate crits. It was cool because for our race there were a lot of town folks out watching our race and cheering us on which was a nice change of pace. The other cool thing about the race is that every school gets one rider called up so for both races I got to line up in the 2nd row of pack which was sweet. Enough about racing...

I ended up heading out to Colorado on Tuesday after my morning classes. I ended up being the first one out of our group of four to get there. I ended up staying with Steve H. from Union and Emma B. and Frances M. from Mt. Holyoke. We ended up being joined by Chuck a BC alumni who was out in Colorado and Joe and Caitlin. We ended up kicking Joe and Caitlin the recently engaged couple into army's rooms, but chuck slept on our floor. Steve and Emma's planes ended up being really late, with Emma's coming the next day and Steve's coming really late at night. I ended up waiting around for Steve and then we caught the bus over to the Hilton(yea we stayed high class) which was the race hotel. We immediately crashed. We woke up the next morning to watching Cool Running on TV before hanging out with Alan from Army. While exploring the resort we were staying in, we found a swimming pool with a hot tub, massage place, hair salon, starbucks, and a inhouse eating place, sweetness. Did I mention that our room was a king size bed and a queen size pull out bed. Emma ended up joining us part way through the day and we all ended up heading out for a ride exploring part of the road race course.

The next day, Thursday, we were joined by Chuck and Frances. While Emma and Steve were at some collegiate conference meeting me and Frances went out and got breakfast at a mom and pop place after spending an hour on the internet that we stole from the hotel finding a place to eat. Steve joined us for lunch and we ended up riding through CSU's campus singing buttercup baby having students looking at us like we were crazy (we might be) and found a chiptole to eat at. The rest of the day was spent riding the course again but this time with Chuck, BU, and Tuft and attending meetings. In these meetings I ended up meeting Matt Shiver and some other former pros. We ended up discussing rules of collegiate racing and the greatness of the ECCC compared to everyother conference, it helps when 2/3 of the people at the meeting are from the ECCC. An hour was then spent in a race meeting going over rules of the race including how to pin your number so that you don't get fined by USAC (apparently people have been fined). I also got to play around with the new electronic Dura Ace because Shimano was providing the neutral support with sweet custom painted Orbea's with either the new mechanical Dura Ace or the electronic group.

The next day, friday was the road race, which was hard as hell cause the wind decide to come out and play and there were some damn good riders (aka pro's). Before our race, me and Steve went to the feed zone to feed the girls. There was a very interesting person there named Bob who owned the corner store there and was not happy with all of the people that were by his property and the fencing that was put up. The whole time we were there I don't remember ever seeing anybody at the store. I ended up being in the second group on the road of around 30 people with about 35 people in front of our group. Some people decided to breakaway from us and try to catch the front group (didn't work) and others got dropped. After we left the finishing circuits I ended being with 4 other guys on the final climbs after we dropped the rest of the group. After the race we ended up having Italian food for the place across the street for the 3rd straight day and relaxed and celebrated Emma's victory in her race. We ended up going down to the hot tub and chilling for a long time and hung out with the Air Force team. Apparently at the feed station that day their guy was handing out sausage and porn mags to his riders the last time through the circuits.

Saturday was the crit which was probably one of the coolest courses I have done. It was really fun and awesome and I ended up finishing with in the lead group but didn't fell like sprinting for placing. Afterwards we all celebrated the end of Nationals by going through town. We had a dinner provide by USAC that night which had pasta, what did you expected from a cycling event. Awards were given out and the ECCC took 3 of 4 road race wins as well as a crit victory. We ende up chilling the rest of the night before catching a bus really early in the morning for the airport where we napped before our flight. At should be noted that the Philly airport is way better than Denver where we got shit for having bike cases and they cared way to much about the weight of the box and tried to charge us way to much for the transport of it before we argued enough that they checked into pricing and found at the we were right about what we were suppose to pay. Philly was way easier, they didn't even weigh my case or anything.

That pretty much sums up Nationals out in Colorade which was a really fun experience and worth it. Check out Steve's blog, Party at the Back, for some quotes from the weekend.

-Tim Manzella

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Page last modified on October 24, 2009, at 08:35 PM