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Rutgets Frozen Toes Season Opener


Saturday - ITT

  • Men’s A
    • 43rd – Tim Manzella
  • Men’s C
    • 26th – Brent Heverly
    • 32nd – Mark Donovan
  • Men’s D
    • 41st – Andrew Janos
    • 60th – Nickolas Kirkner
    • 61st – Chatura Atapattu
  • Men’s Intro
    • 1st – Nicholas Calcagni
    • 42nd – Brendan Diener
  • Women’s B
    • 13th – Victoria Hanks

Saturday - Criterium

  • Men’s A
    • 34th – Tim Manzella
  • Men’s C
    • 37th – Brent Heverly
    • 45th – Mark Donovan
  • Men’s D[ish]
    • 1st – Nicholas Calcagni
    • 8th – Nickolas Kirkner
    • 12th – Andrew Janos
    • 14th – Chatura Atapattu
    • 15th – Brendan Diener
  • Women’s B
    • 14th – Victoria Hanks

Sunday - Circuit

  • Men’s A
    • 29th – Tim Manzella
  • Men’s C
    • 4th- Alan Fody
    • 31st – Brent Heverly
  • Men’s D
    • 12th - Nicholas Calcagni

Race Report

So I’m not the best with making these reports funny/entertaining, but you’ll have to deal with an engineer trying to be creative.

Scene opens: Its begins outside of North hall in the blackness of night/dawn. I pull up as the whole team is gathered around Victoria’s car trying to figure out how to get all of the bikes up. So I step in and proceed to disassembling one of the roof racks and rotating it so that all of the bikes can fit. Than we proceeded along to the NJ turnpike for what started as the 1st of many trips up this fabled road season. At least this is one of the few trips that doesn’t involve going through NYC and having to deal with the traffic. That gets to wait until this weekend. We ended up getting to Rutgers just in time for the start of registration, without the use of a garmin or tom tom or one of those crazy gps devices, only my mapquest directions from the previous year, once again proving that my directions get you there on time and don’t get you lost. 1 point for Tim. Anyway, we all got to stand in line and wait for our numbers. With some luck, I ended up getting the last single digit number for Men’s A, success. The other good news was that our flyer for the Philly Phlyer officially got posted, success number two, which meant that Joe wouldn’t be coming to my house with an Ice Ax this week.

The rest of the team gathered after receiving their numbers for the first lesson of the day, how to put on numbers properly. So for the people that don’t know the proper procedure, it goes like this. Step 1: take you numbers and crumple them into a ball. This gives you good luck and also means that you numbers don’t make noise when you’re in the wind. Step 2: make sure you have atleast 8 pins, if you’re advanced you use 8 pins per number for a total of 16 pins. Step 3: one number in the center the other on the side, and the one on the side goes with the ECCC logos on the top, not the bottom. Step 4: Don’t pin through the holes in the number. Step 5: laugh at people with upside down numbers.

Now onto the actual racing that took place. The ITT started of the events, with Rutgers has finally realized that they will never be able to run their longer 4+ time trial so we once again had the 2.8 mile course with 2 u-turns. The wind was stronger than most people thought, atleast compared to last year, given that that times were over 30 seconds slower than last years best times. It looks like everyone did pretty good in their first race of the season, though some were disappointed with their results, but we haven’t raced for a couple of months. Nick ended up getting Drexel started early this year with a victory in the ITT. I went slower than last year, but felt faster than last year.

What was nice was that this year the criterium was back to the Rutgers Football stadium which is only a half mile for the ITT which means that it was way less of a drive. The course had shown the damage of the winter with a couple of potholes, but that would be called an ECCC course. First on the course, after a couple of pre race laps to figure out the course were the D/intro racers. There were over 150 D racers this race, which meant that they had split the group into 3 groups instead of 2. All of our D/intro riders decided to race in the E race which was meant for the people that weren’t sure if they wanted to do intro’s or D’s. We ended up placing well in the race, with Nick once again racing to victory, making him 2 for 2 for his race weekend. All of the others place well, but the wind got a hold of a couple our racers and they ended up by themselves. If there was a bigger pack, like in the DI and DII races, they would have had more people to go off the back with. In the C race, Mark felt the sting of having doing tons of squats for baseball the previous day and ended up cramping part way through the race. Brent hung in well for his first race in C and ended up only getting dropped in the last couple of laps. I ended up helping out with the Intro Category again this year, with its new format of 30 minutes of coaching prior to the actually race, which allowed us to explain so basics about racing before they started, and allowed Joe to take tons of photos of the intro riders. The women intro riders are definitely a lot easier to coach than the men, they seem to listen more and actually do what you say, the men are all out for blood and want to win. The women are all making friends and talking about class and even after finishing are all talking to each other about what happened and how well they did. Victoria was up next with her first race in the new Women’s A/B category. She ended up lasting with the pack until the usually A suspects took hold of the field. Still for her first A/B race in a couple of months she did pretty well and if she had done the Women’s A/B race on Sunday, she probably would have finished with the pack. Next up was my race, Men’s A, though the field had lost some of its stars from last year, it seemed more even than last year, but there was still plenty of punch coming from the monsters from UVM. I ended up getting a bad starting spot, but ended up moving up through the pack and ended up being up near the front until a person went down in the middle of the field for no apparent reason, causing me to unclip and balance to avoid him, I think my left foot ended up hitting his helmet. Needless to say, I ended up having to chase for a little bit to make sure I stayed with the pack which caused my tank to dry up. The last lap saw the usual rampage to the front of the pack, which saw a crash in the last corner of the race on the last lap, and I just sat up and rolled in with the back of the pack.

On to the circuit race on Sunday, with a smaller Drexel crowd. It was the same course that they have always used, though like last year they changed around where the race starts and finishes and reversed the direction, which I personally think makes the race a little harder than how it use to be. Nick ended up finishing of his first weekend with a successful D race by getting 12th place. I think we have our next D sandbagger. Alan and Brent ended up both starting in the C race, with Alan starting off where he left off last year in D’s with a 4th place finish in his first C racer. He’s already being called a sandbagger by some of the alumni. Brent ended up getting stuck in the 2nd pack on the road after the strong wind that was worse than yesterday tore apart the pack. Brent was a little disappointed with his finish, but it was his first weekend in C’s so it takes a little bit to get use to how things work. As I was told by a veteran of collegiate racing, C’s is a combination of B racers that don’t quite have the power to hang with the B’s but have good racing skills and D racers that have the power but not the skills. Next to step up to the plate was me, and after very little sleep the previous two nights, I somehow managed to feel way better the second day compared to the first day of racing. Jeff S. from Bucknell and I tried to bridge up to the break that go away but were unsuccessful, and because almost every team got someone in the break no one really wanted to chase so the 15 person break stayed away. I end up getting up there for the sprint until the wheel that I was following ended up standing up and soft pedaling, so I lost my line to the finish, but I at least got in a little bit of a sprint practice.

So ends the first race weekend of the year, and next up is the Columbia/Stevens weekend in NYC. So to everyone else that raced, add in your own take on the weekend.

-Tim Manzella

The D unit was back in full force as we had five riders compete in the D3
race. Thats an awesome turnout and I think all of the new guys did great.
Props to both nicks for finishing in the front and to Andrew, not only for
possessing the nicest bike on the team, but when he lost contact with the
front, battled the wind and did not let the gap worsen for a good amount of

My first C experience was so so. I hung in for about half of the crit but
was getting killed on that last turn. After getting dropped I got into an
effective paceline with some other guys and turned what initially sucked
into a great training opportunity. Got some hard miles in. Same went for the
circuit race. I probably had my best race ever in terms of gaining position
as I rode in the front third for nearly the entire race. On the hill of the
second to last lap I was falling back and I learned one thing. When Fody
says grab his wheel, GRAB HIS WHEEL! I couldnt hang and I found out after
the race that a UNH rider had pulled allan all the way up to the front and
thats when he worked his magic and secured fourth place. Not at all
sandbagging, more like strategy coupled with immense strength. Great ride

Tim had a solid weekend in A's from my view. I know there were a couple
incidents like crashes that got in his way in the crit but he hung tough and
finished with the field. During the circuit race, I saw him get his first
action of the year trying to bridge to a break.

To all, while some may be upset with their first race (I know I was) fear
not, its early in the season and few of us possess the hard miles in our
legs that are necessary for racing. Keep showing up to the races and I
promise you will see results. Good work team.

-Brent Heverly

Over the past five years I have only ever biked for fun in my spare time, never trying to pursue anything but a way to waste time before doing homework in high school. Since this is my first race, I have a lot to say because I’ve never been anything quite like this. I have been in marching band, where before competitions there are different schools warming up all over the parking lots but there are instructors yelling and… well… instructing. Cycling was a whole different animal, each of the teams knew exactly what had to be done and everything in their warm-ups was done light-heartedly but with power. My highlight of the day was when two girls walked by, the first girl saying, “This is just like a track meet”, and the other responding “Yeah! Except its better and way nicer.”

Onto the races.

Whenever I looked at the time trialists on the TV, I thought they are the most B.A. cyclists since they did it all themselves. I never thought I’d be doing that because I am pretty slow by myself. In this first time trial I came in with incredibly low expectations. At the first turn, I made my mistake; I came in too fast and didn’t make a wide enough turn… lesson learned. This was my first time trial and I do not regret giving it a try at all. I made my mistake and from now on I will remember that and now that I have realized my potential I no longer have any type of low expectations of myself in TT.

As for the crit, I’ve seen these before in local races and on TV, so I was incredibly psyched to finally be in it. I was planning to race in D’s but when they offered to race in E’s and all of the intro guys thought about moving up, we made the decision to move in to E’s and work together. In the race, I first took the initiative and lead the group for the first two laps, before realizing that I am just wearing myself out. I then dropped back and chilled for two laps before attempting to make an attack and get back up with Nick. I had five failed attempts before the last lap where I made it to the front to lead them back around to the finish. Nick drafted off of me and took first while everyone else rushed ahead to try and catch up with him. Saturday was friggin’ AWESOME and I can’t wait until this weekend where we do it all again (but hopefully I can do better).

I haven’t been to any races before this one but I think we all did great, and there is still the rest of the season to get to where you want to be.

-Calahan Kirkner

With almost everyone’s report already in, there isn’t much else to say.

However, it’s been a while since I’ve competed on a serious level (outside
of intramurals, the last time was my high school basketball team) and I must
say that atmosphere at Rutgers was something I forgot I missed dearly. From
the morning departure where I had Charles going for a couple of seconds that
I had locked him out of his car, to the drive up with Victoria where she
kept reminding us that she was an excellent driver that forgot the order the
accelerator, brake and clutch were, the time at Rutgers was extremely fun.

I was among the many first time racers this season and the time trial was
definitely a great way to start the weekend. While it was a nice warm
weather day, it was bitterly cold in the morning and fairly windy too.
Completely out of shape, I gave it my all for the race and while I placed
terribly, it was nice to get the first ever race and anxiety out of the way.
The aftereffects were a badly burnt throat and lungs (from the cold air and
horrible breathing technique) that haunted me the rest of the weekend.

After the D races, it was a pleasure to watch Calcagni go at it in the
intro TT, where he was definitely kicking it while coming round the starting
point. Turns out his pace won him his first ever race. Heverly and Donovan
raced their first ever Cs and did fairly well in the field. Manzella, well,
what’s there to say about Tim? He rode an amazing pace that I hope to match
someday. Victoria did great in her first category B race, after getting over
her pre-TT jitters with excessive trips to the bathroom.

While I had heard of the mysterious “crit” before, this was the first time
seeing it in action and the strategy of all the D and Intro racers going
into the temporary E category seemed to have worked with Calcagni, Kirkner
and Janos holding the front of the pack for the majority of the course. I
dropped back early and spent the majority of the race chasing and Diener ran
into mechanical issues which ended up with us not faring too well in the
end. Calcagni won his second consecutive race, with Kirkner and Janos
placing well. Donovan and Heverly raced in the C1 category that was a
massive field of close to 50 riders. Tim hung with the main pack for his
category A crit, varying position in the field during the race and avoiding
the two crashes in the final turn of the last lap. Victoria rode a solid crit
in her category B.

The ride back into town was filled with greasy food from a rest stop in NJ
and traffic all the way into the city. Sadly, due to transportation issues,
Kirkner and I were not able to race on Sunday. Charles was a wonderful
mother to the whole team on both days (from what I hear).

-Chat Atapattu

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Page last modified on April 07, 2010, at 04:04 PM