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Stevens ECCC Opener Race Reports

By Neal Overbeck

Well. My weekend went as planned, minus the TTT which turned into 3 confused ITTs. Probably should have explained better that team communication and acting as a unit with the stronger rider making longer pulls rather than stronger pulls to bury teammates after a mechanical. However, I had expected to use this weekend as training with high mileage and strong efforts so I got exactly that. Going in I had a week full of workouts and planned on taking advantage of the nice weekend weather by doing two races at Stevens and two races at the South Jersey Spring Series. Got the Stevens races in with ample mileage in between and after races. The road race was not ideal for me after coming back from nearly a year off after battling illnesses and asthma issues. It had me at high stress levels due to the course conditions which caused me to be way more cautious than I normally am. After getting caught behind some riders who took bad lines into potholes and having to slow down or veer off my line, I had to hammer it to join back onto the group. Needless to say this happened to me right before the surge up the big climb and I got caught pretty far back off the group, and had to sprint up the hill and catch Joey, use him to slingshot off and towards the group which I eventually caught after an act from god. I gave it all I had to catch back on and am really proud considering I thought I was done due to the poor line I had taken before the climb. I however could not keep up after shelling myself an eventually caved in. I finished the course to get in more mileage and apparently finished halfway in 26th out of 52 riders. Sunday was crit day with an hour and a half between races. First crit I had bad positioning going into the final turn an finished with the bunch sprint. Legs were pretty dead going into the second one and couldn't do much except hang on with the lead group for 30 minutes as Alan drilled the pack and eventually took 3rd in the finishing sprint. Good job Alan. As for me I'm going to continue my build period and will most likely have to bail on the flyer for good training and ample studying for my finals the following week.

By Joey Yacono

Very traditional start with a racer sleeping in and one just meeting us there due to a similar circumstance. If it was too smooth of a start to the season, I would've been concerned.

Got to the races, go to warm up on the rollers, heyo whaddya know, my cable housing right about my rear derailiuer is cracked and after a quick "repair" it was off to race. I assume this happened do to some sort of combination between the cable housing becoming brittle in the very low temps on the ride over, and the housing section being slightly kinked due to the somewhat short length (most definitely too short I just never noticed). My hour or so of tuning and cleaning my bike was essentially pointless. Saturday TEAM TT - We started off a little too hard/fast where the neutral rollout occurs for the road race and I was uncomfortable with pulling through do to how shitty the roads were at those two tight turns, I admired the determination, but it wasn't a section that was going to make/break a winning time. I pulled through after that and my shifting froze up on me already. I peeled off of the front, tried to muscle up the end of the hill behind them and ended up unclipped and awkwardly kicking at my rear dearailiuer. I don't know why but it worked and I tried to chase back on. Never closed the gap but I knew the roads were shitty so I ITT'd the rest of the way knowing that I still have to plan on finishing due to the possibility of one of the top two teammates in the TTT flatting. You never know what's going to happen, so after shelling yourself on a sacrificial pull/mechanical you can ride through, just keep riding. I had them in my sights for 90% of the course, only lost sight of them on a sweeping descent. It was frustrating, only because I saw both of them also ITT'ing. That was cleared up afterwards. Just to reiterate for everyone, TEAM time trials require TWO teammates to finish. No hard feelings, it is what it is, and it is something we can look back at and laugh about.

RR - Started at the front, made sure to as it makes positioning pretty damn easy for the beginning of the road race. Ended up leading the first 1.5-2.0 miles and got shuffled to mid pack after pulling off, nobody was letting me in and I actually got pushed out of the pack when trying to get back in. Keeping it classy UDel. Going up almost every climb in this race for me was weaving between people who forgot how to pedal. It was frustrating, and after three laps of constantly getting caught up in that nonsense it started to get to me. Lap 4, Neal, myself, and a small group of riders were not too far off of the back. Neal caught up to me and I grinded away and got him close enough for him to catch back on. I shortly after got a push from my buddy Tom Barnett of Providence (A field) and TT'd pretty close to the pack going into the turn from the main road into that pothole riddled descent. I was maybe 3 bike lengths off of the back and then the follow keep ripped past me and stopped in front of me when it came into oncoming traffic. That basically ruined my shot at catching back on as I was worked up with anger and lost my focus. I overheated and began cramping really badly on the last lap. At one section, spinning as easily as I could up a hill, I had an inner monologue talking me through each pedal stroke. My legs were pretty useless at this point and standing up proved to be pretty useless. It was an inner battle just cresting that little hill. I was out of water but a Hannah Cole of UNH provided some much needed moral support. I finished the race, definitely not strongly. This is my least favorite course, of all the road races I've done, and I will never enjoy this course. My physical fitness improving did not help much as this course still managed to absolutely destroy me again. Sunday Circuit - Didn't get to do this race as I was up late the night before sick and throwing up. If anybody would like my report of self doctoring I can send that out as well. To shortly summarize, mucinex is the worst.

It was awesome getting to see new riders out enjoying it and doing well. Shout out to Vince for bringing home a win and a second place. Chris, it was pretty awesome watching you suffer on the front of a chase group, good stuff. Andrew and Adam, tri club was well represented. It was awesome having you guys out and I do hope to see you at many of the upcoming race weekends. Tim Drake would like to partake in the TTT at the Phlyer so Andrew, Adam, you have one more team slot to fill as I told him you would be racing together! Danish, good stuff this weekend, I'm glad you're enjoying this sport and the collegiate racing scene. Dan, thank you for everything this weekend, it was greatly appreciated. Josie, as always, it was AWESOME SEEING YOU AT THE RACES.

By Andrew Keenan

This weekend did not go as well as I hoped it would but it did not turn out to be terrible. This weekend was my first time ever doing a TTT. Going into the race I think that Adam, Chris and I all thought that we were going to have a much quicker time than we did. After riding the course and seeing how awful it was I was pleased with our time. In my opinion not knowing the course was definitely a disadvantage. If we had rode the course beforehand we could have paced it a little better. Overall the TTT went pretty well though for a complete rookie team in that event.

The road race did not go as well as I hoped it would. This being my first road race ever, plus my first race after my crash that required surgery was not the best combination. Adding in all the pot holes, tight corners, and crap on the road I was pretty much shitting my pants before the race. The first lap did not go too horribly, I lost the lead pack on the first downhill due to my crappy decent technique, but that will improve hopefully. I stayed with another pack for the rest of the first lap and part of the second lap. Going down the long decent on the second lap I was taking a corner, not a tight one, and my rear wheel started jumping out from under me. I am amazed I didnít lose it right then and there. I managed to save it only for the same exact thing to happen on the next turn. After that I slowed down and looked to make sure my back wheel was okay and at that point I fell out of the pack that I was in. I finished that lap with no one within 50 yards of me. I pulled out after the second lap because of what happened on that decent. I did not want what happened in my last race to happen in my first race back, especially with USAT nationals coming up in under a month.

Sunday went a lot better. I liked the format of the circuit much better. It was much more flat and a lot faster than the road race. Before the race went off I was having trouble with my rear derailleur and after what seemed to be everyone at the race looking at it, we could not get the chain to stay on the top two-three rings of the cassette. I didnít think this would be much of a problem but it ended up being a major pain in the ass during the race. Once the neutral lap was over the field seemed to break up on that first lap a little bit, mainly because of the bottle neck corner. I stayed in a pack of about 12 for the whole race after that. The little Syracuse kid was crazy, he loved to pull anyone and everyone but just burned himself out for the end. I ended up 2nd in that pack of 12 after being beat out in the sprint and 33rd of 60 overall in Cs. I am happy with that race and definitely look forward to this weekend.

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Page last modified on March 10, 2014, at 05:41 PM