By Ben Civiletti
Editor’s Note: We were only able to offer Men’s Race reports this week. We would love to gain some other contributors. If you know somebody who is interested, have them talk to Sully at the next race weekend.
Team Time Trial
The Men’s A team time trial at the Philly Phlyer was essentially a drag race, in both senses of the word. The course was dead flat for the majority of the 6.2 mile distance, and there was a fierce headwind on the first leg of the out-and-back loop. Teams with full aero setups got at least a little of their money’s worth in this race, although the technical upper circuit may have evened the score a bit.
Franklin and Marshall College came in with a blistering time of 13:34 to win the day by just two seconds. Following them was UPenn in 13:36 and perennial ttt favorite Penn State with a time of 13:48. Franklin and Marshall is an emerging team in the ECCC and winning a TTT is a strong statement that they not only have strong individual riders but that they have dedicated team spirit, coordination and strength in numbers. The Penn State men were clearly riding strong in defense of their current lead in the ECCC season overall.
The only variable in the race of truth besides the riders themselves was a flock of geese that decided to hang out in the middle of the road. There were no incidents reported, but many tense moments were experienced as teams collectively crossed their fingers and hoped the geese would stay put. As it turns out, men in skinsuits going over 30mph are just as scary to geese as hitting a bird is to a cyclist.
The circuit race took place after the ttt, allowing ample time for shenanigans before re-chamois-ing. The Men’s A field was stacked with strong riders from all over the East, and the race was on from the gun.
Over the top of the mid-lap climb, a break of 6-8 riders formed off the front, and held a small gap for one lap. This move was caught again on the climb and countered by a vicious attack from Charlie Avis (Princeton) and Robin Carpenter (UPenn). This two man breakaway quickly gained one minute, and at the start of the fourth lap, the advantage was nearly twice that. The field behind was a bit disorganized, and as a result a real chase effort never materialized. The breakaway succeeded in staying off the front, although the gap narrowed significantly as the two riders began to look at each other on the final climb. In the end, Carpenter came around Avis to win the race, while the Princeton rider took second. While that was the result on the road, the U Penn Rider was deemed ineligible by the collegiate rules. Charlie Avis is the actual winner.
Taking the field sprint behind them was Nicholas Reinert (Pittsburgh University). It was never clear whether the two leaders were working well together, but regardless of their respective efforts the move was a good one. UPenn and Princeton are proving to be schools to watch this year in the hunt for yellow.
On Sunday morning, Temple University’s downtown campus hosted a traditional four-corner criterium. The course was a lengthy 1.1 mile pancake, and the speeds were incredibly high throughout the categories.
The Men’s A race got off to a quick start as a mysterious rider from the University of Maryland leapt off the front in the opening laps. This rider was mistaken for a member of the Cervelo Test Team at first, but then everyone remembered that the team was dissolved this year, and it seems Maryland just copied their kit. Rumor has it his name is Tim; however people who know him say it’s Alex. One thing we can be sure of is that his last name is Weiler and he was off the front for a very long time.
To the dismay of the ACCC, unknown Cervelo rip-off guy was caught with several laps to go, and a counter attack yielded a breakaway of three. Mystery man was able to hang on to their wheels, but he was not victorious. Last year’s overall winner Max Korus (UPenn) sprinted across the line first, followed by Evan Murphy (RPI) and Robert Abramo (Villanova).
Christopher Hamlin (UVM) deserves honorable mention for towing the field around at least 6 times in pursuit of the leaders, but alas, they pedaled very quickly indeed.