CNYC Takes Two at the Strawberry Festival RR
CNYC had it's best weekend of 2009 by winning two of the race categories at Strawberry Festival. TVC does a great job of putting on this race year after year. It's one of New York State's most difficult road courses; with lots of climbing and an uphill sprint. Two tales from inside the peloton. Thanks to Ad Stabel and Dale Beckwith for the race reports.
Rich Karaz and Ad Stabel took the start of the 45+ field. They were up for two hilly loops; starting with a steep climb leading past the finish as soon as the peloton crossed the Susquehanna river.
Although cloudy and after an extremely wet day and night the morning of the race was dry for the most part. Immediately, Andy Ross, and Dave Fasso from MaxPowerCycling took the reigns and rode a stiff tempo up the steep climb past the finish. Assisted by Doug Carlson and Ernie Bayles from Chris Cookies they were trying to shake the tree right from the start. The group mostly stayed together until the second steep section; there Andy Ross was once again shaking the tree. Ad Stabel passed him on the middle section and rode a stiff tempo once he noticed a small gap starting to appear. After that a group of seven riders went off the front. The lead pack consisted of two riders each from Chris Cookies, MaxPower and CNYC, one guy from Corning and a Canadian rider.
The group rode a good pace and the others were left behind. Starting the second lap, once again MaxPower meant business, with Andy and Dave pulling at the front. Coming onto the steep section past the finish for the second time, Dave put the hammer down, but was passed by Doug. Ad bridged up to them and the three had a small gap. Each team member having a compatriot in the chase group. They did not let go immediately and for a couple of miles they were in sight at about 20 seconds. But without sufficient support from blocking team members the chase eventually gave up and the trio up front paced its way to the finish climb. Here, non-sprinter Doug Carlson tried to power away, but Dave countered and Ad followed. They passed Doug, and opened up a small gap. Approaching the finish line, Dave had another acceleration and took the overall of field #2. But since Dave and Doug were both racing the 35+ category; CNYC took 1st and 2nd after Rich out sprinted the remainder of the chasing group.
Sunday, June 21st - Father's Day at the Strawberry Festival Bike Race.
It is a slightly overcast day with a bit of wind from the West. The
start of the race is based at the Hickories Park in Owego, New York.
The 4th field of riders ( The Category 5 Group ) left the park at 10:15pm. As we leave the
park it is a leisurely three mile ride through the village of Owego. As
we cross over the Highway 38 bridge the tempo starts to "beef-up". As
we start up the Montrose Turnpike road a couple of riders from the
Corning Racing team go to the front. They set a moderate pace up the climb past the
finish line. At the top of the climb
there were approximately 12 riders. Ed Curley and I (both from
CNYC) were place within the top four positions just in case somebody tried to
break from the field. As we approached the left hand turn from Montrose
turnpike to Valley Road, one rider from the Corning Team tagged along as
we broke from the field. Working together for approximately 3-4 miles
we came to another climb where the Corning rider fell off. I saw the
opportunity and proceeded to push hard up the hill and on to the hard
right turn up the Watts hill. As I looked off to my right to see what
was happening behind me I saw a three man pursuit about 100 yards back
with Ed Curley ( CNYC ) behind them letting them do all the work.
When I finally got onto HWY 503 I pushed hard up the rolling hills and
enjoyed the downhill descent. The tight turns were not as bad as I had
heard about. With Ed in the chase I was able to maintain my gap.
New to the sport of road racing. This is my 7th career race in the past
two years; I've been in the lead pack several times. But, never could
get that illusive victory. As I crossed the finish line it was a great
feeling. Not only having my first breakaway victory; but, to have my
wife and two boys (my three trophies)waiting for me at the finish line.
What a great way to celebrate Father Day.