Tales from Inside the Peloton ...... CYLRR Reports

Thanks to Rich Serton, Ad Stabel and Marjolein Schat for the cyclingnews write ups.

Report #1

A damp and chilly cold front stayed in the region just long enough to drop some rain on this year's CYLRR. But, the racing was fast and fierce. In the combined A-B field the pack stayed together from the start to the base of the first climb on lap 1. The pace increased enough so that by the end of the first 2 climbs the true contenders had separated themselves from the group; but no real attacks had come. A group of about 25 including several CNYC riders descended together and began the 2nd lap. As a steady rain began to fall, this group headed North and approached the final climbs. CNYC's Richard Serton was the first to attack on the last climb. He was followed by a group of 9 riders. Ryan Steers pulled clear of this group near the top and opened up a gap of about 400m. The chase group worked furiously to reign him in as the final blistering descent began. As the combined group rounded the last turn into the home straightaway CNYC was in a great position. They had 4 riders in the top 10. After an all out sprint CNYC's own Ad Stabel came clear for the win with Rich Karaz taking the 3rd position for a near-podium-sweep by the host club. CNYC also took 6th and 7th places with Brett Sherwood and Richard Serton.

Report #2

On a wet and cold Sunday morning, nearly 40 racers lined up for the B category of the CYLRR 2010. Two powerhouses were eying each other bringing a contingent of riders coming off some good results. CNYC had Ad Stabel and Richard Serton; who came in 9th and 3rd in their respective categories at the Tour of the Battenkill. Team Ommegang had brought David Yacobelli, who placed 5th in the Tour of Battenkill Cat 4 race. The tempo was steady from the start, and going up the climb, CNYC strong man Brett Sherwood could be found pedaling at the front, coming over the big hill in 1st place. All CNYC riders were visible at the front of the race. Nobody else really was too courageous. Except for some guys who got dropped on the climb the group of contenders stayed together. Brett kept on pedaling off the front a couple of times, but he did not get much rope. Starting the second time around the climb, it was clear that the game was on. Ommegang's Eric Korolewski came to the front and started making tempo on the first hill; but CNYC had a plan. Richard Serton was going to put in an attack on the big climb If he was caught Ad was going to try to finish it off. Rich Karaz suggested we go for the MAPEI 1-2-3 sweep, of which he was going to be part, obviously, after coming up with the idea.
But tall and strong Ryan Steers had other ideas. After Richard Serton slowly died on the big hill after a hard attack, Ryan powered past him and went off into the distance. After a hard chase, combining the efforts of the Ommegang and CNYC teams, Ryan was caught at the next to last corner. He kept powering through and in the run up to the finish Ad Stabel put in a sprint starting from 200 meters out. Eric Korolewski came up to his rear wheel but was never able to pass him. The victory was for the young 50 year old CNYC rider, with Rich Karaz taking a convincing third place. Rounding out the top 7 were Brett Sherwood and Richard Serton who paid for his earlier efforts. So not a complete podium clean sweep but a well deserved victory and 3rd place for Team CNYC!

Report #3

It was 40 and snowing when I packed the car at 7 this morning to head to New
Lisbon for the race. Most of the drive was through a mix of rain and snow,
but happily the rain stopped just before I got to the race venue. I got
there early enough to pre drive the 12.5 mile loop that the women were
scheduled to do twice. The first four miles were very gently rolling on
very good though very wet pavement. Four miles in we had our first corner
to into the second third of the loop. A fox ran across the road in front of
me here - a very pretty animal. This four mile stretch started with a steel
decked bridge crossing and contained two ½ mile long climbs separated by a
few shorter climbs separated by dips. Then the second turn, a little more
climbing and a few miles of downhill on fairly rough pavement before looping
around again on a slight uphill to the start.

It looked like 10 or 11 women, and maybe 40 men. We were sent out in two
groups all groups to do 2 laps, the men starting two minutes ahead of the
women. My goals were 1) not doing any work, 2) not riding alone, and 3)
attacking the second time up the second ½ mile climb. There was one team
that fielded 6 women, so I did not feel bad about the decision to do no
work. Unfortunately I failed to meet all three goals. Whoops.

Although it was not actively raining at the start we all got soaked by the
water on the road in very short order. This chilled me down a bit and I
found my resolve to do no work for most of the race rather frustrating
because the women who set the initial pace, chose a very sedate 11mph pace
that did nothing to actually warm the muscles at all. Happily one of the
other women, Margaret, was even more impatient than I was and she picked up
the pace to a more reasonable muscle warming speed after 3.5 miles. I had
been sitting 3rd wheel until that point and easily popped over to Margaret’s
wheel. Margaret and one of her teammates led into the first climb. I
decided to test the legs of the other ladies (and warm myself up a bit) and
pushed the pace a little bit, but stayed below threshold. I started this
little push – it was not an attack, just holding a steady pace through the
steeper parts of the climb, about half way up. At the top I glanced back
and saw I was off the front followed several bike lengths back by Margaret
and her team mate at mile 6. Margaret made up most of the distance to me in
the dip immediately after the climb. She came up almost alongside me just
at the bottom, and I had hopes of the two of us working together to stay
away. However, she fell off on the climb up the other side of the dip and
dropped further back on the second ½ mile climb.

At this point I decided to try to get far enough ahead to make the “out of
sight, out of range” mental game work for me. I pushed over the top of the
second ½ mile climb and each of the other smaller climbs. I settled in for
a long time trial riding at threshold as much as I could and every time I
looked back I saw just empty road. I caught one of the guys as I started in
on the second loop. I was a little concerned that with the wind that had
sprung up any gap I had would shrink on the rolling section if the ladies
had regrouped behind me, so I kept the pressure on myself. I passed a few
other men and then mercifully was on the climbs again. I pushed over them
this time around rather than just climb them just below threshold. I passed
several more men on the climbs and pushed through to the finish, for a total
of 19 miles alone off the front.

Margaret told me that when she came to the turn 200 meters from the
start/finish the first time around, a corner marshal told her she was 35
second behind me. At the finish she was between 1 and 2 minutes back.
Third place was four minutes behind 2nd. It rained on and off throughout
the race, and both poor Madone and I were quite filthy when we finished. It
was a well run event. A huge thank you to the organizers and volunteers who
stood outside in less than pleasant weather but still cheered me on with
smiles when I came past.