Ain't No Hollenbecks Win....for CNYC

A run of 2 consecutive weekends with CNYC wins came to an end this Sunday. Hollenbecks.....a Upstate NY Spring Classic provided lots of fun and good racing this year for the CNYCers.....but no wins. The club was represented well by Rich Karaz, Richard Serton, Ed King, Scott Graham and Peter Martin.

Race Report by Rich Karaz.

Why do we race bikes? For prizes? No. We race bikes because we love it. Like in the beer commercial, "This is what we do." The Central NY Spring Classic previously known as the Greek Peak Road Race has been Hollenbeck's for quite a few years now. The race draws a nice big crowd. What do we race for prizes wise? Cookies. Seriously, cookies. Chris's Cookies is a bakery in the Ithaca area and they supply the prizes besides the top 3 in each category getting their entry fee returned. Still, the parking lot at Hollenbeck Orchard is filled to capacity. Lining up in the M35+ race for the CNYC club is Pete Martin, Scott Graham and myself. One lap, 22 miles for us. Truth is, I signed up to race 2 laps, but due to some USACycling jargon, it was decided I'm best off just enter the M35 event. Oh well.
Scott's expectation for himself were conservative knowing he didn't have big miles in his legs. He's a gamer. No training, but he can still pull it out on race day.
Peter is Mr. Bike. He's feeling better on the bike this year and so far, he's been in the mix. I too have been in the mix and that's always fun.
The race got going fairly smooth except for the wheel van of the race in front of us being an early 70's Volvo wagon which was putting out some pretty smelly exhaust. Damn. Besides that, Pete became annoyed by a rider who advanced over the center of the road. Was there actually a painted line? No, but the rules state the center of the road cannot be crossed. I've seen this rider before. He's got gnarley legs, skinny mofo, and I don't think he washed his kit since Battenkill. It was filthy. After Pete yelled at him, I rolled up to him and said, "I don't have to tell you how to race a bike, but you have to respect that rule." He acknowledged and we rolled away. I asked his name as we were trading pace, Bob it was, and we were off for about 5 miles. At this point we whittled the field of 50 guys down to about 15. Pete was there, Tope Damiano was there, Ernie Bayles was there and as we approached the Gap, a new guy named Hank (according to Ernie) went to the front and started drilling it. I was on his wheel and he was definitely going hard. We hit the gap and Bob and I were at the front. I said to Bob, "One good push" hoping we could separate again, but we couldn't. Now we are down to about 8 guys. No Tope, no Pete. No Pete? Correct, no Pete. Turns out, Bob, the gnarly legged, dirty kit, rule violating guy guided Pete right into a big hunk of road debris and Pete punctured. Damn. No crash, no wheel damage, but his day was done.
The finish suites me. it is a K+ very steep finish and I knew my chances were very good seeing I rode as the guy along with Bob pretty much controlling the race...pretty much. The gallop starts and all I can say, it is like an arm wrestling fight. Honestly, I blew it. I waited too long, the guys ahead of me had too much of a gap and I didn't leave myself enough room to reel them back. When I knew that, I didn't all together give up, but yes, I did back down. I ended up 4th, that's fine, I rode well, but now the harder racing begins.