CNYC Gets a State Champion

Whiteface Mountain State Championships. June 12th , 2010

Steady rain and cool temperatures greeted the 35 stalwart souls who lined up to begin the cat5 race at this year's NYS road race championships, held in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain. CNYC's own Richard Serton was in the mix, looking to secure a state title for the orange and blue. The course featured a short neutral start, followed by a 6 mile jaunt to a 14 mile rolling loop, which the cat5's would complete 2 times. At that point, the field would follow the original 6 mile stretch back to the foot of the Whiteface Highway, where a 1.6 mile, 8% climb to the finish awaited. Despite the abysmal weather, the field was in good spirits as they approached the start of the first lap. As the rollers came and went, the pace remained casual, with several riders taking turns off the front. Fortunately for the entire field, everyone exercised caution around some of the sharp, steep corners. About a mile from the end of the first lap, the field approached the base of the longest, steepest climb of the circuit, with Serton off the front. He jumped out of the saddle and launched a ferocious attack up the climb, leading the pack the whole time. When he reached the top of the climb, he turned around to find only 2 other riders along with him and a gap of about 30 seconds on the main field. Sensing this could be the decisive move of the race, he exhorted his break-mates to keep the pressure on, which they did splendidly. The three lead riders stayed together for about half of the second 14-mile lap when one of them dropped back, leaving just two. At this point, the leaders could see a chase group of about 5 riders still 30 seconds back, but decided to keep pushing and not let them catch up. The exhausting tactic worked, and when the 2 leaders finished the second lap, they were still about 30 seconds up on the chase group and began the blistering 6 mile descent to the base of the final climb. Upon making the final turn into the finishing climb, it was clear that the chase group would not contend for the win and the ascent began in earnest. The pace was difficult but not exceptionally so and the leaders were neck and neck until the 200m line. Serton jumped and initiated a sprint which his opponent simply could not match. He was 50 meters ahead as the finish approached, giving him enough time for a victory salute across the line!