2017 Newtown Cyclocross p/b the CCAP and Team 26

Today’s Newtown Cyclocross p/b the CCAP and Team 26 was total radness. The new course at the Second Company Horse Guard Stables was short, but excellent. If they add a few more turns, this track will be even better. Just watch out for the horse poop!

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We had an awesome contingent from Team Horst Sports and the Team Horst Junior Squad. Since the race was co-promoted by The Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP), there was a fantastic junior racer turnout. CCAP kids raced “free.” CCAP is an organization whose goal is to improve the lives of Connecticut’s youth and young adults through the sport of cycling. With the help of more experienced riders, the CCAP supports young people in cycling from our state’s high schools all the way to the top of the sport.

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Team 26 is another important part of this race. The team is a group of cyclists affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook School who support common sense gun safety legislation. They inspired the Nation with their courageous ride from the Sandy Hook School to Washington D.C.

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In prior years, the race was held across the street at Fairfield Hills, but race promoter Monte Frank told me that the horse farm is the preferred venue for the future. I liked the course. “Undulating” would be a good description. It was also grassy, which in the constant drizzle, became a very challenging surface to navigate. I tasted a bit of that grass in my first head first slide on lap one of the Masters 40+ race.

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Once again, I had a super battle with my Bolton neighbor, Stan Lezon. I think he has 8 inches on me (height wise), but we are evenly matched when it comes to cyclocross. Yesterday’s battle at the Cheshire Cross was another classic in our long running series, and I came out on top. Today, he took advantage of my first lap fall, and held the gap to the finish. I nearly closed the gap with three laps to go, getting up to his rear wheel, only to see my chances go away with another fall on a hairpin turn. He pulled away again. I spent the last three laps chasing furiously and was wishing for one more lap because I was gaining on him. The race ended up short at 39 minutes, but after the first of six double race weekends over the next six weeks, I’m not complaining. I have to nurse my nose back to health!

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I wasn’t the only one to suffer a mishap. Joe Kubisek, was in the top three when he rolled his rear tire. I actually made a tire mistake today. I warmed up with my TUFO Flexus Cubus tires with are for muddy course. It wasn’t raining and I felt they were slow in the grass, so I switched to my TUFO Flexus Primus tires and I paid a steep price. They are OK in mud, but when the rain intensified, the course became treacherous and I was wishing for more grip. I ran relatively low pressure around 26 psi, but still had trouble. Thankfully, I didn’t have the problems that Joe had. I feel bad for him, but I’ve had my fair share of mechanical trouble this season. Hopefully that is behind me.

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Eneas Freyre took the win, just like yesterday. Travis Burleson made amends for yesterday’s crash, and took the second step on the podium in front of Stan. I ended up 4th. My teammates Wade Summers, Art Roti, and John Meyerle all had good races on a course that favored bike handlers. In the Masters 50+ race, Mike Wonderly was 2nd, just like yesterday. He was in the lead when he caught me (they started one minute behind us), but he bobbled and crashed, which allowed another rider to sneak past him. Mike is an amazing bike handler, so this course was made for him. I followed him until he crashed and marveled at his skills. I even noted to Wade as we chased that we needed to follow Mike’s lead. He is so good at turning his bike in slippery corners. Tom Ricardi also raced the 50+ and was strong. Even Tim Rourke got into the fun, racing in the Men’s 4/5 event.

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Shepard and the boys on the Team Horst Junior Squad had a blast. He was joined in the 9-12 year old race by Boden, Lars, Owen, and Ethan. In the 13-16 year old race, Cole and Sean represented the team.

 

The CT Series of Cross pauses until the day after Thanksgiving when we head to March Farms Cyclo Madness in the Litchfield Hills. Next week, is a big New England race, the Verge Northampton International Cyclocross. This is a classic and an A race for me. It is part of the Vittoria Northeast Cyclocross Series

Race Results

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