Monday, July 27, 2015

Race Report: 2015 ECCC Road Season Weekends 4 and 5

As we look forward to another fall of great riding and, not insignificantly, the arrival of the Class of 2019, we look back at the second half of our past road season.  As a reminder, don't forget to like our Facebook page for our most frequent and up-to-date content.

Weekend 4: Boston Beanpot Cycling Classic (3/28-3/29)

The Boston Beanpot Cycling Classic, hosted jointly by MIT and Tufts, saw four Bucknell cyclists race in what started out as a very white late-March weekend.  Saturday morning's Individual Time Trial (ITT) was a loop of a little over eight miles that featured significant ice and snow buildup on race day.  First on-course for the team in the Men's D field, Kanishka Suwal pushed through the morning's steady snowfall to finish mid-pack among a huge, 43-man-strong D field.  Daniel Lazier and Alex Breakstone weren't any luckier with the weather for the Men's A start.  Dan posted a solid time and collected one solitary point for the team.

Kanishka starting off the weekend's racing in the Men's D ITT.
The Sutton Road Race later in the day followed a moderately hilly 11-mile loop which featured its most significant climb around a mile from the finish.  Though the snowfall had slowed slightly, the roads were still messy.  Kanishka finished his 22 miles in Men's D before Alex and Dan followed in Men's A.  What was slated to be 66 miles was severely cut to just 42 miles due to the poor road conditions.  While Alex was pulled and placed, he finished within the points, and a strong performance from Dan earned him 10th place and 26 points for the team.  Only 14 riders finished the race with a time, and the speed and conditions of the race were evidenced in the way riders came in in ones and twos.  The Men's B road race was similarly shortened from 55 to 35 miles, and Brian Case was able to finish 12th.  This was his first weekend racing in B's after starting the season in A's.

Sunday morning, the guys were happy to wake up to clear skies and sun, though temperatures were still very low.  The Tufts Campus Criterium was short and highly technical - under a mile and featuring 6 corners.  The course followed a downhill into a tricky corner, a chicane, and a steep hill before the finish.  First to race, Kanishka did not finish the Men's D2 criterium due to the cold.  In Men's B, however, Case was very much in the race, finishing 19th as a two-man break stayed off for a 41-second lead on the pack at the line.  The Men's A criterium was even more ruthless.  Only three riders finished their 60 minutes, with the top two places going to Queens University by a minute and a half.  Both Alex and Dan were pulled, but Alex was able to nab two points for Bucknell with his 19th place finish.

Weekend 5: Army Spring Classic (4/4-4/5)

The United States Military Academy at West Point consistently hosts one of the season's most scenic race weekends, and Bucknell Cycling rose to the occasion, bringing six riders to the beckoning banks of New York's Hudson River.  Unfortunately for those who had never raced at Army in the past, the weekend's hill climb - highly, if not disproportionately, hyped up by those elder statesmen of the Bucknell Cycling Team who have themselves reached out for individual glory on its sloped streets - was cut out of this year's festivities.  The 7-mile out-and-back Harriman Team Time Trial started off Saturday's racing.  Christian Ouellette, David Schell, and Charlie Hanna constituted the team's only representation in the race, powering to a second-place finish and 20 points among the Men's D2 field.

Charlie, Dave, and Christian (from left to right) start in the Men's D TTT.
The Harriman Road Race followed a 14-mile loop and two steady climbs, and the Men's D field was prescribed two laps.  By far leading the charge was Christian, whose solid performance was enough for a 10th place finish and 11 points for Bucknell.  With this being his first mass-start race, Charlie unfortunately did not hang in to finish, while David was in difficulty and DNF'd as well.

In the 70-mile Men's A race, Lazer thrived.  The longer and bumpier the route, the better Dan does, and this race was no exception.  He finished 5th within a lead group of five heavy-hitters, who built their lead to almost three minutes over the next group of riders.  The icing on the cake for the team was a visit by legendary alum Harry Chen.  Alex was pulled and placed.  Over the 56-mile Men's B race, Brian Case's effort was good for 11th place, as the first five riders stayed off the front and the rest of the field was shattered.

Alex, Dan, and Harry before the Men's A road race.
Alex sticking his nose out at the front of the Men's A road race.

Dan makes the Velocity Results results page for his strong 5th in the Men's A road race.
Sunday's Shea Stadium Criterium indeed returned to its original course around the stadium for this year's edition, featuring a long run along the Hudson River and multiple curves and corners of varying angle.  Keeping his hot streak alive, Christian took a 2nd and a 3rd in the two primes in the Men's D2 race, then went on to take 2nd at the finish.  The D squad worked well together, and the baby blue was never split far apart; David Schell came in right behind Christian for 3rd, and Charlie hung on to finish the race in 15th.

Christian and Dave throw a 2-3 punch in the Men's D crit.
In the Men's B crit, Brian got 3rd in the second prime lap and sprinted to 8th out of the 26 riders who finished with the pack.  In the Men's A crit, Alex nabbed 4th in the fifth out of six primes before flatting out, while Dan finished mid-pack.

Case sitting in the Men's B crit.

Dan sitting in the Men's A crit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Race Report: 2015 ECCC Road Season Weekend 3 (3/21-3/22)

With the last few races of the 2015 ECCC road season coming up, we're here to catch you up with our progress and results so far, starting with the second weekend of racing (officially the third ECCC weekend including the cancelled first weekend).  This weekend, Temple University hosted the Philly Phlyer - a staple of the ECCC calendar - and we were generously hosted by friend and former President Brian Tino.  Due to irregular weekend schedules for some who wanted to race, a regular trip was made out to Philadelphia Friday night in addition to a second batch of racers who came out Saturday night to race on Sunday.  Racing both days were Daniel Lazier and Brian Case in Men's A, Steven Robare and newcomer Christian Ouellette in Men's C, and Kanishka Suwal and Kurt Schlosser in Men's D.  Coming up for Sunday were Ward Prescott and David Schell, both Men's C racers.

Saturday started off with a Team Time Trial, and the team was in action in the Men's C and D categories.  At 14 miles, the course was relatively long for a ECCC TTT.  It was the same course as last year, starting with a descent to the Schuylkill River, where it flattened out and teams followed the road out and back twice before ascending to the finish.  Kanishka and Kurt went off first for Men's D followed by Steven and Christian for Men's C.  All but Steven had never raced a TTT before, so it was time to put the winter's pace-lining work to the test.  Both pairs were passed on course, but both also caught up to teams up the road and put up a fight.  Men's C finished tenth out of fifteen, and Men's D finished seventh out of ten.  The time-trialing was rough around the edges yet definitely a good first experience for Kurt, Kanishka, and Christian.

The "Schuykill Scramble" Circuit Race later in the day also followed last year's course - an approximately 6.5 mile loop that descended to, ran out and back along, and ascended up from the river, with a hilly loop thrown in at the far end of the circuit.  It was slightly chilly yet dry for the start of the Men's D race.  Kanishka finished the 20 miles exactly in the middle of the 26-man D2 field, which was very split by the finish, and Kurt was pulled and placed.  Soon later, Men's C set off for their 26 miles.  Steven and Christian both came through with the pack after the first lap, but it was the hilly back section that did them in on the second and third laps.  Steven hung with who he could, finishing the race at the back of the field, while Christian was pulled and placed.

By the time the Men's A race rolled around, the sun was shining and the temperatures had risen.  Dan stayed tucked in the pack where he needed to be for the 46 miles, handling the hilly and fast sections adeptly.  With one rider finishing a minute and a half off the front, the rest of the group finished strung out and slightly split up.  Dan nabbed a solid 15th-place finish, and Brian was pulled and placed.

Kurt and Kanishka (left to right) warm up for Sunday's criterium, featuring one of our new Cascade fluid trainers!

Sunday's Temple University Criterium also followed last year's course - a classic, four-corner crit right in Temple's campus.  The sun was out again, though it was chilly for the Men's D start.  Throughout the day, a strong headwind along the finishing straight and the straight preceding it proved critical.  Kurt finished in the fourth of four main groups to finish; him and six other racers came in 2:20 back from the front group.  Kanishka was in the majority of the race and was the last rider to be pulled before finishing times were given.

Ward, Steven, Dave, and Christian were at the starting line for the 40-minute Men's C crit.  The first and second-place finishers came through the finish solo, far ahead of the rest of the field.  Ward won the sprint among the five-man group he finished with, coming in just within the top 50% for the race, and Christian also finished with that group.  Steven and Dave were both P&P'd.

Dave, Steven, Christian, and Ward line up for the Men's C criterium at Temple.
Unfortunately, results did not get much better later in the day for the Men's A race.  A lot of heavy-hitters came out to play and enjoy the weather.  Like in the Men's C race, almost half of the starting pack didn't finish the race or was pulled.  Dan and Brian both received a P&P for the day.

Case and Lazer stay warm in the sun before the Men's A criterium.
Despite the lack of results on Sunday, sunny skies, good grillin', and good company - as well as a weekend's worth of solid racing - kept spirits high.

Our cookie-warming system, designed and hand-crafted by the engineers of the Bucknell Cycling Team.
As always, stay tuned as we continue to roll out full-length race reports on the blog, and stay connected by liking our Facebook page.