This past weekend we opened up the ECCC season at the Philly Phlyer in the City of Brotherly Love. We came away with some good results and experience going into the rest of the season.
The festivities began on Friday night at the Bravo's house. We all gathered for a delicious lasagna dinner with a side of Dave's famous garlic bread. Thank you Dave and Susan Bravo so much for your continued hospitality! We really appreciate that you continue to open up your home to us for the Phlyer every year. After dinner we sat down and watched some Basketball before hitting the hay for the night. Usually we watch the collegiate Wrestling championships, but unfortunately they were a week late this year.
On Saturday morning we met up at the Bravo's house at about 7:30 to head down to the race. Thankfully Papa K and Dave volunteered to go down to the race a bit early to secure a parking spot for us. It was a big relief to not have to wake up before the sun rose, so thank you so much for doing that for us! Once we were ready, Eli, Schlicht, Peter and I piled into Schlicht's SAAB and whipped it down the Schuylkill Exp(arking lot)ress way to the Please Touch Museum. Once we got there, we quickly set up our camp for the day and went to registration to get our numbers. This year Schlicht, Eli, and I will be racing in the Men's B field together which is super exciting. It's nice to have teammates in a race and to look out for each other. Peter would be racing in the Men's D field, which had 89 starters on Saturday! He was admittedly a little nervous about the size of the field and the competition, but as soon as he got to the line that went away.
Peter's race went really well! At this race last year, Peter was in the Men's E field and suffered a nasty crash early in the race. But this year he is a new rider entirely and he stuck with the field throughout most of the early stage of the race. Unfortunately, he got caught behind the wrong wheel on the hairpin turn up Strawberry Mansion Drive and lost contact with the main group. But he worked well with a group that he latched onto and finished in the middle of the pack! Peter wasn't very satisfied with the result, but when you consider how far he has come in just one year, he did great. This will be a good learning experience for the rest of the season and I am sure we will see some good results soon!
Later in the day, Eli, Schlicht and I raced in the Men's B race. The rest was pretty crazy from the start. Immediately, we bombed the hill down to MLK and from there, a two man break went off the front of the race to never be seen for the remainder of the race. From there the race went as usual: someone attacked, everyone lost their mind, and then it mellowed out again. The only thing that threw all of us off was that we were catching riders from the 3/4 race in front of us who would latch on to our group. This was especially troubling going into the last lap when people would latch on into the sprint. But besides that, we all did pretty well. Andrew's seatpost fell midrace so he had to battle through that, but only finished about 3-4 minutes behind the main group. Eli lost contact in the second lap and rode out the rest of the race. I stayed with the pack into the last lap and then finished 9th overall in the field sprint. The wind was brutal and the potholes were horrendous, but I would say it was a good result for all of us in our opening race of the season.
|Schlicht and I cruising along with the pack|
|Eli not too far off the back|
After the races, we went back to Eli's and feasted on some pasta before resting up for the next day's races.
On Sunday we got to Temple University bright and early for their campus crit. Peter raced first in the Men's D crit, which was split because of the size of the field. Peter again did a great job! He finished in the middle of the pack in her first criterium. Later in the day (after some delays), Eli, Schlicht and I raced the Men's B crit. The beginning of the race was a little dramatic with some pretty hot laps, but once the field narrowed down to just about 10 riders, things mellowed out a bit. Then there was a slew of laps where there were people on the course who should not have been there, pedestrians not watching as they crossed the street, and one man going off the front of the race. The rest of the race beyond that was focused on just making it to the last lap with the field and Schlicht and I did just that. With two corners left in the last lap, I decided to make a bit of a risky move that (of course) no one followed, where I went up the inside to hit the corner early. I managed to hold off the pack for a bit but got caught by a few riders before the final turn and finished 6th. Schlicht was not too far behind. Given the windy conditions and technical course, we were both very pleased with the outcome.
|"Bye" --- Peter Kaladius (2019)|
|Men's B's ready for Battle|
|Look at those white skin suits!!!|
In other news, WE CANNOT WAIT TO HOST IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!!!!! I hope that everyone is as excited as we are to race in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside as we are.