Cooper Ray is in 4th place in the VERGE NECX Series and 5th in the Mid Atlantic Cross series for the Killer B’s. Rachel Rubino is in 4th place in the MAC series after a strong showing both days at Nittany! Charm City is this weekend so hopefully we’ll keep this going!
Last weekend (9/14-9/15) was Green Mountain Cyclocross up in northern Vermont. Wilis, Cooper and myself left Brooklyn in my car around 7:30pm. Chris Lee and Ben drove up with Donnie and Nelson (non-KK racers but all around homies) shortly after us. I decided to take the I-95 to 91 route through New England rather than taking 87 up through New York in order to avoid getting pulled over for speeding by NYS Troopers. After growing up in Upstate NY, I know how ruthless they can be.
After several cups of coffee and +/- 6 hours of driving we arrived at the Anchorage Inn; our hotel in South Burlington, VT. Upon check in we ran into Chris Pino and the rest of the 5th Floor/Cicli Devotion team who were also staying at our hotel.
Chris Lee and company arrived about an hour or so after us. We packed 7 of us (including bikes) into one hotel room and settled in for the night.
The next morning we headed to downtown Burlington. We cruised around town, checked out lake Champlain and got some breakfast before heading to the race.
When we pulled up to the race course we got a little idea of what was in store for us the rest of the day - MUD.
After pre-riding the course and waiting in like for 30 minutes to wash our bikes, we started warming up for our race at 1:15.
The course featured an uphill start without a real holeshot, but rather a long series uphill turns that strung things out relatively quickly before hitting a technical section of tight turns, off-camber downhills, a short stair set and you-guessed-it, some thick mud.
I wound up settling in to a group earlier than I should have, as I am still unsure of my fitness this season after taking most of the year off from road and track racing. I wound up battling with Brad from Geekhouse, Wilis and a few other guys. The course was really hilly and pretty technical. I would gain time on the uphill climbs after the start, but then loose ground on the technical stuff. A few sections had really thick mud as well. I think I need to work on my handling/concentration after 35 minutes of redlining. I ended up finishing 26th (just outside of series points) and Wilis got 29th. Cooper disappeared with the front group early in the race and ended up finishing 10th!
On Sunday I was determined to have a stronger start and not settle into the race as early as I did the day before. I got a decent start but then got pushed into a stake by someone on an off camber descent and went over the bars. By the time I got back up I had lost about 10 spots. I caught up to Wilis and we battled again for most of the race. The course featured about the same about of climbing, but it had a huge stair run up and a lot more technical descending. Wilis ended up staying away on the last lap for 31st, and I came in for 33rd. Cooper Finished 2nd overall after battling with someone for the whole race.
All in all, it was a great weekend of racing and it was nice to get a taste of of some technical, muddy racing early in the season instead of it just being a fast and dry grass crit.
This weekend the team will head down to Baltimore, MD for Charm City CX, the 2nd race in the MAC Series.