Owasco Stage Race

This past weekend the TSV Elite/Espoir team competed in the Owasco Stage Race. This is a relatively new event, only in it's second year. However the promoter aggressively recruited Pro/Elite teams and ended up with 110 riders for the Pro,1,2 event, including riders from Navigators, Colavita, Ofoto and many of the top New England amateur teams. In attendence were myself, Mark Nielson, and Rich Kloslinski.

Stage 1 - 26k TT

The team arrived the day before the first stage to pre-ride the TT course. It was quite challenging, an out and back route that began along a large lake then headed up into some rolling hills. After setting up our TT bikes we went back "home" and relaxed. Our host housing (the promoter put us up, thank you Dean and Rita) was less than a mile from the start of the TT. In fact we only used cars to get food...we were able to ride to all of our races.

In the morning we awoke to some serious winds. It only got worse as the day went on. Mark, Rich and I didn't start until 11AM. For me the TT was quite tough. I've never done one of this length. The crosswinds made riding straight a challenge. The tailwind I expected on the way back never materialized. I finished nearly 5 minutes down on the leader, as did Mark. Rich, however, rode a brilliant TT. Using the original Scott Lemond Clip-ons on his road bike Rich finished in 11th place, beating many pro riders on full TT bikes. The winner of the stage was Piotr Mazur, Polish National team member and former Junior World TT champ.

Stage 2: 45km Twilight Crit

We were all nervous before the crit, expecting the stronger teams to string it out and take time bonuses. Our goal from this point was to conserve Rich's place on GC, since the payout went 20 deep. Our nervousness was exacerbated by the darkening clouds. The rain did in fact begin an hour before our start, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The promoters, concerned about the safety of the riders, eliminated the time bonus sprints. The entire field just wanted to survive. Rich and I lined up near the front but got stuck in the back of the pack due to bad starts. The race was fast but never difficult. We each had close calls dodging fallen riders or sliding on soaked manhole covers. Mark positioned himself well in the end, finishing 20th. Rich and I finished safely in the field.

Stage 3 - 160km Road Race

The road race consisted of 3 large, unique loops. Previewing the course was nearly impossible, so we were all making guesses on the severity of the climbs. The race had a mellow start. The pace picked up briefly for the first two KOM sprints and then regrouped. The third KOM climb was quite tough and almost proved to be decisive in the outcome of the race; Rich and I went over the top in a group of 20, just off the back of a lead break of 15. The rest of the field was in pieces behind us. Our group caught the leaders on the descent. Then Rich then made a good move with two Colavita riders, an Ofoto rider and some others. I tried my best to block. At this time most of the stragglers were able to catch back on. Rich's break quickly gained 3 minutes, but was chased down when Davidenko of the Navigators team and the TT stage winner decided to pull the field along for the next 30 miles at over 30 mph. The entire field was strung out for what seemed like an eternity. About 60 of us were left for a hectic field sprint. Neither Rich or I could contest it, in part due to the oncoming traffic. Rich did move up one spot on GC to 10th though, a stellar result considering the competition.

All in all it was a great weekend for the team. In addition to our exploits in the Pro,1,2 race Doug Fagan and Taylor Brown took 4th and 5th respectively in the Men's 3 crit. Taylor then took 2nd in the road race. Sarah Charlesworth also took second in the women's 3/4 road race.

The team would like to thank all of our sponsors, especially Bicycle Therapy for lending us some fancy wheels for the weekend.