Yale by Yi-Boe
With Evan off kicking ASS [ed. sic] at Battenkill (4th place Men's 3 Pink field hello!), Friday evening saw RISD Cycling heading off to Yale's much feared hill climb with fellow Brown racer Keith Madden in tow.
*Immeasurable thanks to hosts Mara & Alaric & co. who volunteered their spacious living room (and kitchen!) when we were scrambling after Yale had nothing for us.
615 saw us out of our sleeping bags and George Dyment showing us his master chef omelette-making skills at the stove.
Enjoying the sun
Ya we did.
Warmed and fed, we kicked off the sunny albeit brisk Saturday morning with a 4mile individual time trial at East Rock Park winding up the hill to finish at the Soldiers & Sailors monument seen above. Starting in the shadow of our very-soon-to-be next conquest, the course saw us ascending a gradual climb and crossing a bridge with a brief downhill respite at mile 1. After a number of switchbacks, the course turned uphill again getting gradually steeper to attain the summit. Having psyched ourselves out on the steepness of the climb over course photos and elevation graphs the night before, we found the incline to be rather tame though still challenging and way fun.
Akeem learned well from his Rutgers time trial passing other riders on the climb. Lukas hit the hills hard managing to nearly secure a top 50 spot for RISD. I managed to score an 11th place finish—missing the points by 2 places. In the Men's C's, George Dyment rocked out his custom painted pink Oakleys whilst pushing hard up that ascent.
1030 the metaphorical gun went off and the Men's D2 took off on the Circuit Race starting with a flat stretch before attacking the climb, branching for a technical descent down 3 hairpin turns which saw a couple crashes in the field. I slowly moved my way up to sit in around 12th wheel with Akeem and Lukas keeping close by. Slowly the pace picked up as we dropped riders off the back on the climb. I felt strong going into the 3rd and final lap, finding myself in the lead group but soon was struggling to hold the pace—eventually dropping off and riding solo for an 11th place finish.
Lukas learned the benefits of stretching, suffering an untimely cramp in the second lap which ended in a crash. Unhurt but unable to ride he got a free ride from the kindly medics on scene. Akeem, ever the supportive teammate held back when he saw Lukas go down, ready to help pull him up. When he saw Lukas was out he gunned for the top, passing riders on the way.
Tough luck Lukas but I'm sure he's amped to race again next weekend.
On the Brown side, Keith place an impressive 18th place in his second weekend racing (taking home a 14th place finish in the ITT).
George Dyment showed us his impressive MTB handling/roller dismounting skills all-weekend as he battled a tough field in the Men's C Circuit.
With the races over for the day and clear skies over our heads, George, Akeem and I strolled through the expansive Yale Campus after Lukas and Keith left us for other scheduling. After witnessing an intense chest-bumping game of dorm dodgeball, we returned to our housing for some showers, Jamaican beer and BBQ wings.
(Thanks to Brown racer Tom Nguyen for taking photos)
Sunday morning brought us back to East Rock Park for a hill-less 5turn criterium at the base of the hill. We took off quick in the Men's D2 race on a course fraught with the dangers of potholes and fast turns.
Akeem sitting on a wheel looking to move up
Lap 3 saw a 4 man crash in the 2nd turn (one of which went on to take the win). Akeem narrowly escaped the crash as another racer's wheel nearly sent him towards pavement. Caught directly behind the crash, by the time I was rolling again the peloton was a straightaway gone. For the second time that weekend, Akeem held back for his teammate. Chasing back up to him he pulled me while I recovered. We were joined by a Millersville and Skidmore rider as we struggled to catch the group. A couple laps later with that thought dissipated we had a fun threshold ride nonetheless.
RISD garnering attention while leading the chase group
Enjoying shoutouts from the PA over our KILLER kits, we were pulled with 1 lap to go, going for a friendly sprint finish.
Learned my lesson, sit further up in the pack.
George Dyment cruising' easy.
The Men's C saw another fast race which saw some solo tumbling crashes coming out of the turns. George Dyment sat midpack, eventually getting popped off the back. Having planned on racing D's this weekend we hope to race with him at the next weekend!
Overall a great time was had as we wind up to the last 2 races of the season.
-Yi_bow Huynh (WIN)
(ed. note: thanks to Yi-boe for our sweet race report. I would also like to report Curtis Singmaster was 18th in his cat 4 field at Battenkill, absolutely nuts considering I'm pretty sure he never rode his bike all winter)