Philly Phyler - Snow, Hail, and Team Omnium Points

We got on the Team Omnium points board! (I’m still not sure exactly how those points are calculated but who cares because we are on them!)  The Philly Phyler is a joint race put on by at least Drexel and Temple and maybe more Philadelphia schools but I’m not sure. It was a long drive to get there and the looming forecast of snow and rain for Saturday’s race didn’t help.

What did help was the awesome host housing we had courtesy of Dan Gray from Drexel’s team. It was a huge house with plenty of space for us and he even bought us breakfast.

Saturday - Snow/Sleet/Hail mix throughout the day, mid 30’s

The course for this race was a 6.5 mile course that had a little bit of everything. A short descent into a long flat section along the river that went into a little climb that looped back around to the road along the river. Then another short climb that lead to a 1k section with some turns and a little more technical riding than the rest of the course. There was also a truck that had smashed into a telephone pole that had not been towed yet that made for some strange scenery while riding up the hill on the back side.

The Men’s D race was combined into 1 field and started the day off with 3 laps of the course. It was just Alec and me from RISD and Sandy and Manu from Brown for this race and we definitely got the best weather of the day only seeing a few snowflakes. The race started off relatively uneventfully until about 2 miles in there was a crash on the flat section along the river, 2 riders went down but the field carried on. Alec and I hung out towards the back and I stayed with the group for about a lap and a half and Alec faded somewhere a little before I did. On the last lap I sat up to wait for a group that was coming up on me and as we were riding up the climb on the backside we saw a rider decide not to take the 90 degree turn down to the road along the river and instead smash straight into a curb and front flip over the guard rail and land in a very small grassy section. Luckily he was standing up when we passed him on the way down and he seemed to be alright.

70 Starters/19.5 miles/Winner’s Time - 54:18
43 - Michael - 1:00:47
54 - Alec - 1:03:30

The Men’s C race was also run as a combined field and was a good race for Jules and could have been a good race for Lukas had he not thought the second to last lap was the last lap. The race was 4 laps of the course and had Lukas not thought the 3rd lap was the last lap might have been up there with Jules. Instead he tried a few attacks on that lap and spent a lot of his energy only to realize he still had a lap to go. Jules on the other hand, stayed with the front group and sprinted for his best placing this season, 10th (a one man break got away on the last lap and won). The weather for this race began to deteriorate and both Jules and Lukas were wet and cold by the end and had the pleasure of riding for a little with some small hail falling from the sky.

64 Starters/26 miles/Winner’s Time - 1:08:16
10 - Jules - 1:08:57 (3 points)
30 - Lukas - 1:12:16

The Women’s C race was the last race for RISD of the day and the weather was a little bit better than the Men’s C race before it. Jane as usual was our sole racer and rode 3 laps of the course. It wasn’t her day and for the first time she did not get any points on the day, making the team points competition a little closer since Jules got points in his race. Jane stayed with the group for the first lap but slowly fell off and rode solo across the finish line.

31 Starters/19.5 miles/Winner’s Time - 59:03
18 - Jane - 1:05:12

The Men’s A and ½ field was supposed to race 7 laps of the course as the last race of the day but that race was called off after two laps due to sleet and hail.

Sunday - Sunny, high 30’s to low 40’s

Sunday was a basic 4 corner crit on Temple’s campus that had a slight downhill between turn 1 and 2 and a slight uphill between turn 3 and 4 and a little wind thrown in for fun.

The Men’s D’s once again went first in a combined field with an 8:30 start time to make sure we were frozen at the start. Alec and I fell off the back after a few laps and I pulled around the course for a lap or two after that. Alec soon rode past me and I was left by myself to try and not get lapped, but that happened anyway when the front group passed me on the last lap. Alec on the other hand managed to get in a group finished in the same group as Manu (the Brown rider).

58 Starters/11.3 miles
41 - Alec - 02:42
47 - Michael - 1 Lap

The Men’s C’s also raced as a combined field and was once again a successful race for our cycling duo Lukas and Jules (Maybe we should refer to them as Lules or Jukas?). Both held good position through the whole race and finished in the main group behind a two man breakaway. Jules was able to once again get some points and sprint to a 10th place and Lukas comfortably rolled in with that same group. As a side note, Jules also finished one place ahead of our host for the weekend, Dan.

66 Starters/14.7 miles
10 - Jules - 0:13 (3 points)
30 - Lukas - 0:13

And again the final race of the day for us was the Women’s C but it ended on a disappointing note with Jane crashing out with 2 laps to go. Jane had been in good position the whole race and as she was heading out of the final turn of the last prime lap she got tangled up with another rider and went down. With the exception of a few scrapes she was fine but her front wheel got a little bent up so she wasn’t able to get back on and finish the race. Overall I think she was more upset that she didn’t get to finish out the race and more than likely get a high placing if not win it than she was about the actual crash. Also the fact that Jules is now within one point of overtaking the team points lead from her wasn’t sitting well.

33 Starters/ 9.1 miles
DNF - Jane - (Crashed out)

Somehow Jules got us on the ECCC team leader board and we now sit in 44th over all (25 in D2 schools) with 3 points.

The RISD team points competition is still a two rider race with Jane still in the lead but Jules on the verge of taking over after a solid weekend of points for him.

RISD Team Total Points - 19
Jane - 10 points
Jules - 9 points

Song of the weekend has to go to the ironic playing of Chumbawamba’s song Tubthumping which Alec put on when we got in the van to leave after Jane’s crash. For those unfamiliar with the song it has a chorus that goes “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down.”

Next weekend is a Sunday Crit at Bard College in New York so look for that report next week.
Alec Babalareports