by Brett Cleaver56 mile course that encompassed a start in MA and then a loop and a half that went from MA into CT. The pace was fine, in fact, it was fairly easy. For about the first 10 miles I stayed up in top 5 or so setting the pace and leading on the first climbs at my own tempo, which was nice as I felt very comfortable doing so and no one seemed to challenge me on it. After that, in true form, I went to the back of the peloton to sit and watch. We started as a group of about 70, but numbers were dwindling by about the 25 mile mark.
The course ended up being way more downhill than uphill, which bummed me out a bit. The biggest climb was at the finish, which we went over once before we finished on it. I felt good the first time over and worked my way up towards the front on the climb. I actually was in the 53 and didn't realize it (oops). We then sat in to loop back around to the finish. Loads of attacks, but nothing stuck due to the fact that no one would work with the folks attacking and the downhills made it way too easy to catch people. My goal was to be mid pack by the time we hit the 90 degree right hand turn into the final 2 miles or so. I was towards the back of the pack when we did hit that turn and I just stuck to the inside as tight as I could and shot into the pack picking up every place that I could scramble for. I managed to get to a familiar wheel (Aaron Wolfe of Edgemont) and he was bullying his way up urging the folks that had sat up or slowed to move right or just get out of the way. Glued to his wheel I got into a great position with about a mile to go.
I just kept on pushing myself and managed to pass Aaron and get into about 10th or so. I saw a group of 7 ahead and thought to myself "that is where the money is". So I got to that group and immediately we hit the 200 meter mark and someone attacked. I launched after him and another guy was on his wheel. That guy got first, I was in second and the inital launch got third. As it turns out there was a bad crash right after I jumped for the group of 7. It was magical though, everything just fell into place perfectly and my legs got me where I needed to be. Also, my winnings covered a good portion of my expenses, which is a first for me!
Looking forward to Tour of the Hilltowns, Tokeneke, Green Mountain and Fall Bear. Hopefully I can keep up this Top 10 out of town hilly race streak : )