Aetna-Expo Racing Team Battles Cold and Rain at the Quabbin Road Race
Race Report By Ed Angeli
David, Todd, Gary and I lined up at the start line of the 40+ race in chilly and wet conditions. As many of you already know and will never forget, three years ago conditions were horrible with snow and frigid temperatures but today was definitely not as cold and only rain so we decided to roll with the punches and go for it. Everyone had their rain gear on making it a bit more of a challenge figuring out who was who in the pack. We made our way down the neutral hill to the start of the race and it was go time. Dave and Gary were covering the front while Todd and I were back a bit making our way up when Todd flatted. Todd's been riding well and it was a shame he was out so early. The roads were horrible for the first 20 miles but the promoter had clearly warned us about it so no surprises at least. Should be nice next year which is cool.
I actually didn't know Todd had flatted but David and i were wondering where he was and figured it had to be a flat since no way he was getting dropped. A few minutes later Gary flatted as well, another blow to our team. David and I continued on and chatted a bit and I mentioned to him that I was not doing well as I was shivering badly and barely able to hold the bike straight on the downhills. Amazingly, he said he was fine but my biggest battle for the rest of the race was against the cold. Turns out my rain jacket wasn't as waterproof as I thought and it took all I had to try to relax and not crash out. First time in my 20+ years of racing that I felt this bad. Anyway, there were several surges and a pretty large group of maybe 7 riders got up the road a bit but they were quickly brought back. Soon after, a couple guys rolled off quickly and the pack didn't respond and soon they were out of sight. Gary got a quick wheel change and did well to get back into the pack but Todd wasn't so lucky with his wheel change and never did get back on. He did roll in with the 50+ field so had some good company.
The rest of the race was pretty uneventful despite a few attacks/surges here and there with nothing sticking. Gary cranked it up at the front within the last 15 miles and had us going single file for a few miles and we were able to catch one of the two that were ahead. David mentioned that he'd help me out after a few good digs earlier in the race. Great teammates!! Rest assured, the favor will be returned. I only hoped my legs would have something left after my battle with the cold/miles. I started my sprint too late missing a few key surges and crossed the line for 7th. Not too shabby in a good field considering the circumstances. Was hoping for a bit better but that's racing and I'm happy to get the team a solid result. We're having some fun, racing well and I'm thankful to be riding with a wonderful group of guys. This includes the guys and gals on the entire Expo Wheelmen Club. Your energy on Facebook, etc. continues to motivate me after many year of doing this. Thank you!!
- Race report by Ed Angeli