Aetna-Expo race the 40+ at the TD Bank Mayor's Cup
By David Hildebrand
I headed up to the TD Bank Mayors Cup in downtown Boston (Government Square) with my wife Nicole and Connor. The rest of crew (David Wells, Ben Carbonetti and Mark Shea) passed us on Route 90 heading down to the city. With this being the last really big race of the year, I was both excited about racing and coming to the realization that the road season was over. We setup camp in the parking garage 6th floor overlooking the uphill section of the course. This gave us prime viewing of the races underway and easy access to the venue. The crew that put on the TD Bank Mayors cup does an absolute top notch job! Boston is in full swing behind the event with crowds lining every square of the course. Speaking of course, this year’s event would run counter clockwise, opposite previous years. The key difference is a bit of a downhill drag race after corner 3, with a 90 degree left on corner four and a 350 meter straight shot to the line. Gary and I lined up with our guest racer of honor David Wells and planned to take it all in an have fun. We knew it would be a good race given the depth of field showing up to finish out their season.
At the start I decided to push the pace immediately and established a small break of 3 with Cliff Bar Pactimo and Wheelworks riders. I felt good about our shot given the two riders that were there and I figured we’d be joined by a few others. In the end the breaks would not succeed, though we would try again and again to make something stick. There was no shortage of attempts from all the teams present. Gary had a chance in what looked like a good move but that too was shut down. I stayed vigilant at the front and had great legs. Gary and I maintained good position throughout the race and Dave help his spot in the pack. With 5 laps to go the race heated up as they do when the pack is together at this point. The key is to stay in the top 5-6 spots, no further forward and no further back. As the front was swarmed by various riders with the laps counting down, I’d swap the wheel I was on to maintain that position. Coming up the hill on the bell lap we dug hard and I held position knowing I wanted to be 3rd into the final corner. Rounding corner 3 heading down the hill through the sweep, I held my position (3rd) ready to jump quick if needed. Into the tight left corner 4 and a rider suddenly dove inside us too hot which pushed us towards the outside corner and barriers but the 2 guys in front of me stayed cool and held their line. Exiting the corner it was a straight up sprint 350 meters to the line – today I had the fastest wheel and was fortunate to take the win and top step of the podium! Always great to win a race as it happens so infrequently and better when it’s a big race like this against great competition. I’m really happy to have many of my teammates and my family at the race.