Aetna-Expo Wheelmen take the top 2 steps of the Podium, secure Silver for MA State Road Championships and continue the winning streak with three in a row!
The Purgatory road race in Sutton Mass is my ideal course – 55 miles over 5 laps is long enough to test endurance, but not so long that mileage junkies run away, and the hills are just long and steep enough to demand an equal mix of outright power and climbers efficiency. Our early 8am start meant roads were still wet, with grass and leaves making for a messy first lap and nervous descents until the sun dried everything. Our plan was simple – Dave, Stan, Jeremy and Gary would work to keep the pack together while I would mark key competitors. Dave and I were both feeling good, so we knew we had a few options to play if anything got away. Within the first few miles, a 545 Velo rider rolled off the front and Dave followed him. Within minutes, they were out of sight and we were in an ideal situation – there was no pressure on me to be at the front and 545 Velo were not chasing their guy, soon the break got to 2:30. Stan, Jeremy and Gary rode like true professionals and covered every move, keeping the speed high enough coming into the hills to stop attacks, and staying at the front to police any threats. With only a few miles left, and the gap under a minute, we caught Dave’s companion – Dave was solo off the front heading for the win. The attacks became very severe, and the pack was wittled down to 6. As we started the tough final climb to the finish, we could see Dave, but he dug in for a gritty climb and won his first road race in style – over 50 miles in a break! My efficiency in the race allowed me to take the sprint for 2nd (for the 3rd time in a row here!) Gary managed 2nd for the Massachusetts State Road title as well. This was our best result as a team, and was only possible due to the work of Stan, Jeremy and Gary.
The spoils of Victory provided by the host Greenline Velo! Whoopie Pie from Wittier Farm in Sutton, MA