This was the penultimate event for Kevin E. in the NJ TT Cup, and he was gunning for another top 10 finish. Kevin rode a very strong race over this demanding and varied course and reached his goal. Ninth place out of a deep 4/5 field which should move him up further in the Cup Points. One more event for Kevin in the series, bringing it to his back yard at the Flanders TT.
I was also up at this race, and here's my report:
It was nice to revisit this course for me as it's been a few years since I've competed there. I registered for the 35+ and was asked to be on a TTT with Steve Goldman, David Friefelder, and Will O'Donnell, so I knew it was going to be a day of going fast and really pushing myself. It was quite flattering to be asked to ride with Goldman again this year, especially since I haven't had much racing over the past few months, for a very good reason ; ) . Steve was in charge of the race and shifted the categories around (I think) so we could go earlier in the schedule, and I was off at 8:17, two minutes behind my teammate, Mike. It was nice catching up with him and warming up together.
I was feeling good and started pretty fast up the initial ramp to Tiorati Circle. At about 3 minutes in I caught my 30 second man, so I was thinking I was in pretty good shape. I pressed on through the flat sections and the ripping downhills, passing a few more folks. The turn around is Kenawauke (sp) circle, so you can go fast around it which was fun. About two minutes after the turn around, the winner and cup leader, Andreas Rungsnatcher caught and passed me. He was absolutely flying and went on to post the fastest Individual (ITT) time of the day. I later learned he bolted out of Harriman to head to a road race in CT in which he got second. That's one fast man right there. Anyway, I caught a few more guys on the return leg and finished at 25:20 or so. That was good enough for 3rd place and by far my fastest time up there.
About 30 minutes later we were back on the line with a new number ready for the Team Time Trial (TTT). Dave, one of the fastest time trialists in the state, had flatted early during his ITT run, so I knew he was going to be extra strong. Will said he wasn't feeling great on the climbs, so he was going to sit in and work for us on the flats on the outbound leg. The teams were two to four riders, and the second rider across the line is the team time.
We started very steady and it was awesome riding with these super strong racers. It's amazing how quickly we clicked with each other. David and I took longer pulls on the climbs, and Will and Steve pushed their 55 tooth chainrings very rapidly on the flats and descents. "Normal" road bikes have a 53 or 50 for compact, and my TT Bike has a 54. For perspective, Tony Martin in the tour turned a 58! Will took us into the turnaround at break-neck speed, and I was awed by the angle at which he leaned his bike. We made it safely around the circle, and at some point shortly after, we lost Will. On the climb back up to Tiorati, Dave and I kept the pace hard and we kept the three of us together. The drop back down to the finish was scary fast and exhilarating. We finished in just over 24 minutes (only a little fast than Andreas' ITT time!) which was the fastest TTT time for the day, two minutes ahead of second place! It was a very satisfying way to end the day.