A chilly calm morning at West Point. It was not to last. As the team drove up the canyon the bikes on the roof rack started to shake. As we stepped out of our cars, the strong 35 mph winds chilled us to the bones.
Water bottles, helmets, and Wes Kline were all being blown across the parking lot:
Team Time Trial - 7 miles on a hilly course, exposed to the furious winds.
The windy day kept the racers in the car for too long, to their best efforts, the men's team missed their start. They regrouped and prepared for the road race. Connor joined in with the Men's B TTT start 10 minutes later.
While the D's missed their start, the C's were able to get to the line right before their name was called. Nolan, Sam and Zach set out with no warmup and pushed through the winds to end in 6th place.
Sarah and Kasinee set out strong and took first! Granted they were the only ones in their field, a win is a win!
As Connor (Men's D) missed his race, he joined in with Drew, James and Cody to lead them out. Connor sprinted off the line and everyone tried to get on his wheel. Just as they settled into the pace Connor pulled off, spent. The rest of the team rode hard and picked up second place, setting a pace 15 seconds faster than the Men's A team.
Joe, Wes and Kevin scrambled up a team at the last minute, these three racers set out and pulled a sub 20 minute pace, only able to settle in for 8th place on the day.
Full Results: http://velocityresults.com/results/555/eccc-week-4-army-ttt-harriman-ny
|A flurry of fall leaves fly around the Mens B racers as they take off from the start line.|
Road Race - The 14 mile course tipped down a steep downhill where racers hit 50 miles per hour. At the base a hairpin turn sent the racers climbing. The climb averaged 4% but hid multiple kicks that made the legs scream. Once at to the top, a tailwind section with another climb meant there was nowhere to hide. Very few races had a pack bigger than 5 people cross the line.
Men's D (2 laps):
What a day, the initial descent was filled with chaos. Ryan, Matt and Jose got caught in a crash at the bottom of the hill on the first lap. All three were unable to continue but survived with very minor abrasions. Billy and Kevin both were caught behind the crash but stayed upright and rode the full course fighting the wind all day. Connor stayed near the front and rode in solo to an 8th place finish.
Men's C (3 laps):
The Men's D crash repeated itself in the C's field. Fortunately our Nittany Lions all stayed upright. However, Sam and Nolan got caught behind the pile up and found the chase ahead too daunting. One of the bigger fields to stay together, Mitch, Zach and Lucas all stayed in with the field sprint, winning 3rd, 6th and 7th.
Women's A (4 laps):
Penn State Lehigh racer Monica finished in second place.
|The Men's B field enters the feed zone of the Road Race.|
Men's B (4 laps):
Cody, James and Drew all set out from the line together. The pace up the climb made it so that Drew would find himself sprinting alone. James and Cody were unable to match the pace up the climb and so didn't finish. Drew stayed with the field as he watched breaks go and get caught. He was set up to sprint but his rear wheel flatted with 2 miles to go. He rode it out for a 13th place finish.
Men's A (5 laps):
The pace started high up the climb and stayed high. The course was made for Brett today. After Wes was almost dropped he went on the offensive and pulled Brett into the winning break. From there, Brett outsmarted his five-man breakaway and won the race! Wes's efforts found him off the back later with Kevin and Joe. Kevin and Wes finished a lap down while joe pulled out early.
|Brett Wachtendorf sprints to the finish line.|
Full results: http://velocityresults.com/results/556/eccc-week-4-army-rr-harriman-ny
The threat of rain loomed in the sky. As the races went on the clouds became gray. By the time the Men's A started a few drops fell, but the weather held off and the course stayed dry. The course was comprised of three turns over 1km. The racers were joined by the occasional freight train passing on their side. A 120 degree corner meant the racers had to lean their bikes hard today.
|The Penn State Cycling team soaks in the midday sunshine while watching the criterium races atop a hill.|
A smaller team than the road race, but Kevin, Ryan, Billy, Connor and Matt all put on their game face, only to be robbed of their race. Kevin and Ryan found the pace just a bit too high. Connor and Billy ended up in bad positions during the race and worked too hard, both fell off the pace towards the end. Matt was set up strong at the end of the race, but with two laps to go a crash in front of him took him out of the race.
Men's C (40 minutes):
The field got whittled down from 49 to 31 finishers. Nolan was one of those, but finished 33rd, one of the last to fall off the pace. Lucas, Zach and Sam all finished within the field sprint. Lucas sprinted his way into 6th on the day, an incredible finish!
|The Men's D and C riders had a fun time cheering on the Bs from 3 stories up on top of the Shea Stadium.|
Women's C (40 minutes):
Sarah held onto the ripping pace laid down by the women today for almost the entire race. However, she found herself getting gapped and eventually pulled soon before the finish.
Women's A (50 minutes):
Penn State Lehigh racer Monica snatched up another second place finish.
|Drew David takes advantage of the passing freight train blocking the harsh winds from the Hudson River.|
Having destroyed his legs in the road race, Drew was unable to match the pace on the day. Cody and James found their fast legs today, making multiple attempts to get away, however they would be unsuccessful. Cody slotted into 7th and James in the field.
Men's A (60 minutes):
A lesson in what not to do. Kevin clipped a pedal on the uphill turn and slid out infront of Wes. Wes was able to avoid the crash but found himself disconnected. Kevin and Wes walked to the pit but Wes was told to chase. Both got back in safely. When Wes won the field sprint, he was informed that he was actually a lap down and was moved to the back of the pack in the results. Kevin slotted into 14th with a bleeding leg and Brett finished safely in the field.
|Wes Kline takes the inside line around the Army Criterium's third corner toward the finish line.|
|Kevin Bernstein flies around the Army Criterium's second corner pushing to stay with the field despite his bleeding wound from his crash.|
Written by: Kevin Bernstein
Photos and video: Ginny Tory