The Racing Goes On...

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New Gloucester, Maine was a mud-fest last year. This year, the weather graciously spared the rain that brought the mud, but instead brought some true cold temperatures for the first winter-like race of the year. The weekend saw good performances from the team. Kyle returned to racing for the first time since crashing and breaking his scapula earlier in the season. Bradshaw had his best finishes ever in the Elite UCI field with 5th on day 1 and 7th on day two. Linnea’s results also showed promise, with a 4th in the Elite women’s race on day 1. She recounts her experience in Maine:

Day 1:
I was determined to end my run of poor starts this weekend. After a brief bout of start-line nerves (sorry Chris!) the whistle blew and I got the hole shot. I was so surprised I overcooked the first corner and had to lock up the back wheel to make the turn. Sally Annis came around and took the lead midway through the lap and I felt like I was getting some rest through the corners but when it came to the power sections my legs had nothing. It was frustrating to watch gaps open up and have no answer as more and more came by. While the end result of 8th may not have been the most satisfying I found some solace in finally getting a decent start.





Day 2:
Conditions were a little greasier in the fields – especially on the corners, of which there were plenty. I had another good start and sat fifth wheel behind Andrea Smith, Sally Annis, SBZ and Crystal Anthony for the first lap and a half. Second lap through the woods Crystal went down going over the stone wall so I nipped past her and tried to close to the front three with no avail. For the next couple of laps they were just barely out of reach and I ended up TTing around by myself to finish in 4th – my best result to date and not too far off the podium.





(Thanks to Don and Dana McEwan for the photos, yet again.)

Canton Cup
The Canton Cup is a local race here in the Boston area that always draws a good crowd due to its proximity to the city and its challenging yet fast course. It’s actually one of the longest courses of the entire season with lap times hovering around 10 minutes each and featuring long sections of twisting grass tracks, pavement paths, wooded single track and 3 sets of barriers plus a fierce run-up each time around.

Team Embrocation turned out a good contingent for Canton despite the myriad Halloween-related festivities on tap for that weekend.

Pierre, Bradshaw and our newest rider, Adam Sullivan took on the Pro field. Bradshaw, dressed in tiger costume, put in a solid ride in the P/1/2/3 race and lived to tell the tale:

I did the best I could with the circumstances. After a promised tame night turned crazy in which I contributed to the destruction of 2 out of 3 Pedro’s products, I was not feeling like racing my bike. Fighting the pounding in my skull and bile in my throat, I put on my Tiger costume in celebration of Halloween. My mask broke immediately but I decided the T-shirt was better than nothing. After a considerable dose of ibuprofen and a solid warmup I actually felt like I could maybe race. So – so start and long story short I settled into 7th position alone. No matter what I did I couldn’t close the 10 second gap to Rob Hult and Wilichoski. Which was probably for the best because dressed as a Tiger, Wilichoski would have probably killed me on the spot had I made contact. After a lonely ride I finished 7th.





Elsewhere at Canton Pete Smith logged in a solid 7th place finish in the always competitive Masters 35+ field which Kyle and James represented in the Cat 3 field.



Bradshaw continues on with his weekend racing, and finding a long coveted podium spot on Sunday at Orchard Cross in New Hampshire.

This is an awesome race. I did it last year and somehow walked away with a years supply of Raspberry Hammer Gels despite my mediocre finish. It has insanely fast fire road / gravel sections and a mind erasing maze of turns through an apple orchard. Everyone was Talking about American superstar euro-pro Ted King racing some cross, which was AWESOME! But, the real, known, threats on the day were Pedro’s Dylan McNicholas and Corner Cycle’s Masters National Champ Jonny Bold. Dylan was complaining about this-or-that and tried to dismiss any real chance of him doing well, or say, winning the race like he did last year. I didn’t buy it and sure enough he went on to win, solo most of the race. I was really excited to race with Jonny Bold because it seems there are few chances when the Elites race the Masters. He’s a classy racer and obviously very fast. Our last two match ups were at Night Weasels and the Canton Cup. Night Weasels he rode right through me after I completely red-lined and blew up after the start. At Canton, well, my legs were weighed down by some apple-tini something or others. I really wanted to get a good clean race in here. The race started and again I got a so-so start. Dylan hit it from the start and as I said before, he was gone in no time. After a few dicey corners I connected with the esteemed Ted King and J. Bold was just a few pedal strokes ahead. Crossresults.com head honcho Colin Reuter had been berating me while following my wheel and took the lead through the tough uphill grind / barriers section to go by me and Ted King. If you haven’t seen his amazing camera work yet, you should really check out lap 1:

Orchard Cross Chainstay Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.

I got past T. King at the end of lap 1 and tried to get up to J. Bold. I forget where we connected exactly but I think it took a lap or so of chasing before I caught him. We then caught and went right through Curtis Boivin, also a fantastic Masters racer, after he had been popped off Dylan’s wheel. The next 6 or 7 laps was really great racing. J. Bold and I were trying to close on Dylan and fight for the podium steps while Curtis and Ted were just a few seconds behind. My early efforts eventually caught up and when Bold attacked with 1 to go, he got a gap on me. I had a whole lap (approx 8 min) to get those 10 seconds back but just could not do it. Curtis closed hard and finished a mere 8 seconds behind me. I was thrilled though, I finished 3rd! Podium spot! It was my first cross podium since 2007 when I was racing the B’s!



Other Team News

We have another couple bits of team news this week.

First and foremost, we have our first new rider for the 2011 season. Adam Sullivan joins the squad for the 2011 road season, but donned the Embrocation kit for the first time this past weekend at Canton.

One of the stalwart racers of the New England scene, Adam is from Warwick, Rhode Island and has been a solid and reliable Cat 1 racer with the Wheelhouse team for the past couple years. He’s come on board to ride out the rest of the cross season with us and then become a key component of our road squad next year. Welcome to Adam.


As our followers are no doubt aware, we have a very close relationship with Ridley, our team’s bicycle sponsor. We’re often on their website and last week it was good to see a little Embro action on the official Ridley Blog. Scroll down a little and guess who you’ll see? Yup. Bradshaw, doing what he does, but not in a tiger costume.

 

Granogue

By: Embrocation Team Oct 24

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Granogue – A Race Report from Cary Fridrich

Bradshaw and I hit the road for Granogue at the optimum time- 5pm! The drive was uneventful except for the 11pm NJ gas station pizza, and some foiled Manhattan plans…



Upon reaching the beautiful home of our most outstanding hosts, the MacKenzie family, we enjoyed a couple eastern European scotches and caught up with old friends. Pretty sure I cost Bradshaw a top ten from that!

The legs still showed up decent for both of us on Saturday, Bradshaw with a strong 13th and me flatting out of the group for 16th. Awesome courses at a great venue-some hills, fast barriers and loaded with tricky off-camber cornering.



Day 2 started early to see friend Stuart MacKenzie light up the 4s. Well the last row impaired that a touch but he battled to the top 30. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Cat 4s try to remount on a rutted, slick downhill…no one got hurt but there were some great crashes!


The course dried out for us in the afternoon and I liked some great new additions over Day 1. It was still a power course, the off-camber was too tough to gain serious ground. Bradshaw brought home another 13th for some much needed Toll $$$. The 70+ deg cracked me a bit but I hung tough for another Top 25.

All in all, a spectacular race weekend. Special thanks to the MacKenzie’s for treating us like kings! Next up…Louisville USGP!

 

Providence Cross

By: Embrocation Team Oct 12

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The Providence Cross Festival is a relatively new event (only the last two years) but features a storied, historic course – Roger Williams Park was host to the National Championship races a couple years in a row, not too long ago. The event had grand plans to be one part bike race, one part Interbike-like expo event. While the expo event was a bit of a failed attempt this year, the racing proved just as challenging and exhilarating as you would expect from a national caliber venue.



On Saturday, Pete Smith again turned in a great performance in the 35+ field with a 10th place finish behind the same group of national champion riders he faced at Gloucester. Eric had a solid finish, but was unable to complete the race, due to a catastrophic flat early in the racing.

In the elite field, Bradshaw hung tough in one of the groups of elite regional racers to finish a solid 17th on the day, while Cary hung tough for a 21st place finish.



The breakthrough ride of the weekend belonged to Team Embrocation’s newest rider, Gerry Adasavage, who posted an insanely strong 2nd place finish in the Cat 3 field, having started near the back of the field and systematically moved through the densely packed course to battle for the podium.




Sunday was a different day, and a different course setup with more technical sections that included constant elevation change and frequent 180 degree turns.

Again, in the Masters 35+ field, Pete Smith, the picture of consistency, pulled off an 11th place finish, which Eric finished mid-field with a 25th place finish. Josh, recently returned to the cyclocross scene after a couple years hiatus did a solid ride from the back of the pack and managed not to get lapped by a hard-charging Mark McCormack.



Bradshaw had one of his best performances of the year with a 15th place finish in a hotly contested sprint to the finish against Al Donahue and David Hackworthy. Cary’s good form was thwarted by a flat tire in the first couple laps. Pete Rubi and Pierre battled for a long time, but were eventually caught by a flying Tim Johnson.



Again, in the Cat 3 field, Gerry fought his way to the front of the field and then did battle with the lead riders. Despite a broken wheel, he was able to grab a spare bike and finish once again on the podium with a 3rd place finish. Also in the 3 field was James riding his first race after a month of injury and putting in a decent ride for 13th place.




The story of the day, and possibly the weekend, though was Linnea’s ride in the elite women’s field. Linnea dropped out of Saturday’s race, but came back Sunday determined to have a redemptive ride. Early on she was a major chaser, reeling in several groups and dropping them systematically. In the last couple laps, Linnea became involved in a battle with Rebecca Wellons of the Pedro’s team. For two laps they passed each other again and again – Wellons the stronger rider, Linnea the more technically adept. Linnea was finally able to put a much-needed gap into Wellons on one of the more technical sections and was able to hold her off on the final long drag to the finish for a 5th place slot.

All in all, a good weekend of racing at one of the best venues in the northeast, or anywhere for that matter.

Next, down to Delaware…

 

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