This is one of the early classics here in New England – a time to test one’s legs after winter’s grip has loosened a bit and a couple weeks before the bulk of the spring season sets in upon us. The Circuit Race in Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, MA utilizes a technical closed course on some rough, Forest Service roads. While the exact course changes from year to year, the race usually goes down the same – a group gets away from the field and, due to the technical nature of the course, tends to stay away until the finish. This year was no exception. A strong field started the 5ish mile circuit, this year going in a counter-clockwise fashion, with a few little kickers for uphills and a long, downhill, fast finish.
Going in, we knew there would be a break and it was likely to form mid way through the race or earlier. We had a good crew of racers, most fresh off the trip to California, so we knew we had depth and fitness enough to get one and probably two riders into any move. This plan worked out. Jackson, Colin and new guy Stephen Pierce represented well in some of the early moves. James and Adam Sullivan did solid work to cover counter-attacks and contain some early race threats.
When the real move came, it was Kyle who was ready and able to go, getting down the road with some seriously strong riders like Dylan McNicholas of CCB and Cameron Cogburn of Jelly Belly. The 5 man group quickly gained a decisive lead over the remainder of the field and held this for the rest of the race.
Behind the break, in the field, chase groups began to form as the pace increased. With one lap to go, Colin found himself in a major chase group. Just as this group was about to make contact with the break, Colin flatted and was forced to drop out to take a spare wheel. Meanwhile, up front in the break, Kyle hung tough as the chase group caught the day’s main breakaway, creating a 10 man group at the front of the race, which quickly broke apart as the pace increased. With one of his best finishes, Kyle weathered the attacks and managed to stay in contact with the break to finish 5th on the day.
Colin, back in the field made his way to the front and led James out for the field sprint for a respectable 11th place finish on the day.
All in all, a good start to the season, some solid teamwork employed, and a tremendous finish for Kyle, who’d done so much support work for other teammates in the past.
Coming up next: Tour of the Battenkill