Syracuse Stage Race, Adam Branfman, May 27 and 28
Cat 3: Adam Branfman (myself), and Scott Cole
3 Stages, 2 Days
Stage 1: 60 Mile Road Race (two 30 mile loops), 1 Long Major Climb plus a finishing power climb of about 1500m
The 3’s are very aggressive. Lots of attacks. The first lap was pretty together up until the first time up the major climb. It was a steady climb or about 1.7 miles with a long downhill after followed by another slight uphill, false flat, and another short power climb. Andrew Boone, our former teammate, set a fierce pace up the hill and the field split into two groups. I stayed with the leaders, among them Andrew Boone who was probably the fittest guy of the field. Scott got dropped up the hill the first time and spent 15 miles chasing on his own and caught back on right before the second time up the hill on the second lap. Meanwhile, a solo break was up the road that everyone was aware of and in time thought we were going to bring back. . .the second time up the hill, a group of 12 escaped at the top and hammered the hill and downhill. Scott unfortunately did not make this group and ended up riding in a chase group/solo for the remaining 20 miles or so to the finish. I made this group of 12 and we proceeded to paceline at no less than 30 mph for the remaining 20 or so miles. We didnt’s however, catch the escapee. the group worked well together and keps the pace high. I finished 8th overall in this stage and 7th in the pack sprint, setting me up well for the next two stages.
Stage 2: Street Sprints
Nothing to report here. A terribly run stage without any organization/seeding. No one knew what was going on. Scott, however, won his first two heats placing him in the final heat where he won 3rd place to set him self up well for the crit on Sunday. As the rules of the stage race went, if someone does not race on of the stages he does not receive the given 100 points for that stage, setting him back 100 points for teh overall GC. this being said, I went into the crit in 5th place overall and Scott 17th place I believe.
Stage 3: Crit, 23 laps of about a 1 mile round course in a park.
An awesome race and stage with a very high, aggressive pace and clean riding. there were lots of attacks and attempts at solo breaks. there were cash and prize primes and one prime for GC points at the healfway mark which I had no intention of going for until I found myself in a great position to sprint to the line. Two Colavita guys had taken off at the start of this lap, and I launched a very early sprint from about 250-300m and caught them at the line to the 2 GC points that were up for grabs. With 4 laps to go, the leader from the road race attacked and got about a 10 second lead. Scott gets MVP for getting to the front and putting in some incredible pulls to bring the break back. We caught the break with 2 laps to go thanks to Scott. The race came down to a field sprint where I sprinted to 6th place.
Final Results: Branfman 6th overall GC, Scott Cole 19th overall
This race is a must for NEBC next year. First of all, its great fun. the road race is in a beautiful area and a nice course. People are friendly and it is well run, aside from a bit of lack of organization. The promoters were continually thanking Scott and I, as well as Boone for making the trip from Boston. Boston was the farthese distance traveled for the race and it was well worth it. this was a great start to the Cat 3’s for me and for Scott. We are on our way. We will both be racing in Maine this weekend. See you there I hope.