Jerry Babcock, Cat 5 – MEN, 25 Miles
3rd Annual White Mountain Cycling Classic, Lincoln, NH, Saturday, June 24th, 2012
The weather was once again fantastic no clouds in the sky and 70 degrees. The course is set up as a Criterium featuring 6 laps. Each lap started at Loon Mountain Ski Resort then descended a private access road. The access road featured a few steep pitches followed by very fast and technical descents. At the half way point, the course makes a 90 degree turn over the Pemigewasset River. After the river crossing, you turn right onto route 112 “The Kancamingus Highway” and climbs a very gradual incline for the next couple of miles. Finally the course crosses back over the river followed by a sharp and tight right hand 90 degree turn to the finish.
Overall I felt very strong during the race. The hardest lap for me was the second lap when a rider in black attacked on a steep section of the private access road. I pulled up to the leaders of the chase group and asked out loud if they thought the attack would stick. None of us could know for sure so I took the initiative and began to pull him back. We caught up with him on route 112 he was gassed but still hung with us the rest of the race.
The remaining laps where typical of the first few, one or two would attack on the steeper portions of the access road and we would pull them back. None of the attacks stuck and I felt in comfortable with the pace overall.
The final lap was similar to the others. On the accent up route 112 there were a few more attacks that where all reeled back in by me and others. As we approached the end of the course on route 112 before we made the right hand turn across the river, I made up my mind that I had to get in the front. I attacked the field with 200 meters to go before the turn and crossed the river in first position. I may have been a little over zealous going on the attack so early as I started to run out of steam during the last 200 meters. I gave the sprint everything I had but three other riders caught my wheel and passed me in the final 150 meters. I was not disappointed at all as I placed 4th overall and this was my best finish in a “real” road race!
Upon further reflection, perhaps I should have attacked earlier on route 112 or waited for a bunch sprint at the finish. There is always a moment in the race that you wish you would have done differently. Not sure if attacking earlier or later would have helped but it is worth considering next time.
Overall, my impressions of the race where fantastic, the race organizers did a terrific job and it was the most organized and well run race I have entered. They gave us lunch, t-shirts and even hosted a kid’s race after the event. I would highly recommend this race to all it was terrific!