2014 Ken Harrod Memorial Havard Road Race

Jon O’Connor
Congrats to MRC for getting this race off the ground. Perhaps a little too successful: the 4 field was swollen with 91 registrants and 70+ starters.  Very crowded fields on very narrow roads so good positioning was- as I expected- crucial.

The harvard course is fast and punchy.  Familiar turf for us NEBCers.  No major climbs but a few short steep bursts that helped give just a little breathing room.  I lost my front row seating on lap 3 when I dropped my chain headed up Westcott.  Panic set in as the field blew by me.  I was able to gingerly shift back on and hammer up in the big ring.  In clawing my way back up I picked up Aaron who latched onto my wheel.  The yellow line rule was in strict effect making it hard to move up but we took advantage of every opportunity to do so, particularly on the uphills

The finish is up a solid roller with another 100 yrds of flat.   During the recon Aaron and I had practiced finishing with a little leapfrog.  The finish suited his profile well so I jumped out of the pack and started hammering early.  I was able to give him a solid leadout and we both dodged an explosive wreck which sent a group of unlucky riders over the bars.  Pack sprint found me at 19th in the shuffle, not horrible, but once again, not noteworthy. Chris Parker rode solid and took 17.    Aaron took a satisfying 10th place: cause for another Wolf Howl.
Lots of NEBCers in the 4’s today.  Really awesome to see so much red, white and blue.
Adam Walton – Cat 5
My first race of the year in the Cat 5 race today. It seemed like an unusually fast field and I know there were several strong riders who don’t normally race who came out of the woodwork for such a local event. A total of 75 cat 5 riders on that course appeared to be asking for trouble but from what I saw guys rode reasonably safely and I only saw one rider go down.

My lack of racing fitness showed on the third and final lap. I hard to burn a lot of matches to stay on the back of the large lead group up Westcott and then Warner Road, managing to cling on but the front 18 of that group had already detached. Finished 4th in my group for 22nd overall – not too bad (I was aiming for top 15) but learnt a lot about the differences between racing in a pack and training solo. The surges and changes of pace were the toughest to cope with together with the constant need to hold position in the pack. Congratulations to Arnost for finishing with the lead group.

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