Giro D'Otisco - June 16, 2012
By: Nick Leonard
Steve and I traveled down to Otisco Lake on Saturday in the hopes of finding fun and enough suffering to call the trip a success. Both were found in large quantities over the 30 mile course and post race celebration.
The race starts with a 1/2 to 3/4 mile climb up a steep enough pitch to separate the pack. Steve went off first with the 4's and when the pack blew up he was caught in the middle. I was at the front of our starting wave and five minutes later we were given the okay to launch ourselves uphill. I didn't waste any time and quickly found myself with a 200 yard lead over the chasers as I crested the top. It took 11 miles, but the pack eventually caught me.
Meanwhile Steve had managed to catch the lead pack, but with the next major climb upon him, found himself in no man's land for several miles in between the lead group and grupetto he would eventually end the day with.
I sat in with my pack to recover from my solo efforts until the next major climb. I was climbing at a nice steady pace when I was passed by the eventual winner. My miscalculation was not expending the effort to hold onto his wheel as I thought the pack would give chase to track him down. He eventually opened a nice lead, but much to my surprise the pack wasn't working well together. For the last 10 miles it was myself and 2-3 other guys out of the 15 large chase group that were doing all of the work. The last climb of the day up to the finish line must have been looming heavy on every one's mind. It was a climb akin to the likes of Bopple, climbing 500 ft from the lake shore in about 1/2 mile to the finish.
When we took the left hand turn away from the lake to start the climb, we quickly realized the challenge that lay ahead. "The Wall" turned into a battlefield with people struggling to find a line, or paperboying from side to side to lessen the grade, and in some cases racers were going down having been defeated by gravity in their attempt to keep the pedal's moving. As I climbed at my steady pace I quickly dropped all but one from our group. With each turn of the crank I waited for my challenger from behind to pop and as we made the final turn to the finish he could no longer hold my wheel. I was thankful to ease off and crossed the finish line in 2nd place.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Nick showed his form on the Parish North course tonight with a win. He would attack on the finish line hill, get a gap, and solo until caught on the downhill. The last lap he had a partner in a break that stuck and was able to score the win on the uphill sprint. Full points - prime and win. Nice job!