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Housy Hurts…errr…I mean Hills June 18, 2007

Posted by Wayne in Race Reports.

My goal going into today’s race was to 1) stay in the front group and 2) Help Brian or Ed any way I could on the last lap, leading to the base of the finish hill. I succeeded with #1 but sort of failed with #2.

Seemed to me like the first part of the first lap was slooooowwwwww. I sat on Pat Mac’s wheel most of the time, letting him dodge the busted up pavement on the road along the river. As soon as we hit the right-hander to the beginning of the climbs, it strung out single-file, but I was feeling OK, staying in the top 20 or so. A weird thing happened at one point and the pack split, but a bunch of heavy hitters were right around me and I didn’t panic and when we hit the “wall” after the sharp left, it all came back together. I made it through the KOM with no problem, and I thought we all had made the front group of 50 (60? 70?) at that point. I saw Paul and Zane and Brian and Ed for sure.

Brian made a cheeky move and slid off the front solo on the descent on Rt. 67 and got a sizable gap. A CRCA guy bridged, then Jonny Bold and another guy and I thought “This might work!” Paul and I spent a good deal of time at the front, trying to slow things down. There were flyers off the front in attempts to bridge, but no real serious, organized chase. I thought the move still had hope until the second time up the hills. After the right turn onto Purchase Brook, I was in serious difficulty. I came off about 4 times, only to claw my way back. The last time, I thought I was done but once we hit the wall, gravity kicked in and I moved right up through the pack and was in the front 10 down the whole descent. I may be blown sometimes, but gravity is my friend. šŸ™‚ Unfortunately for Brian, the pace on that first stretch doomed his break and we caught themĀ just beforeĀ the KOM.

I survived the KOM and feed zone surges, but I could tell I had dug deep a little too much, and I was worried I’d be able to survive the rollers to the 67 descent. Usually, once I make the feed zone the second time, I’m golden, but I had my doubts. I went through all my water, and in hindsight didn’t eat enough, and I actually thought I was going to pop on the very last pitch on 67. Even Brian said to me afterwards “You were going backwards fast” and I was. Brian said “Let’s try to keep the pace high into the last corner for Ed” and I thought I had one last effort in me to do that. Problem is Jonny Bold decided to attack multiple times on the 67 descent and 172 run-in and hard as I tried, I never made it all the way to the front. Brian, however, did an excellent job drilling it into the final corner.

I hit the bottom of the final hill at the rear of the splintering pack, and saw Brian pull off. But then…Ed pulled off?!? What was up with that? I yelled at him to encourage him to keep going but he was done. I was in pure damage control mode, and rode my own tempo to the finish. I figure there were about 30 guys left at the end, so I might have pulled a top-25 but I doubt even that. I was so incredibly cross-eyed and bonking at the finish, I could barely get off my bike to get water. I downed 2 lemonades an OJ and a fruit punch and that was barely enough to get me back down the hill without crashing from wooziness.

I don’t know…doesn’t seem like this is our race. I like Cyclonauts better so maybe next year I’ll bag Housy, or at least do both. I know I’m a “climber” but merely surviving isn’t really much fun.



1. air9r - June 18, 2007


I’m 0-3 for Housy Hills. Cyclonauts the day before always has something to do with it. I love the course, but its has just the right combo of hills and pace that KO’s me every time.

I rode smart and had great position into the climb lap 1. I fell back because I just wanted to make it over the KOM, not rocket up with the leaders.

The HR was pegging and I was surviving until the false flat just before the wall. This may sound crazy, but I’ve never done well on false flats. Its actually better for me when its vertical. I got to a point where it just wasn’t any fun and I knew that there was lots more agony waiting for me over the top.

Sorry all. I had to make it a training ride. Lousy race for me, but good training. Wade and I linked up and we made a small group. Then I broke a rear spoke and the rim rubbed a bit even with the brake open. 2005 – flat. 2006 – broken front spoke. 0-3.

Then I rode with the Cat 3’s and was dropped on the same false flat.

Brian Cantele and I hooked up and we both were out of water with at least 10 miles to go.

Funny thing was, I finished, and technically, I beat Ed.

Housy does hurt. I did notice that I’m climbing better than I have in a long time. Maybe I’ll rest well and conquer Union Vale, another favorite course of mine that beats me? First there is FSR! 130 miles yesterday and today between both races and warm up/cool down. I think I’ll go easy tomorrow.


2. wenzel - June 18, 2007

Good Morning All. I am actually sum what pleased with my ride on Sunday. The double is difficult, but I have been preparing for FSR since the middle of May. Lap one was calm until we hit the climb off of the river. The pace picked up and people were starting to fall off. When we hit that first left turn, the mini-wall, Wade was in trouble and I think that was the death of him. Matt decided to “start his training ride” just prior to the KOM on lap one. The rest of us got through the 1st lap with some tough spots. As wayne said, Brian slipped off the front, with several riders bridging up to him. His stellar move spelled Paul’s and my doom. The pace picked up as we hit the climbs on lap 2. The peleton really wanted Brian’s group back and they wanted to do it NOW. So we started to climb from the river and a decent clip with some accelerations to make it fun. Paul came off on that first steep left turn climb, and I was popped at the 2nd KOM. So, this left Wayne, Ed and Brain…with me chasing them, paul chasing me and Matt chasing all. As to be expected none of us regrouped with the field. So, as I started to say that this was one of my best HH since moving to CT in 1999. I would like to have seen what could have been without Monson the day prior, but I love that race and it loves me back…So it is 6:38am on Monday and I am waiting for the results to be posted. Any other opinions out there?

3. Wayne - June 18, 2007

The results were posted fast yesterday, and I do know it was Yabroudy, Kimball, Taylor 1-2-3.

Bill was responsible for a lot of the leg-ripping yesterday. That race has his name written all over it.

4. Wade - June 18, 2007

I try to give myself a break when I look back at my Housy Hills results. An argument can be made it is the toughest RR in New England. I’m pretty sure my best finish is a 13th place back in the 90s when I was a Cat3. I had a very good ride my first year doing the 81 mile Pro1/2 race. I finished in the field which was down to about 25 guys. As a master I have always hit the final climb with the field which is never bigger than 30-35 guys. I crack about half-way up and have finished in the 20s a few times. This year and last, my first two as a dad, I have been dropped early. Yesterday I caught back on but was dropped again. As Matt said we ended up in the Cat3 field. The official pulled me from there just before the 2nd time up the first climb. I rode solo at a very slow pace until Roxbury when I was caught by the 4s field and the M45 break. I was actually pulled over at that point for a “natural break”. I latched onto the M45 field which came by a minute later. It hurt just to stay with them for the last 10 miles of the race but I was able to do that. I didn’t go up the final climb.

5. air9r - June 18, 2007

here’s an interesting e-mail from the winner of the 55+, Cyclonaut George Pawle. I liked looking at his data, and as you can see from the HR (Max is roughly 220-age) these guys ride real hard too. Yes, the average speed is a bit lower than the 35+, but the max is the same.

Also…I talked to Bill Yabroudy after the race. Its pretty amazing to me that he was nipped by inches and had to settle for second at Monson RR, and won at Housy. There is some incredible ability.

He said he was in a three man group and he was the only one that could set the pace. He couldn’t see pulling everyone to the line so he eased up and it became six.

Bill was vigilant enough to respond to someone lighting up a sprint so he jumped on it and carried it to the line while the guy who started it imploded.

It all just goes to prove that only the good guys stay and race bikes when they get old. Plenty of 35+ are old pros with incredible talent that could be up on the P123 if they wanted to.

Here’s George’s take on the 55+:

The 55+ field was small, just 25, but nearly all of the top MRCA riders were there. The pace was typically moderate (these are the old guys), but I pushed pretty hard up the hills to try to wear the field down. I didn’t see the KOM sign until it was too late, but Bob Johnson didn’t miss it. He put on a great sprint, flew past me, and just caught Michael McCusker at the line for the KOM title. Chip Berezny surged a few times, but no one chased, so he came back each time. On the downhill at the end of the first lap a rider took off and was out of sight, but no one seemed concerned. Sure enough, we easily caught and passed him on the first climb of the second lap. Towards the top Bob and I had perhaps 20 meters on the field, but we didn’t think it was enough to try to break, so we let the field catch us. The pace seemed to slow on the flatter sections and no one else was willing to lead, so I led for a fair amount on the second lap. Fortunately, for the last 5 miles another rider came up and shared the lead with me, so I was able to get some rest before the finishing climb. A the start of the climb Andy Buck (the other national champion in the race) had a good jump and a 30 meter lead, but I reeled him in about halfway up. At that point there were 5 of us and we stayed together to the top, when Berezny took off and crossed first by about 4 lengths. I had a good sprint and was second. Bob finished seventh.
But then, after the race, Matt Domnarski came up and said “Congratulations, you’ve won! Berezny is being DQ’d for a yellow line violation”. I didn’t see it, but another rider confirmed that he had got outside at one point and advanced past 6 or 8 riders. Apparently 2 other riders in other racers were also DQ’d for yellow line violations.
A hard course with some pretty good climbs.



6. Wayne - June 18, 2007

Those are pretty strange time gaps in the results. I lost some time on the final climb, but not 12 minutes! Even the split to the next group ahead of me is weird; Ed Schaub (EBCC, 31st place) was about 25 yards ahead of me at the line. My guess is it’s 10 minutes off; look at the difference between 8th & 9th places!
Of course not that it matters.

7. wenzel - June 18, 2007

I came to the same conclusion. There is no way that I lost that much time and there is not way that the first group put 10-minutes into the second group.

8. air9r - June 18, 2007

Yeah. JD is a digit off. It was a 1 minute gap, not 10. I like Funk’s pose to the finishing camera.

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