The Shippensburg Scurry is one of the farthest races we will go to this year, but it was well worth the seven hour drive! The weekend started with the campus criterium on Saturday, followed by the only hill climb of the season in the afternoon and was rounded out by the Horse Killer Road Race on Sunday. Ten racers came out this weekend to represent MIT, which is great considering the driving distance to get to Shippensburg! And this was our first weekend with good weather this season, which made all of us very happy.
Men’s C squad!
Out of the ten that made it, five (including me) were in the Men’s C category. We were all very excited to try out some team tactics and see what we could do to our field! The criterium’s main features consisted of two wide and fast corners and a kicker of a climb leading into the finish, so it was a past-paced race. Most of the pack stuck together up until the second to last lap, which made this crit totally different than the last at Penn State. As a team we did great! I was able to snag 1st in the first two primes and Berk got 2nd in the third prime. Throughout the race, Berk was very aggressive and was testing the field with attacks throughout. Coming into the last lap, Quinn was able to secure his spot in a break of 4 while the rest of us were near the front of the pack. In the end, Quinn held on to come in at 4th, Charles came 8th, I came 9th, Wade came 10th, and Berk came in at 15th.
The mass-start hill climb turned out to be a very interesting race. We had time to drive the course before the race and we took that opportunity to check it out and come up with a plan. Charles volunteered to put in a hard effort at the beginning and keep the pace high to catch the other teams off guard. All five of us started in the first line, and thus Charles was able to attack with an 1000W sprint right as the race started. This kept the pace fast and some people were getting shelled off the back before the real climb had even started. It was a tough 23 minute climb for me, but about halfway through, Wade caught up to me and gave me the inspiration I needed to keep pushing hard to the end(Thanks, Wade!!). Berk secured 2nd place and Quinn came close behind at 6th while Wade and I came in at 14th and 15th. After his valiant effort at the beginning, Charles decided to enjoy the scenery at an endurance pace and still managed to come in at 33rd out of 40, which just goes to show how much pain he caused everyone at the beginning (woo, go Charles!).
For us the Horse Killer Road Race was 46 miles long and consisted of a short loop followed by two loops that included the climb up Horse Killer Road, which has a 0.9 mile long climb at an average 8% grade ( within this 0.9miles is a 0.4 mile segment at an average 13% grade). This race was oddly calm for the C field, with only one attempted break away in the first lap, one or two attacks in the second lap, and a very slow pace for the first half of the 3rd lap, right up until Horse Killer Road. Quinn had his third strong finish of the weekend, coming in 5th. Berk was close behind in 8th and I managed to get 13th. The highlight of this race for me definitely has to be during the 2nd lap. Berk, Quinn, and I found ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder at the very front of the pack. Wade was right behind us and decided to attack by finding space to the right of Quinn and just as he passed, Charles slotted in next to Quinn. I wish someone could have taken a picture of this blockade we set up. Sadly Wade’s attack only lasted for about 2 miles because the frustrated riders behind us dangerously crossed over the double yellow centerline to get around us and led the chase to catch Wade.
Pinning pictures are consistently amazing.
Overall, it was an extremely fun weekend, with lots of shenanigans in the down time while watching our teammates race. As far as racing going, our team had a hugely successful weekend as Emma, Katy, and Tori crushed it in the Women’s A field and Constantin and Shikhar doing well in the Men’s E field. We are currently leading the overall standings and plan to keep our spot at the top this upcoming weekend at the Army Spring Classic, where we will have 27 riders representing MIT!! (No, that is not a typo, 27 people are coming to Army. It is going to be awesome!!)