Black Moshannon!!!! The notorious Nittany mountain race of the ECCC. Four riders came to the races and slayed Black Mo.
Returning for mountain redemption, Mike Grome (Men’s Cat A), dug deep through the onset of first-race-of-the-year cramping and seasonal cold to break away from the pack, riding steady up the dreaded Black Mo. to finish 4th.
Matt Ampleman (Men’s Cat B) met his goals for the weekend. He found himself with just enough in the tank for the second Black Moshannon hill climb, overcoming leg cramps to roll through in 10th place. On the criterium, he made an early attack and some well-timed efforts to get to the front of the pack for 8th place in a final sprint.
Eager to improve, Andy Barentine (Men’s Cat C) carved out an epic solo break in the road race, going too fast to notice the turn he missed. Yet, after realizing his mistake, still managed to recover for an 8th place finish. In the criterium, he again enjoyed some time in front, but took home a couple reminders to steer one's bike away from curbs.
Although new rider Adam Tonks (Men’s Cat D) was not initially looking forward to the hills of the road race, he found the course enjoyable in the end, filled with pride for slaying the mountain. It was first non-freezing ride in the US and he relished it, completing his first road race up the ECCC’s largest climb.
The air was thin as wheels ascend upon the back of Black Mo’s bend. With tired legs and roads that wend, the riders relieved, for the race did end. The mountain slain, the challenge won, but in the end, it was pretty fun.