The upside of flatting on lap one of my 50 mile race yesterday and having a long bus ride home is that I’m actually a functional human being this morning, so I find myself with plenty of energy to write. Everybody should be pumped about the upcoming three race weekends: the Army Spring Classic, RISD’s Rhode Race, and Easterns at PSU.
The Army Spring Classic is, well, a Classic! If you’ve never been out to the Catskills of NY, wherein the West Point campus is nestled, the scenery of the area alone is reason enough to go to this race. The races are fantastic. The ITT is a brutal 3 mile uphill drag called Stony Lonesome. The mere name conjures visions of glorious struggle against the mountain. I haven’t done the Harriman Road Race, but conference director Joe Kopena has often been heard to remark this is one of his favorite races in New England. Also there are military Humvees for pace cars—and how cool is that? Finally the criterium is right around West Point’s stadium on campus, and the entire course is visible from the staging/start area. Its one of the most spectator friendly crit courses I can think of in the ECCC.
The Rhode Race hosted by RISD and Brown in Providence, RI is a new edition to the ECCC calendar. This may be the race weekend I’m most looking forward to mainly because of the road race that is planned. It has all the makings of a classic ala the Spring Classics of Europe. Dirt sections! Punchy climbs! Crosswinds! Did I mention dirt sections! Up to 2 miles of dirt road per lap! If we’re lucky, it will have rained at some point and we’ll have mud. If not, it’ll be dry and dusty as all hell. Either way—it should be an excellent, highly entertaining race. I think this course will favor breakaway specialists and rolleurs. Like Paris-Roubaix or the other classics of Belgium that features cobbled sectors, look for separations to occur in the dirt sections as racers slow or get tangled up behind mishaps. Doesn’t that sound fun? This isn’t a race to miss!
The only thing I have to say about Easterns at PSU is Black Mo! More formally, the Black Moshannon Road Race is a 21.4 mile loop that features a 5 mile climb for nearly 1,500 ft. of elevation gain. This may be the most epic race in the ECCC. Regardless of where you finish and in what field, you will have stories to tell about this race. Easterns is still three weeks away too, so you’ve still got time to hone your climbing form, and in the case of the A racers, starve another pound or two off of your emaciated bodies. W/kg ratio, ladies and gents! Just kidding, we are all nutritionally sane people here at Yale… if eating our weight in Peanut Butter & Co and Chabaso Bread on race weekends equates to sanity.
If your schedule is slammed this time of year, both Army and RISD/Brown are a mere 1.5 hours away, so travel times are brief! In summary, come and race your bike!
Yes, this is the profile of the Penn State Easterns circuit race.
We've been looking forward to it all season.