Sunday Kolie Brendan and I lined up for the start of the 60.5 mile road race, the Queen stage of KMSR. I don’t recall much about the first 40 miles – there was a sprint point and a decent little hill in the middle (Brendan got dropped here and impressively caught back on with GLV ally Mike Heiss). Coming over the top of the KOM Ben Grenier of Rancourt snuck away. In the confusion of the regrouping after the climb, it was not clear to most of the field – me included – that someone was still away. Around mile 50 we got an official to give us a time check – 2 minutes up the road. A few folks started a weak chase, pacelining at 21 to 23 mph. I was unimpressed and did a fair bit of audibly questioning folks complacency to race for 2nd. At mile 53, I was sitting on Brendan’s wheel in the paceline, he pulled off to the left, I moved ahead. He said “clear” like I could slide over, but I opted to put a little dig in and jump away from the field. Keith Rousseau of 1K2GO came with me, and when we had a decent little gap Kyle from Rancourt bridged across, after doing an impressive job of disrupting any previous efforts to chase down his teammate up the road.
We made it to the base of the finishing climb with a good little gap on the field (maybe 30 seconds). Keep in mind this is a 6 mile climb, so we still had quite a bit of work to do, and one guy up the road to worry about. At the base of the climb we were joined by one other rider, who’s name and team I forget, as he would soon be dropped. About a mile in, we glimpsed the leader’s distinctive orange Rancourt jersey up the road. We were working hard at this point, and I reminded folks not to get too eager to chase him down, as we had a long ways to go. Of course it was probably a minute after this point that I steadily ramped up the pace and dropped the rest of my little group. After another few minutes I had caught and blown by the leader, and took full points at the KOM. Shortly after this point another select group of four caught up to me, including my 2 break mates Kyle and Keith, as well as the previous day’s KOM leader Will. I was glad for the company, as it this point the road dipped down for a bit, and I could use some folks to draft off of. We worked together well and made the turn onto the final climb up Killington road together. I made a dig at about 700m to go to test the waters, to no avail. Actually I think I may have though the 500m to go banners was the finish line in a moment of confusion. All back together, but now the road tilted up a bit more. Thomas Conti of CRCA/LMT and I opened up a little gap. He didn’t seem to have much left in his legs, but we had a gap as I sat on his wheel. “Just keep it up” I told him. He took me a little too seriously, and with maybe 300m to go slowly opened up a gap on me. Perhaps I could have close this down by jumping out of the saddle and digging a little deeper, but I was pretty empty after my other efforts leading up to and during the climb. I didn’t look back, and just kept a steady rhythm. I feared being caught by the folks behind us sprinting for the line. I heard the announcer something along the lines of “and here comes Patrick Luckow of Community Bicycle Supply” and was somehow motivated to keep going by my newfound fame among the finishline spectators. I took 2nd, with a full 17 seconds ahead of the folks behind. Podium #2 for Community Bicycle Racing at KMSR!