The First Annual Big Ring Racing Invitational Mock Grand Prix Event was an unmitigated success. Somewhere between 25-30 people showed up, all of whom had the kind of attitude that made for a fun ride.
Congratulations and adoration pored out for race winner Matt Surch (above) who walked away with a used PoS, but deeply symbolic, Big Ring.
Other winners included Hannah Dayan who put in a personal best, racing her way to the coveted Little Ring award for sweeping up the rear:
The first woman across the line was Anna O'Brien though it isn't clear from this photo record whether or not she finished on her bicycle or was crouched on the roof of a car:
Rick Clancy won the long-course version of the race, visiting Champlain Lookout on both of his laps in a desparate attempt to find a pelaton he could ride with. He did find one at the Chelsea pub afterwards:
The tandem competition victors were Melissa Phypers and Amelie Monvoisin:
Tobin DeCou can be seen at the start of the race warming up his right arm in preparation for his anticipated victory salute. Next to him are Stef "The Fly" Manzoni and Rodd Heino (who almost nobody could keep up with despite his self-assembled bike having at least 25mm tires):
By the end of the race, Tobin managed to get his arm all the way up as he was dragged into the finish by Blair Batchelor (who shaved 7 minutes off his personal best on each loop). Lenny Gallant can be seen in the back of this group getting ready to pick his nose:
My race consisted mainly of this view of Sarah Kirby's ass:
though I remember her as being much blurrier given that I was trying to see through an endless river of sweat. Sarah was in contention for the race win until she flatted on the second lap climb of Fortune. There was some discussion in the lead group about the etiquette of gapping someone with a mechanical, but it was put to rest by Ryan Zarychanski who abruptly declared "She'll catch up." I lost my will to live not long after that and was dropped by the lead group as well, riding the last 10 painful minutes on my own.
The lead group of five finished in approximately 1:13 which is impressive given that time and tempo was lost at all the road crossings and gates. I think this was the order of the group crossing the finish line (more aptly described as a finishing "area"):
1. Matt Surch, Tall Tree Cycles
2. Rob Parniak
3. Neil Schiemann
4. Rodd Heino
5. Ryan Zarychanski
Sadly, no Big Ring Racing team members were able to contend for the Big Ring prize. Our team post-race analysis suggests that this is a result of a number of factors, including:
1. Being too slow
2. Craig posting his strategy in a series of videos before the race.
3. Other people being too fast
Nevertheless, I am pleased that I also set a personal best, finishing a respectable 6th place approximately 90 seconds behind the lead pack, the first Big Ringer to cross the line. Gilles Monvoisin was the next Big Ringer in, proving that we over 40 guys are not to be taken too lightly. Cheers Gilles!
In addition to the prizes, Craig handed out some Pro Gold Lubricant and Citrawipes to many of the participants.
Thank you everyone for joining in. It was a learning experience and a lot of fun for me.