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A-D Racing: NorthBeast Cycling Classic Race Report

The NorthBeast Cycling Classic is a two day omnium held in Cornelia, Georgia and is part of the Southeast Collegiate Conference. The masters category race features a 42 mile road race with 4,000 feet of climbing on Saturday morning and a short and fast 4 mile time trial in the afternoon. The climbs are short and tough (gravel and pavement) and the descents are fast with some tight turns. The weather was dry and temperatures were in 70s. I joined a combined masters field (40, 50, 60 Plus) of about 30 riders from around the region. I was riding my Ultima Carbon Disc Limited Graz running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, a 54T/42T x 11-28 drive train and Dura-Ace C60s set up with Vittoria Corsa 28 tubulars. I was a bit worried about running these big Florida gears for this race, but it turned out that on the climbs I never needed anything lower than a 42-23 and having a 55 actually turned out to be a desicive advantage.

The main feature of the road race was I got away on the big descent. I was able to do that because while everyone else was spinning out their 50s (or coasting), I was able to accelerate in my 55x11 (hitting 46 miles per hour at one point) and get what at one point was a 25 second gap. I held that gap for two laps before I was joined by three riders and another four soon after on the third lap. This was the break of the day and the race came down to a field sprint which of course I featured first as a passenger and then next as an observer. I finished fourth in the fifty plus age group.

There was time for some lunch and a short nap at the hotel before returning for the afternoon four mile time trial. I was on my tt Carbon Limited running Dura-Ace mechanical, a one by 58T x 11-25 drive train and Alto Disc / CT80 wheels set up with Vittoria Corsa 25mm tubulars. I was again a bit worried about running these huge Florida gears, but again it worked out fine. I got up the two early climbs in a 58x23 or so, but gained all my time on the downhill where I was able to really get on top of the 58x11. I lost time on some of the corners (I was unable to ride the course in advance) but managed to finish in 8 minutes and 30 seconds which was just fast enough for the category win (David Richter / Fount Cycling Guid) was only four seconds behind).

The criterium was held in downtown Cornelia on Sunday. The course is about three quarters of a mile in length and features a gradual climb and two fast corners. We had 20 miles of racing and it was fast from the start. After about 20 minutes it settled down and I attacked the field of about 25 riders from the tail gun position. By pure coincidence, David Richter / Fount Cycling Guild attacked at the the same time so I was able to get on his wheel as we rode down a rider quite a ways up the road. Although the move was a perfect mix of luck and tactics, it was a big effort and I didn't have the legs to match David's acceleration up the climb on the next lap. I drifted back to the field where I returned to my assigned position at the back. I finished the crit in 8th place which added enough points for me to get onto the second step of the podium in the fifty plus Omnium category. New Peak of the Season!

Topview Sports does an excellent job of organizing and executing this event and Cornelia, Georgia, which is in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is a very nice place to visit and race (it is also the name of our daughter which is really the reason I chose this event....I don't know anyone named Jackson).  Many thanks to the USA Cycling officials, the volunteers for making the race happen and to the residents of Cornelia for welcoming us. A special thank you to my wife Tak for enduring the long drive, taking so many videos and images and cheering me on. These adventures do not happen without her support. See you at NorthBeast Cycling Classic next year. And of course, if you have any questions about the Ultima, the tt Carbon or the A-D Bikes Sustainability Program, please just give me Fred Thomas a call on 207 415 3746 and we will talk bikes.



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