This past Saturday, 21 of the area’s strongest and most skilled riders brushed off a windy and chilly forecast to roll out together for a 62 mile ride. At least 5 counties and 3 states were represented by a Who’s Who of Delmarva cyclists, including: Sean S, Mark, Ted, Rob, Bob L., Dan, Roscoe, Dean, Caleb, Scott H, Scott A., Dan, Jim V., Bill, Steve, Phil, Kevin, Sonny, Dave P., Scott B. and Mario.
Breezy winds and a couple of flats kept the pace a little subdued for the first 30 miles, with an average speed of just 17 mph. Before long, the bunch got to spread their wings with a short sprint into Secretary. Roscoe and Mark got the jump on the group, but were soon tracked down by 5-6 determined chasers. Undeterred, Mark put his head down and captured the sprint over the bridge into town at 30 mph.
After a short regroup, the riders began to enjoy the fruits of their labor -- a tailwind home. Except for a 4 mile segment north that tortured the group with a stiff crosswind (causing the mid-ride interval to be canceled), it was mostly smooth sailing for the second 30 miles. Almost everyone stayed on board until the beginning of the 4 mile finale at the Sharptown Bridge when the fireworks began.
Mark got the initial jump up the Nanticoke Wall, with Roscoe a few seconds behind. At the base of the span, Bill roared past Roscoe at 40+mph in an attempt to link up with Mark. Eventually, the trio consolidated and was soon joined by a few more riders, including Scott H., Dean, and Sean. As the miles ticked away, the 6 man break shrank one-by-one. With a mile to go, Mark hit the afterburners and ramped it up to a blistering 34 mph. Only Scott was able to match this effort, and even he lost contact before the finish. Mark claimed the victory by averaging an astounding 30 mph for the final 4 miles, lowering the KOM by over 40 seconds! Amazing work, Mark! 8 other riders came in under the prior KOM time as well. Solid riding, OVC!
The 63 mile course was completed in about 3 hr 30 min for an average speed of 18.3 mph. Post-ride taquitos, sausages (courtesy of Mario and Perdue), and cookies were enjoyed by almost everyone. Special thanks to Bob Lockwood for provided a case of recovery ales! Chapeau!