On Saturday, four OVC racers headed up to Barnesville, Maryland for this year’s Giro di Coppi. The 12.5 mile course is one of MABRA’s hilliest -- over 4,000 feet of climbing was expected for the 4 lap, 50 mile Cat 3 race in which Mark and Roscoe were racing in first.
Mark had planned for a breakaway about halfway through the race, but at Mile 8 found himself pedaling away from the 40-45 rider group. A few guys bridged up and the trio got a decent gap. It took Mark’s teammate a lap or so to realize Mark was up the road, but eventually Roscoe (19th place) put in a couple of rounds of blocking at the front. It probably didn’t matter though -- Mark’s group was out of sight and the heat was demoralizing the peloton. In the final stretch, Mark easily soloed away from his surviving breakaway partner (the other had imploded, claimed to throw-up, and sought medical attention post-race) for the victory -- Nice work, Mark! Mark finished the 50 mile course in about 2 hr 15 min (~23 mph avg) and had enough of a gap to ride around and watch the sprint finish. Although calculations still need to be made, his victory may be enough to propel Mark into, or at least within spitting distance of, the Cat 2’s. In other words, don’t feel bad if he drops you on Tuesday!
Ted and Sean had the unenviable task of rolling out at 130PM under the high heat in the 3/4 Masters race. They had to contend with the same 50 mile course, but temps about 10-15 degrees higher and reaching over 100F. By the halfway mark, the heat and/or mechanical issues had claimed over half of the 40 rider field, including Sean who had some shifting problems. Ted, who had put in some extra time in the hills recently, was not deterred by the miserable conditions. Riding No. 313, Ted fulfilled his destiny by hanging with the main group and grabbing a solid 13th place -- nice riding, Ted!