For dramatic effect, go ahead and cue up the music…
The Tour of the Battenkill, okay, we get it, “America’s Toughest 1-Day Race”. Given that moniker, who can’t resist driving 7 hours to Cambridge, NY from DC for a nice helping of Good, Bad & Ugly.
Let’s start with The Good.
Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource brought a strong contingent of its Cat 2’s. Making the trip up were, Michael Cordova, Brian Sjoberg (Sobe), Peter Warner, Nicholas Taylor, Sunny Gill, Andrew Shelby & Evan Ellicott. The team was extremely fortunate to connect with Scott & Amy Clark who live right on the course in Buskirk. They offered up their home and were incredible hosts! This opportunity added so much to the experience as the team was able to spend some good quality time together in a relaxed environment.
As for the race, it went down about as expected (except for the Bad & Ugly below). Battenkill generally is a race of attrition. It beats a rider down gradually over time. The nerves, the anxiety of 136 riders all believing they can win, the hills and of course THE gravel sectors. Anyone would be stupid to think you don’t need a little luck as well.
In the end, Warner was able to make the final selection during the treacherous and leg breaking Meeting House Road sectors. The lead group stayed compact to finish with the exception of one rider, Ben Foltz, who snuck off the front and held it to the line…impressive. Warner led the group through the final corner and held on for a hard earned 6th place finish!
Also, for The Good. Megan Inouye was a LIFESAVER for the team in the feedzones. She’s pictured here rocking some great bottle feeds along Meetinghouse Road.
Also need to give Ellicott a shout out for The Good. He was instrumental in helping Warner chase back on after being involved in a crash around the 50 mile mark! Taylor also provided key support to Warner by looking out for him, taking extra water “just in case” and keeping his head in the game.
Now onto The Bad:
What is every racers nightmare? Oh, maybe traveling to a distant race, arriving early evening for an 8:40 a.m. start and going on a short “leg stretching” ride only to have your right shifter GO CAPUT! Yep, this happened to Taylor. It was full on panic mode. Scott, the team’s homestay savior, made some calls and found a friend in Saratoga Springs that would loan him a shifter and derailleur, but he’d need to drive to go get it. Long story short, Ellicott and Taylor left at 8 pm and finished getting the bike in working order by about midnight with the help of Sobe (who we believe just used it as an excuse to stay up and drink beer). This started out bad but amazingly should be moved to the good category! Incredible that this worked out the way it did. A huge team effort for sure!
Gill flatting early on…BAD. But he fought his way back to the field with a determined effort to help the team. Sobe’s day ended early when some clown decided he needed to be extra stupid on an innocuous stretch of road 50 miles in and got his bars hooked under Sobe’s, thus, catapulting him into the ditch and Sobe onto the pavement…day over. Cordova’s race for glory ended after being caught behind a ditch to ditch road block crash deep into the race. There was no chance to get back in the game so he rolled it in.
And now for The Ugly:
Shelby’s bike! And, yes, he’s smiling (maybe lucky to be alive?). Shelby got caught right behind some guys that decided to do some pavement surfing and didn’t have any choice but to join the pile. Fortunately, the bike saw the worst of the damage and he came out relatively unscathed.
The team is also sad to report that Ben Reynolds, Bike Doctor Arnold employee and guest rider, suffered a broken clavicle late in the race. Tough way to call it a day. We hope you heal quickly, Ben!
There may not be a better way to end this post than by demonstrating that Team Bike Doctor is all about having FUN and supporting our fellow riders out there during a long, grueling day in the saddle. We present to our readers what quite possibly is the first “Beer Hand-Up” during the Tour of the Battenkill!
The team wishes it could have stayed longer to help our cycling brothers out, but it will have to wait until NEXT YEAR!!!! Bike Doctor will be back!
The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power