If you had bling like this you’d be surly too…Evan Cooper, Filip Capala, and Ian Harris bemedaled at Balloon. Photo courtesy of Mr.Capala

Evan Cooper and Ian Harris were our lone reps in the junior division at the long and hilly 2007 Balloon Festival Road Race in Cambridge,NY, Saturday, June 9, while Connor Sallee and Lewis Almonte represented in the Category Three race. The 21 mile course takes in the most demanding parts of the season opener Battenkill-Roubaix, but without so much mud. In the Junor race the field came apart on the second of two ascents of the critical three-mile stair-stepped climb that determines this event. Under the pressure of 14-year-old climbing wunderkind Anders Newbury (New Hampshire Cycling Club), Filip Capala (Capala Bros.) and CRCA JrDev’s Evan Cooper left the 30-strong field several minutes in arrears. Ian Harris launched a solo pursuit over the top of the climb and stayed away for fourth place. Up the road, Capala took the sprint for the win ahead of Newbury with Cooper pleading no contest. Due to age divisions, Evan and Ian took home the silver and bronze LAJORS medals in the 16-18 group. Lewis Almonte scored upgrade points and made a big impression with seventh place in the Cat Three event, while Connor Sallee rode to a sturdy mid-pack finish. Both 17-year-olds are on target to be Category Two by the end of the season.