L to R: Breakfast in America with Joao, Amaury, Lewis and Ian

Looking for experience in large, surly fields and longish distances a smattering of CRCA JrDev riders headed north this weekend to Massachusetts for the Sturbridge and Palmer Road Races. There were no junior fields, so Lewis Almonte and Ian Harris got to “ride up”. JrDev graduate Amaury Arias (CRCA/Sakonnet) and sponsorship director Joao Corriea (Bicycling magazine as well as loyal DS Craig Cook rounded out the convoy. Joao was fresh with tales to tell from getting hosed at the Tour of Virginia, but was riding well all the same.
Sturbridge was a bust. Lewis hit the deck on the first lap of the 3/4 event. Ian didn’t fall but fishtailed off the road trying to avoid the same pile up. Ian waited for Lewis but Lewis was down for the count. Ian eventually pressed on but the effort cooked him and he called it a day.
With Lewis all bruised up we decided that the Pro 1-3 might be a better option for the lad in Sunday’s Palmer Library Road Race. The 70-odd mile road race was the longest event this 17 year-old has competed in. Twirling his junior cluster Lewis finished the race in the main field, 16 seconds behind Sebastian Potok of team Northeastern Hardware. Ian, meanwhile, stuck to the 3/4 event where he rode admirably, losing contact with the pack on the last of three 19 mile laps, and finishing nine minutes down.

Nothing says “Pro” like matching orange Crocs.