by David Wagener
The idea behind inviting other teams to our ITT efforts was to prove that the Manhattanites were superior to those Kissena kids from Prospect and various other borough bikers. It wasn’t a difficult decision, because it was true and self-congratulatory. Think past tense.
On a stifling sticky Sunday, June 8, 2008, CRCA got beat like a farm animal. At a TT course (Floyd Bennett Field) which is quickly becoming our home venue, an unprecedented 111 racers donned those funky helmets and funkier bi-pedal wonders, and rode 11.5 miles on a treeless moonscape with Mercury-like temps. Problem was, our guests have few manners. The top dog left CRCA three area codes in his dust, and seven of the top 20 heralded from boroughs and states of unfamiliar origin. This compares with last year’s affair when only one true non-CRCA racer provided a similar result.
So let’s start with a tipped cap to Will O’Donnell (Westwood Velo). In our Club Championship in 2007, CRCA placed an unprecedented four riders under the magical 25 minute barrier. Will handily went sub-25, then decided to establish the first ever sub-24 time, and then wound-up a sub-23 minute sprint. At 22:58, he was 95 seconds ahead of the next finisher, a game Alex Bremer (Empire Cycling). Over that time lag, a full interview was conducted, and this story was written.
In his guitar-playing days, Will was known as the “Axeman”. Now he’s just a self-effacing chiropractor and bike racing dude. Given what he did to the competition, we’ll take no issue with whatever he wants to call himself. He’s a Cat 3, who is in his third year of pedaling, and is a scant 31 years old. Maybe he’s peaked. And get this: His sport is volleyball. Volleyball?
An average speed of 29.2 mph was Will’s slowest ITT of the year, and a full 1 mph slower than his effort the day before. That right. He won the Philadelphia Amateur TT the day before, besting Jonathan Chodroff (CRCA/Empire) by a remarkable 35 seconds over 8 miles. That’d be four area codes.
Will’s imputed CP lap time for Sunday’s effort was 12:07 per lap. This is only meaningful when you consider that our boy Smiley routinely crushed us all with an average lap time of 12:54 for our two lap CP efforts. So enough of our interloper. Let’s talk about the CRCA true yellow and blue, but before we do, check-out Will’s position in this picture. He bruised his chin as he ricocheted over the weed-masked potholes. How do you bruise your chin? You do it by having your head so low and aerodynamic, that your position is unrecognizable to the rest of us.
Actually, everything is unrecognizable to Jamie Nicholson (CRCA/DB) other than first place. The ever-faster Ann Marie can beat her when Jamie doesn’t race. But if Jamie toes the starting line in an ITT, game over. While there is a cachet for the studbolts to break 25 minutes at FBF, the studbolt-ettes have a 27 minute barrier. At 26:59, Jamie stands alone.
Cat 4 was won by another party-crasher, Walter Straub (GBSC/Babylon) with a time of 25:26 which was almost a Top 10 finish. Cat 5 went to new-timer and member of the rejuvenated points-leading squad, Foundation, Adam Kosmicki. And the Cannibal prize was garnered by team president and ever-deserving Ken Harris (Jonathan Adler), who, at 26:46, proved that old-school, under the right rider, can still best two-thirds of an ITT field.