Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Classics Extravaganza

Wow, what a weekend. Tall Tree riders took on America's Queen of the Classics and biggest race, the Tour of the Battenkill on Saturday, and the Ride with Rendall Clarence-Rockland Classic Sunday, while the Paris-Roubaix played out an ocean away. Exciting racing transpired on all fronts, most notably, the Roubaix was an absolutely astounding display of power and tact.
Photo: Neil Scheiman of Tall Tree heads into the covered bridge over the Battenkill in the Pro race - Dave McElwaine/

I won't spoil it for those who have not seen it; all I can say for now is WOW.

On our end, Tall Tree had a contingent in effect in Cambridge, New York for the Tour of the Battenkill. Tanya Hanham, aka, the Vegan Vagabond, whom we are happy to have riding in our ranks as of 2010, threw down her first road race ever in style, riding smart and consistently, finishing in the third group trailing a couple small breaks. Hey, why not take on one of the hardest road races to try our the whole road thing? Tanya's mountain bike prowess served her well, and she had a great time.

Ditto for our other first time racer, Steve Bosworth, who took on the CAT5 race. Despite getting shelled, Steve learned a lot and came in happy. With dirt roads in the best conceivable condition, it was hard not to enjoy the 100k route.

Tall Tree co-owner, Thom Johnson joined Jamie Pold, Rob Parniak, myself, and Dr. Todd Fairhead, emerging from a 12 year hiatus from racing to throw it with the green team in the Masters 30-39 race. I'll write more about our race tomorrow, but for now I'll say each of us left it all out on the road, and Rob and I managed to be there for all the moves except the last attack that saw four riders escape from our group of 24. I'd already taken my shot in a break away attempt with four others off the top of the races most heinous series of climbs at about 72k in, and consequently had little left after nearly exploding into smithereens due to that effort. Rob and I were both extremely happy to be able to rely on each other, and happy to pull off 18th and 19th in a strong field. We'll fill in some more detail tomorrow, and I hope others will chime in with their accounts to round out the story.

Neil Scheiman represented Tall Tree in the Pro/Cat1 race at the end of the day, finishing 48th in a shattered field. I didn't get to hear much about how the race unfolded, so hopefully Neil can shed some light for us tomorrow. Each race was similar though: with strong winds riders didn't pull hard on the flats, but the climbs were full on throw-downs. Breaks were hard to make stick with the wind, and the Pro race seems to have completely blown to pieces on the last series of climbs 10k from the finish.

On this side of the border, Rodd Heino, Pascal Marais, Mike Abraham and David Stachon flew the Tall Tree colours at the Clarence-Rockland Classic, and rode strong, with Rodd taking a stellar 15th overall, a terrific result in a strong field. Rodd will elaborate tomorrow, I look forward to hearing from the others on their impressions, sensations. It seems Rodd and I both experienced seizing quads near the ends of our races, just as we did last year at the Hell of the North. This seems to be a first race of the year sort of thing. I'll need to find a race to do before Battenkill next year to avoid that!

So stay tuned, pics and more to come.


Megan Searfoss said...

Hey Tall Trees Team,
Let it be known that your teammate Tanya, was the ONLY woman at Battenkill that was kind enough to let me borrow a pair of shorts on saturday. I drove up three hours with all my team gear EXCEPT my jersey and shorts (awkward!) After asking more than a dozen women who were not willing to help, God forbid I borrow another team's shorts, Tanya gave me a pair to use. I wore her shorts and a teammate's spare jersey (men's XL) and was able to finish in the money. Thank you Tanya for heloing a girl in need! Tall Trees Rocks!

The Vegan Vagabond said...

Hi Megan, wow I can't believe that many women turned you down! Of course I'd lend you my shorts. You were way too small to race in those XL bibs. Great job on your race.

Way to go team! Amazing job by everyone. Great way to start the race season.

Matt Surch said...

That's it, we're all in this together. I'm not surprised others didn't want to lend, but I could never see Tanya turning down a fellow rider. If you're ever up this way Megan, get in touch and we'll take you on a dirt road adventure, Tall Tree style!

Pascii said...

I'm tearing up a little here folks...

Anonymous said...

Great work everyone, what an experience the Battenkill must be...I'm looking forward to the Ride of the Damned.

Tanya's a class act...