Date: April 23rd, 2016
Race: Quabbin Classic Road Race
Location: Ware, Massachusetts
Rider: Andy Maher
Cat: Women P, 1,2,3
This was my first time racing Quabbin Classic road race. The Quabbin reservoir is located in Belchertown/Ware, MA and is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States with 181 miles of shore line. The course is one lap, 64.5 miles with 4,895 feet of elevation. After a thirty minute warm up I made my my to the staging area. It was a great turn out with about 65 women on the start line and I was happy to see a few familiar faces from NJ. At 10:05am promptly the whistle was blown and we were on our way. It was a neutral start as we descended for almost four miles until the first right turn onto Rt 9. The pace was moderate with lots of descending for the first 10-15 miles. The first long climb came around the 20 mile mark and I was feeling good moving closer to the front of the pack. There were no attacks or breaks to speak of and the field were together by the time we reached the feed zone at mile 31. As a rider a few bikes ahead of me reached out to take a bottle she missed and went down causing a domino effect. I managed to swerve far enough left to avoid a bike but unfortunately not the rider on the ground. I clipped her torso but somehow kept my bike upright. In those few seconds the main field pushed ahead and gap had formed. Myself and a few other riders were now working really hard to try to catch back on. Every time we seemed to be getting closer...another climb! After 15-20 miles of taking hard pulls, desperate to get back to the main field I felt drained and found myself slipping back, losing contact with the wheel in front of me. The last 10-15 miles were tough, especially knowing it was a two mile 5% climb to the finish line. I soldiered on and seeing the 200m to go sign came out of the saddle for one final push. Although not my best day of racing it was a great experience. I'll definitely be putting Quabbin on my race calendar next year.