Location: East Hartland, CT
Rider: Andy Maher
Tokeneke classic road race in East Hartland, CT is the New England regional & CT State Championship. The course was 3 laps of a 22 mile loop around the Barkhamstread reservoir with 2100 ft of climbing.
It was a beautiful day and temps were in the high 70's, perfect for racing. Andy Maher was representing Team EPS in the women's 1,2,3 field. After a brief warm up I made my way to the start line and the race got underway.
The first few miles are fast downhill before the first turn and climb. From past experience the race usually splits within the first 10 miles so I was happy to find myself feeling good and with the lead group after the first three climbs. As we crested the third climb I had difficulty shifting back into my big ring and drifted to the back of the pack. After a few tries I got it and settled back in. Another uphill grade was approaching and I shifted gears accordingly. Once at the top I tried to go back into my big ring but this time it wouldn't go. A racers worst nightmare, a mechanical in the middle of a race! The pack started to pull away from me while I continued to try and shift. I fell off the back of the lead group and was alone for about a mile before being caught by the second chase group. Over the next few miles we rode a rotating pace line catching one solo rider and could see the lead group ahead. With about 5-6 miles left of the first lap comes a fast 7% down hill section. Without being able to shift into my big chain ring I couldn't hold my speed and watched the women I had been pace lining with ride away from me. The last 2 miles of the course are a steady uphill 5% grade and I started to claw my way back to the small chase group.
I had completed one lap but knowing he next few miles of the race were fast downhill and not being able to shift into my big ring I decided to abandon the race. A frustrating day!