Cat 4/5 Race
On April 23, 2022 3 Chimps took to the starting line of the Capital Region Bicycle Club’s annual Brinkerhoff Memorial Road Race in Coxsackie, NY. Ben Rabin, Eric Rickman, and Tony Campagna started out on their first race of the season. The Cat 4/5 race is a 38mi race (3 laps on a 12mi circuit). From the gun it was a fast race, being the first race of the year for many, that tends to happen. “The field of 75 was broken up slowly over the first lap and a half. By the climb in the second lap it was only 25 of us or so. Eric and Tony both looked comfortable in that group” Ben texted the group. Knowing the power and shape that both Eric and Tony were in going into the race this isn’t surprising.
Ben later said “In fact, I think Eric is bored. He has been at the very front of the group the entire race talking to anyone who will listen.” This just shows that he was ready to race. Eric had a different point of view of it all, later telling us “I covered attacks from someone who broke away for the win 2 weeks ago.” Eric had done his research and wanted to make sure the previous winner of Brinkerhoff wasn’t getting away this time since on April 9 he broke away from the group and ended up winning by minutes over the main field. “I did a good job of surviving short, very hard efforts for being so early in the year. Probably chased a bit much, but eventually their move did work.” Going into the last half of the last lap Eric crashed. “The guy in front of me on a short kicker just randomly decided to practically stop pedaling. He slipped back then slid to the left, crossed my wheel, turned right, held it, and all the sudden he panicked. He was the one in front and rather than keep pedaling he just started screaming and leaned left. Then I got hit in the back.” At this point Eric was riding in the top 10 of the main group so his crash held up most of the riders, including Tony. By the time they both got cleared the group was gone having Tony finish 28 and Eric 29.
While this is a tough day for the Chimps in the Cat 4/5 race they live to fight another day. This is a race that tends to lend itself to unfortunate errors (ie McManus a couple of years ago) but it also favores the sprinters like Tony and Eric. We hope to get them back in 2023.
Cat 1-2-3 Race
Later that day Josh, being the resident Cat 2 on the team tried his hand at the Cat 1-2-3 race lining up with several pro cyclists in a stacked 25 person field. Josh was doing 5 laps for a total of 60mi that day. Josh came into the day not feeling well (Covid Negative) but decided to try his hand at it anyways. From the gun Josh noticed “Team Big Hit Racing came with numbers. They threw attacks on the back side of the course until a break was established.” Josh being a solo rider knew he had to play his cards just right to make it a successful race. Racing with Curtis White, Josh just knew he had to keep an eye on the top American in Cyclocross as well as keep track of the Cat 1 racer who won the previous week. Yet by the 2nd lap, Curtis decided to bridge the gap to the lead group and by the end of lap 3 the main group was 2min back. After 35mi of racing Josh noted that the pace slowed allowing him to gap the field with two others making it a race for 7th. Josh reported “It was me vs 2 teammates from Big Hit on the final lap. Played monkey in the middle until the sprint. Sprint launched 500M out. Drag raced to catch the guy who went and was beaten by 1/2 a bike length for 7th.”
Josh ended up 8th place overall out of 25 giving him the last spot for a payout, which allowed him to buy lunch on his trip home.
Overall the Chimps didn’t have the best of weekends but they will all be back and ready to race in the weeks to come.