RCS Racing in New England

Photos by Dan Sharp

To be stranded is not a good feeling. Even if it means that you are going to ride your bike for the entirety of the time (ok, well, maybe that is not such a terrible thing) it still means a disruption in plans. Communications will be sent, plans broken, schedules rearranged. In the case of the Rapha Condor Sharp team it meant adjusting their training plan instead of heading back to the UK to participate in the East Midlands CiCle Classic (in which their teammate Dan Craven placed second). The men made the trek from New York City to New England, with a stop at a nice spot in Connecticut. With two races on the local calendar it was easy to justify the trip for training purposes.

Saturday April 24th- Turtle Pond Circuit Race – Louden, NH

The team sat on the grass next to the start area before the roll out. Pinning their race numbers and joking about their current status and inability to get back to the UK. Even Race Director John Herety seemed almost jovial in their current predicament laughing with the riders and noting gear choices on the ones lining up. “The bikes seem to increase in cost along with the age of the riders” he noted with a chuckle.

Their spot on the grass gave them a chance to look over the local scene as the other categories rolled out. This was maybe a departure for them in the size of the race, but one has to expect that this is also where it started for most of these riders. The local circuit race, grassroots if you will, is a testing ground and the Turtle Pond Circuit Race is a tough course, an eleven mile loop through the scenic backroads of Louden, New Hampshire. It also doubles as a fundraiser put on by the MetLife Cycling Team with all of its proceeds being donated back to the Louden Elementary school. After the race the Rapha Condor Sharp team donated all of their days winnings back to the race itself.

Darren Lapthorne and Matt Cronshaw took over the race from the first hill and their attack took with them hometown heroes Josh Dillon (BikeReg) and Justin Spinelli (Svelte Cycles). The four of them proceeded to put time on the field with each consecutive lap only to be surprised by Tom Southam and Dean Downing breaking away from the main group, closing the gap with Southam taking the win, Deano in second and Josh Dillon fighting off the rest for third.

“Looks like the Germans came to town.” Was one quote overheard in the feedzone during the day.

Sunday April 25th – Quabbin Road Race – Ware, MA

Drizzled sky greeted the riders as they lined up for the 120 mile road race that took place around the Quabbin Reservoir last weekend. Their Team Issue Rain Jackets were out in full effect. The black jackets once again setting them apart from the milky see-though of other rain jackets, and colorful team garb.

The course was a rolling mixture of technical choppy pavement and super smooth park roads. Officially unsanctioned from a USAC standpoint the race was open to a larger segment of the racing population. There were a good number of teams represented in the field though. CCB was well represented with racers including former Univest Grand Prix Road Race Winner, Amos Brumble, who continued his attacks until very near the end of the race. The CCB team caught the eye of Herety and mechanic Andy Verrall because of the team kit that they wear, the pink and blue taken from the Cycle Club Basingstoke a popular UK based club that started in the 1970’s.

The surprise of the day came in the form of Roger Aspholm, the 42 year old Westwood Velo rider that went with John Tiernan Locke and Darren Lapthorne when they made their break from the group about 10km from the finish. There was a question as to how the race would break down in the closing km’s but when Tiernan Locke and Lappers put the pedals down in the last 400 meters it was Rapha Condor Sharp’s Tiernan Locke with the win.

Check out another take from inside the weekends peloton. Ryan Kelly’s website Exit 17 tells not only of the “Yellow Line Rule” and how it was comically broken by the RCS boys, but also of his own race with the guys.

Congrats to the squad on their wins and thank you to all the support and friendly racing that they encountered in their New England visit.