The only woman in a field of 66 riders to break the 19 minute barrier, Kristin McGrath (Colavita/Sutter Home) set the fastest time of 18:57.74 for the opening stage of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Stage 1 was a 6.55-mile (10.5 km) point-to-point time trial with over 500 feet of elevation over horrendous pavement. In second place was Cheerwine’s Catherine Cheatley at 5 seconds. The 30th rider to go out of the start gate, Stacy Marple (Cheerwine) set the early fast time of 19:08.29 and in the end grabbed the third spot.
Proman’s Megan Guarnier, wearing of the no 1, had some problems with her chain which forced her to stop and get off her bike. She finished 25th at 1:54 off the leader. (Read more in the Telegram.com)
With 2 teams controlling 7 spots out of the top 10, we can expect the battle to be between Cheerwine and Colavita/Sutter Home for the next 3 stages.
The 139 men had to not only contend with the bad road but with weather changing from light rain to full blown thunderstorms by the end of the stage.
Jonathan Chodroff (CRCA/Empire Cycling), the seventh rider out of the start gate, set the fastest time of 16:02.87. Bissell’s Graham Howard was second less than a second behind, and Luis Amaran (Colavita/Sutter Home) was third, nine seconds behind Chodroff.
The last man out of the gate, last year’s winner Jake Rytlewski (Rite Aid) faced the storm and ran into technical issued and finished in 72nd place, 1:49 behind the leader.
Independance Day brings Stage 2 on Friday July 4. The Wachusett Mountain Road Race where riders will repeatedly face a grueling 11-mile course. On the final lap, the riders veer off the circuit for the spectacular finish at the 2,000-foot summit of Wachusett Mountain. Starting at 12:30pm the pro men will do 9 laps or 104 miles (167 km) and at 12:42pm, the women will race 6 laps or 69 miles (111 km).
Full results here.