Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Take on the ECCC Fall Meeting

This weekend West Point hosted the ECCC's annual fall planning meeting, which aside from working out any potential rule changes and improvements at the conference level the 2011 racing schedule needed to be decided. I assume none of you are terribly interested in any potential changes to scoring in the men's D field I'll skip down to a summary of what lies ahead.

Rebranded as the Rutger's Scarlet Scurry the Central New Jersey School will once again be home to the season's first race, around about 7am March 5th, 2011. The races will be slightly different this year in that the bike path prolog TT is no more. Instead the weekend is shuffled around, with a potential ITT to start the season of 1 lap of the existing circuit couse, followed by the circuit race, then Sunday would be the crit, same parcours as previous years.

Columbia and Stevens grabbed the second weekend that will feature a late starting Grants Tomb crit (11am first collegiate race with USAC races proceeding) on Saturday and a brand new circuit course from Stevens, with an ITT planned for one lap of the same course (may be changed to add variety)

Weekend 3 of the ECCC season and the front half of the Tufts Spring Break sees the team down in Philadelphia for the long running Philly Phlyer. Our first TTT of the season and the circuit race to follow later in the day are the same courses they were last year, with the technical upper section and fast, flat stretch along the water making up the middle half of the course. The Sunday crit may be on the Temple campus, and failing that, will return to the Naval Yard, home of what may have been last years fastest and safest crit of the season (baised? ...yes)

Racing during the second weekend of our spring break will be at RPI who have three races on the docket but everything is pretty trivial when placed next to their 9, as in nine, one less than ten, corner downtown crit. We ask, why stop at nine?

Week 5, marks the start of the extremely difficult second half of the season in the best way possible, with the BOSTON BEANPOT! Boston University, MIT, and Tufts came together in an 11th hour deal to get on the schedule bringing together the Xpot road course, a medium length TT, and on Sunday, the Tufts Criterium. If that doesn't strick fear and great excitement in your heart, your haven't been in the ECCC long enough. Don't think this is a big deal, check wiki
We're pretty excited about this, and with the most infamous corner in all of ECCC freshly paved, This is going to be BIG.

Maybe the easiest april race weekend, once again running up against the pro/am weekend of Battenkill is Yale. Though I may be taking liberties with "easiest". The circuit has been changed to remove the busy road on the back side and replaces it with half of the rock climb, which adds a great deal of decent as well. The crit stays the same and the uphill ITT remains. Also in place is the chance to win the KOM jersey for crushing your cat. in both the ITT and circuit.

Despite loosing their bid for Easterns we will still be headed up to the Hell of the North for a Dartmouth/UNH co-hosted epic. Saturday begins at the Northern Ivy with a neutered version of their crit (no corner of death) and what is hyped up to be an incredible TT course. Sunday brings us to the other side of the Granite state for a long TTT at UNH which will be followed by a rolling road course around one of New Hampshire's beautiful lakes.

Eastern's this year was on paper a three horse race but it was really down to Dartmouth/UNH and our winners and torturers Penn State. You should start doing hill workouts now, is all I can really say. Frat row crit, rolling TTs, and what really will get everyone to drive all the way down to PA is the road course. Over 21 miles a lap gaining 1900ft each time around. Men's A will climb almost a mile and a half into the sky by the end of the day, with Men's B clearing over a mile upwards. AWESOME.

So 2011 sees more 4 race weekends, road courses take the second half of the season by storm, and two northern races. So keep climbing, and good luck.

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