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Green Mountain Stage Race

Our team leader, Ambrose Delaney is taking a crack at one of the most challenging races in North America. The Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. Check back here throughout the weekend, to see how he’s doing. This is a tough race with very high level competition. 4 stages, 4 days. Brutal road conditions, dirt roads, new pavement, old pavement, chip seal, ridiculous 20% climbs, crazy descents, and everybody’s favourite finale…The Criterium.

Here are the results so far. (At age 49, Ambrose is racing in the 40+ category.)

Stage 1. The Time Trial. 9km. Note. Only bikes that are legal for the road race are allowed in the TT. This is to ease the burden for athletes travelling long distances as they will only need to bring 1 bike.

How difficult is this? At the Cape Breton Classic in July, Ambrose rode the 11km TT at an average speed of 39.72kph. In the Green Mountains his 9km TT average was 34.20kph.

What’s the level of competition? After the TT, Ambrose sits 34th out of 67, 1:36 behind the leader. If he was racing in the Pro category, he would be 91st and 2:38 behind. If he was racing in the Pro Women’s category, he would be tied for 5th, 38 seconds behind. It doesn’t get any easier in the 50+ category. If he was one year older, he would be 15th, 1:24 behind. We know that TT is not Ambrose’s specialty. Circuit race is next. He’ll be looking to move up the leaderboard in that tricky 85km race.

Stage 2. The Bridges Circuit Race.

Ambrose managed to move up a few spots in the circuit race. He now sits 30th overall in the General Classification. He finished in a bunch at the line, coming in with the same time as the stage winner in 25th place, posting a time of 2:13:39 over 85km, (HOLY CRAP, that’s 38.16kph) sitting 1:38 behind the leader. 53 of the 63 remaining riders crossed the finish line with the same time.

Interesting note at the top of the leaderboard. Fred Thomas won the time trial by 3 seconds over Jonny Bold. In the circuit race, Thomas and Bold were both given the same time, crossing the line in a bunch sprint. Bold took the overall lead by 2 seconds, on the basis of his 4th place finish in the sprint, giving him a 5 second time bonus. Thomas came in 36th and missed out on any time bonuses. That same bonus also put Ambrose back from 1:36 behind Thomas, to 1:38 behind Bold. Bike racing is complicated.

Check out this very cool photo finish. Riders were permitted to use the entire road for the last kilometer…Can you find the stage winner? How close was that?

Next up is the ridiculous 113km road race, which includes 4km of descending dirt road leading to a brutal 16km finish called the Appalachian Gap. This will be two climbs. First up the Baby Gap, followed by a harrowing descent, then finishing on something called The App Gap, a 5km monster. It might be like climbing French, descending MacKenzie, then hitting North and adding a 500 meter 20% ramp at the top. I think Ambrose’s mouth is watering at the thought of that. The race is on…

Stage 3. Sugarbush Mad River Road Race.

As expected, Ambrose moved up in the standings after Stage 3. He crossed The Gap in 22nd place and moved up from 30th to 21st in the General Classification. He now sits 6:17 behind the new leader. At the top of the leaderboard, David Gazsi was second on the stage but took over the yellow jersey jumping up from 4th overall. King of the Mountains leader David Taylor won the stage and sits in second place only 23 seconds back. Taylor made the big move on the day, jumping up from 18th overall after the circuit race. The leader after stage 2, Jonny Bold, dropped to 3rd overall, 47 seconds behind the yellow jersey.

The Road Race was the last of the mountains, so Stage 3 winner David Taylor is the King of the Mountains in the 40+ category with 19 points.

The wild and wooly criterium will sort everything out. They have to go 25 laps of a 1km course that has 6 hard turns packed into every lap.  The course is closed to general traffic. The leaders need to survive the crit to hold their placing. Everyone will be looking to open a gap to make up time on the leader and try to pull off a stage win.

Polka Dot Jersey Leader David Taylor wins the brutal mountain stage.

The results are in from the Burlington Crit. Mark McCormack won the stage by three seconds. The top four guys in the stage each picked up a few seconds in a break from the main field. About 30 guys, including Ambrose crossed the finish line only 8 seconds behind the winner. Ambrose leapfrogged 2 guys in the general classification to crack the top 20, 6:17 behind the overall winner.

Mark McCormack also picked up a total of 16 sprint points during the crit to give him the overall sprint title with 27 points.

There were lots of time bonuses awarded during the crit, but there was no change in the overall standings. David Gazsi first,  followed by David Taylor 20 seconds back, and Jonny Bold third only 33 seconds off the pace.

This was Ambrose’s first time at this race. Considering the level of technical difficulty in this race, such as a crit, racing on a dirt road and several roads that look like they were paved with a wood chipper, 19th out of 67 overall is an excellent result.  The official results for all categories are now posted.

Quote from the man himself,  “All I can say about the race is WOW
WOW WOW. Great racing, got more confident after each race. My climbing
was great, the climbs were great . The crit race was fast fast fast. At
least 20 guys dropped out a few crashed. I just wanted to stay safe.”

Crit winner, Mark McCormack raises his arms in victory.

Stage 4. Burlington Criterium (Ambrose is in the 40+ category)

General Classification Results For All Categories