Killington Mountain School cyclist Vivien Rindisbacher took the third place spot in the Road Race, in what was the epic third stage of the Green Mountain Stage Race over the weekend. Coach Brad Ramsay checked in with an update of the entire weekend of racing: “Labor Day Weekend represents the end of summer for some, but for junior cyclists, it is one of the last chances each each season to throw your hat in the ring and see how you compare with some of the best junior cyclists in the country, if not the world. The 2016 edition was no exception. The Junior field consisted of approximately 95 of some of the top young cyclists from Britain, Canada, and the US.
The KMS Cycling GMSR squad consisted of veteran KMS cyclist Vivien Rindisbacher, KMS Alum Noah Barrow (KMS 2016), non-matriculated riders Leo Kirkpatrick-Baird and Josh Chu (who we hope will be joining us full-time this spring). The team was rounded-out by guest-riders Matt Jogodnik and Miles Whitford, both from New Jersey. New KMS Cyclist and Alpine skier, Tyler Clark, also raced GMSR, but wanted to close out the road season with his Centurion Teammates, with whom he raced all summer.
Stage 1 consisted of a Time Trial in Warren, VT. This is tough in that the first part of the course is a steep uphill, followed by a false-flat section before leveling out to rolling terrain. Though all of the KMS team raced well and looked great, Vivien and Tyler paced themselves perfectly, keeping enough in store to rip across the false-flat section at the top of the climb, and finishing the stage in top-ten positions (Vivien 6th, Tyler 7th), just 36 seconds behind the GC leader.
Stage 2 took us to scenic Addison County, for the Circuit Race in Weybridge. This course was new to GMSR this year, with terrain and turns that created some good opportunities to attack. Tyler Clark, a Centurion Teammate, and one other rider took advantage of the course and launched a successful early attack. The trio had a gap of three minutes at one point. However, the peloton chased hard, and eventually closed to within a minute of catching them. Tyler held on to finish third in the stage. The next KMS rider to cross the line was Matt Jogodnik, finishing in the top 15. Special kudos to Josh Chu, who sacrificed his own race to drop back and help teammate Vivien chase back on to the group after Viv twisted his chain and had to switch bikes (twice). This was a nice display of selfless teamwork!
Sunday, Stage 3 consisted of the epic Mad River Road Race. This grueling course takes riders over Middlebury Gap, Notch Road, Baby Gap, and ends at the top of App Gap, for 4 KOM competitions. With 6400 feet of climbing over 64 miles, you can’t fake it or hide in the notorious “Mountain Stage.” Once again, the KMS riders had a good day, all riding hard and posting impressive results. Tyler Clark finished eighth, and Vivien, in an early break (that was established before Middlebury Gap and held to the finish), took the third spot on the podium for one of his most impressive results to date!”
Vivien gave some insight into his race, “After my mechanical issue on the second stage I just wanted to go out and race as hard as I could. I said I would make the early break away because I knew the mountain Jersey was still up for grabs. In the end it worked out even better than I thought. I would have been happy even if we got caught, but third on the biggest stage of the race was a huge bonus, especially since the field this year was one of the strongest in the continental US.”
Coach Ramsay continued his recap of the weekend, “The stage race closed with the always-crazy-fast Downtown Burlington Criterium. For the Juniors, the race consisted of 30 laps around the cobblestoned six-corner course. Throughout the day, blistering paces were maintained by each field, dropping rider after rider who were not able to maintain a position near the start of the peloton (at each corner, all but the front riders hit their breaks, and then had to sprint to catch the guy in front who didn’t slow quite as much. Six corners x 30 laps is a lot of sprinting! Not one field during a full day of racing finished with half of the original pack – as brutal paces and all of the corners split the field time and again, those in danger of being lapped were pulled from the race and given calculated finish times. With average lap speeds approaching 30 mph (and rivaling speeds in the Pro race), there was no shame in being pulled. If a rider in front of you let a gap open up, it was just too hard to close. Everyone raced well on Sunday, and Vivien and Noah both launched attacks in the final laps. Though neither were allowed to escape the peloton, both finished in the top 1/3rd (Vivien 24th, and Noah 17th). Riding for Centurion, KMS athlete Tyler Clark again sprinted to a top ten finish and closed out the weekend with a nice seventh place finish in the General Classification.
This was a very hard weekend of racing, against one of the top junior fields anywhere in the US this season. Each and every rider should be proud of their efforts and accomplishments during the 2016 Green Mountain Stage Race!
Special thanks to the promoters, officials, and the many volunteers who make the Green Mountain Stage Race possible!”