Last Saturday and Sunday was the start of this year's Verge New England Championship series. As a first year in the U19s, my expectations weren't too high. But for Curtis and me, the season got off to great start.
The weather on Saturday was sunny and clear. The course was nice and dry. I got the hole shot, but went out too hard, but faded back to about 7th place by the end of the first lap. Curtis stuck with the second group, who were chasing the leaders from EMD/Serono. I attacked the guy I was with and started moving my way up. Curtis was having a problem with his crank and fell back from the group he was with. Next I was riding with Curtis and Kiernan Orange. I felt great, so I picked up the pace, hoping that Curtis and I could drop Orange and hopefully catch back up to the chase group. The next think I knew, I had a gap and was pulling in Jesse Keough and Connor O' Brien. I rode with the chase group for the rest of the race. At the final corner, Josh Lehmann (Sunapee S&W) started to sprint early and grabbed 3rd place, leaving Keough and me to sprint for the points. With a close finish, I had thought Jesse had beat me, but the camera showed his body in front of mine, but my wheel in front of his. Having taken a bike change, Curtis was not far behind.
Sunday was rainy, cold, and muddy. Perfect cross weather. From the start, all 4 Canadians took the lead. The next group was Jesse, Curtis, and me. We stayed together the whole race, taking turns at the front. On the last lap, Jesse attacked. I managed to stay with him. Curtis was chasing to get back on and I tried to slow the pace so he could get back with us. Coming into the finishing straight, it was another sprint between Jesse and me, with Jesse taking the sprint for 5th. Curtis finished right behind in 7th. Considering that we were some of the youngest U19s in the race, I feel like it is going to be a great season for team CLIF BAR.