2014 Hop Brook Dam - Christopher Moore Photography

2014 Hop Brook Dam

April 17, 2014 By Christopher Moore

Another beautiful spring weekend in Connecticut and another race series kick off.

The Hop Brook Dam Mountain Bike Race, the first event of the Root 66 Mountain Bike Race Series, was held this past Sunday at Hop Brook Lake Park in Middlebury, CT. Staples of the New England cross country mountain bike race scene, both the race and the series are now in their 11th year. For 2014 the series consists of 16 races held at various locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Four of those races, including this past weekend’s opener will be held in Connecticut.

“This is the best course around” said John Meyerle, a Category 1 racer in the 40 to 49 age group, “it’s a real mountain bike course”. Roughly five miles long this past weekend’s Hop Brook course was a winding loop of dry, fast single and double track peppered with the occasional patch of mud or water crossing. Considered only moderately challenging from a technical riding perspective, most racers commented that the course was a perfect fit for the first race of the season. For many who have spent the spring training and racing on road bikes it provided a perfect transition to mountain biking.

About 270 racers spread across a variety of age and ability categories took part in Sunday’s event said race promoter Rick Beasley. Racing started at 9:00am and continued throughout the day. To the casual observer the racing action was low key. The non-technical nature of the course amplified the small variance in fitness between athletes in each category. This had the effect of quickly dispersing competitors on the course shortly after each race began. Passing and sprint finishes were rare and as they rolled across the Start\Finish for the final time there were usually large time gaps between riders.

Not that any of this deterred Sunday’s racers who unanimously considered the event a great success. Mountain bike racing has never been known for it’s spectator appeal and the experience that each rider took away seemed right on par with their expectations with most praising both the course and the event’s organization.

The next event in the Root 66 Mountain Bike Race Series will be the Rocky Woods Lung Challenge in Taunton, Mass on April 19th. The next Root 66 Series race in Connecticut will be the Fat Tire Classic at Winding Trails in Farmington on April 27th.

For more information about the Root 66 Series click here:

http://www.root66raceseries.com/RT66/Home.html

For full results from the 2014 Hop Brook Dam Mountain Bike Race click here:

http://www.root66raceseries.com/RT66/Results.html


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