The Zach Koop Memorial Crit at Orchard Beach is fast approaching; we are only two weekends away. (Pre-reg now!) As you ramp up your training for a fast and fun spring race, we wanted to share some words of wisdom and sage advice from those who have raced (and won!) past Orchard Beach events.
Allan Rego said that he and his team always have a plan for higher priority events, and Orchard certainly ranks top among those. He’s been riding with his team for a while and knows the course well, making an overall race plan more intuitive for him the day-of. Training, however, he has some specific advice for: Hard road riding leading up to Orchard. He recommends trying to get behind a scooter for a session or two prior to the race if at all possible.
During the race, Rego says, “look ahead and be smooth. Sometimes letting a gap open to the wheel in front of you, JUST before the corner, is the best way to corner fast and smooth.”
Cassandra Maximenko also found success in a team approach at Orchard. “Our team strategy last year was initially to take turns responding to any attacks to feel out the field. After the first few attacks, we countered and got a rider away while the rest of the team did our best to quiet any attempts to catch her. She eventually lapped the field and as soon as she caught on I attacked and was also able to lap the field. Soon after catching the field there was an attack and a break that included myself and Laura Van Gilder so my job turned into being Laura’s lead out for the sprint which allowed us to sweep the podium. Often times you have a loose plan going into the race and adjust as things unfold. I think the race couldn’t have gone any better for us. We were all paying attention and responding at just the right times to work well together.”
About Orchard’s course, Maximenko added, “It’s a unique race because you can see the entire course so it’s exciting for spectators!”
Another take from a past winner:
“Lap the field.” - BrittLee Bowman
BrittLee’s advice is short, sweet, and to the point - but also actually a great idea if you find the opportunity. If you see a break in the race, take it. It’s how she made it to the podium! She did stress that it’s still important to try to win the field sprint, too, after lapping.
And last but not least, one of our youngest racers, Xenia (age 4), weighed in on what made racing at Orchard Beach special to her. (Kids and Juniors race for FREE!)
“My favorite part of bike racing is winning.”
“I think everyone is going to win because circles have no corners.”
“Everyone is going to win because no parents are allowed.”
“I like pavement bike racing better than grass bike racing.”
“Good luck to everyone racing.”
Dash, fellow racer, kept it classic: “I like Orchard Beach because I like racing.” There you have it, folks. Whether racing solo or with a team, for the first or fifth year, Orchard is a memorable and beloved event by many CRCA racers. Hopefully, some of these words of wisdom can serve as training guidance and race motivation. If you have wisdom to share from your own past experiences at Orchard (and pictures!), send them to us on Twitter or email us. Please let us know in the message if you’d like us to use your name or credit you in the post - and thank you for helping make the race a great one.