For Immediate Release
New England Critweek Director
Regina Legge (Gray Goat Bullseye Total Media) and Sam Rosenholtz (ButcherBox Cycling) got their wins in opposite ways Tuesday night in round two of the Cycle-Smart New England Critweek in downtown Exeter, NH; Legge riding solo and outfoxing a breakway group of three that nearly lapped the field, Rosenholtz outkicking everyone in the last 100 meters with an exceptional team effort that left other riders tripping over themselves trying to get by.
Legge was coming off a recent crash and illness, and wasn’t sure what to expect from herself. A resident of nearby Salem and regular on the Exeter Cycles weekly group ride, she was not going to miss what is essentially a hometown race. “I really didn't know how last night was going to go, but my legs felt good and my lungs held up!” she said.
After Leslie Lupien (APEX-PEDALPOWER) picked up the first Critweek sprint points, a countermove formed with Andrea Buttine (ALP Cycles Racing), and Jennifer Darmody (ButcherBox Cycling). Legge saw the danger and bridged across with Christin Reuter (BikeReg | Share Coffee), while the field seemed content to wait for series leader Emma White (Rally/UHC) to make her move. That move never came, and the break was gone.
Legge explained how it unfolded from there: “Once I got there, I knew ButcherBox would slow down any chase, so if we worked hard for a few laps, we could get a gap and maybe stick it.” With the break all in, Reuter was eventually dropped, and the break turned on itself looking for the win.
“We worked really well together until Andrea started attacking with 3 to go trying to drop Jen, but it didn't work and we were getting really close to catching the field, which I did not want,” said Legge. “While Andrea was burning matches and Jen was getting tired from chasing, I decided to sit on Andrea and wait for the final lap. I realized early on in the break that I was a lot more comfortable in turn 4 and could exit with speed, so on the final lap I attacked Andrea and Jen going into turn 4, got a gap and held them off for the win.”
White finished in 7th, holding on to her Critweek series lead by seven points over Legge, and 17 over Lupien. Both White and Legge will be absent from the final round in Greenfield, putting Lupien in the virtual blue leader’s jersey.
The 100-rider men’s race was aggressive from the start, with riders taking turns attacking for the early primes and Critweek points. Travis Wold (NE Devo) went solo for the first sprint, leading to the most dangerous move of the day, as Curtis White, Matt Curbeau (Velocio Northeast), Rosenholtz and Wold’s teammate Madi Hartley-Brown bridged across.
The field still had some life left, though. A series of bridging attempts served to bring the move back, and nothing would get that kind of daylight again. Wold took the second points sprint, and soon after, ButcherBox hit the front en masse to set up their sprinter Rosenholtz, with a big turn from NE Devo’s Keith Mullaly on behalf of Wold and Hartley-Brown. ButcherBox took over with three laps to go, with John Harris and Connor Sallee swapping off. Harris got them to 1/2 lap to go, and Salle delivered Rosenholtz to the last corner. Last year’s runner up, Danny Estevez (Fusion Cycles/Families Together ADH) jumped first, while Kevin Goguen (CCB/Foundation) tangled with Sallee, causing him to dive across the road and into Estevez with 50 meters to go. It was no matter; Rosenholtz had a clean shot and no one was coming around.
“I’ve never been able to get the last lap of this race right,” Rosenholtz said. “Something always happens. I go left when I should have gone right. I wait a split second too long and box myself in.” He got it right this night, with a little help from his friends. “The win was obviously amazing, but the way the guys rode, especially Johnny and Connor, was the way I’ve always imagined the last laps of that race to go. It was a dream. All I had to do was the fun part.”
Critweek Series Leader Curtis White stayed out of the chaos in the last lap, following in for fifth and holding on his lead by eight points over Estevez, and 11 over Goguen.