Cycling Wins at ME Invitational; Stetson Finishes Second Overall

The Phillips Academy Cycling team has proven once again to possess the prowess needed to overwhelm all other contending prep schools in New England. Last Sunday, PA’s Boys in Blue secured their fourth straight victory, besting regular cycling powerhouse schools such as Holderness, Tilton, Kent Hill, and Proctor Academy. The race in Bethel, Maine, is appropriately notorious for its unforgiving inclines, as half of the course is uphill. PA riders usually associate this infamous race with a grueling three and a half hour road trip to the race course starting at 5:00 A.M. on Sunday morning. To avoid this uncomfortably early car ride, the team headed up to Sunday River, Maine, on Saturday for a cycling style slumber party, complete with a pasta carbo-load and a showing of the classic cycling movie, “Breaking Away.” The team made its presence known on Sunday morning as the boys confidently sidled up to the starting line. Though there were some excitement and breakaway attempts in the first ten miles, the real race began at the first hill. Complying with Andover’s decided race tactics was mighty Thatcher Clay ’04, when he initiated a fast attack going up the first hill. Unfortunately for Clay, his demanding tempo was too much for everyone else, and no one was able to keep pace with him to the top. Clay decided to fall back to the pack once he realized no one was with him. The main pack strained up the first set of hills, dropping a few stragglers along the way and settling into a smart pace at a long plateau towards the second half of the course. After some exchanges of attacks and attempted breakaways, Dave Morse ’04 finally forced a gap between himself and the main peloton. He and one rider from Kent Hill Academy steadily increased their lead. Much to Morse’s disappointment, his brightening outlook of victory was dashed by a mechanical failure and had to abort his breakaway and dismount to fix his winged bike. He managed to work his way back to the main pack and launch a last attack before the long incline before the finish. Morse later said, “My bike had an ill-timed ‘hiccup’. Things like that happen, and when they do you just have to accept them.” A particularly strong rider from Tilton Academy instigated a counterattack going into the final hills. Piotr Brzezinski ’03 gave a stalwart effort to bridge up to the threatening breakaway but neglected to catch it. Captain Peter Stetson ’03 then took over the chase along with two Kent Hill riders. On the final climb Stetson overtook his two rivals to finish in second. Brzezinski followed closely in fourth with Clay on his heels in sixth. Anthony Roldan ’04 came across the line with a solid finish in eighth place. Andover secured another overall win with four riders placing in the top eight. At the conclusion of the race, Clay commented, “Two, four, six, eight; that about does it, mate!” Stetson remarked, “We owe all our success to the glorious nutrition and satisfaction we get from eating lots of B33F!!” The Andover Cycling team looks forward to finishing off the final two weeks of its 2003 spring season strong. The end of the season will be busy for the Andover squad, with four scheduled races, two of which are against dreaded archrival PEA.