Legendary Fitchburg/Longsjo, a stage race in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 45 minutes west of Boston. 50th anniversary in 2009. Past winners: Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Chris Horner, Davis Phinney, Louis Garneau, Richard Centore, Bobby Phillips ... generations of cycling champions, Olympians and greats on and off the bike who made the sport -- helped create competitive cycling -- in the United States. While I posted about 180 pictures here, this trip wasn't about picture taking. It was my third trip to Fitchburg. Our first trip, with 16 year-old Nathan, was pretty much as expected: good training, great fun with friends, and riding towards the back. Modest results in 2008.
In 2009, busting through the top layers, Category 1, 18 year-old Nathan hit it. Big time. He finished 2nd place, General Classification, ahead of many of the top U19 riders in the United States. He did this against six riders from the best performing junior team in the country, Hot Tubes, run by Toby Stanton. Hot Tubes worked to pick Nate apart in the road races and criterium, sending attacking rider after attacking rider up the road, attempting to drain him, as he doggedly chased each attack. Nate pulled down second place overall, one minute behind first and one minute in front of third. Finishers stretched 28 minutes back (official results here).
Onward towards the pro ranks and races: National Criterium Championships in Downers Grove, Cascades Classic in Bend, along with U19 Championships, Red River Gorge UCI World Qualifiers, and regional events. Good times.