Saturday, February 05, 2005
29 Skaters Online
Empire Speed Series #3
   Grant's Tomb Harlem, New York City, NY
   Sunday, June 23, 2002

The Course:  Empire Speed's third race of the 2002 series was held on a smooth 1K loop with a steady sloping uphill grade on half the loop and a fast downhill run and left hand turn at the bottom of the loop.  Before the race we heard a lot of comments that this hill wasn't so bad; "you should see A2A".  Some even denied that it qualified as a hill.  When you have world class competition and you have to climb it 15 or 20 times you will find out that it is in fact a hill.  If you fell back a little on the uphill you had to sprint the downhill to catch the pack going 30+ mph.

The Pro-Masters 15K Race:  After the under-12 race and the advanced races, the Pro-Masters division began near noon on the sunny and humid day.  Doug Fessenden advised us that we had a fast course and to not try to win it on the first downhill turn.  Dan Matchett decided, however, that the first time up the hill was a good time for a breakaway and caught many of us off-guard, except eventual winner Dennis Humphrey who wasn't just going to let him go with EC Beast allies Jeff Foster and Kevin Larson still in the pack.  Humphrey will punish you on the hilly courses and if you let him get away he'll finish the race with the gap you give him.  Dan Matchett had to drop from the 2 man breakaway around lap 6 or 7 and Humphrey built his gap further for the final 8 or 9 laps finishing 1st against a top pack.    

The Pro-Elite 20K Race:  Empire Speed had at least 12 skaters in this race with no other team having more than one!  Check out the pics and see for yourself.  From the start Empire threw breakaways at the pack, many of which were reeled in by eventual winner Stephen Carter.  Capital's Racing's Jose Escobar loves the hills and finished in the thick of the final sprint in 5th place.  Watch out for Jose in the Central Park Marathon on August 11th.

Click on the photos above to launch a slide show or  pictures of the series 3 race.  For full results visit Empire Speed.

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