Local woman emerges as champion at Concord Criterium

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  • Jeremy Stroming (149) tries to keep up with the middle of the pack during the Men’s 3/4 race at the 39th Annual Concord Criterium along Washington Street on Saturday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Luca Haines of Durham, New Hampshire (center) competes in the Men's 3/4 bicycle race at the 39th Annual Concord Criterium near White Park on Saturday, August 3, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Torin La Liberte of Madison raises his arms after winning the Men’s 3/4 bicycle race at the 39th Annual Concord Criterium near White Park on Saturday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Rebecca Fahringer competes in the Women’s 1/2/3 bicycle race at the 39th Annual Concord Criterium on Saturday. Fahringer prevailed as the division champion after completing 21 laps. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord's own Rebecca Fahringer (center) competes in the Women's 1/2/3 bicycle race at the 39th Annual Concord Criterium on Saturday, August 3, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/3/2019 10:56:52 PM

Every year Concord residents get to see some of the top amateur cyclists from throughout the Northeast and Quebec compete in the Concord Criterium at White Park, but this year spectators also got to see a local champion as well.

Concord’s Rebecca Fahringer bested the rest of the Women’s Category 1/2/3 field, lapping the other nine finishers in that category on the 1-mile course to claim the Concord Criterium and the New England Criterium Championship titles.

Fahringer finished the 21-mile, 21-lap race in 53:51, far ahead of the runner-up, Danielle Baron, also of Concord.

Concord’s Connor Jennings finished second in the Men’s Category 1/2/3 race, the highest level of competition amongst the men, in a photo finish with three other cyclists who clocked 1:12:55, including the winner, Tim Mitchell of Ashland, Mass.

The Concord Criterium is an annual cycling race that has been held at White Park for the past 39 years. The race is a 1-mile course starting at the corner of White and Washington Streets and goes clockwise around the streets surrounding the park, from Washington Street to Centre Street, to Liberty Street, to Franklin Street, to Beacon Street and back down White Street.

In a criterium-style format, race officials time the first 10 laps of the leaders and take the average lap time to determine about how many laps the leaders can finish in the span of an hour.

Officials then post the number of laps to go until the end of the race.

Races at the Concord Criterium generally go for 20-30 laps depending on the strength of the field, according to the Concord Criterium Director, Patrick Ruane.

“This is pure amateur cycling,” Ruane said. “All you need is a U.S. Cycling license, and we sell one-day passes you can get for the day so anyone can join and compete.”

Cyclists gain points as they compete in more U.S. Cycling races and pick up victories which allows them to be sorted into categories.

Twelve races were held at Saturday’s Concord Criterium, with the Men’s and Women’s Category 1/2/3 races having the most experienced cyclists.

Other race categories include Women’s Category 4/5, Master Women 55-plus, Men’s Category 3/4, Men’s Category 4/5, Men’s Category 5, Master Men 40-plus and Master Men 55-plus, all of which also crowned New England Criterium Championship winners.

Three junior races, Boys 9-14, Boys 15-18 and Girls 15-18 were also contested.

The New England Junior Criterium Championship is crowned at a separate event.

In total, 310 cyclists were entered across the 12 divisions, up from the 200 cyclists who registered last year.

“We’re trying to bring it back,” said Ruane, who said that the Concord Criterium had up to 800 entrants in its heyday. “We’re up in numbers from last year, so that’s a good sign.”

The criterium-style race offers cyclists a unique approach to cycling which makes the Concord Criterium a special event.

“Most of the participants here are road racers and also race mountain bikes, cyclocross and track cycling,” Ruane said. “It sounds cliché, but it’s a lifestyle.”

Other local competitors in Saturday’s races were Contoocook’s Maureen McAuliffe (eighth Women’s 1/2/3), Bow’s Danielle Ruane (Women’s 1/2/3), Bow’s Benjamin Kramer (35th Men’s 3/4), Concord’s Erik Dellea (10th Men’s 4/5), Canterbury’s Walter Archer (35th Men’s 4/5), Bow’s Ben Kiniry (44th Men’s 4/5) and Allan Frenette (Men’s 4/5, 22nd Men’s 5), Henniker’s Matthew Modelane (Men’s 4/5) and Bow’s London Warburton (second Junior Boys 15-18, ninth Men’s 5).

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