The Blue Train heads to the Tour of Oman.

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The Blue Train heads to the Tour of Oman.

The Blue Train heads to the Tour of Oman.

02/18/2014

After a breathtaking finale at the Tour of Qatar, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team heads to the Batinah Coast this week to contest the 2014 Tour of Oman. Starting on February 18th and concluding on the 23rd, the 6-stage race will cover 915.5 kilometers along the Gulf of Oman, to the summit of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), and back down to the coast for the overall finish at Matrah Corniche.

The 2014 edition of the Tour of Oman features three likely sprint stages, where Blue Train riders Robert Förster, Aldo Ilesic, and John Murphy will fight it out among some of the world’s fastest sprint trains. All-rounder and Qatar standout, Alessandro Bazzana will be present in the Oman roster along with Chris Jones, both ready to deploy their breakaway skills and climbing prowess at any opportunity throughout the race. Geographically much different from the flat, wind-blown courses covered in last week’s Tour of Qatar, the team will look to animate the action in the hills of Oman with the addition of climbers Marc de Maar and Lucas Euser to the roster.

The Blue Train has shown consistent improvement in terms of teamwork, combativeness, and fitness over the last few weeks of racing since training camp, and looks forward to representing sponsors this week in Oman. Director Mike Tamayo concludes, “During Qatar, we saw the boys get stronger day after day, finishing with a near stage win at the end of a very grueling race. Some fresh faces come in to join the Blue Train with Marc and Lucas, both of whom just came off of a great tour of San Luis and are very motivated to ride hard here in Oman.”

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Roster for the 2014 Tour of Oman

Alessandro Bazzana (ITA)

Marc de Maar (CUR)

Lucas Euser (USA)

Robert Förster (GER)

Aldo Ilesic (SLO)

Chris Jones (USA)

Martijn Maaskant (NED)

John Murphy (USA)

Eder Frayer (Incycle-Predator) Rides Away At The UCLA Road Race

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Eder Frayre -Team Incycle-Predator

This past weekend I competed in the UCLA road race, which is one of my favorite races of the season because of its challenging course where climbers like me have an opportunity to get a good result. This year a lot of good riders and teams showed up to the race, such as California Giant, KHS/Maxxis and Bissell Development among others, so I knew it was going to be a hard one for me. I was going to be on my own because all of my teammates were in Puerto Rico for a training camp; I was ready to try my best.

The start of the race was really fast with Stefano Barberi pretty much attacking from the gun. This initiated the aggression in the race with several other riders trying to jump across forming the early break, which I happened to miss on the first lap. Most of the good riders in the race made it across so I had to chase really hard on the descent, and work with other riders in the field to bring it back together.

As we started the second lap, we caught the break, and the group was reduced by about half of the racers. On the second time up the climb, a group of six of the strongest riders attacked really hard; I knew that was the time to go, but I jumped a bit late with 6 others to try and bridge across. I paced myself up the climb with patience, trying to keep my power around 350 watts to save the legs a little bit.  I then slowly made it across to the lead group bringing some other  guys with me, and made the front selection of around twelve riders. We still had 4 laps to go with almost 6,000 feet of climbing left; the field was already very small, but I was happy to be in the front move, and my legs were starting to feel better.

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UCLA ROAD RACE

KHS/Maxxis had more riders in that front selection, but some of the other riders in the group were good pro’s, which made the race really hard because they were riding very aggressively on every lap.  The race kept getting harder for everyone from there on, and by the 6th and final lap we were only four riders left in that front group including a rider from Socalcycling, one from KHS/Maxxis, one from Bissell and myself. The KHS/Maxxis rider, which I believe was Thomas Jondall, made a  good attack going into the last lap, which forced me and the other two to chase him really hard. When we caught Thomas, I decided to lift the pace myself, and rode most of the last climb close to 400 watts. I was able to ride away from my break companions, holding about a minute gap to the Bissell rider, who finished second at the top of the last climb. I got as aero as possible on the last descent because I knew the Bissell rider was very strong, and wanted to make sure he didn’t made it back to me. I was feeling really good towards the end of the race and held a good pace all the way to the finish, which got me my first win of the season.

Overall the race was a lot of fun.  I would like to thank the organizers of the race. I would also like to dedicate this win to my awesome Team Incycle-Predator, and to all my friends who helped me made this win possible as well.

2014 Southeast Regional Series Race Schedule Touts 10 Races in Five States; Registration Now Open

 

2014 Southeast Regional Series Race Schedule Touts 10 Races in Five States; Registration Now Open

Over $50,000 up for grabs for Elite Male and Female Cyclists

 

Greenville, S.C. (February 15, 2014) – After a solid inaugural year in 2013, the Southeast Regional Series (SRS) presented by Stan’s NoTubes will return in 2014 with 10 road cycling races on five different weekends in five states. Last year SRS showcased 1,800 elite athletes in road racing and criterium disciplines, providing more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. All five events in the Series will be managed and produced again by Start Smart Cycling based in Greenville, S.C.

 

The 2014 Southeast Regional Series presented by Stan’s NoTubes will begin in Albany, Ga., May 17-18, and conclude with the series championships in Greenville, S.C. September 13-14. Four of the southeast cities on the schedule were part of the inaugural series last year, with Huntsville, Ala. added as a new host venue in June. Each series stop offers a unique Saturday downtown criterium paired with a Sunday road race.

 

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2014 Southeast Regional Series Race Schedule Touts 10 Races in Five States; Registration Now Open

 

The series is the only elite and amateur road series of events to offer points competitions spanning multiple states in one region. As a USA Cycling, Regional Road Championship Series, SRS aims to attract elite level riders and teams throughout the Southeast. Series Director Marilyn Cullinane noted that the series showcases the most classic terrain in the Southeast and provides a family-friendly entertainment platform for each local community.

 

“The Southeast offers some of the most diverse racing in the country…historic, charming downtown streets on crit days, and scenic, challenging road races at high elevations for the Sunday road races,” said Cullinane, a former elite cyclist (Cat 2) who founded SRS in 2013. “We have some exciting improvements planned for both racers and spectators this year, thanks to our host cities and corporate support by Stan’s NoTubes. We pride ourselves with providing a memorable experience for the competitive athletes, and look to increase participation from across the country.”

 

In 2013, more than $50,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to men and women in a dozen cycling categories. Special award jerseys, created by Hincapie Sportswear, will be awarded each weekend for best sprinters, climbers and overall winners (male and female). Taking home the 2013 Stan’s NoTubes King of the Mountain jersey for professional men was Andy Scarano (Locust Grove, Ga.) of UnitedHealthcare of Georgia-706 Project. His teammate, Winston David (Greenville, S.C.) captured the green- and- white-striped PEZ Cycling News Pro Men Sprinters Jersey and the SRS Overall Points jersey. For the pro women, Stephanie Cucaz (Lawrenceville, Ga.) of PCP Racing swept all three award jerseys as best sprinter, Queen of the Mountain, and SRS Overall.

 

Teams and individuals can register for the full series or single races. The fees begin at $125 for juniors who register for all five criterium events in the series. For adults, full series registration is $350 for each category – three Master’s divisions, four regular men’s divisions (Pro 1/ 2 to Cat 5) and two regular women’s division (Pro 1/2/3 and Cat 4). Registration information, the complete SRS schedule and event updates are available online at www.srs-racing.com/.

 

About Start Smart Cycling

Start Smart Cycling, LLC (SSC) is a professional event management and consultation company for the cycling industry. SSC provides planning expertise and on-site event implementation for cycling competitions and related activities across the U.S. In 2010 SSC was founded by President Marilyn Cullinane, who has over 14 years of experience in the cycling industry. Her company has been involved for four years with successful Florida-based events such as the Miami Dolphins Cycling Challenge (ridedcc.com) and The Orange Blossom Special. Cullinane founded the Southeast Regional Series in 2013, the first-ever regional road cycling championship series in the U.S., sanctioned by USA Cycling.

 

Three from three for John Degenkolb at Tour Méditerranéen

 

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Three from three for John Degenkolb at Tour Méditerranéen

John Degenkolb (GER) made it three stage wins from this in this morning’s stage of the Tour Méditerranéen, a short and fast 63km race from Lambesc to Saint Rémy de Provence.

 

It marks the second hat-trick of the season after Marcel Kittel’s (GER) triple at the Dubai Tour.

 

This afternoon the focus will change as the riders tackle a rolling 18km individual time trial course, a stage that Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) has had his eye on after winning the equivalent at the Étoile de Bessèges last week.

 

After the stage Degenkolb said: “Once again I have to thank my teammates for today. They have controlled the race for three days now and are still riding super strong. This afternoon I will see how I get on in the time trial, but it is more of a stage for Tobias and he’s riding really strong at the moment.

 

“Starting a season like this is a great way to thank everyone who supports us, the fans, sponsors, staff. Hopefully the wins will keep coming.”

 

Following the stage, Marc Reef (NED) said: “Another hat-trick, what a way to start the season. The guys are just sticking to the plan and it’s working out perfectly.

 

“Tom Peterson (USA), Thierry Hupond (FRA) and Johannes Fröhlinger (GER) did another great job on the front to control the bunch and set the rest of the guys up in a good position before the final climb with 40km to go. We expected the stage to break up a bit with the wind but it was mostly behind us so it was a fast day.

 

“At the end the guys set John up in a good position and he did a great sprint to finish it off. This afternoon Tobias and Warren Barguil (FRA) are looking to do a strong time trial and we will make a plan for tomorrow after that.”

 

 

Canyon Bicycles-Shimano Announces 2014 Roster and Sponsors

Camp 2014 Elite Team Pic

Canyon Bicycles-Shimano Announces 2014 Roster and Sponsors

Canyon Bicycles-Shimano Announces 2014 Roster and Sponsors

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — After a successful 2013 season, which included multiple top-10 NRC results, victories in the Utah State Road and Criterium Championships and graduating one of its best riders (Chris Putt) to the new Bissell Development Team, Canyon Bicycles-Shimano announces its roster for the 2014 season. The team continues its mission of fielding one of the most competitive Domestic Elite cycling team in the United States, developing riders for the professional level and providing a platform for its riders to showcase their talents.

2014 TEAM SPONSORS:
Canyon Bicycle-Shimano is excited to announce new sponsors MountainStar Healthcare and Osmo Nutrition. MountainStar Healthcare is the Utah-based headquarters of the HCA Mountain Division, which manages and operates hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Alaska. MountainStar Healthcare provides sophisticated procedures with leading-edge technologies, and is small enough to preserve human compassion in healing. Osmo Nutrition is a California company whose products are directly based on established cutting edge science with feedback from athletes.

In addition to MountainStar Healthcare and Osmo Nutrition, Canyon Bicycles-Shimano is thrilled to have several returning sponsors including: Shimano Cycling, Specialized Bicycles, Giordana clothing, Nate Wade Subaru, Vittoria tires, Smith Optics, K-Edge, Lizard Skins bar tape and Thule Racks.

2014 TEAM ROSTER:
The 2014 Canyon Bicycles-Shimano team features 10 riders, including five new team members: Morgan Schmitt, Gabe Varela, Daniel Eaton, Mitchell Peterson and Ty Tuttle.

Schmitt has extensive experience at the professional level with Jelly Belly, Exergy, United Healthcare, Bissell and Priority Health. Varela is another former pro, who raced with Jamis Hagens Berman in 2013, a team which enjoyed success at top-tier races like the Tour of California, Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Eaton is just 20 years old and a former member of the USA U23 National Team. Eaton looks to be one of America’s rising U23 stars. Peterson is a former professional mountain biker and rode on both the USA U23 National Mountain Bike and Cyclocross teams as well as the Giant Factory team. Tuttle recently relocated to the Salt Lake City area from Boulder, Colo., where he spent the 2013 season racing for Sonic Boom.

The five returning riders to Canyon Bicycles-Shimano include: Logan Phippen, Erik Slack, Joe Waters, Mike Wilcox, and Bryce Young.

2014 TEAM INFO:
The Canyon Bicycles-Shimano Cycling Team is owned by Mike Pratt. Pratt is the founder and longtime owner of the Draper, Utah-based Canyon Bicycles bike shops.

The Team will be managed by former Canyon Bicycles-Shimano rider, Tyler Riedesel.

For more team news and updates, you can follow the team via Facebook, Twitter or on the web:

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Canyon-Bicycles-Shimano/137122899631904

Twitter: twitter.com/CanyonRacingSLC

Website: http://canyonbicyclesracing.com/

 

2014 Canyon Bicycles-Shimano Roster:

• Daniel Eaton

• Mitchell Peterson

• Logan Phippen

• Morgan Schmitt

• Erik Slack

• Ty Tuttle

• Gabe Varela

• Joe Waters

• Mike Wilcox

• Bryce Young

 

Kayle LeoGrande And New Team Dominate Roger Millikan Crit

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Kayle LeoGrande Wins Roger Millikan Crit!

 

By Kayle LeoGrande (Surf City Cyclery)

The Roger Milligan criterium in Brea is always a fun and fast race where everyone shows up to win.  Most teams are trying to make an early season statement by winning this race. I’ve been coming to this race since I was a junior but I have never won; I’ve only taken 2nd place to Miguel Meza and 2nd the following year to Ernie lechuga.This year is very different than any other in my cycling career. I’m very
motivated and very fortunate to be a member of the Surf City
Cyclery/Sterling BMW team; I expect great things from my teammates and from myself. As a team, we took this race very seriously as it holds some
sentimental value. We’ve won the race the last 3 years, and have dedicated it to the memory of Todd Schooler, a former teammate who passed around this time 2 years ago.Being a new member of the team, and wanting to show my teammates I’m genuine
and dedicated,  I made a commitment to win as soon as the whistle blew.  My
son, Keiran, was on my mind as motivation.The race course is a fast one and suited to a rider like Charon and me with
a high speed finish. There were a few early attacks that fizzled and failed.
I knew it was wise to wait for the last 4 laps and use the power and energy
I had strategically. Our team basically controlled the race, and I comfortably
moved back in the field a few times knowing no one was going to challenge
us in the closing laps. I watched riders and the moves they made but,
nothing looked threatening. A few others tried to get away only to be reined
back by the SSC boys. My team rode like pros, which I find to be very
impressive and exciting. With 5 laps to go, they organically took control and
I was on Charon’s wheel about 6 riders back. When the boys peeled off after
doing their turn one by one,  that left us at 1 lap to go, and I slotted in
front of Charon. John Wike slotted in front of me like a ninja, bringing me
to third wheel with 3 turns to go. Rob Kamppila made a great effort to drop
Wike off with 2 turns to go, and I knew no one was going to come around.
Wike was flying through the last corner and  scuffed my pedal because of how
fast we were going. Surprisingly, I  was very relaxed and waited a moment
before starting my sprint, which I don’t normally do, but this time it was
perfect. I dropped into my 11 and had a clear shot at the line, winning
with time to celebrate with the emotion I normally show.

Winning is a bonus for me, especially when I have such a great team and great
sponsors.
Special thanks to MRI-Endurance, Athletic Recon, Surf City Cyclery, Sterling
BMW, Profile Design, Gu Energy, Bonk Breaker, Troy Lee Designs, JL Velo,
Play Again, Morey & Upton LLP, Skullcandy, Samsung, Motegi Racing, Vittoria
Tires, Studio Concepts, and Digital Turbine.

I believe we have one of the fastest sprinters in the nation, Charon Smith, so I’m always confident when opening up my sprint with him on
my wheel.

Racing is fun, and I feel blessed to have a wife who supports and encourages me. Being in a positive environment is great for my attitude and only makes
me want to train and race harder. Thanks to everyone on SSC for welcoming
me aboard the team and for being so friendly. This team is unlike all
others and we really have something special..

Julie Cutts On Winning Roger Millikan Criterium

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Julie Cutts(Velo Club LaGrange) Killing It!

 

Roger Millikan By Julie Cutts (Velo Club LaGrange)

I traveled from my new home in Bend Oregon to race the Roger Milikan crit, as it was supposed to be an “A” race for our team.  The combining of the men’s and women’s fields caused lots of drama and the race was changed to a “B” race for our team.  I had already booked and paid for the trip and was excited to be racing with my friends in SoCal once again, so I was going to be racing regardless of how the race would be configured.  It was going to be my first race since late September where I had just ended the season wining gold medals at Masters Nationals and Masters Worlds in both the time trial and road races.  At Masters Nationals I had lost the crit by half a wheel in the final sprint, so as I lined up at the start of the Roger Milikan crit my goal was to not get out sprinted once again by one of the many talented sprinters in the field, and to cross the line first at the finish.

 

The women’s field had lots of new women that were new to the Pro 1-2 peloton, and I was both excited and anxious to see the new talent.  As the race started, I stayed to the back of the pack to watch the riders and quickly gained my confidence and moved up the pack to sit in my comfort zone.  There were many attacks made and my team mates did well to cover them all so that I could conserve my energy.  With at least 20 minutes left in the race, the women were informed that soon the men’s field would overtake us and we would be neutralized.  I knew if a break went at this time, it would be favorable to have it established before we got neutralized.  So as Revolution’s team attacked and I saw the best sprinter on the MRI team go for her wheel, I quickly followed suit knowing some key players and teams were in the mix.  To top it off, Ally was behind me and I knew she could time trial, as she had raced and also won gold at Masters Worlds time trial.  So in the break we had two time trial racers and two sprinters. Perfect!  And soon the field was neutralized with our break established and the laps counted down.

 

Each racer took turns pulling and we worked well together to keep ahead of the field.  We were eventually passed by the men’s field and asked to back off them which slowed our pace.  With 3 laps to go, I wanted to see if I could break away from the other women and come in solo, but after my attack there wasn’t much of a gap and I sat up to rest and visualize my next plan.  I know the routine in their breaks, as I have been in many the last few years and have ended up second or later because I had been out sprinted.  So I had to come up with a plan that would give me a more favorable chance to win.  I also knew my team mates, and the team mates of the women represented, were doing their jobs in protecting our break, so I could focus clearly on what I needed to do.

 

On the final lap there was lots of gaming going on to get into the best position, and once the best position for me was established, I got out of the saddle and sprinted.  I started the sprint with two corners to go, and knew if I jumped first, and had the best sprinter in a bad position, I might have a chance.  I came around the last corner with my legs getting a little tired so I mentally had to tell myself that the legs weren’t hurting as much as when I had completed skiing a mountain of snow moguls, so I was not done yet.  As the finish line approached, I was determined to finish first and kept clicking to a bigger and bigger gear to go faster, hoping I wasn’t making a technical error that would cost my team the race.  Fortunately, I crossed the line first and was thrilled that I had finally redeemed myself in an area of racing that had been my weakness. I was thankful once again to be able to race with my friends in SoCal and enjoy the racing scene.

 

Rahsaan Bahati Reflects On The Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium

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Rahsaan Bahati and team setting the tempo.

 

Roger Millikan Memorial Crit

By Rahsaan Bahati

 

As some already know, Roger Millikan became close to my family and me soon after I started bike racing at the age of 11. Chad, his son, and I became good friends. Often times, we traveled together to races, and more times than none, had to compete against one another on the Velodrome. So this race was very special as we raced in Roger’s honor and memory.

After the last 2 weeks of getting 5th place, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder, and I wanted to prove to myself I could win a bike race.

With most of the major SoCal teams present, I had a feeling this could be a day that a  break could get away.

 

KHS-P/B Maxxis was present, along with Spy/Giant, Socal Cycling, Serious Cycling, and a few Predator guys. The plan was simple, watch the front and don’t be lazy!
The first 30 minutes of the race for me took forever to pass by. I had really bad legs; it felt as if my wheels were rubbing. However, I had to lead by example and “not be lazy”. So I did the best I could to cover moves that looked serious, and so did all of my guys. Steven Salazar has been our best guy this season, and he rode very well.

 

One thing I have preached to the guys is to make moves without having to think. If it  feels like a natural reaction, then it’s probably a good move. I was really excited to have Christian, Justin, Arturo and Bret be a part of the race. When those guys attacked and the field reacted, it was a good feeling; the feeling of knowing they do not take us for granted.

In the closing laps, I expected Cory’s team of KHS to really pick up the speed and blow the field apart as they have done in the past. However, they were really hesitant with taking the font too soon, and that created some nervous times as the speeds were slower.

Going into bell lap, the “blue train” of KHS had the speed pretty high with 5 guys on the front and me sitting 6th wheel. After the start/finish line, they lost a guy; now I was only 5 guys back with a lap to go. After turn 1, they lost another guy. Now Cory only had 2 guys to take him to the finish. As we sprinted down the backside, Aaron Wimbley of Spy/Giant did a surprise attack on the left hand side, which made KHS accelerate to the screams of Justin Williams.  As we entered turn 3, KHS was down to 2 guys with me sitting 3rd and Justin Williams on my wheel.

These were nervous times for me as Justin has proven to have good closing speed lately, and he showed that by winning the first race of the season.  As we started the sprint out of the 3rd turn, I knew I had a sweet spot with only 2 guys ahead of me and a downhill cross/head wind sprint. As we came out of the last turn, I went to my baby gear (I’m on a compact crank right now) and started my sprint. I wanted to go left, as did Cory, because the wind was coming from the right; however, when Cory’s teammate David Santos pulled off, I didn’t trust that he would give me a clean line so I went the hard way around. This proved to be a great move on my part because Justin had the same idea to go left.  He took the risk, which cost him dearly; he got boxed in between Cory, Santos and the curb.

I got about 50m from the line, looked between my arms and knew I had it. The Bahati-WTR boys got their first win of the season, and we expect many more.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

rm

Sweet Victory!