2015 Amgen Tour of California Men Stage 4 Results

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Jersey Winners

  • Amgen Leader Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Hincapie Racing Team (USA) – Note, this is Skujins’ second day winning the leader jersey
  • Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Hincapie Racing Team (USA) – Note, this is Skujins’ second day winning the KOM jersey
  • Visit California Sprint Jersey – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL) – Note, this is Cavendish’s fourth day winning the sprint jersey
  • SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey – Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL) – Note, this is Alaphilippe’s second day winning the Best Young Rider jersey.
  • Breakaway from Cancer®  Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Gregory Daniel (USA), Axeon Cycling Team (USA)



Stage 4 Men  Top – 3

  • FIRST – Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS)
  • SECOND – Wouter Wippert (NED), Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS)
  • THIRD – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL)



SPY Belgian Waffle Ride – Carlsbad, CA

SPY Belgian Waffle Ride – Carlsbad, CA By Stan Kramer

BWR 2015


The Belgian Waffle Ride, aka the BWR, is in my humble opinion, the most unique endurance bicycle race going on anywhere on the planet.  Cast your mind back to old photos of Tour de France racers who crossed the Alps on dirt roads strewn with gravel and rocks and you see that cyclist have been adventuring off road long before the introduction of the modern day mountain bike.  Belgium is the birthplace of racing skinny tire road bikes on and over every surface imaginable.  Cyclocross racing is all about punchy, fast, anaerobic power, while the “Spring Classics” are grueling endurance road races over centuries-old cobblestone, broken pavement, gravel and mud.  The BWR emulates the great Spring Classics of Europe, right here in North San Diego County.


Sunday April 26 was the day of reckoning.  Approximately 1000 riders lined up and set out in 4 waves separated by 10 minute intervals.  I went out in Wave 4 with Team W4L/Audi guys Mark Draper, Tim Grange, Mike Lee, and Bill Freeman.  Up ahead in Wave 3, there were Dave Marietti, Tony “TZ” Zentil, and Richard Ramsey, and Mary Dannelley was in Wave 2.


Once we hit the start line, the exhilaration started maxing, and when the gun went off, we took off like it was a one-hour crit.  The so-called “neutral start” was a 25 MPH jam as an elite group formed at the front.  We had a CHP escort that got us through the intersections like a funeral procession in a mad rush to get the deed done.  It was a great motivator to stay on the front, because if you got shed from the pack, you would have to mind all the rules of the road.  We were the guys with red number tags, and it didn’t take long before we were catching the riders with black or blue numbers who were in the waves that started before us.  Tim and I stayed with the front guys and picked up Dave Marietti and Mary Dannelley in the process.  TZ, Draper, and Richard were close behind in hot pursuit.


All was good until we came around to the start/finish area again at mile 70.  We pulled in there in tight formation, but then I got caught up in all the excitement and pandemonium.  There was music going, people running in every direction, and Larry was on the loudspeaker. I spent about a minute refilling my water bottles and grabbing bananas.  When I turned around to see where Tim and Dave were, everyone had taken off!  I was a total bonehead, and I missed the freight train!  I jumped on my bike and tried to TT may way back into the fast moving pack, but it was not meant to be.  I cussed myself out a lot, then settled in to taking on the wind alone.


I carried on solo for the next few hours.  I would come upon little groups of 2 or 3 whereupon I would sit in for a bit and get some rest, then I’d move on.  The riding was super fun.  The rain made the dirt sections hard and fast.  Some of the dirt was fire road but a lot of it was bonafide singletrack, and it was pretty funny coming upon mountain bikers as I was flying through on the skinny tire road bike.  At one point I was pinning it through a rather treacherous rock garden just thinking, “please don’t flat,” when I saw Tim Zandbergen fixing a flat.  I hollered a greeting and he yelled something like, “keep going!”  Pretty soon he caught up and, just like that, I had a riding buddy!


Tim Z and I took turns in the wind and pushed each other through all the twists and turns and ups and downs.  It was a lot more fun with a bro, that’s for sure.  Unknown to us at the time, Draper was close behind but couldn’t quite bridge up.


Tim and I were hammering pretty good, and passing a lot of riders, when we got into another long section of dirt singletrack.  Tim rides smooth, but flatted again anyway.  He told me to go on, but I figured we were a good team, besides I could use a little break, so I hung with him.  That was a good decision because in his exuberance to hurry, he over inflated the tube with the CO2 cartridge and blew it up with a sound like a shotgun blast.  I gave him another tube and CO2, and he proceeded a lot more gingerly and got it done right.  It was hard watching all the guys we had passed blow by again, but I guess that’s just racing!


Soon enough we were at it again, and we passed a lot of the guys back.  We went through the Lemon Twist, then came upon a nice lady handing out pickles, then the highlight…The Oasis.  I won’t try to describe how good looking the sirens were, but I recommend the reader look up the photos of these lovely waifs…you won’t be disappointed!


Next we passed through Questhaven, or “Questhavenbergen,” as every place was whimsically renamed to give it a Belgian ring.  This was a super cool dirt road flowing through a beautiful little arroyo crowned by California Live oak trees overhead but with a forbidding forest of poison oak at floor level.  It was as if this part of the ride was an allegory for the entire event as the iconic and majestic was closely juxtaposed to the treacherous and punishing.  Climbing out of this canyon took us right into the biggest ascent of the day, which diabolically came at about the 130 mile mark.  I didn’t look up at the stats, but it felt like about 2500 feet over 5 miles with a grade ranging from 5% to 22%.  The steepest kicker was in the tail of it.  A devil was hanging out near the top and a nice cheering section was there, making us all feel like TdF pros.  Draper said later that when he got to this part, he started to put a foot out, but Mary yelled to him, “just paper-boy it!”  Which he did and managed to get to the top where we all turned right around and started coming down.  From this point we went along a really cool, traversie dirt trail to a long DH.  Then we went a few kilometers on city streets, and just like that, after 140 miles, 11,000 feet of climbing, and seven and a half hours, I was back to the finish line!


The first person I saw was Tim Grange who said, “What happened to you?  I stayed with the fast guys all day and I’ve been here for about 20 minutes!”  He was super humble about it, but I was blown away by his performance.  He had an awesome day!  Draper and Mary came in soon after followed a bit later by TZ then Mike Lee.  Mike Lee was super stoked and regaled us with stories of hanging out at the Oasis to drink a beer with the hotties.  Everyone had a story, and everyone was stoked.  Many thanks to Victor Sheldon, Michael Marckx, and everyone else at Spy for making this amazing event happen.  Also, many thanks to the volunteers who hung out all day tending to our every need.  Cheers!!



Sten Kramer

April 29, 2015





Eleven Things To Know About Being A Cyclist’s Wife:

Eleven Things To Know About Being A Cyclist’s Wife: By Christina Barton


I have been a cyclist’s wife (and girlfriend) for nearly six years now. I have come a long way since the days when I didn’t think cycling was a team sport and these are the things I have learned to be the best cyclist’s wife I can be:


  • When you arrive at a road race be ready to be in the feed zone for 4 hours in the blazing hot sun to hand off 2 bottles that will most likely be dropped.


  • Never take Dave Santos seriously when he says to motor pace a teammate back to the group during the race. This is not only illegal, but I would probably hit a few riders in an attempt to do this.


  • Keep reminding your husband that shaved legs and spandex are sexy.


  • If you are in the pit during a criterium, it is important to stop looking at Pinterest on your phone to hand a rider on your team a wheel when he gets a flat. They do not like it when they have to wait for you to pin the article on how to make cookies in a microwave.


  • Be willing to give up your car to the team director at any moment because when he is in race mode that man can be scary as hell! Disclaimer: Paul Abrahams is actually the nicest guy in the world.


  • Try not to be jealous of the podium girls when they are kissing your husband after he wins.


  • Listen to your husband talk about everything that happened in the race and pretend to understand all of the lingo — He was riding 27s? No way! (Is that a thing?)


  • If a rider crashes during a race and is bleeding from his head, do not stand in the way crying and saying to yourself you did this with your mind because he is on a different team.


  • Keep other wives posted on what’s going on during the race if they are unable to make it, unless their husband is not doing well.


  • Pretend it’s not the millionth time someone at the race asks you, “Oh, so you ride bikes too?” To answer this question-No, I do not also ride. I believe my husband rides enough for the both of us!


  • Be understanding when he cannot text you 3 seconds after the race is over to tell you the results.


  • And the most important thing you can do as a cyclist’s wife is to be supportive. I am so proud of my husband and I think what he does it not only cool, but takes so much discipline and I really respect that.
Photo Credit: Michael Ratcliff, Action Media LLC

Christina’s Husband Chris Barton: Photo Credit: Michael Ratcliff, Action Media LLC

The Hell Of The North (County) BWR


Crazy Map!

Hard work and endurance to get to the finish line in the BWR and life are

critical to success. As an observer and not a participant I applaud the

stamina each of the riders had in conquering both segments of the BWR.

The Waffer segment is a challenge in itself at 72 miles. The course is

named Hell of The North for a reason. Add in another 72 or so miles and

you move from hard to WOW with the Waffle segment. Hats off to all that

took up the challenge. Please do visit the BWR site to see the final


I would be remiss is not mentioning the Spy Optic family who made this

event happen. Maddy Isbell, always with a radio in hand, conquered a

herculean task to make the third annual BWR run smoothly from start to

Podium awards. Her staff in Orange Shirts, which makes up about half the

office of Spy Optic also deserved a Pat On The Back.

I personally can only dream of participating in next years BWR. The

strength and heart shown by all the riders has given me a nice challenge

to try next year.

Your reporter on the scene

Jim Stewart



BWR Smoking Hot Help.

BWR Smoking Hot Help.

Murphy and Rivera Take Dual Victories for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in Stage 3 of Joe Martin Stage Race

Cycling Illustrated

Murphy and Rivera Take Dual Victories for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in Stage 3 of Joe Martin Stage Race

The Joe Martin Stage Race continued Saturday with a challenging road race through Prairie Grove, Arkansas. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took victory in both the men’s and women’s fields in stage 3: John Murphy earned his second victory in a row, while Coryn Rivera improved on her second place on stage 2 with victory in the women’s race.
The women raced 100 kilometers, including two laps of a 37-kilometer circuit. Team UnitedHealthcare rider Laura Brown attacked on the first climb with two other riders, staying away from the peloton for a full lap and building an advantage of 40 seconds before the peloton regained contact. Not long after the breakaway was captured, a larger breakaway group formed. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team riders Alexis Ryan, Linda Villumsen, and Scotti Wilborne were present in the new breakaway along with other GC contenders, making the move a threat for the overall race lead. The peloton chased hard to bring back the dangerous group and with 10 kilometers remaining, a sprint finish seemed likely. Scotti Wilborne then launched a solo attack, allowing her teammates to regroup and organize for the sprint finish. The team executed a textbook lead out train with Coryn Rivera taking the win and teammate Alexis Ryan holding on to 2nd place. Pleased with the result, Sporting Director Rachel Heal commented, “The team rode a great race today, riding in the breakaways and applying pressure when it counted. After the disappointment of missing the win yesterday, they stepped up and really proved themselves today with the 1, 2 punch!”
In the men’s race, Brad White raced into a 3-rider breakaway and pushed the pace for much of the 175-kilometer stage.  Back in the peloton, attacks were launched over the climbs, but the team was able to keep John Murphy in the front group. After 100 kilometers in the breakaway, Brad White was caught by the peloton and with 14 kilometers remaining; the race was all back together. After his sprint victory on stage 2, the team was committed to protecting and leading out John Murphy for the finish. Carlos Alzate was the final teammate leading Murphy through the 300-meter uphill finishing straight for the sprint. Murphy was able to deliver the win for the second day in a row, showing strength and form earned through an intense block of European racing. “The boys put me into perfect position into the last corner, making it easy for me,” Murphy said, showing appreciation for his teammates. Sporting Director Mike Tamayo summed up the day for the team, “We went into the day with one clear goal: Stage win. And the boys pulled it together. It’s all about the teamwork and sacrifice.”

Cycling Illustrated Finish Line Nature Valley Win

The Joe Martin Stage Race concludes Sunday with a technical criterium in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas. With three days of hard racing in their legs, the uphill finish will prove a worthy challenge for the entire peloton.