Race Report: Chuck Pontius Criterium (Men’s P12)

KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo Sweeps Podium

Going into the Chuck Pontius Memorial Criterium the team was still riding the high from David Santos’s California/Nevada State Championship Jersey Win the day before. With a full squad in attendance, the team was ready for multiple scenarios. Added wind, a dynamic course, and a small field made the 60 minutes of racing extra challenging. In the finish, Fabrizio Von Nacher took the win and his report from the race is below:

“The team plan for Chuck Pontius criterium was to get in a break and be aggressive. As the race started, my teammates and I started launching attacks. After a couple of hard efforts I realized that I needed to calm down and let the field get tired. After following wheels, I saw an opportunity to go. Ulises Castillo came with me and we were off the front together.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

After a few laps off the front I had a mechanical, but I had a free lap and thankfully I was right by the pits when it happened. The next lap I caught back to Ulises, but the field was closing the gap to us. In the next lap, I saw a group of four riders bridging up to Ulises and me. In that break was Griffin Easter from Airgas and Jesse Anthony from Optum. Our teammates Chris Barton and Shawn Wayland were coming with them as well.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

When the four chasers caught us, we began to roll the break away. In the final laps, my teammates and I started attacking the Optum and the Airgas riders. With 2 laps to go, Chris Barton got away and after letting Airgas and Optum chase for half a lap, I decided to launch my attack. Chris and I came out of the last turn 1-2 and we were able to hold it to the finish. Ulises was able to stay away from the other two breakaway riders in the sprint to make a perfect podium for KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo! 

Thank you to all my teammates for a great weekend and hard work. Thank you also to all the sponsors and staff that make this program possible!”

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.

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Red Kite #3- Tempus Fugit Time Trial

 

Men’s P12

1st – Justin Rossi (Herbalife p/b MarcPro-Strava)

2nd – Nate English (Team Mike’s Bikes pb Equator Coffees)

3rd – Colin Daw  (Team Mike’s Bikes pb Equator Coffees)

4th – Roman Kilu (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Equator Coffees)

5th – Conner Spencer (CoreTechs Elite)

Masters 35+ 123

1st – Patrick Stanko (Team Stand)

2nd – Chris Phipps (ThirstyBear p/b Akamai)

3rd – Christopher Buckley (Team Specialized/Touchstone Racing)

4th Jeromy Cottell (Team Specialized/Touchstone Racing)

5th – Stefano Profumo (SquadraSF p/b Terun)

Women’s P123

1st – Leah Thomas (Metromint Cycling p/b The Freewheel)

2nd – Anna Valta (ThirstyBear p/b Akamai)

3rd- Hanna Muegge (Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Equator Coffees)

4th – Marissa Axell (Metromint Cycling p/b The Freewheel)

5th – Elizabeth Benishin (CA Technologies Racing)

 

 

Race Report: Tour de Murrieta (Men’s P12)

Words by: Chris Barton (KHS-MAXXIS-JLVelo)

The 2015 Tour de Murrieta started with a short four mile time trial.

The first half of the course was on pavement, and the second half was a technical dirt climb to the finish line. We had come to Murrieta a day early to pre-ride the course, so we were all confident going in to the time trial start. I was one of the first riders to start, and I quickly sprinted up to speed and settled into a rhythm. I knew the last half of the course would be the most difficult, so I rode at about 85% for the first half.

Once the pavement turned to dirt, I was all in going full-gas. It was a bit dicey getting jostled around by rocks and sand trying to maintain composure on the dirt section but I crossed the finish line knowing I had gone as hard as I could, and it payed off. I placed second behind my KHS-MAXXIS-JLVelo teammate Ulises Castillo, with teammate David Santos in third.

Tour of Murrieta is an omnium, with points adding up from each of the three days to determine the winner, so having first-third place going into the stage two criterium was a perfect situation. Our plan going into the day was to control the race and with a few laps to go, line the whole team up on the front and lead out the sprint for Ulises, Dave and I. It was an aggressive race, with riders attacking from lap one.

Incycle was especially aggressive, as they were trying to put their riders up the road to take pressure off of their sprinter, Corey Williams. Our main concern was not to let Griffin Easter (Airgas-Safeway), who was just three points behind Ulises, get away from us and win. Easter made several good attacks, but our team did an amazing job of rallying together and bringing him back along with every other breakaway. Each time a dangerous move got away, there were teammates Brian McCulloch, Sergio Escutia, Shawn D’Aurelio, and Shawn Wayland on the front.

With three laps to go, Incycle took control of the race and prepared to lead out Corey Williams. We fought for position to stay near the front, bumping elbows and avoiding being caught in the group, and with one lap to go we launched our lead out. In hind-sight, our attack was a little too early, but we managed to get to the final corner with me on the front leading out Ulises, Dave, and our teammate Fabrizio VonNacher for the sprint. Ulises made a huge effort to finish seventh, while Fabrizio finished fifth and I finished ninth. Corey Williams of Incycle won the day, but we achieved our goal of retaining the race lead with the most points.

The race standings had shuffled a bit going into the final stage.

We now had first though fourth place with Ulises, me, Fabrizio, and our teammate Shawn D’Aurelio. Just like the crit, the road race started the first of sixteen rolling laps with riders attacking from the line. On the first lap, we had some bad luck with Fabrizio getting a flat tire and not making it back to the race. That left the responsibility of winning to Ulises, Shawn, and I. Still a good situation. Incycle was again very aggressive, sending riders off the front in an attempt to make us chase and take the pressure off of their best placed rider, Corey Williams.

We did our best to cover attacks, but a few times we missed an important move. These are the moments in a race when it is easy to panic or give up, but we did an amazing job assembling as a team on the front of the race and steadily bringing the breakaways back. Despite every attempt by Ulises and I to get up the road, the race ended up all together with two laps to go and we decided to prepare for a sprint finish. The race got a bit sketchy, with riders jostling for position and everyone wanting to be in the front of the group, but we managed to hold our position.

With about two miles to go, AirGas’s Alex Darville and Incycle’s Corey Williams launched a surprise attack which Ulises covered perfectly without hesitation. The trio soon had twenty seconds on the field and it looked as though they would stay away for the finish. Perfect. Now all I had to do was hold my position and let my teammates Dave, Brian, and Shawn D help me to the front so I could do well in the sprint. Ulises rode like a beast to second place, just a hair behind Corey, and the team led me out for ninth place. This meant that Ulises won the Tour of Murrieta, I placed second, and we also had won the Jorge Alvarado Team Competition.

We were ecstatic. Winning a stage race is a difficult. It requires focus, composure under stress, and a huge amount of trust in your teammates. Each of us on KHS-MAXXIS-JLVelo had each other’s backs and made huge sacrifices for the three days of racing and it is an amazing feeling when that sacrifice and determination pays off. The Tour de Murrieta is a great event and we hope to carry the success of winning to our upcoming races.

Chris Barton lives in Camarillo, CA. 

Race Report: Tour de Murrieta (Women’s P123)

words by: Amber Gaffney (Twenty16 p/b ShoAir)

Tour de Murrieta is a three-stage omnium road race in Southern CA. My team, Twenty16 p/b ShoAir sent a small squad of four riders: Jennifer Tetrick (new to bike racing, but not lacking in strength!), Maddy Boutet (17 year-old junior and upcoming all-arounder), Summer Moak (15 year-old speed specialist), and me (definitely not a junior). One of the nice things about racing for this team is that we get the opportunity to mentor our junior riders, which gets them the invaluable experience of competing with the elite women.

Our team treated this race as a low-stress; a learning race for our new riders. Given that the Tour de Murrieta is well-organized and brings out the best SoCal riders, this is a great race for our junior program. Our director, Mari Holden, gave us good instructions on all races and she, along with Summer’s mom Shannon (who races for Holiday Rock), took good care of us all weekend, fueling us with plenty of Clif bars and blocks for the races.

The race started with a four-mile TT.

Three of those miles were on the road- a proper rolling TT. The last mile was a hill climb in the dirt. I chose to ride this on my road bike. We are very lucky to get to ride the best TT bikes out there (Felt DAs) but there is something special about an all out effort on a road bike (plus, we also ride very fast road bikes!). My goal was to finish in 11 minutes. I accomplished this and finished in second, followed by my teammate Jennifer. Maddy finished in fourth and she and Summer both made drastic improvements over their times from last year. Thankfully, Shannon met us with cold water and GQ-6 at the top of the climb.

The second stage was the crit.

Maddy, Jennifer, and I covered attacks and put out moves to make the race hard. With two laps to go, Jennifer took a flyer, which was caught, but this spread the field out and picked the pace up. I took the front and was joined by Maddy. With just under a lap to go, Maddy kept the pace nice – not a full gas lead out because I wanted to save her legs for the sprint (if she could gain enough points, she could move onto the GC podium), but just fast enough so that no one would come around us. With two corners to go, Maddy was swarmed and I took the last corner first (vaguely aware of a voice yelling, “Go! The sprinters are coming!”). It was a long way to the finish from the last corner, so I dug in and committed, knowing that my teammates were counting on me to finish on the podium. I kept expecting someone to come around me because I had started the sprint so early, but I had a good gap coming out of the last turn. Trina Jacobson (Spy Giant Ride p/b GQ-6) eventually caught me at the line. She had kept herself so well-hidden in the race that I did not even know she was in the race (good sprinter move!). I took second on the stage and took over the yellow jersey. Maddy took over second in the GC.

The final day was a circuit race.

Attacks went off early in the race, but nothing stuck. Jennifer covered moves that looked threatening, while Summer, Maddy, and I cruised the front of the peloton, following moves occasionally. I knew that my teammates were anxious for something to happen, but keeping the yellow jersey meant making safe calls, based on effort conservation, so we stayed calm.

With one lap to go, the field was all together. About 2k from the finish Jennifer took the front with me on her wheel. She was swarmed in the final km, but I managed to keep second wheel on another lead out train. I played it safe and came out of the final turn fourth. I finished sixth on the stage and secured the yellow jersey for our team. Our full team effort taught our new riders that trusting your team and your race plan gets you the win.

I started racing in SoCal and TdM allowed me to race with many of the women who welcomed me into bike racing at the local level. As always, it was fun to race with Team DB alum and friend Joy McCulloch (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo) who makes every race fun. The local women’s teams, particularly Sisterhood of Cycling, InCycle p/b Full Circle, and Spy Giant Ride p/b GQ-6 showed up with big numbers to race and it was nice to see a field of master’s women and so many familiar and friendly faces.

Amber Gaffney lives in Claremont, CA.

Nash and Wells race to convincing Short Track Cross Country wins at USA Cycling’s US CUP Round 2 at Fontana City

photo1 photo2

Nash and Wells race to convincing Short Track Cross Country wins at USA Cycling’s US CUP Round 2 at Fontana City

 

Fontana City, California – March 23, 2015:  Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) won the short track cross country races at the USA Cycling’s US Cup Pro Series presented by Cannondale at Southridge Park in Fontana City, California, on Sunday afternoon. The race wrapped up an exciting weekend of racing and saw riders heading to all corners of the globe in preparation for World Cup events or the next US CUP round in three weeks, the Sea Otter Classic.

 

Elite women

The 31-strong field of women’s racers lined up for fifteen minutes plus three laps of a dusty course that featured a pair of tricky bumps on the far side. Trek Factory Racing’s Emily Batty was crafty in shooting under the charging Luna Pro Team on the first turn to take the hole shot. After the first fast lap, it was all strung out with the Luna Pro Team leading the way.

Lap two saw Chloe Woodruff (Stans No-Tubes-Niner) lead through the start/finish line, with Haley Smith (NORCO Factory Team) in second. One lap later, the Luna girls reclaimed their place at the front, with Catharine Pendrel and Georgia Gould being joined by teammate Andrea Waldis, who was doing some fine teamwork for her leaders. Behind them were Smith, Batty, Woodruff and Rose Grant (Stans No-Tubes).

A general regrouping took place on lap four with one notable exception as Gould flatted and withdrew from the race. Things heated up two laps later and showed the determination of the field, as some bumping occurred at the front on that first left-hander after the start/finish line.

With just two laps to go, the front group grew to fifteen riders, all battling it out for the win. On the penultimate lap, Nash and Batty made their selection, charging hard to establish the winning break. The field exploded at that point, with riders being strung out for the remainder of the race.

In the final run to the line, Nash charged to the win over Batty in an exciting and hard-fought sprint, with Woodruff, Grant and Caroline Mani (Raleigh Clement Cycling Team) filling out the podium.

“This is such exciting racing for us, where we can all race so close together,” explained Nash. “I was in the right place at the right time, just like yesterday, so it was a good weekend for me. I knew I was in a good position when I was third at the top. There are so few places to pass here but I found my spot and was able to take the win!”

 

Elite men

The men’s race was also fifteen minutes plus three laps.

Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Bicycels) showed yet another sign of his great form, taking the hole shot as the large men’s field kicked up a dust storm at the start. Unfortunately, the Canadian rider had some bad luck and went down in the first hectic lap, which created a gap and the eventual winning move.  Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Kohei Yamamoto (Trek Factory Racing) and Russell Finsterwald (SRAM/LTD Racing Team) were the beneficiaries of the resulting gap, and these first two remained out front for the remainder of the race.

By the third lap, the gap to the chasing group was at eight seconds. Halfway through the fifteen minutes, Wells put in a huge effort at the start/finish line and attempted the solo break. Two laps later, his lead was up to fourteen seconds, which he more or less held onto until the final lap allowed him to ease up a bit. With four laps to go, Finsterwald was replaced in the first chase duo by Yamamoto’s Trek teammate Sergio Mantecon. This group was chased by Stephen Ettinger (Sho-Air/Cannondale), Leandre Bouchard (Equite Quebec), and Estonian Martin Loo.

Wells kept the pressure on and cruised the last lap in to take a commanding win of the short track event. Trek Factory Racing’s Mantecon preceded his teammate and Japanese sensation Yamamoto, while Bouchard was followed in by Cole Oberman (Rare Disease Cycling).

“I heard a big crash on the first lap where there’s a blown out hump in a bottom corner and someone washed out there,” said Wells. “I got a separation with Kohei and Finsty and could tell I was gapping them a little bit on the downhill so I hit it. I looked up and we were only like six minutes into the race! I’m a steady rider so it was better for me to ride at my tempo. If I can get there by myself, I don’t have to follow the surges so it was better for me to ride steady by myself.”

 

US CUP Video Feed

A reminder that Saturday’s professional races are available for viewing at www.uscup.tv as well as on USA Cycling’s youtube channel.

 

Bonelli Park short track cross country brief results

Elite women

1 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) Luna Pro Team 21:47.26

2 Emily Batty (Canada) Trek Factory Racing 21:47.60

3 Chloe Woodruff (United States) Team Stans NoTubes – Niner) 21:48.24

4 Rose Grant (United States) Stans NoTubes Elite 21:50.21

5 Catroline Mani (United States) Raleigh Clement Cycling Team 21:53.24

 

Elite men

1 Todd Wells (United States) Specialized Factory Racing; 20:14.45

2 Sergio Mantecon (Spain) Trek Factory Racing; 20:27.36

3 Kohei Yamamoto (Japan) Trek Factory Racing; 20:33.36

4 Leandre Bouchard (Equipe Quebec); 20:34.11

5 Cole Oberman (United States) Rare Disease Cycling; 20:36.83

 

Please see attached PDF files for full results from the Fontana City short track cross country race.

 

——-Additional information———

A complete gallery of Saturday’s cross country race can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tbsr7o6u3sfz2qs/AACRfifFCTeRucsUghlsKEaca?dl=0 , with all photos by Ridebiker Alliance)

Nash and Cooper take the wins at USA Cycling US CUP Round 2 at Fontana City

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Nash and Cooper take the wins at USA Cycling US CUP Round 2 at Fontana City

Day’s winners take overall US CUP leads as well

Fontana City, California – March 21, 2015:  Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Anton Cooper (Cannondale Factory Racing) won round 2 of the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series presented by Cannondale at Southridge Park in Fontana City, California.

 

Elite women

Technical problems caused in part by cellular interference from the nearby NASCAR race made for blind coverage of the women’s race early on. A fast start lap created a huge gap, which was driven by the Luna Pro Team as Pendrel, Nash and Gould, along with Round 1 winner Batty set the early pace. After the initial leveling off after the first climb, these front leaders left a large gap to Chloe Woodruff (Team Stan’s NoTubes-Niner) and Larissa Connors (Ridebiker Alliance).

An easing on the second lap of five allowed Connors and Woodruff to rejoin the leaders on the day’s main climb, only for Pendrel to put in a vicious attack, forcing Batty to respond.

Seemingly trying to force Batty to chase, the end of the second lap saw Pendrel continuing her attacks on Batty, with teammate Gould holding on, with Woodruff and Nash chasing further back. Just like on the first lap, the lead group eased up on the climb, allowing the front group to grow back up to eight.

The next two laps resulted in the further solidifying of the front group. Lap three featured a selection made by Gould on the main descent with Batty and Pendrel.  Nash clawed her way back to the front group at the end of the third lap only to take the lead of the race on the fourth time up the climb.  Another fierce attack by Pendrel was chased down by Batty and you got the sense that the team tactics were taking their toll on the Canadian winner of round one. At the end of the fourth lap, Batty, who was sitting second behind Nash, had some trouble on one of the dusty drops and went down. The crash wasn’t enough to cause any serious damage, but it enabled Nash to get a gap big enough to defend until the finish.

Gould would take the sprint for second ahead of Batty and Pendrel, with Erin Huck (Scott 3 Rox) rounding out the podium just behind in fifth.

“I was unaware of what was going on. I was up front and I got a gap so I assumed there was a problem,” said the day’s winner Nash. “I fully expected Emily to come back but once I got the gap I pinned it all the way until the end. I used my downhill skills and made gravity work for me.”

“It was a total battle out there, trying to sit second wheel,” said Batty. “There were three of them so it would’ve been pretty disappointing if they didn’t get it.”

 

Elite men

The men were scheduled to race six laps of the dusty and rocky course. The 120-strong field kicked up the fine dust on the trail as they strung out in a sprint for the base of the first climb. In a sign of his form, Cannondale’s Kiwi Anton Cooper took the hole shot for yet another strong start. Series leader Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) took over shortly afterward with Geoff Kabush (Scott 3 Rox) second wheel.

Hitting the pavement first was Gagne, followed by Kabush, Cooper, Fontana (both Cannondale Factory Racing), Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Ettinger (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Italian Andrea Tiberi (FRM Factory).

Fontana dabbed on a tricky spot, creating a gap to third place that didn’t last long enough to cause any major drama. Kabush would be the next to allow the early pace get the best of him, as he too hit the dirt. Six riders would come together toward the end of the first lap: Gagne, Cooper, Kabush, Wells, Stephen Ettinger (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Fontana.

Tiberi, Fontana and teammate Manuel Fumic joined the lead group on the second time up the road climb, making a lead group of nine, chased by a courageous Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Cannondale), who was battling a gruesome blister on his foot.

Cooper would be the first to put in a significant attack on the third lap. Gagne bridged back up, followed by Tiberi. On lap four, Tiberi dropped from this group as Cooper and Gagne pulled away on the rolling rocky section. The leaders showed no signs of tiring, as the fourth lap was the fastest to that point! The two leaders continued to pull away, followed by teammates Fumic and Fontana, with Tiberi, Wells and Mantecon each trying to chase back on.

The two leaders held their ground for the remainder of the race, with Fontana and Fumic solidifying their podium spots but content to let their young teammate fight it out for the win. Cooper’s decisive attack came midway through the last lap as he distanced himself on the final time up the asphalt climb. Cooper held and then extended his lead through the rolling and twisty singletrack to win by eleven seconds over Gagne, with Fumic and Fontana preceding Mantecon.

“What a way to finish off this first part of the season,” said Cooper at the finish. “And after last week, it’s great to come away with the win. Having Manny and Marco on the podium with me makes it even better. Now, I head home and start ramping up for the World Cup.”

“Good job to Anton. He’s a super-tough guy,” said Gagne at the finish. “I felt stronger today than last week, so I’m real happy with my race. The course was great, I really liked it.”

 

USA Cycling US Cup presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group series standings

After round two of the USA Cycling US Cup presented by Cannondale series, Cooper takes over the lead ahead of Gagne by virtue of the higher points on offer at the HC race, while Nash leads the womens’ series ahead of Batty.

The USA Cycling US Cup presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group series will continue with round 3, a UCI Category HC race, with a return to Bonelli Park in San Dimas , California on Saturday, April 11.

 

Fontana City cross country brief results

Elite women

1 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) Luna Pro Team 1:27:39

2 Georgia Gould (United States) Luna Pro Team 1:27:48

3 Emily Batty (Canada) Trek Factory Racing 1:27:48

4 Catharine Pendrel (Canada) Luna Pro Team 1:27:49

5 Erin Huck (United States) Scott 3 Rox 1:28:13

 

Elite men

1 Anton Cooper (New Zealand) Cannondale Factory Racing; 1:27:54

2 Raphael Gagne (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles; 1:28:05

3 Manuel Fumic (Germany) Cannondale Factory Racing; 1:28:55

4 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy) Cannondale Factory Racing; 1:28:56

5 Sergio Mantecon (Spain) Trek Factory Racing 1:29:46

 

USA Cycling US Cup Series Standings after two rounds

Elite women

1 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) Luna Pro Team; 70 points

2 Emily Batty (Canada) Trek Factory Racing; 64 points

3 Georgia Gould (United States) Luna Pro Team; 62 points

4 Catharine Pendrel (Canada) Luna Pro Team; 58 points

5 Chloe Woodruff (United States) Team Stan’s NoTubes-Niner; 47 points

 

Elite men

1 Anton Cooper (New Zealand) Cannondale Factory Racing; 75 points

2 Raphael Gagne (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles; 67 points

3 Manuel Fumic (Germany) Cannondale Factory Racing; 49 points

4 Sergio Mantecon (Spain) Trek Factory Racing; 49 points

5 Max Plaxton (Canada) Sho-Air/Cannondale; 49 points

RESULTS:

2015_US_CUP_PRO_MEN_STANDINGS-AFTER_FONTANA

2015_US_CUP_PRO_WOMEN_STANDINGS-AFTER_FONTANA

2015XC RESULTS-PRO MEN

2015XC RESULTS-PRO WOMEN 2015XC RESULTS-UCI JRS