BC Superweek

BC Superweek

BC Superweek

By: Kathryn Donovan (NOW

My teammates and I spent the week leading into Cascade at BC Superweek . I initially thought Kurt, our team director, was sending me to Superweek to race a bunch of crits as some form of punishment. I figured it was for crashing myself out of a two-person break several weeks earlier at the Winston-Salem Classic. But 8 days, 17 podiums, and 6 wins later, I realized that being out of my comfort zone and needing my teammates’ support both on and off the bike was not punishment, but rather the best thing Kurt could have done to make me a better bike racer. We arrived to Cascade a closer knit group.

Cascade started out well for NOW. Alison Powers won the prolouge and started the first stage in yellow. Everything was going fine until we hit the first climb. That’s when the attacks started and the peloton started to shatter. Mara Abbott attacked and I jumped on her wheel. Claudia Hausler countered her move, and Kristin McGrath went with her.

At this point there were only about 10 of us. Mara attacked to bridge up to Kristin and Claudia. This ended up to be the definitive move of the race. The three worked together to stay away and they remained the top three in GC for the remainder of the race. We decided from that point forward, we would focus on stage wins and podiums instead of overall GC.

Once three of the strongest riders in women’s cycling started working together, it was impossible to chase them down. Alison kept making me try.

Alison won the second stage by crushing the time trial. I got to witness Kristabel getting stuck in the barriers, and, I must say, her account does not do the story justice. I tell the story way better.

Stage three started with a descent and ended with a climb. I countered an attack by Alison at 20k to go. Two riders bridged up to me, but by the base of the climb, both were gone. Janel Holcomb and Lauren Stephens were chasing for awhile and eventually Lauren bridged. I tried to attack at 1k to go before the road flattened out. It was my only hope at beating Lauren and it clearly didn’t work, because I got second.

Alison out-sprinted the chase group for third.

As a treat for getting on the podium, Olivia Dillon took me out to Kebaba, our favorite restaurant in town, where I ordered the best burger in Bend, the Kebaba burger. Second and third to the burgers at Kebaba are the hamburgers from 10-Barrel and Deschutes Brewery. People always talk about the coffee shops in Bend , but really, for me, it’s the burgers. I could spend an extra week there just eating hamburgers every night.

Stage 4 was the crit. We didn’t have a true sprinter with us, so we were pretty happy with Alison getting third in the field sprint behind Lauren Hall and Shelly Olds. Devon, Robin, and Olivia all picked up some primes.

The last stage hurt, because Tibco was still racing for the win. When Claudia attacks, I always want to cry because she never attacks just once, and it hurts. She wasn’t able to get away, but her teammate Amanda Miller won the stage. She was in a late break with Jade Wilcoxson and my teammate Lauren Komanski, who ended up third on the stage. This was Lauren’s first NRC podium and I was proud to see her up there. She is crazy strong with tons of natural talent. I met her almost exactly a year ago when she had just started racing. I’m pretty sure she was still a cat 4 and riding the trainer every morning for an hour before going on rotation as a vet student. I felt bad for her but also envied how clean her kits looked from not riding outside.

Through some grave error, Robin, Olivia, Lauren and I were all booked to fly out the evening of the last stage. We were all on the same flight to Seattle, so we decided to have our own post race party. Since we had no time for dinner, my smarter teammates ordered Bloody Mary’s at the Redmond airport. It’s like a meal and a drink in one.

We parted at the Seattle airport after several more drinks. The girls head to crit nationals this weekend. I’m not going and I feel like its a form of punishment. Amazing how things change in the course of a few weeks.

Recap- Awbry Butte Circuit Race-Tvetcov and McGrath win Cascade Cycling Classic Overall Classification.

Stage 5 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 5 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 5 – Awbry Butte Circuit Race.

Tvetcov and McGrath win Cascade Cycling Classic Overall Classification.
The circuit race is another long standing course for Cascade. It’s a challenging circuit with the main features being the climb out of Tumalo Park and the climb of Archie Briggs. The first climb is a main road climb leading to the feed zone and a long false flat leading to Archie Briggs. This climb begins with a fast twisting descent into a 15% wall followed by more false flat and kicking up to the final stair step KOM summit.  The rest of the course is undulating with fast descents and exposed sections. A well balanced course which comes at the end of an aggressive week of racing.
The men’s race began at 1 PM and as has been the case with every race so far, once the flag dropped at the end of e neutral zone, the attacks began. Immediately, the 150 man field was strung out as it serpentined across the road.  Small groups would escape only to be brought back. This  pattern continued past the first climb of Tumalo Park. The field stayed together but was single file over the top. The attacks continued with 5 Hour particularly active today. Once the over Archie Briggs a group of 20 was able to get away but this too was pulled back. The peloton, which was being lead primarily by Jelly Belly riding for yellow jersey wearer Tvetcov, was not going to let anything go unless it had the right combination of riders.
Coming into the Tumalo Park climb on lap 2, a group of 12 had managed to get off the front.  This group had 25 seconds over the top of the climb and quickly increased to 55 seconds entering Archie Briggs. The group was working well together with no one sitting on.  Flavio Deluna of SmartStop- Mountain Khakis took the KOM and the break had increased their gap to 1:15 over the peloton. The break was well represented with single riders from Bissell, Optum, Giant, Bontrager, BMC, Jelly Belly, 5 Hour, SmartStop, Hincapie, Astellas Oncology, and 2 Hagens Berman riders.
Lap 3 saw this gap increase to its largest gap of 1:45 as they crested the Tumalo Park climb. Deluna again took KOM over the Archie Briggs climb with the breaks gap at 1:15. Jelly Belly were controlling the break and riding strongly on the front. It seemed that the race was shaping up for a fast finale.
As lap 4 began, the gap was down to 1:05 and would drop to 40 seconds only to increase again to 1:10. Clearly the two groups were figuring out their tactics for the final phase of the race. As lap 5 began the peloton had swallowed up the break but two riders attacked and established a small gap. Eric Marcotte of Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker and James Oram of Bontrager Cycling held onto a tenuous 15 second gap all the way to the Archie Briggs climb. It was a strong move but just too much to ask with this motivated field behind. The race was all together leading into the fast final 5 km. Four riders managed to get a small gap leading into the final 500 meters of the race with Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear taking the spring with teammate Clark taking second and Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda taking third.
It proved to be an important sprint win for Rosskopf. With the time bonuses available on the stage he jumped to 2nd overall.  Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b  Kenda took the overall honors with Chad Haga of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies hanging onto 3rd
The women faced 3 laps and 51 miles of the Deschutes Brewery – Awbry Butte Circuit Race. With a more established GC, the race was really going to have to some fireworks to shake up the final. The women’s race was run at an aggressive pace as was evidenced by the continual number of riders shed off the back.  A motivated Team Exergy Twenty 16 did a very good job of controlling the race for their yellow jersey wearer McGrath.
The stage came down to two riders with Amanda Miller of Team TIBCO taking the days honors with Jade Wilcoxson of Optum p/b Kelly Benefits taking second. Lauren Rauck Komanski of NOM and Novartis for MS came in a minute later and took the sprint for 3rd.  McGrath came is few seconds off of  Haeusler of Team TIBCO but remained safely in yellow to take the final GC. Haeusler remained in 2nd overall with Abbott of TIBCO rounding out the podium.
The 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic produced some aggressive and tactical racing.  The women’s race saw an aggressive Team TIBCO race hard from the start and establish the hierarchy that would see McGrath take a well deserved win.  The men’s field was tightly contested with all the teams riding hard right to the final sprint.  At times it appeared to be a battle between the old and new guard with the final result being some fantastic racing.
The race is obviously embraced by the Bend community. The race organization and number of volunteers was impressive to say the least. It’s an incredible event that should remain in high standing on the NRC calendar or years to come.
-Travis Dixon

Magner,Hall Win Downtown Twilight Criterium

Twilight Crit Cascade

Twilight Crit Cascade

Stage 4, Bend Downtown Twilight Criterium took place Saturday July 20th. The men and women were able to enjoy a late start time to give their legs some needed recovery from the tough 4 days of racing they’ve experienced so far.  The rectangular course is a straight forward design. The only real ‘obstacle’ being turns 3 and 4 where the road narrows making positioning onto the long final straight important.  Essentially this translates into an extremely fast course.  The long finishing straight to the line puts an emphasis on teamwork and a solid lead out. Added to this was a headwind meaning that the winner would have to time their sprint perfectly.

The women were first to start. As has been e case throughout Cascade, the pace was high right from the gun. There were many attacks but apparently none had the right combination of teams represented or horsepower as the field remained together and strung out for the entire race.
As the riders began the final lap team NOW and Novartis for MS took charge at the front with three riders stringing out the remaining peloton.  The sprint was incredibly close and came down to a photo finish with Lauren Hall of team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits taking the win by the narrowest of margins. 2nd went to Shelley Olds of Team TIBCO with Allison Powersnof NOW and Novartis for MS rounding out the top three.  The GC remained unchanged with McGrath of Exergy Twenty 16 in yellow followed by Haeusler of Team TIBCO and Abbott of Exergy Twenty 16 in 3rd.
The men began at 7 PM but the temperatures remained high with many riders packing ice into their skinsuits in an attempt to keep their core temperature down before the fireworks began for the 75 minute race.  The men’s field had been reduced to 150 riders from the original 200 and the field would be much less than this by the finish.
The men’s race was full-on right from the gun. The 150 man field was single file for the first 20 minutes with many laps averaging over 32 mph. As the field began to show signs of strain under the unrelenting pace a group of 5 riders managed to get a gap.  This front group fluctuated in numbers from 5 to 3 to 8 and always hovering around 10 seconds. Team Jelly Belly and Team Cash Call kept the move in check. The break was finally reeled in at the 46 minute mark but the pace was beginning to take it’s toll on the rest of the field as riders were continually being dropped from the pack.  With roughly 10 minutes to go Team Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker took control of the front but it was team Optum with Tom Zirbel leading the way who took over with 3 laps to go. Zirbel put his TT legs to work and tapped out a lap and a half  at 32 mph when a crash on the backside of the course created a split. Optum controlled going into the final lap but it was the U23 national criterium champion,  Ty Magner of Hincapie Sportswear, who took the win. Jasper Stuyven of Bontrager Cycling Team 2nd with Ignazio Moser of BMC Development Team taking 3rd.  The GC remained with Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda leading, Haga of Optum p/b Kelly Benifit Strategies in 2nd, and Jakub Novak of BMC Development Team in 3rd.
Tomorrow concludes this edition of the Cascade Cycling Classic with the Aubry Butte Circuit Race. For the women, McGrath and her team seem to be in control but its a challenging course at the end of a week of aggressive racing. Haeusler and the rest of the field should make it interesting for team Exergy. On the men’s side, this race is still up for grabs.  There is only 9 seconds separating the top 3 and only a 1:15 separating the top 10.  Tomorrow should produce some incredible racing.
As a final note, the podium for tonight’s crit were all U23 men. Remember their names as I am sure we will be seeing more of them in the future.
Travis Dixon

Recap-Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 Cascade Cycling Classic

Stage 3 of the Cascade Cycling Classic was run on the Cascade Lakes course. This is a long standing course for this event. The course doesn’t have the amount of climbing that Stage 1 but many in the field feel that this is the toughest stage. The course is unrelenting, constantly up and down and then finishes on the 5 km climb of Sparks Lake. This climb isn’t particularly steep but considering its placement on this stage, it certainly makes the legs and lungs hurt.

 

The men were to ride 90 miles. The BMC Development team had the responsibility of defending the yellow jersey for Novak and with this stacked pro field they definitely had their work cut out for them today. The race began with a 3 mile neutral and as soon as the flag dropped the attacks began. Groups of 10-20 riders would escape only to be brought back and then another group would break … BMC were placing men in each group but it was becoming clear that yellow jersey wearer Novak was not having a good day and many times BMC would call back their riders to help pace the yellow back and bring the group together. The other teams had no mercy and kept firing away at BMC until mile 61 when a nine man group was able to break clear. As the final climb began, the escapees were swept up and 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda got to the front and set a hard pace in hope of launching Mancebo but the rest of the field was strong enough to resist the pace. Seghei Tvetcov of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda took the stage. This was his second stage win in as many days. Travis McCabe of Elbowz Racing p/b Boneshaker took second followed by Chad Haga of Team Optom p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy finished 5th with the same time as Tvetcov. Former yellow jersey Phillip Gaimon of Bissell Pro Cycling was 8th 2 seconds down. Novak finished 23rd for the day 17 seconds down followed by his teammate, Eisenthart.

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Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) and Powers(NOW)Blaze TT in Cascade

Cascade Cycling Classic -Alison Powers

Cascade Cycling Classic -Alison Powers

Cascade Cycling Classic, July 18 Stage 2 Prineville Individual Time Trial.

 

The men and women raced on a 20 mile out and back course. The rolling course would cater a strong rider who is able to push a big gear as opposed to the climbing that the racers saw in yesterdays stage. The men raced first and of the original 201 racers only 182 lined up for the start of the time trial. Sergei Tvetcov of Jelly Belly rode in with the best time of the day, 30:59:96. He was followed by Jonathan Teeter of team Marc Pro-Strava for second place with a time of 31:17:54. Newly crowned national TT Champion, Tom Zirbel rounded out the top three with a time of 31:17:69. Taylor Eisenhart of BMC Development Team put in a strong ride to end up 5th on GC only 30 seconds off of teammate Novak. Eisenhart is followed closely by defending champ, Mancebo of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda who is 33 seconds off the lead. Yesterdays stage winner and yellow jersey wearer for the day, Pjillip Gaimon of Bissell Pro Cycling slipped to 7th overall at 36 seconds.

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Recap-Prologue at the Cascade Cycling Classic

Prologue at the Cascade Cycling Classic

Prologue at the Cascade Cycling Classic

The 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic stage race began tonight with the Prologue, which created a few surprises. The 109 rider women’s field began at 6 PM on the  counter clockwise 2.5 mile circuit. The course featured a fast downhill start with less than 200 feet of elevation gain to the finish.  Defending champ, Alison Powers, of NOW and Novartis for MS, was the last to start and delivered the fastest time of the day, being the only woman to go under 5 minutes. Her winning time of 4:53 was quite impressive and definitely let the rest of the women know that she is ready to defend her title. Shelley Olds, of Team TIBCO, put in a strong ride to place second. Laura Brown, of Team Colavita-Fine Cooking, rounded out the top three. The best young rider was another TIBCO  rider,  Jasmin Glaesser.Alison Powers
The men’s prologue began immediately after the conclusion of the woman’s race, and with 201 riders, there couldn’t be any delay. Robert Sweeting of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda began 58th and set a scorching time of 4:28. Sweeting had to wait over an hour before the final ten riders were on the course. With the likes of Zirbel, of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies,  defending champ Mancebo, of 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda,  and Philip Gimon of Bissel Pro Cycling,  it was a long wait. However, these top riders couldn’t come close to the time that Sweeting posted.  Timothy Rugg, of Kelly Benefit Strategies, started the prologue 8th and apparently didn’t fancy his chances for the podium because as he was running back down to the finish, putting his jersey back on saying, “I already went home!” Rugg took 2nd, while Sergei  Tvetcov , of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda,  put in a strong ride for 3rd place. Best young rider was Ty Magner, of Hincapie Sportswear. It was a strong performance for the 22 year old rider, as the men’s field is stacked with strong U23’s.Robert Sweeting
The Cascade Cycling Classic began with some impressive riding and a few surprises. Tomorrows stage promises to produce more great racing and more surprises.
- Travis Dixon

 

Cascade Cycling Classic: Prologue

Cascade Cycling Classic: Prologue

Cascade Cycling Classic: Prologue

The 34th annual Cascade Cycling Classic kicks off July 16, with the Prologue, in Bend Oregon. Its the oldest running consecutive stage race in North America , starting back in 1979. Sponsored by the Bend Memorial Clinic (BMC), the 5 day stage race is organized by the Mt. BachelorSki Education Foundation.

The prologue starts on Tuesdsy, at 6pm and is stacked with a majority of the NRC’s top five riders for both Pro men and women. This course is a counterclockwise loop, totaling at 2.5 miles, with less than 200 feet elevation gain, perfect for fast riders. Mancebo (5 hour Energy p/b Kenda), Haga and teammate Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits) will be in the mens field. Haeusler, Olds (Team TIBCO), Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS), and Abbott (Exergy TWENTY 16) in the women’s.

The Cascade Cycling Classic’s placement in the latter half of the NRC series, makes it a critical stage race for top riders to gain individual and team points towards the overall standings. This and the list of high caliber racers, registered for the race, will make for a tight and exciting 5 days through central Oregon’s eastern slope of the Cascade mountain range. Historically, the race has always been held in high standing and a desirable edition for any individual and team to add to their palmares.

 

Want more: Here is a link to the 2012 Cascade Classic.

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News From Joe Martin and the Gila by Robin Farina (NOW)

 

http://cyclingillustrated.com/category/tour-of-gila/

http://cyclingillustrated.com/category/tour-of-gila/

News From Joe Martin and the Gila

by Robin Farina

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last column and I’ve recovered from the racing and travel, so I am back to give loyal readers and women’s professional cycling fans some insight as to what has been going on in the stage racing scene in the USA.

 

As I mentioned in earlier articles, I ride for the NOW and Novartis for MS women’s team. The team has had quite an aggressive early season schedule so far and has already secured an overall win at Redlands, stage wins, and podium spots. After coming off the win at Redlands, we took 2nd overall and the young rider’s jersey at the Joe Martin Stage Race. Then, last week at Tour of the Gila, the team finished with another 2nd overall in the general classification, which has helped Alison Powers hold onto the lead of the NRC’s individual competition. As it turns out, because of the solid team performances, NOW is leading the team NRC competition too. So all in all it’s been a pretty good two weeks. Now I will give you a little insight to how it all went down and update you on our adventures.

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The Adventures of A-POW and the Miami Dolphins

The Adventures of A-POW and the Miami Dolphins

by Sway Sway, aka Connie10outta10suela, aka Consuela, aka Maura Kinsella

 

WARNING: This blog is a lil’ cray cray and I don’t attempt to feign humility. I brag, LOL at my own jokes, and may or may not give a proper race report justice. Enjoy.

 

Redlands Cycling Classic #winning #YellowJersey #SprintJersey #3stages #TeamGC

Redlands Cycling Classic #winning #YellowJersey #SprintJersey #3stages #TeamGC

 

After a hard but very successful Redlands Cycling Classic, NOW-Novartis for MS headed to the dirty South for some cheesy grits, warm weather, and a pretty big bike race called the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium. The #PresbyCrit is the biggest money NCC crit in the nation with $25,000 on the line for the women’s race, and so, needless to say, the field is stacked and the racing is FAST! Last year I “raced” solo (more like rode) at the back of the pack, hanging on by the skin of my teeth, and somehow found my way near the front in the finale to get a top-10 result. This year, on the other hand, I was not worried about a personal result but solely about getting someone from my powerhouse squad on that top step of the podium. I am a lot stronger than last time (as one would hope for year to year) and I made sure to be near the front a lot, initiating and following moves. Since NOW doesn’t really have a big-time sprinter, we really had our work cut out for us in the flat-ish NCC crit. The plan was to make sure the race was hard as hell and for local celeb, Robin Farina, to break away in the closing kilometers to score that big, hometown .

She even had her some podium boots picked out. “Oh you fancy, huh

She even had her some podium boots picked out. “Oh you fancy, huh

Sometime in the second half of the race, I saw teammate Alison Powers making her way up the left side near the barriers of the start/finish straight and shifting into a bigger gear. I quickly got on her wheel, knowing that she was about to perform a disappearing act. When A-POW attacks, it feels like a scene from an action comic book where on one page she’s right in front of you and then on the next there’s nothing but a smoke cloud in your face, a rubber mark on the pavement, and like a gagillion “Oh Shit!” thought bubbles hovering over the peloton.

AK POW

A-POW attacks! Original photo cred goes to Peter Brentlinger

Robin was already at the front, so once AP rocketed off I reported to the front line for duty and the two of us grabbed a handful of brake and opened a gap immediately. We let a few racers from other teams get up the road to increase the break’s odds, but once that quota was met, we chased and deterred any further hopefuls from attempting to catch the break. The breakaway looked promising with A-POW, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), Lauren Tamayo (Exergy), Sam Schneider (TIBCO), and Joelle Numainville (Optum), but apparently only a couple of the breakaway riders would work and they were brought back a few laps later. Robin attacked with one lap to go, but with the speed of the sprinters’ teams at that point, not even Fabian Cancellara himself could’ve been able to hold off the bloodthirsty peloton. In the end, NOW didn’t come away with the result we had hoped for, but all in all I think that my team raced a smart race and played the cards we had, we just couldn’t deal out the royal flush that we had become accustomed to at Redlands.

 

The next day, half of our squad went to the NoDa crit, which had a smaller field (to be expected as it wasn’t NCC), but was equally hard. Seriously, my average power between the two races was almost identical. NoDa’s course may not be nearly as fast, but it’s punchier with the need to jump out of corners and a bit of climbing, which added to some very aggressive racing.  One could not easily fake fitness on this course.  Again, NOW was aggressive and we found ourselves in many moves.  But at the end of the race we missed the winning break of Jacquelyn Crowell (Exergy) and Jade Wilcoxson (Optum).

 

While NOW’s forte definitely lies with stage racing, I think that as the season progresses and we learn whose strengths are where, we’ll get creative against the crit monkeys and start podiuming at NCC races.

 

On a final note, what’s a bike race if you don’t check out the local, famed food joints? Thus, after a fast weekend of racing, a few of us went to the famous Penguins Diner and enjoyed post-race eats the right way: epic burgers, chili cheese fries, and my fave: MILKSHAKES! Don’t tell my team director plz!

Reused photoshop from a previous blogpost of mine but equally relevant.

Reused photoshop from a previous blogpost of mine but equally relevant.

 

Now, as I write this on the plane headed back out West, the Monday morning remorse has started to kick in, especially as I’m looking at my calendar with Joe Martin and Gila on tap next. All right, for this next week of training, I’m eating nothing but yogurt and Green Tea (I’ll add a few spinach leaves in there every once in a while). Sheesh.  Who am I kidding? I’ll just have to find more power somewhere. #HappinessWattsAreReal

 

 

 

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29th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic By Robin Farina

Robin Farina on Redlands Bicycle Classic

Robin Farina on Redlands Bicycle Classic

Thanks for tuning back in to my weekly column here on Cycling Illustrated. Last week, my NOW and Novartis for MS team competed in the 29th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic.

 

The RBC continues to be one of my favorite stage races of the year. It had all the elements that make a great stage race. The climbs, technical courses, The “Dirty Sprint” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y768skY3yHE), and most of all the early season “who’s fit, who’s not” drama.

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