15th Annual Gran Prix of Gloucester

Gran Prix of Gloucester

Gran Prix of Gloucester

The 15th annual Gran Prix of Gloucester cyclocross event was held on September 28 and 29th in the historical fishing village of Gloucester, Massachusetts, which is known as “America’s Oldest Seaport.” This northeast region of the states is known for its cross racing. It’s  produced such well known racers such as Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. The oceanside course has presented some wide ranging weather conditions for the weekend of racing, however, this year the racers were faced with warm, dry, dusty, and very fast conditions.

Day one saw the women start first. The racing was fast right from the start with Gabriella Durrin (Rapha-Focus)from Great Britain taking the early lead stringing the entire women’s race out.  Gaps quickly formed and those who did not make the front group would not have a chance to see the front of the race again.  A strong group of 4 pulled clear of the rest of the riders and steadily increased their gap. Durrin was very aggressive over the first few laps with fellow Great Britain and European champ, Helen Wyman of Kona Factory Racing, made some big efforts, putting Durrin and Crystal Anthony of Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies on the defensive.  However, Elle Anderson of Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized looked controlled throughout the race and only Durrin could initially go with Anderson’s winning move. Anderson took the win, 9 seconds ahead of Durrin, with Crystal Anthony coming in 24 seconds later for third.  The aggressive Wyman, and last year’s winner, came in 4th at 42 seconds. Anderson’s smooth powerful ride was too much for the women,  but the following day was another chance.

dixona-8659The mens race also began lightning fast with Jamey Driscoll of Raleigh-Clement taking the lead from the gun and remaining there for the first 2 laps.  His teammate, Ben Bearden looked comfortable and remained in the top 5 until he took over in the middle part of the race. The group behind, fluctuated in numbers as the field struggled to maintain pace. Jeremy Powers of Rapha-Focus and Tim Johnson of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, both had poor starts and had to work hard to make their way through the front group. Once Johnson was able to make it to the front with teammate Ryan Trebon, looking strong on the day,  they had the numbers to put Powers in further trouble as he struggled to bridge the gap. Unfortunately, Trebon suffered a front wheel puncture and this put to rest any plans the Cannondale riders had for the day. With Trebons horsepower gone, Powers was able to bridge. The group rode steadily for the next few laps, allowing Powers to find his rhythm and when he made what was the winning move only Johnson was able to go with him. At this point, Powers was relentless and finished 6 seconds ahead of Johnson.

Tim Johnson had this to say about his race, “I was down on horsepower compared to some of these guys. Ryan Trebon is such a strong rider and a course like today really suits him.  The race really started for us around 28 minutes into the race. Unfortunately Ryan had a flat and that put him out of contention. Otherwise, it would have been Ryan and I against Jeremy and we would’ve had a good chance at winning. But as it stood it was just Jeremy and I and its just kind of a tough way to finish the day”

The Raleigh-Clement duo rode an aggressive race with Driscoll edging out teammate Bearden for 3rd and 4th respectfully. Trebon was able to regroup and finished solo in 5th place, 50 seconds down.

The first days racing was incredibly fast leaving riders struggling to keep pace with each tiny mistake made. The following day’s forecast was for the same conditions, which meant each field had their hands full with the smooth fast riding of Anderson and Powers.

Day two saw a course that was not as technical as the race bible described. Apparently, talks with the town didn’t allow challenging run ups and the sandy beach section as in years past. The race organizers did their best to make the course more technical but the weather conditions did not play in their favor. The racing would again be fast on the dry circuit.

dixona-0481The women started with an aggressive Helen Wyman of Kona Factory Racing really forcing the pace from the outset. The front group fluctuated in numbers as the slightest mistake was magnified by the speed of the race. The added effort to chase chase back on expended precious energy which would be the difference on the day. Gabriella Durrin from Great Britain and racing for Rapha-Focus was aggressive and doing what she could to break the race apart but it seemed to be her own undoing as she faded as the race progressed. Meanwhile, her countryman Wyman, settled onto Elle Anderson’s, Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, wheel and would not come around. Clearly Wyman had a different strategy for the day and she was not going to deviate from her plan. However, Anderson took the pace up and her smooth powerful riding was just too much for Wyman to handle. Anderson took her second win, Wyman came in 6 second later for second and she had this to say about today’s race, “I had a better day today. My plan was to sit second wheel the entire day but I really can’t always do that. But I tried to stay second wheel and with two to go I went to the front and Elle came with me so I thought again, sit second wheel. Then on the last lap she gapped me a bit, I took a silly line and I had to work so hard to get back up to her that when I did she just put one bit of effort in and that’s all it took. But fair play to Elle she’s very tactically astute so its good for America that there’s another good strong rider coming through.”

Meredith Miller of Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized had a much better day and finished 21 seconds down on her teammate to claim third. Durrin crossed the line to take fourth over a solid riding Crystal Anthony of Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.

The men’s race saw a more tactical affair. A front group formed almost immediately with  Jamey Driscoll and Ben Berden of Raleigh-Clement along with  Ryan Trebon and Tim Johnson  of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com. This  brought more team tactics to the isolated riders like Powers of Rapha-Focus and Jeremy Durrin of Optum Pro Cycling. Powers seemed more in control compared to day one and remained calm as it seemed everyone in the front group took turns in attacking and forcing the pace. Johnson also seemed very much in control and never was out of the top 5. The pace was unrelenting and it seemed that the front group could shatter at any moment. Trebon put in a few attacks with the final one taking Berden with him. Johnson was able to bridge to his teammate which forced Powers to react. With 3 laps to go Johnson attacked hard and opened up an 11 second gap. Again, Powers had to work hard to close the gap which Trebon was able to do as well leaving three riders together for the final lap. Powers put in a strong attack at the start of the final lap which stretched the duo of Johnson and Trebon. Johnson had to make a bike change on this final lap but Powers seemed to have that extra gear to take the win.  Trebon took 2nd with Johnson rounding out the podium. Berden rode aggressively consistently all weekend to take a well earned 4th place.

dixona-9297Powers had this to say about his race, “Today was a hard fought battle. Tim took his digs and then I waited for my turn. I tried to put it to him on the last two laps. He was riding really well and I only got a few seconds on him at the end. You could see that it was so fast and every single little bobble counted, one second here, one second there. That’s what made the difference today. It’s  making those guys make mistakes and capitalizing on it. Today was such a big group that you had to wait and think like a real biker racer on a day like today.”

Gloucester didn’t produce its usual mud and European style of racing as it has in the past but it didn’t disappoint either. The fast dry and dusty circuits made for some aggressive, tactical and incredibly fast racing. Both Anderson and Powers swept the weekend with smooth, consistent, and powerful riding and it was a pleasure to watch.

Vueltas de Mountainair

 

The Spokettes Racing Team

The Spokettes Racing Team

 

Vueltas de Mountainair was held on August 18, 2013. This is the last race for the New Mexico road season. The race is held on the wide open roads of the high plateau southeast of Albuquerque. The terrain is rolling but very exposed, making the wind the true obstacle to be tackled. The course is comprised of a short and long loop. The  Cat 1,2,3 women would race the long loop, making their race 57.5 miles, and the Cat 1,2,3 men would race both loops for a total distance of 94.2 miles.

The men were the first group to race, and with no neutral zone the race began with attacks as the starter flag dropped. After the initial activity, Silvio Menzes of Sports Systems Mountain Top Cycling took advantage of the field catching its breath and attacked. Sports Systems clearly had a plan, but Scalo Veloce were not going to miss out on any move and sent Thomas Jones up the road. Menzes and Jones worked well together and began building a good gap on the main field, but soon the counter attacks began. Caleb Fuchs of Think Finance p/b Trek Bike Stores made several attacks, but it wasn’t until Fortunado Ferrara of Sports Systems Mountain Top Cycling went with him did the move work. From the main group, Ryan Travelstead of Scalo Veloce, Steve Alschuhler of High Desert Bikes, and Gavin Kennard of High Desert Masters managed to bridge up to Fuchs and Fortunado. This group of 5 worked well and quickly closed the gap to the front 2, now making the group 7 riders strong. The main group behind continued with attacks from Scalo Veloce and Sports Systems but nothing was going to catch the front group and the front group steadily built a gap up to 5 minutes.

Lead Cat1,2 group

Lead Cat1,2 group

Ryan Travelstead of Scalo Veloce takes us through the final miles of the race, “The race was down to 5 of us as we made the right turn onto highway 60. As  we approached the short “climb”,  Fortunato accelerated up the climb with Caleb and I in tow.  Gavin and Steve had been distanced.  The race was now down to 3.  My legs were starting to cramp and I was glad to have only 8 miles remaining.  I won the “preme” sprint earlier in the race which resulted in the finishing run in duties left to me.  I wasn’t feeling very good but was hoping they were both feeling as bad as I was.  Fortunato attacked with around 600m to go.  I closed the gap and countered and quickly realized that my legs were toasted and that Caleb was the strongest of day as he caught and passed me.  Caleb got the win, I rolled in for 2nd, and Fortunato in 3rd.”

The women’s field was dominated by the race’s promoting team, New Mexico Spokettes. With strength in numbers, it was clearly the Spokettes race to lose. However,  it became clear that the rest of the women’s field were going to make the Spokettes earn it. Through attacks and accelerations Mindy Caruso of Scalo Veloce, Erin Reedy racing unattached, and Sarah Lough of The Spokettes separated themselves from the rest of the field.  The seasoned Caruso couldn’t rid herself of her two breakaway companions and it came down to Lough taking the win with Reedy in 2nd and Caruso crossing the line for third.

Women's breakaway

Women’s breakaway

The final road race of the season ended just as it began, with aggressive tactical racing. New Mexico racing is unique in that the fields are smaller than most states and it produces very aggressive and tactical racing. As one new racer from the east coast said after the race, “it’s totally different here. If you make one mistake you can be tailed off and riding alone for the rest of the day.”

 

Article by Travis Dixon/ Photos by Angelica Dixon

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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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Time Trial

TTArticle by Angelica Dixon, Photography by Marlene Squillaci

The  second annual ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun Time Trail’, took place on Sunday, June 30th, in Bernillio county, NM.  Hosted  by New Mexico’s Women Riding Well (WRW) cycling organization, the course was a 10 mile, out and back, which included rolling terrain near the base of the Sandia Mountains.  Maripat Glover, the race director from WRW, reports, ” The TT was an enormous success, with over 100 female racers attending this inclusive, supportive and insanely fun event.  If you think that TT isn’t for beginners, you best talk to any of the 46 first time TT participants that have discovered the pains, joys and empowerment that comes with putting out 100%. ” [Read more...]

New Mexico State Road Race

Article by Travis Dixon (High Desert Masters Cycling), Photography by Angelica Dixon

2013 New Mexico State Road Race

2013 New Mexico State Road Race

On June 22, 6 laps and 68 miles of the Sedillo Hill Circuit would decide the 2013 New Mexico State Road Race Champion. This course has been used as the site for the New Mexico State Road Race, for many years now. It’s a challenging course but unlike most NM courses, there’s not a lot of climbing.  It’s primarily rolling terrain with one short punchy climb, a main road climb and, oh yeah, wind. It’s the wind that can really take its toll and makes this more sedate appearing  circuit, very tough. Field sizes slimmed down slightly this year but the quality of riders was there. The common theme across the categories was that there’s no place to hide. The wind and terrain would make each race a painful day for the riders.

[Read more...]

Tour de Los Alamos

Article by Travis Dixon (HDB Masters Cycling), Photography by Angelica Dixon

 

2013 Tour de Los Alamos

2013 Tour de Los Alamos

The 41st Tour de Los Alamos was run on Sunday July 9th. It’s the oldest race in the southwest and known as a demanding race bringing out a high calibre of racers from the region.The race for the Cat 1,2,3 men is made up of three 27-mile circuits (82 miles) with over 6,000 feet of climbing through spectacular New Mexico countryside. The course runs alongside Bandelier National Monument and through a section of the Los Alamos National Laboratory property, requiring riders to use a dedicated lane as they pass through the security gates. The circuits take their toll due to the amount of climbing, exposed windy sections, and working descents. It’s a race for tactically savvy well balanced racers.

As the flag dropped at the end of the neutral section the attacks started immediately. Once the main descent began less than 10 miles in to the race, John Verhuel, of Scalo Veloce, made a gap. A flurry of counter attacks ensued with a solid group establishing itself. Every team was represented and the break began to extend its lead immediately.

Kip Taylor of Sports Systems Mountain Top Cycling, described lap one, “Our plan for the day was simple; get one or two of our riders in the break and ensure that the riders we had marked did not make the break. We had success with the first part of our plan, as two of our guys made the break, however, the second part did not go to plan. One of the guys we had marked made the break.” The leaders opened up a gap of 4.5 minutes as they began the 7-mile climb that marked the final part of the circuit. Kip Taylor took up the action again, “With a marked man in the break, it was decided that instead of letting the break stay away, we would chase them down and bring our marked man back. Fortunato, my teammate, and I set a tough pace on the climb. The group thinned quickly and at the top of the climb it was me, two of my teammates (Fortunato Ferrara and Damian Calvert,) and a young strong rider, Earl Gage from Scalo Veloce.”

 

Fortunato Ferrara and Kip Taylor of Sports Systems

Fortunato Ferrara and Kip Taylor of Sports Systems

Fortunato added, “Once we began the descent we picked up two riders from the original break, Gavin Kennard of HDB Masters and another teammate, Hans Whitefield. The five of us rotated well in order to catch the break. We kept picking up dropped riders but we knew that our teammate, Jonathan Petrillo, wasn’t doing any work in the break in order to slow them down.” Gavin Kennard reported, “That lap was fast as the Sports Systems guys wouldn’t let anyone sit on. They would leave gaps forcing us to chase. It was a good tactic on their part as it forced all of us to work and we caught the break as the last climb started.”

Kip described the last lap, “Once we caught the lead group it was apparent that their work in the break had burnt a lot of matches. So rather than keeping the group together, we set a hard pace up the climb. At the top of the climb going into the final lap it was me, Fortunato, and Damian.” The three Sports Systems riders worked well through the final lap and established a solid lead. Kip continued, “With his ‘home town’ in Los Alamos it seemed like a no brainer for Fortunato to get the win. We pacelined up the last climb and the race ended in truly special fashion with the three of us crossing the line together. Very Cool!” Fortunato, who is originally from Italy and now lives in Los Alamos, shared in Kip’s sentiments when asked about his win right after the race as, “very cool to win in my  hometown”.

The official men’s results were  1st – Fortunato Ferrara, 2nd –  Damian Calvert,  3rd – Kip Taylor. Sports Systems came with a stacked team and it was their race to lose. They displayed excellent teamwork all day. All of their riders had a role with their podium sweep. Kip summed the day up perfectly, “We have the mentality on this team where ‘everyone eats’ and Los Alamos showed just that!”

Irena Ossola (Team Kenda) and Mindy Caruso (Scalo Veloce)

Irena Ossola (Team Kenda) and Mindy Caruso (Scalo Veloce)

Official women’s results were 1st – Mindy Caruso (Scalo Veloce), 2nd – Irena Ossola (Team Kenda p/b RACC), 3rd – Maria Santiago (Naked Women Racing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Sea Otter Classic Podium – Friday

It was yet another MEGA day at Sea Otter on Friday. Lot’s of blood, sweat, tears and dust. Here are some of the winners of the day…

Cycling Illustrated Sea Otter Podium Friday

photos by: Todd MacMillan

All images contained within the pages of CI may not be used for ANY purposes what so ever without the written permission of CI and the photographer and are protected under copyright law. Enjoy