2014 Tour of the Gila: Stage 5 Gila Monster

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The men face 100 miles and over 9,000 feet of climbing. It’s said to be the toughest stage in the US with the riders facing climbs taking them over 7,000 feet in elevation. The course features two cat 3, two cat 2, and one cat 1 climb. It’s a brutal final day of racing and after 5 days of tough racing, you either have it or you don’t. and with the The women face 68.9 miles and over 5000 feet of climbing. Their course will be the reverse of stage two climbing the steep and narrow cat 2 Sapillo climb and ending with the short but steep cat 3 climb to Pinos Altos. The stage finish is in the town of Pinos Altos ending in front of the historic Buckhorn saloon. It’s a classic southwestern scene, a throwback to days long ago. The contrast of modern cycling seems to fit, it’s the Gila, and theres no better finish.

The men’s race began with a long neutral, but once the flag dropped, as has been the case all week, the attacks began right away. With a GC being tight, the teams seemed quite eager to set their tactics up early on this stage. Three riders managed a small gap with the group quickly forming off the front of the peloton. The two groups reorganized to contain 15 riders. Tom Zirbel of Optum was on the front of this group driving it hard and the gap quickly grew to 30 seconds. With this large of a group working well together chances were that this was the move of the day.

The group contained Jeff Louder of United HealthCare, three riders from 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda Racing – Jeff Hornbeck, Taylor Shelden, and Chad Beyer, three rider from Hincapie Sportswear – Joseph Schmalz, Tyler Magner, Joseph Lewis, Jamis -Hagens Berman rider Luis Amaran, two riders from Optum – Tom Zirbel, and will Routley, two riders from Jelly Belly – Luis DeVila, a Serghei Tvetcov, two riders from Team SmartStop – Cameron Cogburn, Michael Torckler, and one rider from Marc Pro Strava, Gonzalez Rolando.

Indeed, with all the teams represented, this was the move of the day. The riders descended down to the Mimbres valley at 50+mph and once in the valley there was a steady rotation but when Zirbel came to the front he strung the group out with long pulls, and with Routley sitting on, they were in a good position. The gap extended to and remained around 2-2:30 through the valley. United HelathCare seemed content with that time gap. As the break hit the Cat 2 climb up to Anderson Vista they had 2:30, by the top it was down to 55 seconds. The descent down to the turn around is fast and very technical which favored the break and their gap extended back out to 1:20.

As the break began the Cat one climb it was Louder, who was dropped fairly quickly, Hornbeck and Beyer of 5Hour, Schmalz of Hincapie, Amaran of Jamis, Tvetcov of Jelly Belly, Routley of Optum, and Torckler of SmartStop. From behind Brenes, Jarmillo, and Cooke from Jamis, Kirk Carlson of Jelly Belly, Rob Britton, Flavia DeLuna of SmartStop, and Carter Jones of Optum broke from the peloton and caught the break at the top of the climb.

Jamis was also playing out some good tactics today. They remained patient and waited for the climbs to begin to then get to work. Unfortunately for them, Jones had caught this train and was able to rely on a relatively rested Routley. Ben Day had succumbed to The Monster and was not going to be able to keep his jersey.

The lead group descended to start the Sapillo where Optum director, Jonas Carney, had this to say, “I think this is one of our best days. We rode really strong and our tactics played out perfectly. Zirbel was on the front for 100 k just killing it for this result. Routley was super strong and then Carter as able to finish it off … It was a great day for us.”

The race came down to a sprint with Jaramillo taking the win followed by Britton and Routley. GC went to Jones with Greg Brenes of Jamis, and Rob Briton of SmartStep rounding out the podium. It was an aggressive day of racing from Optum, and it paid off with the win. Next Optum is off to The Tour of California after perfect preparation from The Gila.

A with the men, the women began aggressively with attacks from the gun. The only chance the riders had to dismantle Abbott was to get up the road early and isolate her from the very strong and dedicated United team,

United had to work hard to control the race and it remained together until they dropped down to the Mimbres valley. Alison Tetrick of Twenty16 Pro Cycling made a attack which prompted Emmermanof Rally Sport, Fischer of DNA Cycling, Sanders of FCS/Zngine, Vargas of the Columbian National Team,Kiesanowski of TIBCO, Laws of United, and Johnson of SCCA/Starbucks to join and make e decisive attack of the day. The break worked well together and steadily built a gap of 1:25. Twenty16 controlled the pace of the peloton, working for their teammate, Tetrick who was in the break.

As the race hit the Sapillo, the break continued to ride hard but behind the fireworks were beginning. Abbott of United, Oliviera of FCS/Zngine, Mickey of Twenty16, and Wilborne of TIBCO joined the break and continued on with Laws. Abbot to attacked near the summit of the Cat 2 climb of the Sapillo and continued solo. Once free, Abbott rode strongly opening up a gap of 2:45 with Oliviera and Mickey working to chase but today they were not going to catch the inspired Abbott.

Abbott crossed the line to take her fourth consecutive win. She enjoyed her win as she crossed the line alone. Oliviera took second from best young rider Mickey. Abbott put on a fine riding display today and the race was animated by a field that didn’t want to sit back for the inevitable. The results may not reflect it, but women’s cycling is consistently growing in every aspect, and they put on a great show this week.

 

The Tour of the Gila Stage 2 – The Inner Loop

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The Tour of the Gila Stage 2 – The Inner Loop

The UCI men faced the challenging 76 miles of The Inner Loop. While today’s stage was shorter than Stage 1, there’s more climbing and very demanding descending. The topo details three cat 3 climbs, but the road is never flat so that the riders will total 5781 feet of climbing by the end of the stage.

The UCI men were the first to hit the road today. Their field was noticeably smaller than it was at the start of stage 1 but the riders were eager to race as the officials had difficulty keeping the speed down through the neutral zone. Once the flag dropped, the attacks began immediately. The first bonus sprint is 5.7 miles into the stage and teams had to fight to control and play out tactics for the sprint.

The sprint ended up going to Joseph Lewis of Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, with Steve Fisher of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, and Daniel Summerhill of United HealthCare Pro Cycling rounding out the top three. Immediately following this sprint is the Cat 3 climb up to Pinos Altos, a tough way to start a stage. The peloton stayed together controlling the attacks on the climb until 1 km to the KOM with Luis Enrique Davila of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, followed by Daniel Summerhill of United HealthCare, and Taylor Sheldon of 5 Hour Racing p/b Kenda. These three didn’t stop and drove hard into the short technical decent. The constant pressure from the peloton saw numerous riders abandon, obviously feeling the effects from yesterdays stage.

The course changed at this point with the riders facing narrow and very twisty roads, another Cat 3 climb followed by the very fast and technical descent off Wildhorse Mesa. The break worked hard and kept extending their lead over the peloton. As they reached the Mimbres Valley their lead was 4:30. The valley continues to be roads that favor a break but their gap never grew much more than this as Tyler Wren of Jamis-Hagens Berman explained after the stage, “We knew Summerhill was the danger man in the break but our goal was to control the gap and keep our leaders safe and give them as easy of a ride as we could give them today”.

Second sprint went to Summerhill, with Davila and Sheldon taking second and third respectfully. After the sprint the peloton started to chase so the gap steadily fell to around 2 mins by the start of the Cat 3 climb. 1 km from the KOM sprint, Davila attacked and held on to take the KOM over Summerhill and Sheldon but from the peloton two riders attacked. Adam De Vos of Team H&R Block and Stephano Barberi of California Giant/Specialized bridged the now 35 second gap to the leaders making it a break of 5. With under 10 miles to go the break put their heads down and drove the pace hard. They made it to the 3 km sign at which time there was constant changing of teams on the front all trying to set up their riders from the sprint.

Nicolai Brochner of Bissel Development Team took the sprint for with Eric Young of Optum p/b Kelly Benefits and Travis McCabe of Team SmartStop rounding out the top three. It was a hectic finale as Joseph Schmaltz of Hincapie Sportswear Development Team stated, “We tried to get to the front for our guys, but it got messy. Ty (Magner) ended up 5th I think. So, we got organized but it just didn’t go all according to plan.”

Tomorrow is the Time Trial and the riders were eager to get back and prepare for this challenging day.

The Pro Women faced 75 miles on the Inner Loop Course. As with the men, the women’s race started fast with team Twenty16 driving the pace to set up Ali Tetrick for the first sprint. The racing was hectic with Carmen Small of DNA Cycling p/b K4 taking the sprint with Jessica Cerra of FCS/Zngine p/b Mr Restore taking second, followed by Tetrick.

United HealthCare assumed control of the race at this point driving the pace up the Cat 3 climb to Pinos Altos. The QOM went to Flavia Oliviera of FCS/Zngine p/b Mr Restore, followed by Annie Toth of Sisterhood of Cycling, and Sharon Laws of United HealthCare. United continued to control the group as they came to the second QOM, won again by Oliviera followed by Laws and Alison Powers of United HealthCare.

The race was controlled by United and their pace had the women struggling to maintain contact. Any attack that was attempted was short lived. It was obvious that United had a plan for the day and that was to put a stranglehold on the race. Rain and a strong cross wind on the final stretches of the race didn’t make life any easier for the women’s field. The final QOM saw Oliviera take more points with Laws of United and Glaessner of TIBCO rounding out the top 3.

The rest of the stage saw aggressive and fast paced racing with constant attacks but nothing was able to stick. With 1km to go United and TIBCO were on the front but Carmen Small of DNA Cycling p/b K4 took the win. Joanne Kiesnowski and Lauren Stephens, both of TIBCO, rounded out the podium.

It was a hard day of racing for the women. Mara Abbot of United HealthCare held onto the leaders jersey but she will have her hands full for the time trial tomorrow. It should be another interesting day of racing for sure.

UCI Men Results

Top 3 on Stage 2

Nicolai Brochner (BDT)
Eric Young (OPM)
Travis McCabe (TSS)
Town of Silver City Leader’s Jersey: Daniel Jaramillo (JSH)

PNM Sprinter Leader Jersey: Nicolai Brochner (BDT)

Freeport-McMoRayn King of the Mountain Jersey: Daniel Jaramillo (JSH)

Southwest Bone & Joint Institute Best Young Rider: Nicolai Brochner (BDT)

Full Results:

http://www.tourofthegila.com/bissell-development-team-wins-field-sprint/


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2014 Tour of the Gila: Stage 1

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The 28th annual Tour of The Gila began today. The race started in downtown Silver City with the neutral roll out including a climb to get the legs ready for the day. The UCI men raced 92 miles on a challenging course, finishing on the Cat 1 Mogollon climb. It’s a narrow steep climb ending on a day of exposed roads and rolling/climbing terrain.

Once the flag dropped the attacks began right away. Yannick Eckmann of California Giant/Specialized was particularly active getting into several early attacks but the peloton was not willing to let anything go. The speeds were high, making it very difficult to get away. However, The UCI men ride two circuits through the town of Cliff and these roads can create opportunities for riders to get away. As the race turned onto the small secondary roads, they were greeted by the elementary school kids who come out every year, cheering with their cowbells. This seemed to charge the riders, as hard and frequent attacks began. Optum decided enough was enough and began to drive the pace. The peloton remained together, as it joined the main road again.

The second circuit through Cliff was again quite active and a group of 4 got away, containing Connor McCutcheon of Airgas Cycling, Steve Fischer of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Coulton Hartrich of Marc Pro-Strav, and Max Korus of Astellas Cycling Team. They took advantage of the hilly narrow roads and committed themselves to the break. The peloton seemed to hesitate and that was all the four needed, as their gap steadily increased to 4 minutes as they hit the main road again.

The break riders rotated through consistently and with a healthy tailwind, their gap grew to 10 minutes by mile 67. At this point 5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda Pro Cycling, and UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling assumed the front and set, what race radio called, ‘a hard tempo’. At 33 plus mph this was quite an understatement and the breaks gap consistently dropped from this point on. Unfortunately, the race took a turn for the worse, perhaps the effects of such a strong pace for many many miles and the resultant fatigue were the cause … The reasons aren’t clear but the crash that occurred was devastating.

The crash occurred roughly around mile 75 with the gap around 8 minutes. Approximately, 20 riders remained together with small groups chasing and ultimately building the ‘peloton’ back up to 40-plus riders. The race was in a state of chaos as medical personnel and team cars all focused on the downed riders.

As the break of 4 took the right hand turn for the Cat 1 Mogollon climb they had to know that their gap wasn’t enough, but they continued to ride fully committed to the break. As the peloton made the turn the gap was down to 2:35. Race radio was still in a state of chaos as the crash was justifiably spreading personnel across the course, but Jamis-Hagen Berman seemed to be the team that came though relatively unscathed with the most riders represented in the front group.

Max Korus of Astellas, was almost immediately dropped as the first part of the Mogollon began. The remaining 3 rode well to reach the plateau with a gap of 1:20. Jamis-Hagens Berman team got to the front as they reached the plateau and drove the pace to 28 mph. The break was caught for the final steep pitches of the Mogollon. Matt Cooke of Jamis-Hagen Berman took off and immediately got a gap. He had the numbers behind to help protect his attack so the move seemed like it could stick. The peloton went through a process of elimination as the pace remained high and riders were popped off the back. Cooke seemed to have the win but with 30 meters to go, teammate Daniel Jaramillo, overtook Cooke for the win. Gregory Obando Brenes of Jamis-Hagen Berman took third to make it a sweep for the team. The rest of riders crossed the line looking utterly cracked from the intense day.

Th finish area took on a distinctly different feel for what is typical. There weren’t hoots of congratulations but rather subdued racers who appeared to be thinking of their teammates and friends who were involved in the crash. Kirk Carlson of Jelly Belly had this to say, “I was right behind the crash but just barely made it through. It was one of the most devastating crashes I’ve ever seen”.

In a sport where a thin layer of Lycra protects you from the road, racers are said to be a tough breed, as seasoned photographer Casey Gibson stated, “Unless there’s a bone sticking out, racers are gonna get back on their bikes and ride.” With so few riders crossing the line along along with the quiet atmosphere of the finish area, it spoke to the significance of this crash.

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Team Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home Finalizes 2014 Roster

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Ben Jacques-Maynes

In the last week, the Jamis – Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team has finalized their 2014 Roster. Since wrapping up the season with a podium performance at the Bucks County Classic, team director, Sebastian Alexandre, has been busy hiring new riders, while also retaining a core group of his riders who will return from 2013 for another year with one of America’s premier teams.

 

Alexandre’s returning riders include JJ Haedo, Luis Amaran, Ben Jaques-Maynes, Tyler Wren, Matt Cook, Carson Miller, Ruben Campanioni. New for 2014, the team has six new riders, five of whom are 25 and younger. Alexandre’s new riders who will be eager to make a strong impression on the races: Gregory Brenes, Eloy Teruel, Daniel Jaramillo, Stephen Leece, Rob Squire, and Ian Crane. Talking about taking on so many young riders, and investing in their development, Sebastian Alexandre stated, “I am sure they will earn a lot of experience in our team, and will be able to show it in the next couple of years.”

 

With the 2014 roster finalized, the team has begun to look to the season ahead. Along with a strong presence on the NRC and NCC Calendars, the Jamis – Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home Pro Cycling Team will also be targeting the three major UCI races taking place in the United States in 2014: The Tour of California and Utah, as well as the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

 

When asked about the new wave of young riders joining his team, Sebastian Alexandre was quick to offer up his observations, and expectations, of the new riders. Of Daniel Jaramillo, Alexandre said, “I know he is one of the most talented U23 Colombian riders, probably the best who was still racing in Columbia. I saw him racing last year, and he really impressed me; he is only 22, but very experienced. I think we will see him a lot on the podium next year.” Going on, Alexandre was quick to comment on his other new recruits, “Rob Squire is a former U23 National Champion. After spending some time in Europe, he is ready to come back to the US and start to win races. I think we will have a great team, and he will fit into our program well.” And finally, “Stephen Leece is the current US Amateur Champion,” observed Alexandre, “At only 21 years old; he has won the Elite Championship, and has a great future in front of him.”

 

 

Team Jamis – Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 2014 Roster:

 

* JJ Haedo

* Luis Amaran

* Ben Jaques-Maynes

* Matt Cook

* Carson Miller

* Tyler Wren

* Ruben Companioni

* Rob Squire

* Gregory Brenes

* Eloy Teruel

* Daniel Jaramillo

* Stephen Leece

* Ian Crane

 

Jenna “Jammer” Kowalski had a solid 4th place finish at Brentwood and talks about how it all went down.

Backyard Jam-Sesh: Brentwood Grand Prix

By Jenna ‘Jammer’ Kowalski

 

Sunday, August 7th, 2011, watching my teammates from the sidelines of a race called the Brentwood Grand Prix also known as the California State Criterium Championships. In my own backyard, but, here I am on the wrong side of the barriers, with a soon to be diagnosed case of strep throat. Always a frustrating feeling, when so badly you want to be out there pedaling in circles with everybody else. A fun race to watch, but always a better race to race.

 

Fast forward to this year: Sunday, August 5th 2012. Finally, I would have my first chance to contest Brentwood GP, a course favored by many locals for its technicality. However, after a long month of training for climbing hills in the altitude, I realized that I had not done one single sprint since the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. Thus, I was a little nervous that my legs would be lacking the spunk needed for 55 minutes of sprinting out of corners.

 

With the course conveniently located in my backyard, my teammate Lauren and I decided to have our daily espresso at the Coral Tree Cafe and watch the mid-morning men’s races to get in the proper spirit. The double Americano certainly did the trick and kept me buzzing for the next four hours. We then opted to ditch our trainers for a warm-up spin down the coast to Venice, to take in the madness of a Sunday at the beach. After a pit stop at home to change jerseys and swap on race wheels, we jammed over to the course just in the nick of time.

 

As we rolled up to the start line, I was flattered to receive a call-up to join some of the established local racers. After a couple high-fives and fist pounds, we got the countdown to go. The race was animated from the beginning, and a few moves lighted up the first couple laps of the race. The goals for the day were to either get Lauren in a break, or set me up for the field sprint. So, while it was important for me to remain attentive as a teammate to a team of two in a field dominated by team Helens and InCycle, I sat comfortably in the front, following wheels and making sure to cover anything that Lauren could not.

 

Between Helens, InCycle, LaGrange, Revolution and solo strong woman Kristin LaSasso, there were a number of fliers that had some serious potential, but the combination of riders in each move was not enough to keep the field from letting anything go. I was pretty certain the race was going to come down to a field sprint, so I just sat tight, at one point finding myself well placed for a prime, thus taking the opportunity to jump around the two riders who set me up perfectly.

 

After a few last ditch efforts from riders to get off the front, the peloton seemed content for a field sprint with two laps to go. I must admit I was a little lax in setting myself up for the finish; a solid 10 wheels back, I kept thinking ‘it’s a long finish, it’s a long finish.’ Well, l find myself still wishing it was a little bit longer. The last half lap of crits are always a bit foggy in my memory. From what I do remember, riders were single-file going up the backside chicane. I wanted to move up but was hesitant to jump around everyone so early. I hesitate. I see a flag.  And I know I have to go, now. I jump around a few riders and the InCycle lead-out train, my head screaming ‘YOU CAN WIN THIS! YOU CAN WIN THIS!’ I see riders in black, I see the finish line, weirdly wishing it was just a few feet further.’ I’m not going to make it in time and I know it. It feels close, and I throw myself through the line, but it’s not quite enough to edge into the top three, as I hear the excited hollers of well deserved winner Suze Sonye, followed by teammate Shelby Reynolds and Tibco’s Junior National Champion, Alexis Ryan.

 

I did make it onto the podium for the California State Championship, as Team Helen’s Shelby Reynolds is registered in Texas, however, it wasn’t for the coveted Bear jersey I had hoped for. But, there is always next year (third time’s a charm!?), and as my first California State Criterium Championship race, I am pleased with a top five. Just as well, I am thrilled for the podium finishers – and the entire peloton for that matter, for making for a fun and safe race to cap off the end of my 2012 SoCal road racing season. Many thanks to all of the supporters, sponsors, media and everyone else that makes these events possible! Until next year!

 

Suzanne Sonye (State Champion at Brentwood Grand Prix) in “The Conversation”

Brentwood Grand Prix

WSWC(State Champion at Brentwood Grand Prix):

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The Off-Season Transfer Scrum by Seth Davidson

The Off-Season Transfer Scrum
by Seth Davidson
http://pvcycling.wordpress.com

My phone rang at 5:30 this morning. “Hello?”

“Hey, WM. Have you heard anything?”

“Who is this?”

“Thunky. Thunky Sneedles.”

“Oh, it’s you again. No, man, I haven’t heard anything since your last call two hours ago. It’s five-thirty, dude.”

“I just thought you’d maybe, you know, gotten some offers or something.”

“No, man. Crickets.” I’d agreed to act as Thunky’s agent in the off-season, and even though the trades had started in earnest, Thunky was still out in the cold, and he was nervous. “Look, let’s go over it again. I know you’re nervous, but you have to be patient. These things take time. When some of the bigger fish get their contracts, it’ll loosen up the purse strings for the domestiques like you.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“But what if I don’t get an offer from anybody? What if I have to stay with Team D’oosh next year? My career’s too short for that, man. I’ve only got a couple of good years left, and I need to ride for a winner.”

“I know, I know. Nobody said being a professional masters racer was easy.”

“Ain’t that the truth.”

“Why are you so down on Team D’oosh? You fit right in.”

“They suck and their bro deal is so lame.”

“Really? Even with that bike and those five free kits and the travel reimbursements? And don’t they cut you in on the winnings even if you’re OTB?”

“Yeah, it sounds great. But it sucked this year. I mean, no one ever wins. They suck. And the frame? It was the Specialized SL4 instead of their top of the line Venge. Charon gets the Venge on his team. How’m I supposed to take that dude on riding an SL4? It’s like bringing a set of dentures to a wood chewing contest.”

“Are the bikes really that different?”

“Hell yeah. The Venge has this really cool paint option. It’s so rad.”

“Well, at least getting the whole $8,500 rig with Di2 on loan for a whole season and then swapping it out for a new one in ’13 saves you some money.”

“Dude! It’s not about the MONEY. It’s about the wins. You get the wins, the money flows. That’s how the pro scene works.”

“Even in the men’s 35+?”

“Duhhhhhh.”

“Well, what about the kits? That’s a grand right there, easy, free. You gotta be happy about that.”

“Those kits were so last year. The leg elastic band was at least 1/4 inch shorter than the pro stuff Paolinetti was wearing on Monster. Like I’m gonna take that guy on with short elastic bands? And the design was, like, puke.”

“I guess they screwed you pretty bad, huh?”

“I’ll say. The travel reimbursements only kicked in after you’d done five races. I told ‘em that I was gonna do a full schedule, but for me that’s four races, including our Team D’oosh club time trial in January. They have to understand that if you want results, you gotta be rested between races. Real rested. Recovery is just as important as training, prolly more so, even.”

“Look, Thunky. I’m gonna try to get you on Amgen this year. You’ll be a domo for Thurlow, Meeker, Brett, Strickie, Malcolm…the big boys. But you gotta bring something to the table. What do I tell them about you?”

“What do you tell them? Duuuuude! Aren’t you my agent? Tell ‘em about what we did this year! Tell ‘em how the race went down when Clunky Thunky brought the A-game and stuffed the clowns into the hurt locker! Tell ‘em that!”

“Ah, what race are you talking about, Thunks?”

“What race? San Dimas! Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten San Dimas?”

“Was that the one where you launched off the road and hit that parked car? At, like three miles in or something?”

“You always gotta bring up the fuckin’ parked car. Fuck the parked car! Dude, I stretched the field out longer than a neck in a noose. Ask ‘em, man, any of those dudes’ll tell you about the Thunky Beatdown. Thurlow was there. Meeker was there. Worthingtons were there. Leibert was beggin’ for mercy I had everybody on the rivet.”

“Okay, maybe I’ll remind them of that later, you know, like when we’re talking signing bonuses and stuff. What else happened in 2012?”

“I did that one 35+ race and laid the wood to Tintsman and Paolinetti.”

“Phil Tintsman? You? Really? That’s pretty awesome, cause those two guys are the real deal. Which race was it?”

“Hellz. It was at Ontario, I think. Maybe CBR. I attacked from the gun like always.”

“Then you got in a break with Phil and Jamie? Sweet!”

“Nah, I didn’t get in no stupid break. I’m a sprinter kind of rouleur. You know, a puncheur climber type time trialist, all ’rounder with an emphasis on track and ‘cross.”

“So what happened?”

“It was like on the second or third lap. I was railin’ it, dude, 54-11, hittin’ the headwind section like a freight train. Field was comin’ apart at the seams, everybody strung out in the gutter, dudes frying off the back like fritters in a fryolator. Sick shit. Tintsman and Paolinetti were in the hurt locker. The pain cave. Beggin’ for mercy, they were my bitches, dude. That’s what I’m talking ’bout.”

“Then what?”

“I finished my solid half lap and then Tintsman and Paolinetti and Charon and a bunch of other dudes, I think Brauch and Wimberley, and you know, five or six other Monster dudes, and a few other guys rolled off in a break. There was like sixty of ‘em. No way we were bringing them back. But you can ask Tintsman, that shit wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t softened ‘em up.”

“Sixty dudes? In one break?”

“Yeah, man. It was righteous. Me and Stimp –you know him? Rides for Soft Longies, he’s a badass. Me and Stimp motored with the field on our wheel the rest of the race.”

“How many guys were left in the field?”

“About seven or eight. Coddles McGee, Woodenhead, Dorcas Johnson, Tubbs, you know. The dudes you can count on.”

“Okay, I’ll make the pitch for you. What should I tell them your goals are for 2013?”

“My goals? Do you even have to ask? Tell ‘em this: I’m comin’ for Charon if they can find me a Venge just like his. Black shorts, with the cool elastic thingy like Paolinetti and Tintsman have. And $10k in travel reimbursements. Up front, Jan. 1, like in the pros. And a cut of everything everyone wins, even if I have to miss the race because of my Saturday yoga class, which actually is what gives me extra power but most dudes don’t know about that. And free massage sessions–and I pick the masseuse. Don’t give me some hairy dude named Jacques. I want a smoking babe who only works nekkid or in a thong. Happy ending for Thunky, you got that? And a 401k and a team car. That’s my minimum starting offer. See what you can do from there.”

“And what can your new team expect in return?”

“I’m gonna take Charon down next year. I’m gonna ride Tintsman off my frickin” wheel. I’m gonna give Meeker a sprint clinic every frickin” weekend. You tell ‘em that, Wanky, and you tell ‘em Thunky sent you.”

The phone went dead.

A few minutes later it rang again.

“Hello?”

“Yo, it’s me again. Any offers?”

“Not yet, buddy. But they’re comin’ any minute. Any minute.”

Brentwood Grand Prix by Greg de Guzman 8-5-12 RD 2

The Brentwood Grand Prix came on August 5 over 2,000 spectators watched the race between 7 AM and 4 PM . The 2.3 –mile course will begin in front of the Kaufman Library and circle the median from Burlingame to Gorham in Brentwood. The Southern California Nevada Cycling Association has chosen The Brentwood Grand Prix as the 2012 SCNCA Elite Criterium Championship and racers will be competing for the honor of wearing the coveted “Bear Jersey”.

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Cody O’Reilly is a tactician and wins the Brentwood Grand Prix

I got to the race super late; I had to rush because I had 30 minutes to kit up and register Brentwood Grand Prix. It was great having my Dad and girlfriend there to pin numbers, pump tires, fill bottles, etc.

Rolling up to the start I knew I was going to have a hard first 5 to 10 laps as my legs needed to warm up, so I was stoked to get called to the front line and avoid the scramble to move up with the hard corners on course. Through the first 15-20 minutes I was just trying to get on even terms with the other riders as I got moving.

 

Then the break went. I saw Eric Marcotte and Alex Darville moving around the outside through the start finish stretch, and tagged onto that train of riders as it went full gas through turn one. There was a small gap, and I decided it was worth it to do a little work since I wasn’t fully opened up yet. Over the next 5 laps or so most of the break worked hard, and the gap seemed to solidify. The only thing missing was that there were no Monster Media riders so it worried me to the point that I didn’t want to be putting everything into my pulls.

Mid-race I knew that the break would stay and started thinking of who was pulling the hardest (Marcotte & Darville) and who was sitting on conserving, which was only 1 guy every now and then, but a couple of guys sitting-on were just about to get popped.

A bit later, Marcotte grabbed a prime and caused a separation that I knew I needed to jump across or else he could roll away on his own. Then there was the $800 prime that Sandoval went for and gave Sandoval, Marcotte, and me the final selection. At first Sandoval had some skipped pulls in the last laps but then contributed.

I was pretty happy being up against those 2 guys in a sprint. I didn’t think I would need to worry about Sandoval with how he sprinted for the previous prime, but I knew I would have some trouble with Marcotte, especially if he went on the attack in the last 1.5 to 2 laps.

It turned out that he didn’t attack, and I found myself in the 3rd position for the last lap as we caught feild. It worried me that I might lose the other guys through traffic, but it was pretty clean through the bottom corners.

In the finish, Sandoval went long, trying to lose Marcotte and me in the field. Then Marcotte went with at least 300m or more into the head wind and I was able to wait and sprint as we got into the last 150m or so. Marcotte had a second kick as I went, and it made me really dig to stay at full gas all the way to the line.

BWGP race report by Alan Flores (Spy Blue) 45+

The 45+ race had a solid field with three teams that had numbers: Spy Blue, Breakaway For Cancer and BBI.  A notable rider, Mark Noble, was flying solo.  I stayed at the front with the help of my teammates, John Hatchitt and Seth Davison.  I followed moves and mainly watched Rich Meeker suck up nearly every preem this side of the Pacos.  There was a promising move with Big Orange’s Steve Klasna, BFC’s Rich Meeker and Spy’s Alan Flores when the three of us rolled off the front for a few laps.  This mainly served as a body blow to the field.  Later on, one of the preems was decidedly won by Mark Noble causing the field to chase for half of a lap until we caught him.  That’s when Mr. Vee Rich Meeker decided to fly the coop.  Rich got a solid gap on the field, then the BBI boys tried to close it down.  I was monitoring their progress and I decided it was do or die, so I launched out of the field alone up to Rich.  From there we were all in; two men committed to the winning move.  It was a close call for the first few laps, but with the BFC and Spy Boy’s dashing the hopes of the chasers, we were able to build on our gap.  With three laps to go, I was getting tired, and Rich was doing what a multi-national champion can do; ride!  Props to Rich, as he was the strong man in our tandem effort.  With half of a lap to go, I was in the front going through the last technical dog leg turn, a rounding right, then a tight right, and the final left-hand turn on to the start finish straight.  As we were going through this critical section, I heard the horrible noise of bike parts grinding on the pavement.  I knew Rich had crashed and in the nasty business of bike racing, I was now the default winner.  So I put my head down and flew to the finish solo.  Every dog has their day, and today was mine.  Some twenty seconds later, Craig Miller from BBI and Mark Noble finished up 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Thx…Alan Flores