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ThirstyBear p/b Akamai Best All Round Team in the USA!!

The DREAM TEAM!! US Best Masters Cycling Team. ThirstyBear p/b Akamai
The DREAM TEAM!! US Best Masters Cycling Team. ThirstyBear p/b Akamai

6 Gold medals, 2 bronze and Women’s & Men’s best rider award. ThirstyBear p/b Akamai deserved to be awarded “Best All Round team at US Nationals Masters Racing.

Double Gold medal winner Anne Valta (Road Race and Time Trial)
Double Gold medal winner Anne Valta (Road Race and Time Trial)
Double Gold medal winner Chris Phipps (Road Race and Time Trial)
Double Gold medal winner Chris Phipps (Road Race and Time Trial)
Double Gold medal winner Joe Lemire (Road Race and Time Trial)
Double Gold medal winner Joe Lemire (Road Race and Time Trial)

Gold Gold!! Chris Phipps wins the double (TT & RR) at US Nationals Master 45-49

On Labor Day I picked up Jacob at 5:30 AM, drove to Marissa’s to meet Alan & load up the Pelophant at 6AM. We made a quick stop to pick up Jason in Sac, then it was a 10 hour  80’s dance party all the way to Ogden & our awesome team house on Jackson Street.  Thunderdome (Max) & Josef had arrived earlier and had some awesome salmon & rice waiting for us so we didn’t have to worry about making dinner when we arrived. Thanks guys!

Tuesday was check out the TT course day. We loaded up the Pelophant & headed out to Antelope Island in the middle of The Great Salt Lake.  The course had a 400 ft climb in the first couple miles that we’d have to go over on the way out & back, but was pretty much flat & non technical otherwise except for the open range Bison & the “presents” they left us on the course.

Wednesday, TT Day! There was some wind blowing, which seemed like last year & I thought it meant tailwind out, headwind back.  I got to start last in the 45-49, 30 sec behind Albert Senft (5th last year) 60 sec behind Walter Durrer (8th last year) & 90 sec behind Igor Rudalev (Georgia State champion who I knew would be tough to beat).  The way out was a lot slower than I had thought it would be & as I approached the turn around, I hadn’t caught anyone and was having doubts that it was going to be a good day. Finally, at the U-turn, I caught Senft with Rudalev & Durrer in sight!  It didn’t take long to realize that the way back was going to be faster & I had a couple carrots in front of me for motivation. I caught those guys & a few more (I couldn’t catch Jay though!) & just kept pushing all the way through the line hoping that after 2nd place that last 2 years, this would be the year I won it.  Shortly after finishing, I turned around & heard Frankie Andreau announce that I had won it! Very happy to see that Josef & Anne had also won and that Tom & Max had also made the podiums! (Thanks again to Scot for the disc!). It took me a long time & 7 bottles of water before I was able to get 90ml of pee for USADA.

On to Thursday – RR course preview day.  Dan Q,, Jay, Jason, Corey, Piers, Jacob & I took a spin around to preview the course. Anne had won her race earlier in the day & we were able to watch Josef win his race too!  Thunderdome also had a great race to finish 3rd!
Thursday night race planning: Gardie, Dan, Brenon, Shawn, Jay & I gathered downstairs to go over the race plan, going over every likely scenario & how we would handle it. We knew the riders to watch & the plan would be to let a couple guys dangle off the front for most of the race, then bring it back just before the climb.

Shawn pushing on all cylinders to move his bike faster up the road.
Shawn pushing on all cylinders to move his bike faster up the road.

Friday -Race day!!! We had 57 starters for the 97km (60 mile) race which started with a neutral 1.5 km climb followed by a 10 km descent with speeds over 90 km/hr!

Jay & Shawn got a bit gapped, but were back in the fold soon enough.  The attacks started right away & it didn’t take long for 2 guys to get a gap, which we let get up to about a minute. This was perfect to have 2 guys out there drilling it since now DQ, Gardie, Jay, Brenon & Shawn could sit near the front to keep anyone else dangerous from getting up there & keep the break between 45 sec & a minute up the road.  We also had help from Leavitt (Specialized) & a couple Audi Reno  guys (Heinemann & Pattalock).  At DQ’s direction, they eased up every time the break got too close.  At one point I asked the moto ref how far up the break was. He sighed & said “the same as it’s been all day, 50 seconds”. Haha, the guys were riding awesome!  The lead grew back to a minute on the final lap & as we approached the deciding climb, the T-Bears went to the front & upped the tempo to reel in the break.  So far all according to plan!

When we made the left turn up to Snow Basin, the break only had about 10 seconds & were caught within a minute.  As everyone fought to get to the front, I found myself about 20 places back with Brenon near the front.  I didn’t feel great, but knew that I usually don’t feel great until it gets real hard, so I was just patiently waiting for the other climbers to make their moves first. The first to attack was Thomas Cooke (Park City, UT – The X-Men), so I picked up the pace & slowly got to his wheel & let him set the pace.  After about 8 minutes we were down to 6 guys. I was starting to feel good & decided to put in an attack as we approached “the castle” about a mile before the first summit of the climb.  I was able to get a gap, so now it was TT mode for the final 8km to the finish. I powered down the 1st 200M of the descent to try & extend my advantage. By the bottom of the descent I had 20 seconds on a chase group of 5 with 5km to go.

The road climbed for about a kilometer before flattening out & descending a little before the final steep 3 km. I kept getting time gaps every 500M or so, always 5 guys at 20 seconds, I wasn’t gaining anything!  The last 2km felt like 10km & I was now really wishing that the road would flatten out but I knew it didn’t ease up until the final 300m so I just had to keep going & blocking out the pain. The moto ref was giving updates. Still just 20 sec, but then it went up to 25 sec, then 30 sec & finally 45 sec with 1km to go!  This was it, just 3 more minutes of effort and I’d be national champion for another year! Don’t give in to the pain & let all the time training & the hard work & sacrifices that Jay, Brenon, Shawn, Gardie & DQ made be for nothing!   As I approached the finish, there were many bears & friends cheering, sticking out their hands for a high five, but I was not easing up & just going all out all the way to the line!  It was great to see the bears coming in strong 7 hearing the news.  I can’t say it enough, how thankful I am to have such incredible teammates!

After the race I peed in a cup again (very happy to see Dapice in there after his win in the 40-44!), then came out & celebrated with the bears!

Jay escaping in the Crit.
Jay escaping in the Crit.

Saturday – Jay & I survived the crit! I finished 36th which was good enough to clinch the Best All-Around Rider jersey for the 45-49!   Dean Laberge won my race and I was very happy to see him win (go NCNCA!)
Afterward we watched the younger guys race (bummed about Jan’s bad luck) had a few beers & some pizza and celebrated the ThirstyBears Best All-around Team victory!


Chris Phipps – Top of the podium
Chris Phipps – Top of the podium

The End.


Max “Thunderdome” finish 3rd at RR and 5th TT at US Nationals TT 55-59

Max & Alan at the Front at US Nationals Master 55-59
Max & Alan at the Front at US Nationals Master 55-59

First of all I want to express my gratitude to all of our amazing sponsors and this incredible cycling team that came together to support each other both on and off the bike during Masters Nationals.   Everyone present stepped up to race and lend a hand to those racing!!

All The Bears that came to race did the Bears proud with their  fantastic results, Jason 6th TT, 6th RR, Joel 32ndRR, Jacob 8th RR!!! Piers rallied to finish 14th TT, 7th RR.

Jan looked very smooth with Corey and Jason working at the front, got into a break that was brought back and was sadly stopped on his podium quest by a crash two turns before the end(I feel for you Jan glad you stayed upright) .

The team is thankful to Alan who drove the Pelophant  and 15+ bikes along with racers across 2 states as well as organizing lodging and doing so much more in many other ways. Alan also raced 3 races finishing high (11th TT, 19th RR)

All the selfless workers in the 45’s RR the Daly Bro’s, and Jay “who” , DQ chasing breaks helping close the TB Gold for Phipps.

Anne made it look easy sweeping up gold in the TT and RR. and The energy at the team house in Ogden UT was electric and as a team we swept Gold medals, Bronze medals podium spots, BAR and BAT!!!   Everyone knows who ThirstyBear is if they didn’t know before.  We stamped the Bear mark on The USA.  Very happy for the team.

Also a big thanks to Craig Upton, Stacy Sims, and  all my friends and family who cheered along the training path for me!!   I could not have done this without all of you.  Also want to thank Dani (Piers wife) who really helped the team at the house with food, clean-up  bottles despite carrying around a little bambino.  I award Dani the ultra team mom award, GOLD medal.

TT report:

About 24 racers

Weather:  slight tailwind going out

20.1mi 34k.

I trained for the TT for about for five months and was very excited to see if I could put down a good time. My main competition was Gary Painter who has won nationals multiple times, he had just also returned from world championships with a  podium spot in fifth-place .  There was also Mark Zimbleman and Mark  Schaefer, Joe Foster was my man California competition. I decided I would hit it hard. Everything started out great except I went too hard. Course was smooth I started losing power coming back so the best I could bandage was 46:21 for 5th place.  I think I went a little to hard going out(wish I could say I was unique here).  As it happened I was only 12 sec off 4th place and 15 or off 3rd.

I had hoped for a much better place but with this competition it was the best I could do this year.   At least I was in the medals!   Next year I will go out a little slower and try to pick up the pace halfway through.

Next up RR

53 Racers

Weather: About 75deg

Distance 74k or  about 45mi.

Flat course with 2 x14min hills to the finish

Thirsty Bears: Alan and I


Alan and I decided basically try to keep the race together for two laps around the reservoir.  There were many attacks as we got down to the reservoir, mostly we were marking about five or six guys.  Two of those guys started jumping constantly very early and we were able to cover the moves for the most part.  With about one lap to go I had been pulling back breaks with Alan and the other two guys went and I was running out of bullets. I waited hoping some of the others would chase but no such luck with four guys off the front they quickly got a minute and a half.  As we approached the final two climbs the group split very quickly into about 10 chasers up the hill and we went full gas. I was feeling really good so I put down a hard effort.  The group of racers were struggling to stay with me. We came up on one of the four in the break who pulled over on the road. One down three to go.  I later found out he pulled over for no reason, very odd(ex pro Alexi Grewal).   We started to accelerate more nearing the top of the hill. I punched it and got a gap.  I just did 1 mile on my own and build more of a gap.  Started to climb the last 3 miles up to the finish.  I got into TT mode and hoped to catch up to first and second and 3rd. I was able to take back one minute on the 3 up the road.  At about 1 mile to go I passed one of the three who tried to hold on to to me but I dropped him.  As I got around to the final 1K to go I could see the two leaders in the distance but it was too late they had 30+ seconds on me.

I was able to finish third-place good enough for another Bronze Medal!    My fitness was definitely there, I just missed the winning move.  Alan 19th Pl.

#Akamai #Acme Bikes #Trek bicycles #ThirstyBear #Cogniance #Cloudmade #Sutter Health #HVR software #Red Whale Coffee #The Ride Home #TNT Plumbing #Warman Security #IWIN #Castellli #Osmo #Bontrager

My new name for Chris is “Hops”.

Thanks all,

Max  aka: Thunderdome

Close but no luck for Jan “Sprint King” at US Nationals Master Crit 40-44

Jan in front at US Nationals Master Crit
Jan in front at US Nationals Master Crit
62 starters
Teammates: Corey S. and Jason G.
This year I wanted to focus on the crit, The year had many ups and downs for me personally and with cycling. My plan was like last year fly in the day before, race and then fly home. Luckily our teammate Alan Roberts has a big van, the Pelophant, that carried most of our bikes to Ogden. He had a total of 15 bikes in there allowing me to just fly in.
I got to the house that Alan found on Friday and was swept away by the awesome atmosphere that was going on in the house. Everyone was smiling, joking and in a great mood. It was very infectious. Once I unpacked I went for a little ride with Piers, Alan and Corey. During our ride we stopped by the award ceremony for Chris’ second National Championship the road race.
That night all 15 Bears went to dinner, and again we had such a great time talking eating and hanging out.
Saturday – race day! There was a bit of energy in the house. Crits can be nerve racking for people, but I absolutely love them. Also being in the house around all these awesome people I was able to stay calm and relaxed all day til race time at 5:30pm.
Corey Jason and I spent 40 minutes rolling around Ogden for a nice warm up. Went back to the house to pack some ice in our pockets to stay cool before the race. We went to the course and lined up against the best in the country. This race was going to be tough, but we were ready and had a good game plan.
The whistle blew and we were off. The race was fast right from the start. Guys were trying to launch break aways, but things were too fast. Then a good move went and I went across with two others. It was a larger group about 10 guys. It was Jason and me from ThirstyBear. We were off for a while but then were reeled back in.
A few more attacks and a small group got away, however the big team wasn’t represented. At this point I knew it was going to be a field sprint so I relaxed and rode in the field. Jason and Corey surfed the front. Both doing great work helping to bring back the break. I couldn’t ask for two stronger or better teammates.
Coming into the last laps, the break away was caught and we were all setting up for the sprint. I was well positioned in the last lap and found Charon’s wheel. He was the odds on favorite. I sat right on his wheel about 5th wheel in the last lap. As we came around the course, in the second to last corner (about 300M from the finish) Charon and the guy in front of him crash. Right in front of me. I narrowly avoid going down myself. I had to break hard, then I tried to sprint to go for the line but my rear tire came off my rim and I couldn’t go any further. My race was unfortunately done.
Jason pushing the pace at US Nationals Master Crit
Jason pushing the pace at US Nationals Master Crit
I really want to thank Corey and Jason for their hard work. We were oh so close to a podium spot.
And to all my other Bears. Thank you for cheering and supporting me all year long.
To all the sponsors a big thank you for letting us race our bikes.
Congrats to all the ThirstyBears that raced at Nationals. This was such an amazing experience. This team really has something special going on.

Strong performance by ThirstyBear Joel, Jacob and Piers at US Nationals 35-39

Piers fighting his way to the top.
Piers fighting his way to the top.

Joel, Jacob and I got the pleasure of doing the Road Race, and the Crit together this year.  I also did the TT.

The TT:
I finally got all decked out with new disc wheel (thanks Jan!), new helmet, and shoe covers (Thanks Alan!) and managed to properly assemble all of this equipment before the start. I blew past my hairy legged 30 second man in less than a mile.  I felt fine for a little while then started to feel not so great after 6 miles. I slowed down a little trying to keep everything for the road race.  At the turn around I was about equal with my minute man, but looked back to see a tight pack of 4 cyclists all bunched up behind me.  I really was not enjoying the altitude and then realized why a new helmet was not a good idea.  I bought a size to small and started to get a severe headache.  I was about ready to stop and pull over by mile 15.  New equipment day of race no no strikes again.  I rolled in for 14th happy to just not have spent any energy and gotten ready for the road race.
Steam train Piers Barry dig deep at US Nationals Time Trial
Steam train Piers Barry dig deep at US Nationals Time Trial
Jamey Yanik won the TT in a scorching 43:10.  An average speed of 29.2MPH over a few climbs and rollers at 4300 feet.  He also had just won the National titles in MTB XC and MTB Short Track so this was a bit ominus for the road race where he was 2nd last year.
The Road Race:
We did a nice recon of the race course with descent, one loop of the lake and the long final climb to the finish on Thursday.  It seemed like a great course for me.
Jacob had been in town since Monday.  I had flown in Tuesday.   Joel rolled in late at night Thursday for the Friday race.  We were a bit worried he was lost.
Day of the race we got Pelophant transportation again and suited up.  The descent was incredibly fast and despite what I thought was good positioning I was behind a gap.  Fortunately this just closed up for 3 uneventful laps around the lake.  As predicted Chris Evans went in a break to try to set up Stefano Profumo.  No one seemed to care and then with half a lap to go the pace heated up and the break was nearly back by the base of the climb.
This was unbelievably fast with the pace ramping up more and more with each half mile.  When Yanik and Owen Shott attacked they just rode away.  This shattered the group all over the road with huge gaps opening up.  I was now in the group of 3rd-6th place.  I managed to hang on with a small gap to the 3rd and 4th riders.  I descended the twisting sharp section in the middle quickly and it was 3rd through 5th all together.  Unfortunately a couple more riders bridged up.  At this point I was with Nor Cal guys Matt Adams and Jason Siegle.   When Matt jumped I thought this was too early.  Then I was suddenly in the red zone for a second.   At that same moment a couple riders behind jumped hard up to Matt and I was left with a 30 meter gap I just could not close.  Over the next mile Matt and Cameron Hoffman rode up for a 3/4th finish.  I was with the group of 5/6/7 and was just off my usual climbing game by a tiny bit.  I ended up 7th with Jacob Berkman 30 seconds back for 8th.  Joel had done a ton of work on the front making sure the gap to the break stayed close and he rolled across for 32nd (beating the pants off Kayle Leo Grande who was weighed down by his excessive neck tattoos).
I had thought I could get a top ten, but would have loved a podium spot that was  just a short distance away.  That’s why there’s next year.
The Crit:
After seeing nasty crashes in almost every single race I was pretty nervous.  This was an 8 corner ordeal of 75 minutes.  But all those corners kept the pace a bit slower that it would have been otherwise.   Chris Evan and Matt Adams tried some fruitless solo breaks.  Jacob made sure that no one snuck up on us by successfully tail gunning the entire thing.  Joel tried a little move off the front.  With 2 to go I punched it as hard as I could and rode 1.5 laps on the front with the hope that someone would come up and help or that a late break would form.  This didn’t happen and I got swamped with 4 turns to go.  Still it was really fun — something I generally don’t say about crits!
Next up touring next year’s Nats course in Winston Salem
As has been said so many times I love being on this team which richly deserved the BAT competition win.  The house was great and I really enjoyed the whole trip.

Piers Barry MD

We Got A Winner!!! Thirstybear p/b Akamai Anne Valta Wins Bronze at World Championship in Denmark and TWO Gold Medals at US Nationals

It’s almost surreal. This season is finally over! As I was getting ready for the Worlds I thought this day would never come. And especially when things had started to take wrong turns after Districts TT, and I was losing my confidence. I got really sick two days after returning from Sattley, and was boiling on my sofa watching TdF with 100F fever. When a week went by, I succumbed and asked for a short regimen of antibiotics as my fever and hacking cough didn’t want to leave my body. I could see my Worlds dreams fade away in the distance…

Back on the bike the last week of July I felt weak and unmotivated. I also had to deal with Worlds logistics (USA cycling was messing me up with license issues), wheel problems (new front wheel I got was too high and rubbing on the top of the fork on my TT bike), and just general nervousness of the task at hand (“what am I thinking traveling to Worlds and trying to race with some really great gals from around the world??”).

Finally in Denmark I was totally overwhelmed and wide-eyed with everything I saw and heard, and had a minor crash a day before the race requiring me to spend some time in a local Specialized store (they had two excellent stores just a short drive from our hotel in a community of 25,000 people!). The race day came and the wind was howling but at least it didn’t rain while the women raced (poor men had to fight with the wind and puddles). The 12 mile course was the most technical I’ve ever done on my TT bike. It had 8 turns and the second to last one (less than a mile from the finish) was on the bottom of a fast downhill. As I was hunched over in the aero position going 43mph, being pushed around with gusty cross wind all I could think was “you can’t crash this close to the finish but you do have to come up soon and shift to a lower gear to get out of that turn!” I heard there were some unfortunate riders who did crash pretty hard :(.
My initial feeling of the 3rd place was a huge disappointment. I wanted to win. In the hindsight, I was up against pretty experienced riders (1st place woman won it last year as well). I hadn’t practiced in those conditions (some wind yes, but not wind AND lots of turns), and I was out of my comfort zone with the traveling part and the grandeur of the event. I was the 5th fastest woman among the 120 female competitors, so at least that made me smile a little. Now all I had to do was to make a quick turnaround and race in the Nationals, 6000ft higher and with 9 hour time difference in less than a week…

When I got to Tahoe some 24 hours after leaving Denmark, I felt like I had been hit with a wrecking ball. My heart rate was sky high and I wasn’t sleeping well. My two rides over the weekend before getting to Utah weren’t too encouraging. I got the sinking feeling that I had swallowed too big of a bite doing two huge events in such a short time with long travels in between. And of course everyone was expecting me to win in Utah again, including myself.
But I swear there is something magical in that place because after some restless nights in my tower of power (as I called my room in Ogden’s team house), because when I was warming up on my trainer on the day of the TT, I felt awesome. Although I had the same initial feeling as Chris did (slower on the outbound leg), I was pretty confident since I was catching up on my slower competitors, and at the end I was able to PR by 1.5 minutes on the whole course. It felt really good to win again and I was almost able to get the best time of the day for women (off by 9secs). The pressure was off now, and I could just go and have fun in my RR (if you can call a painfully slow slog to the bottom of the final climb fun?! :)
I mostly wanted to write this email to have a chance to thank everyone who’s been part of this season’s success for me. I raced 24 races and placed on a podium in all but one. So many of you helped me get ready for Worlds and Nationals by lending/giving me equipment, driving me to and from Utah, handing bottles, food etc, giving advice and encouragement, and by cheering and pushing me forward. Thank you! I’m forever grateful for all that. I also want to thank our sponsors and anyone outside this team but somehow connected to it who’s been part of this season’s success. It all counts. Happy to have such great people around me. I’ll see you all on the Tam climb!
Anne Valta from ThirstyBear p/b Akamai wins 2 gold medals at US Nationals Masters RR and TT.
Anne Valta from ThirstyBear p/b Akamai wins 2 gold medals at US Nationals Masters RR and TT.

Jan “Sprint King” is 2nd fastest in California at Masters 40-44 Criterium State Championships

Masters 40-44 Criterium Championships

Teammate: Corey Scobie
40 racers
50 minute race
Pleasanton, CA
This was one of the races I have been trying to peak for all year. I love racing crits and really wanted to win the state champ jersey.
Corey, who lives in Pleasanton, invited me to his house so we can be away from the course and just have a relaxing warm up and get out of the sun/heat if we wanted to. I thought the race was at 3pm, when in fact the race was at 4pm. So I showed up an hour early. Better early then late.
Corey and I watched some of the Vuelta stage and hung out inside the AC’ed house. His kids were playing in the pool, which sorta looked more fun then trying to race in 90 degree weather.
We warmed up cruising around Pleasanton. Then went back to the house to grab some ice to bring to the race. We rode the 10 minutes over to the course, watched the 45-49 finish, and then packed our jerseys with ice cubes.
We lined up with the rest of the 40-44 guys, about 40 of us. Mikes Bikes had 7 guys, Zoca had 4 guys, and the rest were ones and twos. I was hoping for a breakaway.

The race starts and we are off. I make a fake attack in the first lap to see who is interested in going. This sort of starts the race, and we are going hard from then on. Mikes chases us back. Then there are a few more attempts at breaks but everything is being chased back. 10 minutes into the race I find myself chasing Steve Pelaez from Mikes, who is off the front. I take one guy with me, who is from SoCal and can’t win the State Championship, but can win the race…He just isn’t eligible for the jersey. Thinking this might be a good move, we get to Steve a lap later and we start out three man rotation. We get as much as 25 seconds, but really only had 20 seconds most of the race. At some point Oliver Ryan from Mikes bridges up to our three man group. Now Mikes has two guys. I attack to see if I can split the group, but the guy from SoCal chases me down with the two Mikes guys on his wheel. I settle for the 4 man rotation keeping an eye on the Mikes guys for an attack. We then see the lap cards count down, but we also hear the gap at 15 sec. We are all tired from the long break, are giving it gas still, but we get caught with two laps to go. Shit. Now I turn to sprint mode. I fight for position near the front of the pack. I want Dana Williams’ wheel since he is my main competition. But Mikes Scot Bromstead is sitting on Dana’s wheel as the sweeper. As we round the course I know I HAVE to be on Dana’s wheel if I want a chance to win. So just before the third corner I move up next to Scot and on to Dana’s wheel. Patiently waiting for the last corner I try to jump as hard as I can out of the last corner, but Dana, who had been sitting in the entire race and not spending any effort was fresher then me, and he beats me for the win. I end up 2nd, Scot was third and Corey finished 7th.
Obviously I wish I could have won this race, but 2nd place isn’t bad. Corey and I tried our best and we stuck to our plan.

Tanya wins Gold and Piers Silver at California State Championship Hill Climb in Fremont

Piers chasing up the hill.
Piers chasing up the hill.
7 min ahead of the rest. Thats how strong Tanya is climbing.
7 min ahead of the rest. Thats how strong Tanya is climbing.

State Championship event.  Didn’t even know there was a separate Hill Climb Jersey!  

The course is really great and I hope it sees a bigger turn out next year.  5.8 miles of rolling terrain that’s pretty easy followed by the main course: continuous and challenging climbing up to mile 9 followed by a brief descent and flat elevation but twisting road finale.  

It was hot even on the way down carpooling with Hans and Tanya.  Only Hanns Detleffson had pre-registered in the 35+ event but Josh Dapice, Scott Giles, me, and Morgan Raines signed up day of.  

I almost entered the P/1/2 category as they only had 4 entrants and needed 5 to get maximal prize money of $250.00.  I warmed up with Hans almost changed numbers and entries but didn’t get it done (should have!).  

The E-3, P/1/2 and 35+ fields started together.  Hans Gouwens, Robert Pasco and a 2 guys I didn’t know were in the P/1/2 with us.  Luiggi Zuniga, Phil Mai were notable in the E-3’s.  

Phil Mai took off and dangled off the front for 5 miles.  Surprisingly Scott Giles just sat in the pack waiting for the climb to start.  I don’t know if we will ever see that again…..   

At 5.8 miles the rollers turn into serious climbing territory.   

Right away Josh Dapice put in a few hard attacks but telegraphed every one by changing gears a couple times before stomping on the pedals and jumping away.  He’s pretty light and tough and obviously in great shape after winning the Nats Road Race (Hill Climb Championships), so I didn’t want to lose his wheel.  

It didn’t seem like there was a lot of sting in his attacks, but after 3 of them it was suddenly just the two of us.  

I just let him attack, then sat on his wheel and when he pulled off I just kept riding a nice steady tempo in the saddle.  I looked back and we couldn’t see any one in the 4 switchbacks behind us so I just wanted to stay on as long as I could.  

At the 5K to go sign it gets steeper and tougher.  Josh put in one more hard and sustained attack and I just cracked a tiny bit letting a 15 foot gap open up to his wheel.  Psychologically I think this gave him wings as he took off and I couldn’t follow.   He took about a minute in the next 3K of climbing and then I took back 15 seconds on the flatter run in to the finish according to the strava comparisons but he had a solid victory.  I was happy enough to just stay way away from 3rd placed Hans Detleffson.   

All three of us finished way ahead of the P/1/2 group which was won by Luciano Spanzo, followed by Robert Pasco, Elliot Hawks and our very own Hans G! If I had entered that I would have had a nice jersey and gold instead of silver medal.  Hind sight!  Tanya of course crushed her competition by 7+ minutes and got the gold and the jersey. :)  

Plus there was free beer at the awards ceremony.  How can you beat that?  


Chris Phipps steps to the podium after super strong effort by all 8 Thirstybears at Winters 45+ 123

Strong team efforts sees Phipps on the podium
Strong team efforts sees Phipps on the podium
Field 50 with 8 Bears!
Alan, Brenon, Duane, Hans, Holger, Josef, Shawn & myself.
The day’s plan was to use our bearpower to make the race as hard as possible & hopefully have just a small group going into the final few kms with a couple bears to set up Brenon for the sprint win.  Cloudy skies, slightly damp roads & cool temps to start. It was a windy day with a strong breeze coming out of the south.
After the lead moto led us the wrong way out of town (how many times have we done this race?), we turned around & began the race.  The bears were at the front in force in the headwind section, with Josef, Alan & Hans initiating & covering the early attacks that went nowhere.  In the short crosswind section, we had a nice bearchelon at the front & Duane got a little gap. I don’t know if it was intentional, but we backed off to let others chase.  The first time up the Cantelow climb, we had good representation at the front and were pushing the pace, but so were several others including Bryan Hoadley (R4R Make a wish), David Passmore (Specialized) & Steve Archer (Morgan Stanley).  I led over the top of the climb & on the short technical descent to Pleasants Valley road where we had a nice tailwind.  The group was strung out with little gaps, but most people were still there clawing to get back on.  Those of us on the front were doing our best to keep that from happening. Alan took a few super hard pulls as did Jay Newton (Victory Velo), but most of the field was still together as we went through the finish for the first time. I think Hans attacked solo here. He was off the front so many times, I can’t remember for sure.  Hans got brought back, but attacked solo again as we were headed to Cantelow for the second time.
We stayed near the front, but let others set the pace until Hans came back, then I went to the front to turn it up a bit. I led over the top again & after the descent & turn on to Pleasants Valley, we had a group of 8 with a small gap. We had Brenon, Holger & myself in there along with Hoadley, Ott (Chronos), Shore (Hammer), Passmore & Stockwell (Sierra Nevada). With 2 teammates in there, I went to the from to take a hard pull, but after a minute drifted back & noticed Brenon was missing & the pack was close to catching us, so I sat up.  Turns out Brenon had flatted & was done for the day, so that was a real bummer.
Our group slowed & swelled up again as all the guys who had been dropped or taken a free lap (Bubba) rejoined our group.  There was a lull, so I took a solo flier & TTd for about 5 miles with the group a constant 20-30 sec back. I hit the headwind section, & was hoping someone would bridge up. Then I saw Jay coming with Duane in tow,  but the pack was only a few seconds back, so we were quickly absorbed. Duane then took a solo flier though and lasted for a long time. We caught him as we got close to the climb, then Hans went again!  This was great for me as I was just sitting 3rd or 4th wheel and went on the attack right as we caught Hans. By the top of the climb, it was just me & Hoadley.  We were able to 2 man TT to the finish, where I lost the 2 up sprint & got 2nd.  Sorry I couldn’t deliver the win for the team, but I was happy for Bryan though as he had done a lot of work all day. Stockwell won the small chase group sprint for 3rd ahead of Shore. Holger & Josef were close behind in 9th & 11th with Shawn, Hans, Duane and Alan not too far back.
The team was great today though! All 8 of us were at the front or off the front the whole race which makes racing really fun.

Jacob Berkman climbs to the top at University Road Race 35+ 123

“A 3-mile mountainous loop of well-paved University roads.”

Basically a long 1-corner crit, with a hill. The hill has 2 longer,
gradual sections up to the start/finish/feed, then flattens out before
a short, steep section. Non-technical descent with a corner before
starting the climb again.

14 laps; no free lap rule :(
2010 (E4/5): DNP (Broken seat post binder at bottom of hill on 1st lap!)
2011 (P/1/2): 14th/43
2014 (P/1/2): DNF (no legs after San Ardo)

Overcast, cool, calm.

Chris Phipps, Brenon Daly, & Joel Pennington.

Thirsty Bear win.

“It is a fairly straight-forward race, so I don’t think we need too much of a plan.” — Brenon

A “small but strong” field; Carinio + a couple of teammates, Birky (last year’s winner) & Hoadley for R4R, Jonathan Baker, and Roemer, plus a few others.
The first time up the hill there were a couple of attacks; one by Jason Siegle which was covered by Joel but pretty much came back together. 2nd lap the two R4R guys start to roll off the front and I jumped to cover it, then Jason Siegle came up and sort of countered and I jumped on that, and the pack “let” us go (this time up was my peak 1’-5’ power for the race).
I’d like to say that I just hammered away in the break all day, but since I was lucky enough to have two teammates in the pack who’ve won this race in the past, and my legs had felt terrible for the last couple of weeks, I was just covering and wasn’t pulling. To my surprise, Jason seemed to be OK pulling all the way up the climb, as long as I took a (short) pull on the descent.
He kept the pace pretty high on the climb but it was pretty steady and after a few laps wasn’t worried about hanging on. We couldn’t see the pack behind us, and got a time gap from the feed: 2:30.
Situations like this don’t come up for me often, and I really didn’t want to blow it after “sitting in” all day. At the bottom of the descent on the last lap, Jason didn’t pull through like he’d done every lap, so I just rode hard tempo up the climb. We hit the last pitch and he hadn’t jumped yet so I took off. I could see his front wheel behind me slipping back as I crossed the line for my first win in 2 1/2 years!
Chris had gotten away from the field with a lap or two to go with another rider and took 4th, with Brenon in 5th to bring home half the t-shirts.
1st Me
4th Chris Phipps
5th Brenon Daly
DNP (?) Joel Pennington (slow leak in rear tire)
Even if your legs feel bad, Golden Cheetah knows best.

Distance: 61.4 km
Time: 1:45:24
Elevation Gain: ~1463 m
Avg Speed: 34.8 km/h
Max Speed: 66.4 km/h
Avg HR: 154 bpm
Max HR: 178 bpm
Avg Power: 245 W
Max Power: 837 W
TSS: 180

// j