While the real racing today is in San Ardo, Dan Quirk and I drove north yesterday for the Eugene Celebration Stage Race. After 9 hours and 550mi driving we jumped out of the rig and went 1-2 in the 40+ for the Prologue uphill 3mi TT (750′ gain). Everyone used road bikes. I tried to stay in my big ring but couldn’t do it all the way up. Probably cost me at the end.
Today is the road race. Goal is the same. 1-2 in stage and 1-2 in GC.
There are 21 guys in our race. Top guys are 11:44 (me), 12:00 (Dan), 12:05, 12:19, 12:40, …. A couple good 40+ local guys went P12 and went a little quicker than us.
Since Dan has done this stage race 5-6 times, we are going to try to get him the GC crown….
Race report from the great northwest
After Tom and I went 1-2 in the prologue yesterday we hatched a diabolical plan to keep us there. Which really means getting me a cushion going into the long TT tomorrow? The course was a 20 miles loop with one good 5 min climb and some other rollers we did 3 laps.
Before the neutral start had even ended 2 guys attacked and got a gap, all heads turned to Tom and I to chase, which we did. After a few mins of a TB 2 man team TT the group was all back together again. Then another guys counters and gets a gap….all heads turn to TB to chase, we were starting to see a pattern here and were not liking it. We close down that break then from there on out we go on the offensive. When the group hits the hill on the 1st lap I set a good tempo up it, when we get near the top Tom rolls up and keeps on the gas over the top and back down the other side, at the bottom of the hill we look around and take inventory. We are down to a group of about 13 with all of our major GC rivals still there.
Tom puts in a big dig and gets a gap on the field, I just follow wheels and watch. I can see what’s left of the pack is not feeling so fresh anymore and gaps are occurring. They catch Tom and I go…They catch me and Tom goes…They catch Tom and I go and the field just sits up, all will has been broken from the pack. 2 guys who gate keeper Tom allowed to get away b/ they were non GC threats starts bridging across, I see them coming and soft pedal until they get there. The 3 of us work well together and roll over the hill playing nice. When Toms group gets to the hill they do not play nice and Tom and 2 others get to the top alone. Our gap quickly grows to over a min as we start the 3rd lap thanks to Tom sitting on in the 3 man chase group.
Our plan was to get me a little gap going into the TT and still finish 1-2 in GC so as my lead group of 3 worked off the front Tom would do some work with his breakmates to keep the gap around 45secs-1min. About half way through the last lap one of my group started cramping and stopped working, he promised not to sprint at the end so we let him hang around. With around 5K to go the other guy who was not cramping started taking short pulls and I knew he wanted the stage, I wanted time so I kept working and at 1k led it out, he came around me at around 200m and took the stage, I ended up 2nd. I turned around to see Tom roll in with one other guy about 30secs behind.
Plan laid down plan executed we are now 1-2 in GC
1st DQ..2nd Tom back by 10 secs, 3 other guys about 45secs back one of whom beat me in this same TT by 1 min 2 yrs ago. Tom was a total stud and sacrificed with smile on his face the whole way. I can’t wait to see him back in the leader’s jersey tomorrow.
CJ Johnson, Team Cycle Sport, Daniel Quirk, ThirstyBear Cycling, and David DiMarco broke away off the front of the stage 1 of Eugene Celebration. Photo by Catherine Cooper of CLC Photography.
We wrapped up 1-2 in GC with a well executed plan. It was very satisfying and fun. TB is fortunate that DQ looked us up when he moved here. He was a fantastic teammate and real fun to race with.
Going into the last day Dan was leading GC over me by 19 secs, and our chief rival Dave Campbell by 54 secs (he was back in 5th). Dan had a rough TT most likely due to being in the break on a hot day in the road race. I wanted to catch the GC guys starting in front of me (which I did) figuring that would keep me ahead of everyone and hoping Dan would keep close enough to stay atop the GC or at least 16secs up on 3rd (to counter the winner 15s time bonus in the CRIT coming up).
After the TT (I was +1:22 winner), the GC was sewn up for TB with me in first, but so close with Campbell only 17 secs behind Dan. We were sitting pretty because it would be hard for Campbell to beat Dan even though there was 15-10-5 secs time bonus in the CRIT.
Our CRIT plan was to attack often and if I go solo, Dan stays on Campbell. If the field stays together, Dan wanted to set me up for the sprint (Campbell was the best sprinter in the field).
After 20min and a nice attack by Dan, I took advantage of the crosswind and attacked on the windy side while Campbell was hiding on the protected side. I heard him yell something to coax anyone to chase but I was gone (smiling inside).
I went about 20min (8mi or so) solo getting up to a 29s gap but looking back at the same spot each lap to make sure Dan was with Campbell. If Campbell shook him and got across I was going to sit up and bring Dan back to him. There was no way we were leaving Eugene without the GC 1-2! After I crossed the line I got to see Campbell’s sprint but also happily saw Dan come in with the pack.
Lyons (TB) 3:52:01
Quirk (TB) +2:18
Campbell (Hutch’s) +2:25
DiMarco (Hutch’s) +2:41
I told Dan going in that I wanted us to go 1-2 in every stage, get all CRIT primes, and take 1-2 in GC. Big talk and of course kind of silly. But the message we had was that we were going to try to win everything. Don’t have much control over the TT’s but certainly the road race and CRIT would be fun to try for 1-2. We came away with three 1st places and two 2nd places in the four stages. Plus the top two spots in GC.
Hans got it started early, taking a flyer as soon as the flag dropped (literally). Gardie jumped on the solo bridger (Dirk). Hans drifted back to us in the group on the rollers along the ridge. So as we rolled the first lap, it looked like Gardie was set for a bit of moto-pacing behind Dirk for the day.
Unfortunately, Gardie flatted at the bottom of our second trip up the finishing hill. He let us know Dirk was solo and running about 1min ahead of us. The rest of the lap involved a lot of looking around. Oddvar and Hans took turns riding hard tempo, but only 2-3 other people were willing to work. Too many passengers.
So the next trip up the finishing hill, I tried to stretch it out a bit. Did manage to shed a few stragglers but still had maybe 14 (and Dirk had 3+ mins at this point.)
I learned my lesson about going 90% on the hill (it doesn’t work) so I decided to ramp it up the next trip up the finishing climb. Coretech’s Rich had the same idea and so he mashed it up with me and we opened a decent gap. Unfortunately Kevin Klein and John Hunt tagged on as we hit the rollers on the ridge. Kevin was soft-pedaling and Hunt was sitting on the back, so the chasers were able to keep us in sight. They reconnected as we dropped off the ridge.
At that point, we’re about 20km from the finish. A lot of looking around. So Oddvar says ‘If you want to look for me, look for me at the finish’ — and he’s gone.It’s a stiff crosswind so he stretches out a pretty good gap pretty quickly. Klein shoots off in pursuit, but I’m boxed in so have to be a spectator on that (disappointing because nothing would make me happier than to sit on a guy who only sits on. Karma and all.)
Once we make the right turn onto Tesla Rd (the start road) and hit the hill, Rich starts to bridge across. I decide to wait for others to close that down. So I wait. And wait. And wait. Nobody is going to make it, so I jump hard, sprint over the crest and catch onto the three-man train, powered by Oddvar.
All four of us rotate through until around about the start line. At that point, Oddvar rolls beside me and says, “Save yourself for the final climb”. He then takes over and drills it for the next 10k, by himself. Amazing effort, and incredibly selfless. (I look forward to returning the favor.)
Oddvar leads us around the right-hander onto the finishing climb. After all the work Oddvar did, there’s no way I’m letting him — or the team — down. So I figure I’ll let Klein and Rich ride the climb how they want and then I’ll smash the last 200m. (Ok, not a ‘Jan-style’ smashing, but …) And that, my friends, is what happened: best of the rest (Dirk won by 6mins or something) + bonus with Oddvar coming in 5th. Hans and Scott came home with the chasers.
A good day for the Bears, slotting two in the Top 5 at a tough race.
Hope to see everyone again at Berkeley Hills.
Originally we were planning to field 4 Thirsty Bears, Neil, Ken, Gardie and me, but as things happen it was only Neil and me for the Masters race this time. We were definitely out numbered looking around at the start line seeing that Mike’s Bikes had 9 guys, Squadra had 6 guys. We would have to watch the moves going up the road and make sure we were at least covering them. One good thing was that Matt Carinio and Craig Nunes of Art’s Cyclery were in the race and always race aggressively. The first 25 minutes several Mike’s Bikes riders were trying to get off the front. Then a chase would ensue, and we would either have a small break of the field would be back together.
Craig did a lot of work throughout the entire race either chasing things down or towing the field. Matt and I were in several moves together, but no one was committed to work and everything was brought back. With the lap cards counting down I stayed near the front, but out of the wind. Mike’s bikes did their lead out starting on the last lap with Squadra right behind them. So I was about 9 riders back from the front. I told myself that is too far back you gotta move up. So I slotted myself in right behind the Mike’s lead out. Coming into the last corner one of the Mike’s guys clips his pedal and goes down causing a moment of hesitation. Our speed slows just enough for the group to get closer to the front guys going up the hill into the stiff headwind. I knew I had to wait to start my sprint otherwise I would be leading it out. I jump off Scott’s Bromstead’s wheel and have a clear line to the finish, when I hear the whoosh whoosh of Matt’s wheels and he gets me at the line. Matt Carinio wins with me second and Scott Bromstead in third.
Thanks to our sponsors: Osmo Nutrition, City Cycle, Trek Bikes and Castelli
Scot and I managed to line up on the front row. The P / 1 / 2′s took a leisurely approach to lining up, getting there about 2 minutes before the start with some guys rolling up just as the whistle blew. Right away, the attacks started and fortunately most guys forgot that the first stretch of road was full closure so being near the front was a big advantage. The attacks continued most of the first lap and I was covering everything that looked remotely dangerous. About 20 miles into the race 8 guys finally got clear and after a little encouragement from yours truly (hey guys, we have a solid gap, let’s quit goofing around and ride!) we were off to the races.
It wasn’t the best break from the standpoint of numbers because there were two Mike’s Bikes guys Roman Kilun (who from the get go I knew would be the guy to watch) and Marcus Smith, two guys from VuMedi (Alexander Freund and Taylor Cody) and one each from ThirstyBear (me!!!), Red Peloton (Michael Claudio), Marc Pro Strava (never got his name) and Fresh Air Bicycles (Jared Prince).
There’s a spectator on the road and I scream at him to GET OUT OF THE WAY! (and I didn’t use any expletives either) and I’m out of the saddle and the legs are screaming too and I can sense Smith coming alongside so I kick again but I need to shift and it’s not gonna happen and I throw my bike but come up short by a couple inches in the sprint.
Stage 1: Thunderhill Raceway 50 Min (7 laps)
Stage 2: Paskenta Road Race 90 miles (2 laps)
Stage 3: Time Trial 10 miles
Stage 4: Criterium downtown Chico 45 min
A well deserved Win to new ThirstyBear teammate Jan Weissenberger – or as we call him “Jan WinSprinter”.
- Ken setting the pace down the dusty road! Photography by Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Chris flies over the dirt road!
After a long day on the road – this ThirstyBear surely needs a cold beer!
Jason cruising by.
70 Miles – 5 laps
Congratulations for Scot stepping up on the podium seriously bruised but still smiling!
After having lapped the field and finished 2nd at BP Winter Crit, Jason is right back at it! Here is how it went down…
Late… because I always run late for crits, I got my number and got dressed in the car, listening to the heavy pelting wind and rain. “It’s nice in here,” I thought. “Maybe I should just stay warm instead of racing.” I took my time getting dressed and had already resigned myself to an abbreviated warm-up. I forgot my trainer, so I rolled down the parking lot hill a couple times and my butt was already getting soggy from the road.
Rolling to the start, there were 4 Mikes Bikes, 4 LangeTwins, and a collection of others. Hunter Ziesing from Hammer showed up with the wrong number and quickly joined our field. It was his second (maybe third) race. There were about 10 of us total. Hunter said he was going to attack from the gun… and he did.
I started from the back of the group, being extra cautious on the first turn and Hunter, Greg Tsutaoka (LangeTwins), and Mike Foley (Mikes Bikes) went clear right away. With several teammates in the field, I knew that this first lap break was likely the move that would stick, so I immediately motored up to their group. By the time I got there, Greg was already calling “uncle” and was unable to pull through.
Mike & Hunter were both barking at Greg for him to pull through & I said that we needed him in our group if we were going to stay clear. Greg was in our group for now.
The race continued for a couple more laps with everyone but Greg taking some pulls. There was a nasty headwind on the final stretch and it always sapped your energy when you did work into the wind, then had to hit the final 400m climb. Greg dropped out of our group & pulled the plug on himself and then there were 3 of us.
Mike took 2 primes and I took 2. Hunter sat out of all of them, saying, “I’m just happy to be out here.” Our tempo was good and we had locked up the podium.
With about 6 to go, the chief ref screams at us that Hunter didn’t register and that he needs to drop from the race. Huh? Hunter continues with us and would end up being ineligible for the race.
Two laps to go, I try a hard dig on the backside and coming into the straight and final stretch. I pull off in the final stretch, letting Mike come by. We are going a bunch slower and he’s in the wind. Coming into the hill, he’s a bit agitated and swings wide right for one of us to pull through.
Wide open door! I pin it to the top of the hill and motor really fast through the turn at the bottom of the hill. Hunter is with me. Mike is off our group. I continue to motor hard through the back side and then into the final stretch.
Looking back, we’re clear, so I need to keep something in reserve for the final sprint. I ease up a bit, watching to see if Hunter is going to try to pull around. At about 200m to go, I pop and give it everything I have… First. Pie and primes are yummy!
Thanks for reading,
I was looking forward to three days of team camp for months, but due to work and due to the stupid no rain for months, then raining every weekend situation, I bailed on the Friday and Saturday team rides. Instead of slogging through Santa Rosa, I figured I’d slog through the Folsom Crit. It’s 20 minutes from my house and I’ve done this course a million times. It’s a very simple course with no major turns, just sweepers, and I figured I could get a good result in a decent field.
Because I happened to be home instead of Santa Rosa, I got some extra “honey-do’s”, because, you know, I’m home. The last “honey-do” was picking up a granite fountain from a neighbor’s house (those things are heavy) and it made me late to the race. I arrived with 45 minutes to start. I still had to grab my number, pin it, and get warmed up. After a series of frustrating missteps getting all my gear on, I was ready to race, and I joined the field just as they rolled off the finish line.
For the first lap, I fiddled with my gloves, still getting them on, and keeping the bike steady in the rain, wind and puddles on the course. Did I mention it was raining?
4th lap was the first prime and I went clear with Jeff Watson (LangeTwins) and Jeff Galland (Zipz). Jeff Watson took the prime and Galland gave us the “we’re clear” and we started motoring.
Watson was blown from his sprint and had trouble pulling through. After some very direct words about not pulling through, Watson dropped back to the field. (Sorry for being so direct, Jeff!)
This left Galland & me together off the front. Once it was just Galland and me and we got a 20s time split, I looked back and told Jeff that we were going to lap the field.
Jeff took some short pulls for the first 8 minutes and for the final 23 minutes, it was all me on the front, steadily drilling it at 350 watts. I was concerned with lapping my first field and stopped racing, really. To win the race, tactically, I should have done things differently. Now that I’ve lapped a field in a race, my bucket list is checked and next time I’ll go for the win (Jan, I promise).
“We” caught the field with 3 or 4 to go and I motored right through the group, hoping they would let us go and that we/I would be out of range of any last lap stupidity. No such luck. Beth Newell (Go BETH!) tagged us and now the field was back together. 2 laps to go became 1 lap and on the final lap, I was more concerned about being out of trouble than about setting myself up for the sprint. (I’m still on the front, btw.)
Final turn is about 200 meters to the finish, slightly uphill and this year was in a major headwind. Coming off the turn, a very pathetic pop out of the saddle, and I watched Jeff take the field sprint, leaving me 2nd place.
Nice work Jeff Galland on playing your cards and about tagging the right wheel. He let me have all the primes… thank you Sierra Nevada, Cytosport, and Bicycle Lawyer (Zin Man wine) for supporting cycling. Jeff also gave me his winnings. While I’m not thrilled about Jeff sitting on my wheel, that’s his card and he raced his race (and won). Next time, I won’t make it so easy, though.
Thanks for reading!