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Masters Women 2016 Year-in-Review

Mens 35+ 2016 Year in Review

Contributor: Tom Lyons

The NCAA considers certain sports as “team” sports (basketball, baseball, etc…) and others as “individual” sports (cross country, track & field, etc..). Team sports typically involve some sort of prop like a ball or bat and a little hoop or net to toss things into with the same number of athletes trying to accomplish the goal as there are trying to stop the goal. These games don’t exist without full teams competing. Individual sports are just that – sport. Not games. And these can be staged with any variety of team members. Cycling would fall into the “individual” category. However, the key to success in these individual sports is to treat them as team sports. There is a great saying in team sport – “we play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.” We’ve taken that mentality with the masters riders wearing the ThirstyBear logo on the front of their jerseys (and on the back, and on the sleeves, and on the leg warmers, and on the socks, …. more logos than Nascar). Treating this individual sport as a team sport is what makes this club the fun experience for all. I’ve recapped the old and the older guys the past two days – here I’ll cover the youngsters of the 35+ team where the speeds are higher, the competition fierce, and the power is measured in kilowatts (results taken from USAC):
Jan-March:
As mentioned in the 45+ recap, a few old guys drop down to race with the 35’s on occasion which is what was happening early in the year. Like most every race, there is typically more than a couple teammates behind each win throughout the year. After the Cal Aggie Crit win, the team gathered for the Chico Stage Race to capture the GC (with the top TT time as well). Chico turns into a team camp of sorts and a great way to start the year.
April-May:
A lot of racing takes place in these months but race victories are hard to come by in the ultra competitive 35+ division with the top masters targeting this division combining with the youngsters who are a minute removed from the P12 fields. TB emerged victorious in the rain over at the Berkeley Hills race, a favorite of the club and one where we occupy the podium every year in each division. A trip to North Carolina for the National Championships resulted in 2nd place for the 35-39 TT in one of the fastest overall times of the day.

June-July:

It took a few months but once the boys got warmed up, the results flooded in beginning with the NCNCA TT Champs. Fastest 35+ time of the day over the new Loyalton course went to TB. The following weekend, TB turned out to be the baddest of the bad boys in what is likely one of the toughest crits in the country – Nevada City. Shortly after, the crit racing continued with wins at Colavita and Red Kite. The month of July typically sees a Bear migration to Bend, OR for the Cascade Classic Stage Race. With each masters division racing together, we had a good size team to go after the 35+ GC. As in 2016 when TB took control of the event to win GC, the boys returned with a different cast of characters but the same plan. From day 1, it was all TB. A win in the opening road race up Bachelor put the team in yellow. The top TT time the next day sealed the deal. The team protected the lead on the final day’s tough circuit race. Not only did TB win the 35+ GC, but had the top GC time when all master’s divisions were combined. Results won’t show how much teammates help in a stage race, but rest assured that the sacrifices for team do not go unnoticed by those who are in the race. Team cohesiveness is the key to stage racing.

August-Sept:

The combination of the 35 and 45 fields at Patterson made for some unique racing opportunities for our boys. Teamwork prevailed. The result – a win in the 35 (overall champ) and a sweep in the 45’s. Not to be outdone, the next day at the Red Kite crit, TB nearly swept the podium with 1-3-4 in a very competitive field. University (in Santa Cruz) is another hilly race and one that appeals to those who like a course that doesn’t have an inch of flat terrain. Up and down, round and round. Coming off the fun of Patterson, another TB win here tilted the late summer trophy haul toward the climbers of the club…. But the crit-men had the last word at the NCNCA Championships. In a small field, the two TB teammates were active in the non-stop attacking over the course of the sixty minute slugfest emerging victorious in the 35-39 event. Taking the bunch sprint for 2nd overall in the 40-44 gave TB another medal at the District Crit. Always nice to win your last race of the year, and that’s how the boys went out at Henleyville in the 35+.
The team:
Ariel Herrmann, Chris Evans, Jacob Berkman, Jan Weissenberger, Jason Grefrath, Corey Scobie, Erick Pierce, Moritz Steiner, Neil Bartley, Piers Barry, David Mai

2017:
New additions: Erik Camacho, Michael Claudio, Hanns Detlefsen.

Men’s 55+ 2016 Year-in-review

Contributor: Tom Lyons

Men’s 45+ 2016 Year-in-Review

Contributor: Tom Lyons
As the “middle” age group for the club, the 45+ team gets to race down with the 35’s and also have the 55’s race with us on occasion. For 2016, the club, in general, enjoyed great success and many fun times out there on the roads. I’ll recap the 45 team below (results taken from USAC):
Jan-March:
We got going early with a win at the Cal Aggie Crit in the 35+ prior to what would become a huge weekend at the Chico Stage Race. Spreading out over the 35+ and 45+ races, we would win both GC’s and both TT’s at Chico. As part of that event, we posted a ridiculous 1-2-3 in the 45+ road race that showed the incredible teamwork that would produce 1-2-4 in the overall 45+ GC. A trip to Arizona for the Tucson Bicycle Classic followed in March with the Bears going 1-3 in the final circuit race resulting in 1-3 GC as well. Copperopolis is one of the early classic spring road races and a favorite of climbers and those who like rough roads. We somehow got three Bears in a break of four and played it well resulting in a 1-3-4 finish.
April-May:
A 35+ win at Berkeley was the lead in to nationals where we placed two Bears on the 4th step of the TT podium (45-49; 50-54). Mt Hamilton saw TB on the top step once again as the spring season came to a close.
June-July:
The NCNCA TT and Hill Climb Championships were held in June. Districts and Nationals break up into 5 year age groups while most every other event during the year consists of 10 yr age groups. The Bears took the top step in the 50-54 TT and 45-49 HC with a 2-3 podium in the 45-49 TT. Then it was time to go after the crits with wins at Burlingame, Colavita, and Red Kite-July. On one late weekend in July, TB took the Crossfire Hurricane TT and the Bump-Summer races. San Rafael Crit closed out the month with TB taking the top step in the 45+3/4 race.

August-Sept:

August is full of hard racing and that was just fine with TB. Combining the 35+ and 45+ in one race at Patterson turned out to give the 45’s a rare chance to help the 35 team in a race. After about halfway, TB had the 45+ podium wrapped up with only three TB’s left at the front of the race. We turned our attention to helping the 35’s win that division…. And they did! Dunnigan followed with a rather unique race plan to get TB in the break and then try to bridge up (essentially chasing down the teammate in the break). This was by design and the race plan certainly confused many in the peloton. It resulted in an extremely hard race with a successful bridge to the remnants of the break which included a teammate giving two TB’s in a pack of three at the end. Teamwork once again (see Copperopolis) put us on the top step (and third step) for the day. Of course we kept our presence in the crits winning the Red Kite-August 35+ race and the NCNCA 50-54 championships. To complete the well-rounded results, the 45+ Bears closed out the year winning the Esparto TT.

The team:
Chris Phipps, Gardie Jackson, Shawn Daly, Jay Newton, Tom Lyons, Dan Quirk, Brenon Daly, Holger Steinbach, Scot McLean, Lance Haag, Rod Sperling, Jim Grant, Peter Baderstcher, Eric Lagier, Aaron Long, Duane Coughlin, CJ Wolf, Dan Palmer, Phil Hynes
2017:
Lance Haag graduates to the 55’s and we welcome Ken Gallardo into the 45’s plus new addition Dan Tedford.
San Bruno is coming soon…. Here we go again!