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Hans Gouwens takes the win at Coppertown!

Max and I drove to the town of Copperopolis this morning to meet our team guys Jan, Alex, and Eric for some solid racing in the 35+123 and 45+123.
Copperopolis, the New Wine Country without all the Napa fanfare 😉 About 62F and a good breeze, which became a solid “breeze” later in the day.
The plan was to just use the 35+ race (some 40 racers) as a warm up for the old 45+ muscles to wake up.  I guess Alex didn’t feel sooo old and really got into the action early into the 75 minute race.  He was in every single break for the first two of five laps, but unfortunately we were unable to represent a 5 man break that went clear with 10 miles to go.  Soon, single guys tried to bridge up and I found myself in a chase group with Andres Gil and Scott Fonseca.  We fell short by 5 seconds to catch the front of the race.  Probably got 10th or 12th or somewhere close.
Next up was the 45+ 123 race and since there were various teams with some depth (Safeway, Davis, Wells Fargo, SJBC, Christian Cycling), we decided to race this one from the back seat – follow what’s promising and make it worth while.
Chris Courtney showed some great form at Warnerville, so I decided to bridge up to his solo attack at the end of the first lap.  We lasted the whole second lap, but got caught by the collective movement of the other 40 guys in the race.  I kind of felt like my day was done and took it easy for a while, while Max, Alex, Eric, and Jan made sure we had somebody up the road at all times – great jobs guys to keep it together.
In the meantime, Safeway was happy to keep it together to save their big guns for the finale, especially for champ Gregg Betonte.  Unfortunately, our sprinting power Jan had a flat and dropped out of the race which really got me motivated to go with anything at the front with one and a half lap to go.
Alex gave me the perfect set up to ride away from the group with two Davis Bike Club guys and a Christian Cycling dude.  I’m sure the big guns didn’t think much of it since we still had more than 5 miles to go.  I must have encouraged those guys in the break numerous times as if they were delivering their first born.  One of the Davis folks was suffering like a dog, while the others were taking shorter and shorter pulls.  I knew the Christian dude was the stronger of the bunch and after he took a pull with about 800 meters to go it was time to attack like a mad man!  He couldn’t get on my wheel as I drilled it toward the last two 90 degrees turns for the finish.  I raised both my hands for the victory for what may have been a celebration of friends, team mates, and those who have made this team so awesome!

Big weekend for the Iron Bears!

Saturday 03/12/11Arthur Jones wins the 45+123 race at Fort Ord our of a 4-man break, while Jan takes the field sprint for 5th, Joe Amon 7th.  Unfortunately, Jan had a mechanical in the 6-man winning break in the 35+123 race, but Tom Roberts made up for that with a fine 6th place finish.  Duane Coughlan went on to finish 1st in the 35+3/4 race, while Christine Lundy had a fantastic 4th place finish in the women’s 123 race.
Saturday/Sunday 03/12-13/11 – At Madera Stage Race Paul Dyrwal put in an awesome performance to finish 4th on GC, Phipps 10th, Gallardo 20th in a very strong 35+123 field, while Max Thompson (9th on GC) and Alex Osborne had some solid results in the 45+123s.

Big Bear weekend!

Saturday 03/12/11 – Arthur Jones wins the 45+123 race at Fort Ord our of a 4-man break, while Jan takes the field sprint for 5th, Joe Amon 7th.  Unfortunately, Jan had a mechanical in the 6-man winning break in the 35+123 race, but Tom Roberts made up for that with a fine 6th place finish.  Duane Coughlan went on to finish 1st in the 35+3/4 race.

At Madera Stage Race Paul Dyrwal put in an awesome performance to finish 4th on GC, Phipps 10th, Gallardo 20th in a very strong 35+123 field, while Max Thompson (9th on GC) and Alex Osborne had some solid results in the 45+123s.

Gallardo takes the win in Monterey

Ken Gallardo and Chris Phipps took the top steps of the podium in the 35+ 123 race at the Monterey Circuit Race, while Ron Castia and Duane Coughlan had solid top 10 placings.

Date:  January 30, 2011
Event:  CCCX Circuit Race #1
Category:  35+1/2/3
Field:  16 starters/12 finishers
Teammates:  Chris Phipps (2nd), Ron Castia (9th), Duane Coughlan (10th), Greg McQuaid (DNF, flatted)
Time/Distance:  75 minutes/6 laps/24 miles
Placing:  1st

Warning:  I tend to write rather lengthy race reports, so for those of you who just want the Strava, I attacked a mile into the race, soloed for two laps until Phipps bridged up, then suffered on his wheel for the rest of the race, except the last lap, when he sat in my draft to recover for the P/1/2/3 race.  It was fantastic to get my first 35+1/2/3 win after several 2nd places last season and great teamwork all around.  Really looking forward to the next race!

Earlier in the week, I was soaking up the sun, getting in a few long rides (76 miles on Tues & Thurs, 72 miles on Sat) working on my base building and weight loss program.  The weather was so nice and I knew several guys were planning to race Sunday, so I decided to join the fun and make it a nice hard workout in support of Chris and Greg.  Of course, after I registered for the race on Friday night, I was informed by some buddies that rain was the forecast for Sunday (sorry to bring the bad weather guys!).  Well, after analyzing the weather radar, I decided to go suffer anyway.  Again, it’s a training race, might as well get in a good hard ride.

Chris had put out a couple of suggestions for team tactics during the week and it seemed like the attack, attack, attack plan would work really well for this course.  I arrived early (my New Year’s resolution), picked up my race number and started my pre-race routine.  I rode a check-out lap with Dan Palmer and found I could big ring (because I race with a compact) all the climbs and the descent was fast and clean.  I thought to myself, well, if I attack and get enough of a gap, I’ll be ‘out of sight, out of mind’.  Huge THANK YOU to Ron for bringing a pop-up tent to the race – we  were able to warm-up in relative comfort during the rain showers that came and went during the race before ours.  (Ron, please let me know if I can purchase another one of those babies – they are awesome!).  Anyway, my legs were certainly feeling the long week during the warm-up, but I got in a couple good efforts to open up all the energy systems and felt pretty good.  A few minutes before our start, I changed into my race jersey, threw on a rain vest and rolled over to the start to line up with my teammates for the first race of 2011.

As we were listening to the instructions from the Referee, I noticed that Hernandez had shed his jacket and had no arm warmers on.  Uh oh – he’s planning to go hard from the start (just like seeing Jens Voigt wearing shorts and short sleeves in pouring rain) and as the ref was blowing the whistle I was stuffing my vest into my back pocket and then playing catch up as Ron jumped off the front.  Fortunately, I got on a wheel right away and was already warmed up, so I caught up to the field pretty quickly and with the slight crosswind forcing the field into an echelon, I was nicely sheltered in my cruise up the pack.  I finally could see Ron on the front with Hernandez and then Phipps in tow, and I felt good, so as the road started to turn upwards, I attacked up the left side of the road.  Oh, my legs didn’t like that, but I told them to stop whining and kept up the attack, working hard to turn a high cadence and get a nice gap so nobody could easily jump across.  I kept looking back and didn’t see anyone attacking, so I just kept going at my pace, trying to stay out of the wind and get out of sight around corners and past the brush and trees lining the course.

I worked hard the whole first lap and it looked like I was opening up a gap, so I focused the second lap on maintaining a consistent pace in case they decided to leave me out to fry.  It was great to know that I had several strong teammates in the field to soft pedal and block and chase bridge attempts, so I was confident that if someone came across, we’d still have an advantage.  Partway through the 2nd lap, I glanced back and could see a few people trying to bridge.  After a couple of rollers, it was just one guy.  By the time I reached the next roller, I could see it was a teammate and I figured it was Phipps, since he was closing rapidly.  I soft pedaled the descent and flat afterwards and Chris rolled up.  As he took to the front he told me that if we stayed away, the win was all mine.  Wow, talk about motivation – get my first win?  I’m ALL IN for that!  And so it was.  In one lap we’d extended our lead and the pack was no longer in sight.  The fourth lap, Chris was on fire and I was dying just trying to stay in his minuscule draft, but we managed to figure out a way for me to overlap him to get more draft in the crosswinds and then I was able to recover and take more pulls.  Chris let me lead the descents and corners and he’d pull me up the hills while we split the flat and false flat sections.  By the time we got the bell, we’d built enough lead that I told Chris to just sit in the final lap since he was planning another race and I’d be heading home.

It was fantastic to cross the line side-by-side and very motivating for me to get my act together with my weight loss and training.  I’m already a third of the way to my race weight goal of 160 lbs and almost at last year’s race weight.  The bottle of wine for winning the race (a Ravenswood Zin) will be coming along to training camp and I’m excited about this race season.

Ken Gallardo

Duane went on to take 2nd place in the 35+ 3/4 race, while Dan Palmer took 4th in the 45+ 123 field. Later in the day Chris Phipps and Greg McQuaid took 4th and 6th respectively in the Pro/1/2/3 field.
Check out the video from the Pro/1/2/3 race

A small change to the name, a big change to the roster.

ThirstyBear Cycling is proud to announce that several new sponsors have pitched in to make the 2011 season one to remember.  IronData and AptoSolutions have made it possible to inspire some of our great cycling friends to join and race for next year.

The website is currently under construction, but will have links to all the 2011 sponsors, as well as racer profiles and team photographs.  This blog will be used for race reports, race results, team stories, photos, and videos.

See below for the 2011 roster:

Masters Women Cat 3
Mari Chandler – Tahoe
Emily Church – Sausalito
Tanya Fredricks – San Anselmo
Chris Lundy – Sausalito
Jenny Wong – Oakland

35+ 123
Kyle Ashton – Corte Madera
Ron Castia – Livermore
Duane Coughlan – San Francisco
Brenan Daly – Oakland
Paul Dyrwal – San Rafael
Ken Gallardo – Belmont
Phil Hynes – Mill Valley
Kyle Klopfer – Mill Valley
Greg McQuaid – San Francisco
Chris Phipps – San Francisco
Tom Roberts – Morgan Hill
Corey Scobie – Livermore
Joe Amon – San Rafael
Irving Arguello – San Francisco
Hans Gouwens – Corte Madera
Jan Huptych – San Mateo
Arthur Jones – Albany
Jay Klein – Oakland
Eric LaFranchi – Calistoga
Aaron Long – Oakland (Brasil)
Tom Lyons – Fairfax
Alex Osborne – Berkeley
Dan Palmer – Santa Cruz
Max Thompson – San Anselmo
Mark Volkmann – San Anselmo
35+ 4/5
Scot McLean – San Anselmo
Jim Grant – San Anselmo
Rogier Verhulst – Tiburon
Rob Dick – San Anselmo
Matthew Park – Corte Madera
45+ 4/5
Alan Roberts – San Rafael
Lance Haag – Fairfax
Peter Badertscher – Corte Madera
John Silva – Tracy