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ThirstyBear Cycling Dominating the Chico Stage Race 35+ 123

ThirstyBear Bad Ass Bikers: Chris P., Jason G., Ken G., Ron C., Dan Q. Photography by Tahra Makinson-Sanders
ThirstyBear Bad Ass Bikers: Chris P., Jason G., Ken G., Ron C., Dan Q. Photography by Tahra Makinson-Sanders

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

Stage 1
The Thunderhill Raceway stage 1 racing on a track where cars go over 100mph the pavement smooth. Probably one of the best venues for a race I have been to.
Our team goal was to put one of us high up in the results. There were a few power climbs on the course and we would try and have Chris attack them to string things out. Ken and Jason were on the front a bunch during the race making sure it was nice and fast. Chris attacked the longer hill in the race stringing the race out and making people chase him. Dan and Ron were riding near me keeping me out of the wind and in good position.

We did 7 total laps in 50 minutes. The last two laps were quite fast. Dan and Ron both kept me in good position each time I fell back a bit. Dan dropped me off in the top ten right before the hill where Chris rode so hard the group was strung out. It cause Folsom Bike to chase with Jesse Moore, Jason Walker and Dean LaBerge. Chris had a little gap letting me sit on the chase. Coming into the 500 m to go We just passed Chris and it was all good, but then Folsom ran out of steam and we were getting swarmed. This is when Dean started his sprint as we were approaching 200m to go. I sat patiently and then jumped hard and was able to come around Dean and lunge for the line to win the first stage and take the Yellow Jersey for our team.

Ken controlling the race from the front!

Time to attack – Rapid Ron goes off the front.
Time for Jan to kick a 1000 Watts!

Thats how it looks like when you make it big!

A well deserved Win to new ThirstyBear teammate Jan Weissenberger – or as we call him “Jan WinSprinter”.

Stage 2

Jan actually looks good in Yellow!! Photography by Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Jan actually looks good in Yellow!! Photography by Tahra Makinson-Sanders
Paskenta RR – From Dust to Dirk.
Paskenta RR – From Dust to Dirk.
The Paskenta Road Race is 90 miles long and 3 miles of that is through a gravel section with rollers. Another epic road course. Our goal today was to either get Jason, Chris or me to win the stage.
The race started and the wind was blowing pretty hard which made this race even harder. The first lap was not very eventful. Ken and Jason were again riding near the front of the group to keep things in control. The first time through the gravel we were going quite fast and we dropped a few guys making the main group a little smaller. I think Ken rode on the front for nearly half the entire second lap. The rest of us were trying to stay out of the wind. Dan attacked a ways before the gravel section and no one chased for a while. Then things got serious and it was full gas into the second time through the gravel section we were all quite well positioned, but then Jason flatted, Ken was getting tired and falling a little behind, Dan was a little gassed from his effort, Chris and I were still in the front group. We exited the gravel section Chris was riding hard on the front with Josh Dapice from Audi. We were coming up to 3km to go and I was feeling good. It was a small group of about 15 riders. 1km to go still good and fighting for a good position. Craig Roemer comes to the front to lead it out and I sit on. I see 200m and I jump as hard as I can. I cross the line thinking I had won the race when I look up and see Mike Buckley and Dan Bryant just ahead. So I was third. Still not bad, but we had let our two main rivals get some time on us which was not good. But we were confident that Chris would ride a strong time trial.
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!

Stage 3

Stage 3 by Chris Phipps – 10 mile flat TT with 2 right turns.
Going into the TT, I was sitting 15 seconds behind Dan Bryant (Folsom Bike) and 23 seconds behind Mike Buckley (Specialized). Buckley had won the TT in 2013 in 21:00, so I knew that I’d have to be close to 20:00 to take the overall lead.  I think I went as well as I could have, even paced, gave everything in the last 3K and ended up with a 20:27 (29.2 mph), a time I was happy with. But within a few minutes, Bryant came in with a 20:09 and Buckley with a 20:45, so I ended up second in the TT and moved up to 3rd in GC going into the stage 4 Criterium.  Jan was 15th in the TT in 22:00 with Dan & Ken in 26th & 27th at 22:40 & 22:48.  Jason was holding back to save his legs for the crit because he had lost time in the road race & we didn’t know that team GC was scored by top 3 in each stage (d’oh!).

Ken the steam train powers by!
Chris Phipps in this usual no draft position.


Jason cruising by.

Stage 4

I just love racing crits. Especially downtown crits. This one is a fun one because the course is tight and short. It makes it hard to be able to move up and the field stayed strung out for most of the race. Again Ken and Jason were riding near the front to control and make sure we wouldn’t miss out on a break.

Crit at its best.

Chris and I were riding near the back getting our legs back from the TT effort. After 20 min though we moved up a little. With the last 5 laps I found Dan and Jason. With 3 to go we found Ken and the four of us were trying to line it up. But the course is so tight it was hard to squeeze by. We separated and with one to go Ken moved me up as far as he could, and I did the rest of the work. I was sitting fourth wheel around the last corner and would finish in 4th as I had no more power to come around anyone. Four hard stages and we ended up with Chris in 3rd in GC and I ended up in 8th. We had one stage win, Chris got 2nd in the TT, I was third in the road race and 4th in the crit. That’s a great weekend of racing for out team. Super proud of my teammates for riding so hard all weekend and making this one of the most fun stage races I have been to.

Congratulations to Dan BRYANT  @folsombike  Michael BUCKLEY @specializedncal 3rd Chris PHIPPS @ThirstyBears
Thank you to our sponsors: Osmo Nutrition, City Cycle, Trek Bikes and Castelli Clothing.










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