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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):
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.
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.


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.


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

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

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