2013 So Cal Cyclocross #2 Race Report – Womens CAT 1/2

Race Report – SoCal Cross Race #2 – Womens CAT 1/2

Where – Prado Regional Park, Chino Hills, CA

October 6, 2013

Who Raced – Nicole Brandt

This was my second ‘Cross race of the season, with my first being last weekend in Downtown L.A. I was motivated and determined to have a better result than last weekend, in which I flatted on the first lap, crashed on the second, had a mechanical on the third, and got lapped by the leader on the final lap.

Given that Matias and I both race, have an 11-month old baby (Maiya), and our races are back-to-back, it makes for quite an interesting day. On this hot afternoon with temperatures in the mid-90’s, Matias is racing, while I tend to Maiya and attempt to warm-up. As soon as Matias finished his race, we switch wheels, hand off baby, and my race begins with trying to get to the start line before the gun goes off. As I’m sprinting across the field trying to get to the start line, I hear, “45 seconds!” I get to the line and have 10 seconds to spare before we’re off! I think the adrenaline rush got to me, because within 5 minutes I had taken the lead. As a result, I became a little over-excited, took a sharp and sandy left-hander and slid out! Thankfully I had a couple of seconds on the lead pack and was able to hop back up and into the front group. However, my handlebars were crooked and my hoods were bent in. I felt that as long as my gears were working well and I didn’t have any other mechanical issues, I could deal with the odd positioning of the bars, and not worry about switching to my pit bike.

Throughout the 45-minute race, I tried to stay consistent and calm. I worked my way into 2nd place, keeping my eye on the leader and slowly increasing my lead on third place. With one lap to go, I was only 10 seconds from 1st place, but I just didn’t have it in me to close the gap. I finished the race, almost in disbelief, just thinking how far I’ve come after having a baby. I am thrilled to have come in 2nd to Amanda Nauman, who will be heading to the Xterra World Championships in a couple of months. And I am always thankful for the support our team is given through La Grange, our sponsors, and the friendships that come with being on such an amazing team.

Submitted by Nicole Brandt

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2013 UCI World Cycling Tour – Time Trial and Road Race Reports

JulieCutts_2013WorldChampionshipUCI World Cycling Tour – Time Trial and Road Race Reports
Trento, Italy
September 19 -22, 2013
Submitted by Julie Cutts

All week prior to the start of competition, I tried to stay focused on what I needed to do to win each race. I kept my eyes off other potential competitors because I didn’t want the competition to start in my head with sizing up the bodies of the other women racers. I have found that you can never really tell the strength or skill of another athlete by how they look on the street. A lot of wasted energy can be used worrying about others. On Thursday when I rolled up to the start of the time trial, the feeling of inadequacy filled my soul. All these women in line looked as strong as I felt, all of them were here to win and good enough to win I thought. These women all came here to compete because they had a chance at winning. My heart sunk even more when the announcer was telling fans the names of who the “favorites to win” were. A list of names were read, but my name didn’t make the list. My travel companion, Alain, must have seen my face fall and his comment to me was “don’t worry darling, they won’t even see you coming now.” This lifted my spirit and I knew he was right! The feeling of having to prove myself, again, flew through my veins.

The start of the course looked as though it would be flat, but since I had ridden and studied the course, I knew the grade to be at least 6-8%. I was glad I knew about the grade because had I just raced it without pre-riding and studying the course, I would have been disappointed with my mph otherwise. That would have played in my mind that I was not keeping my speed up despite working hard. So I knew that I would be working hard the first 10 minutes of the race, and I passed 3 women within this time. I felt happy that things were going well. After giving it my all the first 10 minutes, reprieve came with the downhill. Speeds close to 50 mph were held until the technical switchbacks came up. I had ridden them 4 times during practice and started to over think this section. It was going to be fast, dangerous and technical no matter how many more times I would practice going down in a day. And on race day, I knew, under pressure, I would overcome all those things and race to my abilities.

Next came the beautiful section along the lake that went through several villages. It was mostly flat with some good blind curves in it. It was fun to race through the villages because of the tightness of the course and how that made me feel – like I was flying fast.

The last 3 mile climb came with average grades of 8%, and some parts being 12%. It was in my mind to just ride one last interval up that mountain. I again felt fast except for the last 200 meters where the grade becomes 12%. But I rolled over the top of that hill and knew once again I would be in territory that I excelled at. The course was a loop and came back on the main road that looks flat or even downhill, but it is not. I picked my lines depending on the apexes of the road. I saw nobody else doing that and for a moment I questioned my practice. But I kept my coach’s words in my head and followed his instructions.

With 2k to go, I started to wonder why I do this to myself. It’s so hard and it hurts so much. For a moment I felt that this would be the last race I put my body through at this intensity. I thought “I better win for all this grief!” I crossed the finish line at a time of 41:00 and some change. I got off my bike and collapsed on the sidewalk almost immediately bursting into tears. I had given it my all, and all the thoughts of what it took to get to that point were revealed. The planning, packing, traveling, fund raising, emails, training rides, prior races, friends, family all were going though my head as I sobbed on the ground at the finish line.

I had heard from others that this was a fast time. And now the next phase of racing started, and that was the phase of waiting for results. It didn’t help that the results were announced in Italian and broken English. I had understood that I had gotten a silver placing and although that was good and I should have been happy, it was not what I had come to get. I wanted the gold, so I was disappointed. We posted on facebook a silver medal placing and continued to wait for the fastest times to be announced as there was an award for that at the race course. There was word that I had one of the fastest times.

To end the story, I did get the second fastest overall time of the day out of all the women’s categories, and stood on the podium to receive that award. It wasn’t until this time that I finally put everything together and was told that I had earned the gold medal in my category. I was filled with so much relief, joy, and happiness that I physically jumped up and down and danced on the podium. This got lots of news media attention along with an interview. I had won what I came to win, and now it was all worth it!!

The road race was filled with many more competitors than the time trial. Thousands of people filled the Piazza as I found a spot to be alone and focus. I took in the whole scene of this event. So many racers and spectators to cheer them on. I had not gone to the athlete meeting the night before due to the lack of time and energy required to do so. So it wasn’t until I was lining up talking to the women that I found out that we could draft off any category, men or women! This was perfect for me. This race now had “Julie” written all over it. All I had to do was be smart the first part of the race and tag onto anybody who would be going faster than myself as I watched for my competitors to do the same.

The first 7k was neutral and flat. A Russian woman decided to get out front and set a nice pace and show her cards. I kept 3-4th place and quickly realized who was a skilled rider and who was a little unpredictable. We came to the first 4 mile climb and the Russian kept up her nice pace and I just sat in trying to be patient, as my coach told me to do. This was followed by a curvy descent that I had practiced and knew there were not any really tight corners. So as I raced down the hill, I was confident in my speeds. The unpredictable part of the descent was all the crashes along the side of the road that had happened from previous groups. Every turn had a body down. Again, I stayed in my position and glided down the hill safely. We had a small break after the descent and I tried to get the women organized to work together, but nobody was interested, so I myself, stayed in the sweet spot.

Some of the men caught up by this point and we cruised on the flats with several men rotating in the front to keep up the pace. It was a very nice set up for me, as I was able to save all of my energy for the 20k climb to the finish. As we began the climb, there were several men and women in the group. One of the men set tempo up that hill and I just stayed in the back holding on. About 1/4 of the way up I looked back and everybody was gone. All that was left was one lady, not in my age group, and several men. I was unable to hang on at this point and knew I needed to back off and get into a rhythm that would get me up the hill. I settled in and did just that. Toward the end I really relied on all the things and sayings that were in my head from being coached. I could hear my coach yelling to find my rhythm, never be satisfied, and innermost. Over and over again I played the tapes. Toward the end I had to reflect on my coach of 4 years and all he had given up those years to ride with me practically every day in all sorts of weather. He had told me the night before to win the gold for him. It was the least I could do. Then I began to think of all the people in my life that believed in me enough to send me to Italy. I wanted to win this for them as well. I knew I could win if I just kept on going, staying in my rhythm, never being satisfied. It was hard, I kept looking back for any unexpected surprises. Nobody there. I kept calm trying to keep all my emotions together and yet allowing myself to feel the moment of winning yet another gold medal. As I crossed the line, I wept. I once again found a quiet spot to reflect on all that I had given up and all that was given to me to get to Italy to win my races. There has been nothing like this experience. And I am grateful for it!

2 GOLDS BABY!!!!!!!!
Julie Cutts

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LAVRA Upgrade Omnium Track Race Report

LA Velodrome Racing Association (LAVRA) Omnium
Velo Sports Center, Carson, CA
September 21, 2013
Who Raced – Vance MacDonald, Ivy Koester, Phil K, Quinn Hatfield
Vance M. (35+1/2/3/4)
Phil K. (3/4)
Ivy K. (W1/2/3/4)
Quinn (35+1/2/3/4)

Today marked the return of Saturday morning racing at the Velo Sports Center. This race report will serve as my excuse for my poor performance on Piuma on the 22nd. ;)

I lined up with about 8 masters racers, including Olympian David Brinton, strong guy Tyler Fernstermacher, and Omnium Master Vance MacDonald. Vance literally IS LaGrange track racing! I knew this was going to hurt!

Scratch Race- I was attempting to sit in and wait for the sprint. At about 20 laps to go Vance took off- Brinton covered the move- I covered Brinton. Vance and I did most of the work keeping the break alive (more Vance) and it took its toll and inside of 4 to go Vance dropped out as Tyler caught us. Brinton had legs and took off for the win, I held off Tyler for 2nd.

Miss-N-Out: These are very nerve racking. It’s all about position. Tyler rode from the front, with Brinton on his wheel. Vance got pulled, and I saw the key move unfold, Bergman boxed in Brinton at the 4 to go pull. The effort cost Bergman, and I was able to beat out Tyler for 1st.

Points Race: Things stayed together until the first sprint- where I grabbed 2nd for some points. After that Brinton and Tyler took off and a very confusing race followed. I was sure I was the “field” and was fighting for 3rd once Brinton and Tyler lapped me. After the race everyone said I was down a lap. Turns out Vance and another rider were up the road when Tyler lapped me- Vance’s group was the field and I was off the back. That meant Tyler never finished his lap and didn’t get his +20 points… that meant my points here and there added up to 2nd in the points race.
Two seconds and a first end up getting me 1 more point than Brinton’s two first and a fourth.. .

So I took the win!

A great day racing a world class track with some really tough racers..
Awesome day!

Thanks for reading

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2013 Cyclocross Season Opening Race – Juniors 15-18

TrevoronPodium_Cyclocross2013_race1SoCal Cyclocross Race Report – Season Opener
Downtown Los Angeles
September 29, 2013
Who Raced – La Grange Flight School members – Ivy Koester, Dexter Koester, Brock Berentsen, Lenny Melamed, Lucan Mailloux and Trevor Goodman
By Trevor Goodman

It was a great day to kick off the cyclocross season! The LaGrange Flight School was out and ready to race with Ivy and Dexter Koester, Brock Berentsen, Lenny Melamed and Lucas Mailloux all riding in different Junior categories. The weather was in the high 80’s, not too windy, and a little dry. But that didn’t stop us!

My dad and I arrived at 7:45 for our 9 o’clock race. It was my first time riding the Cannondale cyclocross bike I was loaned for the race. I rode the course for about 30 minutes to check it out, and then soon after, my race began. First race of the season, first race in Juniors 15-18, and lots of new faces! I didn’t know what to expect. My teammate Brock Berentsen and I lined up in the front of a pack of around 20 juniors. We were off!

Straight from the line the speed was fast. I felt good the first few laps. My dismounting and remounting was really quick. I took a spill on a technical turn, but got right back up. There were lots of flat tires. I got lucky having had my flat during warm up. One by one I kept bringing kids in. I was in 5th with 2 laps to go. Not far behind me were a few kids really pushing hard to catch me. That only made me go harder. I really kicked it in on the back straightaway and then caught someone on the barriers. With 500 meters to go I was in 4th place. About 40 feet in front of me, a kid was about to finish and didn’t realize that I was coming up on him and hauling ass. I nipped him by about a bike length and took 3rd place.

Although I can’t comment about their races, every one of the LaGrange Flight school team finished. Ivy got third place in her Jr. Womens 10-14 race and Lenny got fifth in his Jr. 10-14 Mens race. Everybody did great, I was really happy with my result and this great start to the season! I am super stoked for what’s to come!

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Summer End Grand Prix 2013 Race Report – Juniors 13/14

Summer End Grand Prix 2013
Ontario, CA
August 18, 2013
Who Raced – Trevor Goodman, Noah Schlosser

The Summer End Grand Prix (Ontario Race #6), the last one of the season, 4 marked wheels, 3 places, 16 riders, and 1 teammate.
The race started out with an attempted breakaway by Nick Robertson
(one of my marked wheels). This failed due to his teammate, David Herrera,
getting stuck in the pack, not being able to go off with him. The first few laps
were rough. Fast pace, a little windy, and I was stuck in the back of basically
a single pace line. Attacks happened every so often, but that’s normal. One of
the 10-12 riders who always wins decides to race up and do 13-14. He always
attacks because “(He) has no chance of winning, so (he) likes hurting the pack.”
At about 5 laps to go, an attack happened. 4 riders split off. All of which were
my marked wheels. I wasn’t happy with that. I bridged the gap back to them, only
to find out the rest of the pack did it with me. As I tried to move up to the
front, another rider kept pushing back into my spot (I probably could have got
him relegated for that, but it didn’t really bother me). Finally, at the only
right hand turn on the course, I moved up. Right behind Christian Sanchez (who
was a marked wheel and who also won the last Ontario race). On my right was
Thomas Quimzom and Drew Kalasky (both my other marked wheels). Came around the
line again. “3 laps to go riders. 3 laps to go!” As usual, the 17-18 riders lapped us and the motor scooter comes around telling us to slow down and stay right. At
that time David Herrera, Nick Robertson, and Drew Kalasky take off for a 3 man
break. Drew couldn’t hang so there was a gap from him to the break and from him
to us. The gap was only about 50 yards so I decided to bridge that gap, and once
again, the pack followed on my wheel. With 2 laps to go, I knew who to stay on.
Drew, Thomas, and Christian. At the last couple corners, Trevor Goodman (a La
Grange Flight School racer) motioned me onto his wheel. I stayed on it and at
about three-fourths of the way to the finish line, he pulled off. Everyone
started sprinting as well as myself. Christian and Thomas were battling it out
right before the line, but they bombed right before it. I then flew by them
winning the field sprint by almost 2 bike lengths putting me in 3rd place due to
the 2 man breakaway. My first podium in my first season of riding! Couldn’t have
asked for a better day, and more importantly, a better teammate. Without
Trevor’s help, who knows how I would have done. It was a great race with great
tactics and lots of hard work.

Noah Schlosser

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Masters Track Nationals and Elite Track Nationals 2013 Race Reports

2013 Elite Track National Championships Quinn Hatfield - 3rd from right

2013 Elite Track National Championships
Quinn Hatfield – 3rd from right

Masters Track Nationals 2013
Indianapolis, IN, Major Taylor Velodrome
July 30 – August 4, 2013

Elite Track Nationals 2013
Carson, CA, VELO Sports Center
August 9 – 11, 2013

Race Reports by Quinn Hatfield

This year my two biggest events fell on consecutive weekends. So I got a big 2 weeks of racing some of the fastest Masters and Elites in the country.

With my kilo in Indianapolis on wednesday and Match Sprints on Saturday and Team Sprint on Sunday- this turned into a major trip! To cut wherever I could, I chose to fly into Chicago on tuesday and drive 3hrs to Major Taylor Velodrome. This was likely a very bad decision! I arrived to rain, and had to do my pre-race training on the trainer in my hotel room.

Wednesday morning after a rain delay, I got my first laps on the Track and then prepared for my kilo. I wasn’t really clued into how I felt- and thought the effort went ok. I was sitting in first with a 1:10.3, which was way slower than I expected to ride. as the last heat went off, I ended up losing by .13″. Later I saw the splits and it turned out I tanked my start (usually my strength) and was actually in 3rd at the end of the 2nd lap (3 laps total on Indy’s 333m track). I managed to pull back 1.5″ off the first place rider in the last lap, but still finished in Silver. I assume that traveling so close to the race and no track time the day before left me flat…

On Thursday and Friday, I did a couple of workouts at the track to try to get back on top of my fitness.

Friday was Match Sprints. I tend to be good at this, but it isn’t my focus, so I don’t claim to be an expert. I was a bit nervous about the Flying 200m which serves as the seeding for this event. There were 24 riders registered, and only 18 would make it to the sprint rounds, based on 200m times. I had never done a flying 200 on a 333m track and I was getting conflicting information from everyone. In the end, I attempted to do exactly what my coach told me to do over the phone- I must have done a decent job of following directions as I rode 11.43- not only did that qualify me 2nd fastest in the 40-44 sprint tournament, but it was the 3rd fastest time of the entire event and it just so happened to be the exact same time my coach rode 8 years ago when he won Sprints at Masters Nats the last time it was in Indianapolis. I actually did a really good job of holding my line low through the long turn of this track but in the middle of turn 3-4, I dipped down low and hit a marker sponge sending me high before I recovered… so not only did I run the 2nd fastest time- I likely would have been a bit faster. I was confident going into the rounds!

Including the flying 200m, I rode about 9 full gas efforts that day- spread out over 7hrs. It was like a war. Everyone said my normal style of attacking from the back late would not work on the long sweeping turns of Indy, and admittedly, I watched a lot of guys try and fail. In the end I rode all but one of my 6 rides before the finals from the back- and I entered the finals undefeated, just like my opponent Stephen McLaughry.

Stephen is a track sprinting Vet from Portland- and since he kicked my butt in 2 straight rides in the final, I have heard more than a few times “This is Stephen’s year”! I tried it from the back and I tried it from the front. Stephen’s top end wasn’t so amazing- but his jump was insane! – putting a gap between us in an instant.

He was an impressive opponent who I have a ton of respect for. I know what it took for me to get where I am now, and he was better! It was a very proud silver medal. As I threw my arm around him as we circled the track on our second ride- to congratulate him on a job well done- he said “I’ve been chasing a national title for 17 years!”

The next day was the Team Sprint. We knew the returning champs from Garner Cycling would be tough, and Stephen and Brian Abers who had the 2 fastest 200m times of the event had flown in a 3rd from Portland for the day.

My team was far from battle tested. We had never ridden together.. we set the whole thing up via email and we just had to give it a go. At this point I was feeling like we didn’t have much of a shot. My opener was Mike Dancel, and man 2 was Jonathan Chambers- a very large guy with a decent kilo.

We watched the guys from Portland, they looked slow and their time of 1:09.9 seemed like it could be beat. We lined up and attacked! During the second lap- the huge draft my man 2 was really nice- I could tell he was slowing down on the second half of his pull, so I distanced myself so I could take a run through his draft and start my lap at a higher speed. as we crossed the pursuit line my front wheel overlapped his rear and I knew we would be disqualified. I rode it as hard as I could- knowing it would not count. We finished a full second ahead of the guys from portland and when Team Garner rode they were .4″ slower than us, but we were Disqualified. I had ridden the fastest 3rd lap of the day- for nothing.

I packed up and drove to Chicago for my flight.

I had 4 days at home before my kilo at Elite Nats in Carson.

This felt like a shot to redeem myself for blowing my kilo in Indy. Things went pretty well on race day and it was a good ride, but in the end I was tired from my week in indy and my time was .5″ slower than last year. Not the improvement I was looking for. I finished in 6th with a time of 1:08.1

Two days later was my final event- the Team Sprint. We knew there were not many teams registered and that we had a decent shot at top 3. My all Masters Team of Dan Reback and TC Valentine lined up having never raced together. Dan’s start was amazing, and TC struggled to get on his wheel- we fought through the laps and missed 2nd in the qualifier by a couple hundredths of a second. We raced one more ride in the bronze/4th place final, with a decent win over 4th. At one point after we were informed that the silver medal team was DQ’d for a bad exchange and they announced we were moving to Silver. I was happy to hear that was changed! I hated losing that way in Indy- and didn’t like benefitting from it either.

In the end, it was a very long 2 weeks of racing. I had some disappointments and some good finishes but it was an amazing trip and I’m glad to get to take a little break!

Thanks for reading!

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Brentwood Grand Prix 2013 Race Report – Mens CAT 4

Brentwood Grand Prix, Southern CA Criterium Championship, Mens CAT 4
Brentwood, CA
August 4, 2013
Who Raced: Michael Relth, Robert Efthimos, Tim Petrvalsky, Jaycee Cary, James Brill, and myself Marco Fabrizio

I’m going to start this off with a request for forgiveness due to the fact that I’m sure this will contain some profanity, so please forgive me. Earmuffs for the juniors!

Also it’s a bit lengthy…

As many of you know the Brentwood Grand Prix is likely the hardest crit of the year. Personally I think it’s the best race of the year. It’s technical, fast, and the crowds are amazing. Oh, and did I mention we had a beer garden? Yep! Thanks Michelob Ultra! That’s not to mention that it’s going to be televised and we had an insane swing cam in turn one, which I didnt notice till hours after the race because well, turn one is a little bit of a doozy! Even the guy on the outside tries to apex F%$!*#$@&!!!!

This race has been my baby since before I even started racing. In my pre cat 5 days, I randomly rode into this chaos they called the BWGP and I was truly amazed that we had this enormous gathering right in our backyard. I had already given some thought to racing, but this was it. This was the race that I wanted to aim for.

This year was the third time that I lined up on San Vicente. This time I had only one goal in mind, WIN! I had full support from my team and I had been meticulously prepared for this. Let’s just say every other race this year was just a dry run for the BWGP. I wanted this. I wanted this badly! I was going to stop at nothing, and as you read along you’ll understand….

As always I arrived nice and early with my friend and training partner James Brill whom I must emphasize was the brains behind the operation. This could not have happened without him. We both seemed to be pretty calm and relaxed even though we talked and stressed about this morning for probably 6 weeks. So we meet up with team captain and comrade Jaycee under the beautifully set up Castelli Tents. Which I must admit really makes anyone feel PRO. The rest of the team trickled in, and we began warming up while watching the other races from our prime location. After a very short and brief team meeting we were ready to race.

The race set off, and it was fast from the gun. Everyone likes a fast and smooth race, but I think that’s only in retrospect because while this suffer fest was going on I couldn’t help but wonder why the hell I put myself through this (a pretty normal thought.) The race was fast! the first few laps were pretty strung out, and James and I had a little bit of trouble making our way into the top 20 (part of the team plan) But kudos to Jaycee, he was the mofo pulling his ass off in the front the entire race. Although like I previously mentioned riders were taking the corners like LA drivers who think they own the road. We stayed cautious…. But not cautious enough. After a few sketchy corners and having to bunny hop a stray bottle on the back stretch I thought that would be my bad luck of the day. It wasn’t the end of it… With 5 laps to go on the finishing stretch I think someone decided to wave to their mom or girlfriend because some guy lost focus about 20 wheels from the front and grabbed a handful of brakes and the entire peloton came crashing up his ass. I think 30-40 guys piled up behind him. James and I included.

I don’t remember hitting the ground, but I do remember getting up faster than I hit the ground and ripping some guy’s cleat out of my front spokes and telling him I had shit to do! I hopped back on my bike cyclocross style and within two seconds realized I had forgotten to asses the damage. “#@#!” I yelled! But in my mind this whole time I’m thinking, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! THIS IS NOT HOW MY SEASON IS ENDING, NOT WITH A STUPID CRASH FOR NO #$%&ING REASON! NO! JUST NO!” Got off the bike and realized my rear derailleur looked like it had been kicked in and my chain was dangling off. Not the normal way a chain looks when it comes off, this was like untangling a bunch of wires from you old cellphone junk drawer. After what felt like 20 mins I finally got the chain untangled and rotated the pedals, clicked through a couple gears made sure I had a couple of gears to work with. I did! Cyclocross style re-mount and I was off.

My only rationalization at this point was that I would be racing just to finish, and not let the crash DNF (did not finish) me! But wait! As I start riding who do I see? Our very own Chad Moston who’d been warming up for his cat 3 race. He’s yelling at me, “TAKE THE FREE LAP! TAKE THE FREE LAP”! Light bulb! I forgot I could take a free lap for a mechanical malfunction. I frantically made my way to the pits and checked in with the referee. While waiting to get back into the race I spot the beastly James Chao and ask him to throw me his water bottle because I thought I dropped mine, he lobs me the touchdown pass over about 5 heads, I make a spectacular catch then realize I did in deed still have my bottle… So I threw him back his bottle just in time. The referee sends us off into the race, and the dozen or so riders who were able to pit were let back into the race. I merge onto the back end of the speeding peloton, hammered my way into the top 5 by the 1st corner where my teammates Robert and Jaycee had been hanging out bashing a nice tempo (which they did for the remainder of the 3 laps). But now I’m nice and tired from sprinting 500 meters. I fade back into the top 20 by the time we are on the back straight. Well well well what do we have here? Another crash just to the back and left of me. “Fuck this!” back to the front I went, and that’s where I stayed for the following laps. I pull up to Robert after Jaycee pulled off from his monstrous pull and tell him we would do a dry run of the final 3 corners as fast as our tires could handle in preparation for the final lap. Because at this point all I’m thinking is, “I already crashed, the only thing left is to win”.

FINAL LAP!!! We got through the Start/Finish with Jaycee at the helm just smashing it. By the time we get to the back stretch where Robert and I were just toying with the peloton we were all shuffling for position to go through those final corners. I slot in about 6 wheels back. I thought that was a little too far back because I had intended on going through that turn in 3rd wheel. Robert is 4th wheel. We go through the last corner, come back up onto San Vicente and I see the back end of the peleton just going into the 3rd to last turn, so I know we are flying. We get into the final straight and all I’m waiting for is to see the big green “Brentwood Grand Prix” banner. I see it! I wait just a couple more split seconds and dart for the far right barrier. The next thing I remember is all in slow motion. I pass everyone, one by one, by one. I thought it was going to be a photo finish, but by the time I passed who had been the first racer on the road, I realized I had jumped so perfectly that I had them all beat.

Crossed the line and threw my tightly clenched fists in the air, and just let out a ROAR! A roar that was built up inside me for 365 days since I first started training for this moment. I screamed so loud I almost passed out. I was resilient, I didn’t give up, and with a little bit of bad luck that was sprinkled by some good luck I came out victorious.

That morning just before the race my status update posted on Facebook was, “History is written by the victors”.

Feels good to be in Victor’s shoes.

I want to truly thank all my teammates! This year has been amazing! Having my back on this one really meant a lot to me.

Below is Robert’s video which will give you a little piece of the action.

James Brill, what can I say homie. This season couldn’t have happened without you.

Thanks for your time people.


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Sherman Pass Road Race Report 2013 – All Categories

Sherman Pass Road Race
July 20, 2013
Ridgecrest, CA
Who Raced and Results-
79 Racers – 10 from LaGrange!

Mens CAT 1/2/3 – 18 Racers 2 dnf
9th Joseph Lupien

Mens CAT 4 – 16 Racers 2 dnf:
7th Joe Eby
10th Jaycee Cary
12th Ben Cheetham

Mens 45+ – 9 Racers 1 dnf
5th Mike Frias
Nick Gillock

Mens CAT 5 – 7 Racers
1st in 5’s – (5th overall) Michael Morgan

Women 1/2/3
2nd Julie Cutts
4th Angela Wimberly
5th Reagan Lunsford

Since no one else wrote a race report I figured better late than never. Here is a race report for Sherman Pass Road Race– gaining 9550’ in 52.9 miles ending at 9200’ elevation. This is the second year for this race. The race last year was cut to only 25 miles due to lack of shuttles to bring people back to the blast furnace known as Mojave.

The race begins at the base of Nine Mile Canyon Rd. at ~2300’ starting with a steep climb gaining ~4500’ over next 10 miles. This is followed by 4 miles of false flat/slight descent then another small climb topping out at 7115′ at mile 16 (~5000 ft gain at this point). This was followed by a descent to mile 25 then the climbing began again with on/off climbing except for one quick somewhat chunky descent at mile 41-43. The final 3 mile climb to the finish began at mile 50 ending at the summit of Sherman Pass – 9200′.

So why enter this race? Yes – I am still in denial of the reality of my body habitus believing my 165 lb 6′ tall frame is perfect for climbing (yea-right). Nevertheless, I continue to sign up for these climbing races put on by Antigravity cycling, primarily due to my hatred for riding with other people (just kidding) and loving the epic nature of races in the high sierra mountains.

It was awesome to see the large turn out. The field was more than 3 times that of last year’s race.

We knew we were in for a hot as hell ride with the temp at the base 88 degrees at 8 am and the high predicted to be 110 – our only hope was for cooler weather at elevation.

I am sure you don’t want a blow-by-blow of my race as I didn’t perform any heroics or win my category. My race was one of attrition – getting dropped by the entire CAT 4 field in the first 3 miles and passed by 4 CAT 5 riders added insult to injury as they started ~ 4-5 minutes behind. It wasn’t until half way up the first climb that I finally began reeling in some of my field and not until mile 25 that I finally got my motor going. Unfortunately I was never able to work with anyone, either they left me at the start or by the time I caught them they were just going to suck my wheel dry. Climbing the last 3 miles to the finish I was somewhat drained, but still wished for another 30 miles hoping a few more 20-something’s would drop off the front.

The main issue with this race was water – we were told at start they would have water at mile 25 – Kennedy Meadows. However they ended up having water at mile ~ 12 (before most people needed water) then not again until mile 35 or so. This ended up causing confusion and a bit of dehydration for everyone and severe dehydration for those who didn’t at least pick up one bottle at the first station.

My Keys to survival – Osmo preload, Nutrition, Hydration and saltstick/endurolytes.

Next up – Mount Whitney Stage Race!
Joe Eby

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2013 SCNCA Elite Track Championship Race Report

SCNCA Elite Track Cycling Championships
Home Depot Center Velodrome, Carson, CA
July 20-21, 2013
Who Raced:
Joel Bertet (match Sprints- 4th)
Wilson Blas (match sprints 5th/Keirin 3rd)
Vance Macdonald (80 lap Points Race-field)
Quinn Hatfield (match sprints 1st/Keirin 2nd)

Today was Day 1 of the SCNCA Elite Track Championships.

I am on the run-in to my trip to Indianapolis for Masters Track Cycling Nationals in about 10 days, so I was not planning to race Elite States.

On Wednesday, I got an email from a friend letting me know my normal open session at the Encino Velodrome on Saturday was not happening due to Arizona holding a race. I checked the schedule at ADT and remembered that “States” was this weekend. Not the perfect workout in my volume taper- but I’d get some good intensity, so I signed up for Match Sprints.. and then an hour later I signed up for the Keirin, just in case.. thinking I would scratch.

My main goal for the day was to try and ride a fast flying 200m and hopefully get a PR time. I got to the track early and set up my trainer, because I knew the 30 minutes of track warm-up wouldn’t be nearly enough. I did my trainer warm-up and some high cadence spins, then registered and returned to the track when it opened to do some opening jumps. Good thing- as they cut the warm-up short, and I even missed my last jump (6th).

I rolled out at the end of the sprinters- so I got to hear the times, and knew if I could ride my normal effort, I’d finish well. With a well executed wind-up and effort, I pulled off the track and heard that I rode 11.38″, a personal record by over a 10th of a second. That time was the fastest, and earned me a “buy” in the first round of sprints.

My first round was against my friend, teammate and training partner, Joel Bertet. Joel is a very solid sprinter, so I decided to switch things up on Joel to keep him guessing. I changed my bike to a very small gear, and rode slightly out of character. Instead of my normal longer effort (I am a kilo rider), I kept it slow until very late- Joel was likely a little surprised. When I did jump the tiny gear accelerated very fast, and I was able to open a big gap on Joel. This proved effective and Joel never closed.

The gold medal round was against a monster named Eric Geier – early 20’s, easily 6 inches taller than me, easily 20lbs heavier, and easily 5% lower body fat… Eric is a young fit elite racer.
I wanted Eric to take the front, but he wouldn’t. None of my tactics to coax him into making a move worked. So I ramped it up, moved up track, and dove hard down the steepest banking. I kept my head down and fought. Soon enough, I heard that horrible noise of a 225lb ball of muscle sitting atop a carbon contraption, starting to make his move up along side me. I fought and did a massive bike throw and held him off for the win.

After the match sprints, I was wandering around, checking out the pastries on the official’s table and talking some smack to LaGrangers Rob and Wade who came down to spectate. I had just won my first Elite State title, my 4th Bear Jersey this year, and I was good, ready to head home. The head official asked me to reconsider my plan as there were only 4 other riders in the Keirin.

Just a few minutes later I was lined up for the Keirin, no time to change gears- I would have liked to go bigger. A text from my coach said “get the motor no matter what, then ride it from the front.” I did just that. I nearly DQ’d myself when my standing start got me going too fast and I nearly passed the motor. I sat in the draft and when the motor pulled, I kicked. Looking to my right, I attempted to consistently accelerate throughout the long 625m effort. With only glimpses of the guys behind, I went into the last turn still in the lead. Of course Eric had ridden safely in my draft and came around at the last second to steal the win. After – a couple of texts from my coach more thoroughly explained the strategy.. which I had blown… anyway I held on for 2nd with La Grange’s Wilson Blas rolling in for 3rd.

A great and unexpected day at the races!

Congrats to everyone who raced, and good luck to those racing tomorrow!

Of special note- Vance Macdonald took advantage of his recent upgrade to Cat-3 by racing in likely the most stacked field of the year in the Points Race. This was an epic battle and Vance was in it and fighting. a hard earned pack finish in a field with former Olympians, current Pros, Elite national champions, and the best local up and coming talent SoCal has to offer. Good luck to Vance in the Scratch Race against the same field.

Thanks for reading,

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Rosena Ranch Circuit #3 Race Report – Womens 1-3

Rosena Ranch Circuit Race # 3- Womens 1-3
Where – San Bernardino, CA
When – June 23, 2013
Who Raced – Raegan Lunsford, Keely Brooks, Julie Cutts, Belinda Eschenwald, and Amy

Pre-race strategy: Be aggressive, create a break & get Amy or Raegan set up for
the uphill finish.

The 3rd Rosena Ranch Circuit Race was slightly shortened from the original 2.6
mile loop but the course still included approximately 200 ft of elevation gain per
lap. The W1-3 had to do 9 laps. It was hot and windy. There were about 20 women
in the field, with three from SC Velo, two from Helen’s, all three of the
young Swan girls, a couple of Southbay Wheelmen, and several solo riders, including
strong woman, Ruth Clemence. La Grange dominated the numbers with 5 of us

La Grange started off aggressive, with a solid attack by Bee after the base of
the hill, but someone brought it back. I countered Bee’s attack, but got
brought back. Fellow Las Vegan, Terra Kier, representing the US Military Cycling
Team, attacked, and as an unknown solo rider, the pack didn’t pursue her.

On lap 2 or 3, I took off again after the turn around at the base of the hill
and got a pretty good gap on the field. I didn’t think anyone was with me, but
then suddenly I sensed someone on my wheel! Suze Sonye from Helen’s had
bridged up! We started working together and quickly caught Terra. The three of
us worked together for another lap or two, trying to lengthen the gap on the
field. Terra was hurting from being out for so long solo, and she dropped off. I
would’ve dropped off too if Suze hadn’t realized it was the best situation
to keep us in a break together off the front. If I got dropped, both Suze and I
knew Julie and the La Grange gals would come after Suze! So Suze coaxed me up the
hills and I got on the front for the descents. I thought I was going to blow up
a number of times on the hill, but we managed to stay away. I wasn’t going to
contest the sprint because Suze helped me so much (and I’m not sure if I
could have), so we crossed the line without a sprint- Suze first, me second. It
felt really good to finally get on the podium!
Le Grange went 2nd, 5th, and 6th!
By Keely Brooks

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