Sunday, November 20, 2011

Team Jersey History

With our new kits on the way I though everyone might enjoy seeing all the different iterations of jerseys we have worn over the years. The first jersey was worn in 1981, the "official" masters team split with the Sr. mens team in 1984, the Sr. team wearing the "Team Pink" Univega jersey and the Masters (at that time we were called Veterans) taking on the Pearl Izumi jersey. I'm not sure what years each of the jerseys represented, maybe some of you out there can let me know.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fast Track Men

We need your vote! Lawrence and Neal have entered the 60+ team pursuit
National Champions, and record holders, into a Colorado amateur sport
recognition contest. See the video and story (click on the title), and give us your vote.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

BMCT Women hit the cyclocross scene!

Cyclocross season kicked into high gear in September, and the Vic's women shifted onto Boulder County's cross courses with strong results. Heather McWilliams Mierzejewski and Christy Orris started with the first of Boulder Racing's five-race cyclocross series.

Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s greeted the nearly two dozen 35+ women racers at Valmont Park, and both Heather and Christy started the race hot sticking near the front of the pack. The course was technical, with lots of turns and transitions, two stair run ups and a massive sandpit. Neither Vic's lady brought lavish cyclocross experience to the race -- it was Heather's second cross race and Christy's first -- but both brought fitness and a fighting spirit.

As the race progressed and Heather got a feel for the course, she began picking off higher placed riders at a steady rate. She caught the second place racer in the back portion of the last lap, stayed on her wheel to the tight final turn, but couldn't quite nip her in the sprint. Heather took third place, finishing with the same time and a half a wheel length behind the second place rider.

Christy got her first taste of the technical skills demanded by cyclocross racing. Still her fitness carried her to a finish in the top half of the group. She crossed the line in ninth place and hungry for the next race.

The following weekend found the Vic's women at Boulder Racing's second cross race on the Xilinx campus in Longmont. Heather McWilliams Mierzejewski and Christy Orris were joined by teammate Julia Wieck, who borrowed a bike to join the fun and test her cyclcocross chops for the first time. Several racers from other teams commented on the strong Vic's presence.

The flat course sported an early technical section, a sandy backside and several barriers. When the whistle blew, the large women's field bolted for a good slot into the technical section. Christy hit the head of the pack and led the first lap. Heather hung on to the front group, then began working through higher placed riders, staying with the top five racers to the end. In the final turn, Heather took a tough line and got hung up in loose sand, dashing any chance of taking the sprint. She ended in fifth place for the day. Christy continued to ride hard, ending the race in eighth place.

Julia counted her first cyclocross race a success for the thrill of hitting a trail instead of the road. She embraced the technical aspect, the mounts and dismounts, and trying to nail the timing needed for a smooth ride. She took 15th place for the day, citing team camaraderie in both the race and pre-race practice as a highlight, and that’s something all the Vic’s women can really get behind.

Christy and Heather hadn't had enough after the 35+ race and hit the course again with the SW4 group. Their knowledge of the course served them well. Heather took second place and Christy took fourth, making for a full and succesful day of racing.

The next event on the Boulder Racing calendar is set for October 22 at the Interlocken campus in Broomfield, and the women in blue plan to give it another go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BMCT Women's Night Out

Last Monday the BMCT Women got together (100% turnout) to discuss plans and goals and meet our new team members Heather McWilliams Mierzejewski, Michelle Smither and Anne Donley. We enjoyed good food and drinks, one of our favorite things to do besides cycling.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Women's Team Update

The Vic’s Espresso/Peerless Tire women have been active this year. We have been so active that we haven’t sent out our recent race updates.

First off, we’ve been having a blast racing, riding, volunteering and cheering each other on. We’re building our team with other promising racers so expect even more from us next year. Recent additions include Heather McWilliams Mierzejewski (35+), Michelle Smither (45+) and Anne Donley (35+).

Julia Wieck took to racing with a vengeance in 2011 and did six ACA races and three low-key USAC Wednesday Night Criteriums. She won her first race of the year (Mead Roubaix) and beat out some cat 2 racers on her last crit (Bannock). She is hooked and has promised to go to Nationals next year.

Julia was one of the superstars on the team representing us on the executive committee, organizing the Vic’s Espresso/Peerless Tire Crit, helping with team sponsorship, and peripheral marketing efforts.

Christy Orris also embraced racing and did 15 races. She overcame her fear of crits and is now in love with both road racing and criteriums. Her goal was to qualify for Worlds and she did with a 2nd place finish in the UCI Rist Canyon Road Race! Her other late-season success was winning overall Queen of the Mt at Lookout Mt Citizen’s Hill Climb by 2 ½ minutes. Christy was 3rd place in the 35+ BAR classification.

Karen Fienberg became track certified and is looking forward to track racing next year. She got many of us out for a training session on the track – which we all loved. Karen recently did the Lookout Mountain Citizen’s Hill Climb and came in 6th in her category. In addition, she did the Triple Bypass and volunteered at Venus de Miles.

Annette Kissinger and Susan Collins started their season off with a 2nd place win at the Haystack TTT. They had a blast and will be back for more next year. Annette’s been helping organize social rides for team-members and other women in the community with the same cycling passion.

Daphne McCabe, April Ingham and Annette represented the team on the Venus de Miles charity ride for Greenhouse Scholars. Karen and Annette were featured on the poster and postcards for this year’s Venus de Miles, including the banner on the ride website which resulted in over 300k impressions for our sponsors. Daphne also did the B-Strong ride that raised over $250k. Many of our male and female members also represented the team on the Davis Phinney, Boco Loco and other charity rides.

We appreciate all the coaching, guidance and overall support many of you have given the women’s team throughout the year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Colorado Track Elite Championships

What a great showing at the track last weekend. The official results are not up yet so I don’t know how the TT’s ended up but I know I took 4th in the sprints. Saturday was cold and windy! Noreen was tempted to cancel the races due to the conditions but thankfully she let us ride. The 4k was first and I feel I paced it better than I did at master nationals. I never did get my time or my splits but it felt good. The wind was severe and really hurt all the times. The flying 200 was next with the wind hard in your face on the back straight. I hammered through the 200 and ended up 4th seed in the sprint semi finals. My first competitor never looked at me so I attacked him on the high bank with 1 and ½ laps to go. He didn’t respond until I had a 20 meter advantage. I sat up the last quarter of the race so I could save it for round two. For round 2 I went up against the #1 seed and missed the sprint by about a tire length or so. Now I was set to go for 3 - 4 position in the finals. I made a huge mistake and went to the wheel instead of blasting across the top of the course and doing a flying 200 against my opponent and missed out just barely. I thought it was going to be best of 3 but they cut it short and I ended up 4th on the day. During one of the sprints a rider stopped pedaling at the end of the sprint. For those of you who know the track, this can turn out really bad. Luckily he wasn't clamped in tight and he un-clipped both feet and hit the top tube and rode up the embankment in the corner and safely made it off the track without crashing. That was the only excitement all weekend. The rest was safe and fast. The points and scratch races were relentless. Thankfully my wife and daughters were there to cheer me on. When the other results come out I will post them. I raced all events except keirin and madison. 1k, 4k, 200m, sprints, scratch, points, and team pursuit.
Last night I did the retro class at the Bear Creek time trial event near my house. The weather was pretty good and I ended up 1st in the retro class. This is a fun technical course that I highly recommend.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nationals 50+ Criterium

Interesting Times

The ancient curse "may you live in interesting times" came to mind today in the 50+ criterium at the Masters National Road Championships this afternoon in beautiful Bend, Oregon. For today's races, the venue changed to downtown Bend, for a fast and mostly flat 1.2 K rectangular course with the finish line in front of the historic Tower Theater on Wall Street.

After his best-ever 10th place finish in the time trial on Wednesday, Joe was hoping for big things, but was worried about all the recent hard riding he was carrying in his legs. The day started off well under sunny skies and ideal cool conditions. Before warming up, Joe watched teammates Mike Newsome and Bill Simmons contest the 40 K 55+ event, and got a glimpse of how fast and furious the racing would be. Mike and Bill rode aggressively and stayed near the front for the entire race, with Bill finishing in 15th place, with Mike just behind in 18th.

With a break before his race for awards ceremonies, Joe started his warm-up with time to spare, or so he thought. After several easy laps on the course, Joe shifted up to increase his tempo, and discovered that his bike was skipping shifts all over the place, even though the identical set-up had performed flawlessly a couple of weeks ago at the Colorado State Criterium Championships. Joe headed quickly for one of the mechanic's pits, and asked for assistance. The combined forces of 3 USA Cycling mechanics could not seem to get it to settle down, even after pulling off and re-mounting the rear derailed, removing and reinstalling the Di2 connections, and removing and reinstalling the cassette. The could get it to shift reasonably in the big gears or the little gears, but not both. Figuring that the final sprint would be blazing, Joe opted for access to the top end.

Jumping back on the bike with little warm-up time remaining, Joe found that the shifting was still skipping all over the place, and stopped to investigate. He found the rear wheel not fully settled in the dropouts, and corrected it. Alas, it only made things worse. Another trip back to the pits, more ineffectual attempts to get things working, and Joe finally settled for a clincher wheel from the wheel pit, and headed back on course. Rounding the turn to the front straight, Joe found all of the racers lined up, and found himself at the back of the 69 rider field for the start. Warm-UP?!? I don't need no stinkin' WARM-UP!!!

The gun fired, and the race was fast from the start. After several laps at the back trying to find life in his legs, so began moving up, and soon was in the mix of things. The attacks off the front were non-stop, and it was anyone's guess which ones to cover. Joe bridged to a few of the more promising moves, but none stuck. A mid-race pile-up in the downhill corner 4 added to the excitement, and Joe left a sizable patch of his borrowed rear tire on the pavement avoiding the carnage, but straightened out his skid, kept it upright, and chased back on.

A promising move of 3 strong riders launched up the road with 9 laps to go, so Joe dug in to join the party, eventually followed by 1 more adventurous soul. A big strongman was driving it, and it felt like it could be the one, so Joe went all in and did all he could to help the break stay clear. However, looking back with under 8 to go, Joe looked back and found the entire field on his wheel. He slipped back into the fold to try to get at least a little recovery in the remaining laps, and to his dismay saw 2 counterattacks finally succeed, taking all 5 medals up the road.

Fighting for position in the futilely chasing pack in the final laps, Joe hung on to salvage a top-10 finish, coming across the line in 9th place. He then proceeded immediately to one of Bend's fine coffee shops for a well-deserved double skinny mocha, his recovery drink of choice.

Paul and Steve Contest 60+ Crit

On a perfect weather day with a fun technical course Paul and Steve were amped up to ride the National 60+ Criterium. The expected national players were all on the start list and from the gun they got down to serious business. With beautiful team work we were alternately covering moves off the front by the danger men. The pace was never really relaxed. By the mid-point of a 30km race there were about 8-12 guys still in it. Paul snuck off the front solo, bridged to a group being lapped and continued up the road. One other adventurous sole bridged to him - and boy was I liking that scenario. Eventually, after 3-4 laps, some of the guys got anxious and worked hard to close it down. Threading the needle while overtaking the lap riders was probably the most dangerous time of the race for me. The race was attack and counter attack continuously. Finally, the bell rang and about four guys seemed to be still in the race - it was not possible to make an assessment of what was happening behind.

Paul got delayed in the final lap by a crash on the back stretch - fortunately he did not get nicked and was able to come in clean finishing in the top ten. I gave it full gas after the final corner, should have attacked the last corner first - hind sight is truly wicked, and was out drag raced by Le Duc with Fuller coming in a close third. Of note, Wayne Watson of Colorado, came in 5th.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brother and Sister Ride

After two years of planning, some practice racing and training, and the good will of Paketa and wheel sponsors (Dave, Terry, Ella, Jeanne), and help from Bill S., Paul, and Len, the brother and sister team (Steve Worley and Beth Graff) arrived in Bend OR for the National Championship mixed tandem competition. Beth started the day with an ITT then after a short rest was back at the starting line for round two. Seven teams entered, mostly couples, making us odd since we are from Washington and Colorado. No one knew what to think!

The race route began with a 7 mile climb, mostly big chain ring (56), but also some middle ring(44) efforts were needed. Wow, I thought the torture would never end. We were making progress relative to the teams in front of us, but when we turned for the return downhill run it was full gas - and really fun. The bike was a rocket, paketa = rocket in Russian, and we passed two teams on the decent. We were absolutely flying in the 56x11 - eyes watering and the wheels singing at 45-50 mph. The race was 2/3 done when we finally slowed for a turn into a golf community. This part was rolling and twisting terrain - not the best for a "big bike". All the roundabouts, punchy hills, and downhill turns were negotiated with caution - did not really care for a pine forest or sage brush adventure to liven thing up. We pushed absolutely as hard as we could to stop the clock at the end. As we cooled down we speculated we should be in the top 3. And we about fell over when our friends (Lee and Corlet) informed us we won by 9 seconds and 3rd place it turns out was 19 seconds behind that. What a deal - a brother and sister win the Nationals together!!

The biggest compliment came from second place team, who was chasing us the whole ride, and were the defending Champions (two ex-cateogory one riders) - when they said they "just could not close any distance anywhere" - that is sweet!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rob Kelly Gets It Covered

Stage 6 of the US Pro Cycling Tour, Golden, Colo.
Rob Kelly interviewed by Training Peaks regarding his Lookout Mtn. Hill Climb record and power outage.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Colorado State 45+Criterium Championships

Fast Times in Fort Fun

The Masters State Criterium Championships were contested on Saturday under sunny skies in Fort Collins, on a fast, flat 8-corner downtown course at the courthouse. Joe Paulson and John Talley lined up in their Blue Vic's Espresso/Peerless kits, ready to ride on the defensive against several more well-represented teams.

The 50 minute race got underway at a moderate
pace, but things soon picked up as riders began to make forays off the front. JT inserted himself into one of the more promising moves, but it didn't really get established, nor did any of the other attempts JT and Joe went off with throughout the race. On the last few laps, all eyes turned to the big powerhouse Bob Dahl, who is well known and feared for his long and fast finishing kick. Sure enough, Bob took over the front on the last lap, and Joe won the battle for his rear wheel. Keeping the pace just high enough to discourage anyone from sticking the
ir nose out into the wind to come around him, Bob led the way into the final two corners, with Joe still firmly attached like his shadow. He then punched it down the final full block into the last corner, and was still accelerating all the way to the finish line. Joe simply had no answer for Bob's superior horsepower, and in his disappointment faded to 3rd by the line. Meanwhile, JT was advancing from behind, and came across right behind Joe in 4th.

Placing both riders in the top five against much stronger teams was a nice accomplishment, but not the state title the boys were hoping for. However, the top two riders didn't show for the much-
delayed awards presentation, so Joe got the podium ladies all to himself.

Team-member, Pettyjohn, Quoted in Denver Post / Daily Camera Article

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bannock, Still a Team Favorite

Len, Dennis, Bill, Mike, and Steve lined up to contest the long-running Bannock Street Criterium in Denver. It was before 8:00am, although early the riding conditions were perfect. Some of the bigs dogs had a plan, not the Vic's plan. From the gun it was high gear, big watts, and a take no prisoner attitude. Per normal, Mike was immediately chasing the two who were attempting to escape. Steve gave chase going into turn one and bridge mid-way down the back stretch - thus a group of four was formed. Two Vic's and two competitors - we know how to deal with that. In the group there was some chasing, but Bill pretty much shut that down by popping around on second wheel and gliding the corners. Time tick down and the break extended a huge lead. Mike was always game for applying pressure on the front, so the group was happy. The competitors threw in the towel with 3 laps remaining and Mike set steady tempo and was the lead man for the final lap. He gave a good kick going toward the final turn - assuring no surprises! This was a perfect set up for Steve to cut inside and accelerate uncontested to the finish. Even with loaded legs Mike got the 3rd place. The Bannock course remains a favor for teams with great riders and tactical savvy.