Sunday, April 25, 2010

45+ Groove Subaru Spring Criterium

Uphill; Downhill

Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley came out on a moderately chilly and breezy spring morning to fly the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire colors with approximately 50 other racers on the up and down criterium course just outside of Golden. Feeling rather outnumbered by several other teams, the boys planned to ride conservatively for the first half of the 50 minute race, and then try to lead out JT on the final lap if it came down to a field sprint. However, recalling the immediate four man break that stayed away the entire race the previous weekend in Louisville, they knew they needed to stay attentive to threatening breaks.

Like a re-run of a bad movie, once again a break disappeared up the road almost immediately. The good news: it was a solo rider. Who could stay away against those headwinds for 45 more minutes. The bad news: it turned out to be Todd Robertson, a member of the previous week's winning move, and the individual time trial winner at Haystack in the 35+ category (no, that's not a typo). Several riders made stabs off the front to try to chase him down, including Jimi Gibson and Rod Yoder. The boys covered the serious looking moves, until Joe found himself up the road with Jimi and another rider. They were able to close some of the distance to the solo leader, but could not bring the gap down below 25 seconds. The field started to close back in, but a bridge move brought five additional riders up, including Rod Yoder and Bill Kellagher from Vitamin Cottage. With most of the major teams now represented up front, Bill and JT were able to work with the teammates of Joe's companions to shut the pursuit down.

With eight laps to go, JT hit one of the recessed manhole covers littering the course, breaking a wheel and cranking his handlebars over so his brakes locked up, bringing him to a very abrupt halt. With no free laps remaining, JT's race ended early.

Meanwhile, with eight riders now chasing off the front, the leader should have been in jeopardy, but the cooperation in the group disappeared as single riders kept attacking, and Joe kept chasing back to them with the others in tow. Joe refused to respond to yet another Jimi move, and he rolled away from the group. On the last lap, Joe got on Bob Dahl's wheel, but they caught an elite women's group (racing at the same time) in the final corner, and in the confusion Joe got gapped. Another rider who Joe hadn't seen the entire break came by with fresh legs, and Joe settled for 5th. The field sprint for 10th was getting hairy, so Bill backed off to live another day, but still claimed a top 20 finish.

The Vic's boys then pulled off their 45+ numbers, grabbed some quick food and drink, and lined up with their 35+ teammates for another 60 minutes of fun!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

45+ Haystack TTT


With the weather forecast predicting a 30% chance of light rain in the afternoon, the 45+ Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire 5-man time trial team of Bill Brant, Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, John Talley, and Brian Todeschini had their hopes up that the overcast but dry conditions of the morning would hold until their 2:07:20 afternoon start time. It was not to be. By the time Bill and Joe arrived at their rendezvous spot in north Boulder to begin preparations, a light mist was falling, that turned into light rain during their warm-ups. By the time the boys rolled north on US 36 toward the start line, the rain was coming down in earnest, and body core temperatures were plummeting.

The Blues were shivering uncontrollably as they took their place in the start tent, but tried to focus on the task ahead. The starter counted them down, and they were off. Joe lead them out onto the course, followed by Bill, Mike, JT, and Brian. They were under way smoothly, got up to speed, and started their rotation. It was quickly apparent that on this day, the front was actually the most comfortable place to be, because following a wheel meant catching a torrent of silt-laden spray full in the face, making seeing, hearing, and breathing all a challenge.

JT powered them up the long climb, Brian pulled across the top, and Joe took them into the first corner, already on the heels of the team that started 40 seconds before them. They eased around the corner, then wound it up down Nelson Road, which was full of standing water. The water on the road, coating their glasses, and in their eyes made navigating down Nelson Road at 49 mph a matter of instinct, trust, and hope. They all kept it upright down the descents, across the bottom, and up the climb to the second turn.

Another corner safely behind them, the rolled south, the cold and wet conditions starting to really penetrate. Up and down the final hill all five were still together, and they pushed to the final turn, then sprinted the final few hundred meters to the line. As Joe led them home, the water was so blinding that he never saw a line, so he just kept going until there weren't people around any more.

The revised course due to road construction on Niwot Road meant the boys still had a long ride back to their rendezvous point, so they just kept riding in the rain and cold, holding onto their bars with shaking hands. As they headed south on 63rd, a van suddenly swung into a driveway in front of them. As they were wondering what the crazy driver was up to, out popped Neal Henderson and Jerry Greenleaf who were coming to the rescue. They threw the bikes in the back, the boys piled in, and Neal cranked the heat. They delivered Mike and Joe back to their cars in north Boulder, into which they huddled to warm up before loading up their soaked and filthy gear.

Joe headed to the registration area to check results, and found the disappointing news that Mix1 had taken top honors on the day with a time of 23:37. Cody Racing was second at 23:58, and the Vic's boys rounded out the podium just behind at 24:02. Their Haystack TTT reign ended, the boys could take solace in surviving intact the epic conditions they'll long remember.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

KHMTT Week 1 & 2

The annual time trial series is underway. Weeks 1 and 2
have been held and it is time for a brief update. The players,
in no particular order are:
  1. Curtis
  2. Christy
  3. Rob
  4. Steve
  5. Dennis
  6. Dean
  7. Andy
  8. Scott Tietzel (Andy's stepson and young-blood)
The roads are the same, but the course layout is new. It seems most people like the new arrangement - it puts all the significant hills in the last 5-6 minutes when your already in the hurt locker, so why not toss a little more on the fire?

So who is doing what? Rob had a disappointing first week, but turned things around on week two by dropping about a minute. He posted a nice 5th place in Pro-1-2 @ 21:12 just behind Scott, the youngster @ 20:25. Curtis had held first place for two weeks in the 35+cat3 group a touch slower in the second week, largely because the wind was moderated to strong for the early-goers. He clocks right around 21:30. Dean has been the most travel challenged. On week one he and travel partner Darren had to take the back roads, off I-25, because of traffic mishaps and on week two they had a puncture on the VW. Pre-race stress is no problem for the deanster - in fact he also handled increasing negative slope aero-bars during the week one. Week two was especially a nice shine for Dean. He posted 21:37 a whopping 45 seconds in front of Fox and merely 25 seconds behind the Great Wayno Watson. Dennis is the class of the 60+ group, taking first slot each week. The second week he posted a 22:43 under the same wind conditions that hampered Curtis. Christy, still recovering from illness, put in a great ride to take 2nd place @ 26:04 - she will definitely improve upon that, if we can keep in town to do the races.

Of course all the soldiers put in equally hard rides - not much way around that in an ITT. The one exception was Andy - he is on a monster week work tour in Europe. The TT is actually much easier than the schedule he is holding at the moment.

Over and out. sJw, 227

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Training

While all of you are contesting the early races, I'm working on getting up to speed 6 months after back surgery. I'm flying the Vic's Peerless colors here in Arizona. Congrats to all for your races this weekend! I feel GREAT and the warm weather is helping! I'll be back in action soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

45+ Prairie Center Criterium

It's On!

The 2010 criterium season is officially open: the Prairie Center Criterium was held in Brighton, CO today under nippy but otherwise ideal conditions. Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley came out to represent the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire clan, and take a shot at the $260 in cash on offer for the 50 minute 45+ men's race.

The 1 mile loop on good pavement (manhole and valve covers aside) had 6 turns to make things interesting, and every team seemed to have the same thought: get something up the road. Great Divide and Vitamin Cottage had strength in numbers, and Colorado Bike Law and Green Mountain were animating things as well.

JT got up the road early, joined by a Great Divide rider, and Bill and Joe quickly moved to the front to help the GD boys shut the pursuit down. Although there were still 45 minutes to race, it looked like a great move, with the gap steadily increasing. Alas, the GD rider suddenly popped, and JT was all alone up the road. He drove on valiantly for another few laps, but with GD now assisting in the chase, it was inevitable that he would be brought back. Another flurry of attacks (Karl Keister was a madman) were covered by Bill and Joe, and Joe found himself in a small selection triggered by the first prime lap. He hitched a ride on State cyclocross champ Rod Yoder's wheel when he jumped for the prize, and was able to come around to claim it instead.

The pair had gotten a good gap, so they hunkered down and went into serious 2-man TT mode. For awhile, it looked like promising, so Joe went all in, putting what he could into his pulls, and hanging on to Rod's wheel when the tall powerhouse went to work on the front. However, the chasers wouldn't give up, and a small group bridged up at the beginning of the 2nd prime lap. The new arrivals took early stabs off the group, but Rod didn't want to come away empty-handed after all that work, and and launched past them. However, Joe wanted something to show for his efforts as well, and put way too much effort into an 1100 watt surge for the line to snatch that prime as well.

Spent by the efforts, Joe sat up, and latched on to the tail of the peloton as it passed by. The attacks continued, and JT and Bill covered everything, with Bill clinging to Kiester like his shadow. With 5 laps to go, the field got very twitchy, and the corners got very interesting. Another surge brought JT and Joe to the front, and they found themselves in a selection with a few riders representing each of the major teams in the race. JT, realizing the opportunity, said "Let's go!" The group never got organized though, and everything was back together for final 2 laps.

JT drilled it at the front to get the pace high and the pack stable, and Bob Pinkerton charged past with 1 to go trying to set something up for the Vitamin boys. It looked like a great wheel to Joe, so he jumped on it, and followed Bob until the approach to the final corner, 200 meters from the finish. Suddenly, a big rider blew by on the inside, and Joe lit up after him. The rider (later identified by Bill as a former track world champ named Butch), had a good gap into the corner, but his move from the inside carried him wide, and he teetered momentarily in the gutter, helping Joe close in. Joe got behind him, then beside him, then finally inched in front before the line and sewed up the W with a bike throw.

Rod Yoder came across next, with JT right behind him in 4th. After covering countless attacks, Bill still came in 7th. Between the finish prizes and primes, the Blue boys picked up $155 in coffee money, so they were happy campers!

Video highlights now available courtesy of Rod Yoder: You can see Joe's bridge up to Rod's solo attack to start their ill-fated break, and the last-lap launch by Butch off of Rod's wheel prior to the final corner, but Joe is out of view just in front of Rod. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let KHMTT 2010 Begin

Vic's ITT'ers as you know 2010 marks a new KHMTT course on the same old roads at Cherry Creek Reservoir. For you social beasts, seek out your teammates in the southwest corner of the Smoky Hill parking lot. This appears to one of the better zones (possibly shielded a bit from the wind) for the team trainer warm up camp. See you there with many layers on. It could be in the 30 degrees at race time.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Suss it out, from Kerikeri

For those who have stacked it and are in a spot of bother.


You really dropped in it, eh.

You must be slutted! Throw a wobbly if you want. Did you have a flattie? I reckon ya were ridin' like a hoon, goin' flat tack. Bugger! All that hard yakka and down the gurgler.

Did you prang your bike? Is it at the panel beaters? Well, slip on the jandals. Ditch the lolly water, grab a Steinie and heaps of chippies and go bush for awhile.

Don't pack a sad, Mate.

You'll be tin arse and hangin' with the hard cases in no time.

Bob's your uncle,