Monday, August 9, 2010

Home Safe From Nationals

By paying close attention to aerodynamics, Mike and Joe were able to maintain sufficient speed to make the drive back to Boulder in a grueling 15 hour run, with "Iron Mike" handling the vast majority of the piloting. During the long night's drive, the two reflected on their trip to Nationals, and recognized how much of their success was due to the support of their Vic's Espresso/Peerless team. In particular, they are greatful for the continued excellent coaching and guidance from their teammate and friend Neal "Real Deal" Henderson of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Their "Neal Plans" made it possible for them to reach their goals of their best rides ever at Nationals, for which they offer their profound thanks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 Masters Road Nationals, Criterium

More Hardware for Vic's!

Sunday, August 8th brought the 2010 Masters Road National Championships to a close with the running of the final criteriums on a fast riverside course on the streets of downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana. Mike Newsome and Joe Paulson had hung around Louisville, Kentucky for an additional three days in order to contest the criteriums, and they were itching to go.

Mike was up first in the 55-59 race with a 1:00 PM start time for 40 laps totaling 25 miles on the .6 mile rectangular course. Mike jumped out quickly from the start, with former national champions Dave Leduc and Gordon Paulson on his wheel. The first half of the race was animated by these three riders fighting to break free of each other. Their standoff was broken when another rider collided with Mike on the front straight, breaking a spoke in Mike's front wheel. Fortunately, the pit was right there, but Leduc seized the opportunity to escape with another rider.

When Mike was inserted back into the field after his free lap, he quickly worked his way back up to the front of the field, and started to chase the break, assisted only by Paulson. After several laps of chasing, Mike launched off the front of the field with two laps remaining in a final effort to chase the leaders down. At that point, Paulson was so spent the he pulled out of the race.

On the last lap, Mike's efforts finally brought the field back to the break as they came down the front straight, and even after all his efforts to chase, Mike was able to hold on for the 5th and final podium spot against all the fresh legs in the pack, and Leduc ended up in 14th.

Combined with Mike's previous 5th place in the time trial, his two podium rides earned him 5th place in the Best All Around Rider competition for 2010!

Next it was Joe's turn in the 2:30 PM 50-54 race, also contested over 40 laps. Joe lined up in the back next to multi-time national and world champion Thurlow Rogers, determined to follow him if he escaped up the road. Several early break attempts went nowhere, so Joe conserved energy in the back until an attack by Rogers strung out the field and shed several riders.

It turned out that Joe was marking the wrong Amgen rider, because Thurlow's teammate Malcolm Hill (also a former national champion) escaped up the road with Gerald Finken of the Saint Paul Bicycle Racing Club. With Rogers blocking effectively, the pack was now racing for 3rd place as the pace picked up for the final several laps.

Three more riders attacked off the front with two laps to go, and the pack watched the final podium spots dangling up the road as riders fought to maintain position at the front while hoping others would chase the three late escapees down. As the bell rang for the final lap, they were still off the front as Joe fought to avoid being swarmed down the front straight. Fighting back to the outside on the back straight, Joe saw Bill Pedler of the Schwab team coming past. Before the race, Bill had suggested trying to work together, and he glanced back, seeming to invite Joe aboard.

Bill closed half the distance to the 3rd-5th place riders before being jumped entering the second to last corner. Joe jumped also, and banged elbows with Rogers in a mad dash for position into the final corner just as they were catching the riders ahead. Joe got pinched on the inside by the riders being caught, and three other riders got clean lines on the outside to emerge onto the front straight ahead of him. Lighting the afterburners, Joe was able to chase two of them back down, but ran out of room before the line and ended up 2nd in the field sprint for 4th place in the race, Joe's first podium at Nationals! His result also earned him enough points to finish 10th in the Best All-Around Rider competition. All told, a very satisfying day for the boys in blue!

After the awards ceremony, Mike and Joe hit the road. After a brief stop for their traditional White Castle refueling, they headed west, and are currently 110 miles from Saint Louis. The plan is to drive through the night, and try to make it home by mid-day tomorrow. It's been a fun and successful trip to Louisville, but the boys are ready to return home.

Pikes Peak Ride

For any mountain goats or those that want to: ride Pikes Peak on a closed road, or
volunteer to help out some Colorado Springs folks see the link in the title.

Organizers sent me this message:
You are getting this email because you contacted me earlier stating your interest in helping with the upcoming Pikes Peak Ride or you have assisted me in the past at the Velodrome. Either way... I am asking for your assistance!!
There are some key areas that we still need help with so if you are interested after reading this GREAT! Send me an email and we will sign you up. Just a quick reminder that I need all volunteers to be 18 years of age. Thanks
Ride Marshals: Need 10
Rest Stop Volunteers: Need 10
Clean Up Crew: Need 3
Support and Sag Drivers: Need 5"

Jump in if you can.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

2010 Masters Road Nationals, TT & RR


For the third consecutive year, Louisville, Kentucky is hosting the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, and this year the start coincided with the area's hottest weather in over a decade. The time trial was the first event this year, held on Tuesday, August 3rd in Taylorsville, Kentucky on the same challenging 14.4 mile hilly course that was used last year. Adding to the fun this year was the stifling weather, dead calm and peaking in the high 90's as the late morning start times approached for the 50-54 and 55-59 categories.

Representing the Vic's Espresso/Peerless team in the individual time trial were Joe Paulson in the 50-54 event, Mike Newsome and Dean Sandoval in the 55-59 class, and Dennis Hastings in the 60-64 field. The Vic's boys tried to say cool while warming up by riding their trainers with ice packs on their backs, but there was no hiding from the heat as soon as they rolled down the start ramp and faced the first climb.

Joe was off first, and turned in a 33:44 ride to claim 12th place in the 50-54s. Dean was out next, and finished in 33:25, 11th in the 55-59s. Mike rolled out 30 seconds behind time trialist extraordinaire Jim Dickerson, and rode the race of his life to hunt him down, beating Jim by 8 seconds to claim the 5th podium spot in a time of 33:06! Last but not least, Dennis turned in a time of 34:38 to claim 7th in the 60-64s, only 4 seconds off the podium. All told, a successful day for the boys in blue.

No rest for the weary; the road race on the challenging 5 mile Cherokee Park course was held the next day, Wednesday August 4th. Replacing Dennis in the Blue line-up was Barry Messmer in the 60-64 class. Barry lined up first at 10:00 AM for 7 laps of the rolling, twisting circuit, and broke into the top 10 with an 8th place finish.

Joe lined up at 3:15 PM for the 50 mile 50-54 race as the temperature climbed to a record high of 103 degrees. It was a race of attrition, with riders dropping out right and left, but Joe survived to grab the last spot in the top 20. Mike and Dean followed at 5:30 PM with the heat and humidity still unbearable, and his immense efforts of the previous day caught up with Mike on the 4th lap of the 9 lap race. Overcome with chills, it was clear the Mike was risking heat stroke, so he pulled out at Joe's post on the feed hill. Dean persevered, and crossed the line in 17th place. It was with immense relief that the boys in blue bid farewell to Cherokee Park and went in search of replacement fluids and calories.

Mike and Joe are staying until Louisville for the criterium on Sunday, August 8th, and enjoyed an easy recovery day as the weather finally broke, and rainstorms cooled off the area.