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.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The final days at the T-town Track Nationals were event loaded. The 60+ men had Points Races on Saturday night and Team Pursuit Sunday morning. Mostly, it was a total success. The one bummer was Twitch got caught up in a crash with 7 laps to go in the 65+ Points Race. He got bang pretty hard, but bounced up without anything obviously broken, but was certainly out of the race. It appeared he was headed to some major hip and hand swelling. Wish him well.

Lars went one-on-one in the 65+ PR with a top rider from California. Post crash circumstances and a badly timed trap down (getting surrounded by other slow track riders and being unable to sprint) push the fastest man into a second place finish.

Steve, Paul, and Barry had a breakaway as plan A. With a short race, 30 laps, and no success with plan A the team made an impromptu shift to plan B - Steve sprints the field 6 times. Teamwork, especially on the setup laps (one before the sprint), enable Steve to win two sprints, take 2nd on two, and 3rd on one. This was enough for the GOLD medal. Barry ended in 4th and Paul 7th. This race was probably our best. The field was expecting the Vic's oriented pursuit team to go for breaks, but we quickly changed plans and beat them at the sprint game. How good is that??

Team Pursuit was our known entity, because we hold the 60+ National Record. Nevertheless, we did a maximum effort ride. It was excellent in all forms and fashion - perfectly matching kits, tight formation, crisp exchanges, and a fast time - 3:44 (only 1 second slower than the National Record). A very nice GOLD medal for Lars, Paul, Barry, and Steve.

A few pictures are attached here. Keep an eye out for a future posting that will direct you to a full set of photos for the event. We will try to round up everyone's and some professional photos we had taken. Over and out from the speed merchants.

Ever seen a minivan doing laps on the track? This is a good one. Marty Nothstein - track manager and ex-pro track rider - did high speed laps with the mini-van to help dry the surface after a rain storm. They take racing seriously at t-town.

What sort of fool tries an unplanned solo attack 35 miles out?

Guilty. While this result pales in comparison to the steady flow of inspiring results from our gentlemen in Trexlertown, I entered the Cat 3 (yes, I still need more upgrade points...) Salida State Championship Road Race yesterday and found myself amongst unfamiliar faces. Just over 5 miles per lap for 9 laps in the heat, 500ft of climbing per lap mostly on false flats with a few short steep pitches, a long downhill and a few technical bits.

After 2 laps, I moved several yards off the front through a turn hoping to get a few riders off with me, or at least help whittle down the large pack on tight roads. No takers, and shortly I’m 100 yards off the front contemplating 35 hot miles to the finish. Shoot! Maybe I should rethink this. Instead, I thought “what the hell”, put my head down, stepped on the pedals and figured I would give it a lap and see what the gap looked like (halfway hoping too small of a gap would give me an excuse to settle back into the pack and recover). With no organized chase initially, the gap opened and I realized I might be in for an hour and a half of hurt. Having been mentally and physically humbled by Mt Evans last weekend, I reasoned there was no way it could possibly hurt more than that. The laps slowly ticked down and, although I didn’t get time gaps until 3 to go, I got out of sight and started passing dropped riders and groups from other races, which I hoped might confuse a chase. Drilling the false flats, surviving the steep pitches, and recovering in a low tuck on the long descent I realized that amongst the few dozen muscles I’ve had cramp these past two weeks, one’s eyeballs can actually cramp when looking up too long from said low tuck – I hoped they wouldn’t stick that way as it would have been awkward to explain riding myself into a ditch due to that! I crossed the line a few laps later 2 minutes up on 2nd and 3rd place for the Cat 3 State Road Championship. A pretty good day! - Ken O.

By the way, I wasn’t there to see it, but congrats to Frank Z on the 45+ crit win on Saturday!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Masters Track Nationals: 50+ Report

Why not race everything?!?

Joltin' Joe here with the 50+ report from Track Nationals. My apologies for the lack of interim reports, but I was busy doing every race I could find. Unless I lost track somewhere, I believe I ended up with a total of 10 starts:

Tuesday, 7/26- 500m TT: 10th;
Wednesday, 7/27- 2km TT: 6th (missed a medal by 0.2 seconds; didn't sleep much that night); Team Sprint (w/ Jet and Dave Meitel): 7th;
Thursday, 7/28- Points Race: 5th;
Friday, 7/29- Flying 200m: qualified 5th; Eighth Finals Sprint: won; Quarter Finals Sprint: lost; 4 up 5-8 Sprint Final: 6th;
Saturday, 7/30- Scratch Race: 4th;
Sunday, 7/31- 40+ Team Pursuit (w/ Jet, Rob, and honorary Vic Pat Laraby from Hammer): 4th

When I finally stopped moving, I had 3 medals, finished 4th in the Best All-around Rider Competition, Vic's Espresso/Peerless was a close 2nd in the Best All-around Team Standings, and I had tons of great memories of watching fine performances from all my teammates, including copious National Championship-winning rides. What a week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Penn. Roads

The 60+ men took a day off the track and did a nice 90min ride through the country roads around Trexlertown, PA. To our good fortune the bike routes are well signed - we would have been lost for certain without them. Back to more serious race preparation tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More photos from T-town

Second edition of photos from Paul. The warm up tent, Alex - the best mechanic is the world, Lars 2K podium.

2K Stars and Bars

The track equivalent of the "race of truth" is the individual pursuit - a rider against the clock. 2 and 3 km distance is the standard for masters cyclists - 50+ age competes at the 2km distance and the young boys ride longer. Lars cut the thick Pennsylvania air first posting a 2:38 that was at least 4 seconds faster than the next competitor - another gold medal and jersey - he needs to stop the collection soon, or his baggage will be overweight.

Steve was seeded in the 60+ second heat and had no knowledge how fast the best guys could go - so, what does one do? Go all in. The time was good at 2:30. Then the waiting game began as another 16 riders did their best. In the end, the time stood out as outstanding, 5 seconds faster than the next best man. Both Paul and Barry did fine rides finishing 6th and 5th, respectively.

MOST IMPORTANTLY throughout the day Neal was in pit with all the riders. Giving confidence talks, taking lap times, and riding his own race. Neal's father Jack was also on site and everyone had chance to meet a great guy. The point is, Vic's is a team that operates a notch above all others.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Races of hair; Bosch nipped at the line, Twitch sneaks into 4th

The 5km 65+ mens scratch race came down to a last lap gallop. Lars held his spot a little to long before surging for the line - nipped by inch - see photo. Twitch on the other hand maneuvered his way through traffic and squeaked out a fine 4th place, also in the photo. This team is picking up the bling.

New Jewelry for Rob, Twitch, and Lars

Under hot sunny condition in T-town all the Vic's short Time Trial men started well. Rob survived a frantic wheel change just prior to posting a 1:11 kilo - good for 3rd place. Twitch showed up with a bike about .5 Kg under-weight, so Alex, our USAC mechanic loaded on heavier wheels and handle bar extension. Without fanfare Twitch slotted in with the 5th best time (39.n seconds). Lars had no panics - of course, the equipment had all perfect weight and measurements. Following an excellent start he posted a 38.3 sec 500m. That was .3 seconds faster than the next challenger. The 500m podium for this age group was 4 Colorado guys and one outsider - strong competition, verdad?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire Track Omnium: Group A

Big Fun in First Year Event

In the first edition of what will hopefully be an annual event, Rob Kelly (Event Promoter!), Joe Paulson, and Steve Worley represented the Vic's track squad in the Group A events at the Colorado Springs Velodrome on Saturday, July 9th. The relatively calm and warm day provided good racing conditions for the three omnium events: Flying 200m Time Trial, 35 lap Points Race, and 3k Individual Pursuit.

In the flying 200, Rob set the standard for the Blue Boys with a blazing 11.49 sec time, good for 3rd in the kick-off event. Joe set a new PR with a 11.70 second effort, to take 5th, and Steve finished 9th with a time of 12.75 sec.

The points race was very animated and fun, with Rob going for long efforts, Joe trying to follow the sprinters, and Steve providing great teamwork support. When the smoke (and lactic acid) cleared, Joe finished 2nd, Rob was 3rd, and Steve was 8th.

In the final event, the 3k pursuit, Rob and Joe were paired together, which could have made for a fun dual of the Blues. Unfortunately, Rob's pursuit bars slipped under the pressure of the start, forcing Rob to ride in an awkward position, and he finished 5th in the event. Joe's ride of 3:48:80 placed him 3rd.

Steve skipped the Individual Pursuit in order to join his 60+ teammates in their awesome display of power and precision, riding a 3k Team Pursuit in a new National Record time of 3:43!

When the omnium points were tallied, Joe took the Group A silver medal for 2nd place, with Rob right behind in 3rd to earn the bronze. A great time was had by all, and special thanks go out to Rob for creating and promoting this great event, and congratulations to the 60+ squad of Lars, Barry, Paul and Steve on their great team effort!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Candelas Circuit Race

This is a bit of a delayed post, but I wanted to share some Vic’s/Peerless successes at a fun, well-done race at Candelas Parkway. Along with our 55+ guys awesome 1-2 finish, we took 1st in the 35+ race. The roads were wide and smooth, and the course was a guaranteed great workout – non-technical, 8.5 laps for us with just over 4000’ of climbing total and just over 30 miles. The terms “flat” and “cool” did not exist that day. With temps reaching the low-90s, one brief stretch of sprinklers along the climb watering about as much road as grass became the greatly preferred side for the pack each lap. The 35+ race started modestly, save for one intrepid soul attacking from the gun. After a few laps of tentative racing with brief attacks covered by all, I felt I wasn’t meeting the “spirit” of Neal’s intense training plans for my July, so, after a leg-opening pull one climb and a sharp attack the next, I found myself with no takers, save for Byron Nix, the recently crowned 35+ state champion. We drove hard and quickly caught and dropped the rider who attacked at the start. After building up a solid lead over a shattered pack after several laps, we came into the last lap as the wind picked up fiercely and the skies darkened. I attacked about ½ mile out on a steep portion of the climb, forgetting how much ½ mile of all-out climbing hurts! and having probably 40 lbs advantage (that’s on the high side, mind you... have to keep positive!) given the wind, drove to a solid win for the day. A fun race, cool course and hopefully we’ll have this excellent circuit race to look forward to in the future!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fast Pursuit Time

The 2011 60+ track team pursuit squad (Lars, Barry, Paul, Steve) set and documented
a new U.S. National Record Saturday 9 July. The record was set at the Colorado Springs
Velodrome under good weather condition, although everyone had tortured their legs a
bit with a flying 200 meter and points race before the record setting ride. 17 seconds
was dropped off the record set by the 2010 Vic's team at the National Championship in
Frisco, Texas. The new record is 3:43 for a 3K. The team is looking forward to another
attempt next weekend and the National Championship in Trexler Town, 31 July.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

BMCT women featured in Venus de Miles promo

Hello blue team:

In case you haven't seen the posters for the annual "all women's" Venus de Miles bike ride this August 28th, check out the home page for the ride.
Our very own Karen Feinberg is sporting the Venus wings and that's me in the BMCT kit. The poster can be seen all over town. In addition, a mailing with the same image was sent to 2000 riders. Great coverage for our sponsors! Men are allowed to join the Venus de Miles ride, but only if they dress in drag. Would love to see you in a blonde wig and tutu!!

Best, Annette Kissinger

Monday, June 20, 2011

35+ rounds out the podium

Amazing day of racing by the 65s, 55s, and 45s!! The 35+ was represented by Rob, Mike S and me. The race started out with a modest tailwind and equally modest pace along the dirt roads of the Colorado River. We briefly had the opportunity to take in some of the absolutely stunning red rock scenery lining the river before racing began in earnest. The pace began to pick up as we headed for the first climbs. Rob suffered an unfortunate puncture along one of the sketchier sections of dirt road, and after a wheel swap, spent the day in a tough time trial chase of the pack with a Mix1 rider. As the pack hit the first big dirt climb, the pace rose and any climbing out of the saddle risked a bit of wheel slip. We made the first turnaround whittled down to about 7 riders - the climb took its toll. The dirt descent was fast and fun - Len, I also topped out at 46mph - bumpy with a bit of powerslide through some of the turns to keep things interesting. The pace stayed high over the next climb and turnaround, but it was the long rollers and steady headwinds on the way back that would define the day. The pace ranged from pedestrian to attacks constantly with no one interested in keeping the pace up and everyone immediately pouncing on the attacks. The right combo of riders would never form to make anything stick. The pack grew back up to the mid-20s due to the indecisive racing, and the attacks and counters continued from each of the big teams almost on cue Mix1, Rio Grande, Scion, P2P Westside, Vic's, Repeat. Rolling into the last 2 miles, the winds were still strong and the road narrow enough to risk getting boxed in at the wrong moment. After getting boxed in briefly, I moved near the front, and in the surgy nervous racing a rider ran into by back wheel. Unfortunate for him and he went down, but fortunately for me, he just hit my tire, and a P2P Westside rider immediately attacked in the confusion. The finish would have been an ideal one for Mike S, but he was slowed by the crash. A few of us followed the attack and we decided to drive the advantage with an all out effort and a few quick rotations through a short paceline. With the rest of the pack chasing, there was no time for cat and mouse games. I found myself at the front with the final short uphill headwind climb to the finish and had to open up the sprint. It was a good effort but I was caught at the line by Byron Nix and Matt Gates and rounded out the top 3. Exciting day overall, but next year we'll have to match the supreme excellence of the 55'ers! - Ken O.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

45+ Rocky Mountain Omnium

Rockin' the RMO

Frank Zoldak and Joe Paulson Represented the Vic's 45+ squad in the opening Time Trial stage of the Rocky Mountain Omnium, with Frank taking top honors over Jim Dickerson, and Joe posting the 4th fastest time to get the weekend off to a good start.

They were joined by John Talley for Saturday's Cabondale Criterium, which was combined with the 35+ field, which made for some interesting tactics. Rob Kelly was representing Vic's Espresso/Peerless in the 35+ group, so he made the scene as well. The racing was animated, but the 35+ riders chased down all of the promising breaks, so the race kept coming back together.

With just 5 laps to go, disaster stuck as JT suffered a rear blowout in a corner and went down, and Rob had no place to go but over JT's front wheel. Rob was able to stay upright, but was out of the mix. Frank took over the front on the last lap with Joe on his wheel, and Joe was able to launch for the win. Frank came across 5th, and the blue boys were in 1st and 2nd in the omnium standings after 2 stages.

Sunday brought the Rock the River Road Race, which also served as the 2011 State Road Race Championships. Due to some rough dirt, a few miles were cut off the biggest climb, but the remaining 64 miles, much of it dirt, still presented a formidable challenge. A bandaged and bruised JT joined Frank and Joe for the final stage.

The group stayed together until the steep dirt climbs, when much of the pack was shed, including Joe, who chased back on in tome to get dropped with JT on the next climb as Frank drove at the front with the heavy hitters. JT and Joe chased hard from no-man's land between the break and the remains of the field, but to no avail. They were eventually reabsorbed by the chasing field, which now numbered around 10 riders. Up front, Frank drove for home with his 6 breakaway companions.

At the finish, Frank got the jump on his companions, and just about pulled off the W, but his legs were cramping up, and he was caught at the line by a surging Dennis Farrell, and took the silver medal for 2nd in the State Championships while regaining the lead and victory in the Rocky Mountain Omnium!

With their teammate Frank up the road in the break, JT and Joe had a free ride for home sitting in the chase group. The final miles got very tactical as the sprint approached. Joe moved to the front to avoid getting boxed in, but a rider jumped and then faded across Joe's path, trapping him against the shoulder. Joe braked, backed out of the hole, and restarted his sprint, but was out of real estate, and took 3rd in the sprint, for the 10th overall in the race. The two lost positions proved crucial for the overall omnium standings, as Joe ended up tied on points for 2nd in the omnium, and losing the tiebreaker of finish placing in the road race, so he dropped to 3rd in the final omnium standings. Overall though, the boys produced 1st and 3rd overall in the RMO, 2nd in the state RR championships, and two stage wins, so not a bad weekend's work.

55+ Team Plan to Perfection

Six 55+ Vic's riders had a plan for the Colorado State
Championship in Dotsero and it worked to perfection.
It yielded a breakaway of 7, including three Vic's, at
the maximum crunch time, and 25 miles later Paul
and Bill delivered Steve into a sprint finish to win.

Now the important details. Jet, Dean, and Mike took
the team responsibility to be at or near the front for the first
25 miles. Jet was the Sergeant at Arms, he ruled the
front for an hour. Mike and Dean put in some key
efforts as well.

A couple of medium length climbs on smooth gravel
roads were predetermined to be the race making feature,
and they were. Bill, Paul, and Steve stuck well as
the climbers tried to inflect damage. A group of six
rounded the high point, and a minor hesitation by
Paul caused him a vicious chase on the gravel decent
to make the lead group seven.

From post race reports I understand that Jet
recovered from his early efforts, picked up Mike,
and dragged a few guys back to the second group
on the road. In the in end this was critical, I helped
Mike preserve his Omnium position and win that
competition. Double duty Jet gets major kudos
for the day.

The lead group was generally cooperative with
everyone taking pulls, especially Paul and Bill.
The final two miles on the frontage road were
strange - very cat and mouse. Bill got fed-up
and ripped on the group at least four time with
sprints that forced the competitor to ride hard.

Finally, the finish came into view and group
accelerated naturally. The slight uphill sprint
suited Steve just fine and it was a clear victory.
Paul arrived at a close 4th, and Bill punch paid
for his earlier sprints.

It my honor to write this blog, but moreover
it is a pleasure to thank the Vic's men. They
talk the talk and they race the race. There is
nothing better.


Monday, June 6, 2011

55 Blues take 1st, 2nd and 4th at City Park Criterium

Bill Simmons, Mike Newsome and Paul Mack enjoyed a good day of early morning racing at the 40th edition of the City Park Criterium. The roads are in good condition but with what the Euros call "traffic furniture" or round-abouts complete with fountains and statuary in three locations, it can be technical.
We warmed up well, discussed the final laps strategy and started just a bit late due to the volunteers moving a few cars off the course BY HAND - just like college. Mike set a fast pace with Bill and Paul close to the front. Bill Herwig put in a strong pull which Paul thought good and to encourage him to work a little harder, Paul came out of the round-about and jumped heading thru the start/finish. This resulted in a solo ride for the remaining 35 minutes of the race (ouch) while Bill and Mike worked to protect his lead. With their help, Paul built up a one minute lead to win the race with a comfortable margin. Mike and Bill worked the final to perfection, with Bill taking the field sprint and Mike just behind Bill Herwig for 4th.

We are all sorry to hear our teammate and coach Neal Henderson had a mishap in one of those pieces of traffic furniture later in the day. Heal fast Neal!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Whew - Morgul Challenge Accomplished

The 55+ Blue Crew was exemplary of team planning and adaptability. Criterium and omnium wins were accomplished.

Throughout the criterium Vic's was alway present in the front and working toward a 'groupo compacto' for the finale. It worked. With 10 laps to go peace came over the peleton and without a fuzz leadership was seeded to the Jet on 3 to go. He tapped out a sustainable pace and on the bell lap gave it everything up the hill and through the alley - do everything necessary to keep the would be contenders in their places. Bill had aided the Jet with a pull or two and then grabbed the lead on the down hill, and brought us into the home stretch. Steve and Paul accelerated from there to the line taking 1st and 4th with many quick guys left out of the game.

The Morgul was a challenge and Barry joined the team for the day. We had a plan A and B, and to my surprise A succeeded. Vic's worked only to bring back danger men and keep the group together. Numerous attempts and efforts where made, but the competitors did not build strong alliances, so all break aways that could impact the omnium where nullified. Again Jet, Barry, Bill, and Paul made this happen. A group of 15 or more crested the Hump on the final lap setting up enjoyment for all on the Wall. Glen W. attacked downhill into the base of the climb Steve reacted with Bill because Glen was 2nd in the omnium standings. Once it kicked up Kim W. took over and started grinding. Bill held Steve in 3rd position until the final 300 meters of so. Bill K. attacked at 150 meters and dog race was on. It was a decent sprint, but lacking the speed that makes sprinting fun, and had a surprise finish with the winner (Bill K.) nipping a solo break away rider (Geoff) at the line and Steve coming in 3rd. The Vic's guys all rolled in with Paul ending with 5th (I think) in the omnium.

So there you have it! How does a flat lander hang on to win an omnium with the Wall climb? With nothing but the best Team - elite skilled riders (note the dominance on the 2nd climb of the wall) with peleton riding savy.
Photos courtesy of Jan Hughes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

High Plains Drifters

On a cold, overcast grey morning last Saturday, the 55+ Vic's/Peerless men, Mike Newsome, Dean Sandoval, Bill Simmons and I met in remote Hugo, Colorado for the annual long road race on the windswept Colorado plains. The cool temperatures and light winds were a contrast to past installments of this race. We started with a large group which included the women's categories, 1, 2 and 3 plus the age group women (hi Christy).
The first long southern leg had a tailwind, was fast but not very eventful and the pack stayed together. Turning to the west necessitated echelon formation and the bunch thinned a bit but all the players were there. As we approached the decisive turn to the east, I knew the hammer would go down with at least Bill Kellagher launching so I stayed near the front as did Mike. Dean and Bill were a few riders back and unfortunately missed the break as gaps formed quickly. In the break were Mike and me, Bill K, Shannon Fox, Geoff Cooper, Bill McGinley, Kim Workman, Butch (no I won't work) Stinton, eventual winner Callen Borgias and a few others. We dropped Butch, Callen, Geoff and later, Bill McGinley in the crossing headwind. We rode as a group of five until about 9 miles out when we were joined by a group of five including Bill S. Geoff and Callen. Bill and Geoff had taken Butch and Mike Myers off the back (good move) keeping them out of the final fray.
In the final slight uphill sprint to the line, Bill K was taken at the line by a charging Callen Borgias, back into the racing scene having been out since 1986. Bill Simmons set the high mark for Vic's with 3rd and I followed in 4th with Mike 7th. Dean battled the headwind home with a group of 6 finishing 20th.
Didn't see Clint Eastwood out there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Deer Trail -- 34 Degrees, Hilly, and 80 Miles Away

Who drives 80 miles to a bike race at 6:00 in the morning -- when it is snowing outside? Most of the Vic’s Masters Team.

Yes. We were all crazy and braved the cold weather to beat up our bodies and competitors – all for a brown hat. Yes – the hat was THE prize if you placed in your category.

(Photo: Trish Heisdorffer 45+ 1st Place, Susan Karl 45+ 3rd Place, Christy Orris 35+ 2nd Place, Gabriela Ferrat 35+ 3rd Place, Little dog 1st Overall, Julia Wieck 45+ 2nd Place).

None of us went to Deer Trail to win the stylish hats; we went to test our training, support our teammates, and see how deep we could dig.

I was nervous for this race because the 35+ women were grouped with the 55+ men. There were 57 men and 8 women. This changes the whole dynamics of the race. It makes it faster, more tactical, yet provides a lot of drafting support to the ladies. If you can stay with the pack, you’re golden. If not, good luck.

I usually do not have teammates to ride with, but today I had six other strong Vic’s companions: Paul Mack, Steve Worley, Mike Newsome, Dean Sandoval, Bill Simmons, and Barry Messmer. Riding with these guys made me want to sign up for more races with them. They were encouraging, pushed me to a new level, and gave me needed shelter from the wind.

I had a lot of luck and support yesterday. The day started off well and I stayed in the front and out of the wind. This did not last long. The hills quickly broke up the rhythm and the jumps began. The pack stayed together until the first turnaround on Hwy 34. Then I don’t know what happened. I only know that the main pack was ahead of me and I played catch-up for most of the way back to Hwy 217. As I caught up, I passed two of my female competitors - Gabriela Ferrat & Lesley Butler - and thought they would jump on my wheel for sure. Luckily, they never stuck and I was able to eventually make it back to the main field with the help of a few lone guys working their way back into the pack. That was a huge blessing and changed the race for me (hence the benefit of having mixed sex fields).

Once I got back in the pack, there was only one woman, Rene Eastman, among the pack of roughly 30 guys. All the Vic’s men were there and seemed to be controlling the race. I recovered in the pack until the next turnaround and then tried to position myself perfectly in the front of the pack for the upcoming u-turn. This did not last long as a stream of guys barged past me right before the turn. I learned my lesson and will sprint to the corner next time. Amongst screeching brakes, we rounded the turn and a group quickly attacked. I grabbed Paul Mack’s tire for a while, but couldn’t match his mighty wattage and fell back. Again, I was lucky, and a second group went by with Rene in it. I grabbed their wheels and caught the group.

On our second passage up Hwy 34, I saw the most amazing feat of the day. Paul Mack was taken out in front of me by another rider. He tumbled into the grass and rush to get up. Barry Messmer dropped back to bring Paul back into the group. In what must have been only 20 seconds, Barry was passing me with Paul and bringing him (and me) back to the group. Paul went on to get 4th place thanks to his effective crashing technique, tenacity and helpful teammates.

I was weary and the attacks kept coming. At one of the many hills, the group surged and I fell off along with Rene. I tried to recover on Barry’s wheel to make a fight for 1st, but did not have anything left in me. I was beat by less than a minute, but I’m happy with 2nd. It was my 5th road race and I can officially say I am hooked on these crazy things!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Roubaix in Sand; Dean leads the 55+ Vic's

The M55+ started four (Dean, Steve, Mike, Bill S.) on the Mead Roubaix. We expected a hard race and there was no disappointment in that category. As predicted in the pre-race chat WCR 7 was the deciding factor. The hope was to keep the four Vic's men in the race lead group until the final (2nd lap) time up the gravel (sand pits) hills on road 7. The field wasn't playing nice and through down the gauntlet on lap one. At the end of lap one it sorted out like this; Kim and Steve M. were away, and Shannon, Dean, Steve, Jeff, and a Real D rider were in pursuit. Mike put on the best hill surge, but the check engine light came on and he had to go into survival mode. I put in some effort with Shannon and Jeff to try and pull the two leaders back - no luck. Dean decided to plow some furrows on WCR 3 and lost touch with the group. I feared the worse, but it wasn't true. The hard scrabble man from Canyon City clawed his way back onto the group. The dreaded (at least by me) final pass on the WCR 7 hills was looming. I popped early, still the pavement, and Dean was last to give chase. Somehow Dean regained all but one guy and finished in 4th. I thought I was merely going to ride in for 7th, but one of my fellow group riders (Jeff) fell off in the sand and was trotting the hill. Not willing to waste an opportunity I gave it everything, for about the 100th time that day. Jeff remounted caught me and dropped me again. However, I was a mere 50 meter back when pavement started. Yes, solid ground. Now we go for speed. It wasn't to hard to chase him in and dust him up a little in the sprint for 6th place. Bottomline: Dean is my hero of grit - so goes the story of the sand Roubaix.

MEAD ROUBAIX by Grant Holicky

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vic's/Peerless Women Denver Post April 11, 2011

Team members, Karen Fienberg (Angel) and Annette Kissinger (Vic's), are featured in the complementing photograph of today's Denver Post Fitness article by Ellen Norberg emphasizing the benefits of participating in Colorado's numerous charity events.

The photo: Karen and Annette road together in last year's Venus de Miles - a charity ride for Greenhouse Scholars. Members of the Women's Vic's/Peerless Cycling Team are registered to participate again this year - 2011. We've participated in the event since it's inaugural year - 2009!

Way to represent and support!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mead Clinics

A Day For Heroes; A Day For Fools

Congratulations to all the Vic's Espresso/Peerless riders who put on hard and smart riding clinics on their way to podium finishes, and especially to the new rock owners Julia Wieck (Women's 45+) and Lars Bosch (Men's 65+)! In contrast, I put on a hard and dumb riding clinic, finding a brand new mistake to make after all these years of racing! Heeding a last minute call of nature while waiting for the 45+ Open Men's last wave start, I emerged from my contemplation just in time for the race to go off in front of me right on time at 11:45. I quickly jumped on my bike, sprinted up the street, and headed out of town on the back of the group.

Just outside Mead, another 45+ racer said "Dude, we're in the wrong race!" Looking ahead, all I could see were 400 series #'s; only my companion and I had 200 series. He convinced me that we'd started ahead of the final 45+ wave, so we quickly turned around and sprinted back into town, only to find a deserted start area. We were quickly informed that "you boys are chasing", and my heart sank as we started a desperate two-man TT in the vain hope of catching back up. The brutal headwind suggested otherwise, and we tried to settle in for the long haul. However, I flatted my rear at the end of the second dirt section, and was quickly all alone in last place.

I rode the rest of the lap on my flat clincher (not fun on the third dirt section), grabbed my spare rear from my car, and headed back out for an extremely long and lonely final two laps. I did manage to catch and drop one 45+ racer during the last lap to avoid the dubious "Red Lantern" mark of shame. I never did find out what happened at the start line; perhaps they shifted the start order and I didn't get the memo. Hey, if you're going to lose, lose big!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 UCI Track World Championships

Greetings from Holland! It's Tuesday night here in Apeldoorn, site of the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. For the first time since 2008, I'm not here to help Taylor Phinney at the he's at the Vuelta Catalunya (follow the action there at: but I am here with the USA national team including Boulder's own Cari Higgins that I do coach who is racing the women's points race tomorrow and the individual pursuit on Friday. She was hoping to be selected for the women's team pursuit, but Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed, and Dotsie Bausch made the final cut. I will also get to see a new young Italian cyclist that I started coaching February, Michele Scartezzini, who will competing on the Italian's team pursuit squad tomorrow.
As a result of Steve Worley's extremely generous offer to borrow his travel bike, I've been able to get a few rides on the beautiful roads and bike paths here in Holland - where bike is truly the King of the Road! While you don't really need to shift down from the big ring around here, there are many miles (I mean kilometers) of amazing paths and roads everywhere. The extra oxygen is nice, and I took advantage of that today in doing some quality intervals.

You can follow all of the action basically live on the Tissot Timing website at:

and you can also follow my Tweets at Happy riding! Neal

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was talking to Marc Bekoff during a ride a couple weeks ago about my history a bit. He told me to post some pictures of my personal journey. Yes this is me at 325 pounds and then at 190 pounds. I started this journey from couch potato to cycling nut about 8 years ago. To be honest I was not very healthy back then. My job was high stress and my diet was horrible. There were times I would suffer chest pains that caused me to have a stress test done. Thankfully I could completely turn my life around. When I see old co-workers or friends that I have not seen in a long time they often ask what diet I did or diet pills I took to lose the weight and keep it off. I say there is no magic solution or pill that I used. This path is not an easy one. I just stopped eating fast food and drinking pop. The main reason for the weight loss is that I found my niche in life. I love riding bikes! Back when I first started riding I would ride with people that would have to wait for me. More than anything I wanted to just hold their wheel. I would sit in my office chair and my legs would tremble and I could barely walk. As time went by I became stronger and switched from wheel sucker to the guy that pulled the lunch group around.
All of my success belongs with my mom. When she was terminal with lung cancer and she finally accepted that there was not going to be a happy ending to the story; she requested individual meetings with each of her children. I will never forget that meeting. She gave me some great advice that prepared me for my journey. As I talked to her she told me that she would not be there to see all of her grand kids graduate, get married nor see her great grand kids. She made me see for the first time that money and material things are not the key to happiness. It is the simple things that make life so amazing. So when I am suffering on a long climb or I feel I can not turn the crank one more time, I am not alone. My mom is there with me making me fight.
Mom, I will never break the promise I made you.