Olathe Subaru Wednesday Evening Junior Ride!

What

A junior development ride led by the riders from the Olathe Subaru cycling team. All levels of junior riders are welcome to attend.

More experienced riders will practice race tactics around Clinton Dam, while younger riders will ride the out-and-back path that goes towards Clinton lake (approximately 4-5 miles).

Where

The Lawrence Rotary Arboretum in Lawrence, KS. (next to the YSI Sports Complex)

When

Wednesday, June 24th @ 6:30 pm

Let us know if you have any questions!

 

Nebraska Omnium Weekend 2015

Saturday Morning: 14 mile Time Trial

By: Michael Allison

These past few weeks have been a blur. Since Quad Cities, my training weeks basically consist of active recovery, and just about the time that my legs start feeling normal, its the weekend and I tear them apart again. It’s wild how racing every weekend seems to make time go by so much faster.

Anyways, Kent showed up to my house around 4pm on Friday afternoon and we headed over to Lawrence to pick up Garrick and make our way North. Kent McNeill, the owner of Midwest Cycling, had offered for us to stay at his house for the weekend. We got to the house around 8pm, and after getting everything unpacked and chatting bikes for awhile, we headed to bed.

We woke up Saturday morning to overcast skies and a looming storm on the radar. At this point I’ve raced in the rain and am so used to it this year that I  didn’t really care. The course was out-and-back and it was warm enough that I didn’t expect it to effect the race much anyways. It began to rain softly just before it was time for me to start.

I was the second to last rider to start the day. Brandon Krawczyk (Twin Six), current leader of the Flyover Series, was my 30-second man, and Colton Barrett (Texas Roadhouse) was the last rider to go off behind me. Brandon told me beforehand that he wasn’t going to be much of a rabbit to chase, and I had heard he had broke a fever the night before. I had never raced Colton before. He has a killer sprint, but I wasn’t sure whether to expect him to fly by me in the first 10 minutes or not.

I started the race and as always found myself going to hard. In a long TT effort, pacing is critical, and I have a bad habit of letting my excitement get the best of me. A couple minutes into it I told myself I had to back off, but I was still probably pushing it a little harder than I should have been. The only consolation was the course profile was slightly uphill for the 7 miles out, and was a cross/headwind. By the turnaround I was feeling tired, but the brief tailwind section offered a bit of recovery. With about 2 miles to go I was feeling the mistake of my pacing, and went into survival mode. The only thing that saved me was the slight downhill the few miles into the finish. I finished with a time of 31:34. 

We stuck around briefly to see if results would be posted. Garrick, Kent, and I did a few laps of the crit course, but the rain began to pick up and we decided not to stick around and went to grab some food. Shortly after getting back to the house we discovered that I had placed 2nd behind Jameson Ribbens (Twin Six). The news was somewhat surprising considering the guys that I was competing against, but it was certainly a great way to start the weekend!

Finish of the TT

Finish of the TT Photo: Mike Dixon

Saturday Evening: 60 minute Criterium

By: Garrick Valverde

I decided not to do the 14-mile time trial on Saturday. A TT that long really isn’t my strong set and I wasn’t interested in the overall for the weekend or the Flyover Series points (at the time anyway). Instead, I did an hour or so easy ride, scouted out the crit course, and helped Michael and Kent pin their numbers.

When Kent and Michael finished, we headed back to the McNeill’s place to kill some time, as the crit wasn’t for 8 hours or so. I’ve really been enjoying host housing this year. I thought I was a huge hotel lover, and I guess I still am, but host housing offers a home away from home feel. Hotel rooms get little respect from our team. We end up having piles of dirty clothes in designated spots and the room inevitably starts to smell. Add staying cramped up in that room, sitting on a bed, and slipping into hotel claustrophobia (which results in me wondering the halls wide eyed like someone with dementia) and a hotel room turns sadly un-luxurious.

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Instead, we arrived at the McNeil’s, I pet their dog Jack for probably 15 minutes, made coffee, and relaxed on the deck. The three of us sat there in the shade for probably two hours. Michael and Kent went over the power numbers from the time trial for basically that entire time. They are possibly too obsessed.

We arrived at the crit with about two hours to race. There was a threat of rain, and we were a little nervous because of it. The crit had 8 turns, some pretty sharp, so rain would suck. Thankfully, the rain Gods were watching out for us, and the race was dry in the end.

At this point in the year, I’ve done about 25 races. All of them have been hard, but this crit for sure broke the top five, maybe top 3 of the most painful. I blame it on Brain West. He took off from the start like someone just shot him with an EpiPen. We chased him down like mad. The tight and frequent turns made the pack really strung out most the race. For the first 3 laps I was thinking, Ok, this is really hard but I’m fine, I’m not hurting yet. But the high pace kept up. Attack and attack one after another. Masochistically, I made a few moves but nothing was sticking. Those moves almost sent me over the edge. 20 minutes in I was thinking I might get dropped. After one effort, I actually was worried I could crash from being so exhausted. Michael asked me how I was doing and I just said, “This is tough”. About 30 minutes in a Twin Six rider went on a solo move and the pack I think used it as a rest period. For about 2 laps we just sort of all took some deep breaths. Once that rider was caught, it was game on again. I was feeling it unlikely that a break was going to stick, however, and I stopped attacking, hedging my bets for a field sprint.

One to go in Saturday evening's crit

One to go in Saturday evening’s crit Photo: Mike Dixon

I told Michael I’d be going for the field sprint. He said he’d help. Colton Barrett from Texas Roadhouse was my main concern. Colton won collegiate crit nationals a couple year back. I knew he was going to be going for the sprint. What I didn’t know is whether I could beat him. He didn’t have any teammates and I had 3. With two laps to go, Scott came up to me and asked what I needed. I told him I needed a lead out. Scott’s a phenomenal sprinter, but today’s finish was up hill slightly and suited me a bit better. I’ve never had Scott lead me out, but he did a perfect job. With a lap to go, Michael hit the front, which allowed the pace to remain high so I wouldn’t get swarmed. As we came out of the second to last turn, I was on Scotts wheel in about 5th place. When we hit about 350 meters to go, I yelled for him to go. I was glued to his wheel, but as he moved up along the right side of the other riders, Brandon Krawczyk from Twin Six tried to go with him. I’m not a big fan of bumping with riders but I do believe there is a place for it occasionally. This was one of those times. I just leaned into him, forearm to forearm with a bit of shoulder. Scott was moving past him so fast I’m sure Brandon didn’t have the time to check if there was a rider on Scott’s wheel.

I was able to hold onto Scott, and I was moving up past the remaining two riders. The way this finish is, you go though the last slightly sweeping turn going uphill, but you’re carrying a lot of speed (about 33mph). The finish from there is still slightly up hill but only about 100 meters are left to the finish. I came out of the turn 2nd, but Colton was 1st out, and he had a bike length on me already. I gave it everything, but there was just no catching him on this day. 2nd place was the result, and Scott impressively was able to hold on to 4th.

Garrick sprinted to 2nd behind Colton Barrett

Garrick sprinted to 2nd behind Colton Barrett Photo: Mike Dixon

 

Sunday: 80 mile Road Race

By: Michael Allison

Thankfully, Sundays race did not start until later in the morning. It is not uncommon to have a Sunday road race scheduled at 8am so that teams that travel have time to make it home at a decent time. This race started at 11:30, which in most cases would have given us plenty of time to pack up and relax, but instead we slept in. We were rushing to get out the door, partly because we slept in until 9am, but Kent had also forgotten where he set the keys to his car, so we spent time looking for those too.

We got on the road, ate breakfast at Panera, and were on our way to the race. The skies were clear and it was about 85 degrees, which made me slightly nervous. The week before I had warmed up for the Cliff Drive Circuit in leg warmers and a long sleeve jersey. I took three bottles with me, which I knew wouldn’t be enough for 80 miles, but they announced at the start that there would be neutral bottles in the feed zone. The course was a circuit just over 15 miles, and we were set to do 5 laps. The first lap was easy. I think the heat discouraged a lot of guys from wanting to make things too hard too fast.

On the second lap things began to get animated. My hope was to get in a break, but I knew that the second lap was still pretty ambitious unless a motivated group got organized. On the tailwind section of the course a move got away with Chris Spence (Kaos) Adam Ventling (Above and Beyond), and one other rider. I saw it go, but wasn’t in the right position to respond right away so I began to move up through the field and launched an attack to bridge up to them. Paul Webb (Harvest Racing) came with me and made it a group of 5 up the road. We made the turn into the crosswind with a decent sized gap on the field, however Paul and the other rider in our group were not pulling. I immediately began to doubt the potential success of the move I was in, but thought if I could get away with Chris and Adam that things would go way more smoothly. After attacking out of the group of couple of times, and being brought back, I decided I would sit on as well and wait for a reset. Shortly after making this decision Jameson Ribbens (Twin Six) bridged up to our group, adding some serious firepower. I was still sitting on, but with Jameson in the group my belief in the break began to increase. There was a chase group in the distance, with a sizeable gap between them and the field. Garrick was in this group, although at the time I didn’t realize that. The chase caught us just before passing through the start/finish. Brian West (Above and Beyond) and Jeff Kluck (Queen City) were also in this group.

For the next two laps I tried to focus on saving energy, eating, and drinking, although none of those were going very well. The heat was sapping my energy, and it was a struggle to eat because I wasn’t drinking enough water. The neutral bottles were plastic, so I would lose a lot of water from them when I would grab them, and they didn’t store in the bottle cage very well. With about 20 miles to go, Brian attacked our group and Garrick responded. Chris pulled them back, and I countered the move going into one of the only climbs on the course. This was a mistake. Jameson quickly responded and came around me like I was standing still. It was all I could do to hang on his wheel, and when we crested the climb it was clear that the effort had hurt us all. This distanced Paul from our group, and we all rotated at a relatively casual pace for the next few miles. Jameson then put in another attack. No one responded, and he quickly gained about 20 seconds on our group. Our group was not chasing all that hard, but at this point we were all very clearly feeling the heat and distance, which made any time I spent in the wind really difficult. Jameson kept his lead until the start/finish, where we had one lap left.

At this point we discovered we had 5+ minutes on the field, and we kept things neutral with each other for the majority of the final lap. It wasn’t until 7 miles to go that we began to ramp things up. The attacks started to go, and I rode up next to Garrick to get an idea of what our game plan should be. He said he was fine surfing wheels in the end if I wanted to have a go at things. I was hurting pretty bad, but thought once we got in the headwind I could possibly whittle things down. With about two miles to go, in a straight headwind, I attacked as hard as I could thinking it was the moment to get away. I looked behind and they were going all in to catch me. Thankfully nobody countered right away, which gave me time to get on the back of the group and recover. With about a half a mile left, I got to the front to lead out the sprint, and Brian was the first to jump working for his teammate Adam. Garrick was behind them, and I filed in behind him. The headwind was a blessing, because Adam ran out of gas before the finish and I was able to ride in behind Garrick to finish second.

We chugged some water, watched the field sprint for 7th, and rode slowly back to the car. We calculated it out when we got back to our phones and figured out that Garrick and I had secured 1st and 2nd in the omnium. The back to back omnium wins the past two weekends puts Garrick in 4th in the Flyover Series, and I am tied for 6th. We are excited to finish out the rest of the series!

This weekend we head to Tulsa Tough, one of our favorites of the year!

Nebraska Omnium Road Race

Nebraska Omnium Road Race Photo: Mike Dixon

Breakaway group in the Road Race

Breakaway group in the Road Race Photo: Mike Dixon

 

Tour of Kansas City 2015

Gooseneck Time Trial

By: Michael Allison

As I am sure most everyone who is reading this is aware, we have been getting pounded with rain lately. As a bike racer, it’s inevitable that you will have to train and race in the rain a few times over the course of the year. But for the last month it seems like I can count the sunny blue skied days on one hand. Friday evening’s time trial was looking to be no different. I was constantly checking the weather app on my phone to see if somehow there would be some magical turn of events and the sun would come out and dry the course out. I eventually accepted the fact that I would be racing on wet roads once again.

The time trial marked the beginning of a three day omnium, and the short, fairly technical 5k effort was really suited to my abilities. The team arrived early to the course to make sure we had enough time to pre ride and see how to best navigate the corners in the wet. There was one sharp, slightly off camber turn that I made sure to ride a couple of times. I also wanted to practice the turn around a couple of times. In addition to the already slick corners, there seemed to be a thin layer of mud on some sections of the road which added to the tricky nature of the course. We finished pre-riding and set up our trainers near the top of the climb to finish our warmups.

I was the first one off for the 1/2’s. The 3’s were going before us, but neither my minute man, nor my 30 second man showed up for their start. I am notorious for starting a TT too hard, and having people in front of me usually doesn’t help my cause, so I was excited to have a clear road ahead of me in the hopes of gauging my effort accurately.

From the gun I knew I was having a good day. I was taking the corners easy to avoid sliding out, and was recovering really well for the straights. I got to the base of the climb, and actually had more in the tank than I had expected. I was able to accelerate pretty good still, which at the end of a TT is not too common. But I think on a hill top finish like this, that helped me.

I headed straight for the trainer to get a long cool down in, chugged a chocolate milk and a Nalgene full of water, and waited for the rest of the guys to roll in. I ended up second on the day, three seconds behind the winner. The rest of the team all finished in the top 10. We celebrated with some good Mexican food at Margarita’s.

Tour of Kansas City Time Trial Podium

Cliff Drive Circuit Race

By: Garrick Valverde

Saturdays race was 11 laps of the historic 3-mile circuit around Cliff Drive. This race has got to be one of my favorite courses. There are a couple sections that are always fast, then there a few turns back to back that are very technical. A decently long gradual climb is on the backside, and then of course there’s the Cliff Drive climb that was this years finish.

Our team talked tactics a lot for this race. Benn and I went over several scenarios on the drive over to pick up Michael, and Michael and I talked tactics on the phone that morning. An hour before the race, the six of us met to assign roles, and yeah, go over more tactics.

The race was really squirrelly the first lap. There was even a crash the first time coming up Cliff Drive. I’m not sure why guys were so twitchy. We guessed that the race would be very attack heavy and it was. We assigned Benn, Ian, and Austin to patrol the early moves. Our thinking was that the pack would start to tire the first 4-5 laps, and that the later laps would be when a winning move would come. So yes, we thought this race would end with a break away. Well, actually, I do recall Kent saying he though it would stay together, and I remember thinking that was ludicrous.

About four laps in, Michael got in what looked like a decent move with another rider. They had at one point about thirty seconds, and the peloton was not getting very organized, mainly just hard attacks followed by lulls. I was thinking it was possibly the move. Then Steve Tilford changed that. He attacked on the backside hill really hard. I mean it was ridiculous. In less than a minute the gap was reduced by almost half. After that, guys were motivated and were attempting to bridge. Coming into Cliff drive I heard someone yell that Michael had flatted. My reaction, maybe stupidly, was to attack. There were no free laps and I thought at the time there was no way Michael was making it back on. Plus riders were hurting so I thought I could sneak away with a few guys.

Two followed me up the climb; one was Colin Catlin. I’ve raced with Colin before and he’s really powerful. He also just came off a third place at Mellon City the weekend before. Two riders for me is not enough for a break. Ideally I’d want four or five. I’m not a super powerful rider and that’s just not enough time to rest between pulls. I decided to not work and we quickly got pulled back. To my astonishment, Michael made it back on with the help of Benn Stover who stopped graciously to help pace him back.

With one lap to go, Kent made a great move up Cliff Drive bringing Steve Tilford with him. I though for a bit this move would work. I tried desperately to stay at the front. We were going fast and by the time we hit Cliff Drive (on the far back side) I knew this break was doomed. A little down the road and they were caught with just about 500 or so meters to the end. Kent, even though freshly caught from the break, stayed on the front with the wisdom to know that the pace needed to remain high if I were to hold my position at the front. Coming to the climb I was fourth wheel. Shad Smith jumped hard on my right as we hit the hill, and I jumped on his wheel. As we came around the bend, I saw Lee Bumgarner to my left. He took the turn a bit wide and I gunned it down the middle. I came around Shadd and that was it. I held on and won.

Photo Credit: crankshots

 

 

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Kauffman/Arrowhead Stadium Criterium

By: Kent Woermann

After Garrick’s win the night before at Cliff Drive and Michael’s untimely flat, the GC shuffled around with Garrick moving into second overall and Michael dropping back a few positions.

Our main goal was now to get Garrick the overall win. This would require him to finish not only in front of first place rider Colin Catlin (Northstar Development), but also far enough up that other riders in striking distance couldn’t get the points needed to win overall themselves.

The course was in the Truman Sports Complex, home to Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums. Based off our pre-ride laps, it was going to be fast but easy to sit in, meaning a breakaway would be difficult to establish and would likely come down to a sprint. Benn, Austin, and Ian were tasked with covering early moves and not letting anything dangerous get too far away. Michael and I were going to save our legs for later in the race so that we could chase down late breaks and keep Garrick positioned well in the final few laps. Garrick’s goal was to make sure he didn’t miss the big break if it happened but otherwise sit in and wait for the sprint.

Over the first 60 minutes there were a lot of hard attacks but everything was getting shut down quick. Benn, Austin, and Ian did an excellent job marking the strong riders we needed to watch and keeping a short leash on any gaps they tried to build. I tried to instigate a few moves but with everybody having good sized teams it wasn’t going to work.

The action really started in the final laps. With 5 laps to go Chris Spence (Kaos) and Macen Van Allen (Above and Beyond Cancer) got off the front. Based off how the pack had been chasing everything all day we didn’t think the move was too dangerous. But as their gap started growing, we were getting uncomfortable, and it was clear that we needed to take action. Austin and Michael went to the front of the field and began to reel the break back in. Austin pulled for about a lap and a half before Michael took over in an effort to finish it off.

When Michael began his turn, I was sitting around mid-pack behind the Flyover series leader Brandon Krawczyk (Twin Six), and my old teammate Bill Stolte (Tradewind). We were single-file at this point going about 32-33 mph through the start/finish straight when all of a sudden I see the riders in front of me swing right. Bill couldn’t react in time and hit the curb dead on sending him flying through the air, fortunately landing on some grass. Brandon was able to react just quickly enough that he ground his wheels into the edge of the curb but managed to stay upright. I was directly behind Brandon grabbing my brakes in a full skid while trying to avoid the mess in front of me. That was probably when I hit my max heart rate for the entire race. Bill ended up cracking some ribs and collapsing his lung. After an ER visit to get his lung fixed up, he’s mostly okay.

After that crazyness I moved up to the front to help Michael who was still pulling strong. When Michael looked back and saw me he said with a smile, “no no, you save your legs for the finish”. I could tell he was in his happy place and was about to #redefinepain.

With 2 laps to go, Brian Jenson (Tradewind) attacked and got a decent gap on us. Michael was starting to fade from his monstrous 2 lap effort and it was my turn to take over. Right after the two turns, I got on the front and started chasing. I brought back Brian but the other two guys were still a ways up the road. I gritted my teeth and put whatever I had left into the pedals but it wasn’t enough to bring them back. I hadn’t gotten them as close as I wanted, but with almost a full lap left, I was hoping others teams would be motivated to win the stage and finish the chase.

Photo Credit: crankshots

Photo Credit: crankshots

Turns out that wasn’t the case. There were a few hard surges at the front but it wasn’t consistent enough to bring back the two riders. I tried to recover and make it back to the front for one final effort but the combination of dead legs and high speeds forced me to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to help. Luckily Garrick is a badass in the finish.

As I watched from behind it looked like Garrick he was sitting on the front as the pack rounded the final corner with the two breakaway riders just within reach. Not a great position being that some of the sprinters behind him had 25-50 pounds on him and it was a downhill sprint to the finish. It was like Rocky vs Drago, Mr. T, and Apollo all at once.

rocky vs drago

As Garrick unleashed his sprint he started making ground on the two breakaway riders super fast but needed another 25-50 meters to pass them. He put a good sized gap on everybody behind him and ended up winning the field sprint taking 3rd on the day and locking up the overall!

Garrick wins the Tour of Kansas City

Garrick wins the Tour of Kansas City

The Olathe Subaru TKC Squad

The Olathe Subaru TKC Squad

What’s next for OSC

This coming weekend, a bunch of us are planning on heading up to the Nebraska Omnium. There is a 14 mile time trial and criterium Saturday followed by a 80 mile road race on Sunday. Like Tour of KC, this is part of the Flyover series so there should be some good out of state competition showing up. The Nebraska guys are always strong so it’ll be a challenging weekend for sure.

After that, we are taking a full squad to race Tulsa Tough. We’ve all been watching youtube and vimeo videos for weeks now getting stoked for the 3 days of epic criterium racing. Here are a couple of our favorites.


After Tulsa, we have a weekend off (unless we find somewhere to race). Our final event of the month is another favorite of ours, Tour of Lawrence. The weekend will start off with the always exciting street sprints in downtown Lawrence. Saturday’s circuit race has moved from the hilly KU Campus to Haskell College (those who don’t like climbing will be happy about this). The final day will be the downtown criterium which is now back to it’s old figure 8 course.