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Joe Martin Stage Race Part 2

Saturday: Stage 3- 87 mile Road Race

By Garrick Valverde

Saturday was the 87-mile road race with just over 5,000 feet of climbing, which is pretty significant. There’s an 8-mile trek out to a 25-mile course that we do three laps of. The stage started with a neutral roll out of about four miles. During this roll out, I was trying to convince myself that everyone’s legs were feeling as stiff as mine. Once the moto gave us the green flag, attacks were rapid. Benn and Kent got in several of these early moves. The temp was a bit hot, like 80 degrees or so. I haven’t done many hot races this year, so I wasn’t sure how my body would react. I was tentative in these early miles because I knew if I went too far into the red too early, I might have a hard time recovering.

The first major climb is about ten miles in. The pace was nearly full gas every time up this climb, and it was here where most riders were dropped. I knew I had decent legs after the first time up, which allowed me to shake off any concern that I hadn’t recovered well from the day before. By the first hour, the pace was very high, and our team had already lost two riders, Benn and Scott. But the worst event by far was that Michael flatted about hallway through the lap while I was in a small break. I had no idea until about a lap later when a rider asked me if Michael had made it back on. “Made it back on?” I thought, “Oh crap.” So I spent the next ten minutes wondering if I was the only one left, as I had also not seen Kent in a while. To my great relief, Michael eventually did end up making it back on.

Lap three, and the group is mostly all suffering. We’ve lost nearly half of the 100 starters. On the climbs, guys are grimacing, some actually cramping and grunting. It’s ugly. I’m able to stay top ten up these climbs, and I’m feeling better and better. With about 20 miles to go, I’m starting to think about the finish. I just want to be at the front. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go down. The finish is different than years past with a 90-degree turn about 300 meters to the line, and the road is ever so slightly up hill.

With ten miles to go, riders are starting to get fidgety. There’s a break of 3 just up the road that are destined to be caught. Riders are already starting to bump with one another, and I’m just trying to move up every chance I get. There’s a major crash about 8 miles to go to my left. I hear tires popping and carbon colliding. I frantically look for Michael and Kent. Michael is in 2nd, so if he’s not with us, I’d need to go back right away and help him bridge back on. It’s one of those times where I really wish we had radios. Thankfully, I spot him and Kent. At this point, my adrenaline is high. I’m entirely focused on being at the front. Kent graciously moves me up, and takes a long pull with about 5 miles to go. I’m sitting 3rd wheel. I tell myself I’m not moving out of the top ten, but I keep getting swarmed.

Bike racing to me is kind of like a language you’re trying to decipher. Or maybe it’s like a complex math equation, or rather dozens of equations going on at the same time. Our brains are taking in huge volumes of information, analyzing it, and then deciding ok; take this riders spot, move up now, this guy isn’t going to let you in, try to take the spot of the guy in front of him. The rider on your left is trying to pass, move a few inches over, don’t let him in, let this guy in, he’ll keep the pace high; he’s working for so and so. Brake, let go of brakes, now move up again. It’s very frantic and a little stressful, but it’s maybe one of the most exciting aspects of bike racing.

With about a kilometer to go, I’m top ten. A few riders on the front peel off, and I’m going into the final turn in about 7th. I see an opening to my left, and I gun it. I’m passing riders one by one. An Arapahoe Resources rider veers into my line and we collide shoulders briefly. I have one more rider ahead. A few more pedal strokes and I come by him just before the line. I couldn’t believe I just won. I look back, almost in disbelief, and find Michael whose first words are “Duuuude!” with a massive grin on his face.

Sunday: Stage 4- 50 minute Criterium

By: Michael Allison

I came in to Sunday’s stage with two very strong, very different emotions. On the one hand, we had won the two road stages at the biggest stage race in the Midwest- super pumped! On the other, Kent and I had lost our 2nd and 15th placings in the GC, and I was gutted. The day before, when I flatted my rear wheel, Kent and Austin waited with me to help pace me back to the field. The wheel change took slightly longer than we would have hoped, but the moto ref waited with us, and I was expecting a nice, short TTT effort up to the field. It wasn’t a minute into the chase that I realized we were screwed. The moto had very clearly never motor paced before and we were doing 350-400 watts just to try to catch his wheel. Fast forward 20 minutes. My avg pwr from the chase is 310 watts. The field is in sight, but I’m about to blow. My HR is 190. Kent and Austin are both gone having wasted themselves to try to get me back to the pack. After making it up the wall, the moto ref leaves me, and I think my race is done. Shortly after my raced is saved, at least it seemed that way at the time. A cop pulls up alongside me, and I get a sticky bottle that allows me to rejoin the pack. Garrick wins the stage, I finish 11th, Kent gets same time. However, we quickly realized the consequences of the race saving scenario Kent and I had found ourselves in. There were protests, and we were relegated to the back of the front group. Kent and I were both penalized two minutes in GC. Really sad, but it was a lose-lose situation. Still, Garrick took the win, and that softened the blow big time.

So, Sunday’s race. My plan was to be as aggressive as possible. Partly out of frustration. But also to continue the previous three days efforts to showcase our team. The crit was only 50 minutes. The course is basically a short .1 mile steep climb to the finish, followed by two long descents, and two short flats leading into the finishing hill. I didn’t get a very good starting position, but I put in some hard efforts in the first half lap to move up quickly, knowing it wouldn’t take long for the early move to go. On the 2nd lap, the first move came from Luis Galaviz (Fayetteville Wheelman). I went with, hoping to bring along a couple other riders, however it was just me and him. The next lap around was a cash prime lap, and I suggested we work smoothly and split the money. I made the mistake of not looking back to see where the field was after the 2nd to last turn, and didn’t see the lone chaser that came up on us too fast after the final turn to react. Luis and I lost the prime, but I quickly jumped up to the other rider and went around him to keep the field off. The next four or five laps I was solo, but was quickly reeled in after being joined by 2 other riders. I was able to get a lap of recovery in the field before another group went off. The effort this new group put in to distance ourselves from the field hurt, and I was beginning to really feel the previous effort. We made it a few laps just the three of us, and were then somehow joined by another group of about 10 that had many of the GC favorites. I briefly thought that this large group might be the winning move however, it was too close to the finish and we were caught. I was fried anyways, and the rest of the race was a blur. There were 3 or 4 laps to go, and a suicide move went off the front, and I tried following. I couldn’t really pull, but the field wasn’t far off and this move had no chance anyways.

This final break got caught with two to go going up the finishing climb. I was shot. Garrick was in great position as the field came by. The group had been reduced to about 30 riders, and there were many smaller groups that passed in the final lap. I saw Kent, and tried to hang on to the group he was in, but I could hardly turn over the pedals. I finished the crit by myself, the moto ref behind me, meaning I was the last person on the course. I found Garrick, who had placed fifth, and the rest of the team and we sat near the finish reminiscing on the memories that we created from the weekend. The final lap of the race was an opportunity for me to reflect on our huge accomplishments, and it was clear to me that despite some of the setbacks and making some mistakes, we still were able to ride strong as a team and get major results at each stage of one of the biggest races on our calendar. Joe Martin was a stepping stone for us as we head into the summer calendar and the rest of the season.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support. Our next race is Quad Cities in Iowa over Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Garrick wins Stage 3 Road Race; Photo: Dean Warren

Michael in the break on Sundays stage; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick and Kent in the field; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick and Kent in the field; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent in the field on Stage 4; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent in the field on Stage 4; Photo: Dean Warren

Jason Waddell (Tulsa Wheelmen) won Stage 4, Garrick Valverde sprinted to 5th place; Photo: Dean Warren

Jason Waddell (Tulsa Wheelmen) won Stage 4, Garrick Valverde sprinted to 5th place; Photo: Dean Warren

Joe Martin Stage Race Part 1

Thursday: Stage 1- Devils Den Time Trial

By Kent Woermann

Everybody’s pre-race game is a little different. Most of the team blast techno and fist pump their way through their morning, while I prefer a more relaxed approach, starting with a nice quiet breakfast, maybe a little Mumford and Sons, then taking a little more time than necessary to pin my number, get dressed, and start my race warm-up. The start of today’s stage didn’t involve any techno, but nothing else seemed to be going well, or at least I didn’t think so.

We got to the venue with plenty of time, but parking was a little different than years past and we had to walk about 3-4 minutes up a hill to the registration table. I know it’s pitiful to complain about a little walking, but I knew what was in store for me this weekend and saving every step I could was important.

Scott and I got the the registration table and they needed to see our race license before they would hand over our packets. Scott was already logged into the USAC app and got his right away but I left my phone at the car and since I went ‘green’ this year that was my only option. I tried logging into the app from Scott’s phone but the internet connection was shaky at best. After a few login attempts I gave up, walked back to the car, and walked back. My nice time cushion for number pinning and warming up was rapidly fading.

Getting back to the car I had 3 things that needed to happen; pin number, get dressed, and change out brake pads. I won’t get into the details, but getting these three tasks accomplished didn’t go smoothly – although they didn’t go that bad either. My race brain was making events seem slower than they actually were.

So I got dressed and rode down to the starting gate to check on my start time. I still had 40 minutes left which was more than enough. I used the climb on the other side of the race venue and went up and down it a few times. I felt pretty good.

On to the race…

My goal was to pace the first 1:15 at around threshold. My power meter fizzled out earlier that week so I had to do this by feel. I had specific power goals for the entire course but that mostly got thrown out the window. I can gauge what my threshold feels like when I’m fresh, but when the pain starts to creep in a few minutes into a time trial everything just feels hard. My goal after 1:15 was to push to the burn, embrace the burn, then push harder.

As I was nearing the end I saw the top of the hill where the race used to finish and I unleashed my final kick. As I got closer I realized the vehicle and the guy at the ‘finish line’ was just a photographer and I had to keep going. I had just given everything I had to finish and my legs were shot. I went from being super happy because my time was the best it’s ever been to really frustrated.

I did what I could to keep my speed up and when I saw the real 200 meter to-go sign I tried sprinting again, only this time it was really slow and twice as painful as the first. I crossed with a finishing time of 9:40ish.

I was really disappointed with this time because I’ve been training hard, eating better, and lighter and stronger than I’d been in a few years. To only shave a few seconds off my PR for this course after doing all the right things was discouraging to say the least. I even said to Michael and Scott afterwards, “I could lose another 20 pounds and I would still suck on this course”. It hadn’t dawned on me at this point that the course was longer than in years past.

So it turns out that the course was actually about 600 meters longer than previous years and I finished 12th overall. Had it been the course from years past I would have finished with a time of ~ 8:59 which would have been 45 seconds faster than I’ve ever done. Needless to say I was very happy to learn this.

It was a good start to the weekend, but we had our work cut out for us. Michael was :50 down, and Garrick was 1:08 down due to dropping his chain.

Friday: Stage 2- 110 mile Road Race

By Michael Allison

We went into Friday’s stage with the intention of protecting Kent’s position in the GC and possibly moving him up. There wasn’t a specific game plan going into the stage. Kent wasn’t high enough in the GC where we felt like we needed to send someone in the early break, and it is such a long race that it is difficult to anticipate how the tactics will play out. For 110 miles, a lot of it comes down to attrition. My personal game plan was to survive over Mt. Gaylor, assess how I felt, and maybe if I still had legs going into town I would get in a move.

The first 47 miles or so were like any race. Fast, jumpy, and aggressive until the early break finally forms. At about mile 30, Jacob White (Arapahoe Resources) jumped off the front, and in the next 5 or 10 miles a few others jumped to him to make it a 5 man move up the road. It began raining at about mile 50. We were going at a moderate pace, and Garrick came up to me shivering, commenting on how cold it was getting. I was getting cold as well, and it didn’t help that I could barely see what was ahead. The only thought running through my head was to get through the race and get into some warm clothes.

Thankfully, the rain began to die down as we headed into the 10-mile climb up Gaylor. My legs felt decent and I was drinking and eating as much as I could, saving as much energy as possible sitting towards the back of the pack. Before the ascent, I had Scott bring me up into the top 20 of the field and I hung in around there for most of the climb.

After the feed zone at the top, it is basically downhill for the rest of the race. Attacks started to go, and I was following almost everything that went. The attacks continued for 5 miles, but at mile 95 the group reset and Ricky Randall (Arapahoe Resources) was the lone rider out in front. I jumped to him, hoping I was dragging one or two others with me, but turned around and realized it was just the two of us.

For the next 2 miles it was just us, but we were then joined by his teammate Evan Bybee and Evan East (Hincapie Development). 13 miles to go. We had about 15 seconds on the group. About 2 miles later we were joined by another Hincapie rider, Ian Garrison, as well as Bill Mulligan (LAPT-Wilde Subaru). Our gap was still roughly 15 seconds, but with six of us my confidence in the break sticking was increasing.

I don’t know when it was that the group let our gap increase, but with about 6 miles to go I turned around and realized our gap had increased significantly. With 3km to go, I stopped pulling. With two other teams in the break having the advantage, I left it to them to set the pace.

With 1.5 km to go, there is a steep pitch just after a right hand turn. We weren’t taking risks into the corners, so we were slightly spread out. Evan East was a couple seconds ahead of us having gone into the right hander first, so I punched it as hard as I could over the top of the hill. I looked back to see East on my wheel and a decent gap to the rest of our breakaway companions. I signaled for him to pull through, but he shouted to keep going, that he was only looking for GC time. I didn’t trust him completely and was prepared to sprint coming to the line, but with 100m to go realized I would take the win. I wasn’t focused on what the announcer was saying, but as I threw my hands up I could very clearly hear him shout “from Kansas!”, almost in a surprised tone.

 

Garrick dropped his chain in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick dropped his chain in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick remains calm after an unfortunate chain drop. Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick remains calm after an unfortunate chain drop. Photo: Dean Warren

Kent Woermann powered his way to 12th place in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent Woermann powered his way to 12th place in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Austin Elser in Thursdays TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Austin Elser in Thursdays TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Benn Stover in the Devil's Den TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Benn Stover in the Devil’s Den TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Scott Williamson in Thursday's TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Scott Williamson in Thursday’s TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Michael near the end of the 2.5 mile TT; Photo: Biff Stephens

Michael near the end of the 2.5 mile TT; Photo: Biff Stephens

Michael takes the victory in stage 2; Photo: Ethan Glading

Michael takes the victory in stage 2; Photo: Ethan Glading

Series Win at Spring Fling

Leading into the final week of the Spring Fling, there were numerous discussions over what our strategy would be. With rumors that second place in the series, Joe Peterson (Rasmussen Bike Shop), would not be there, I had the overall series win secured. Kent and Benn were sitting 4th and 5th in the series so we wanted to try to move them up and then possibly get one more of our guys up into the top five. A few of us had volunteered to corner marshal for the first two races early in the day, and as we sat there watching the Master’s and Women’s races we bounced different ideas around of what our plan should be. After taking a look at the series points we decided that if we could get Scott the win and get Kent and Benn some prime points, we could put four of our guys in the top five in the overall. I was getting excited!

We set out for our usual longish warmup. By this time I would generally have already eaten my usual pre-race Chipotle burrito, but we had spent the morning at the course, and I hadn’t planned out my meals very well before leaving the house. I was getting hungry, which made me slightly nervous so I brought some money along with me to make a quick food stop during the ride. All was going smooth, as usual, until my shifter ate my rear derailleur cable. We were near campus when this occurred, so thankfully we were close to Sunflower and could swing by to pick up a new cable, and hopefully still make it to the race in time. The nerves were really kicking in now. I threw my bike in the stand took the shredded cable out, and Benn and one of the mechanics at Sunflower, Collin, helped me thread the new one in. Crisis averted, but I was still hungry, and we were on a time crunch to make it back to the race. I grabbed a couple Bonk Breakers from the shop and we rolled out. Not exactly the lunch of champions, but I was happy to have anything at this point.

We made it back to the race, discussed the game plan one more time, and hit the start line. From the gun, there was a hard attack from someone that strung the field out and took me somewhat off guard. Since we had the numbers I was expecting the field to wait for us to show our cards. Scott and I had started at the back, and gaps were already beginning to open up, so we quickly navigated our way up to the rest of our team and began to rotate on the front to make a selection. After about three laps of controlling the front, the only people left were our team plus Luke Sykora (Lincoln Industries) and Marc Walter (Powerade). The race turned into a team time trial. When the bell rang for the first prime, it was the first test to see how our legs felt. We had averaged 27.9 mph up until this point, and I could feel it. Since I didn’t need any points in the sprints, my job was to lead it out until the second to last corner. I pulled off and Garrick took over. I filed in behind Benn and Scott and we took 1st-5th in the prime. We quickly reorganized our train and continued to rotate on the front, slowing the pace slightly so that we wouldn’t crack before the race was over and to ensure that everyone would be fresh enough to have a sprint left for the remaining primes. The second and third prime were almost identical to the first. Luke Sykora nipped Garrick at the line for 4th in one of the sprints, but regardless, everything was still going well for us. In the final sprint Scott, Kent, and Benn took 1, 2, 3 and Garrick and I placed 4th and 5th. In the series, Kent and I finished 1st and 2nd, Joe Peterson took 3rd, and Benn and Scott placed 4th and 5th.

Thanks so much to Revolution Racing for the great race. The Spring Fling celebrated its 20th year, and we were happy to be a part of it. The early season racing gave us the opportunity to practice tactics that will help us in the bigger races. This weekend we will be at the Lecompton Team Time Trial on Saturday. Sunday, a couple of the guys will be racing the Gravelleur’s Raid. We will also have a few guys in the wind tunnel of Kansas, Bazaar. See you this weekend!

Series Podium. Joe Peterson was not present, but placed third

Series Podium. Joe Peterson was not present, but placed third

Michael Allison wins the overall series

Michael Allison wins the overall series

Week 5 results

Week 5 results

Race Report: Spring Fling Week 4

On Saturday morning I woke up and realized I needed some pancakes and coffee. Kelly and I were headed out to race the Spring Fling that afternoon and word on the street is some tough competition would be making an appearance this weekend. We were out of coffee and milk so I made got in the car to head to the store. As I was driving to Hy-vee I could already feel myself getting pumped. At this point I wasn’t sure whether it was excitement for pancakes and coffee or the race but it doesn’t matter – lightweight babbbbyyyy!!!

Pre-Race:

Before the races we’ve been heading out for an easy 60-90 minute spin. It’s early in the season still and a 60 minute training criterium just isn’t enough time on the bike especially since many of us are gearing up for longer events like Joe Martin. We usually head towards Lone Star Lake but the tailwind on the way out would mean a stiff headwind on the way back. Finishing a warm-up feeling fast is good for the head so a tailwind finish is preferable. We ended up doing a loop through Lawrence and the KU campus. Once we got back we emrbo’d up and put on our race wheels. It was go time.

Perfect day for some @chamoisbuttr embrocation here at the Spring Fling! #buttrmakesitbetter #ridesubaru #pacelineproducts

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The Race:

There are always so many attacks in our races that I can never remember the exact order of what happened. The first few laps were unusually calm with only a few attacks that were getting quickly chased down.

Eventually Benn and Chris Spence from Team Kaos got off the front and built a solid gap. Riders made a few attempts to bridge but nobody was letting anything get away. After maybe 4-5 laps Lee, Michael, and Garrick finally got a separation from the pack and started to pull away.

There were a few attempts to bridge to the newly formed chase group but those 3 riders were on the gas and pulling away quickly. After one of the Kaos riders put in a dig in the finishing straight I used that momentum and jumped with everything I had to make the bridge. As I rounded turn one I saw that I was actually going to make the catch. I sort of surprised myself with that effort and it was a good sign that I’m getting my legs back.

After I connected to the chase group I was still feeling good so I started to pull through. I wanted to make sure we didn’t get reeled back in by the main bunch since Michael was our series leader and there were still a lot of sprint points left in the race even if we didn’t catch Benn and Chris up ahead.

The 4 of us quickly started working together and built a sizeable gap within the next couple laps when they rung the bell for a prime lap. There were still two point spots up for grabs and we wanted Michael to get them. Garrick and I started trading pulls on the front with Michael right behind us for the lead out. Going through the final turn we stayed to the left of the road leaving just enough room for Michael to get by. He got the third point position while Lee got the fourth.

After that we reorganized and continued our rotation. Within the next 1-2 laps we caught Benn and Chris and then that’s when the fun really started. We were only friendly with one another for a short while before the attacks started going off. Even though Benn and Chris were the virtual points leaders of the race there was still one more sprint lap and the final lap (the final is worth the most points). The race win was still up for grabs.

On the next sprint lap Garrick and I did the same thing we did on the previous lap and led out Michael and Benn. Benn ended up getting stuck behind Lee coming into the final turn so Michael took first in the sprint while Garrick was second, I was third, and Lee was fourth.

After that Chris started throwing some attacks. Garrick and I were covering most of these attacks while we attempted to keep Michael and Benn fresh for the final sprint. Chris was on fire, and chasing every one of these down hurt like hell. Fortunately with there being four Olathe Subaru guys and only 2 Kaos riders we had the advantage and splitting the workload to chase him down made it easier.

For the final two laps we wanted to discourage Chris or Lee from attacking off the front so I started to ramp up the pace with about one and a half laps to go. After I put in my dig it was Garrick’s turn and he turned on the throttle, flying by me with Michael, Benn, Lee, and Chris on his wheel (in that order I believe).

As I watched from behind I saw Lee jump ahead at the final turn with a pretty big gap and I thought he had it. Right as I thought Lee was going to get the win Michael found an extra gear and nabbed Lee at the line!

A solid race weekend for Olathe Subaru.

Results_for_Spring_Fling_Crit_Series_-_USA_Cycling

The following day Michael, Benn, Garrick, and Tom woke before the break of dawn, 4:30am to be exact, and made the drive down to Arkansas for the NWA Classic. Arapahoe Resources had a full squad, and Tulsa Wheelman and Elevate Cycling also were had some heavy hitters, sure to play an active role in the race making for a solid challenge.

Garrick found himself in a move with Jacob White (Arapahoe Resources) at the start of the second lap, and with heavy crosswinds, the group wasn’t too eager to ramp it up that early. At the start of the third lap, things began to pick up and the catch was eventually made. Evan Bybee (Arapahoe Resources) and Alberto Covarrubias (Elevate Cycling) were eager to get away from the group and put in serious attacks that had the group single file, and on the backside of the course a group of about 15 got away with Michael in there. With five Arapahoe Resources riders in the mix, they took up majority of the pacemaking to distance the break from the rest of the field. Once the break had about two minutes, the attacks began leading to a group of seven splitting off.Michael was behind in a chase group of three, and despite several attacks to try to distance himself from the three, he ended up 9th. Garrick finished second in the field sprint to take 17th.

Results from NWA Cycling Classic. @michaelallis0n 9th, @garrickvalverde 17th, @twp521 31st. #crosswinds #ridesubaru

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Next Up For Team Olathe Subaru

Next weekend we’ll be racing at the final Spring Fling in the series. We’ve got Michael in the overall lead and a few other riders placed high in the overall. Since there isn’t any racing Sunday most of us will probably be doing some longer rides in preparation for the Velotek GP and Joe Martin at the end of the month!

Tour of Corsicana 2015

This weekend the team traveled down south to Corsicana, Texas for the Tour of Corsicana. It’s a two day, three stage race with a 5 mile TT on Saturday, 60 min crit Saturday night, and an 88 mile road race on Sunday. We drove down Friday night and stayed in a renovated three story art studio. The building is used to house artists that travel to Corsicana to work on projects without distraction, in a creative environment. They had some beautiful artwork displayed throughout the building, which was a unique experience compared to the usual hotel stay.

Saturday 

The time trial was a slightly downhill 4.7 mile point to point. We knew going into it that we would probably have to make up time in the crit and road race since none of us have TT equipment. The time differences were fairly minimal so we were hopeful that the next two stages would give us some opportunities to move up in the GC.

Following the TT, we spun back to the studio, ate some lunch, and took it easy before the crit which wasn’t until 8:30pm. The course was .9 miles with 6 turns and two brick sections. For the first 40 minutes of the race it was full gas and Michael, Kent, and Garrick followed several moves but the field of 71 riders was clearly unwilling to let a break get away. With 9 laps to go, Garrick was getting caught from a break going into the final corner. The final corner had been tricky all race because there was a line of water draining across the apex of the turn that had caused a number of crashes throughout the day. Since the field was making the catch through that corner, Garrick took a deviated line and slid out on the inside. The field went left, so Garrick was the only one involved and was able to rejoin the group the next lap. Elbowz and Arapahoe Resources had quite a bit of fire power at the front of the race and kept things fast coming into the final laps, ensuring that no surprise attacks would get away. With one to go Michael and Garrick were near the front fighting for position in the top ten. The last few turns offered little opportunity to gain any position as the pace was high and the turns were tight. Michael was 8th position coming into the last corner and sprinted past two lead out men to take 6th, and Garrick sprinted his way from about 15th position to 7th.

Sunday

After the crit, Michael, Garrick, and Kent were our highest placed riders in the GC, about a minute down. Our goal was to put one of them in the break and make up that time. The course was 4 laps on a flat 22 mile loop. On the first loop, out priority was to stay near the front and monitor any early moves, however no attacks got up the road that established significant time. Going into the second lap the race started getting more animated. Despite Elbowz having 2 riders in the top 3 overall, it was clear they wanted to get one of them into a break so they could take the win. This made the first part of the second lap fast and difficult due to the constant jumps. About half way through that lap things began to settle down and a move with Arapahoe Resources and another rider slipped up the road. Kent quickly reacted and the field was content to let them gain some time. Once the break got about 30 seconds, people started to attack in an effort to bridge. Benn covered an attack from Elbowz and Giant On Road and the field let them get away. Once the group made the bridge they gained a little over a minute. The entire third lap was stop and go from riders making efforts to bridge up to the break. It wasn’t until the end of the third lap before an organized chase formed on the front to pull the move back. The field made the catch going through the start finish of the final lap and counter attacks started to go with Michael and Garrick covering anything that got away, however the field was clearly not going to let anything else up the road. Coming into the final stretch of road, Michael, Garrick, and Austin were sitting near the front and Scott made his way up into the top 20. Sheehan from Elbowz was trying to get away to make up time in the GC and take the win. Michael marked his wheel in the finishing stretch and followed two attacks that would both eventually get brought back. A counter attack of six guys got away with about a 15 second advantage, and the field ran out of road to make the catch. Austin led Garrick and Scott out for the field sprint, and they were able to take 11th and 12th on the stage.

Ian raced in Kansas at the Spring Fling and Perry and placed 6th and 3rd on those races. This weekend we will be doing the Spring Fling on Saturday and Tour of St. Louis Sunday.

 

 

Spring Fling Recap

This past weekend we kicked off our season at the Spring Fling Crit in Lawrence. I was pretty nervous all morning going into the race, which is pretty typical for the first few races of the season for me. Kent, Scott, Ian, and I all rode out to Lone Star before the race to get a longish warmup in, and by the time we got back to Clinton Lake I was much more relaxed than I had been earlier in the day. Austin met up with us at the start line. With the nice weather, there was a decent turnout, with 31 starters towing the line.

The race was pretty calm at the beginning. In the past, the first few laps of the Spring Fling have been some of the hardest that I will do all year, but this year we kind of eased into it. After about three laps, the first attack went up the road with little reaction from the field. He dangled about 5-10 seconds up the road for about a lap and a half before there was any sort of response from anyone. Connor Brown (Gateway Harley Davidson) was the first to counter coming through the start/finish and I was on his wheel so it was easy to cover. The two of us have been in quite a few breakaways together as we have moved up through the categories, so getting away with him I thought had a decent chance of sticking. The next time around the bell rang signaling a prime lap so I did a quick check to see where the field was. I could see Kent trying to bridge so I let Connor do the majority of the pulling that lap so Kent could make it up to us. I took the prime and waited for Kent to latch on

Once Kent joined, the three of us worked together to increase our lead on the chasing field. Coming into 20 laps to go we got the bell for another prime and I took my pull early so that Kent could lead us out going into the final couple of corners. I sat on Connor’s wheel going into the last corner and won the preme by a bike throw. We waited for Kent to rejoin and continued to share the workload pretty evenly. We had about 25-30 seconds on the chase group at this point so I knew with the three of us working together, it was pretty unlikely that the chase group of five would catch us.

The next prime was with ten laps to go, and I knew that if I won this one, that I would for sure have first place solidified since the Spring Fling is a points based race. Again, Kent led it out going into the final two corners, and I was able to slip past Connor at the end. At this point the only goal was to keep the pace steady so that the chase group wouldn’t catch us. Despite having the advantage in points over Connor, he put in an Ian Stannard-esque move coming into three laps to go. Kent had just finished a turn at the front, so I had to react quickly to reel him back in. When we caught Connor, Kent attacked, and once Connor reeled him back in I put in a hard dig and was able to hold it until the finish. It was a fun way to end the race, so props to Connor for mixing things up in the final laps.

I’d like to thank Kent for the work he did to get himself up to the break and help me take the win. Also, thanks to Scott, Ian, and Austin for the work they did marking moves that helped us keep our advantage up the road.

Down in Arkansas, Garrick and Benn took 3rd and 4th representing KU at a collegiate road race.

Next weekend we head to Texas for the Tour of Corsicana. It’s a two day stage race. A few of us are staying for a few days after the race to get in some good training during our Spring Breaks.

Spring Fling 123 Results

Spring Fling week 1

Rider Bio: Michael Allison

My journey into this sport really begins the summer before my freshman year of high school with a movie called You, Me, and Dupree. This movie is not about cycling at all, but in the movie Dupree gets a bike and this somehow convinced my buddy and I that we needed to get road bikes. We both bought entry level bikes, mine being a Diamondback Podium 1. The riding was sparse, but I enjoyed riding on the bike paths during summer break.

A few summers later my family was preparing for our annual trip to Nebraska to visit my grandma. I brought my bike along so that my cousin Aaron and I could go for a ride. At this point I still rode in cotton tee shirts, basketball shorts, and toe clips. That Saturday morning Aaron and I ventured out for a 20 mile casual loop with my dad and brother on some of Lincoln’s bike trails. It was a pretty casual ride. After we returned to the house a couple hours later, Aaron filled his bottles up in preparation to go out for some additional miles. He invited me along, and despite being pretty tired, I agreed. He had some extra cycling shoes that were my size and an old set of Speedplay pedals that he assured me would make a huge difference. After explaining how clipless pedals worked and crashing in the grass a few times, we rolled out for round two. I crashed two more times at stoplights on the ride, and had my first experience bonking. At the end of the day I had logged a little over 50 miles and I was hooked. I bought some bike shorts and a jersey the next week and began to do “races” (charity rides) around the KC area.

Cotton Tee, Bball Shorts, and Clipless pedals. Nebraska 2009

 

Later that summer in '09 I discovered how awesome bike shorts were.

Later that summer in ’09 I discovered how awesome bike shorts were.

That spring, I decided I was ready to upgrade from the charity ride events, to real bike races. I went to the Trek Store and picked up a badass race machine, the Trek 2.1. I was told to do the local training crits, Tuesday Night Worlds, to get a feel for how actual bike racing worked. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first TNW. After doing a neutral lap, I was so caught up in the excitement of riding in a pack and the speeds that we were going that I went full gas off the front of the group. I was going faster than I had ever gone on a bike before, but one lap later the group came flying past me and I was off the back. Despite getting lapped what felt like hundreds of times, soft pedaling my way to the finish, and nearly throwing up after the race, I was still pretty intrigued by the whole racing thing. I had no idea how people would ride to the race and then ride home, and simply call it “training”, but I wanted to get to that point. I could barely manage to walk afterwards. I ended up doing a few more TNWs, but after getting dropped and lapped for a couple weeks straight, I decided bike racing might not be for me and looked into doing triathlon.

First Tuesday Night Worlds experience. Got lapped many a time.

First Tuesday Night Worlds experience. Got lapped many a time.

In August of 2010, I did the Jackson County triathlon in Lee’s Summit. I didn’t really train for it, other than the usual one or two rides a week plus the morning workouts for football. The swim just about killed me, the bike was super fun to me, and the run was a means to the finish. I got a tri coach, and over the course of the next year decided I was going to make an effort to get pretty decent at the multisport gig.

First triathlon ever. Jackson County Triathlon 2010

First triathlon ever. Jackson County Triathlon 2010

After high school, I went on to K-State and became pretty involved in the cycling club there. I still considered myself a triathlete, but the more group rides I did, the more bike racing began to appeal to me. That January the K-State team was planning a California training trip, and as the excitement built for that, I decided I would give bike racing a try that spring. Zach Dubas introduced me to the Lawrence racing team, GP Velotek, and even though I was still pretty unfamiliar how being on a team worked, I decided I would join. I spent the early part of that spring season racing every weekend I could, and doing every group ride I could. It didn’t take too long to upgrade to a 4. After the early spring races were over, I switched to doing collegiate racing. Since I was a 4, I was able to race in the Cat B collegiate fields, and at the time most collegiate races in our conference were Cat A/B. There were some talented Cat 1’s and 2’s in those fields so I basically had gone from racing Cat 5 to Cat 1/2/3 races in the matter of a few months. I got my ass kicked, but it was a huge learning experience and motivated me to want to get to their level. I upgraded to a Cat 3 at the end of the collegiate season. Around that time I was offered an entry from one of my teammates for the Dirty Kanza 200. My cousin Aaron was planning on racing, and the thought of a 200 mile bike race seemed exciting, so I figured why not? I mean, it’s only 200 miles… I finished in 16 hrs 38 min on my mountain bike. The experience was great, however I spent the rest of that Summer and early Fall with hamstring tendonitis. Pro tip, train for DK correctly!

Pretty sure this is my first race ever. Spring Fling 2012

Pretty sure this is my first race ever. Spring Fling 2012

I was making the face then too. KSU Road Race 2012

I was making the face then too. KSU Road Race 2012

Dirty Kanza 2012- Finished in 16hrs 38min

Dirty Kanza 2012- Finished in 16hrs 38min

At the end of 2012 I hired Jim Whittaker to coach me, which was really when I began to take the sport seriously. I began the 2013 season learning how to race, since I had spent most of 2012 simply hanging onto the Cat A/B collegiate races. It took awhile, but by the end of the season I was comfortable testing different tactics to figure out my strengths and weaknesses before upgrading. I ended 2013 upgrading before Gateway Cup and winning Kansas Best All Around Rider in the Cat 3’s.

Milan San Kansas. Actually, Spring Fling 2013

Milan San Kansas. Actually, Spring Fling 2013

Tour of Lawrence Crit Cat 3

Tour of Lawrence Crit Cat 3

Won the Cat 3 Kansas Best All-Around Rider in 2013

Won the Cat 3 Kansas Best All-Around Rider in 2013

For 2014 I had a strong spring and got some decent results locally and was able to help my teammates at regional races. The highlight of last year was getting a really solid build for the end of the season and being able to animate the race each day at Gateway Cup, picking up some primes, and missing out on a solo win by one lap at the Giro Della Montagna stage.

U23 Nationals Road Race 2014

U23 Nationals Road Race 2014

Tour de Francis Crit at Gateway Cup 2014. Crashed, attacked, attacked some more, caught with one to go...

Giro Della Montagna Gateway Cup 2014. Crashed, attacked, attacked some more, caught with one to go…

2014 was a huge learning experience for the team as a whole. I’m extremely excited to build off of my personal 2014 successes, help get the team some results this season, and make this my best year on the bike yet! Thanks for the support, and I’m excited to see you all at the races!

Olathe Subaru Cycling 2015

 

 

Welcome to the new Olathe Subaru Cycling Team!

This whole thing started a couple years ago on the way home from Joe Martin Stage Race. That race was the spark that lit an inextinguishable fire to grow a sustainable elite team here in Kansas. Fast-forward hundreds of conversations and emails, a few lessons in business, and two years time, and here we are. The goal these past couple years has been to create something unique that people want to be a part of and support. We believe the Olathe Subaru Cycling team is the start of something big.

Being members of GP Velotek, we’ve had a great support system, and decided to build on the foundation that Jim Whittaker and his crew have created.

Velotek has always focused on junior development, and that was the groundwork that led to multiple national championship appearances by Benn Stover and Garrick Valverde. The development aspect of Velotek is certainly something we have strived to build on, and are still committed to grow. Creating an elite team that will mentor junior riders and be role models to the next generation was the first step in creating the unique framework for our team.

Secondly, we wanted to bridge the gap between racer and recreational cyclist. We partnered with Steve Ashley of Lawrence Bicycle Club to join our shared focus of developing riders that are new to the sport as well as mentoring juniors. LBC hosts some of the best group rides in Lawrence, and we wanted to be a part of that to help keep these rides fun and enjoyable for riders of all ability levels. This is one of many steps towards our long term goal of creating tighter knit cycling community in the Kansas City, Lawrence, and Olathe regions.

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As many of you are aware, Bill George’s Olathe Subaru has been critical to our success in building this team. We approached them last year with a clear vision in mind, and they believed in us and have agreed to support us again next year as the title sponsor of our team. We are excited to represent a company that is geared towards the active, on-the-go lifestyle that outdoor sportsmen and cyclist’s tend to live.

Olathe Subaru Cycling Team

In addition to Olathe Subaru and Lawrence Bike Club, we are happy to continue our partnerships with Trek Bicycle Store of Kansas City and Topeka Ear Nose and Throat, and we welcome Louis Garneau and Chamois Butt’r aboard for 2015. We also want to thank two true artists: David Tsai of Wirken Photography and Chris Ralston of Callahan Creek. David is responsible for the  pictures you see on our website and Facebook Page, and Chris has designed a first class kit for us for next year.

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Building on the successes and lessons from last year, we are coming into 2015 highly motivated. Returning this year are Garrick Valverde, Benn Stover, Michael Allison, Ian Silovsky, and Austin Elser. We’re excited to welcome Scott Williamson and Kent Woermann to the team. Our goal for this upcoming season is to win races, be advocates for the sport, and focus further on community outreach events. Thank you all so much for the continued support of our team, welcome to our website, and we look forward to seeing you all out on the road!

Also… we kicked off our first team camp of the year yesterday. We’ll share some pics and stories as the week goes on. #ridesubaru

Cheers