Posts

Cyclocross Isn’t Wrestling

Unlike a wrestling ring where the ropes can be used as a sling shot while performing acrobatic fighting maneuvers, the tape on a cyclocross course breaks when you run into it. To help you shred the course and not the tape, here are some words of wisdom from our OSC riders.

Kent Woermann

I find that riding single-track on my MTB really helps me get comfortable off-road again after a season of road racing. Riding fast on single-track requires intense focus, and it takes a while to feel comfortable making sharp turns, dodging rocks, avoiding trees, etc. Plus, the wide tires and suspension absorb some of my mistakes so they don’t hurt as bad. At the same time, I’ll start taking my CX bike out into the grass to practice basic skills (dismount, remount, turning, etc..) and do my intervals on improved gravel trails like Little Blue Trace or the Longview Trail.

Kent Woermann Cyclocross

Mountain bike trails and cyclocross bikes don’t always get along.

Benn Stover

I don’t really train my handling skills…

I just go try and get rad

But in a smooth and efficient way

I try and hone in on the flow

I surf the gnar

Benn Stover Cyclocross

Photo Credit – Keith Walberg

Garrick Valverde

I just try and do everything perfect. That being said, I’ve probably done one perfect dismount, ever. But my next dismount will be perfect, and the turn that follows will be done perfect, and the next off-camber will be perfect, and the next up hill.

Garrick Valverde Cyclocross

Garrick aiming for that whole perfection thing. Photo Credit – Roger Harrison

Michael Allison

Something that has really helped my handling skills off-road has been riding the Lawrence River Trails and the SMP CX course with my teammates who have more experience than me. Following their lines through the corners and frequently asking for their advice has drastically improved my ability to flow through corners and be competitive in the CX races.

Michael Allison Cyclocross

Michael attempting to Cyclocross. Photo Credit – Vince DeLaughder

Scott Williamson 

By far the best thing I do is to test the limits of the bike on trails and paths that may be a bit much for the bike, such as some rocky single track. Also, trying to follow the rest of the guys on the Lawrence river trail helps me find and improve my handling limits. 

Scott Williamson Cyclocross

Scott prefers fat tires for a more comfortable ride. Photo Credit – Roger Harrison

Conclusion

Shred more gnar, maybe ride some single-track, and perfect practice makes perfect.

Thank You

With about a month left in our 2015 road season, we reflect on what has made this past year so special. While some of our success stems from the efforts of our 8 man roster, there is no way we could do this without the love and support from all of you. In our latest blog we express our gratitude to the businesses and individuals who have made this season possible.


Bill George’s Olathe Subaru

We are a bit biased, but the guys and gals at Olathe Subaru are the best. Subaru’s have always been a great vehicle for anybody living an outdoor lifestyle, but the Olathe Subaru experience takes it to next level.
Where else are you going to find a car dealership that allows you to host roller races for a bunch of crazy cyclists? The Olathe Subaru Cyclefest was a great event that helped us raise money for local junior cyclists.

In the past two years quite a few people have chosen Olathe Subaru to purchase their new vehicles, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of all of you. By choosing Olathe Subaru you’re not only supporting a great community business, but also showing your support of our team and the growth of Kansas cycling.

Thank you!

#ridesubaru #drivesubaru #olathesubarusmash

Rider Kent Woermann and his girlfriend Kelly Skinner (Trek Women's Racing) with their brand new Subaru just before heading off to a race!

Rider Kent Woermann and his girlfriend Kelly Skinner (Trek Women’s Racing) with their brand new Subaru Crosstrek just before heading off to a race!


Trek Bicycle Stores

There are many cycling shops in the Kansas City area, but few that can offer the Trek Bicycle Stores experience. The staff is knowledgeable about everything from high end racing bikes to comfort cruisers and always make us feel at home.

The people working for Trek understand that cycling is more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle and a huge part of our daily lives. They understand that when we purchase a bike we’re investing our hard earned cash and expect a product that will perform to our standards. Fortunately, Trek’s standards are high and our Trek bikes have been glorious.

We’ve raced our Emondas’ in the rain, through mountains, around the sketchiest of criterium corners, and even through gravel roads. In every situation the Emonda has delivered us to the podium with confidence – and more importantly – style.

In addition, the Bontrager accessories available at the Trek Store are at the top of their game. In the past few years they made huge improvements in their clothing line and accessory gear. Everything from their socks to their wheels has impressed us this year. The quality is solid and you would never guess by looking at our Bontrager equipment how much hell it’s been through this season. This stuff is made to last!

Thank you!

#trekbikes #trekmidwest

10342405_819926764765474_305634522512943082_n

Most of the team after Garrick wins the overall at Tour of Kansas City aboard his Trek Emonda.


Louis Garneau

The very first time wearing LG clothing – “This is the nicest stuff I’ve ever worn!”

After nearly 6000 miles of wearing LG clothing – “This is the nicest stuff I’ve ever worn!”

Our favorite piece this season was the Course Skinsuit. Skinsuits are infamous for their lack of versatility, usually only ideal for time trials or shorter races like criteriums. The LG skinsuit is a game changer, with the addition of pockets and a new zipper design, you can now comfortably wear the skinsuit in all types of races. The breathability of them is a surprise as well since most skinsuits we’ve worn in the past can feel a bit claustrophobic on a hot/humid day. This piece was ridden to the top step of the podium in a number of long road races this year, a testament to the versatility of the Course.

Next up on our favorites list was the LG Course Helmet. We never verified the aerodynamic claims (although Bike Radar did and it scored very well – check it out here), but the breathability and feel of the helmet was undoubtedly awesome. These helmets were so light with a much small profile that you can barely tell you’re wearing a helmet at all.

Thank you!

#louisgarneau

 Rider Michael Allison wore the LG Course Skinsuit and LG Course Helmet to victory during 110 mile road race at this years Joe Martin Stage Race. Photo: Ethan Glading


Rider Michael Allison wore the LG Course Skinsuit and LG Course Helmet to victory during 110 mile road race at this years Joe Martin Stage Race.
Photo: Ethan Glading


GP Velotek

The Velotek crew has been a great supporter of our endeavors and a huge part of our initial growth as a team. The professional help we’ve received from many of it’s members has been instrumental in our success, and we are very thankful for all they have done.

In 2016 we’ll be taking on many new ventures. Our strength as a team can be used to benefit the greater cycling community and help out in many aspects, ranging from junior development, supporting women’s cycling, and performing community service with various other organizations. In 2016 we will no longer have a formal partnership with VeloTek, but we will continue to be active with the cycling community as a whole with the goal of growing the sport.

Thank you!

#gpvelotek

The Olathe Subaru guys riding with some of the Velotek juniors to help teach them some riding/racing skills.

The Olathe Subaru guys riding with some of the Velotek juniors to help teach them some riding/racing skills.


Chamois Butt’r

What can we say… Butt’r makes it better! We put in a lot of hard miles every season and for years Chamois Butt’r has been there to ensure our butts are comfortable on the saddle.

In recent years the Butt’r brand has expanded their product line to include some other great products that we’ve used regularly throughout the season. Skin Wash, Kit Wash, and even embrocation for winter training and spring racing!

Rider Kent Woermann applying some embrocation before a chilly spring race.

Rider Kent Woermann applying some embrocation before a chilly spring race. He also has the Skin Wash ready for his post race shower.

One of the team favorites has been the Skin Wash. After a hard race we usually (always) smell horrible and feel gross from all the sweat, sports drink, road grime, and whatever else we managed to get ourselves into. This isn’t good when you need to grab some food and drive a few hours home. To help resolve the issue we developed the “Skin Wash Shower”. This involves dousing ourselves with Skin Wash then rinsing off with a little water and finishing with a quick towel dry. The water and towel aren’t necessary, and you might argue the Skin Wash isn’t either, but the combo of the three leaves you feeling fresh enough that you might forget you need a shower when you finally get home.

Thank you!

#buttrmakesitbetter

11191340_410271899153735_1115926338_n


Lawrence Bicycle Club

This was our second year working with Lawrence Bicycle Club. They are a huge staple within the Lawrence cycling community, hosting some of some of the best weekly group rides and events such as Lizard Under the Skillet and Octaginta. They are great advocates for the sport and our partnership with them is an effort to bridge the gap between recreational cyclists and racers.

Thank you!

#LBC #lawrencebikeclub

The team joined the fun at the Lawrence Community bike ride.

The team joined the fun at the Lawrence Community bike ride.


Move Up Endurance Coaching

Kent Woermann of Move Up Endurance Coaching came on this year as a rider for our team, and sponsor for our team’s coaching needs. Kent has a true passion to help athletes achieve their goals. This is apparent not only through his work with the team, but with his involvement with other cyclists in the community. We’re happy to be a part of Move Up Endurance Coaching and excited to see Kent’s impact on cyclist’s development in the future!

Thanks Kent!

#moveupcoaching

move-up-logo-grey


Topeka Ear, Nose, and Throat / Callahan Creek / Wirken Photography

Doug Barnes of Topeka, Ear, Nose, and Throat has been a tremendous help in getting our team off the ground. He is a local cyclist in Topeka and has been so generous to our team the past two seasons. Thanks Doug!

If you have ridden with us, or seen us out at races, chances are you have noticed our stripey kits and possibly even commented on them. Frankie Andreu coined us the “Striped-Boys” at this year’s Tulsa Tough. Chris Ralston was the artist behind our look this season, and we have received nothing but positive feedback. At Joe Martin, one team commented saying they were the coolest kits they had ever seen. We agree. You’re a true artist Chris. Thank you!

If you ride bikes in Kansas, you probably know David Tjiptogarsono. He is one of the friendliest guys in the sport, and is the best cycling photographer we know- not to mention he is a nationally ranked wedding photographer. Many of the photos you see on our website, social media, and promotional items are because of this awesome dude. You’re a wizard behind the camera lens, David. Thank you!


Our Friends and Family in the Community

There are plenty of folks not named in this list who have played a huge role in what we are doing. We are fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family members who have been so important in our team’s progression this season. From January to September we spend hundreds of hours riding and racing our bikes, traveling across the country eating Chipotle, all in the name of this sport, and we are continually amazed by the love and encouragement that we receive from so many of you. Thank you so much, and we can’t wait to see what is possible next year.

#midwestcycling #thankyou

Olathe Subaru Collage

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.

IMG_0561

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

 

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

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

A post shared by Olathe Subaru Trek Racing (@olathesubarutrek) on

 

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

A post shared by Olathe Subaru Trek Racing (@olathesubarutrek) on

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!

Olathe Subaru Cycle Fest Tomorrow

The first ever Olathe Subaru Cycle Fest is tomorrow afternoon from 3-6pm at the Olathe Subaru dealership. This event takes place a week before local road racing kicks off here in the KC area and is an opportunity for the community to get together and enjoy some good food and friendly competition before our weekends are filled with traveling to races.

For those who aren’t familiar with roller racing, there will be two single speed bikes set up on stationary rollers with the front of the bike fixed in place. Two people will battle head-to-head over a distance of 300m in a true test of leg speed.

The event will be set up as a tournament. Signups will begin at 3pm and the tournament will go from 4pm-6pm. There will be a qualifying round, with the knock out rounds following. Consolation and open rounds will take place between knock out rounds as the competition nears the end, to provide everyone adequate time to recover.

In addition to the roller racing, we will have some delicious food provided by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit! We’ll also have a donation jar out that will go towards the GP VeloTek junior’s team to help out with entry fees at select races this season!

A link to the event page can be found here. Come meet the folks at Olathe Subaru who are making this upcoming season possible for us, test your roller racing skills against your friends, and eat some delicious BBQ!

We hope to see you all there!

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.

ELITE_LOGO_LBC_horizontal_logo_BW_ai__1_page_

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.

ELITE_LOGO_TOPEKA_ENT_PMS125_661_ai__page_1_of_2_

ELITE LOGO_2014_Trek_Color_Vertical_on_white

cbutter

 

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