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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.