Joe Martin Stage Race – Stage 2

- by Taylor Jung

We always knew stage 2 was going to be a tough one.  110 miles and 5500 feet of vertical.  Arkansas has a ton of narrow twisty roads that made the 4.5 hour race taxing mentally and physically.  The team went into the race believing that the wisest decision would be to keep ourselves protected til the main climb of the day at the 75 mile mark, then send Will and Lucas on the attack.  Tyler would stay in the pack and prepare for a potential uphill sprint on Dickson Street.  Historically, this was the most likely outcome.  35 miles of tailwind downhill typically brings back any lingering attacks.  I was slated to hang on as best I could on the main climb and hope to make it back to help out in the finale.

 

 

The race went mostly to plan.  A big group of 8 or 9 guys got away early in the race and built a gap of 2-3 minutes by halfway.  Lots of nervousness in the pack and anxiety about being positioned well for the numerous steep climbs, feed zones, and direction changes led to a couple scary situations.  Tyler was very nearly crashed out near the midpoint of the race by an overzealous young rider, and Will and I both ended up off the road on an occasion or two.  Ultimately, we survived the shenanigans and arrived at Mountainburg, signalling the bottom of the climb.

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Will ended up off the front solo at the foot of the 10 mile climb almost by accident.  The pack simply let him roll away without any real attack.  A couple guys eventually bridged up to him, but the pack shut it down quickly.  Lucas waited til an opportune moment later in the climb when the pack took a collective breath.  A variety of comings and goings ultimately meant Lucas was back in the pack right at the top of the climb.  All was reset for the run into town.  I was in a small group a couple minutes back, with the objective of chasing back on.  Its not known exactly how or when, but 3 guys got away late in the race and built a 2 minute advantage.  This meant the pack was in full flight and my chase would prove futile.  For me, the last 25 miles was just about riding hard enough to make sure I came in under the time cut (15% of the winners time).  This didnt prove an issue.

 

The finishing kilometer involved a transition off of a large multi-lane road onto some small side roads with a couple corners thrown in.  The finish is 3 blocks of solid incline that takes everything you have left.  Unfortunately, a crash at the front of the pack at 1k to go held up all 3 of our guys.  Thankfully, any time gaps caused by incidents inside the last 3k are nullified, so Tyler maintained his 10th place position in the General Classification.  Lucas and Will both moved up a couple spots and sit 24th and 26th respectively.  Even I moved up significantly from 89th to 66th.

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Saturday brings us a 86 mile race and more challenges and opportunities.  Come back to hear how it goes!

Joe Martin Stage Race – Stage 1

-by Taylor Jung

Early season stage racing offers up a couple options in the US… Redlands, San Dimas, Tour de Tucson, Tour of the Gila, and Joe Martin.  Several of these are in California and require a very solid drive time.  Gila has historically been the the most common option for Colorado racers, but the large amount of climbing and recent change to a Cat 1/2 race instead of the previous Cat 2 only race had the team looking for alternative options.  We had heard good things about the racing in Arkansas at Joe Martin, and decided to make that our early season stage racing goal.  Development riders Will Nabours and Lucas Elms joined Tyler Nabours and myself for the 12 hour drive to Fayetteville on Wednesday…

 

Thursday brought on our first hurdle: the stage 1 uphill time trial.  After spending the entire day in the car on Wednesday, we made sure to go for a light spin in the morning to clear some of the junk out of the legs and get the blood flowing.  We rode around town a bit and began to appreciate the general ungulations of the region.  Not much is flat in NW Arkansas.  Back home for some mechanical sortings and off to the TT.

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The TT consisted of a short 500 meters of flat followed by 3.5km of solidly uphill beat down.  It was going to be a contest of power/weight ratio underlayed with a willingness to suffer.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t want us to get any Vitamin D that afternoon and rained on us instead.  The effort was as hard as you wanted to make it, knowing that the result would likely have a major effect on the overall stage race placings.  Cumulative time over ~10 hours of racing this week will likely result in the winners being separated by mere seconds.  If you wanted to do well overall, you had to lay it all on the line now.  I am your requisite non-climber from Colorado (shocking, I know) but gave it what I had anyway.  10:52 and 89th place it what it landed me.  Check our Facebook page for a link to my power analysis.

 

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The beautiful Devil’s Den State Park – host of our Stage 1 pain session

Good thing was that I brought some climbers with me.  Will finished 35th, Lucas 30th, and Tyler 10th.  Thats pretty freaking awesome in a field this stacked.  110 mile road race tomorrow has us recovering as best we can and preparing our plans to move our boys up in the overall…  Come back tomorrow to find out how it goes.

Gebhardt Automotive Classic – Carter Lake RR

By Will Nabours – Development Racer

It was a cool winter afternoon in Colorado. A band of heavy wall clouds sat on the mountains to the west of the thawing Carter Lake. My cheeks tingled from the bite of chamois cream as I hucked a banana peel into the dry grass. Yes, it was road racing season once again, and this time February hadn’t even passed.

The Carter Lake road race, for me, went just how I wanted it to. I started the day doing a warm-up ride with a couple of the veteran racers, Taylor Jung and my brother, Tyler. We talked race strategy, which included being patient and preparing for a long run into the finish. I was nervous, knowing that I needed early season upgrade points. Seeing a few pro mountain bikers line up calmed my nerves – I knew I could count on them to break up the group.

The race started out pretty slow, as I think everyone was nervous for the climbs. Small attacks came from the occasional rider, but nothing proved worth chasing. I tried to gauge the course as we passed through laps 1 and 2. My teammates were right, there was a long run into the sprint and going too early would be costly.

The last lap started and the pace picked up. The mtb’ers led a series of attacks on the southern climb, but I was able to follow. This split the field, leaving a group of about 10 of us echeloning across the dam. We worked together until we hit the long slog up the eastern side of the lake, and then more attacks came. Eventually, it whittled the group down to 6 riders cresting the top of the climb. I was sitting fourth wheel and no one was pulling through – this was going to be the positioning coming into the sprint. I knew I could win.

Just as my teammates advised, I stayed patient and watched the riders in front of me start their sprints too early. The finish line looked a lot closer than it actually was.  I stuck the wheel of the rider in front of me and edged him out on the line by a wheel length. And then I chugged a Core Power protein shake.

Equipment : Coaching from Threshold Endurance, a Pedal supplied Cannondale CAAD10 w/ Ultegra 11-speed, Continental GP 4000’s (lime green for show), Pactimo race jersey, beet juice, euro-mullet, Core Power protein shake, pan y agua.

2014 is presented by Life Transition Planners (LTP)

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We are very excited to announce the start of our 2014 season with the addition of Life Transition Planners (LTP) as our new presenting sponsor.  Gary Sidder is both an avid cyclist on the Front Range and the founder of LTP.  Started in 2000, LTP provides sound financial and investment advice to clients in all stages of life.  Perhaps you are just starting a career or family and need to organize your retirement investments, life insurance, or college savings.  Or, you might be considering long-term care insurance or dealing with unexpected medical costs.  All of these questions and more are the expertise of Life Transition Planners.  While they are helping us attain our goals on the road, they can certainly help you attain yours in life.  Please consider contacting them through their website at www.lifetransitionplanners.com.

Welcome!

Founded on the principles of honesty, dedication, and teamwork, all while in the pursuit of having fun while going fast.  Pedal p/b Cannondale is an elite development road racing team that provides a support structure for up and coming Category 1-2 racers under the age of 26.  Our mission is to give young up and comers the chance to shine, while providing them with guidance and support.

Bikes @ team camp