Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A tick of the watch...

Seconds, they pass us by almost without notice daily and yet when you're out on the bike they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. June 7 was the Steve Dunlap Memorial ITT. I ride our club puts on and one named for one of our own. It also happen to have hosted the NorCal Nevada Juniors TT Championships for several years running. This year we had large fields in all ages for the boys, a bit more sparse for the girls. The day broke with a clear sky, cool temps and with a noticeable south wind.

First off were the 10-12 boys and girls. The boys race was the closest I have witnessed with the top three riders within four seconds of each other and second and third separated by a mere 4-tenths over 10k, which in a "no chip time" event is a coin flip. Karch Miller had a great ride at 17:49.96 and thought he had done enough but found those four seconds not in his favor and to add insult settled for the bronze by that 4-tenths. Ehtan Hockridge the youngest rider in the field came through in 21:15:04 for eighth and Ryan Gomez at 22:14:63 in ninth.

In the 13-14 Spencer Salk tried his hand in his first race and hung tough finishing in 21:05:12. While Spencer would clearly not see the podium he now has that first race under his belt. Job well done.

In the 15-16 Alexander Freund did a smokin' 27:47:96 for 20k which slotted him in just 7-seconds off the winning time for silver. Torry Philip also had a stellar ride at 28:43:68 just missing the podium for fourth.

In the battle of the big-guns big brother Andreas Freund showed he can TT as well stopping the watch at 27:46:99, good enough for the bronze. Teammate Cody "the tapinator" Tapley rolled through on his "funny bike" in 28:16:61 for a great ride and fourth. Our big man "El Gigante" Wick went for broke early and paid late after blowing-up and riding through in eighth after his District Championship winning performance in the crit the week before.

All in all a great performance by all our DBC juniors. Eleven total seconds separated our riders from two wins, eleven measly seconds. Next time you're out on the bike and think that extra effort doesn't really matter, just think how insignificant eleven seconds of the day usually feel and then again just how big they can be on another.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Hill- Two Days & Two Wins !

Don't have much scoop but got a text from coach Mike from the roads of Sonoma County earlier tonight. Seems that Alexander had something left in his legs after yesterday's crit effort, as he won the Jr's race at the Spring Hill Road Race. AJ Snovel, back in the saddle and welcomed by his mates seems also to be re-finding his legs as he slotted in for 3rd and finally Cody after yesterday also had something in the tank with a steady ride and 5th.

Congrats to all, great effort, great weekend.

Crowning a champion

Yesterday was a big day for the DBC Juniors Team at the State Criterium Championships in Livermore. We had riders in the 10-12 male, 15-16 male and 17-18 male groups and all should be proud of how they performed.

In the 10-12 race Karch learned the hard way it is not always the strongest rider, but rather the smartest that wins the race in a crit. He found himself on the front and a marked man throughout. At 12 it is hard to have enough experience to foil the group mentality and so he put his head down and pulled, and pulled. In the end he would chase the last lap flier down and lead out the sprint only to come unwound with 100 meters to go settling for 5th. A strong ride indeed, but a bitter lesson learned as well.

In the 15-16 race I watched the race go up the road with about 9 laps to go when 3 riders jumped clear and opened a gap of about seven seconds. In that group there was no one from DBC and our lone rider, Alexander Freund, found himself with a decision to make. He made it quickly, jumping away from the group and motoring away in pursuit. Many thought his effort futile, but I have watched him enough to know what he is capable of. In a lap and a half he bridged solo to the leaders and thus a quartet now led the way. With one to go everyone thought it was a foregone conclusion that James LaBerge would sprint away. In the end he did indeed win, but Alexander made a run at the line and was actually running him down and simply ran out of road. A solid and well deserved silver medal for Alexander.

Finally in the 17-18 race we lined up three riders, Zach the man-child, Cody "the tapinator" Tapley and Andreas the strong. The field was deep and San Jose Bike Club, Swift and Specialized were well represented. On the first lap Cody lit it up and loosened the legs charging away from the field. His effort was short lived however and as the field came together Andreas, who admittedly does not like crits, motored away from the chaos with a SJBC rider in tow. The two were a well oiled machine and soon had 10, then 12, then 16 seconds in hand. Specialized and Swift didn't want to chase looking to the other to work and thus the gap continued to grow to 26 seconds. At that point someone sounded the alarm. After 10+ laps off the front the collective chase brought them back but Zach and Cody had a free ride and the field would soon pay for this mis-step. With 12 to go Cody and Sam Bolster from "Ride for a Reason" jumped clear. It seemed early but again SJBC, Swift ans Specialized let it go. Soon they had 8-10 seconds in hand and were working to hold the gap. With eight to go I saw something I could not believe when Zach jumped clear through the start finish and the group did not react. In one straightaway he was within 20 meters and soon joined the escape. Cody, Zach and Sam then all went into the "pain cave". You could see the effort on their faces and all were committed 100% to the move. The chase ensued and the gap at first held and then began to fall. It was cat and mouse the next three laps and with four to go it was down to three seconds. Then something happened, the chase imploded. The remaining riders simply could no longer respond and at the same time Sam struggled up front dropping off. With two to go it was Zach and Cody TTT-style up front with 8 seconds. With one to go it was 10 seconds. Cody's face was wound up tight and Zach just put his head down and churned the man-child legs. They rode through hand-in-hand for a 1-2 DBC finish, with Zach the new champion and his mate a well-deserved silver. Each rider played a pivotal role in Zach's victory and each is to be commended. Andreas after his monster effort out front, hung in, made all the cuts as the chase disintegrated and finished 10th. There was much ribbing, chatter and smiling after. I big win for a big-guy and the culmination of years of hard work. Congrats Zach; well done!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Time for Monday Ride at the Bike Barn 5;30pm

New time for the Monday ride from the Bike Barn on campus at UCDavis: 5:30pm

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wed Night TT

All, Wed, May 6th and every other Wed after that there is a free individual time trial starting at 6pm at Putah Creek Rd and Steven's Bridge Rd near Davis. The course is 10 miles total and goes out 5 miles down Putah Creek Rd toward the town of Winters and turns around to finish at the start. The pavement surface is good to excellent. This event usually draws between 30 to 50 riders of all ability. The event can be ridden as a TTT as well, 2,3 or 4 riders (must finish together).
Some good info here: http://www.stuzio.com/StuzioArticle.aspx?articleID=1124
or by contacting Joe Santos at Davis Wheel Works.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ronde de Copperopolis- Philipp reigns

I had hoped to be back form the spring break week away to take in the annual slugfest that is our very own Copperopolis Road race, that spring rite of passage that separates those with "the legs" from those pretending in a big hurry. Alas a flight delay killed that goal so I have been getting snippets of information from various sources. All in all it sounds like a pretty good day for all of you.

First and foremost a bow to Torey who clearly outfoxed the boys with the big "S" on their chests who obviously had the numbers but not the legs. When I saw Torey at Land Park I noticed his legs were tan! This should have told us all something as we hadn't had much sun to speak of. Turns out he has indeed been working hard and got his reward with a fine win in the 15-16 race on Saturday. Way to go Torey.

The 17-18 crew also did us proud with a 5th, 6th, 7th finish (Andreas, Cody, AJ). On a course Like Copperopolis it takes fitness and skill just to finish it up and clearly these efforts show that these guys have been "doing their homework".

I also noted that Kayleen toughed it out and finished up second in the women's 15-18 race. For someone as new as Kayleen this is a subperb performance on a truly difficult course, nicely done!

And finally I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that our "oldest" junior, Coach Pugh showed that he practices what he preaches by pulling off a superb 3rd place in the Masters 45+ 1/2/3 race against a stacked field. Nice job coach.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monday No-Drop Rides Commence 3/16

Now that we have somewhat better weather Zach Wick will be leading regular weekly "no drop" rides on Mondays at 5:00pm. These are intended to be development level rides with a focus on general skills and pace work. Duration is expected to be approximately 1 hour and pace will be moderate. I would encourage all of our newer/entry level riders to participate as often as possible. In addition to Zach, I would also ask and encourage our other more seasoned riders to show up and lend a hand to mentor our younger and newer raceteam members. Mike Pugh and I will join these rides as time permits. Other adults are welcome. Ride specifics are as follows:

DBC Juniors Weekly Development Rides
Day/Time: Mondays / 5:00pm
Location: Rides depart from the Bike Barn on the UCD Campus. http://bikebarn.ucdavis.edu/contact.cfm
Focus: Skills development, pack riding, pacelines, echelons

Please keep an eye on your e-mail as Zach will assess weather as needed weekly to determine if we have to cancel, but the plan is to go every week through the summer.

Hope to see all of you out there soon!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Super Sunday!!!!!

Awesome effort by all the DBC Juniors on Sunday, not only did everyone show their mettle in Davis at the criterium but Andrias Freund took 3rd in the elite 3s at Pine Flat Road Race in Fresno. His brother, Alexander did very well in the elite 3s as well. My hat's off to Zach Wick, tremendous effort Sunday for 2nd place in the 17-18 Junior race. For all you first time racer, great effort. Elsewhere I think some pro from Rock Racing won a race that started in Davis and finished in Santa Rosa.....anybody hear anything about that?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Big Week & The Big Show...

All week you could feel anticipation within the group for the Amgen ToC and the kids were fired up. We started the week with our "15 minutes of fame" courtesy of KXTV channel 10, who were very interested in our program and our riders given the success this group has had in developing young riders. Thanks must go out to all the kids and the parents for making an effort to get to the shooting on a day off Monday.

Tuesday new kits arrived. Something about a new kit, they just "feel" fast. If a new kit wasn't enough motivation for the weekends crit how about a training ride with a few of your favorite Pro-Tour riders? Seems Astana, Saxo Bank, Garmin and Ouch were taking in the sights along the American River bike-path regularly, just ask Robby or Torey. Cool indeed.

When the fireworks started for real the weather looked ominous. By the end of the AToC prologue rain was falling and the next day's start in Davis would prove interesting, in particular the Juniors crit which was to follow.

First I have to tip my cap to every single rider, male or female, new or experienced that saddled up yesterday. The conditions were very rough and it was clear early they would stay that way.

In the 10-14 race the field shattered on lap one as a rider from Team AC (above category) attacked from the gun. This move and the wind blew the field apart. We had several riders in this group, most new, some riding their first race. Each did a great job. Karch was able to make it into the initial chase group and was riding very well with national champion Dylan Drummond from Tieni Duro and Matthew Valencia from Sugar CRM. They rode with women's' junior national champion Katrina Howard and a rider from SJBC. The SJBC rider and Katrina attacked and left the three to fight it out. The rain and wind was treacherous and with 3 to go Drummond tried to slide under a lapped rider and lost his front wheel. Like dominoes all three hit the deck and slid. Karch was last man in but first man up and remounted to chase, sadly Matthew was not so lucky and we hope his injuries are minor.

In the end Karch motored solo for the last three laps winning the 10-12 division, he was stoked. New rider Charlie Kimball was having a very good first ride until disaster struck in the form of a blown from tire and a resultant crash. I hated to see him hit the deck and suspect we will see more of him in the 13-14 as he looked good. Young Will Kanz also rode well getting some experience and toughness in the difficult conditions. And Cami Rolles and Spencer Salk also gritted it out for the home town crowd. Would be nice to see them out again...

The womens 15-18 was all about tactics. Riders were coy about working and left it to others to work. April gainfully took up the effort and was always at or near the front. At the back end newcomer Kayleen Dobner was learning the ropes in the toughest of conditions. She was gapped off early, but hung in and finished, well done. For April, clearly the fitness is there. In the end however those who had sat-in wicked it up and jumped her so she'll have to wait another day to get that win.

The 15-16 Men's field was large and stacked. Torey and Robby would have to stay near the front and counter Tieni Duro and Specialized. Torey appeared to get a bad start and was fighting from the back, Robby on the other hand did everything right. He covered the early move, was vigilant on the front and looked good. Then it happened, someone moved left and overlapped, in a flash 4-5 riders tumbled, sadly Robby among them. This guy gets my hard-luck award for the last two weeks. The upside, he was scraped but unhurt, the downside, the bike was not. His day was over. We need to pull together behind him to keep his season on-track and offers of a ride were there by the end of the day. Thank you, this is what "team" means.

The 17-18 would be much like Cherry Pie, Specialized on the sharp end. They had Four riders who attacked relentlessly from the gun and yet time after time one ominous force drug them back, El Gigante. I've ridden with Zack Wick since his initial days as a 13-14 and recall working with Steve to get him home from the race ride after a long day doing all he could to hang on. Yesterday I saw a young man who was simply a mental rock. With almost no help early on, young ZW made every right move. Mid-race Tap's was able to help out as two groups came back together. Cody was clearly not on a good day but was giving it his best to help Zach. With one to go it was El Gigante who threw down his own move and it almost worked. Specialized was shocked and Charlie Avis gave chase but couldn't close, this was special. Out of the last corner Zach had the gap but thee finish was just too long, Charlie bridged and then jumped with 50m to go, game over.

Ride of the day? Unquestionably ZW, everybody in the field knew it. Down the road I would be very weary, he is due his payback.

Catching Up & Looking Ahead

Been a few weeks since I was last able to get time to post, so need to do a bit of catch-up and some acknowledgements.

1-2-3 Go
Cal Aggie Crit allowed a chance to show that while some of our horse-power has moved on, others are quite happy to fill the gap and step it up. While It was Cody, Zach and Torey going 1,2,3 in the junior's race, it wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of AJ and Robby who worked selflessly to keep things together. As has been the hallmark of this group it continues to be teamwork that gets it done.

Pie Anyone?
At Cherry Pie last weekend there were highs and there were clearly lows. The juniors fields were perhaps the largest I have ever seen in NorCal at a "regular" race like this as even the 10-14 race had about 30 riders in it.

In that race the field split early as Swift, Sugar CRM and Tieno Duro all decided to have a go early. It was Swift's Stanley Goto who lit it up on lap two and his move cut the field in half. We had on one rider in the race and he made the move, it was Karch, "killer" as he was known on the BMX track the last few years. I had told him to keep it simple, let the bigger 13-14 riders on the teams slug it out, stay out of trouble and out of the wind. As the field continued to shrink he continued to hang. On the penultimate lap he was top five through he 180 and as they shuffled through the chicane on the last climb to my surprise he tried to jump the field, brave perhaps Wise? well not sure. They came through strong but he faded and I was sure he had slid back off the podium. I was surprised to learn that all of the riders in the group except for him were 13-14's, he had won. Surprise!

In the 15-18 Specialized wanted to make sure everyone knew they intended to dominate. They had 8-9 riders toe the line and from the gun they were all over the front. Sure would've been nice if they were a little more aware as with five to go the Specialized "train" derailed itself with three riders touching wheels and hitting the deck in the chicane, Tap's and Robby were unlucky victims, right place, wrong time.

Zach and Torey escaped and off the back Alex Huettis slipped by continuing to churn along ever steady, as did April another victim of bad luck in the form of a rubbing front brake. In the end the 17-18 came down to numbers and we simply came up short. El Gigante you did us proud with your gutsy shot up the inside from waaaay out, but it wasn't meant to be. Ride of the day? Torey who was always where he needed to be and after some discussion with the officials over errant results slotted 11th overall, 3rd for the 15-16 group. Superb ride.

On to the Amgen...

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