Michael's Race Report
The Vuelta a Santa Catalina Road Race is a very tough road race early in the season. The last 9 miles are a hill climb of an average of 3%. But don't let that fool you. Along the way are kickers of 9 - 11%. The plan was easy. Sit in until the last climb and then unleash our attacks. Well, a break formed after about 9 miles and there was no real chase to get them back. Bill tried to limit their gain with another rider. At mile 17 of 53, I started to chase the breakaway with Tom but soon realized that we would have to chase all day in order to keep other breaks from succeeding. What's the best line of defense, OFFENSE! I launched an attack and bridged over to the breakaway at mile 21. Now my teammates could sit in and didn't have todo any work up front. We worked well together in the break, but lost 1 rider during the climb to San Manuel. 2 more riders bridged over to us at mile 37. Now we had 4 strong riders in the break willing to work and bring the race home. One of the riders dropped his chain on a climb and the winner of the race and I attacked. Now it was just the 2 of us on the 9 mile climb to the finish. The power to weight ratio was in favor of the other rider and he slowly distant me. With about 2 miles to go, a group of 5 passed me which included our teammate Tom. I tried to hang on their wheels but got dropped pretty quickly.
Thanks to Damion Alexander for taking this picture.
We are planning 2 talks about the topic: El Tour de Tucson? What to Expect
The talking points will include:
- on Race Day
- when to arrive
- what to expect
- how to handle the masses
- what to expect from the Expo
- a few training tips
- a few nutritional tips
- a few bicycle maintenance tips
Check out our Facebook page or calendar for detailed event information (when and where).
Congratulations to all participants of our first A-Mountain Hill Climb. We had a couple of brave souls challenge themselves with an all out race for 1 mile up our wonderful A-Mountain.
Thank you to all our sponsors, to all the volunteers, to Jennifer Campbell for taking pictures and to our Heavenly Father for making this a great event.
Congratulations to Tom for winning our first event, to Richard and Austin for 2nd and 3rd place.
Cat 5 Race : Break established, dropped guy working with me, win 1st.
Cat 4/5 Race : Feeling good, dive bombed by military, bent handlebars, THANK YOU for your service, win prime, lose race.
Masters 35+ Cat 4/5 Race : BR sprint, I sprint, BR Sprint, I sprint, BR sprint, I sprint, BR sprint, I sprint, BR sprint, I sprint, Lose race.
Cat 3/4 Race : I heard the whistle, ATTACK, got caught, ATTACK, then TT to 2nd place.
Master 35+/45+ Race : I heard the whistle, saw a break formed without me. Let me sit ... ATTACK, caught the break in lap 2. Zach took off without us. TTT and lapped field. On the final lap ATTACK, blew up, took 3rd place.
by Bekah, Jimmy, Tom and Michael
This just sucked. Took 3rd. The end.
I had made a plan with Brianna leading into this race that we would do a break on a hill. We had never ridden the course before so decided we would take the first lap to evaluate. We were hoping Sophia or another Cat 4 would bridge to us so we could maintain the gap on the descent and then hammer out to the finish.
I told Brianna at the beginning I wanted to set the pace as I was hoping to shake the Grupo women. I hate the way they ride. So we held at the front for maybe 7 miles until Brianna decided we should fall back and conserve energy. The grupo women kept launching these weird attacks- I think they were wanting to get someone to chase them and tire them out because they seemed half-hearted and with a decent pace at the front we could them in minutes.
We were sitting near the back going into the 2nd lap. I could tell the women were fatiguing when we started on the rollers and the pace slowed considerably. I saw a gap start to form at the back and I called out to Brianna that the gap formed and motioned to her that I was going to go. We flanked- her on the right, me on the left - which confused everyone and hammered up one of the rollers, creating a small gap. We eventually fell into a line and started helping create a pretty good distance through the downhills. Kate told me she and some cat 4s tried to chase, but they fell off and she was about to fall back into the peloton when Sophia came out and bridged the gap, taking Kate with her.
We were about 17 miles to the finish at this point so I told them we had to work together to keep our lead. Sophia kept the pace high by calling people off the line when they fatigued. We held a solid pace. I told Brianna that we couldn't beat Kate in a sprint so we tried to force an early sprint .5mi out but we both were just too tired to make that work. We rolled in together - though I guess I had a small gap on her and officially took 2nd.
With time tallied we ended up almost a 5 minute gap on the group. All the women were super happy- which was awesome because I had tried prior to this race to reach out and had a hard time bridging to other women. This helped out A LOT.
This was, by far, the most fun I have ever had on the bike in my life. EVER.
So after the road race Sophia pulled over me and Brianna and basically said we were going to do the same thing as before. Brianna and I were still trying to edge out Kate since we knew her strengths are flats and sprints and we have better legs on hills.
During the race, we only took small pulls at the front and if it looked like we did too much work, Sophia would yell at us to fall back (haha).
During the first lap the 2nd and 3rd place cat 4 women tried to make a break. It was clear they didn't have endurance but Sophia, Brianna and I pushed to the front to watch them and hold the pace so the gap didn't grow. We let them sit like that almost a full lap before I got sick of watching them dangle and bridged (they were basically back on at that point so didn't really burn a match). We forced them to eat wind and pull the group for another lap. They weren't too happy about that.
We fell to the back to make a plan and had determined that we were going to make a move during the uphill stretch of the longest roller by the feed zone on the 4th lap and hammer into the bad turn, work together to maintain distance down the downhill and just repeat the performance from the day before.
Brianna made the break and I went to the front where Kate was in order to hold the pace back for her through the roller. She had a great lead and on the last slight bump up, Sophia and I took off with Kate to bridge. We went into the turn, Sophia in front. She misjudged the angle of the turn and started to fishtail. I saw this, pumped brakes but too hard for my speed and went down hard- almost taking Kate out. Peloton was quick behind us and passed me, sprawled on the ground (lol).
I got up, didn't feel any pain so jumped back on the bike and took off after them. I had lost at least 1-2 minutes on the group at the worst part since they were in the downhill. I chased back the group for the next 2 miles- at one point the pace car came in front of me which was quite demoralizing. I knew that I could catch them on that final incline since the group never moved fast through there and that's what I did. When I rolled back on they were pretty shocked and I was pretty tired. I told Sophia I just needed :30 to recover then we were going to start dropping people- I was super upset and had no intention of falling off the podium for this stage.
We launched multiple attacks- not to break away but just to pull the pace up and lose people. We dwindled from maybe 12 to 6 at the very end and I just hammered up the last hill- taking 2nd and glad to be done!
I was really looking forward to the Tucson bicycle classic this year, in fact, I skipped a few races just so I count focus on the training. After carefully looking at each stages I opted to ride my road bike with my disc wheels and some clip-ons. I felt really good before the race and I had been seeing some gains in my training so I was pretty happy. This year I decided to do the CAT 4 once again and was expecting to be able to be competitive in the circuit race particularly and MAYBE in the road race.
On day 1 of the TT I had an issue with my disk so I wasn't able to use it, however, that didn't really influence my performance. I rode my slowest TT ever on day 1 but I never expected do to well on that course as there's a steep enough section to hinder my results from being competitive.
On day 2 I felt tired but when I looked at my data should have been still somewhat fresh. On the second lap I got dropped and chased back on about halfway down Helmet Peak then on lap 3 I got dropped again and rode hard in that wind with a couple of other guys who had been dropped and we came across the finish line together.
On day 3 I was feeling pretty tired but was hoping that as we got going my legs would spin out and I'd start to feel good. However, I got dropped on lamp 3 chase Bake and got dropped on lap 4 again and then rode the last couple laps by myself. Actually I was the last person to finish in the morning session of races, lol. Nothing like a slice of humble pie from the Lord!!
One thing that happened that was pretty funny was... as I was coming across the finish line all the pros were lined up and they had to move out of the way for me to come through. As I came through I started saying, "Hey, I have the call up!" which is when they allow someone who has some status to go to the front of the pack before the race starts. As I went by the pros were moving out the way several of them patted me on the back, hahaha! I still had a great time just hanging out with the team and seeing everyone else doing well. So now it's time for a little bit of rest and to reset for what may be coming up!
I was really proud that my father came out to support my racing!
This year I attempted the Time Trial on my aero road bike. I sacrificed the aero position to be able to climb better. I think it paid off with a top 10 finish.
During the Road Race 3 riders formed a break away in the first of three laps. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the Time Trial and their teammates took on the responsibility to chased down the break all race long. In the middle of the 3rd and final lap, I thought we would catch the break. We could see them very close to us. But the race leaders decided to let them stay out a little while longer. Richard bridged over to the break and gave them new energy to hold off the chasing peleton. With about 3 miles to go, I decided to bridge over to the breakaway. Nobody chased me down. First I passed Richard who fell off. Then I caught the other 2 riders. Once caught, I tried to shake them, but they attached themselves pretty good to my wheel. Then I decided 3rd place is better than not being on the podium, so I pulled us to the finish, placed 3rd place. Thank you Jesus!
After the road race I managed to be in 6th place overall. My legs felt good, so I tried to animate the race as much as I could. Maybe a podium overall place was possible. However I was a marked rider and none of my breakaway attempts were successful. I was able to keep my 6th place overall which I was very grateful about.
Inspired by the British Hill Climb Series, we wanted to give Tucson’s cycling community a similar experience. We are proud to announce that the registration to our Hill Climb up A Mountain is open.
Even though it is a USA Cycling event, it is open to anyone who would like to try their climbing legs on this one mile stretch of A Mountain. No USA Cycling license is required.
The A Mountain park will be closed to traffic and we hope to have some creative KOM and QOM awards. The race is up the hill, use caution when coming down.
I hope you can join us for our first Hill Climb up A Mountain.
The registration for our Jam Sessions (Crit Training Nights) is open. You can register online at the USA Cycling website. There are 2 series each having their own event registration URL.
If you would like to register for both series for $60, please follow the first link, and check the checkbox next to $60 on Wed 2/6/19.
To register for the 1st series, click here.
To register for the 2nd series, click here.
You can always pay each night at the Bio Park. The cost is $10.
We are looking forward to see you at the Crit Training.
by Michael Hast
Glory to God.
We are so thankful to be able to partner with Desert Christian Schools and Pantano Christian Church who will give away bikes to needy kids on December 23. We were tasked with repairing and cleaning bicycles that were donated to Desert Christian Schools.
#glorytogod #christiancycling #christmas
by Jimmy, Tom, Conor and Michael
I was not planning to ride the El Tour de Tucson this year but as the time got closer and closer I figured that it would be good to ride since there were three teammates signed up for the 50-miler. I am really glad I decided to ride with the team because Michael Hast took first place in the overall with a solo breakaway, Conor Johnson took 3rd for the third year in a row and our new teammate Tom Collins did a lot of work closing down breaks and not letting any of those breaks get away so that Conor will be in position to sprint for third. I spend a lot of time just trying to make sure that we were paying attention to the strategies and tactics on the road, trying to determine whether breaks would stick or whether we needed to chase them down, trying to make alliances with other teams and trying to get Connor lined up for the final Sprint (I had no plans to sprint but did not want other teams to know that).
At one point there were two strong riders that broke away and had a nice little gap from the peloton so I began to try to organize a chase to pull them back. One of the people that was on the tandem said, "Just let them go...let them have a trophy this time, you already have one" then as I started to line up behind Tom who was closing gaps all day the rider yelled out, "What would Jesus do!". I broke out in laughter! We had an awesome group of racers to ride with. All said and done I was glad to see our ChristianCycling team on the podium which is always one of our goals as we attempt to minister to the cycling community in Tucson. I feel very blessed and honored to be a part of this team and look forward to the next race...we have 13 weeks to get ready!
Tom's Report (longest first time race report ever!)
Knowing the plan was to have me go off the front on the first hill, I stayed in the pack at about 8 or 10 riders back as we came out of the start. Once we passed River and began to turn on to Snyder I saw that the Aggress Tandem was leading the pack. I knew that there was a pretty steep decline after the first hill and I decided to wait for the immediate second climb right after the quick drop figuring the tandem would catch me on the decline and I would have wasted energy on the first hill.
Once I got some distance on the pack I set in to a rhythm and started to pull in to some 100 mile and 75 mile riders. I used them to get some quick resistance, moving in and out of their draft as I worked my way towards Kolb on Sunrise.
At the first hill on Sunrise after Kolb I was feeling a little fatigued from the push and glanced over my shoulder to see the tandem coming with a group so I sat up to allow them to catch me. Just as I sat up they caught me and also began to slow their pace as well. Just then, Michael began his attack while we were still about 20 yards from the crest. I remember looking around at everyone as Michael went past with 1 other rider in tow and everyone looked shocked and confused and some looked back at me expecting something to happen, but we just kept our slow pace up the hill and no one really pushed after I backed off. We continued up the hill and they increased the pace a bit. Once we got to the next crest, prior to Craycroft, someone pulled off the front which left me pulling. I controlled the pace over the period of my pulling until Troy took notice and yelled in frustration.
Once we came over the crest of the hill just pass Craycroft I noticed the race was being narrowed down to the one outside turning lane and there were a lot of 100 mile riders nearing this area. So I did another attack trying to bridge the gap over to Michael. I did not have anyone on my tire and made it to the gate entrance of La Paloma and could not see Michael at all so I sat up and hopped back in the pack.
There were a few attacks between La Paloma and Twin Peaks but nothing significant. I made sure to grab on to every wheel that tried to go by and remained in the front 2 to 3 riders to make sure I could get a good run to the side if anything came up.
At Twin Peaks and Silverbell Troy and Pat went off the front and had a decent break from the pack for about 5 minutes. Charlie and Kendrick from Team 111 were talking about the need to catch them or we basically have first, second and third decided. Jimmy spoke to them a little and I asked where the two riders are and he pointed off some distance ahead. I told Jimmy, "Come on lets go get them" and took off hard towards them. I turned and saw only Jimmy on my back tire and pulled for a good amount of time before Jimmy took a turn. I wanted to make sure Jimmy was ready for the end sprint, so I went back in front as soon as I thought I could and did one more huge push and caught them. We could tell they were pretty demoralized by the bridge and they sat up allowing the group to come back.
After that, there were a few other pushes from the tandem (who was clearly working to try and get Troy out on a break) and attacks but I made sure to lock them down by getting on any tire that came out of the pack. Kendrick from Team 111 and I took turns pulling the group down the frontage road and I chased down Troy when he did another attack bringing him back in. I tried to make sure that any time Jimmy got to the front that I would take his pull for him. All in all, I made sure that Jimmy and Connor had a pack in tact going in to the sprint and that they were as rested as I could get them.
Going into this year's Tour de Tucson, I felt as confident as I ever had about a potentially strong finish: I had adjusted my weight room program over the 12 months to have a particular emphasis on explosive power and strength to ensure that my sprinting ability would be in top form; I had felt very strong on group rides as of late; and I suspected that the route changes for this year would work in my favor.
In sticking to the race plan, I stayed within the group upon Michael's attack early in the race, and made a point to stay near the front; both in order to control the chase and also to be prepared for any potential splits as riders might attempt to bridge over to him. All the short, punchy hills early on seemed very manageable, as I felt recovered shortly after cresting each.
There seemed to be some early attempts to organize and chase Michael, but the other teams seemed readily discouraged by the obvious awareness that they would be receiving no assistance from myself, Tom, or Jimmy. At one point Charlie Everett rode up next to me, and with resignation in his voice, said "Well done...very well done." It seemed that as long as Michael could dig deep and maintain his break, the rest of the group was resigning itself to racing for second.
There were some small splits in the group as we made the turns through Marana, but everything regrouped by Thornydale. The false flat going towards Moore was steady but sustainable; nonetheless, I was happy to have a descent on Twin Peaks. I made a point to stay tucked in and not burn any matches, and had a few bites of nutrition.
Tom and Jimmy were instrumental in responding to attacks on the Frontage Road - the one possible challenge to podium spots. With Michael's solo break safely in hand given the slow pace of the chase group throughout, it now looked like it would be a clear mass sprint for 2nd and 3rd. I was prepared to sprint or lead out for Jimmy, so I made sure that all three of us were connected with one another on our final turns.
We made the final turn onto 6th with Tom, Jimmy, and myself lined up. The tandem opened up a gap on the group, but I was fortunate to have Jimmy dig deep to bring me back to them. This positioned me right at the front of the group and from there I followed wheels to 300m out. Feeling confident in my ability, I started my sprint earlier than I had in past years. I opened up a gap on the group and ultimately came in 2nd out of that group (3rd overall) behind Charlie Everett, who had an impressive sprint of his own.
There seemed to be a strong field this year and several teams entering the race with a clear strategy. This was my 9th year riding that distance, and it certainly seems like more and more strong riders are keying on that route and aiming for the win. I was happy to be part of a successful race strategy and grateful for unselfish teammates who helped us to the overall win and two podium spots.
The plan was the establish and/or be part of a break and then control the race. I wanted to send Tom ahead on Sabino Canyon Rd and maybe a few other riders to be able to bridge to them and use them in the break. We had 2 tandems in the pack which would make for an interesting break. Would the tandems be part of the break? Would they bring back any break down?
Tom executed the plan perfectly. He took off and nobody chased him immediately. Eventually Cathi and Rich on the Aggress tandem started an easy chase and another rider followed them. I let them go as I was in the front of the race at that time. Eventually Troy, Pat and Matthew passed me and set a pace to catch the front group. We passed Kolb and the first hill started. About 1/4 way up I attacked and Pat followed my wheel. I caught up to Tom, Cathi and Rich on the tandem rather quickly and decided to keep on going rather than wait for them. When I crested, Pat dropped back. Later he told me that his heart rate was over 190 and he had to recover from that attack. I continued hard through the rolling hills of Sunrise, Skyline, Ina. Every once in a while I looked back but could not make out an organized chase group. Eventually I passed so many riders from the 100 mile and 75 mile distance that I could not really tell if the chasers were closing in. I pressed on uphill, downhill or straight away praying to God that my team would control the chase. It wasn't supposed to be a solo break, but that's what it turned out to be. I passed Bill and Joe on Cortaro Rd. Bill sprinted back onto my wheel, overtook me and gave me a draft for about 30 seconds. I rode with 2 groups on Silverbell and the Frontage Rd for about 30 seconds to give my legs a little rest and was stopped by the police on 2 intersections. After 2:06:57 I crossed the finish line rejoicing and exhausted. It was the longest Time Trail of my life.
I have to thank my LORD and Savior for the opportunity to race and my team that worked hard for this victory. I am so honored and blessed to have an awesome ChristianCycling Tucson team.
by Michael Hast
Service Worship is a time of showing our worship to our Heavenly Father by serving the community in Tucson. We are only doing it a couple of times a year and each time it is a blessing and a treasure to serve.
I love that families bring their kids 8 through 18 to serve with them side by side. I love that parents come with their kids and bring their bikes that are in need of repair.