by Buzz Wright
I was extremely happy to learn that for 2015 the TBC would replace the dumb TT with a crit. Crits are so much better and... wait, what's that you say? Oh... I see. Well, dangit! So I wasn't concerned with the GC and the TT was short enough that I didn't feel like putting the aerobars on the bike. I went out a little too hard but finished pretty strong and was sub-nine minutes which was my personal goal -- so I was happy even though I was not happy. I placed <embarrassingly high number> out of 52. Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of TTs?
The goal for the RR was to work for Michael (sitting at 10th overall) to move him up a spot or two in the GC. About 5 minutes into the race after hitting an enormous pothole, which jarred a Di2 wire loose, the goal changed to trying to fix my front derailleur so I could shift out of the small ring. Trying to reconnect the wire in the shifter during a race ended up being too tough for me and I ended up riding the entire race in the 39. Di2 and I are not on speaking terms right now. I was spinning like crazy trying to hold wheels when the speed went up and needed to surf around in the group a lot in order to handle the speed changes.
I spent most of the time near the back of the pack which was unfortunate because I wasn't able to communicate well with Michael and at one point I got caught behind a crash (luckily I was able to avoid it and didn't go down). On the final lap I moved up to near the front and tried to get close to Michael. There were a couple surges that caused me to fall back some more because I was spinning out and I wasn't able to reach Michael until the final climb. I got to him and told him to follow my wheel and pushed as hard as I could to the finish. At 200m to go I pulled off and he was not there. I continued to the finish in the hopes of grabbing a top-10 finish and was able to hold on just enough to get 10th. That moved me up from <embarrassingly high number> to 17th overall. Michael moved up a spot on the GC which was awesome. It was a fun race but stressful due to the mechanical issue. I'll be switching back to mechanical shifting soon.
I felt pretty good for this race and was excited that I could actually shift into the big ring. We were hoping to move Michael up another spot or two in the GC or at least keep him top-10 and I would also try to get on the podium, something I've been close to a number of times but haven't been able to manage it yet. With the wifey watching from the sidelines I had extra motivation to make it happen. Kyle from TriSports was battling it out for 1st overall so it was a really exciting race to be a part of. An early break formed and stayed away for a lap or two but it was not really a threat and there was no doubt TriSports would reel it back in. Lap three had time bonuses so the pace went up and the climbing was pretty brutal on that lap.
A strategic break formed on the 5th lap and I jumped to bridge up to it. It was a strong break with Michael, Mike from Aggress, Ryan from TriSports, and a couple others. I didn't add much horsepower to the break but I did my best to put in some decent pulls. We were able to stay away for a little more than a lap and at one point had a solid 30-second gap -- but the race leader needed to get a time bonus at the end of the race in order to take back 1st from Kyle and he was strong enough to reel us in on his own. It was a bummer to get caught when I really felt we had a good chance of staying away, but I did my best to recover and prepare for the finish, still hoping to get on that podium.
I was sitting about 10 riders back when we hit the first little climb to the finish. A couple guys jumped in a sort of false-sprint and I stayed on wheels to maintain my position. I ended up being about 5 guys back when we hit the second climb and the pace quickened to about a seated-sprint. I was on the right sitting on a guys wheel when he stood and started his sprint. It was definitely too early but I stayed on his wheel. He started to fade fast and when he did I went by him and started my sprint. I knew it was too early but I could hear the crowd at the finish cheering and I just had to go for it. It was pretty cool to be in first heading up to the line, if only for a few seconds. I pushed as hard as I could but didn't have enough power and ended up getting passed by four guys. I was disappointed to have missed the podium yet again by just a couple wheels, but still very happy with 5th place.
Buzz getting 5th (photo by Evan Robold)
Michael moved up to 8th overall and I moved up another spot to 16th. The fellas in Cat 5 did amazing. It was a fantastic weekend for IC3 and a ton of fun racing and hanging out with all our friends.
by Ken Huizenga
What a great weekend of racing!
I had spent the last year thinking about this TBC race as it was the first one I attempted last year. In 2014 the TBC was a rude awakening of what it was going to take to do well in competitive Road Cycling. The uphill TT was brutal; the Road Race left me dropped and alone for the entire second lap, and the Circuit Race completely destroyed me.
What a difference a year makes!
The 2015 TBC turned out to be the most fun I have had racing to date. It encompassed an insane amount of personal bests for me as well as our team. Gary Schobel was a podium threat all weekend and we were all involved in being sure he finished well.
As often happens in TTs the difficult decision is when to give it 110% without burning out too early. Coach Buzz gave me a plan and I executed it as per his instruction to the letter. My tank was empty when I hit the top of the final hill and I was hoping it would put me at a minimum mid pack. I was successful! I was mid pack and I cut over a minute off last year's time on the same run. Stage one mission accomplished.
Gary had laid down an awesome TT run and was thick in the hunt for the GC podium. This day we planned to protect him and provide a clean delivery for him to the final sprint. Although I wanted to play an integral part in this plan, I had my doubts remembering my demise last year. Putting those thoughts aside, I hung on hard during the climbs and surges and then moved up towards the front to shield Gary and keep him rested. Lap one, I’m still on! Lap two, I almost dropped but simply refused. I was again shielding Gary and Jimmy went to the front and crushed it on the final run down Helmet Peak. JJ jumped up front to help lead the Peloton onto the final stretch. Gary makes his move and takes off. I'm sure Jimmy would have loved to deliver Gary to the 1K to go line but we were all out of gas. Jimmy, JJ and I limped the remaining 1K. We have done what we set out to do. Gary ended with an awesome finish! Wait... did I just finally finish with the pack?
As I discussed earlier, I was dreading this Circuit Race. After only one lap with the pack last year I just figured if I can hang on for three, I’ll consider it a success. This day I was not going to be about me and my selfish goals. Gary’s podium lingered in the back of my head and Jimmy was not feeling well. I could not fail today. Time bonuses were in the balance on lap three and one of us had to grab those to protect our interest in this race.
Gary, JJ, Jimmy, and Ken
I completely breezed through the first two laps. Now it was time for the three of us to march to the front. Jimmy, when he arrived earlier, said he came for only one reason. That was to steal one of the time bonuses away from the leaders to help Gary. Knowing he could dig that deep while feeling ill meant we had no excuse to not contribute. We all worked our way to the front of the pack for the last turn to the start/finish line. I really thought I could blow myself up and get to the line; JJ looked like he would make it as well. As it turned out, only our Master Sprinter Jimmy Davis was strong enough to get there. He did as he set out to. Jimmy took the second place sprint time bonus. The pack split in two after the surge and my two teammates and I took turns leading the splintered pack around for the last two laps. We could see the lead pack, but they had a minute on us. I thought we might catch them. I went out front and pulled as hard as I could on the front but my tank ran out with 1K to go. My teammates rolled by me and quite frankly I was nothing but pleased.
On this day, it was not about my insignificant goals but about our IC3 Team. Gary missed the Podium ever so slightly but I know we could have done more to help. I am so proud of him for his effort and determination. If it is God’s will, we will persevere. Otherwise, we will just enjoy working together for the common good of the team. I have to mention something about this awesome Cat 5 40+ group of guys. What a great group of people! Great racing with you all and I look forward to next year.
by JJ Schmidt
This weekend of racing was extremely exiting and fun! This was my first time trial, my first road race and my first circuit race. I was a little apprehensive after not doing so well in my first two races (crits). I showed up later than I wanted to for the TT, but got to the start line on time. I didn’t know that they launched you off of a platform, that was pretty cool. I tried to get my speed up quickly, and then save my energy for the hills, but when I got to the hills I thought I still had a way to go and didn’t give it 110% like Buzz said. I got to the top of the last hill not realizing that it was the finish line and felt a little confused and disappointed that I didn’t give it my all. Now I know that recon is important, not that Jimmy hadn’t already told me.
The next day was the road race, I was pretty nervous. My goal was to hang with the pack for the first lap. I found myself at the front of the pack at the end of the first lap, and was pretty excited, but then I fell to the back of the pack on Mission and then got dropped. I knew I had to get back to the pack as soon as possible. I passed Ken, hoping he would jump on and we could work our way back to the pack, but I never looked back and kept pushing myself till I got back to the pack. Once I got back to the back I had some time to recover, and then work my way to the front of the pack and actually contribute and take a pull. To my surprise, I held on to the pack till the final sprint, but couldn't hang with Gary and the leaders. I dropped back and heard a guy say group on your right, so I started to move over to my left. To my surprise, there was somebody there and I almost took us out. To my great relief I was able to stay up and even sprint to the finish and move up a couple of spots in the overall standing.
The third and final day is the circuit race. I wondered if I still had anything left in my legs. We went over some last minute strategies and then headed to the start line. It was a good thing we did, because they started us off 3-4 minutes early. To my relief the pack did not take off in a mad sprint. I tried my first attempt at an attack on the rollers down speedway, then waited for the pack to catch me and tried to stay near the front and do what I could for Gary. At the start of the third lap I thought there would be more sprints and breakaways, but it stayed relatively calm. As we approached the turn onto Greasewood I jumped to the front sprinting up the first hill trying to give Gary a lead out, I wish I could have taken him farther, but Jimmy was there to take him to the finish line and grab some bonus points. I was so proud of Jimmy, he did awesome, I don't know that I would have shown up if I had the Flu. After that effort I thought I was done, but I chased down Jimmy and Ken and caught them on the first hill on Speedway after taking the corner too fast, sliding halfway around and luckily not going down. I was able to hang with Ken and Jimmy to finish the last two laps, sprint to the finish, throw my bike and grab 11th. It was a great weekend for me and I feel so privileged to be part of this team.
by Michael Hast
Praise the LORD for a wonderful weekend at the 29th Tucson Bicycling Classic. The time trail was only 3 miles, but it was quite challenging with the 2 uphill sections. Because it was only 3 miles and we had a tailwind, I didn't hold back anything on the first downhill section. Even though I think I paid a little for it on the last 2 hills, I still think this was the right strategy, putting me in 10th place.
On the second day was the Road Race. The strategy was simple. Try to stay in a position in the top 20 to avoid being dropped on any breakaway attempts. And if there were to be any breakaways, try to get with them and stay away. Because Kyle won the TT, team TriSports controlled the race. We had to race 3 laps. The first lap was pretty tame until the crosswind hit on La Canada. A few breakaways happened which were chased down pretty fast. I was in the front on the subsequent uphill ride and dropped back right before Sprint hill. At that time Big Mike launched his attack, but I was unable to catch him because I was stuck behind a few riders. Erik from TriSports chased Mike down, but was unwilling to work at all with Mike because his teammate was in 1st place. That would have been a great breakaway to be in. On the second lap another rider launched a breakaway. He was also chased down by Erik. Both of them were able to stay away for 1 lap. Coming onto La Canada, I launched an attack to bridge to that breakaway and I was successful. All of a sudden Kyle and 2 other riders bridged up to us as well. Now I thought we would be able to stay away, but were caught by the main pack on the uphill. On the last lap I made another breakaway attempt before the turn onto the uphill section, shredding the main pack. I didn't want to go up Duval Mine road in a large group. That cost me some energy which I didn't have when the speed ever so slightly increased towards the finish. Buzz came by and said to draft off his wheel, but I was unable to do so. Even though I didn't place in the top 10 that day, I managed to move up into 9th place in GC.
Michael leading the way
The Circuit Race was on the last day. We teamed up with TriSports to get Kyle back into 1st place. The plan was for him to win the intermediate sprint in lap 3 to gain the few seconds needed by him to win and then for a breakaway to win the race and take up all sprint bonuses. Right from the start the pace was intense. Team TriSports wanted to shrink the field down to a manageable size. From that intense start a group of 3 managed to break away. Kyle and Erik launched an attack chasing down that group in order to follow the plan. They were followed by a few other riders. I stayed put waiting patiently for my turn. I was so tempted to just launch an attack and chase them down. Kyle got his sprint bonus and the breakaway slowed down so that we could catch them. Then at the beginning of the 4th lap (of 5), Big Mike launched an attack and a few other riders followed, including Buzz and I. We gained about 30 seconds in that 4th lap, but were chased down by the pack led by the race leader in the middle of the final lap. It came down to a mass sprint which I timed much better than other finishes. After the last turn I lost a few places, saving some energy for the sprint. I was able to sneak in between 2 riders and launched into 9th place for that race. Overall I moved up into 8th place for GC. It was a well planned and by far the most exciting race this season.
Michael and Buzz after the race (photo by Evan Robold)
by Buzz Wright
With the Tucson Bicycle Classic approaching, many of my teammates were focused on tapering/peaking for those races. While I'll race TBC and hope to do well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to race 5 crits in two days.
San Tan Criterium (Saturday)
The course was a pretty cool figure 8-ish layout similar to the one at Valley of the Sun. There was some wind at play and the laps were long (over 2 minutes). I chatted with Lynn, Lonnie, and Kelly from Tolero prior to the race and we sort of planned out a few breakaway attempts. I didn't pre-ride the course so the first couple laps were spent trying to figure out what lines to take through corners and which side of the group I should be on to avoid the wind. My legs felt a little sluggish but I wasn't too worried. I went with Lonnie to attempt a break and we stayed away for a bit but were brought back.
I recovered and kept an eye on Lynn who was looking strong. Lynn and two other guys ended up getting off the front after a prime and it seemed to be somewhat sticking. I decided to bridge and when I reached them I yelled "let's go" to Lynn. We were able to rotate a couple times through but the other two guys didn't seem too interested and I was running out of gas. We were caught after a few minutes. I didn't have a great position heading into the final lap and ended up waiting way too long to start my sprint. I ended up getting 9th.
My legs weren't feeling great but I was able to stay near the front and move around well in the group. I didn't try to go with any breaks and didn't go after any primes -- just held on and waited for the finish. On the final lap I held a good spot but a huge surge came and my legs were just done. I pushed hard to finish strong but didn't have much left. Placed 17th in that one.
Hungry Dog Criterium (Sunday)
The legs felt better today and the course was less technical, just an oval really. Evan and his family were up for the day so I was much more motivated for these races. I spent most of the time in/at the front of the race and was in a decent position to take the second prime so I went for it. Got a decent gap, took the prime, and then soft pedaled to wait for the group because there was no way I would be stupid enough to try a breakaway on this course after racing twice yesterday and then still having two races later today.
"Hey! Let's go!"
Oh great, someone bridged up to me and wanted to try to stay away. In a split second I made the decision to go ahead and jump on his wheel and commence with the stupidity. So I did stupid for a couple laps, and each time it was my turn to pull I thought, "this is stupid" and of course I was right -- it was stupid. I felt bad for the guy I was with because he wanted the break to work and I was secretly praying that the group would hurry up and catch us so the pain could end or at least be diminished slightly. We were finally reeled back in after a couple more laps and I did my best to recover and stay near the front again for the finish. I was in a good spot for the final lap but didn't have much of a sprint. I was gaining ground on one guy but ran out of road, taking 5th. Evan took 3rd because he knows how to get on the podium. I haven't figured that part out yet.
Evan takes third!
The legs felt pretty good heading into this race. I stayed mid-pack for the entire race just conserving as much energy as I could, knowing that the 3/4 race was coming up next. With two laps to go I made my move up into the top 10 spots and then on the final lap I put in a hard effort and railed the final corner heading to the line. I passed a few guys in the corner and ended up right in third position for the sprint. I jumped hard but stayed wide on the swooping corner to the line, which unfortunately meant I had further to sprint. I could sense a guy coming up on my left and didn't want to cut him off and he was able to get by me before the line. He was wearing an ASU kit, which I believe is a high school up in the Phoenix area. Or maybe it's some sort of post high school college prep center, who knows. Anyway, so I managed to grab 4th in that one, slowly inching my way closer to that elusive podium.
Buzz oh so close to the podium
The legs felt as though they'd already done 4 races this weekend. Which is to say, they were toast. There were more than a couple times during this race that I thought about sitting up, but Evan was in it still so I was able to fight through it and hold his wheel. A break went and I remember looking at it and thinking about bridging up to it but decided that it would not last. It ended up lasting, but I doubt I would have been able to stay with it anyway. Near the end of the race the main group started trying to get organized to chase down the break but there were a couple guys who would not cooperate. I was red-lined for that entire portion and had to stop looking at my computer, which was displaying heart rate values in the thousands. I pushed hard to maintain a decent spot for the final sprint and ended up taking 6th in the pack, 10th place counting the 4 guys up the road.
Evan made brownies. Yeah, that's right. Epic brownies. I ate one. It was delicious. Maybe two. Oh... so good. Ok, maybe three. My legs were trashed but I was really happy with the results from the weekend. I was able to collect a couple envelopes with dollars in them, get a couple more upgrade points, and place top-10 in four out of the five races. And even better, I got to hang out with Evan and his beautiful family at the race and afterward for some food before heading back to Tucson.
Alright, maybe I had four.
by Gary Schobel
Another good weekend of racing, a time trial on Saturday a road race on Sunday.
Saturday morning one the drive out for the TT I just had a feeling it was going to be a good morning. The wind was a little stronger than what I would have liked and the clouds look like they could be carrying a little bit of rain, but I just had this feeling that I was going to do well. Meeting up with the team getting our numbers and encouragement from my teammates is indescribable.
One by one we took off on the 20 km time trial course, hoping to catch the guy 30 seconds ahead of you and praying you're not caught by the guy 30 seconds behind you. It was tough going on the way out. The winds were 15 mph in the south-southwest. The hard effort on the way out was definitely paid back with it as a tailwind on your way in. I reached the turnaround in 20 minutes, 20 seconds and made it back to the finish in 11 minutes. I crossed the finish line at just over 32 mph. I finished the 20k in 31:20, which put me in third place for the cat 5 category. It was my first time finishing in a podium position. What a great feeling!
Second day was a road race. It was an early start. We rolled out at 7:25 a.m. I was so excited to be one of the five IC3 members racing in the Cat 5 category. I felt I started in a good position to start the race. By the end of the first lap I was falling towards the back of the pack. Just before reaching the finish line of the first lap I heard Buzz from the sidelines yelling, "get up in there!" The second third and fourth lap went much better. I stayed in the top 6. I thought I was playing it smart conserving as much energy as I could. End of the fifth lap on the final hill climb I just didn't have enough left in the legs. I fell from 6th to 14th finishing side by side with Greg.
There was a lot to learn in this road race. I look forward to using it in the next road race. Now that my work was done, it was time to enjoy watching Michael and Buzz race the course with one extra lap. Buzz led Michael out for a ninth place finish. I am so proud to be part of the IC3 Tucson race team.
by Michael Hast
It was cloudy, it was very windy, a perfect day for a time trial. That is how the Southern Arizona Omnium started with the Flap Jacks 20k TT. We had to drive to Picacho which is about a 40-minute drive from Tucson. We didn't set up our Christian Cycling tent and flags due to the wind. Margo, Greg, Gary and I nonetheless got ready for the battle against time and wind. During the warm-up, I had trouble getting my Wahoo Fitness HR monitor to work and display my heart rate on my Wahoo display. As with many TT's it was an out and back course. The "out" part was into the wind and on the way back we had a great tailwind. Once the race started, I accidentally pressed the pause button rather than the lap button which messed me up for the first couple of miles. I tried to un-pause which didn't work at first, so I fiddled with my device for a bit. Not good when you're supposed to stay in the TT position. About 2 km before the turn-around point I was passed by the rider who started behind me. It felt as I was standing when he rode by. I for sure thought I could keep him in sight to the turning point and then on the way back, which was a fine thought. Reality was different. With the tailwind on the way back, I hammered as best as I could and finished 7th that day.
The Colossal Cave Road Race on Sunday was the second part of the omnium. The Cat 5 race was about to finish when I arrived at Pistol Hill near Colossal Cave. They started around 7:30 am, and our Cat 4 race didn't start until 10:53. Praise the LORD, I got to sleep in. After talking to the guys about their race, I got ready and warmed up. Our race was 54 miles (or 6 laps). The 1st lap of the race was pretty casual, even though Colton tried to break away on the 1st lap. We wheeled him in slowly but surely. On the 3rd lap a group of 3 broke away and stayed away for a little over 2 laps. Team Trisports worked hard with the winner of the road race to catch that breakaway. It was very tough to even hang on. After catching the breakaway, there was 1 lap to go. Initially the speed slowed for everyone to catch their breath and position themselves. With 4 miles to go, Kyle broke away and his team was blocking. With me in his tow, Buzz launched an attack to bridge to Kyle, which we did successfully. Kyle was startled when we passed him and I had to laugh out loud. With 2 miles to go, Ryan, another strong Trisports rider, launched an attack and stayed away to the base of Pistol Hill. This time Buzz launched another bridge attack with me, which was not so secret as we had hoped, because I wasn't looking at Buzz. So he had to call out my name. Hey everyone, we are about to launch an attack :-). Well, the gap to Ryan was bridged and the sprint up Pistol Hill was on. It was a tough uphill battle and I placed 8th that day.
On my way home I listened to Pastor Jons sermon "Forgiven!". "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalm 32:1-2
by Ken Huizenga
I really had the Colossal Cave RR pegged as a must participate race. I am out at Pistol Hill riding weekly and I consider this my home course. This race requires five laps. I never do five laps around this course in practice as it can be very tough. Today I felt prepared and ready to attack. The race started and I took off with my group. Everything went well until we reached the first turn onto Old Spanish Trail. Traffic was backed up at the stop sign and our spread-out peloton had to narrow and squeeze into the bike lane. I drifted back to allow Gary and Fernando safe entrance around the cars and fell off the pack a little bit. I tried to stay on Greg’s wheel as he drifted back with me. He was able to bridge back up to the group but I was afraid it was a little early to burn that match. This was my huge error for the day. I could not close the gap and this cost me dearly. The next four laps were completely on my own. I passed a few Cat 5 guys and the only other person I saw was Lonnie Poarch. He had an amazing break going off the front of his group, and still said "hi" and was encouraging me to press on. It was a long hard day but I did finish.
Bottom line here is that having to work solo for so long took its toll on my back and my pride. This is not how I envisioned this race going at all. I am no quitter, so I did finish this race off. It took all my mental fortitude to do so though. I will certainly be re-evaluating my race preparation and my training schedule. This is the first race that I have had that I can take nothing from. I had no good usable data, no personal bests and not one lap that showed improved fitness or progress. I was ten minutes slower than last year in this race. Now the decision needs to be made to just shrug this one off or re-evaluate my entire training routine. At this point I will try to remain optimistic and press on.
I am very proud of my Team. They all put in hard efforts and had our Cat 5 group well represented up front. I am getting to know a lot of other riders and I have to mention what a great group of people I get to hang with at these events. Carolyn and Scott, Jason, Rafael, Margo, Robert, I heard you guys every lap. Thanks so much for keeping me going.
by Buzz Wright
I didn't do the TT because I'm not a fan of them and would rather save my money for crits. I was also not interested in the omnium so my plan was simply to do whatever I could to help Michael place well in the road race. TriSports had around 15 guys in the race (plus or minus) including Kyle "The Killer", Ryan "Bitter Hatred", newly upgraded Erik "Pain Dispenser", Dan "Hammer Dropper", and Josh "Yay Crits". I've submitted upgrade requests for all of those guys and am waiting to hear back from USAC. Not sure if you can request an upgrade for your competition or not but we'll see...
I felt pretty good despite not getting a great night's sleep. I'm not a very strong climber though which was bad because we were doing eleventy laps (plus or minus) and unless I could find a non-flat-inducing shortcut through the desert that meant eleventy times up Pistol Hill. I love climbing up Pistol Hill though because it always reminds me of my "comeback" ride. https://www.strava.com/activities/119166978
The "o" in "Welcome Back Buzz" written on the Pistol Hill climb
The first couple laps were not too bad. The group split up a bit on the climb but came back together on the descent and across Loma Alta. At some point during the third lap three riders went up the road and held about a 30-second gap for a lap or two. I wasn't too worried about them because TriSports wasn't in the break and they had enough horsepower in the field to reel them back in. The majority of the race for me was simply staying on wheels, staying near the front, eating, drinking, and trying not to puke on anyone.
We caught the break after a few hard pulls during the 18th or 19th lap (I lost count). On the final lap as we were heading down Loma Alta, Kyle managed to get a bit of a gap. It looked to me like he was trying to prompt some moves so I decided to stir things up a bit for Michael. I rolled by him and told him to get on my wheel and that I'd launch him up to Kyle. I held back a bit on the jump because I didn't want to gap Michael and so while he was able to get up to Kyle unfortunately so was everyone else. I recovered for a minute and watched TriSports like a hawk. Ryan got away and Kyle did a great job of blocking on the front. I watched Ryan and waited until he had a decent gap before I started setting up to launch Michael again. When I felt it was a good time, I tried to get Michael's attention but he was busy on the wrong side of the group dreaming about German chocolate. After a couple minutes of trying to get his attention without alerting the entire field I gave up and shouted, "Michael!" and then motioned for him to come over to the correct side and get on my wheel.
Pro tip: If you don't want to surprise anyone with your attack, yell out your teammate's name when it comes time.
Once Michael was on my wheel I pondered announcing to the field that we would now be attacking, but decided to just keep my mouth shut and go for it. And of course, as soon as any movement is detected in the field, there will be at least 4 guys who will shout, "On the left!" as a sort of public service for the group. So while our attack was completely expected, it was just sharp enough to give us a little separation. Maybe a bike length. I put in a good dig for about a minute but could sense the group on Michael's wheel so I backed off just a touch to re-evaluate and think. I can't think when I'm going at 100%. Actually I have trouble thinking at 50%. So I did some math in my head and determined that since this was the last lap, there would be zero more laps to go. Then I tried to convert kilometers to miles and then miles to feet. That resulted in just 7 feet to the finish and I was pretty sure that was incorrect as we hadn't made the turn onto Pistol Hill yet. So I abandoned all that and came up with a simple plan -- push hard until about halfway up Pistol Hill and then puke everywhere. The intent would be to shed a couple riders and give Michael something to launch from. My hope was to give him a top-10 finish. Unfortunately, this meant that we, along with the group, would likely catch Ryan near the finish. I felt bad about that -- but teammates come before JKG (slightly).
We ended up catching Ryan at the turn onto Pistol Hill, I yelled for Michael to finish strong and then I sat up to the finish. When I crossed the line I asked our teammates on the sidelines if Michael had placed top 10. I was super stoked to hear that he had. Fun day of racing, and some great results for IC3!
by Jimmy Davis
There was a report circulating in the news media. It is not the type of report that you want if you are a road cyclist getting ready for a race. However, it is not the type of news that would deter a die-hard cyclist. What is this news you may ask? It is that the forecast is a 60% chance of rain on race day! I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t want to race in the rain again” but I had already signed up and was actually excited to see how my training was coming along. This race was a “B” race for me, so that means a difficult training race that I will use to gauge how my training is coming along. I’m somewhat interested in my results but mostly interested in my form and fitness level.
The Colossal Cave road race is an Omnium. So on Saturday there was a Time-Trial (TT) and on Sunday there was a Road Race (RR). I signed up for the Omnium but was unable to compete in the TT. I knew that several of my teammates were in the TT so I was anxious to see the results. I found out that Gary finished on the Podium (3rd place) in the TT so I decided that I would work for him during the RR so that we could get a teammate on the Podium for the Omnium. I also received an e-mail from Michael informing me of Gary’s spot on the podium and that I should work for him during the race. I was glad to do this because if you get a teammate on the podium it is a win for the team. I used to teach classes in the church and one of the principles that I taught was “Only Fight The Enemy.” Oftentimes we spend too much time fighting each other and what we really need to do is focus on Christ and resist the Devil. The Word actually says in James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” So there is an order to this thing: first submit to God, then resist the devil. Order is important because you cannot resist the devil until you have properly submitted to God! So, my application of this principle today was don’t race against teammates… we are not trying to beat each other!
On race day I thought that the Lord must have heard my heart because it was only slightly windy and there was no rain. In fact, it was a beautiful day for racing. At the start line I made an assessment of the riders and tried to identify the folks that were on the podium in the TT and also those that Gary would have to watch for if there were any attacks of if a break were attempted. I saw Michael Kothke, I was sure he would do some work and try to tear up the field and also I noted Brandon because I know he likes to climb and that he might “put the hurt on” during the 5 climbs that we had to complete during the race. As the race began I tried to simply position myself in a place where Gary could stay behind me. As far as I could tell that’s where he was for the first couple of laps. However, I know that Gary likes riding on the front and I was hoping that he would not go to the front because then I’d have to get on the front. I wanted to be nestled in a place that would provide some shelter for him and me. I always have this quote in my mind during races, “Energy saved is distance gained.” Each lap seemed to be as hard as the previous lap and there was really no “let up” during the race. On the third lap I almost got dropped on the climb over Pistol Hill and another rider pulled me back to the pack; I was really grateful for his willingness to get me there! He said, “Get on my wheel” and he took me up to the pack (rider in the dark kit).
Every lap I tried to block the wind for Gary, especially on Old Spanish Trail. I did not do a really good job at this on the first three laps but got on Gary’s inside on the last two laps because we had a cross-headwind. Greg was in the lead group with us also working hard and riding hard! Finally we came to the last lap and I knew that the guys would try a few attacks; none were successful as the group that remained were able to respond. As we turned the corner to head up Pistol Hill one last time there was still about 20 guys headed to the fish line. Suddenly the pace kicked up and the climbers started getting a separation on the rest of the group, I was done. I told Gary to go ahead and get to the line as he and Greg passed me on the climb. Another rider came around my outside and I got on his wheel. Surprisingly he started swerving around trying to get me off his wheel (I guess he wanted to beat me) so I said to him, “Listen, I’m not going to pass you, let’s get to the finish.” At that point he just pulled me up to the finish. My assignment was done and I did not want to crash 50 feet from the finish.
All in all it was a good day of racing; it was a harder race than last year. For example last year I finished in 9th place and our time was 2:14:42 with an average speed of 20.9 mph. This year I finished in 17th place and our time was 1:55:24 with an average speed of 23.1 mph. It is good to see that riders are getting stronger and the Cat 5 field is riding hard. I was also glad to see some of the JKG riders animating the race and using a little strategy to produce results. It was fun riding this weekend and I look forward to the Tucson Bicycle Classic in two weeks!