by Jimmy Davis
With the Criterium season over we come to the part of the race season that I like the most…that is Time-Trial (TT) season. In cycling there are many disciplines a rider could involve himself/ herself in: Road race, Crits, Time-Trial, MTB, motor cross, Cyclocross etc…
The Race of Truth
A time-trial is a grueling race, it is called the “Race of Truth” because in this race it is just you and your machine against the road and the elements. In this type of race there is no place to hide, no drafting, no coasting, no one to blame and no one to thank. The race of truth is where you put it all on the line for a particular distance. Most time-trials are on a mostly flat course and can be 20, 30 or 40 kilometers. Some time-trials are climbing TT’s--these I don’t usually enter because climbing is even more painful and I have yet to really capture the art of climbing.
My new TT bike from my family
The Cotton Classic TT Series is a very flat course, less than 50ft elevation change on the course. It is the typical out and back type of course and the road was not too bad. I wanted to do this race because the State championship TT’s will be held on this course so getting a little recon was the main goal.
My old road bike used for TT's
I also wanted to test out my new TT bike that my family purchased for me on my birthday. It is a pretty bike and everyone knows that ”pretty” can go a long way. The field for this race was somewhat small, however, there were a lot of folks out in the various categories racing. I felt good at the start of the race. All of my previous TT’s had been on a road bike and I really looked forward to riding a dedicated bike on the course.
I was glad to see all of the folks that I knew and Jason was out there with his new TT bike ready to get going. It was cold and wet and I don’t like being cold or wet. It seems like I had too many races where it was either cold or wet and I had hoped for better weather; a strange storm had come in and had even caused snow on Mount Lemmon. However, everyone was racing on the same course and in the same conditions so all was fair. The wind on this day was tough, it was a head wind on the way out so I adjusted my plan slightly to account for it.
It was cold in the morning
I got a good warm up and headed for the start line. It was strange because there were two start times and since I was not sure which was going to be used I got there early. As I went off I tried to get into a rhythm and hold my desired numbers which I did pretty well. On the way out I hit a huge pot hole and I thought for sure I was going to have a flat and perhaps a cracked front wheel but they both held up without a problem. One thing I realized during this race was that I’m going to have to practice my turn around. I had a really, really slow turn and even went off the road into the mud. This was mainly because I did not know how the new bike would perform in a turn and I was not very aggressive getting around the cone. On the way back I tried to get my power back where it needed to be, of course I thought I was really suffering during the race but I can see that I could have put more out.
Jason captured an exhausted Jimmy Davis, Jr.
I finished the race in 1st place in the Cat 5 race. I was pleased but I am really looking forward to getting the professional fit next week so that I can be set up properly. The entire race I was sliding off the seat and had to re-position myself constantly. I am also looking forward to my TT skinsuit which will be here soon.
What's the Data Say?
All in all, it was a great race for me. I was at the max of all my current numbers even though I know some of my power numbers are lower than they could be since I'm not test like I should.
Next race on this course I’ll be able to dial in my efforts a little better…can’t wait!
by Buzz Wright
Honestly, I don't feel like giving a report for this race. I was pretty disappointed with the results. No. I was extremely disappointed. I love crits. Love them. The speed, the technicality, the tactics, the intensity. I've thoroughly enjoyed every crit I've done and always look forward to the next one. This year, I came so close to getting on the podium so many times. I got 5th at Avondale, 4th at BioPark, 7th at Sun Devil, 4th at VOS, 6th at Tolero, 7th at Avondale, 5th at Avondale, 5th at Hungry Dog, 4th at Hungry Dog, 5th at TBC... and after every single one I would think, "There's another race coming up, I will podium there."
State Crit Champs. On my radar since January. I wanted so badly to finish the season with a podium. I felt good, I felt strong, I was ready. I was so ready. Sitting 4th wheel with 200 meters to go, ramping up my sprint, in the 53/12 ready to burn it into the 11, accelerating into the wheels of the 3rd and 2nd place riders, strong, so strong. Confident. Fast. Sure. I would be on the podium. I have that podium. Today I get it. It's mine...
Another racer crashes right in front of Buzz, 200m from the finish
A couple decades ago I was the eldest of 5 children, and the only boy. When the news came that my mother was pregnant with the 6th, I immediately started praying for a brother. I wanted a little brother so badly and I just knew -- absolutely knew -- that if there was a God, He would let me have a brother. I prayed, more than I had ever prayed in my life for a boy. When the day came, I went to the hospital to meet the baby, certain -- absolutely certain -- that I finally had a brother. My father met me in the hallway and told me the news. Her name was Christina.
I remember the scene to this day. My dad took me to the hospital cafeteria and bought me a Tab soda. We sat and I cried and he told me that it was alright; that my job was to take care of Tina and keep her safe. To protect her and be a good big brother for her. And that even though things didn't turn out the way I wanted them to, later I would understand and would be glad. But that day I was heartbroken.
For months (years if you ask her), I dressed Tina in boy's clothes and introduced her to everyone as "Chris", my little brother. I included her in everything I did, from riding bikes to rollerblading to playing ice hockey... and that initial disappointment faded very quickly. As I matured I realized that having a brother was no better than having a sister. And that I was fortunate -- extremely fortunate -- to be given the opportunity to be the big brother to so many beautiful, intelligent, caring girls.
One week prior to the State Crit Champs, on Easter Sunday, I got to do something amazing. I got to officiate the wedding for Tina. I'd already performed the wedding ceremonies for two of my other sisters, but I was still very nervous for this one. During the ceremony I talked about the time in the hospital when my dad bought me that Tab soda. I looked at Tina and she laughed. I fought back tears and held my composure the best I could. It was a beautiful day -- the exact opposite of disappointment.
Buzz performing the wedding ceremony for his sister, Tina
Sometimes, well -- most of the time... things don't go as planned. Sometimes instead of finally getting to step up on a podium you're picking yourself up off the pavement. But disappointment today can turn into overwhelming joy tomorrow. I'll podium State Crit Champs... just stay tuned...
by Margo Chmelik
This was my first event with the team so I was pretty excited. I had lost a lot of training time and even missed a previous race due to a knee injury. This was my first crack at this distance and I do not have a lot group riding experience so I was not sure what to expect. The day started off good. I felt really good the first hour of the ride despite only getting around four hours of sleep. I passed a lot of people. Unfortunately once we got out of town and started some climbing into a head wind I fell off my group. I tried really hard several times to get on the back of a new group as they passed by, but could not keep up. Turns out I was spending too much energy when I was solo so had nothing left to get on the back of a group. Lesson learned for next time!
Usery Pass was challenging especially since I was really tired at that point. I enjoyed chatting with my fellow riders as we struggled up the climb. The views were also breathtaking. When things started easing up, I saw my husband, Greg, and our team mate, Jimmy on the side of the road. Unbeknownst to me, Greg had been in crash. They were smiling and waving as I went by. I am very thankful that Jimmy stayed with Greg. The last 20 miles were really tough as my backside was sore and I had some nausea. After taking a break from eating and drinking that passed. I worked with a couple of older gentlemen the last five miles or so which was nice. I would have liked to talk to them when it was over but did not get the chance. I figured out that Greg had crashed and needed to get back to our hotel. Thank the good Lord that Greg was ok. It was a rough weekend as Buzz also had a crash the afternoon before at the state crit championships. God was certainly with our team this weekend!
by JJ Schmidt
I have to admit I was dreading waiting at the starting line, I figured I would need to be there 2.5 to 3 hours early to get a good spot. I really wanted to get platinum so I didn't have to get to El Tour de Tucson so early. I was relieved to find out that I wouldn't need to get there as early as I had planned. Then Jimmy sacrificed his platinum pass for me, and I didn't have to get there very early at all. I have to say I really enjoy being part of this team. Jimmy and I arranged to meet Greg and Margo at their hotel, which was right down the street. We were late meeting them, but caught up with them on the way to the start line. I've never ridden to the start line before and it was a nice way to warm up. It made me feel like a true cyclist.
The pace started out pretty quick, but right away Jimmy was up with Greg and me. The course was riddled with obstacles and the incessant yo-yo that happens in a big pack, which was made worse by all the construction cones. I saw more than one rider hit a cone, but luckily I didn't see any of them crash. When the rumble strips showed up, I tried to stay on the outside, but it was frustrating trying to stay inside the yellow lines. On the first decent hill I fell towards the back and was glad I had followed Buzz's advice to get near the front so you can fall back on the hills, but not get dropped. I was able to work my way back up to the front, this time sticking to the inside. I made a pretty risky move on the inside and made my way to the very front, just before Usery Pass, then proceeded to get promptly dropped on the hill.
As I was nearing the top, I saw some riders on the ground, and as i got closer realized it was a teammate. I didn't know if it was Greg or Jimmy, but as I got closer I saw Jimmy coming back towards us, he yelled at me to keep going and as much as I wanted an excuse to stop I kept going. On the descent I was able to work with a couple of guys, but as we turned back toward town I could tell by the mileage and the time that we were not going to make the 3-hour mark. We worked together for a while, split up then regrouped with a few other riders. I ended up crossing the line at 7.5 minutes over 3 hours and was pretty bummed. It helped a little to learn that I finished less than 9 minutes behind the winner. I felt like I let my teammates down. I was super exited when I learned later that they adjusted the times and my time actually earned me platinum status. Woohoo I don't have to wait for hours in the cold at ETdT. Thanks Team! I wouldn't have done as well without you guys.