Crosswinds Classic 2014
Little Rock, AK
Hub City Bicycle – Lift Center Racing team had a show of force in Little Rock.
Stay tune for race reports!
The Valley of the Sun stage race in AZ is well attended event, over 1000 participants. In the 40+ Masters CAT1,2,3,4 we had over 60 riders. It is a Friday morning time trial of 14.2 miles, Saturday morning road race of 52 miles, and Sunday morning criterium. The West Coast bicycle racers for them it is their third or fourth race of the season.
With travel and logistics concern I only took one bicycle, which hurt me in the time trial and put me toward the end of the leaderboard on day one. The 52 mile road race was basically up-and-down a 3-5% grade mountain four times. Each time up the mountain the pack would drop off a group of riders. Several breaks went up the road, but the pack kept them close for the finish climb. The race officials gave us the last 2 km open road to sprint for the finish. We ended up single file snaking back-and-forth to the line at about 23 mph. The Road Race result brought me up midway on the leaders board.
The Sunday criterium was a figure eight type course with some rough asphalt. Basically the whole race was held together for a sprint pack finish. I had some misfortune and broke my left crank, since I was within 3 km of the finish they gave me the same finish the pack. This is a nice race to check your fitness against some of the better riders in USA.
I went to Tampa FL area for a few days of sunshine and training. The weather was warmer, but it rained lightly on all the rides. Saturday had a Road Race of 52 miles north of Tampa in the orange grove area of San Antonio. The course was rolling like west TN and before the finish with two climbs and then 1 mile flat to line. Their Masters group was a large field of about 50, most of them this was their third race of the season. The race stay together at a 22 mph pace, each of the small breaks were absorbed until the finish. I was cautious about my form, toward the middle of the race rolled off with several small breaks, each ran down by the pack. The last lap three guys got off the front and stayed away to the finish. As the pack lined out over the last hill I was in good position, about 10th place and at 300 meters the official yelled at that the finish was block on the left side with emergency vehicles. I stood up and looked as the sprint was starting two lanes wide for the fastest through the hole. Thinking about the possible carnage and 16 hour drive home I just cruised in safely, it is a long season.
It is interesting to test your winter training fitness and all the cold rides. Now to prepare for a hard core, Masters 40+ stage race in AZ in two weeks.
Patrick Andre Wins State Cx4 Championship!!
Tom Gee and I travelled back to Chattanooga, which is were the cyclocross season kicked off back in September, this weekend to compete in the 2013 Tennessee Cyclocross State Championships. Hub Endurance hosted the event and put on a great race. A rain front came through during the night and early morning making the course soft for the first few races turning into a mud-fest by the end of the day. Masters 35+ was the first race at 11:00. After a short delay Master 45+ rolled out as well. Primes were awarded for the hole-shot. I was looking for a good finish trying to keep the Master 35+ Best Area Rider for the Memphis Region, but wanting to save something for the Cx4 race at 3 pm believing I had a good chance to win it if my legs would hold out for the two races.
The race started out fast led out by Jeremy Nagoshiner riding for Cumberland Transit. The first half of the lap was the most technical utilizing some gravel sections and wooded areas with a steep treacherous muddy descent and an almost unclimbable ascent back up into the park grassy area common to all cyclocross courses. Shannon Williams, a category 2 Cumberland Transit racer, was able to smoothly navigate his way through some of the sketchiest turns pulling away which allowed him to pick his line for the rest of the race. Justin Lowe from Dover, TN was boxed in for the first part of the course but quickly made his way up into second racing aggressively. I was staying up with the leaders and able to see the race unfold; settling in and waiting to see who would fade or slide out as the course deteriorated with each lap. After the second lap it was clear barring a mechanical issue or big crash Shannon and Justin would place 1st and 2nd respectively. Chris Chotas, a Category 1 rider for the Atlanta team BMW-Litespeed, settled into third and I fourth. He was within my reach but on the last lap my drive side crank arm totally disintegrated around the pedal spindle. It felt like I had pulled my cleat right out from the bottom of my shoe! It was only later that I examined my shoe and bike and discovered what had actually happened.
Because it was Tennessee’s state championship, I was informed that I was the third place Tennesseean making the podium for the Masters 35+ even though Chris Chotas from Atlanta placed in front of me (he still took home prizes for third place.)
By Shannon Williams winning state, I was told he was awarded enough points to beat me out by 4 points for the Memphis Region Masters 35+ Best Area Rider. With my bike being unrideable and the BAR slipping away, I was somewhat discouraged even saying to Tom “It was a season of almosts.” Tom was great to point out to me that I had some good finishes this year, which was extremely encouraging. Thanks Tom.
Tom Gee had a great race in the Masters 45+ racing against John King and Dirk Pohlmann whose lap times were as fast as the Pros.
By placing 5th in the State Championship, he secured his win for Memphis Region’s Best Area Rider Masters 45+; way to represent the team Tom!
I ran into Kevin “the Freak” Freeman from Fayetteville who introduced me to cyclocross four years ago. His daughter Rachael was there competing in the Women’s 15-18 Junior race (she won it.) He suggested I race her bike for the Cx4 race. After raising the seat and riding around in the warm up area, I knew I still had a chance to compete for the Memphis Region Cx4 Best Area Rider. I was seventh going into the championship. I calculated that if I could place in the top 5, I still had a chance to win the series. So it was with this goal in mind and on a borrowed bike that was a little small for me, I was called up to the starting line at 3 o’clock for the Cx4 race. Only being a thirty minute race, it started off extremely fast putting everyone in the red. Matt Hendon, racing for Hub Endurance, won the hole-shot and was ahead for the first half lap, riding like he was there to win. By the afternoon much of the course was nearly unridable being a layer of mud. Daniel Hamilton went off the front and I found myself riding in second position after the first lap. It was then that I knew I could be the state champion. I was no longer racing for points, but the state jersey! I accelerated past Daniel shortly after the start of the second lap and he was unable to respond. One of his teammates passed him and then it was just a race for second as I continued to ride away winning the State Championship and taking home my first State Champion Jersey! Incidentally the 53 points I was awarded also secured my Memphis Region Cx4 Best Area Rider as well.
While writing this race report (checking TBRA’s website for correct names, places, and points) I noticed the official results have me winning, beating out Shannon Williams, for Memphis Region’s BAR Masters 35+ by 6 points! For the 2013 Cyclocross season I competed in 10 races, had 9 podium finishes, won Memphis Region’s Masters 35+ and Cx 4 Best Area Rider and the Tennessee State Cx4 Championship and jersey.
My son also raced. He placed 3rd in the state championship 10-14 juniors, won Memphis BAR, and placed 2nd in Nashville and Chattanooga BAR. In all he collected a bronze medal, 1st place plaque, and two 2nd place plaques. He was pretty excited. And we won the raffle for a $180 Northface waterproof gear bag.
I really appreciate the Hub City Bicycle Company/Lift Center team along with Adrian and Justin at Hub City Bicycles for making it happen.
by Patrick Andre
This past weekend was the 27th Annual Outdoors Inc Cyclocross Championship which is the longest-running cyclocross race in America. This has always been my favorite race every year because it is on Mud Island’s Greenbelt Park right on the Mississippi River and unlike most races includes a C race for children of all ages allowing for the whole family to participate. My 9 year old daughter Ainsley placed third right behind my 5 year old son Ben who placed second in the C race!
Then came the juniors race in which my son Luke placed 3rd which pretty much locks him in for Tennessee’s 10-14 Junior’s Memphis Region jersey winner for this cyclocross season.
Next came the B race where I took second overall right behind Boomer Leupold (a Cx2 racing in the single speed subclass for Outdoor’s Los Locos team) winning the Cx4 subclass.
Ten minutes later the A race was started including Matt Joiner (a Jackson area rider racing for Marxs-Bensdorf) Richie Slagle, Tom Gee and myself all racing for the Hub City Bicycle/Lift Center team. I had raced extremely hard during the B race and about half way through the A race when I totally cramped up and was unable to keep Peter Reed (who I had just beaten in the B race) from riding away for first. I was able to hang on to 2nd in Masters 35+.
Matt Joiner placed 3rd overall behind a couple of Pro/1/2 riders, Kevin Conerly riding for Gearhead Cyclehouse and Boomer Leopold, winning Cx3!
Richie Slagle was riding strong as well, working in a group with Hart Robinson who is a previous winner of this Championship race and placed 2nd in Cx3.
Tom Gee at 63 races in the 45+ Masters in Tennessee and secured a second place podium finish, remarkable! The weather was beautiful and the course was perfect cross. Thanks to Joe Royer and Outdoors Inc for another great race!
by Patrick Andre
I traveled to Nashville this past weekend to race the Nashville cross series since the Memphis event did not have any Master’s category. Funny how they ignore the largest group of licensees in USA Cycling. We had a large contingent of 45+ riders who went off with an equal number of 35+ riders. The course was the same as last year and had a nice mix of hills, dismounts, and technical descents. As usual I got off to a slow start but over the course of the event kept moving up. With two laps to go I had third place in my sights, but suddenly found myself being overtaken by another rider from behind. As the two of us battled we overtook third place half way through the final lap. I felt strong and just knew I could take them in the sprint. Just before the final stretch we had to make some tight turns in some woods that then emptied out onto pavement to the finish. My tactical error was not taking the lead into the woods as no one had enough pavement to change position before the finish line. Unfortunately, I ended in 5th place. I was ultimately happy to finish that high as the oldest rider in the event by far. Just should have been more aggressive in starting the sprint. All in all this was a fun event and great course.
I traveled to Lawrence Kansas on my birthday to compete in two days of the Joules Cross. I was in Kansas City to visit my daughter and was looking for some type of event and lucked into the cross scene there. The Kansas City area has a great cross heritage having conducted several National Championships here in the past five years. The Joules Cross course was a pure cross course unlike many of the courses we see in Tennessee (which often have mountain bike tendencies). Even better, they have four Master’s categories broken down into 30+, 40+, 50+, and 60+. Each field had 10-20 riders and each field started 30 seconds apart. This made for great racing as each group was racing against their own but had the added fun of chasing down the group in front of them as well. I rode the 60+ group and it started out very fast with Jim Wentling of Dodge City setting a blistering pace. I was able to mark his wheel for the first four laps eventually taking the lead with two to go and dropping him on the final lap to win the first day. The course was wide and fast with no BS like sand, single track or long steep climbs to mess up the flow of the race. It was go, go, go all the way with a ”spiral of death” and two dismounts each lap, one of which was a steep run up. This allowed for riders to stay together and flog one another.
The second day was a repeat of the first with the course running in the opposite direction. Wentling and another rider set an early pace. We caught a large group of the 50+ riders at one of the dismounts and I blew past everyone and kept on going to my second victory of the weekend. The races were great fun and very hard.
by Tom Gee
Richie Slagle and I finished in the top of the field at the first Crossroads Clash A race hosted by 901 Racing at Shelby Farms this past weekend. It was overcast, cold and rained that morning, but actually ended up being a good day of racing. The course was very typical, composed of thick grass, sharp corners, five man-made barriers, and a short road section across the parking lot without any sand or mountain bike trails.
There was a “Le Mans Start” which is when racers line up away from their bike, then run to their bike and take off. Richie got off to a great start being a strong runner and training for an upcoming 40k race. Matt Joiner (riding for Marx-Bensdorf) and I rode together making our way through the field and back up to him somewhere in the first couple of laps overcoming several riders. The three of us settled in and rode together for several laps. Matt and I rode up a little from Richie before I slid out on an off-camber wet, grassy corner and dropped my chain. Before I got my chain back on, Richie came by and I spent the next lap riding back up to him before I could sit on his wheel and catch my breath.
Matt developed a gap on the two of us being super smooth with each obstacle. After sitting in for a while on Richie’s wheel, I was able to ride back up to Matt. He was riding strong but later said he hit a wall as this was only his second cross race of the season. The three of us continued reeling in riders including Kevin Conerly (a Pro/1/2), but after that it was hard to differentiate who we were reeling in and who we were lapping. I knew that Seth Rider, Jonathan Brown, Boomer Leopold, and John King were in front of us, but not if anyone else was between us and these top 4. Results weren’t posted until Tuesday, and I was pleased to discover that I did take 5th overall in the A race winning the Cx 4 subcategory! Matt took 6th placing second in the Cx 3 (behind Jonathan Brown) and teammate Richie Slagle 7th overall making the podium at 3rd in the Cx 3 subcategory.
by Patrick Andre
Tom Gee took 3rd in Masters 45+, and I took 3rd in Masters 35+ Saturday at the Barkley Bootlegger Cx Race in Cadiz, KY. I was winning with a nice gap the Cx 4 race with only a 1/2 lap to go when I flatted on a root on the downhill Mountain Bike section running the rest of the way and finishing 7th.
After finishing Saturday’s races at the Barkley Bootlegger Cx race in Cadiz, Kentucky (placing 3rd in Master 35+ and flatting in the Cx 4 race); I headed to Chattanooga for Hub Endurance Cx series #2 at the Booker T. Washington Park placing 2nd in Masters 35+. The course had a slight downhill road start which bottlenecked into a fairly technical mountain bike trail descent. Instead of my usual tactic of being one of the first three into the first corner, I stayed back a little allowing me to navigate this technical part of the course carefully. The descent opened up into the typical thickly grassed area with lots of switchbacks and a sand volleyball court that was put to good use creating three sand pits. This part of the course plays to my strengths, and I started accelerating and taking back places until I was in fourth. Unknown to me, Thomas “Andy” Baggenstoss (a Cx 2 from Chattanooga) was already off the front with a slight gap. During the second lap I went ahead and rode up to third sitting on David Hicks (a Cx 2 from GA) wheel for a lap until he unfortunately wiped out on the technical descent. (He was able to get back on his bike and keep 3rd for the next 6 laps.) Three laps in and back down on the grassy section was when I first noticed how much of a gap Andy had opened up on the field including me. He continued to work on his gap, and I did the same for the rest of the race.
The technical sections of this course challenged me forcing me to improve my handling skills at race pace. As before Hub Endurance hosted a great race, and I was pleased with another podium finish for the Hub City/Lift Center racing team. Thanks Tim, Randy and Alan for getting me kitted up for back to backs days of racing like this weekend. Next on the schedule is Crossroads Clash #1 in Memphis at Shelby Farms on the 19th!
by Patrick Andre
I traveled to Dahlonega Georgia for the weekend bike fest which includes a great and fast criterium on Saturday and the epic 6 Gap Century on Sunday. Over 3000 riders participate in the two day events. The criterium was held in downtown Dahlonega on the square along with a big bike expo and registration for the next morning century. This insured that each race had around 1000 spectators lining the entire course. The course was fast and technical with a round-about around the historic courthouse then down a straightway to the start finish up a hill in front the North Georgia University into a left and then right turn back onto the start finish straight. Barriers the entire course and very spectator friendly. I rode the 55+ race along with the 45+ race. We had real horsepower in the pack with two category 1 riders from the Changing Diabetes development team and Steve Carrell the Master’s World Champion in the 45+ group. I was really concerned about the narrow course (one lane wide most of the way) and the barriers. I didn’t need to worry too much since the pace was balls to the wall the entire time (never dropped below 25 mph) and the pack only would bunch up on the climb. It was a war of attrition and no strategy on my part except to survive. The two Changing Diabetes riders went off the front and I managed to hang with the pack until we were down to about 12 left. They pulled lapped riders so it was nice being one of the few left on the course at the end. I finished on the podium in 3rd in the 55+ and picked up some nice cash as a result.
The next day was rather incredible for a century. There were 3000 riders all going off together and the pace out of the gate was incredibly fast. This is a true grand fondo with chip timing and KOM competition on two the major climbs. There are 6 gaps which all register 2 or 3 on Strava (probably hors or 1 on Map My Ride). The two biggest, Hogspen and Wolfpen were apparently part of the Tour of Georgia and are each around 7 mile climbs. Hogspen had extended grades of 13-15%. I was thinking for the longest time that I couldn’t get into my 28 on the rear and was cussing my bike until I realized I was in the 28 and the climb was just brutal.
The record for the course is only 5 hours and 6 minutes so any time under about 7 hours is considered pretty good. Riders have 12 hours to complete the event. I finished in about 6 hours and 15 minutes which I felt good with for a first time ride. The descents were a rush. I came off Hogspen passing cars at 52 mph coasting because I had compact gearing. I probably could have set a PR speed record with more gear and clear road! If you want a challenge and a fun weekend I would recommend looking into this ride. Now that I know what to expect I will probably go back next year and try to get under 6 hours.
by Tom Gee