July 13th Weekend Race Reports!!

Liz Lavelle Memorial Series Criterium – Memphis, TN

Pro 1/2/3  Report

Richie and myself were able to get off work and take the trip to Memphis for the Liz Lavelle Memorial Crit on July 13th.  It was a very well produced race, the course was at Bellevue Baptist Church in a very nice closed off section of the parking lot.  Start to Finish was there involved in the production, as well as Matt West from Team 901 as M.C.  which made it feel like a professional event.  West TN is lucky to have so many dedicated folks to organize and take the time to make these races happen!  Thank you CdV!

The Pro 123 field was the “usual suspects” including the full Marx Bensdorf squad, 901 (minus M.West), and several Mississippi guys that always come to race, from Bikes Direct and Herring Gas.  The race started and had several small attacks, with a transient breakaway from the Mississippi guys.  I told Richie to look for a breakaway and for us to ride conservatively and we will try to make a podium appearance.  I was feeling a little cagey so I went for the first prime and took it, and subsequently took the rest of the primes to round things out.  I love going for primes for multiple reasons…  First, you get to feel the finish stretch for the end of the race,  Second, you get to see who else is feeling “cagey” and fancies themselves a sprinter, and Lastly, its a wonderful opportunity for breakaways, via the sprint, or a quick counter.  This proved true, and during the last prime John King and I were able to get away.  I told him I was all in, but he was dedicated to keeping his Teammate in the overall standing of the series so declined to put any serious work in.  We rejoined the field after several laps.

Richie and I moved up front during the last 5 laps, and a small separation started with Scott Newberry and a Bikes Direct rider.  This turned into a significant gap, and I told Richie to bridge, but he wasn’t able to get free from the pack without a significant response from everyone.  With two to go, we both moved up front and during the last lap I was able to work off a move from Jeff Fefjar and took the field sprint for 3rd and a podium spot for the team.  Richie was planning on setting things up, and when I turned around was ecstatic to see Richie right behind me for 4th!

We raced well as a team, took all the Primes, and 3rd, and 4th place.  A respectable result given the quality of riders present.  We celebrated by using up our Mellow Mushroom giftcard prime on some fresh cold beverages 🙂  Thanks again to CdV and everyone involved in putting on a safe and enjoyable race!

by Alan Rothrock

Cat4 Report

I competed in the Liz Lavelle Crit this past Saturday. Myself and three other teammates lined up with 23 Cat 4 riders for a 45 minute crit. Since Octavio was leading in the Liz Lavelle points series we decided to try and get him in a position to gain more points and on the podium.

Myself and Randy McKinnon decided to go on the attack and gut punch the pack each lap to wear them down. After making a few slow laps to get an idea of the course, One rider from The Bike Crossing, started things off by going off the front for a go. He stayed off and was ran down by Sully from 901. I immediately punched it and pushed the pace back up as they caught that rider. I was marked by Yates of BPC and started to fall back into the pack after a lap. Randy, Octavio, and I stayed near the front. While Sully had a go he was reeled in by BPC and The Bike Crossing guy. During that catch I got in a small split that formed with five other riders. It wouldn’t stick because no one would work , as usual. I finally went back and hid in the pack for a breather while Randy went to the front and kept everyone’s lungs burning. He put in a hard effort on the back side of the course and stretched the pack out, even winded me, while I was trying to recover. Thanks Randy!

Other teams joined in and attacked through out the race.  Octavio smartly hid in the pack and stayed safe up front. Randy punched the pack one more time within three laps to go. That really sent a lot of guys into the red, even me. On the finishing lap, I saw Octavio was sitting third wheel up front, I had a good feeling he may pull this off, I railed turn three and pedaled through feeling my rear wheel bouncing, hammered up the short hill and through turn four. I hit the S turn with everything I had and tried to get in a position for a top ten. On the home stretch I saw Octavio raise up with arms up, I knew he got the win. I kept pushing and pulled out 11th. Randy was 14th. I’m glad our Cat 4 team finally got a win this year and was honored to play a part in getting a teammate on the podium.

by Joe Lambert

Tri It High Triathlon – Leadville, CO

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After driving 18 hours Friday through Saturday and being at altitude for about 14h before the 10,800 feet above altitude Tri It High Triathlon in Leadville, I suffered through and placed 1st in the 40-49 age group. Racing at altitude and breathing 17% oxygen felt like racing with a sock in your mouth. I have never climbed hills (or made descents) like that before on the bike and felt like I was going into high altitude pulmonary edema on the last mile of the run. Fantastic race and amazing experience. Was blessed to be the only low lander amongst the mountain folks who won and placed in the race.

by Scott Guthrie

Cobra-Tornado Criterium – Bristol, TN

I made the long trek to Bristol, Tennessee for the Cobra-Tornado Criterium.  This was only a Division III race so the field was pretty small.  As a result I had to ride with all masters, 30+ elites included.  The course was pretty straight forward because the weekend was really catering to junior  riders and safety was foremost.  The masters started very fast as the elite masters powered the pace.  Within a couple laps three elite riders were off the front.  After a few laps two of those riders lapped us and three of us jumped on their wheels and took off.  After one lap I was the only one left and it looked like I might be gone for good.  The two riders with me began to argue because one would not take pace so the other guy put the hammer down and tried to drop us.  I really began to suffer and with 3 laps remaining could not hold their wheels.  I was caught with two laps remaining and had little or no sprint left.  I finished as 1st 60+ rider and 6th overall.  I accomplished my goal of gaining some first place points and hoping they help later in the season.

by Tom Gee