Friday, August 5, 2016

Wisconsin State Championships coming to the Madison area!

Next weekend, August 13-14, the Wisconsin State Championships - time trial, road race, and criterium - are going to be held in the Madison area. And four local area teams are promoting the races, Trek Midwest, Brazen Dropouts, Great Dane Velo Club, and MadCity Velo.

The championship weekend starts off Saturday morning with the time trial in Cottage Grove, followed by the road race Saturday afternoon in the Middleton area. And the culminating event of the weekend is the spectator-friendly criterium on Sunday on the streets of downtown Middleton.

All three events will be fun to watch, but be sure to come out for the crit on Sunday as 300+ riders contend for the various state championship jerseys! The start / finish is right in front of the Capitol Brewery in downtown Middleton.

See http://wicycling.org/2016-road-calendar/ for the specific race schedules and locations.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Downer Ave

One of my favorite races of the season is the crit on Downer Ave. in Milwaukee – part of the Tour of America’s Dairyland. I’ve watched it with family and friends for years hoping to one day to race it. The racing is fast throughout the day and the crowd scene is always fun and energized.

Thanks for all the cheers from friends and thanks Sarah, for being the annual host. It’s always good to hang and catch up.

Good job to the other Trek Midwest racers and congrats Tim on earning your upgrade points!

Thanks also to Trek and Colectivo Coffee for being official sponsors of TOAD.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hillinois Omnium race report

TMT was well represented at the Hillinois Omnium weekend of racing  - the Masters 50+ crew of John "Life Coach" Riley, Greg "Undertaker" Ferguson, Mike "PD" Meteyer, Eric "El Cap" Knuth, and Jim "Beer Meister" Merrifield, and the women's team of Diane Schlipper, Amanda Mack, Heidi Ploeg, and Lisa Harms - enjoyed a great weekend of racing. The three stages included an 8 mile time trial Saturday morning followed by a hilly (and brutally hot) circuit race in the afternoon, and concluded on Sunday with a very hilly road race.

After the time trial, Mike and Greg were well positioned in the standings, 4th and 5th respectively, with GDVC rider Dean Lazenby taking 1st (he recently finished 6th at Nationals in the time trial!).

The circuit course suited our team racing style of attacking as it had a 9% finishing hill which we would pass 7 times during the race. We decided to wait until the 4th lap to 'start" the race as we wanted to see if others were ready to play. Needless to say we rode the first 3 laps as a group (no one came out to play!), and then the 4th time up the finishing hill Mike went hard, opening up a gap over the top with just Eric and 2 others (including the first and second place finishers from the time trial) able to follow. We monkey'd around a bit allowing two others to bridge up, and then the 6 of us were off. As seems to often be the case in a lot of masters races, 3 of the 6 in the group did not want to work, despite our cajoling them to do so. We opened up a big gap with John, Greg, and Jim blocking, and started plotting for the last lap. With a little less than half a lap to go, Dean (GDVC) attacked, Mike and Eric hesitated responding waiting to see if the others would chase him down, and with no response Mike set off after him. Given Dean's time trial prowess, the gap was now too big to close, and Mike was brought back to the break away group. Eric attacked twice in the last stretch forcing the others to chase (with the intent to soften up the guy currently in 2nd place overall), with the last attack leading to the finishing hill. Mike and Dave Stone (Scarlet Fire) went mano-y-mano in the sprint with Mike just missing out on second (see pic - he also had to get around a lapped rider from another field!). Eric took 5th (of course beaten by all the guys but one who did not contribute to the break!), and Greg, John, and Jim finished with the field.



After the circuit race, Mike was in 3rd place for the overall, and Eric was in 5th. The goal for the road race was to get Mike into second (first was out of reach at this point), so as the team mathematician, Eric went to work developing several algorithms as well as booking time on the Cray super computer to determine how the race had to play out to make it happen. Simple enough, all calculations led to the same conclusion: Mike had to win! The road course consisted of three 18-mile laps, with each lap including 4 challenging climbs (3-5 minute climbs). On the second climb, Dean (GDVC) went really hard, with Eric on his wheel, and Mike letting a gap open to see if Dave Stone (Scarlet Fire) could follow. When Dave could not respond, Mike bridged up and a 3-man break was underway. We  went hard the rest of the first lap trying to establish a big gap, and got it up to a minute after the first lap, over 2 minutes after the second, and as it turned out, 8 minutes by the end. Fast forward to the final climb of the last lap, Dean drives the pace dropping Eric at the final pitch of the climb, but Mike is right on his wheel. The motorcycle official reminds Eric to get up there and help his teammate, but the official is unwilling to let him draft behind his motorcycle! On to the finishing straight, Mike launches his attack at the final corner and sprints to victory and to second in the omnium!!






It was a great weekend of team racing, and we were also so lucky to have the support from our beautiful podium girls.





Although the official podium pictures seemed to take forever as we waited for the final results, we did have a good time waiting on the podium!



Thursday, June 9, 2016

Great practice crit last night

It was beautiful weather for last night’s practice crit. We’ll be on again next Wednesday as your last good training before TOAD hits!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Somewhere between nowhere and nothing

I would show you a screen shot from my Garmin map during my sweet ride this weekend, but thought this image had more detail to share...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Road Racing

I've purposely decided to race less and family/kids more this year.  It's worked out great as I've ridden more on the weekends than I would driving to a Crit and racing for an hour.  Nevertheless, fitness was on my mind going into the LAPT race which I had flagged as "peak" on my training schedule.  

I was happy to see that Mike, Eric, and Jon joined me and Sanjay in the M123 as we could all use the support.  A flurry of attacks during the opening lap went little to nowhere as the stiff wind and fast pace prevented anything much from materializing.  Somewhere around lap 2, a small break of 3 guys went off the front.  I was "doing my part" with the others at the front to maintain the leash on the would be escapees.  Suddenly a black freight train of TMT blew past me and everyone and took up the pace making.  Reeling the break back 100m or so, I was launched off the front and quickly made contact with the break.  Unfortunately, we were soon joined by the rest of the peloton who, I think, read our tactics.  Nevertheless, I'd never felt so "pro" in a race; we worked that move flawlessly.  I later would miss the winning move which gapped to wide for TMT to attempt another round of what we'd done so successfully before.  Judging those around me for the rest of the race, I knew I was in prime shape as I was never taxed into my red zone.  A small bobble in the sprint, but happy to be upright and in at 8th overall.

Coming in the Palmyra Road Race, I was hungry.  I'd had a bad taste in my mouth since last year where a break never materialized and I was overcome with cramps in the sprint.  My home roads, I new every bump on this course and when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.  Happy again that Mike and Eric would join Sanjay and I for the M123.  Opening climb fairly mild as each rider was feeling out the competition.  Having started near the front, this is where I stayed where I could smartly mark any real threats.  Similar to the previous weekend, breaks went but never materialized in the stiff wind.  Coming around the climb the 2nd lap, things were getting a little more serious with attacks coming and going.  I was able to stay up front though wasn't sure where my TMT mates were; I wasn't about to look!  With some smack talk starting, I stayed focused on 3 people I deemed as threats.  When they went; so did I.  Coming into the back stretch of lap 2, the biggest threat went just as a couple of the other favorites had finished a strong move.  We he jumped I followed!  We quickly built a lead of 50m the 100m.  We both were gauging our progress as well as calculating how far we had left - nearly 28 miles!  He asked, "good teammates?"  Yes! I replied, and smart.  True enough, TMT was in full blocking mode slowing the progress and foiling rhythm.    My Polish mate and I worked seamlessly together for the next 28 miles though he was definitely doing the bull's share of the work and a 2-3mph faster pace than I.  

With the pace-moped announcing we had a 1:40 gap with 1/2 lap to go, we each knew we were safe.  Playing small amount of opossum ( I didn't have to act that much...I was toast), I tried to force my breakaway mate around me in the final km...he was too smart for that.  He came around me inside of 100m though skipped a gear and allowed me to pull near.  Given another 30m I may have gotten my tire across first.  2nd on the day next to that guy was winning in my book.

Thanks so much to Eric, Mike, Sanjay and Jon for helping me these last 2 weeks.  I fortunate enough to ride for a great team with great people.  Thanks continuously to my wife and family for putting up with the hours being away riding and racing.  

See you all at New Glaurus and State Roads