CA/NV Time Trial Championship Win: Full Effort, Full Victory

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

After racing Barry Wolfe GP on Sunday, I was grabbing fresh salsa from the salsa bar at Sea Casa when a timid voice from the corner asked me, “You won yesterday, didn’t you?” What followed was an entertaining conversation with a junior boy who had just raced the crit and wanted to know everything, I mean Everything, about my win at the CA/NV Time Trial Championship the day before. I had never seen or talked to this new small friend before and I was humbled by his excitement and interest in my success.

At the close of my 2013 season, I sat down to map out my goals and expectations for 2014. The normal line items were to do better, get better results, and race smarter. These goals, however, are very abstract and difficult to attain without a clear path to achieve them. With the help of Brian and Paul, we narrowed my focus onto the time trial where I had achieved moderate success without putting a huge amount of effort into the craft. Gunning for a time trial victory is really exciting because the gains are tangible and the process to get there is measurable, not much is left to chance.

Priority number one was to get the bike fit properly. Once we had it dialed in, training on it became a weekly adventure. I spent countless hours in our local canyons accompanied only by tumble weeds and train conductors, honing my skills at riding the time trial bike. The elements seem to be the least forgiving on TT day, putting me in the saddle for hours of very specific efforts in the blazing heat or pouring rain, always battling severe block headwind. I train alone and I haven’t listened to music while training since the early 2000’s which I believe helps me to refine the hardest skill of time trialing: mental focus. Come race day, it’s just going to be the bike and me. Plus the ever ominous clock.

Heading into the championship time trial, I was pleased to have had the chance to do multiple time trials earlier in the season to fine tune my warm-up routine, how I would set up my gear bag and what I would eat post event. These small items are often overlooked by the racer, leaving them frazzled come race day. Practicing racing has been a key component to my my strategy of reaching my goals.

I was more stressed than usual for this race. Maybe it was knowing that I had won the CA/NV Criterium Championships just a few weeks prior and I was pushing my luck to win a second bear jersey in a month. Brian and I decided that the best thing for stress reduction was to pre-ride the course to see the turns, feel the road surface and pick the best lines to follow. Of course followed by Thai food with our team and an early night to bed.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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Victory at Barry Wolfe Grand Prix!

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Barry Wolfe Grand Prix is one of the highlights on the Southern California racing calendar. With a dynamic course and large cash purse, the field was animated from the gun with multiple breakaways forming early on. Brian McCulloch and Fabrizio Von Nacher were in a great move that lasted several laps, only to be reeled in by the chasing peloton. As the laps ticked away, Brian found himself in another break with Cory Williams and ten other riders. The rest of the peloton looked to Fabi, David Santos and Steven Davis to decide if the move should be allowed to roll away. This would be the move that would stick for the finish where Cory sprinted to victory and Brian had a great sprint finishing 4th. Fabi took the field sprint for 13th.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

 

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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Cory Williams Earns Pro Opportunity

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Tustin, California— With two wins to his credit another eight podium places including a break-out 4th place in the NCC Dana Point Grand Prix, Cory Williams has had a great start to the 2014 season. Earning these results has undoubtedly garner the attention of professional teams. It is therefore no surprise that Cory Williams has been given the opportunity to race with the Astellas Professional Cycling team. His first race with them will be next weekends Glencoe Grand Prix NCC event. “Our program is built around rider development,” says team manager, Paul Abrahams. “Cory will be the fourth rider that has graduated from our program to the professional ranks. We are very excited for him and the opportunity he has to race alongside his brother Justin Williams. He will be missed.” The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO cycling team has been built around the principles of team commitment and environment that pushes each rider to become the most well rounded athlete possible. It is a goal of the program to ‘punch above its weight’ with a roster of riders that can make an impact in the domestic calendars most prestigious events. That team spirit and support has seen four riders graduate into the pro-ranks over the relatively short four year history of the team, something that every member of the program can say they contributed to.

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

“Racing as a team and laying it all on the line for each other is part of cycling, but the atmosphere at KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO has something extra special,” says Fabrizio Von Nacher. “We race hard and have a lot of fun together, our team commits 100% to a strategy to make it happen. We are excited for Cory, but it won’t be the same racing without him.” The remainder of the 2014 racing calendar will see the KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO program attending local, regional and national events to include Tulsa Tough, USA Cycling Elite Nationals, the North Star Grand Prix, Boise Twilight criterium, and the Cascade Cycling Classic. We will approach these events with the same formula that has seen the team fight for jerseys and results over the past four years. The 2014 season has been made possible due to the generous support of our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis tires, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Velo Saddles, Xpedo Pedals, Shimano, iRT Wheels, Rudy Project, Serfas, Praxis Works, Q2, Hammer Nutrition, Rennie and Associates, WD­40 Bike, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, Chamois Butt’r, and iPA Sports.

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

 

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Torrence Criterium: 1-2 with Williams and Von Nacher!

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO Cycling Team added yet another win to their tally Sunday at the Torrence Criterium. The team had six riders to battle the wind and the peloton for the 75 minute event which resulted in Cory Williams taking the win with Fabrizio Von Nacher placing second. Through out the race, the team rode aggressively with several opportunities for the race to finish in a breakaway. David Santos rode strong in a two-man breakaway that gained 20 seconds on the field early in the race, putting our team in great position to take care of the sprinters as Dave was a great option for the win on the day. ONce his move was caught, Fabrizio joined another breakaway attempt. This move grew to 8 riders and he was joined by several teammates. However, the wind and the peloton did not want the race to end in a breakaway. This gave team a great opportunity to set up the lead out place our sprinters perfectly. With Santos, McCulloch, Davis and Jondal, KHS was able to take charge and set Cory and Fabrizio up perfectly to cross the finish line in 1st and 2nd. With these results, the team’s 2014 win tally is 8 and total podium count is 39!

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Earlier in the day, Joy McCulloch raced the women’s 1/2/3 event and capped a great weekend of racing off with another podium appearance in 3rd place! Having animated much of the race, a well placed attack by Emily Georgeson Monster Media gained traction with one other rider. Leading into 3 laps to go, the small field remaining was battling the wind and losing steam in the chase. Opting to not drag the field to the break, Joy was able to get good position for the final sprint to the line, taking the field sprint for 3rd.

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

 

Torrence Women's Criterium Podium: 1st Emily Georgeson - Monster Media; 2nd Rachel Swann - Strive Racing; 3rd Joy McCulloch KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO

Torrence Women’s Criterium Podium: 1st Emily Georgeson – Monster Media; 2nd Rachel Swann – Strive Racing; 3rd Joy McCulloch KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO

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Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race: McCulloch Wins Again!

The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO Cycling Team raced the Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race in Bakersfield, CA on Saturday. This is a historically hot and windy event and this years edition did not disappoint. The course is a “Y” shape with 3 turn-arounds, so knowing what goes down must also come up, sure makes for a tough race. The laps were 30 miles each and covered roughly 2,500ft of climbing per lap. The men’s field completed 3 laps, and the women raced 2.

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Photo Credit: Dick Duerksen

Joy McCulloch took first place honors for the second week in a row at Vlees Huis.

“The race began at 8:30am and it was already really hot and windy. Thankfully, this is exactly the conditions and time of day I train in, so nothing came as a shock. The field was quite small and over the rolling terrain, I knew I could ramp up the effort and put a good dent in the group. At the first turn around roughly 10 miles into the race, I kept my momentum out of the turn and attacked back up the climb we had just descended. This solidified a solo breakaway that I was able to hold until the finish. I soon found that riding off the front is just as difficult as the many times I have raced off the back or in a chase group. Thankfully, I was able to secure great feeds from the Swann’s and stay hydrated and motivated to the finish. Kudos to all the racers who came out and braved the course an the conditions. I was excited to finally win the meat cleaver trophy for my team.”

Vlees Huis Women

The 2014 KHS-Maxxis p/b JAKROO Cycling Team. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The 2014 KHS-Maxxis p/b JAKROO Cycling Team. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Descriptive words for the race that come to mind are hot, windy, and desolate. Whether you are with the peloton, off the front or out the back, this course is extremely challenging. The fields for the race were smaller than what we have raced in so far this season, which creates a much more difficult race scenario making each rider much more exposed and needing to do a higher amount of work. The men’s race began at 11:45am in the heat of the day and we had six riders ready to help place one of our teammates on the top step of the podium. The field had several strong solo riders that would pose the highest threat through out the race and finally with a lap remaining, Stefano Barberi (CalGiant) broke loose of the official breakaway of 3 riders to solo in for the win. Working hard to make up ground, Fabrizio Von Nacher and David Santos worked tirelessly together to reel in the rest of the breakaway and eventually crossed the line in 2nd and 3rd with a solid gap on the chasers. Rounding out the top 10, Brian McCulloch sprinted out of a group of three to seal 7th place on the day.

VleesHuisMen

Vlees Huis P1/2 Podium: 1st Stefano Barberi CalGiant; 2nd David Santos KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO; 3rd Fabrizio Von Nacher KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO

 

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805 Criterium Weekend: Avenue of The Flowers Photo Essay

Photo Credit: Danny Munson Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The Valley of The Flowers Criterium doubled as the CA/NV Elite Criterium Championship race as well as the 3rd stop on the 805 Criterium Weekend. The championship race is always hotly contested and taking place on the technical and windy course, the team knew it would a challenge from the start. The Athlete Octane team of Daniel Holloway was poised to fight to get the green jersey back and the Rokform team of Brandon and Kyle Gritters were hungry for a title and to move up in the overall standings. These two teams would be our biggest opponents of the day.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Attacks were flying up the road with Santos and McCulloch in hot pursuit. Fabrizio soon found that the Gritters and Holloway were attacking and counter attacking him in an attempt to get up the road without him. McCulloch rode into a move with Holloway and Brandon Gritters. Knowing this was not a good move without Fabi, Paul Abrahams called him back to the field to help lead the chase to bring our leader to the front of the race.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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805 Criterium: Avenue of The Flags Photo Essay

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

The seconds day of the 805 Criterium Weekend takes place in Buellton, The Avenue of The Flags Criterium. This is the 3rd year of this race being held and our riders knew that due to the wind and course design, the field would be split into pieces. With Fabrizio placed 2nd overall, the team set out to put him in position to take over the overall omnium lead. Athlete Octane and the Gritters of the Rokform team set the pace early initiating moves that quickly began splitting the field. McCulloch and Santos were active at the front, ensuring that our team was represented.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

With splits happening in the field, it was obvious a solid breakaway would get up the road. Realizing that Holloway in the Green Leaders Jersey was isolated in the field, Santos helped Fabrizio bridge across to the breakaway. The move included our two riders, Canevari of Athlete Octane and Tom Soladay of Optum.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

 

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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805 Criterium Weekend: Hancock Twilight Photo Essay

The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO traveled to Lompoc, CA for the 805 Criterium Weekend which boasts 3 days of criterium racing. The first race on Friday evening is a new edition to the event. Held at the Hancock EVOC Center, the course was a swooping fast “D” shape with a fast tailwind on the back side, partnered with a block headwind leading into the finish. We had six riders for the weekend – Santos, Davis, McCulloch, Von Nacher, Williams and Jondall. The three days of racing were also an Omnium, meaning each rider would receive points for their placing at each event. The teams goal was to set Fabrizio up for the sprint finish and gather as many Omnium points as possible.

Hancock1Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Many early moves were initiated, but due to the nature of the course, the team soon realized that any breakaway would be reeled back in thanks to the tailwind.

Hancock2Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The race scenario posed a great opportunity for the team to work on their communication and lead out going into the final three laps. The biggest contenders on the day would be Justin Williams of Astellas Cycling Team and Daniel Holloway of Athlete Octane who won Dana Point Grand Prix last weekend.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Hancock3Photo Credit: Danny Munson

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