Success at Mt. Whitney Stage Race

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We were joined by Craig Spencer (left) and Matt Rhoads at the Mt. Whitney Stage Race this weekend. Both Matt and Craig are an integral part of our program and they ride and race in our team colors as well. Craig was kind enough to write about his experience racing for the first time since Boulevard Road Race in February. Thank you Matt and Craig for coming to the races!

“I generally don’t do races that are far enough away I have to get a hotel room, drive more than 4 hours, and only know one other person going. So why did I sign up for the Mt. Whitney Stage Race? My friend Matt (Rhoads) said he would book the hotel, get us a new Mazda 3 from work to drive there, and best of all our friends Brian and Joy McCulloch will be racing too. Clearly Matt was highly motivated for this race and he really wanted me to go also. The long drive on Highway 395 to Lone Pine gave us plenty of time to catch up.

Mt Whitney stage race is a two-day race. Saturday was 4 loops, 11 miles each, with approximately 1,100 feet of climbing per lap. Looking at the profile I didn’t think the climb would split the main group until the 3rd or final lap. Another factor to this race is the wind. The finishing 2 miles are directly into the wind. We put these two factors into our strategy. Our plan was to stay with the main group as long as possible in order to be paced up the hill and to hide from the wind.

On our first lap we rapidly instituted Plan C; don’t blow up on the climb and be unable to finish. Yep, right out the back of the group on the first climb on the first lap. I made it half way up with the group and Matt popped right at the top. Even with my super low Cyclocross cranks on, I couldn’t spin as easily as I had hoped to. We both managed to ride a couple of laps with other riders, sharing some of the work pacing and fighting the wind. The final time up the climb I started thinking I had to finish today’s stage in order to qualify for Sunday’s stage.

Placing 17th out of 19 ranks right up there with 43rd out of 47 at my first Cross race. At least there I could blame 2 flats for such a poor placing. No worries though, we’ll try again tomorrow when we climb 9 mile Canyon for Sunday’s stage. A deceptive name for a 15.7 mile race with 5,000 plus feet of climbing. After Saturday’s crushing defeat, I know how this day was going to roll out.

Sunday morning we were up at 5:00 am to pack up the bikes, load the car and drive an hour south to the days start. 8:15 am, 80 degrees, and not the slightest bit of a breeze with the sun on our backs, we immediately started climbing. Just as I expected, 10 minutes into the climb I slid off the back. Not a problem though, things were going as planned. Up the hill I chugged, thankful for my low gears. At 10.2 miles the climbing relented. The next 3.5 miles went quickly as the road was flat with several gentle small undulations. According to Steve Barnes, the race promoter, the last 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) were the hardest part of the climb. When the 2k to go cone appeared, I saw he wasn’t joking. By the time I reached the final kilometer I was doing the paper-boy back and forth across the street. One hour forty three minutes of pure endorphin high. I don’t know where I placed for the weekend and I really don’t care. I finished and am happy with that result. I would do it all over again just to spend the time with my friends and going for a little bike ride.”

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Brian and Joy won their respective road races on Saturday, putting KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO and the McCulloch Family in the leaders jersey’s going into Sunday’s long hill climb. Joy won that stage as well, winning the overall. Brian rode to a solid 4th place finish for 3rd place overall. It was another great weekend of racing!

Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.

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Fabrizio Von Nacher wins in Mexico!

Manhattan Beach original 1 1024x906 Fabrizio Von Nacher wins in Mexico!

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

Fabrizio Von Nacher reports on his recent racing and big win in Mexico:

Being back in Mexico have been great, I am happy to see my family and my friends. I had the chance to race with my old friends and teammates as a guest rider at the Vuelta a Saltillo. This was a great race for me and the team, we raced for three days. It was an omnium race which means placings were by points, not by time.

photo 1 Fabrizio Von Nacher wins in Mexico!

The first day it was a circuit race, I got in a break with one of my teammates and another strong rider and at the end we managed to go 1 and 3 with me winning, and another teammate won the field sprint for 4th.

The second day was a hard road race. The first half was all downhill but the second part of the race was uphill. So we controlled all the first half and avoided breaks. When we went to the uphill section, the attacks started and of course it was my job to be in the move. By the end most of my teammates were in the front group and we stared attacking and finally one of us went solo and got the stage win and me and another teammate went 2 and 3 in the sprint. This was a perfect situation. We just needed to get some points the last day and we would secure the overall lead.

The last day the team controlled the race riding tempo at the front and by the end we did a lead out and managed to place my teammate 1st and 2nd myself and secure the overall victory. It was a great race! I miss racing in Mexico and it always good to be back and win!

photo 2 Fabrizio Von Nacher wins in Mexico!
Thanks to all the KHS-Maxxis p/b JAKROO sponsors for making this year a great success and thanks to Rabbits Cycling Team for giving me the opportunity to guest ride with them and being able to race in Mexico!

The post Fabrizio Von Nacher wins in Mexico! appeared first on KHS MAXXIS JAKROO Cycling Race Team 2014.

Intense Heat and Steep Grades: Hotter’n Hell Hill Climb, By Brian McCulloch

Ontario 29 original 1024x682 Intense Heat and Steep Grades: Hotter’n Hell Hill Climb, By Brian McCullochPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

A lot of information can be gleaned from a properly crafted event name. So there was not much left to the imagination when I decided to sign up for the Hotter’n Hell Hill Climb up to the ski lifts at Mt. Baldy this last weekend. Having done this event two years ago, I already had an idea of the madness I was getting into and believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to it. Read more

A Blustery Criterium: Ontario Summer’s End Grand Prix, By Brian McCulloch

Ontario 38 original 1 1024x682 A Blustery Criterium: Ontario Summer’s End Grand Prix, By Brian McCullochPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Upon arriving to the Ontario Criterium on Sunday, I was greeted by the same intense heat of Saturday’s hill climb and a properly stiff breeze. It almost made me think I had stepped into a convection oven instead of our industrial park criterium playground.

There is no secret that I love racing my bike. As much as I did enjoy the TT on Saturday, it was the highlight of my day to see my teammates and trade jokes before we suited up for the days racing event. The plan for the day was simple – race smart. However, that is not nearly as easy as it sounds especially for me. I tend to ride hard for the simple enjoyment of smashing it. Read more

Death Valley Omnium: Changing Gears – Joy McCulloch

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I have lived in Southern California for over 10 years now, and I have never wanted to go the hottest and lowest place on earth – the fabled Death Valley. I have driven past it on the 395 numerous times and I have never given it more than a thought and a shudder, thinking of what just might lay at the bottom of the sand. But racing calls, and I am not one to turn down a day to pin another number on and test myself again the clock, terrain and my inner demons and angles. It was time to head to the desert. Read more

Brentwood Grand Prix: By Steven Davis

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This past Sunday we raced the Brentwood Grand Prix. This is a 6-turn 1.7 mile criterium, very near to the city of Santa Monica. We had six guys representing KHS-Maxxis p/b JAKROO and were very excited for the opportunity to be really aggressive. With a six man squad, we could be on the offensive and hopefully dictate the tactics of the race.

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San Rafael Twilight Criterium: 2nd Place!

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The KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO team headed to the Bay Area this past weekend to race the San Rafael Twilight Criterium. Our sponsor iRT Wheels was one of the main sponsors for the event and we wanted to capitalize on the chance to meet up with our sponsors from iRT and JAKROO Custom Clothing while also having the chance to compete in a great bike race. The trip north proved to be well worth the effort, both on and off the bike with Fabrizio Von Nacher finishing 2nd and teammate David Santos 5th in a race that the team did the lions share of animating from the gun. Read more