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

 

The post Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race: McCulloch Wins Again! appeared first on KHS MAXXIS JAKROO Cycling Race Team 2014.

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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It Takes a Village: CA/NV Elite Criterium Championship Win

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Crossing the finish line first doesn’t just happen. The framework for success is laid much earlier and by people and instances that today, seem like a brief blip on the radar. These happenings were paramount in sewing the fabric together to create a win. The tapestry that is my Elite Criterium Championship win has been woven for years, beginning in junior high with family, coaches and teammates instilling work ethic and passion.

Leap-frog to 2014 where I am surrounded by an extremely supportive team at KHS-Maxxis pb JAKROO, how could I not be successful! Our team traveled to the quiet coastal hamlet of Lompoc Friday for 3 days of racing at the 805 Criterium Weekend. The events were staged as an Omnium so we could receive points for our finishing places. The queen stage would be held on Sunday at the Avenue of The Flowers Criterium, also the CA/NV Elite Criterium Championship.

Paul Abrahams, our team director and my coach, stresses every day that each opportunity we have to pin a number to our jersey and race, is our World Championships. Every time we toe the line, we should race with passion and commitment to win while seizing the opportunity for learning and development. I approached this past race weekend with the goals of representing our sponsors on the podiums, winning at least one of the criteriums, and continuing to develop as a savvy bike racer. As luck would have it, I won the race that awarded me a jersey and a title.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Luck: Opportunity Meets Preparation. I have never been one to hinge much on luck until I read the previous quote. From the sidelines it may look easy, but I have chosen to do extensive work and preparation while at the same time, giving myself the chance to see and capitalize on the opportunities for success the race presents to me.

Sunday I went into the race as I would any other event. Bantering with Brian, sending a few work emails over breakfast and last minute bike prep. Once at the race, I took some time to ride the course to watch and feel the wind while checking for weird pavement changes. This also gave me the opportunity to watch the finish of the 45+ Masters race as they came through the last left hand turn and see how they tackled the sprint. I have learned that my biggest allies are the elements and the course. The more I know about them before the race begins, the better off I will be.

Knowing the championship was on the line at the race and that I was a marked rider, I started the event more high-strung than usual. Brian and the boys were racing right after me and seeing their bright blue and yellow jerseys out of the corner of my eyes peppered around the course helped to calm me down. On a particularly windy portion of the course, Paul was standing next to the orange barrier giving me words of support. But all I could see was a talking head. Getting frustrated, I yelled at him “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!” At precisely the same moment he lifted up a white board with the word “WAIT”. Ugh – wait?! WHY! The race is going up the road, I’m 3rd wheel, not trusting the power in my legs to do their job. The next lap, a group of 5-6 threatening riders were up the road and I was clinching my teeth so hard I could have cracked a molar. Paul’s sign reads, in bubble letters, “GO TO THE BACK!” As any good 6 year old would, I yelled “NO!!!!!” If I could have stomped my feet and thrown my ice cream on the ground, I would have. But I knew he was right. I was having a huge inner battle, fighting my knee-jerk reaction to jump and weld and be in the move. Paul is teaching me patience and the importance of being crafty and very specific with my efforts. I knew he was right, and I to trust the plan. But man, it can be challenging – more difficult than any interval set I have ever done.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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Dana Point Grand Prix: Von Nacher on the Podium!

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

Dana Point Grand Prix was the team first NCC (National Criterium Calendar) race of the year. We were very excited and motivated after Cory’s win one day before in Barrio Logan Criteruim. The team plan was simple. Thomas Jondall, David Santos and Steven Davis needed to cover the moves. Cory Williams, Brian McCulloch and I needed to save the our efforts for the finish.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

As the race started, my only concern was to trying to stay at the front and out of trouble. The race was fast and guys were launching attacks, but nothing to be worried about. Mid-way through the race, a move with about 10 guys went up off the front with my teammate Dave Santos. I was on the field and saw a UHC guy bridge to the break, so I followed him with another rider and opened a little gap on the field.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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