The CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team headed to Nature Valley Grand Prix after a great three days of racing at Tulsa Tough. NVGP is a unique event in that the organizers limit the men’s rosters to 6 riders and all competitors are to race the time trial on their road bikes. We drove straight from Tulsa Tough to the event with team riders David Santos, Mike Olheiser, Cole House, Fabrizio Von Nacher, Chris Barton and Michael Weicht.
The first stage of the event is a 7.7 mile time trial that is mostly flat along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. It began raining early in the morning and just continued to pick up. Chris Barton was our highest placed rider, finishing 3rd and on the podium. He checked in with feedback from the event and how it progressed for him and the team.
“At the time trial, it was raining pretty hard, which can be intimidating, but you have to remember its raining hard for everyone. The course was not very technical, so I took it easy through the few turns and gave it everything I had on the rest of the course. I like time trials with bike and equipment restrictions because it gives the riders who can’t afford the best equipment more of a fair chance.
I felt great during the TT, so I expected to be in the top ten. Making the podium is always a nice surprise.”
NVGP Stage 1 Podium:
Sergie Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) 1st; Tom Zirbel (Optum) 2nd; Chris Barton (CashCall) 3rd
Wednesday was our first double-day race of the season with a criterium in the evening in downtown St. Paul, MN. The team raced smart with the goal to keep Chris’s overall general classification spot. The third stage Thursday afternoon, Cannon Falls Road Race, would cover 93 miles through the rolling farmlands with multiple sprint lines and KOM points to be fought for. At the end of this stage, the CashCall team snagged their second podium of the event, with Cole House sprinting to 3rd place on the line.
CA/NV State Time Trial Championship Podium: David Santos, Chris Barton and Brandon Gritters.
This past Saturday was the 3rd year the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team has raced the CA/NV State Time Trial Championships. Located in the high desert town of Lake Los Angeles, the challenges of the course come from the constant wind and the distance of the race, clocking in at 40K. Last year, David Santos won the race, putting CashCall on the top step of the podium and bringing home the gold medal. Read more →
David Santos and Brian McCulloch on the attack at Ontario. Photo Credit: Danny Munson
After spending a month on the road racing, it was a welcome change of pace to race at home in Southern California. After the CA/NV State Time Trial Championships on Saturday, we headed to Ontario for the Mid-Season Criterium Sunday afternoon. Chris Barton, David Santos and Brian McCulloch raced the 75 minute event, ultimately placing Santos on the podium for 2nd place. Read more →
This was our first time racing at Sea Otter and it did not disappoint! With an atmosphere that rivals InterBike, we were able to network with and hang out with many of our sponsors. This is a very unique opportunity for us to get to know the individuals behind each of our sponsored products and learn more about each of their products. Our riders had autograph sessions at Jakroo Custom Clothing and Serfas, which were both great. Having time to visit sponsor booths after our events was really key on all levels.
Fabrizio and Logan signing autographs at Jakroo.
The team was very successful at Sea Otter. With amazing team work, Cole House won stage 1, the criterium with Fabrizio Von Nacher placing 2nd on his heals. The team was able to successfully defend the leaders jersey, as well as the green Sprinters Jersey, until the final stage. Cole placed 3rd in the road race and the following day time-trial specialist Mike Olheiser sealed 3rd place in the Time Trial. In the final stage, the team fought hard for another stage win and gave it their all, ultimately finishing off the podium. For their efforts, the team retained the Sprinters Jersey which Michael Weicht had won on stage one. A great weekend of racing by Olheiser, Barton, Loader, Santos, Holloway, Weicht, Von Nacher, and House.
The team with Jen and Ken from Xpedo Pedals at Sea Otter!
Our travels took us next to Fayetteville, AR for the Joe Martin Stage Race. We competed in this event last year and had a blast. One of the great things about these events is the host housing and being able to reconnect with them year after year. Our gracious host Dori from 2012 opened her home to our team again and we were able to set up shop. This event spanned 4 events and began with an uphill Time Trial. The next two stages were road races that had the riders covering 90-110 miles per stage and to add to the intensity, both days were in the mid-40′s with rain the entire day. Thankfully our Jakroo rain jackets kept us as comfortable as possible.
Great to be greeted by a Welcome Sign at Joe Martin.
Our roster for this event included McCulloch, Barton, House, Loader, Weicht, Olheiser, Von Nacher, and Santos. Stage 2 was an exciting road race that finished in downtown Fayetteville with a fast uphill sprint. Olheiser made a valiant attempt to break away in the last 20K leading to the finish with one other rider, only to be reeled in over the finishing kilometers. Leading into stage 3, the team was focused on a stage win and with a threatening breakaway up the road, they did an impressive job working with Optum and other teams at the front to whittle down the deficit to 15 seconds. Despite great efforts by the team, the break stuck. This stage race served as a great learning experience for the team as they worked diligently together for a team result. These efforts will undoubtedly pay their dividends at future races.
After the last stage of Joe Martin, we loaded up the trailer and began our drive to Silver City, NM for the Tour of The Gila. This would be our first UCI race to compete in and at 6,000+ ft of elevation accompanied by dry heat, Gila would be a very challenging event for all who raced it. This was also our first 5-day stage race which would include two road races, a time trial, the downtown criterium, and capped off with the fabled Gila Monster road race on Sunday.
Enjoying a great home cooked dinner with Gila host Barbara, and Biff the Buffalo.
CashCall rider David Santos recounted his experience at the event:
“After racing the Tour of Gila, a five day UCI race held at altitude, I have an all new perspective on stage racing. Historically, I have always had trouble performing at altitude. But when you mix five days of racing against the country’s best cyclists, up and over thousands of feet of climbing, mostly at altitude, I had never been so humbled.
Throughout the five days, we battled high winds, heat, cold, dehydration, bomb threats, and 19% climbs. After the first stage climbing to the top of Mogollon, I knew it was going to take everything I had to finish the race. For me, it was the altitude that caused the most difficulty. I quickly learned I only had one match to burn, and when it was time to use it, I had better make it count. Unfortunately, the moves I went for didn’t stick and I nearly imploded my lungs trying.
By the time the final stage came around on Sunday, the Gila Monster, I was wrecked. From the gun, riders relentlessly attacked as we raced across rollers that never seemed to end. Just a few miles in, nearly half the field was already dropped. I continued to fight with everything I had, and once the rollers finally ended, I found myself still in the main group. With 50 miles and over 8,000 feet of climbing to go, I knew I had my work cut out for me. As soon as we hit the stages first big climb, the pace lifted. I made an effort to stay with the group and immediately found my lungs exploding as I fell off from the pack. I felt as if I had all of a sudden dropped a 50 pound anchor. From that point on, it was survival mode. I found the best group I could which included my teammates Chris Barton and Michael Weicht and for the next 50 miles, rode tempo. My group contained the Green Leaders Jersey as well, so to ensure he made time cut, his teammates helped keep a steady pace. The last 5k felt like an eternity but ultimately I finished with the group.
Overall, the scenery, the town, the people, the coffee, the racers, and all the support of my team made my week in Silver City one will never forget.”
Following Michael and Cole up the final climb on stage 1, Mogollon.
CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team member Michael Weicht traveled home to Leipzig, Germany after finishing up the Tour of The Gila. Michael took a few days for rest and recovery and was back at it, racing a very exciting event as a member of the German National Team. Here is his recount of the event. The CashCall Team is very proud of Michael opportunity to compete in this event for the National Team.
Michael Weicht racing for the German National Team along with Andre Greipel at the UCI 1.1 Rund um Koln
Yesterday I raced one of the last big classics in Germany. It was a UCI 1.1 race like Philly Classic. It is called Rund um Köln. Köln is a big city in Germany and the race course goes around this metropol.But before I will tell you guys something about the race, some facts about my week before.
I arrived in Germany on Wednesday after the tough week racing at altitude in New Mexico at the Tour of the Gila. After arriving home, I trained the next two days super easy. On Saturday, we drove to Köln and I had a long massage which was perfect to prepare me for the event. There was bad weather anyways, soI could not train this day. I was super excited before the race because I raced for the German National Team together with multiple Tour de France Stage Winner, Andre Greipel. We had great support from the whole team and now it was in our hands to give it back…
It was getting close to race time, and 30 minutes before the race I looked into the sky to see if the weather from the day before had cleared. With a lot of optimism, I decided to start the race without a rain jacket. Unfortunately, on the start line, it started to rain so heavy that I was completely wet before I had ridden the first kilometer! To race with and for one of the best sprinters in the world means that you as a team are responsible for a sprint finish in the town of Köln which would be after 194 km of hard racing.
After 50 km of racing, a huge breakaway went and we did not have one rider in it. Andre told me, that he wanted to try and jump on one of the steep climbs and make it into the break. My task was to hold the break between 1:30 and 2 minutes from the field. Finally, after 117 km, Andre tried to make a move across to the break. Unfortunately, this effort was not successful and the breakaway rode to the finish line. I finished 93th in the field.
I would like to say thank you to the Cashcall Mortgage Team and the German National Team for giving me the opportunity to race such a big race. I would also like to thank all our fans around the world.
Michael racing in the pack for the German National Team.
Barton on his way to an 18th place finish! Photo Credit: Danny Munson
This year’s Redlands Bicycle Classic began with an Individual Time Trial up in Big Bear, as opposed to the usual time trial in Redlands. The new time trial was generally more flat than the old one, but it was much more technical. In addition to it’s technical difficulty, the fact that it was set at an altitude of just under 7,000 feet made for a challenging event. Considering the altitude, I don’t believe the results would have been much different on the old course. The lack of elevation gain was somewhat made up for with the thin air.
I was able to pre-ride the course several times leading up to the race, which allowed me to find the fastest lines through the turns and to see where I might need to conserve energy and where to give 100 percent. My preparation paid off, as the only surprise during the race was having to maneuver around a fellow cyclist while negotiating the tricky curves of the road. I was happy to end up in 18th place when the day was done. Teammate Mike Olheiser had a great race and placed 10th.
I personally enjoyed the new time trial course. It added a new dynamic to the event with sweeping turns and thin mountain air. I hope they keep the venue for next year’s event. Read more →