Innokenty Zavyalov has been racing with the KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo Cycling team for over a month now and is racking up great results for the program. After competing at the North Start Grand Prix, he and Duban Sanchez raced Tour of America’s Dairyland in Wisconsin, then headed to Iowa for an omnium event. We caught up with Inno and he reported on his overall win at the Bicycles Blues & BBQ Omnium.
“Between the Tour of America’s Dairyland and racing Boise Twilight, Duban Sanchez and I decided to stay in the Midwest and race the Bicycle Blues and BBQ Omnium in Clear Lake, Iowa. This is a growing race and I was coming back as last year’s winner. I was excited when I found out that a few big names where attending including Eric Thompson, Tom Zirbel who was born in Clear Lake, and Bryan Gomez who was there with a few team mates. Before I go into the details of the race I need to thank the race organizer Tim Putnam, who takes really great care of the racers and his hard work can be seen in the quality of the events. I would not be surprised if this race gets much bigger next year.
This Omnium is a 3 race, two day event and as the name suggests, it is part of a festival of Blues music and barbeque.
Saturday mornings time trial was a 7 mile road bike time trial. Mass start equipment only, meaning no aero bars, disc wheels, no TT helmets.
I’ve had a chance to go against some of the guys in a road bike timetrial a few weeks before at Northstar GP, in which Zirbel had a dominant performance and I was out of the top ten. At 7 miles however, this TT was a bit longer which which played to my strengths. After making a pacing mistake last year, I rode this TT much better this time, averaging 30mph for duration to win the prologue. With this win, I was able to go into the criterium in the afternoon as the Omnium leader.
The Criterium was a technical 8 corner race. The pace was high right away and as a marked rider, I had to play my strategy a bit differently. I gambled and a group went up the road with Thompson and Gomez which was the group I would much rather be with then in the tiring and slowing field. Zirbel put in a few hard attacks and the field was breaking apart, but it ended up staying together behind the 3 riders in the breakaway. In the final laps I avoided a few crashes and finished 5th, narrowly defending my overall lead in the omnium. I was not too happy with my riding but tomorrow was another day!
With a narrow lead after the crit, I was looking forward to what was going to be a Belgian-style race with wind and sideways rain. Unfortunately, a lightning storm was harassing the road race course the officials made the decision to pull the plug and cancel the stage. I remained the leader and won the Omnium for the second year. Now you could say I’m obligated to come back next year and defend the win!”
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, Infinit Nutrition, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, 4iiii, Big Wheel Coaching, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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