Cyclocross Season Update #5 2017-2018 | National Championships

And just like that five months went by in a flash! Two countries, fifteen states, thirty-six race starts, over ten thousand miles, seven podiums, eighteen top tens, and ending up ranked 101st in the world.

After a few weeks of getting back in to the groove at home it wasn’t particularly appealing to take off for one last trip. Nationals week came up quick and the time home was nicely punctuated with solid training on the bike and two homegrown backyard races, one very cold with snow and mud, and the second warmer and sunny with the usual dry dirt.

I was trying to ride quality hours in the cold to get ready for what might be in Reno and I must have worn myself down because after a whole season of being healthy, one particularly cold day on the bike had me riding home with a significantly sore throat.
I could tell I wasn’t feeling quite as peppy riding the rest of the week, which was a high contrast for how I was feeling just a few days earlier. I skipped more than a few workouts, acquired some elderberry syrup, ate a ton of raw garlic, had friends join me to caravan for the drive, loaded up the van and pointed it west.

Early on the Reno course was wet, rain showers made for fun slick corners, heavy pedaling, and plenty of bike washing. I was very relaxed; with a whole week to kill and the weather causing the course conditions to change I didn’t have much worry about pre-riding.

I spent the week getting healthy, cheering on friends in their races, having a relapse of the…

El Tour de Tucson Flite 900 Drawing Winner, John Kotlaba

Congratulations to the 2017 El Tour de Tucson Flite 900 Bicycle drawing winner John Kotlaba. Here’s John showing off his new KHS Flite 900 when he picked it up at our local KHS Dealer, ORO VALLEY BICYCLE in Tucson.

Looks like a good fit. Enjoy the Ride, John!

Cyclocross Season Update #4 2017-2018 | December

Feeling recharged after my adventures in Hot Springs and ready to attack the last few weekends of the season, I headed on to Tulsa and the site of the next race – Rut’s N Guts. Having lived for a few years in Oklahoma and quite possibly having competed in my very first cross race in that state there is a definite component of “coming home” when I get headed that way.

As I crossed the Arkansas river to pass in to Oklahoma, I spotted a trail along that looked perfectly situated for an easy spin. I flipped the van around to find a quiet visitor center and miles of peaceful river front trail. Pretty much the perfect mid ride recovery spin!

I arrived in Oklahoma for an evening or dinner with my hosts and a day of prep for the weekends racing. I opted to take a tour of the farm fields of Broken Arrow by getting lost on the way to the venue. Fortunately there was still plenty of time to shred some laps with friends and get a good feel for the course before dark.
The energy this community brings into the race weekend is practically tangible. The course improves each year and the crew has no end of fun trucking in sand for an uphill/downhill pit, creating multiple sets of stairs all in different mediums, building scaffolding viewing platforms, setting up multiple beer gardens, adding a forest of inflatable holiday festive decorations, and packing in just enough technical, twisty turny racing to keep you on your toes.

The start stretch was a long stretch false flat pavement with about 30 feet of elevation drop in the first 40 seconds. These tend to make for…

Bassetti and Girkins Round out 2018 Roster

The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team is excited to announce it’s complete roster for the 2018 season. New additions, Sam Bassetti and Kevin Girkins, bring additional speed and strength to the team. Current members Eder Frayre, Brian McCulloch, Nick Torraca, and Cory Williams are also returning to the squad for the 2018 season. They bring a wealth of experience and are the backbone of the team.

Sam Bassetti had a fantastic season in 2017 winning six road races. The highlight of of his season was winning three stages of the Tour of Poyang Lake in China. “Winning three stages in China really got me back on track. It was an incredible boost of confidence realizing that all of my years of hard work were starting to pay dividends,” states Bassetti. Sam has raced in the pro peloton before with 5-Hour Energy and IRT Racing, and he is looking forward to capitalizing on his return back into the pro peleton. “I am excited to race against the best in the world this year. Having the opportunity to race the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic in 2018 are on the top of my list this year. I want to prove to the team that I can win when called upon and also be a fantastic team player.”

Texas native Kevin Girkins steps up to the pro ranks for the first time this year. Racing for the Elbowz Racing Team for the last three years allowed Kevin to cut his teeth on the US racing circuit, and he is looking for more. “I had the opportunity to race the Tour of Southland in New Zealand, racing in support of Elevate-KHS…

Welcome Simpson, Law and Cheyne for 2018

The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling team adds three new riders for the 2018 season. Current US National Amateur Time Trial Champion George Simpson, Australian Sprinter Scott Law, and Canadian Climber Jordan Cheyne.

George Simpson comes from the highly respected Gateway Harley Davidson U25 Devo program. With a total of 11 race victories, including his 2017 US National Championship win, George made himself a highly sought after commodity on the transfer market. “We really started to take a close look at George in May. He was very dominate in the way he won both the time trial and road race at the Superior Morgul Classic Stage Race in Colorado,” stated team Co-Owner John McAllister.

“From that moment, we started to keep a close eye on him. Winning the US Time Trial Championship was confirmation of what we saw earlier in the year.” George is looking forward to joining his new teammates and testing his skill set against the best, “I’m looking forward to shining in hilly circuit races like the ones in Redlands, Gila, North Star, and Alabama as well as being a part of larger team objectives in the Tour of Utah or the Colorado Classic. I am really excited to focus on the US Pro Time Trial Championships as my primary target for the season.” (more…)

James Piccoli and Alfredo Rodriguez Return in 2018

The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling team is excited to announce the return of riders James Piccoli and Alfredo Rodriguez for the 2018 season.

Sprinter Alfredo Rodriguez is back for his third year with the program. In 2017, Alfredo had an incredible season winning seven races, and making major strides in international level competition. “Alfredo’s ability to stay calm and focused, especially considering he is only 20 years old, allowed him to finish on the podium in sprint stages at the Tours of The Gila, Utah, and Colorado,” states General Manager Paul Abrahams. Alfredo is eager to turn those podium placings into victories in 2018.

“The whole structure of the Elevate-KHS team fits me perfectly. We are like a big family. The riders and staff on the team have really sacrificed for me and I want to repay their hard work with a victory.” (more…)

Season Review: 31 Wins & 63 Podiums

Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team had a fantastic 2017 season. The winning trend began in February with Innokenty Zavyalov winning the overall at Valley of the Sun Stage Race. From there, the team accumulated 31 wins and 63 podiums through October. The team also had the opportunity to race in both Tour of Taiwan and Tour of Alberta, making this the first season racing outside of the United States. (more…)

Cyclocross Season Update #2 2017-2018 | October

I was able to break up my east coast campaign this year with a visit home and the opportunity to race at the U.S. Open of Cyclocross. While I’d been gone less than a month it was a well earned change of pace to travel west for a week, spend eight hours cleaning the house, ride my familiar jaunts, dodge late season rattlesnakes, race at familiar elevation, and visit with my favorite cyclocross family. Coaching juniors has an amazing side benefit of being loved and welcomed by all the local cycling families and I can’t say how much it means to me to be recognized and cheered on by so many kids and their folks.

The drive east from Wisconsin included carting one wayward racer friend along for the trip.  I don’t have company too often and having someone else to look up the next NPR station as we passed through each new town was definitely helpful.  Having two extra bikes and four extra sets of wheels was a bit trying on my compulsive organization habits but I survived and many giggles were had to make the drive go by quickly.

While the KMC fest made much promises of less pavement and more dirt the new ratio wasn’t much more impressive than the inaugural year.  With little rain falling anywhere near the east coast of the US this fall what little dirt was provided featured two run-ups, their consequent descents, and turned quickly into sand under the many practice laps.

I have to say for someone who does not much care for road racing and has strengths based in bike handling and elevation changes, there isn’t much more dejection than showing up to a 60% pancake flat course with the most technical aspect involving climbing over an actual guardrail and a greater than 90° turn through gravel to avoid an ill placed jersey barrier.  Both days…