Today we crossed the GW and headed up to Rockland Lake for our usual weekend, off-season base miles with new teammates. Awesome times and beautiful day for a great ride!
Tony Taylor takes 4th at Masters Nationals
Congratulations to our own Tony Taylor for placing 4th in Maters Nationals out in Bend, Oregon!
Here is a race recap in his own words:
The race course was 1.2 miles long with 8 turns and very technical, which I am very comfortable with. Even with the 8 turns, we averaged better then 27 MPH. i realized early on the breakaway was impossible so I kept my position to the front, staying in the top 10. Halfway thru the race, I did feel the affects of the high speed and elevation, however, experience kept me hanging tough until the end. I recovered enough for the sprint, but the long straightaway finish sat me before the line and I was passed close to it hanging on to 4th and on the podium.
LOgan TO JAckson and a podium finish after 206miles
by Meghan Newcomer
- Ticking off three more states in my quest to race in all 50
- Earning a podium finish
- Checking out the lunch counter— who knew there was surfing in Wyoming!
- Realizing I’d make a good Mormon (HA)
- Ridiculously long race report
Seduced by the opportunity to race through three states in one day, the LOTOJA cycling classic was the first race I (mentally) committed to competing in this year. I learned about the 206 mile single-day road race last fall while biking the coast of California. I was certain I could get a few teammates and a fun support crew to join me. We’d take a sweet camper and play in Jackson post race. Unfortunately, ‘the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry’. My teammates bailed, support crew options A & B fell through and my camper of choice got pulled for a fundraising event. The only thing I had going my way was being accepted to compete— a lottery process has been instituted given the limited entry spots.
In May, I started getting concerned. I reached out to everyone I knew with a connection to Utah, Idaho or Wyoming. Surely someone had a friend of a friend who could help me. No such luck. Finally, one friend suggested that I email the race director, Brent. He kindly sent out my plea to the women’s field. Thankfully, Becca responded to Brent’s note. She offered to house me pre-race and let me stay in her hotel post-race (lodging in both locations was sold out). The was one snag: race support. She feared I’d be way ahead and her crew would not be able to support both of us. I offered to hang back, but she suggested that I just beg for food and water. A week before the race, I learned about an online service that allows you to hire people to help with odd tasks; but, I was leery of hiring a total stranger. When I boarded the plane to Salt Lake last Thursday night, I was 78% excited and 22% terrified.
After touching down in Utah, I collected my bike and jumped on the Salt Lake Express shuttle bus and headed to Logan. The other passenger happened to be an Air Force pilot who recently transferred from Okinawa to Oklahoma. He was also competing in LOTOJA and planned to avenge a DNF from his first attempt. We chatted the full two hours despite it being way past my bedtime. When we finally arrived in Logan at 2:00am Mountain time, I was relieved that the door to the house where I was staying twisted open. The first part of my adventure was a success.
In the morning I was greeted by Sadie and Martin— excited doggies— the sounds of a guitar and piano being played by Simon and Owen who were practicing before heading off to school and Becca, an awesome mom. While Becca ran carpool, I stayed home with Dean, her youngest son who was able to plan a few hours more before afternoon kindergarten. We had fresh eggs for breakfast which were laid by the hens who lived in the back yard… a tad different than my typical morning in NYC!
After breakfast, I put my bike together and took a spin. The gears were shifting smoothly and I felt fast on Alan’s bad @ss 202’s complete with sleek TUNE skewers.
Once Dean headed off to school, Becca and I went to pick up our race numbers. Her bike was having a few issues so we swung by the bike shop to have them take a look. While Becca’s chain, cables and breaks were being fixed, she told me all about her expeditions as a skilled rock climber and white water rafter. It turned out that her husband, John, was a stud runner and skate skier. Such a cool family!
We returned home in the late afternoon. John was taking care of the kids so Becca and I could finalize our race prep. I was perfectly at ease until John informed me that I had impressive wheels, but was confused why I didn’t pump my front tire. FOR SHAME- I had a slow leak. I had just spent all day at a bike shop. Now it was past 6pm and they were closed. John knew just the guy to help- Jeff, an engineer/welder/ philanthropist/bike enthusiast. Jeff actually created LOTOJA. After selling the race, he biked to the North Pole. I didn’t even know that was possible! Jeff took me back into the bowels of his workroom and crafted a plan to patch up my tubular. I was skeptical, but when I woke up at 1:00am to check on my tire- it was still inflated. Hallelujah!
Race day morning, John dropped Becca and me off at the start line. As the sun peaked out from behind the mountains, we lined up in the corral with the Cat 1-4 women and got underway. There was a slight headwind and all 50+ riders decided to soft pedal. This drives me bonkers! I HATE riding slow, but I knew there was no way I could tow the line. Finally, a veteran Cat 1 got a double pace line going. We crept along at a pathetic pace. I feared it would be a long day. After a neutral “call of nature” (thank you Jamie for lending me shorts!!) in Preston (home of Napoleon Dynamite), the race got interesting. A packed started to pull away on the rollers. Then we hit a long climb called Strawberry. As the pace intensified, I realized I was in a break with seven girls. We road at a good clip before one of the riders bolted. I went with the attack, but saw my HR soar. I couldn’t redline 45 miles into a 200+ mile race so I backed off. I spent a mile or so climbing solo before linking up with three other riders. We crested and descended together. The moto informed us that we were three minutes down from the lead group. These ladies were particularly motivated to catch Marci- a Cat 4 chick in the lead group. We worked together well until we hit the next climb. Chelsea, couldn’t keep pace. Her teammate was hesitant to leave her, but we decided to push on as a group of three. I couldn’t have scripted a better scenario. In my experience, it’s rare to be with cyclists who will work in a balanced manner, but Heidi, Mary and I knew it was to our advantage to move quickly and efficiently so we won’t get caught. The moto informed us that the peloton was shattered so we knew podium spots were within reach.
At the 100 mile mark, after ascending Alpine, I was supposed to have a bag with cantalope, pbj & skratch that I’d left at the bag drop. I was eager for this fuel, but it was nowhere to be found. Heidi and Mary had amazing support crews who were hooking them up with all sorts of treats and cheers along the way. I begged the crowds and received water and a Pro bar. Not bad, but far from ideal. At the 170 mile mark, I was willing my body to tap into my fat stores so I wouldn’t bonk. With ten miles to go, I had to stay super focused and make deals with myself. Mary started saying that she was exhausted (cyclist code for “I’m going to suck your wheel and beat you at the line”) and Heidi said she was going to take it down a notch as she pedaled harder (cyclist code for “I have so much energy that this increased pace is easy”). I stayed quite.
Mary suggested that we started ‘racing’ at the 5k to go sign. Heidi agreed. We past the 5k sign and nothing changed. At the 2K to go sign, Heidi took off. I let her go- perfectly content. Mary stuck to my wheel like glue. With 1k to go, Heidi was fading. With 800m to go, Mary darted in front of me and forced me into a coned off section with nasty rode. BOO This tactic backfired because it gave me such an adeline jolt that I pedaled as hard as I could out of fear and crossed the finish line ahead of them both earning me 2nd place in Cat 4 and 6th overall.
Usually I love that cycling races are bare bones— no hoopla- just the basics and cash $$ prizes. However, after riding 200+ miles in ten hours and three minutes, I would have enjoyed some food, drink and a massage which are all common place at even the most rinky-dink triathlons. The only amenities at this race finish were a port-o-potty, stunning view of the Tetons and a cold stream. John was still an hour or so away from the finish so I plopped myself down in the stream— kit and all- to soak my legs and saddle sores. I got a shout out from one of the pro men, Joe. He recognized my DJ jersey as being from NY since he had just competed in the Green Mountain Stage race. He kept me company with updates about his season and life in Boulder.
When John arrived, he scooped me up out of the stream, got me in clean cloths and fed me delicious melon and salty crackers. We cheered Becca on at the finish and celebrated the successful day that evening.
I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but I wasn’t able to get my podium shot because we had to head back to Utah before the conclusion of the awards ceremony so I could catch my flight. I’m SUPER thankful to everyone who made this adventure possible!
Congrats to Anna Zivarts on her GC win at the Giro del Cielo Stage Race last weekend. Also congrats on her upgrade Cat 3! Here’s the race from Anna’s perspective:
I get really bored in most races because it’s usually slow till the final sprint, and I’m not really a sprinter. But after doing really well in the hill climb TT at Giro de Cielo this past weekend, I decided to just go for it in the crit later that day, start attacking, and not worry about burning myself up before the end. This strategy paid off, and I took both primes and won the race after a solo break that lasted nearly a lap. The next day at the road race, I attacked again on the first lap and won the prime in another solo break. After that I re-joined the field and we ended in a downhill group sprint (not my favorite). But I still had plenty of points to hang on to my GC placing. I’m officially a Cat 3 now and really excited to start racing against the more experienced women.
Last week we gathered @nydistilling, one of our team sponsors, for a party before the Dave Jordan Central Park Classic. We had a great evening with friends and supporters of the team and enjoyed the wonderful @nydistilling cocktails and food from @rickspicksnyc! Lucky winners of the raffle walked away with some awesome prizes such as original Zephyr artwork, signed George Hincapie and Mike McCarthy jerseys, limited edition @grimpeurbros coffee, caps and more. Thanks everyone for coming out and Thanks for your support of our team!
Race Results from the weekend of 5/11/2013
Hunter Mountain Spring ClassicChris Strumolo - 2nd Place - Men’s Pro 1/2
Anna Mumford - 2nd Place - Women’s Cat 4
Lucarelli & Castaldi Cup
Greg DeFiore - 6th Place - Men’s Cat 4 - now 1 pt. from Leader’s Jersey