Well, I’m getting better. That Sunday crash was pretty much the first time I’ve seriously been down while riding on the road. I went down hard at the 2002 Tour of Somerville, my carbon cranks snapping as I sprinted out of a turn (oop, RIGHT down onto the ground!), but that was a mechanical… You knock on wood, lucky to have not hit the pavement in a long time, but I suppose everyone eventually has his/her day with the ER…
The wounds on my right leg seem to be healing okay… I may need a skin graft to cover this huge skinless patch on my calf, but I hope it will just scab up. Plastic surgery? Hogwash! Scars are free tattoos!
My left knee is very tight, kneecap broken. I will be off my feet for at least a month, probably more like 6 weeks… The orthopedist said it will take a full 4 months to heal. Sigh. It is what it is. You can sit around and sulk and complain, or you can put your head down and get on with it. I’ve been through far worse in life so I’ll be okay. When you’re a cyclist, nothing can be unexpected… This pain, this hiccup, it’s only temporary…
Huge thanks for the blizzard of e-mails sent my way… I was very touched… We have a terrific cycling community…
Here is some news from the Elite Endurance front… We had an incredible April… Thanks for reading…
This just in: Laura Winberry of Team Campmor just got in from Ecuador on Saturday, drove to Maryland on Sunday for the Greenbrier Challenge, taking 4th in the Pro field… Details to come…
Evan Cooper of Tufts University scored a HUGE result, taking 3rd in the Cat-3 Tour of the Battenkill road race, arguably New England’s largest road racing event! Battenkill is a ridiculously difficult test of strength and stamina, chock full or steep paved and dirt climbs. On the Juniper Swamp climb, Evan and the University of Vermont boys started to drill it, whittling the size of the lead group. Later, a break of 10 eventually got away. On the dirt climbs, Evan applied the pressure, noting he was just flying up these hills. With about 10 miles to go, Evan knew it was time to lay down the law, drilling it on all the climbs. Once reaching a long paved stretch, the break was in sight and the race came back together again. On the final climb, one rider immediately attacked, and Evan bridged, shooting up to the leader. Cresting the climb, Evan and the racer worked together, drilling it. Going into the final sprint, Evan and his partner agreed to a two-up drag race, and Evan had nothing in the sprint, something we haven’t really been working on.
Congratulations to Evan Cooper for nailing a huge result at one of the most important races of the year!!!
Mike Whitaker of Spinners Cycling drove early Saturday to his local TT, only to find the race cancelled due to impending rain. So Mike bolted home, got his road bike, and raced to the Philly 2-Day Classic. He got there in the nick of time, registered in the 35+, pinned the number on, and got to the start… to find the field 100 meters up the road! Mike went into full TT mode, caught on. Day 1 was the Diamond Circuit, a 2.2-mile circuit in Philly’s Fairmount Park, including a big-ring climb. The field was stacked with many 1’s and 2’s, many past PA Bar winners. Mike sat in for a few laps, then took a solo flier, away for 3 laps. Once caught, a break of six formed, Mike making the move. Four of the guys were Cat 1/2’s so Mike knew the horsepower was there. Mike did his pulls and even put in a few attacks, seeing if he could whittle the break down.
With 1 lap to go, Al Stamp of Hincapie Racing attacked. Once caught, Mike put in a perfectly timed attack and time trialed to the line. He came across the line with a 15-second lead. Way to rip it, Mike!!!
Benjamin Lesnak, who races Unattached, had a tough time with the chaotic conditions at Sandy Hook, but he came back to win his next two events, the Palisades Time Trial and the Cape May Time Trial. At Palisades, Benjamin won the Cat-4 event and took 2nd overall in the Cat 3/4/5. At Cape May, Benjamin had another fine ride, winning the Cat 4/5s by over a minute. He wouldâ€™ve placed 4th overall in the Pro/1/2 category. Benjamin hopes to race the rest of the NJ TT Cup events, planning to peak for the NJ Championships.
At Cape May, Bladdy Coronel of Westwood Velo took 12th in the Cat 4/5s, and Dana Fallon of Liberty Cycle took 9th in the 45+, 9 guys within a minute of the win. Fast field!
David Carr of CRCA/Setanta has some later goals, May’s Tour of Syracuse and June’s Giro New Jersey, so Sandy Hook was a good test and leg-opener. David, a bigger rider who can also climb and sprint, was able to fight the nutty windy conditions out on the Hook. Many riders got blown across the road, off the road, could not stay in the tuck. David rode logically, holding back a bit in the beginning and then getting in the groove, riding very steadily. Importantly, and he was able to stay in the tuck. In the end, David didn’t think he put down his best effort but came away with the win in convincing fashion!
In other Elite Endurance news, Bladdy Coronel of Westwood Velo took 25th out of 64 riders in the Cat 4/5’s, Mike Burke of Pro Pedals took 30th in the same field, Dana Fallon of Liberty Cycle took 30th of 64 in the stacked 45+ field, and Benjamin Lesnak took 9th in the Cat 4/5’s, having immense difficulties with the windy conditions. Congrats to all on a fast, and safe, day.
In a Spring Series Prospect Park event, Rob Havemeyer of Kreb’s Cycle scored a podium result. His friend and racing mate, Dave Kim, has been on a tear, podiuming or winning nearly every Central Park, Floyd Bennett, and Prospect race he’s entered.
The race started with light rain, a brisk first lap. Midway, Dave opened it up and shredded the field, half the field gone. Rob mentioned he felt very good, staying with his friend for much of the race. On the 4th lap, the pace slowed and Rob took a flier. On the climb, he was joined by two others, but they couldn’t do any pulls and were spent. So he sat up and waited.
Rob and Dave were able to stay near the front until the end, top-5 going into the downhill. Then Dave flatted. Rob stayed near the front. Series leader Miguel jumped in the sprint and Rob was quick to respond. Frank A. from Western Union took the win, Miguel 2nd, Rob Havemeyer 3rd. Great job racing with your head, Rob!
At the rainy and cold Readington Time Trial in mid-April, several Elite Endurance athletes competed and performed well:
Mike Whitaker of Spinners Cycling, not a specialist but built to do well in time trials, ripped his first timed event of the year, finishing 4th overall in the Pro/1/2/3 Category, just one spot off the podium! Great job, Mike!
In the Category 4/5’s, Bladdy Coronel and Matthew Goldsmith, both of Westwood Velo, Trade Manage Capital, placed 23rd and 12th, shaving over 30’s off their time from 2008.
Dana Fallon of Liberty Cycle took 7th in the 45+ division, 30 seconds off 3rd. Dana’s peak is planned for TT Nationals on July 1st.
Some races are crazy, fast, and treacherous, hard to maneuver in the peloton, twisty roads, lots of climbing. With experience, you’ll learn to overcome these hurdles and continue to stay topped-up while racing. Do a reconnaissance of the course and look to see where you can eat half a bar or down a GU. A tip for drinking? ALWAYS be taking sips. Once you’re thirsty, it’s too late. If it’s hot, look to bring more fluids than you usually do because you’re going to need them!
Some riders only begin to eat and hydrate an hour, two hours into a race, and this is a mistake. You’re eating and drinking before the race, so there is no reason to stop once you’ve started racing. Eat bars first because as you get more tired, your digestive system becomes less efficient at breaking good down. Bars first, then GUs or flasks later on.
Success in cycling is about doing all the little things correctly. The difference between winning and losing in a lot of cases is very, very small. So take advantage of all the aspects of the sport that you can control.
Mike Whitaker of Spinners Cycling entered this priority race battling some sickness and stomach problems: chills, body ache, sore throat, fatigue. He wasn’t at 100%, but he got plenty of sleep, plenty of water, and ate well. In the opening Road Race, he had four teammate.
The race started out fast and plenty of good 35+ guys. The guys he knew to mark were Ted Michaels, a TT specialist, George Opria, a few DC Velo guys, Robert Moskal, and Fred Reidenbach. Mike covered every early move, the team plan to have two guys in every break. Michaels and Whitaker were in the early move with one Spinners rider, a good sign. Once caught, Michaels and Whitaker hit it again and quick formed a 7-man move, again accompanied with a teammate.
Whitaker put in a fierce attack midway and whittled the group to 5. Whitaker drove the pace hard, doing the majority of the work. On the next climb, Whitaker went on the attack again, feeling very strong, and only Moskal could respond. The two stayed away to the finish, Moskal winning the two-up sprint. Whitaker 2nd, his teammate 3rd. Complete success.
In Sunday’s Time Trial, Whitaker was able to muster 5th. He wasn’t feeling 100%, and his week’s illness surely had a part in that. It’s one thing to be strong for one day, entirely another to recover and be just as strong for the second day. Opria won. Michaels 4th. Moskal got 3rd. Whitaker was fast but suffered on the climb. His TT frame was also cracked, forcing him to put clip-ons on his road frame, not as good as using the TT rig!
In the Criterium, Whitaker had good legs and finished 15th in the sprint. He jumped a handful of times, but nothing was sticking. Opria won the crit as well and Moskal was 4th, finishing 1st and 2nd in General Classification. Whitaker’s teammate was 3rd and Whitaker 4th. Considering the mid-week sickness, Ephrata turned out to be a resounding success.
In the Cat-5 Rahway Criterium, Nick David of Propeller Racing placed 4th in his very first criterium. Nick’s goal was to sit back, watch, learn, and jack up his sprint at the end. For a first-year racer, Nick did an excellent job of sitting in, preserving his energy, watching attacks. He was able to wait patiently. Nick was well-placed going into the final sprint, let it loose with 200 yards to go, and was passed by one rider at the line, good enough for 4th! His teammate, Ken Zorovich, was the one who caught him, taking 3rd. Nick commented the race was an excellent learning experience and he can’t wait to cut his teeth again!
In the Cat-4 race, Nick’s teammate Aleksey Urusov, currently the Cat-4 leader in the NJ TT Cup, stayed in the top-5 the entire race, then unleashed a crushing sprint in the finale, taking the WIN by 5 bike lengths. Congrats, Aleksey!
Robb Hampton of Team Bike Doctor scored a solid result at the Bunnyhop Criterium in Maryland, playing perfect teammate, attacking, chasing, blocking all race and then still having enough in the tank for 3rd in the finale!
The race was an industrial park crit, almost one mile each lap. The weather â€“ POURING rain. Robb loves racing in the rain, looks at it as an opportunity and not a burden. He attacked from the gun, forcing breakaways. When nothing was sticking, Robb planted himself in the top-10 and rode more sensibly, fighting for position in the final 5 laps, looking to keep the race together as he had a teammate off the front, looking for the solo victory!
Looking like his teammate was going to make it, Robb drilled it around the final turn, grabbing ideal position going into the sprint. He slipped and almost lost it, several riders coming around him, but Robb got control and accelerated quickly, taking 2nd in the field sprint. In the photo, you can see his teammate BARELY holding on for the solo win. What a finish!!!
Team Bike Doctor played their cards perfectly, taking 1st and 3rd on the podium! Great job, fellas!
▪ Somerset Circuit Time Trial (May 9)
▪ Bear Mountain (May 10)
▪ Habitat for Humanity Circuit Race (May 10)
▪ Warp Speed Time Trial (May 10)
▪ Tour of Syracuse (May 16-17)
▪ Conestaga Road Race (May 17)
▪ Brasstown Bald Century (May 17)
▪ Jersey Shore Time Trial (May 17)
▪ Montawk Century (May 17)
▪ Tymor Park Mountain Bike Race (May 17)
▪ Cyclenauts Racers Criterium (May 23)
▪ PA Masterâ€™s Road Race Championships (May 23)
▪ NJ State Time Trial Championships (May 31)
▪ SingleSpeed-A-Palooza (May 31)
▪ Youngstown, Ohio Triathlon (June)