November 20, 2014

Super Squadra 2015

The first time I was part of the winning team with SuperSquadra in 2012

I am very happy to announce that in 2015 I will be racing with my old team, Super Squadra, based out of Austin Texas. I was given a choice between racing professionally or continue my education at the University of Houston. I ultimately chose the latter.

I learned a lot racing professionally this past season, and I feel that I reached a new level in my own cycling growth. Racing against the best American Criterium racers here in the states, as well as butting heads with some real world tour talent over in Europe has taught me a lot about the sport, and about myself.

I plan to take what I learned on the road with Astellas in 2014 and use that experience to help develop Super Squadra further in 2015. Big plans for next season and I couldn't be more excited

November 5, 2014

Heat and a Sinus Infection at Chappell Hill RR

A very rare field sprint at Chappell Hill
(Photo By Robert Spangle)
Going into my eighth edition of Chappell Hill (I’m a veteran of this race), I already harbored feelings of anger and frustration.  In 2012 – which happened to be my 19th birthday – I caught a flat right at the winning Move

of the Day. The follow vehicle was out-of-sight, and I angrily DNF’d as a result. In 2013, I flatted out in the first 12-miles, before the race even picked up speed. I chased hard after getting a wheel change, in vain. So I DNFed again…my second DNF in just as many years.

2014 would be a different – I was racing solo without teammates, but I also was fighting a bad lingering sinus infection I acquired a few weeks earlier in rainy Belgium. I knew if I had a chance of getting a top result here, I had to be smart and, more importantly, patient with my efforts. Both Texas teams Boneshaker and Super Squadra (SS) would be bringing fully stacked rosters to the race, each with several guys who had the ability to win the race. I knew that I was going to have to play off their efforts to be in the money.

October 26, 2014

Gateway Criterium Finals. USA Crits Individual and Team Win!

Standing on the podium felt great!

I had nothing but excitement and high ambitions to bring to Gateway Cup. Less then a week prior, I landed back home in Texas after a month of racing in Europe and I was eager to put my legs to the test against familiar faces. The Gateway Cup included 3 NCC days, the third NCC event being the final for the USA Criterium Series, and it concluded with a non-NCC event rounding out that weekend on Monday

Because of my class schedule (school just started, and it was already getting in the way of bike racing) I could only race Friday through Sunday. These were, however, the biggest and most important days of the week with the fastest competition to race agaisnt.

October 22, 2014

Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic 1.1

The course map

My final race in Europe would be the most prestigious of all the events on my calendar.  Arnhem-Veenendaal is a UCI 1.1 event that consists of nearly 130 miles of racing. The race starts in the city of Arnhem where we would do circuits in a major park before heading west to Veenendaal to finish the race. Unlike my other races during this Euro trip, the race organizers only allowed 6 riders per team. This cut down the number of overall race starters from the normal 200 racers to just 105. Also present would be three World Tours teams: Cannondale, Belkin, and Movistar. I had no idea what to expect for a race of this length with riders of such caliber.

October 8, 2014

Zottegem UCI 1.1 My first UCI race with some World Tour Talent

Since I have no pictures of Zottegem. Here's a photo in
Going into my first ever UCI 1.1, I had no idea what to expect. There was rain and cobbles on the horizon.  Many teams were eager to get their bit of glory, and with 205 starters, the talent rode deep into the peloton.  There was no telling how things were going to shake out.

Format of the race: a neutral rollout through town to showcase the peloton to the host city, a large 75 km loop which would include many long stretched out crosswind sections, a 4km cobbled road, and one cobbled climb that was part of the tour of Flanders this past year. This was then followed by several smaller laps closer to town which included a very narrow technical section at the end and start of each lap.

August 21, 2014

Getting the swing of things at the "Kermess World Championships"! (Huesden)

Chris in the break
Heading to our third race here in Belgium, the team was fully motivated to improve on our last efforts the UCI 1.2 race where we swam to the finish line, just a few days prior. Huesden (another pro kermess) has been known in the past as the “ World Championships of Kermess.”  It has a history of over 200 starters, several World Tour teams showing up and boosting full rosters, all on a fast smooth course. Unfortunately, due to other races that have grown in the area, such as Eneco Tour, the number of World Tour teams has declined over the years. Nonetheless, Lotto Belisol was fielding a small team of riders along with several other pro-conti guys.

August 16, 2014

Wind, Rain, and Cobbles Havenpijl 1.2

Brecht, myself, Clay, Chris, Max, Cortlan, Matt from left to right
Heading to the team’s second race here in Belgium, I did not know what to expect. Matt has been telling the team about his marred past at Havenpijl where he has crashed out on every single one of his starts with terrible injuries. This course is about 172 km long consisting of 2 large 50 km loops followed by several smaller “in-town loops”. The larger loops consisted of about 1400 meters of cobbles per lap accompanied by long crosswind sections through one of Belgium’s largest shipping yards. The smaller loops were a bit more technical for we raced through downtown Antwerpen. With 200 starters and a forecast for heavy rains for most the race, the nervousness of the peloton could be seen on everyone’s faces.

August 9, 2014

Making Friends (and Breakfast Tacos) in Belgium

The Team for Europe
(Matt, Chris, Sven, Brecht, Max, myself, Cortlan, Clay. From left to right)
Since landing in Belgium, I cannot stop smiling. I've always dreamed of coming to the country of bike racing, fries, beer, and overcast weather. As a Junior racer, I have watched many close friends go on racing trips here to get their fix. Every single one always returns speaking of the wonders racing in Belgium has done for them, and how it has strongly changed their perspective on how to ride and race a bicycle.

August 4, 2014

National Criterium Championships 2014

Familiar Faces 

Going to keep this one short so my posts do not get out of order while I am in Belgium.... But the team plan from the get go was to race for a field sprint with Cory and Brandon.

August 1, 2014

National Road Championships

#notASmile. This race gave me very few moments
of happiness.
Very few races are as important as the National Championships in my mind. Ever since my first National Championship race in 2008 as a 14-year-old Junior, I knew that this was a big deal. Winning this championship is more then just a title; it also means that I would be able to wear my country's colors in races for an entire year. This is a great honor that I witnessed first-hand in 2012 as a wingman for my coach, David Wenger, who wore the stars and bars proudly as the 2011 Elite National Criterium Champion. 
The closest I had ever gotten to wearing the stars and stripes was in 2012 as I finished 8th in the u23 National Road Race. I crossed the finish line as the first amateur, while 6 of the 7 racers that rolled in before me ended up racing in the World Championships. This was a defining moment in my cycling career, and one that I will not soon forget. Since then I have raced hungry, eager to better myself, and out to prove to my competition that was not a fluke result.

July 3, 2014

Feeling Flat at East Tosa. Last Day of ToAD

Goal to put Monk on the overall podium was a success!
East Tosa (Day 11. Roster: Matt, Clay, Max, Hogan, Cory, Brandon, Justin, Andy, Myself)

Even after my crash the previous day, I had the option to race again at East Tosa. After an early morning spin, I decided that I would go ahead and race to see what I can do. I vaguely remember East Tosa from 2013 as one of the harder days at Dairyland. A simple 4-corner criterium with a long uphill drag through the start/finish made things hard on the group. This does not even take into account the fact that this comes at the end of 11 days of racing.

I do not know about you, but I am feeling Downer Avenue. Toad Day 10

one of the week long goals accomplished

Downer Ave (Day 10. Roster: Clay, Matt, Justin, Cory, Brandon, Hogan, Max, Andy, myself)

Going into Downer Ave we had one thing on our mind: the elusive super prime. The super prime is a single prime given on a random lap of the race, which is normally worth several grand ($$$$) and given on a separate finish line than the finish used for both the race and normal primes. Our leadout has been getting better and better throughout the week, and today was go the last day to show our stuff before the tour's final day at Tosa.

Race plan for today included keeping the pack together, like we have been doing for the last several days before, with Justin, Clay, and Brandon staying attentive for the super prime. Set up for the prime was crucial as it was only 75 meters after turn 1. The winner of the prime had to come first out of the turn ready, for there was no room for mistakes.

June 30, 2014

No Slack for the Peloton at Fond Du Lac Day 9 of Toad

two thirds of the podium!

Fond du Lac (Day 9 of ToAD. Roster: Justin, Cory, Clay, Matt, Max, Brandon, Hogan, and myself)

After our second team victory the day before (Oshkosh), we were feeling very confident going into the 9th day of ToAD. For this race we brought our full squad, disregarding our original plan to rotate 6 guys every day. A flat, four-corner one-kilometer rectangle made the idea of a sprint very likely on this course.

The plan going into the race was keep things together, like we have been the last few days, and to detonate breaks if we get into any – basically just sitting in on a break and not working with any sort of split you get into. We have one of the best sprinters in the country, so keeping things together for a field sprint gives us an advantage…  With 10 laps to go, we would regroup then take control of the front when the count dwindled down to 5.

June 29, 2014

Circuits of the Amer err.... I mean Road America!

Road America day 7. Roster: Clay, Matt, Max, Cory, Andy, and myself

Road America is as close to Texas as it comes for a race. Through years of ironing my skills at multiple Driveway Criteriums and several laps around the Circuit of the Americas car track, I can honestly say that I have mastered races on exposed tarmac. In 2013, Road America was the race that got me hooked on the Tour of America’s Dairyland.

June 28, 2014

Our First Team Win of Toad at Beloit

Winning Feels Good

Beloit (Day 5. Roster: Cory, Justin, Brandon, Andy, Hogan, and myself)

The two NCC races of the week concluded with UHC taking their bounty and leaving, creating this massive power vacuum that many teams wanted to fill.  After a strong aggressive ride yesterday, Astellas was eager to flex our legs in today’s stage of ToAD.

Beloit was a flat, fast three-corner 0.7-mile loop. After a few recon laps on the course, we made a plan for the best result. Our roster included myself, Justin, Cory, Brandon, Hogan, and Andy. Our plan of action was to keep things together with Justin as our designated sprinter and getting Brandon a top result as he sits in great position for the overall standings.

June 27, 2014

My Second Day at Tour of America's Dairyland at Waukesha

Spending half the race off the front with the Murf

Waukesha (day 4, roster: Max, Clay, Matt, Cory, Brandon, Myself)

Heading into my second day of ToAD, my excitement grew.  This was also one of the two NCC races going on in Wisconsin this weekend.  More money up for grabs and faster competition. 
During my pre-race lap, I found the course to be very well suited to the style of racing that I excel in. A long slight uphill would create some difficulty for many riders, plus some fast tricky corners would prevent swarming of the front.

Starting off Tour of America's Dairyland 2014 with East Troy

Been spending lots of time racing Andrew!

East Troy (Day 2 of 10. Roster: Brandon, Andy, Stephen, Hogan, Justin, Corey and myself.)

The East Troy Circuit was my first day of racing the 2014 Tour Of America’s Dairyland.  Last year, I came to ToAD with my former team, Super Squadra, and got bitten by the chocolate milk bug.  Here I am, a year later, eager for more. But this time around, I’m riding for Astellas Professional Cycling. 

For 2014, Astellas brought 10 guys to race the 10 days of the ToAD.  Our plan is to rotate our riders, allowing 6 of our guys to race each day.  Since each course is unique, the team mixes the line-up in search of the best combination of riders.  Our objective is simple: to win!

My week of preparations prior to ToAD was very effective. My legs were fresh and my mind was determined to throw down with some fast racers. I felt eager to show it on today’s fast, technical, and bumpy six-corner Criterium.

One More Time With Tulsa Tough

Photo From Manuel of Speed. I sported Lucky Lucky Lucky 13

There are few races similar to the Tulsa Tough NCC Weekend. Unlike many of the other race weekends of the year, Tulsa is unique in the sense that it is one of few that many racers attend for its renowned pre- and post-race shenanigans. It’s reputation has earned hashtags such as #takeMondayOff, #spandexRodeo and #cryBabyHill - this event has enough quirks to keep the racers and fans returning year after year!

This was my 4th time racing Tulsa Tough, and my 3rd time racing in it’s NCC event. In 2010, I raced with Metro Volkswagen, followed by Super Squadra in 2012 and 2013.  This year, I’m rolling with Astellas. With my previous experiences, I was able to share some pre-race knowledge to the table. 

June 14, 2014

Racing in the corn fields at the Cobb Park Criterium

Thomas, Cory, Justin, Myself and Monk (Brandon) reeling in the leaders
Located in Kankakee, Illinois, the Cobb Park Criterium is a prominent regional race within the “Windy City.”  This year it was hosted by the South Chicago Wheelmen Cycling team, as well as, the parents of one of our very own...Brandon! 

Go Go Go and Glenecoe Grand Prix!

I can't think of something more #pro then my own trading cards
After Somerville, the next race on the calendar was the Glencoe Grand Prix. Glencoe is a very pleasant suburb north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. Glencoe would be my first race with my new teammate, Cory Williams. Cory is one of the 3 riders we are sending to U23 National Championships.

May 29, 2014

Dynamic Duo Attempt 2! Bound Brook Criterium (Day 2 of 3 of Somerville)

My Italian style coming loose the morning of the race
The second day of the Somerville series would be the Bound Brook Criterium. This would end up being a very fast, very simple 6 corner criterium. Much like the previous day, it was going to be just Brandon and I waving the Astellas flag.

The plan for this race was a simple one. Ride conservatively, stay out of trouble, find each other in the closing laps and try to work together to get one of us in a position for a result in the finishing sprint. We were racing for a sprint today because that was the only way this race was going to finish. 100+ people, wide smooth roads, calm winds… If this race was won by a break I would be very surprised. 

May 24, 2014

Dialing in the Dynamic Duo at Raritan Classic (Day 1 of 3 of Somerville)

Thank you to all of the great sponsors we have (Brandon's whip)

Heading into the first of 3 days of Somerville I was hungry for some racing, both physically and mentally. I have spent the last week in a stuffy hotel with Brandon and both of us have been getting in some great riding in and around Bethlehem PA. It was time to flex our legs again as the two of us would be the only two members from astellas racing. With the lack luster results of Bikejam (Kelly’s Cup) still fresh on our minds (and the source of many inside jokes), we were going to come out swinging.

May 21, 2014

Two vs Fourteen at Kelly's Cup Bike Jam

Used for war of 1812, but built in 1870?
After a fun night of racing the previous day, I was super excited to be out racing again the next day. at the Kelly’s Cup Criterium or “Bikejam” close to downtown Baltimore. Unlike the USA criterium races or the NCC events I have been in, Kelly’s Cup was a small regional race. I would be racing in the P/1/2/3 race along with Brandon. The two of us would be in a field of about 40ish riders.

With the fact that this was not a pro event, meant that teams can bring as many riders as they want into the race. This meant that Kelly Benefits (the team of the event) had 14 riders in the race. Kelly Benefits is also a sponsor of Optum cycling as well as CCB racing. This would make about half of the peloton a sponsored team of the event.

May 20, 2014

First Race with no School on my Mind! Wilmington Grand Prix

First time riding the train with this sexy machine
With the horrors of the semester behind me, it was finally time to get back to racing my bike at the top of the American Criterium Circuit. I am more eager then ever to get a result and help the team, not because I am finally out of school, but also because I have only done two race weekends with the team since team camp and I feel like I have been performing below my expectations. Things were different now, I have been able to get myself plenty of sleep the week prior to this event, I have no crazy exam the Monday after the weekend, and I also made a bike change to Litespeed’s L1r which I can say has made a huge difference in my ability to approach and exit a corner without bleeding any power or speed. There were no excuses to not race hard and get a result for either myself,  or the team

May 13, 2014

Letting down a City at The Houston Grand

Family was in attendance

There have been very few races that have kept me up late at night leaving myself pondering what I could have done to get a better result. My 2013 Houston Grand Criterium Second Place, as well my 2012 u23 national championship RR eighth place. This year I wanted the top step of the podium.

The Houston Grand is the only race in Houston that is of any level of importance to anyone outside of the city. It is also the only race all year that I can sleep “IN” and wake up in my own bed to race that afternoon.

Long Breakaway day at Coldspring Road Race

There are few races that I can say I have completed in every single year since 2007. And at this moment in my cycling career, I think there are two races that fall into this category. It is the Houston Grand Criterium, Coldspring Road Race and the Chappell Hill Road Race. Where the Grand and the CRR were this past weekend.

Waking up in your own bed the morning of a race and leave from the comforts of your own home can make a huge impact in terms of travel stress. It has been a long time since I have been able to do this (Chappell Hill 2013 was the last time). And even then, it is a long stretch to call waking up at 4:30 am to make a 7:30 am road race start “comfortable” but I'll take it.

April 18, 2014

Circuit Exams, Big Money Crits, and Acrobatics at Charlotte-Belmont Omnium

some of the road rash on my back
Heading into the Charlotte Belmont Criterium omnium I had high hopes for some good results. I was feeling the best I have felt on the bike in a long time, and had some great training in Texas. With some consistent riding as well as some good regional race results. I was confident that I would be able to help my team put someone on the brodium.

April 10, 2014

Back in Texas with Charter Reserve Stage Race

Some of the best host housing all year. Yes we got massages!
After several weekends of traveling with the team to some big out of town races, I found myself in town and eager to test out some good form in some local Texas races. Luckily the Charter Reserve Stage Race would fall on my two-week break of travel. I raced in this race last year, and it was quickly becoming one of my favorite stage races in the state. The format of the Charter Reserve Stage Race (CRSR) is a road race, time trial, crit. Luckily I have always been spoiled here with some great host housing. Being able to really relax in between stages of a race can really make the difference needed in your recovery between stages.

March 27, 2014

Family, The Atlantic, and some Criterium action in Delray Beach!

A very nice pre race national anthem. Pincus family
seen hanging over barriers.
I have had Delray marked on my calendar for quite some time now. Not just because it will be my first USA criterium race, but also because I would be seeing a huge chunk of my family. Many of my relatives, the Pincus side of my family, live close to Delray and were planning to support me at the race that weekend, as well as spend some time with me before the event. It is crazy to think that the last time I saw many of these relatives were a decade ago, and some of them I never even remember seeing. But nonetheless, I was super excited to have been flown a day early to spend some time with the family.

March 22, 2014

New Faces with astellas professional cycling team (Old Pueblo Grand Prix, Team Camp, Tucson Bicycle Classic)

From Left to right: Chris, Matt, Brecht, Ryan, Justin, Cortlan, Stephan, Clay,
Brandon, Max, Hogan, Andy, Pincus, Thomas.

Team camp did not start off on an easy note. After some very smooth travels with Southwest Airlines I was able to get to Tucson Arizona on time and ready to meet the new group of guys. The first group of guys I would end up meeting would be Andy, Clay, Chris, and Ryan. As we walked from our Townsuits Marriott one of the first things we started talking about was Tinder. Right then I knew this was going to be a great team and team camp

March 7, 2014

Lago Vista Blues Part II of II

Rain in my face, embro in my eyes, ice in my shoes... and I loved it.
Photo taken by J.A. Hicks

Many people know Lago Vista as the hardest race in the state. Some have even went as far to say in the country… I go further and say in the galaxy. For those that have not done Lago before, it is a 15 lap race where you are either going up or down for the entirety of the race. I have seen racers who have gone on to do some great things in the sport, who have never finished lago vista. The biggest difference between Saturday and Sunday is that they change the orientation and we will be doing counter clockwise loops instead of clockwise.

Lago Vista Blues Part I of II

Heading into the annual Lago Vista I had high hopes for some good results. My legs were feeling really fast Walburg/Pace Bend weekend and I wanted to earn some spending money before I head off to team camp.

March 1, 2014

Feeling a bit jumpy at Pace Bend

Keeping a tab on the fast guys

After a rough day at Walburg I was hoping to get a little bit of relaxation the next day at Pace Bend, relaxation in terms of warm weather, and no yellow line rule. Pace Bend Park, like Walburg is always one of the top attended races of the season. What sets Pace Bend apart from many of the other Texas races is that it is located fully within the Pace Bend park allowing for the race to have full lane racing. Unlike the previous day where many racers were caught flirting with the yellow line, Pace Bend allows the full peloton to take up as much road as needed. This creates a type of racing that is more familiar with higher-level NRC races as well as allowing racers to be able to move around the pack more fluidly. This changes the dynamics of the race subtly and in my years creates a more enjoyable experience. Less rules to follow typically means one less things I have to think about during my race.

February 27, 2014

Crosswinds, Cyclecross, and Cheating at Walburg!

It was a nice start to the heart of the Texas racing season with the Walburg Classic. The forcasted weather looked crisp, sunny, and looked like it was going to be a good day overall.

As the race started I quickly was having déjà vu of the 2011 tour of new Braunfels road race where the entire cat 1/2 got disqualified for riding left of the center line. As the winds picked up, so did the number of teams that went to the front to try to put the field in the gutter to get some damage done. However if there was any sort of draft found left of center, riders were willing to take it. I kept waiting to hear the official follow car to come up and honk, neutralize or disqualify riders, but that never came. I kept to the right of yellow along with many other riders who knew that is the safe, right, and noble thing to do. Riding over the yellow line is cheating.

February 11, 2014

Pre-Walburg Excitement!

Bat City Cycling is the team that is promoting and running the
Walburg Classic road race this year again

I have been getting many questions about if I should race or not race Walburg this year. Many of these racers are men and women who have not raced Walburg before and do not know how great of a race it is just yet. Here is some information on Walburg that will hopefully push you in the direction to go ahead and register for a great weekend of racing.

February 7, 2014

Starting 2014 Off 2014 With Some Road Rash and River Road ToNB 2014

Unfortunately I have not gotten a hold of any photos from this weekend. 

Omloop. (90 minutes)
Going into the Omloop I could feel my excitement was hard to contain. I have been lucky enough to find my friend Zach Bergh the night before and get my hands on an old Astellas kit. I was finally in some sort of team-clad colors and I was eager to test my legs.

This race would end up marking my first race of the year and I was feeling very strong. I had a flawless off-season mixed with high volume, no sickness, and no injuries.

As the race started I took off the start line I quickly moved to the very back of the field. I know that the omloop is a course that is very hard to stick a break and it will have plenty of crashes. Being at the back was my way of staying out of trouble. As the laps slowly started to trick off the counter I started to feel comfortable on the bike and started to move around the pack a little bit. Last year my experience racing the omloop was bad. I ended up flatting out of the race on lap three and I knew just about anything would be better then that.

January 24, 2014

Dialing in a School Schedule Feels like Dialing in a New Bike Position.

It has been a long time since I was rushing to get
rides in before sunset
Since last semester I have been waiting eagerly for the start of my 4th semester at the University of Houston (GO COOGS). The reason is because this will be the first time that I will finally be in my major specific classes. Which for those that do not know is electrical engineering, and to be more specific EE with EE option. For the past few semesters I have been mostly just getting basics out of the way as well as a lot of math and sciences classes. Actually based on my flow chart I am finally done with all the math classes I need for the rest of my degree plan.
When I was registering for my classes I had a little drama with just the fact that my scheduler opened up a few days later then most of the rest of campus.

January 15, 2014

#pincusmiles2014 A Winter Spent Preparing for the Next Chapter

Such a beautiful day
I never thought that my friends would give my own hash tag. It started in the off season of the 2012 when Kenneth Day tagged me with #pincusmiles2013 on his twitter after he came down and rode with me for a few days during my winter break. My friends are familiar with my off-season antics. Typically once I get out of school for winter break I stack on miles like it is going out of style, and it was no different this winter. I know that once the semester starts I become quite limited in my time and devotion I can give to the bike.  I am happy that Ken Day, Jonah Tannos, Jason Codianne, Jason Bentley, and Gavin Mannion all got to go on nice one on one bro rides with me. I am sure I talked for hours on end and you all got a nice dose of my life stories and adventures to last you till next time.