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.