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.