Wednesday, July 30, 2008
photo from the http://www.tourabitibi.qc.ca/ website... Charlie (on the left) is called up to the line after winning the time trial.
From the www.USACycling.org website
Avis just misses overall win at l'Abitibi; JR squad wins team GC
Colorado Springs, Colo. (July 30, 2008) - After winning the stage three individual time trial, the USA Cycling Junior National Team’s Charlie Avis (Palo Alto, Calif.) took second place overall in one of the world’s most prestigious junior stage races, the Tour de l’Abitibi. Avis and all five of his teammates strongly represented the United States, each claiming spots in the top 13 of one of the six stages and four placing inside the top 10 overall.
Avis posted a time of 21:09 in the 15-kilometer individual time trial to earn the stage three victory and jump into a near deadlock for the overall lead. The 17-year-old American went on to finish a strong sixth place in the fifth and final stage, but fell just short of overall winner Arnaud Jouffroy of France and was awarded second place by just 28 hundredths of a second. Although Avis wasn’t able to keep the brown jersey (overall winner) in the U.S. after Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) secured it in the 2007 edition of l’Abitibi, he comfortably earned the blue jersey which is awarded to the top first-year junior.
Each member of the USA Cycling Junior National Team competing at l’Abitibi contributed to the squad’s overall win. Iggy Silva (San Diego, Calif.) earned himself a spot on the podium in the 95-kilometer stage one from Preissac to Val and finished sixth in the 91-kilometer second stage before going on to finish 13th overall. Andrew Barker (Lakewood, Colo.) finished a mere 18 seconds behind Avis in the stage three ITT to earn fourth, while teammate Taylor Kuphaldt (Yuba City, Calif.) finished sixth with a mark of 21:30.
Kuphaldt then went on to take fourth place in the stage four criterium on July 28 and Silva sprinted to ninth. Also riding strong for the U.S. team was Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich.), earning several top-20 stage placings and finishing inside the top 10 in the overall. Ian Moir (Long Beach, Calif.) rounded out the USA Cycling Junior National Team riders, making several important team contributions and finishing 79th overall.
For more information on the 2008 Tour de l’Abitibi, click here.
2008 Tour de l’Abitibi
July 25-29, 2008
General Classification Results
1. Arnaud Jouffroy (FRA) 8:39:08
2. Charlie Avis (Palo Alto, Calif.) s.t.
3. David Boily (CAN) +0:08
5. Andrew Barker (Lakewood, Colo.) +0:20
6. Taylor Kuphaldt (Yuba City, Calif.) +0:23
9. Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich.) +0:46
13. Iggy Silva (San Diego, Calif.) +1:03
79. Ian Moir (Long Beach, Calif.) +7:26
1. USA Cycling Junior National Team 25:58:05
2. Quebec +1:31
3. Australian National Team +2:03
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Last weekend I went to the Tour of Idaho in Boise. The first race was a circuit race the length of a crit but for some reason they didn't give free laps. I wanted to save my energy for that night when we had a hill TT. In the circuit race I stayed in the pack and saved my energy. With two laps to go Casey William attacked. My main competition, Jackson, Long, chased him down. Casey was caught with 1 lap to go but does mostly mountain biking and didn't know he was caught. He pulled for the next half lap until another rider attacked. I got on Jackson's wheel and he started his sprint even though we were still 350m out. I stayed on his wheel through the last turn and then sprinted at 200m. I won by 3 bikes lengths. There were no time bonuses and they gave us all pack time. This race is awesome because the leader gets a yellow jersey to keep.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The next day was much better than our first day because we all learned a lot yesterday. This course was challenging because right after the finish there was a hill climb for the KOM and this made the course so challenging and to make it more, right after that there was a nasty cross-wind and no matter where you are, you would get guttered and have no where to go. Just like the first race we had the same guys on the front, except this time Peter was on the front in the beginning and I was right behind him. Joel hung out in the group again and made it to the line with the group. On the last lap, on the climb, I got dropped, but once I got back to the cars I started moving back up, but still didn’t catch the group, but I was in the first group after the field to come in. Despite a few crashes o the last lap, we only had one guy crash, but still finished the race and still got the same time as the group because of the 3 km rule. By the end of the second day, we still have three guys in contention for the yellow jersey for the last day!
On the last day, the course had a lot of turns and that made the pace slow down. In the beginning of the race, we had Anders and Lawson in a break for the whole race except the last lap and Lawson was done for the day, but for Anders, he was still in contention for the yellow jersey and was still able to pull off a 23rd place. Joel was consistent and was able to get through all the crashes on the last lap and finish in the group. Alex tried to make things happen, but he almost got caught with another team something that he did during the race, luckily our coach, Tim was right there to back him up. For Peter and me, we were at the front the whole race until the last lap. During the last lap with 2km to go, all of a sudden the fast pace to the line stopped and I had the guy on my left sliding over and I started moving over and the next second I am in the air and I flipped and landed on my helmet and peter was right behind me and he was in the crash too. I was so frustrated after the race because I was sitting perfect for the sprint but I got over it and it is part of racing.
Today we went to a nearby track and had some fun on it and we also visited Brugge, which is an old famous place for visitors. This stage race taught us a lot of mental and physical things in races and we will share and use them with our team so we can a better team. Just so you guys know, this stage race was the one race that we can call ourselves as the National Team which is really cool! 6 more days!
When my weight finally dropped below 193 I set a new goal: ice cream when a teammate or I won. Sort of cheating... but this is a team sport!
Brian Bosch (Pacfic Sierra) denied my appetite at the 4th of July Crit in Davis when he turned our team leadout (Dylan Casey, Mike McCarthy and Scott McKinley... me, racing with our former professionals!) into his win.
Redemption came up yesterday when teammate Kevin Metcalfe soared off the front at the M45 Lafayette Criterium, formed a 4-man break and then attacked Rich Juarez (VOS) in the last lap to win. I took 3rd. Ice Cream! Thank you Kevin!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
For this race Yogi came along to help out and translate as needed. He and his father packed the car with our bikes, all the race food and the water. After a short 30 minute drive, Yogi said we were near the race course. We started seeing course marshals and course markers, but we didn’t know the location of inscription or the start / finish line. Yogi spoke to a few course marshals and thought he knew where everything was. We parked and started walking to where we thought inscription was located. Sadly, it was not where the marshal had told us, so we began to walk further and further from the car. Eventually we found the bar that inscription was in and got in line. When we got to the front of the line the race promoters and the officials asked to see our race permission but Yogi did not have it with him. He ran back to the car to grab the form then rode back to the bar. By the time we made it back to the car with our numbers we had less than 30 minutes to get ready. Everyone got dressed and headed towards the start.
We began to line up, trying to get spots near the front. A few of us succeeded, until the promoter approached us and told us that he needed to see our licenses again. I rode down to our coach and made sure that he had the licenses with him when he walked up to the start. After that was resolved, all the
The first lap was pretty slow and we were able to get to the front by the start of the flat section. A few weak attacks went off but they were brought back easily. This continued for another half lap when the pace began to stabilize, but as the pack came through the start / finish area I saw one of my teammates standing on the side of the road. After getting a good look, I saw that Peter had flatted. Each time up the hill riders were strung along the gutter preventing the rider behind them from getting any draft. On the second lap, Lawson got off the front with one other rider by sprinting hard out of a particularly slow corner. On the third lap Lawson was out of sight and I was riding at the front trying to find someone to bridge up to him with. As we started up the hill the third time I was sitting in the second row of riders when a pretty strong rider started to attack. I saw him winding up so I jumped on his wheel. Going up the hill it was clear to me that he was significantly stronger than me. We made it up to Lawson pretty quickly and lost sight of the pack within a few minutes. A few more riders joined us over the next lap until we were seven riders strong. Unfortunately, the break was very dysfunctional; it was almost as if the other riders didn’t want the break to succeed. At any given point there were at least 2 riders not taking pulls, just sitting at the back. There was also a surprising amount of yelling and shouting, it seemed they were always yelling at each other, at Lawson, or at me.
With 4 laps to go I began to have difficulty staying with the group. The lack of protection from the wind and the disorganization of the group made it hard to just sit in. On the downhill, just after seeing 3 laps to go, I was dropped. I chased for an entire lap, but the gap between the break and me kept growing. I sat up for a bit and saw the pack that had dwindled in numbers come up on me. I jumped into the front of the pack but going up the hill that time I could not keep up with the hard chase pace. I started going further and further back when I saw James with another rider. I tried to stay with him, but yet again I got dropped. A few minutes later I also saw Lawson coming backwards and realized he too had been dropped. We came across the line expecting one lap to go but instead were flagged off the course. After the race when we turned in out numbers they gave us our placing. It turned out that I got 26th, Lawson got 27th and James held on for 21st. I was very surprised by this; the field of 75 guys, all who seemed very strong, shrank to less than 18 guys by the end of the race.
After the race I found the rest of the team and heard that Anders had bridged up to the breakaway in the last lap and took 7th in the sprint. Alex B-W, who spent most of the race blocking for Lawson and me, broke his rear shifter and then flatted out of the race with three laps to go. After cleaning up and getting some food, we packed up and began the journey home, stopping briefly at a section of cobbles that was being renovated for next years Tour of Flanders. It was a really hard race but I felt good about being in the break for as long as I was; this was the hardest race I've done all year and the course had a lot of challenges that we don't face in the States.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The original intention was to get this photo (courtesy http://www.kateburgess.com/) and one of the 30 rider diaries up on the Pez website. This note should have been posted weeks ago but our June 15-20 camp was followed by a camp for women riders and then Claire flew off to Australia for an extended vacation. Unfortunately Claire has the majority of those stories. Fortunately, I had Eddie Zhang (San Jose BC) and junior teammate Marcus Smith send me theirs directly. Eddie's write-up has been sent to USA Cycling for posting to their website while Marcus's will be posted here in the comments section.
I had an absolutely wonderful time at camp. These 30 young athletes all exceeded my expectations and give our sport a whole bunch of hope for our future.
A big thank you goes out to teammates Mike McCarthy (1988 and 1996 Olympian, 1992 World Champion) and Leonard Harvey Nitz (1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympian) for their inspirational talks with the riders. I would personally like to thank Paul Craig at Rudy Project (http://www.rudyprojectusa.com/) for supplying us with 22 sunglasses and product for the General Classification leaders. Thank you also to the Northern California Cycling Foundation (www.NorCalCF.org) for the generous cash donation which helped to purchase gift certificates for the GC leaders. The GC was a week long competition based on all of the events that were held during the week. The two USAC field tests were weighted more than the other events due to their importance, but as you read Marcus' and Eddie's diaries you will learn of the other fun events we held during the week.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
James and I began our trip to
After a quick equipment check we were off on the first ride of the trip. We were lead by the fearless Yogi, son of Erly who helped last year and will be working with us again this year. The ride started out great, some of the guys got their first ever taste of cobbles. However, our ride ended with a bit of a fright; our group began to go around a parked truck as another truck came speeding by us in the other direction. Yogi made it through all right but the 6 of us began to ride into each other as Anders slammed on his brakes. We checked our bikes and headed home to call it a day.
The next morning we were allowed to sleep in as most of us had only a few hours of sleep in the past 30 hours. Our first race was that day so we took it easy in the morning. Everyone hopped on their bikes just to make sure everything was setup correctly. I checked my power meter setup – fortunately, it made the cross Atlantic flight just fine.
Our race was further away from the house than most of our races will be, so the coaches decided we would drive. After inscription (similar to registration, but it always takes place in a smoky bar and is much faster) and explaining the European rules for pinning numbers on to my teammates, we went to the line to wait for our start with the other 45 guys that we would be racing against. The race started out pretty quick compared to most races in
Alex, Anders, Lawson, and I started the race at the front and got a good sense for the racing. Nothing seemed to be getting away in terms of breakaways or solo attacks, so I decided to move back in the pack and save some energy. I was able to take advantage of the slow cornering and stay near the front easily enough. The last few laps started to speed up a bit but nothing particularly challenging. The last corner was about 700 m from the line and I was sitting in the top 15 coming into the last corner. The group began to get a bit squirrelly after the last turn and there were riders on both sides of me. As I began to move to the left of the group to setup for my sprint, the group started shifting to the right side of the road. The two riders in front of me slowed as I continued to move to the left when suddenly my front wheel was hit. With the road slick from the heavy sprinkling and the sketch group, I was unable to stay up. Sliding along the pavement with less than 300m to go I was angry that I didn’t get to finish my race with the pack. I rolled across the line after fixing my brakes for a disappointing end to a great race. The rest of the Americans came into with the finish with the field, including James who place 26th. The first race back was a great learning opportunity and I look forward to learning more in the coming weeks.
The next day was supposed to be a recovery ride, but when you get 6 new riders together everyone has to prove themselves. So our easy hour and a half ride became a 2 hour ride with a few sprints at the dozens of city signs, of which there are many more in Belgium than at home. The rest of the day we were on our own except for a short team meeting where we discussed the next days activities, which were going to include grabbing musettes, grabbing water bottles, riding behind cars, and moving up through a caravan. We had an amazing dinner to top off the night, complete with homemade pesto sauce and a seemingly bottomless pot of noodles.
I’m looking forward to our next race on Sunday which is part of a Belgian series, so field size is expected to be double that of our first race. The course also includes some of the short steep hills that are a part of the many classics that come through
Friday, July 4, 2008
So far we've raced in the time trial and the road race. Rob, Billy, Craig and I did the TT. I rode the course on Saturday and Sunday while Craig and Billy arrived on Sunday and rode the course then. Rob also arrived on Sunday from Canadian road nationals (where he won a bronze medal in both the TT and the road race). Unfortunately his bikes did not arrive with him! He was able to drive the course to check it out and luckily his bikes arrived late that evening. The down side was that he was up until 1:30am putting his bike together.
The TT course was a nice course. It was very "lumpy" with a lot of small little rollers. Nothing really of significance except that there were a lot of them. Even still it was a pretty fast course.
Working on four hours of sleep Rob was able to manage a 7th place finish. Craig finished 7th in the 40-44 group which turned out to be the most competitive group of the day. Billy and I rounded the day out with two bronze medals in the 35-39 (Billy) and 45-49 (Me). As usual in my age group Thurlow slayed all and in fact was only beaten by the 30-34 winner and only by about 10-15 seconds.
On to the road race where Rob was off first.
The road course was a short loop of just under 5 miles. It had a number of small hills. The longest probably only took around 45 seconds to climb, but the course slowly wore on you. There were also a number of sharp, technical turns. This was very much a course where you wanted to ride near the front.
Rob rode a very aggressive race. In short order he was off the front with another rider. We arrived just before he came to the line with two to go. He had already been out there a while with another rider, but it didn't look good as his gap was only around 15 seconds. But, the next time around he had dropped the other rider and opened the gap up to 30 seconds. We were all very excited hoping that he could hold on for the win. Unfortunately though, the pack sped up and closed part of the gap towards the end. Close enough so that one rider was able to jump away and passed Rob 200 meters from the line. A tough way to not win a race!
Thursday was a busy day with the 35-39, 40-44, and 45-49 road race. The 35's were off first with Billy, Wyatt and Dean. Billy bridged up to the break that included last years winner with a few laps to go. In the end though he was unable to come around Paul Martin who won for the second year in a row. Billy finished second.
In the 40-44 race the break went off without Craig and he wasn't able to close the gap and finished in the pack.
In the 45-59 race Thurlow was again the rider to beat. He also had two strong team mates with him so it was going to be tough. About four laps into our ten lap race, the rain that had been threatening finally arrived. It was a light sprinkle, but enough to make the road wet. AND SLIPPERY. I watched a number of riders dive into wet corners only to slide out and crash. I have no idea what made them think that they could safely navigate those wet corners at that speed... As for myself, even being careful my back wheel was sliding all over the place. I didn't go down, but had a few exciting moments!
With about four to go Thurlow made his move and got away alone. We tried to close the gap, but with his team patrolling the front it wasn't meant to be. With less than two laps to go, and group of four meandered off the front. I was being marked by Thurlows team mates and chose to play a little game of chicken, hoping that somebody would speed things up to bring them back or at least close. When we got to the biggest hill on the course I was able to attack and with two other riders and get away clear, but unfortunately the gap had grown too large. Another attack on the last lap brought our group down to me and another rider who ended up beating me in the sprint for 6th.
I'm on my way home, but Wyatt, Billy and Dean will be racing in the criterium at Churchill Downs on Sunday. The criterium course is inside the horse racing track and there will be horse races that day with thousands of spectators. How cool is that?
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
McMurdo suspended for steroid use
Australian domestic cyclist Hilton McMurdo has been handed a two year sanction by Cycling Australia (CA) for his use of anabolic steroids. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) yesterday acknowledged CA's decision to sanction McMurdo for the doping violation.
"This doping offence was detected as a direct result of ASADA's expanded application of sophisticated isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) technology to detect synthetic testosterone," ASADA Chairman Richard Ings said.
McMurdo tested positive for the synthetic anabolic steroid testosterone during an in-competition sample collected at the Cycling National Roads Series Tour de Perth event, held in Western Australia on May 26, 2007. McMurdo, who waived his right to a hearing, has had all results between 26 May and November 18, 2007 disqualified - including his 3000 metre individual pursuit gold medal won at the 2007 UCI World Track Cycling Masters Championships.
The sanction, which was backdated to the day the athlete last competed, means McMurdo will not be eligible to compete until November 18, 2009.
Congrats Mick. Crime does not pay!
Points Race racer you can be!
Points Racing Clinic
For Juniors, Elites, and Master Racers
(Pro/ Cat 1/ 2/ 3/ 4)
Coached by Larry Nolan, www.TeamSpecializedRacing.com
4x UCI Masters World Points Race Champion
4x USA Masters National Points Race Champion
USA Cycling Level 2 Coach
Sunday, July 13th 4pm-7pm
Listen, learn and practice all of the subtleties of Points Racing
* sprint * attack * breakaway * flick * hook * razor * box * pin * faking * add points in your head * know the USCF rules * utilize your resources * learn to gamble on the bike * take a lap * what are your competitors doing to you? * what are you doing to your competitors? * take a wheel * give a wheel * playing to your strengths * minimize your weaknesses * training for points racing * become a better criterium racer *
Come rested or come tired. Come to this clinic if you want to learn. You can work as much as you like or learn the skills without working hard.
Cost is $30. First 5 juniors are FREE.
Call or e-mail to reserve one of only 30 spots today.
Larry Nolan, TeamNolan@hotmail.com 510.790.0118