Friday, July 31, 2009

Wiggins Walking the Walk

With his fourth placed finish in the recently completed Tour de France, it would be easy for some in this ultra skeptical, almost completely cynical, world of professional cycling to doubt the performance of Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream).

But whether it has been in Olympic competition on the track or during even the lesser known road races, Wiggins has always been at the forefront of offering himself up for testing. With the backing of Team Garmin-Slipstream, which has been dedicated to total transparency and ethical sportsmanship since its inception, the team, at the request of Wiggins, has released his hemoglobin and off score data from 2008 training camp through the 2009 Tour de France. This profile indicates no evidence of blood manipulation.


“Brad is an exceptionally talented athlete and it was great to see him do so well in the Tour de France. He’s always been an outspoken advocate of clean cycling. He requested that we release his results after the Tour and his decision makes me and the entire team proud,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports.

We can only hope that measures such as these can lead to a greater transparency within the sport, and a cleaner peloton now and in the future.

Team Type 1’s Seehafer Fifth At Elite Road Nationals, Crowell Third For U23

Bend, Ore.Kori Seehafer’s bid for a solo victory at the USA Cycling Elite National Championship Road Race came up a few miles short Thursday.

The Team Type 1 rider was caught and passed by a group of four riders within three miles of the finish of the 67-mile (107.5 km) race that was run on the challenging Awbrey Butte circuit around Bend, Ore.

Seehafer finished fifth as Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO) soloed to the win, ahead of Christina Ruiter (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team) and Kristen Lasasso (Team Lip Smacker).

Amy Drombroski (Webcor Builders Women's Professional Cycling Team) earned the Under 23 national title while Team Type 1’s Jacquelyn Crowell finished third in that category. The elite and age group categories competed together on the course that included more than 1,000 feet of climbing on each of the four laps of a 17-mile (27 km) circuit.

Seehafer said she did what she could to hang on after attacking with 15 miles to go and building a 35-second gap that forced a reaction from the field and the formation of the eventual four-rider chase group.

“I got caught at the right turn at the base of the last climb,” Seehafer said after her best finish at road nationals since a sixth-place in 2007. “I stayed with them until you take the right turn – about five kilometers from the finish. At that point, I was hurting and got dropped on the little climb. Then I caught up with them, only to watch Meredith attack and get off solo. Then I got dropped again.”

Initially, the group chasing Seehafer numbered five and included Team Type 1’s Jen McRae, who – like teammates Alison Powers, Samantha Schneider and Crowell – had been monitoring riders trying to mount the chase.

“I ended up covering the decisive move that went to Kori, but I just couldn’t say with them on that climb,” McRae said.

Seehafer said if she had to do it all over again, she would have kept riding hard after catching the four.

“My mistake was that when I caught them after chasing back, I should have gone straight through them instead of sitting up,” she said. “I just don’t have the acceleration after an effort like that.”

Crowell, who finished second in the USA Cycling Collegiate National Road Race Championships earlier this year, was pleased with her third-place finish among riders 23 or younger. More important than a strong finish, she said, was to try and help Seehafer get the win.

“I saw the attack with Amy (Drombroski) go and my teammate, Jen (McRae), was immediately on it,” Crowell said. “Once you see your teammate on an attack you can’t do anything. So I just let it go and hoped it would come back.”

Powers, Seehafer and Crowell will compete in the individual time trial Friday. Team Type 1’s Jeff Bannink is entered in the Elite men’s division. He was one of eight riders who have Type 1 diabetes who competed in – and won – the Race Across America (RAAM) in June.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Team Type 1 Women Aim For National Titles

Bend, Ore. – The Team Type 1 women’s professional squad has its sights set on challenging for a national title or two at this week’s USA Cycling Elite National Championships in Bend, Ore.

The first-year team’s best chances to put riders on the podium come in Thursday’s road race, the Elite and Under 23 individual time trials on Friday and Sunday’s Under 23 criterium.

Team Type 1’s Alison Powers is favored to successfully defend her national title in the 21-mile (35 km) elite time trial. Teammates Kori Seehafer and Jacquelyn Crowell will also race against the clock over nearly the same course that they did in last week’s Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

Team Type 1 Director Jack Seehafer said that is one factor playing into his riders’ favor.

“Also, with it being a longer course, it definitely suits Alison and Kori,” he said. “In a sense, it’s good that Alison lost the time trial during Cascade because she’s focused and fired up to get the job done.”

Last year, on a hilly course that ran through Santiago Canyon in Irvine, Calif., Powers beat Mara Abbott (Team Columbia-HTC) in the time trial by 99 seconds.

In Thursday morning’s 67-mile (107.5 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race – another course used in last week’s Cascade Classic – Kori Seehafer will be Team Type 1’s protected rider. Each of the four laps of the 17-mile (27 km) circuit feature more than 1,000 feet of climbing. Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) is the defending champion.

“Because of the climbing, it’s definitely going to eliminate a lot of the sprinter-type riders,” Jack Seehafer said. “It is definitely going to favor more of an all-around rider. Hopefully, we can get Jen (McRae) up and over the climb because we need her at the end. Depending on how the race is going, we might have Alison (Powers) shut it down early, just to make sure she’s good and ready for the time trial the next day.”

Weather may play also play a factor in the ultimate selection, Jack Seehafer said.

“It’ll be a cool morning start and in the 90s by the time they finish,” he said. “It won’t be as bad as it was for some of the road races during Cascade. That might make for more aggressive racing.”

Following a day off, Crowell, Morgan Patton and Samantha Schneider look to reach the podium for Team Type 1 in the 21-mile (35 km) Under 23 criterium. Last year’s race came down to a field sprint for the stars-and-stripes jersey, with Beatriz Rodriguez beating Kacey Manderfield and Amara Boursaw.

“We’ll look for Jackie to get in a breakaway because she has the motor and that’s her style of racing,” Jack Seehafer said. “If it comes down to a field sprint, we’ll be looking at Sam or Morgan.”

Patton is one of two riders with Type 1 diabetes on the Team Type 1 women’s professional team. She must carefully monitor her blood sugar level during competition because her body does not naturally produce insulin.

Team Type 1 Elite Team member Jeff Bannink, who also has Type 1 diabetes, is competing in the elite men’s 21-mile (35 km) individual time trial on Friday. Last month, the 38-year-old Beaverton, Ore., resident was a member of the Team Type 1 squad that bettered the Race Across America (RAAM) record on its way to winning the 3,012-mile (4,861 km) transcontinental race.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kenda's Numainville Victorious at 2nd Annual Chicago Criterium

Chicago, IL – Fresh from a Gold Medal performance in the 99km road race at the Pan American Games in Hidalgo, Mexico, Joëlle Numainville (Team Kenda) would win Sunday's 2nd Annual Chicago Criterium ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Sarah Caravella (ALAN), respectively.

The 21-year-old barely had time to celebrate her Pan American victory for her native Canada before she boarded a plane destined for Chicago. She would arrive late on Saturday night to join her teammates.

Because of the short turn around, the goal for the 50-minutes plus 2-laps criterium was to respond to any moves put forth by the peloton to protect Numainville and ensure no missed opportunities for a win.

The team, which included Catherine Walberg, Ashley James, Christy Keely and team captain, Kristin Wentworth executed to perfection. With the largest presence of the thirty-five woman field, Team Kenda would also win several primes during the women's Cat 1/2/3 race to go along with the overall victory.


In the final lap several riders shuffled, but Numainville’s only concern was to grab a good wheel despite being marked by several riders. Joëlle indicated that she was confident in her ability to drill it straight into the finish and thanked her teammates for their help in making the win possible.


Results - Women 1/2/3

1. Joëlle Numainville (Team Kenda)
2. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
3. Sarah Caravella (ALAN)

Photos:
Paul Forsythe

Triple Exclusive - An Interview with PROMAN's Nicola Cranmer


At the highest level of the sport, the Directeur Sportif, or sporting director, manages the daily operations of the cycling team. Often times you will see them following their riders in the team car, communicating with them about tactics, race situations, or upcoming terrain, and even provide some mechanical assistance. But at the lower levels of the sport, the responsibilities of the sporting director, or team manager, can run the full gambit of things, from pinning race numbers on jerseys or filling water bottles to sending out newsletters or even being the team masseuse.

Such is the life of Nicola Cranmer, Team Manager for the PROMAN Hit Squad. Since founding the California based women’s cycling team in 2006, Nicola has taken it from regional amateur team to national elite professional team, and now to UCI track team. In doing so, she has helped foster the dreams of the individuals she has worked with as well as precipitated the agenda of all women in cycling.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Nicola to discuss PROMAN’s newly formed Junior Development program, garner her perspective on women’s cycling, and explore her own passions as a cyclist.

Granny’s 30 (G): From your bio, you stated that you were previously an apprentice jockey, did you grow up around horses?

Nicola Cranmer (NC): Yes, you could say that in a sense, the horses were mostly on television; it certainly wasn’t a glamorous poetic introduction to them.

My dad is a huge horse racing fan, so I grew up with him jumping up and down on the edge of the sofa screaming ‘go on my son, come on come on! Betting on horses is legal everywhere in England and its quite common to pop down to the local bookies on a Saturday morning, get some fish and chips and a few pints and either watch racing at home or at the pub. My dad would bet a few pounds on a horse for himself and for me. Mostly I picked horses for their name back then, later on form. I was one of those girls that had every inch of her bedroom wall covered with pictures of horses; most of my friends had pictures of Duran Duran, Starsky and Hutch or the Human League, horses most certainly kept me out of trouble [that came later].

My mum when she was younger used to baby-sit for one of the leading thoroughbred trainers in England – Sir Gordon Richards; she stayed in touch with him and occasionally rode his horses. I remember one day I must have been about seven or eight I watched my mum riding, she was challenged by the man she was riding with to a race, they galloped across a field neck and neck it was very exciting, my Mum won the ‘race’ and it left quite an impression on me. I was then hooked. We were quite poor growing up although I didn’t realize it at the time, so I could never afford to have a horse of my own. I worked in a riding school on the weekends in exchange for free riding lessons; I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. My grandparents lived in a village where there was a training facility, so when I finished my secondary modern school, I moved in with them and worked for one of the leading trainers in the UK.

G: Were you ever into equestrian riding or was it purely racing? If racing, what type, flat or steeplechase?

NC: I competed in gymkhanas at about age 12 and a little cross-country; I went straight into thoroughbred racing at age 16. I was fortunate enough to work in the top yard in the country for a trainer, David Elsworth. In my first year in horse racing, one of the horses I took care of, Melindra won at Royal ascot, I got to meet the queen mum, that’s where the glamorous side of horse racing came in. Melindra was a very sassy two year old filly that was rescued by a police woman from a knackers yard, (slaughter house) turns out she was a really good sprinter, of course it was a rags to riches story that the media loved. It’s sort of the equivalent of an unknown rider winning Flanders.

It was a mixed yard, both flat and steeplechase.

G: How did you get into the sport of cycling? Did you ride prior to your move to California…before your mountain biking days?

NC: The only bike riding I ever did in England was a way of avoiding drinking and driving, although you could still get arrested for being drunk on a bike. The good thing was the local police man rode a bike and I was pretty sure I could out ride him if I needed to

There is a huge pub culture in England and it’s just what you do, if you weren’t paralytic by 11pm (pub closing) it just wasn’t a good night out. It’s weird thinking about it now, but it’s part of life there. I was 17 at the time. I lived in a little village and would ride my bike to the pub – skirt, heels and all. I think my bike had 3 gears but I didn’t really ever use them. It also had a dynamo light which was really tricky when riding home from the pub at night, struggling up the hill with the light getting dimmer and dimmer and finally stopping at the top, the first few feet of the descent it was pitch black until the dynamo got working again! Once in a while my skirt would get sucked into the oily chain, I mostly wore black then so it didn’t bother me much. It would have been far too sensible and not very fashionable to put trousers and trainers (sneakers) on.

I moved to California in 1986, primarily because I needed to take some time off from riding horses due to an injury, I decided to move to California for six months. While I was here I met a guy, Dan Lewbin, then expert National XC Champ, in the local bike shop – Planeaway Bikes, formerly the Koski Brother’s Cove Bike Shop in Tiburon (The Koski Brothers are the less known pioneers of mountain biking), who asked if I would like to go riding one day. I actually purchased a road bike first and would go on long rides by myself. I had no clue as to what I was doing. I would pack a lunch; slices of cheese, ham or salami and weird things like that…sometimes I would be out there all day.

I eventually borrowed a mountain bike and went riding with Dan and his friends who belonged to a sort of renegade outlaw team, DFL - "Dead Fucking Last," I quickly became a ‘member.’ At that time, mountain bike racing was so fun with classic races like Shasta Lemurian, Revenge of the Siskyous, TNT, Rockhopper, etc. These were more point-to-point or big epic loop races, which have now been replaced in favor of more spectator friendly lap races. It was good times, with bands and kegs at the finishes. I was naturally quite good and progressed quickly from sport to expert cross country, then to pro downhill. I raced for WTB and later PROFLEX. WTB now sponsors my team with tires and saddles.

In 1997, my life abruptly changed and so did my bike racing career, which I hesitate to call a career as I wasn’t getting paid. While riding my mountain bike on a Mount Tam fire road, I got a speeding ticket (yes, the state park rangers would literally hide behind trees on fire roads with radar guns), which led to a refusal of entry back into the US due to an over stayed visa. As I was not allowed to be let back into the US for over two years, I moved back to London, and signed with Lennox Lewis’s sports agency as a mountain biker.

My three years back in the UK were pretty incredible though. I met some wonderful people; one of them would eventually be the title sponsor of the team that I was to start 8 years later. It’s quite a long story, but a fascinating one for another day!

I moved back to the States in 2001 and then found myself back on the bike again. Simon Andalib, former Village Peddler employee/bike racer, was responsible for getting me back into racing, and pro mountain biker Chris Greene was a huge support and training partner.

G: What was your motivation behind starting up a cycling team?

NC: My main motivation…racing on a co-ed team I noticed that the men got more support than the women. This was frustrating so I decided to form a women’s team. I quickly found a shop sponsor, Paradigm Cycles, which at the time was owned by Julia Violich. Julia who is also the current 40+ national XC champ and 2nd placed finisher at Masters Worlds, has since sold the shop, and assists as our sponsorship director. It would be impossible running the team without her support.

Our title sponsor came to us very quickly too, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. PROMAN – PROject MANagement is a German engineering company, one of the biggest in the world, they certainly don’t need the advertising. They sponsor the team solely to assist its athletes attaining their goals and dreams; a very unique situation. I am eternally grateful for their support.

G: When you decided to start up the team, what was the hardest thing about starting it up? What turned out to be easier than you thought?

NC: The title sponsor came very easily, that was huge! Starting the team was actually one of those serendipitous moments where everything flowed. Not saying anything was really easy, it’s always been hard work, which is something I am not afraid of. I think the hardest thing is being taken seriously. It seems you have to pay your dues in road cycling for people to respect you. The team is rolling into its 4th year and I think we are gaining respect both on and off the bike. The road scene is pretty tight knit and I would say much of the respect is gained off the bike; integrity and a good sense of humor go a long way. There have been times that have challenged me beyond what I thought was my capacity but I seem to be coming out of it all OK. I have certainly made plenty of mistakes along the way. I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not, I don’t pretend to even know what I am doing – I am just doing it to the best of my ability with what I know. I think it’s a continual learning process and I enjoy pushing myself to become better at what I do. I love the sport of cycling and intend to be here for a long time. It’s a wonderful community of people and I have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.

We are at a point in the team’s growth where we are outgrowing our title sponsor. Although PROMAN will continue to support us I need to generate more sponsor dollars to give the athletes what they deserve. There is just so much that I want to do. We rely on private donations from fans, family and friends, even cyclists from other teams have contributed in the past. Without this kind of support we would not exist. We are definitely a community effort.

G: As Team Manager for PROMAN Hit Squad what are your responsibilities?

NC: Well, this may take a while, I do everything from securing sponsorships, order clothing, take care of logistics, update the blog, write newsletter, fill water bottles, recruiting and even occasionally massages, I was a massage therapist for 11 years – you name it I do it. It wouldn’t be fair to say I am a one-woman show, but I do take care of the meat of the project and I couldn’t do it without the help of the team and friends. I definitely need to delegate more. I think most people have no idea what goes into running a team. I really almost have three teams to run, road, cross and track, which is split into two categories domestic and UCI. The UCI team has been a challenge; one of our riders Shelley Olds has excelled beyond belief and will continue to do so.


I formed the UCI team two years ago to enable Shelley to compete at the highest level of track racing, the World Cup circuit. Last year we were in Sydney, Beijing, LA and Copenhagen. This year Manchester and Melbourne, and she raced Copenhagen with the US National team. It’s been a great experience and an interesting one. I sit at managers’ meetings at these World Cup events and I am the only woman team owner in a room of about 150 managers and coaches, there are other women coaches and managers but very few (by the way, some assume I am the masseuse).

I would like to see more women in leadership roles in cycling especially in track racing. Working with former Saturn director, Giana Roberge has been instrumental in my growth and confidence. Her years of experience brought professionalism and high expectation to the team. I have learned a lot from her and take my responsibilities very seriously. Giana has since stepped away from her directing role with the birth of her first child. One of my biggest responsibilities is to the athletes on the team who not only show ability on the bike but passion loyalty, dedication and a trust in me to assist them with their goals.

Shelley Olds plays an important role as my partner on the team, her dedication and vision is so strong. Shelley has had opportunities to join other teams, and certainly get paid better, but she is determined to create the kind of environment that will allow her to follow her dream of the 2012 Olympics. She is a natural leader and has inspired me to reach for higher goals than I would have imagined. Her fiancé Rob Evans has also been a significant in developing a business strategy for the team for the future. Tim Brennan, team mechanic and sounding board, has also been a dedicated supporter of the team, taking care of everything technical and just basically being a good ear when times get rough. My ringtone on his phone is the pinball machine…I think that tells you a lot!


Julia Violich has also been a rock. She is a dedicated supporter of everything cycling, who I could not do without. We are also very fortunate to be joined by Cari Higgins, 4-time elite track champ. Cari fits well into our program, she has a strong track focus and dedicates much time to mentoring juniors in her hometown of Boulder, CO. Rachel Lloyd is another key member, she keeps things dirty with her Cross and Super D skills and is also a natural with the juniors. All team members contribute in one way or another and without the support of these people there would be no team.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention any and all of our sponsors: PROMAN, Violich Farms, Paradigm Cycles, BMC Bikes, Cane Creek Wheels, SRAM Bike Components, Enduro Bearings, Rudy Project, Voler Clothing, JL Racing Clothing, Skins, Northwave Shoes, WTB Tires & Saddles, Arundel Cage & Bar Tape. Sapim Spokes, Velocity Rims, Dumondetech Lube, Pure Swiss Water, Mez Design, CLIF Bar, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Whole Athlete, Marin Spine & Wellness, Larkspur Hotels, Northpoint Advisors, and Brake Through Media.

G: Some former band/orchestra members who have gone up front [of the band] with the baton have stated that it's hard to jump back in [for whatever reason], have you found that with your managing a team and racing for it?

NC: The first two years it was not a problem for me to manage and race as we were racing at a regional level and the team was smaller. Things changed; however, going into the third year when NRC races came into the picture, and now UCI. It’s very important to have a solid foundation by which to operate a team, and I have come to terms that I will be racing less. I am ok with that. I think racing with the team on occasion has its definite advantages. Although all the girls appreciate what I do as a manager there is nothing quite like sacrificing your personal race for another, it forms a deep bond and a different level of appreciation.

Managing has its own set of challenges to keep me focused. I will jump in a few crits this year to help my teammates but I will focus mostly on track racing. My goals will be at Masters Track Nationals and hopefully Masters Track Worlds. But the girls on the team are so dedicated and focused that they deserve more attention, although they constantly remind me to focus on myself. My priority as far as the team goes is them. If I can provide a situation where all they have to worry about is racing their bike I will be happy. That being said, most of the current team members are very active in the team’s growth off the bike as well. We do have a great support crew.

G: Mountain or Road?

NC: Mountain for the soul, the big drop offs and technical descents, road for the grace, sprints and team efforts

G: Road or Track?

NC: Track for the speed and tangibility and to increase power for the road

G: Crits or Stage Races?

NC: Crit slut all the way! I am starting to appreciate more and more the beauty and challenges of the stage race though.

G: With your title sponsor (PROMAN) in Dusseldorf, Germany has there been any talk/consideration of the team racing in Europe?

NC: Yes we have considered racing the road team in Europe, it’s very expensive to send a team but we certainly hope to, the Spring Classics would be a priority if we had the budget. The UCI track team has raced two World Cup seasons overseas. Since we first chatted, PROMAN riders, Shelley Olds, Rachel Lloyd & Megan Guarnier, Ashley Dymond and Coryn Rivera have raced for the US National team in Europe. Shelley competed in Italy on the track and was on the podium all three days of racing and was on the podium at a World Cup. Megan also competed in races in Italy, Belgium and France, including the Spring Classic – Tour of Flanders. Both Shelley and Megan also recently competed in the Giro d’Italia Femminile. Betina Hold also headed to Europe to race for the Canadian National Team.

We have Jim Miller to thank for these opportunities internationally. These kinds of experiences are invaluable to our athletes and will add to the depth of our young squad. Jim has developed an outstanding women’s program and works very closely with developing domestic teams. He is very modest in regards to his achievements but I am very grateful for his focus on women’s racing.

I also want to mention two other people, Michael Engleman and Kristin Armstrong. Michael Engleman’s contribution to women’s cycling in the form of The U.S Women’s Cycling Development Program (USWCDP) is crucial to the maintenance & growth of the sport. Likewise, Kristin Armstrong's contribution to cycling as a whole and to women's cycling specifically is immeasurable. The newly formed Kristin Armstrong Academy is instrumental in the development of our young riders.

BMC bicycles, based in Switzerland and distributed by QBP, is working with the team for the second year. We had an opportunity to visit the facility last summer, and it is an amazing place. All the guys who work for BMC are a great. We are the first U.S women’s team that BMC has worked with and I am really grateful for their support, and the support of women’s racing.

G: Where do you see PROMAN/ Racing in the future…with a full U23 Development squad…as a UCI team racing both in the US and in Europe?

NC: My vision for the team has become apparent and crystal clear in the past couple of months. Creating our junior program is very exciting.

The junior development compliments our elite program offering accomplished riders an opportunity to pass along experience and wisdom. It is my hope that the team can offer the juniors an environment where they can develop their cycling skills, achieve their personal goals in competition and to encourage and maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as creating future ambassadors for women's cycling. It’s easy to talk the talk but we are truly walking it and have an international vision for our development program.

I feel that an investment in junior riders, girls in particular, is crucial to the growth of women's racing in the US. Recently appointed USAC athletic director, Jim Miller, has assured me that he will continue to focus on women's development. Miller has successfully developed the women's road endurance program that has resulted in world class contenders and Olympic gold.

It was an easy choice for us to include juniors in our program. You don't get the instant podium gratification that you would if I used the budget to hire elite riders, but PROMAN team members are in this for the long haul and we hope to contribute more to women's cycling than a win on any given weekend. Don't get me wrong, its fun to win and see the athletes achieve their performance goals but we are dedicated to taking this program well past the podium and helping secure the future of women’s cycling.


Although we are the USA’s premiere women's track team, our focus is definitely more diverse, spanning road, cross track and mountain. I feel it’s important to expose all of our juniors to every discipline defining a focus can come much later. It is my goal to get two of our juniors to World Cup level in the next two years. I would like to do it sooner but to compete at the elite World Cup level the rider has to be at the racing age of 18. Our riders range from ages 12 – 16 years old. The two I have in mind will be ready as soon as they are 17-years-old, so in 2010 and 2011 expect to see two of our juniors racing Track World Cups…the Road to 2016 Olympics is already being paved.


We currently have four junior girls from the Bay Area, where the team is based. We wanted to be very hands on in our first year in order to discover the needs of these young athletes. We plan on expanding it into a national program in the future. We have also added Coryn Rivera, who at 16-years-old holds 21 national titles, road, track and cross, to the roster. She will be focusing on Junior Worlds as well as some NRC races. On junior gearing, she has wins at this year’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, the San Rafael Twilight Criterium, and on Saturday she pulled off her biggest win in the Downtown Bend Criterium, which is part of the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Current National champions, Shelley Olds and Cari Higgins and I will be scouting for new juniors throughout the year. It’s our aim to establish more programs throughout the US over the next few years. Budget is our only limiting factor. I am finding many more companies, even industry sponsors, are keen to assist in the development of future athletes. I am hoping that this is an indicator of a promising future for our program; after all it secures their future consumer base! It is apparent that there is a need for more junior girls programs; this was evident by the number of resumes I received from many aspiring athletes, mostly from the USA but also from Australia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Our program is designed to take care of a rider from junior through elite. There are other junior programs as well as pro women's teams out there, but its in-between where lots of girls fall through the cracks. It’s my hope to bridge that gap. While focusing on juniors with world level potential, it’s my hope to offer a club program to young girls that just enjoy riding and competing at regional levels but will have a support system and resources to tap into. Again, the infrastructure for this is set and the wheels are in motion, it just requires a bigger budget.

Supporting juniors comes with a lot of responsibility, which we take very seriously, there are challenges involved. Of course there is a huge emphasis and encouragement on schoolwork.

The junior are an integral part of the team, their unbridled enthusiasm, is infectious and breathes vibrancy into it.

G: PROMAN won the NCNCA Women's Premiere Series in 2006 & 2007, had exceptional results at the 2008 US Track Nationals…what are the team goals this year…your personal goals?

NC: As far as team goals, a national jersey in every discipline wouldn’t be too farfetched: road, track, mountain and cross. And to see the team grow and succeed both on and off the bike, community is a big part of the plan for PROMAN Racing. I would also like to see continued development of women’s track and road racing in the US. A goal is to add more women’s stages to the Amgen Tour of California, and this could potentially happen. This year’s criterium, while a little early in the NRC calendar, was even more well received than last year. It’s very important for women’s racing to be associated with the rolling Amgen Tour of California media machine and other U.S tours.

Increased media exposure for Women’s racing is necessary to leverage more sponsorship dollars. Last year, PROMAN hosted the first International Style Omnium at Hellyer Velodrome. Because of its success, it will now be contested at the national level at the USAC Track Nationals in October.

G: What was your best moment on a bicycle…the worst?

NC: Best - Thousand Esses (Laguanitas fire break) it was a beautiful summer day or at least I remember it that way. I was riding with a few guys and we were going to poach some illegal single track, this trail was particularly challenging and there was a section near the top of the trail that very few people had conquered. That particular day I felt really confident dropping into the trail, I even said out loud that I was going to clean it today. It actually wasn’t even a trail but a firebreak; it was steep and loose. The guys I was riding with started ahead of me and they were waiting at the most difficult section as we were going to practice it. Well I was relaxed and happy and started in on the descent, I gracefully approached the difficult section with my eyes fixed on the trail ahead, it felt like I just floated over it and continued on, past my friends and just kept going. My friends were astonished, as was I. That was about 13 years ago and they still talk about it. The trail seems to have gotten steeper over the years and the drop off even bigger, but hey that’s the stuff legends are made of and that day, in my mind, I was one!

Worst moment had to be riding in the Mount Shasta area the day began clear and sunny but at about the 4th hour of riding a snow storm blew in and I had a long road descent, I was the most cold I had ever been, I could barely brake and my tears froze! I felt cold for days after.

G: Your most memorable race…your most forgetful?

NC: Let’s start with the worst. Worst race would have to be as a cat 3 on the road – Snelling road race. I was on third wheel going into the final half kilometer, with the field a few meters behind, this was a very rough road aptly named the cheese grater. I had a front tire blow out and went down immediately, after that it was carnage; the noise was something I will never forget, half the peloton rode over me. I ended up with some separated ribs, lots of road rash and tire burns on my neck and back where I had literally been ridden over. There were gals who were far worse off than me, including Tracey Ford who was racing for a rival team and she lost the tip of her finger. I felt really awful. Although it was an accident and no one blamed me, it was a tough time for sure. I personally contacted all involved that I knew were hurt.

Most memorable...I have won several races but somehow the moments that spring to mind are the races I have performed a solid lead out or bridged a team mate to a break or brought back a break. I do get great satisfaction out of team work, but yes its fun to win. One particularly memorable moment was helping Tracey Ford win the Fidelity Burlingame Criterium 2 years ago. Yes, the same Tracey who had lost the tip of her finger in the horrible Snelling crash!

Burlingame was a goal race for her. I had flown back the night before from my managerial duties at Nature Valley GP where Shelley Olds ended up 6th in the GC. I was feeling like crap, it had been a tough week. During the race I felt as though I could not hold my position, with three laps to go I could see that Tracey was not in a good spot, she was 2nd wheel and would find herself at the front much too early. I am not sure what happened in that moment but I knew that I was committed to helping her win, I went from the back of the field to the front, picked up Kristin along the way, leaving Tracey third wheel, I put the hammer down and went as hard as I could for over a lap to ensure no surge from behind, I pulled off with two turns to go leaving Kristin to finish the job for Tracey. Tracey won and was so grateful. It’s amazing where you can find strength when someone is depending on you. We have a lot of gals on the team that will bury themselves for the cause. It wasn’t a national level race but the satisfaction of helping a team mate achieve a goal was what mattered.

G: What did you think about Georgia Gould's petitioning the UCI for "Equal Pay"?

NC: I signed it and I agree that women should get equal pay but I am not sure if contacting the UCI directly on this is the only answer, although of course they have the power to implement the rule. It’s the race promoters who need to understand that women deserve equal pay – it’s a numbers game when you look at it from a business perspective and more men generally enter the races. But yes, absolutely women dedicate just as much of their lives to training and racing and in my opinion actually make more sacrifices so they deserve equal pay. This is different as it is salary but in a UCI track trade team contract, minimum wage (approx $12,000) is to be paid to both male and female racers annually.

G: You've stated that the team is somewhere in between a professional team and an amateur one. What are the unique challenges that you're confronted with "straddling both canoes," so to speak?

NC: The biggest challenge is man power. I want to be able to support a regional team as well as a pro team but it’s become apparent that I cannot do it all and will be focusing on a UCI track trade team and a small road team in 2009. This will allow me time to contribute in other areas of cycling, such as race promotion and to do a better job of managing. I am determined to make a stamp in the world of track racing, there needs to be more support for women also in road racing too but there are already some strong women ambassadors for the road.

G: You have two riders in Shelley Olds and Rachel Lloyd who have proven that they can compete on a world stage, how do you support their efforts while building that team of riders to support them?

NC: Both Shelley and Rachel’s disciplines; track and cyclocross are not so team oriented, it’s the road racing that brings the team together. They both enjoy being part of a team during the road season as it takes the pressure off the individual performance. Shelley’s goal was to podium at a track World Cup this year and to develop as a track racer with the ultimate goal of the Points race at the 2012 Olympics. She achieved the first goal. I have decided to put a strong focus in this area; it is something I love to do.

Rachel had similar goals for this year, which perhaps will be her last at the World Cup level of cyclocross. It was a difficult decision for me, but this season, so Rachel could get the level of support she deserves, she will be racing on another team with a very strong cross identity. With an already stretched out budget with increasing costs of international travel it seemed like the best thing for Rachel. It was a tough choice for both of us as she is very loyal and we are also great friends. She has rejoined us for road races in 2009.

G: Riders and teams come and go, but women’s cycling seems to be getting hit fairly hard with sponsors pulling out for the 2009 season. First, what is appealing about women’s cycling relative to men’s cycling? What do you think should change in women's cycling to get people, and sponsors, more interested and excited about it?

NC: This is a question that quite honestly bewilders me. I see the massive marketing potential in women athletes but it seems to be a sentiment that is not shared. There is a fine line between exploiting women's sexuality and women’s athleticism in cycling...it seems to be defined as one or the other, I think marketing strategists are confused by this. I recently spent time at the Amgen Tour of California and I was reminded of how the cycling industry is run primarily by men who show very little interest in women's cycling. Yes, some companies dedicate a few sponsorship dollars and product to a couple of teams for PR purposes, but in large part most companies are not very interested in the true development of women’s cycling. Men's teams get far more. There are a few industry companies; however that have put thought into women’s products. I have always been incredibly grateful for all the support but this gratitude can easily turn into frustration.

I believe women are far better ambassadors for the sport and the products they represent, for example, whenever the team travels internationally we take an extra few days to visit sponsors or dealers where their products are sold or we visit local schools. Team members will make time for shop rides or rides with local clubs. We are always well received wherever we go. Team members constantly reach out to the public to promote their sport. I can honestly say this is true of most women’s teams.

Women’s racing is exciting, I know that the top women’s teams in the U.S are very conscious of the comparisons to men's racing and race aggressively and hard to keep it exciting.

There are many parallels between the cycling industry I am now immersed in, and the world of horse racing and soccer that I grew up in. The struggle for women is very apparent. I am not one for sugar coating and there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in women's cycling and I certainly don’t want to sound bitter but it’s a sport that is struggling to gain the attention and exposure it deserves. The women racers and team managers make incredible compromises and sacrifices to ensure that their teams are out there on the circuit. Demographics show that women purchase more bikes than men and support the sport financially.

So what's the problem?

I wish I knew the answer. Surely it cannot all be a focus on the Tour de France and other grand tours? I notice in certain popular online cycling magazines that the men and the women can compete in the same NRC event and the men's headline is always first and in bold and the women's underneath in a smaller font!

I do know that the bigger races in the USA should all include a women's event; it helps to be a part of a big media machine like Amgen Tour of California or Tour of Missouri as both of these races are working hard to include a women's event, it my hope to see an extension of the criterium at ATOC. A three day stage race would be a good start.

That being said, we are forging ahead with a new program model that will ensure longevity and continued growth in the sport. We have a team of very bright future stars, I used to love the expression, "sky’s the limit," but I think we can go further.

Photos: Rob Evans (first through third, fifth and seventh); Bob Cullinan, CycleTo (fourth and sixth)

Third At Cascade, Team Type 1’s Powers Wins WPCS

Bend, Ore. – Being called to stand on the final podium at a National Racing Calendar (NRC) event is becoming a familiar routine for Team Type 1’s Alison Powers.

For the sixth time this season, Powers finished in the top three to retain her lead in the NRC individual standings. With only five races remaining in the series and a more than 200-point lead over her nearest competitor, Powers all but has the title locked up.

“This is really great,” Powers said after finishing third at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic behind Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) and runner-up Amber Rais (Team TIBCO). “Every stage race is different. So it’s great that the best overall GC (general classification) rider wins it because you have to be good at every one. I am lucky I have had a good team to help me.”

Powers placed fifth on Sunday’s final stage, the Deschutes Brewery Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Kristin McGrath (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team) won the 52-mile (83 km) race ahead of Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO) and Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light).

But the third-place result overall was made all the more special because it crowned Powers the winner of the season-long Women’s Professional Cycling Series. The WPCS is a four-race event that also includes the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Joe Martin Stage Race and the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

Team Director Jack Seehafer said Powers’ accomplishment does not come as a surprise, despite Team Type 1 being a first-year women’s program.

“We knew the abilities of all of our riders and what they were capable of achieving,” he said. “So it was a matter of holding up to those expectations. We also knew Alison wanted to learn and grow as a stage racer. So we worked to fuel that passion and work with her to succeed in putting her on the podium in every stage race this year.”

Powers finished third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, first at the Joe Martin Stage Race, third at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and second at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Later this week, she will defend her national time trial title at the USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which also take place in Bend.

In the men’s race Sunday, Team Type 1’s Moises Aldape finished fourth in 83-mile (133 km) race as Matt Wilson wound up as the team’s best-placed overall finisher in eighth place. Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla won the race overall title.

Stage 6 Results
1. Kristin Mcgrath (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
2. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light

Final General Classification
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
7. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
8. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
9. Robin Farina (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
10. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Rock Racing’s Sevilla Conquers Cascade Classic


Bend, Ore.
— Rock Racing stamped its authority on the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in a big way during Sunday’s final stage of the six-day race in Bend, Ore.

Yellow jersey wearer Oscar Sevilla helped Rock Racing teammate Francisco Mancebo put in an attack in the final miles of the Deschutes Brewery Awbrey Butte Circuit Race that moved Mancebo from third to second overall in the final standings.

In addition to the 1-2 finish overall, Rock Racing also took home the team title to cap a week that saw it win two stages and place third in two others.

“It was a good job by the boys,” Rock Racing Team Director Lorenzo LaPage said. “This was a difficult racem but all season long, this team has shown that it is strong and every guy has good experience. They just keep getting better and better.”
Jeff Louder (BMC Pro Cycling) was the rider Mancebo displaced for second place. Louder finished 20 seconds behind Sevilla and Mancebo in the final 83-mile (133 km) race that was won by Anthony Colby (Colavita-Sutter Homes presented by Cooking Light).

About the only disappointment of the race, LaPage said, was a crash Sunday that left David Vitoria with a lot of road rash but no broken bones.

“Thankfully, he’s OK,” LaPage said. “The idea was to bring Sevilla, Pena and Mancebo into good position on the last lap but after he (Vitoria) fell off, we had to do all the work with just three guys.”

Sevilla’s victory is Rock Racing’s 30th on the year to go along with 63 podium (top three) placings. It is also the Spaniard’s first win at a stage race in the United States and his first overall victory at a stage race since capturing the RCN Classic in Colombia last October.

Stage 6 Results
1. Anthony Colby (USA) Colavita Sutter Home
2. Taylor Shelden (USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin
3. Alex Howes (USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin


Final General Classification

1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
3. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
4. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
5. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Matt Wilson (USA) Team Type 1
9. Steve Bovay (USA) BMC Racing Team
10. Chris Jones (USA) Team Type 1

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rock Racing’s Dominguez Dazzles Downtown Bend, PROMAN's Rivera Sparkles


Bend, Ore. — It took Rock Racing nearly the entire race to chase down a four-man breakaway Saturday night at the Downtown Bend Criterium at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

But once the catch was made, there was little doubt who would be the man of the moment.

Ivan Dominguez blazed down the long finishing stretch lined by a massive crowd to score Rock Racing’s second stage win. Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Homes presented by Cooking Light) finished second and Andrew Pinfold (OUCH presented by Maxxis) was third.

Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla, who won Stage 2 to take the overall lead, retained his yellow jersey, as there was no change in the overall standings.

The victory is Dominguez’s first since joining the Rock Racing team earlier last month. But he is no stranger to winning in Bend. Two years ago, the Cuban-born, U.S. citizen won this same stage (racing for the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) in a field sprint.

“The last win that I had was in Georgia (at the Tour de Georgia in April of 2008), so this feels great,” Dominguez said. “I like this sprint. It’s long – the way I like. I knew if I went with 300 meters to go that no one was going to pass me.”

Dominguez’s fast finish would not have been possible without the help of his Rock Racing teammates, who worked tirelessly to keep Kirk Carlsen (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin), Michael Creed (Team Type 1), Russ Langley (Battley Harley-Davidson) and Jackson Stewart (BMC Pro Cycling) from stealing the win. The four came within 15 seconds of catching the back of the field at one point.

But Rock Racing teamed up with OUCH presented by Maxxis and the two teams traded pulls to shave seconds off the advantage each time around the six-tenths-of-a-mile (1 km) course after the four riders’ lead peaked at 60 seconds with 35 minutes left in the 90-minute race.

“I said to the guys to keep the break there,” Dominguez said. “I told them we had to take care of the jersey. Tomorrow’s another day. We didn’t need to kill it. That was good for us.”

Sunday’s final stage is the 83-mile 133 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Sevilla leads Jeff Louder (BMC) by 40 seconds. Rock Racing’s Francisco Mancebo is in third, 1:00 back of Sevilla. A third rider from Rock Racing, Victor Hugo Peña, is seventh, 1:54 behind.


Stage 5 Results - Men
1. Ivan Dominguez (USA) Rock Racing
2. Alejandro Borrajo (Arg) Colavita-Sutter Home
3. Andrew Pinfold (Can) OUCH presentec by Maxxis

General Classification After Stage 5 - Men
1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (Rock Racing)
2. Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Tea)
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Rock Racing)
4. Ian Mckissick (BMC Racing Team)
5. Rory Sutherland OUCH presented by Maxxis)
6. Chris Baldwin (OUCH presented by Maxxis)
7. Victor Hugo Pena (Rock Racing)
8. Darren Lill (Team Type 1)
9. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team)
10. Matt Wilson (Team Type 1)

Youth Is Served
With much of the focus surrounding the precocious talents of Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders), who was still atop of the General Classification of the 30th Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic going into Saturday's Downtown Bend Criterium, it was easy to forget about all of the amazing talent within the Women's peloton.


Not to be overshadowed, Coryn Rivera (PROMAN Hit Squad) showed why she would also be a force to reckon with in the future. The 16-year-old Rivera, already a winner at this year's Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and San Rafael Twilight Criterium, would out kick Colavita's Tina Pic and Kristy Broun (Team Lip Smacker) to take the Downtown Bend Criterium.

Given the assembled field, this is undoubtedly Rivera's biggest win to date, and surprisingly all of it was done with junior gearing.

Stage 5 Results - Women
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Proman Hit Squad
2. Tina Pic (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home
3. Kristy Broun (Aus) Lip Smackers

General Classification After Stage 5 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders)
2. Amber Rais (Team TIBCO)
3. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
4. Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO)
5. Cath Cheatley (Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Katharine Carroll (Team TIBCO)
7. Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
8. Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smacker)
9. Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO)
10. Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO)

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages (top); Bob Cullinan, CycleTo (middle and bottom)

Lance: "It's been a very healthy experience"

Cavendish Cruises on Champs-Élysées, Contador Crowned - 96th Tour de France Stage 21


An exultant Alberto Contador (Astana) stood on top of the final Tour de France podium for the second time in his short cycling career. The 2007 Tour de France champion can now boast of consecutive Tour victories (a team exclusion in 2008 prevented him from defending his Tour crown) and a total of four consecutive Grand Tour championships (winner of the 2008 Giro d'Italia and 2008 Vuelta a Espana).

He is undoubtedly the strongest stage racer currently in the peloton.

Where The Tour Was Won
In looking back on the 96th Tour de France, many pundits will point to Contador's dominating performances on Stage 15, the climb to Verbier, and on Stage 18, winning the Individual Time Trial in Annecy, as keys to his overall victory. But the true foundation of his victory came in two seemingly insignificant gestures, both of which would raise questions of his tactical abilities and also his loyalties as a teammate.

The first was his late attack on Stage 7. Left out of the selection on the windy Stage 3, where he failed to keep the wheel of the rider in front of him, Contador would attack on the slopes of the Andorre Arcalis. His manuever would gain back the time that he lost on Stage 3, and effectively help him leapfrog his teammate, Lance Armstrong, in the overall standings by two seconds. Although neither teammate would claim the yellow jersey on that day, Contador placed himself in the better position to take it if Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) or his team failed to defend it.

The second was his late attack on Stage 17. On the Queen stage of this year's Tour, Contador's decision to attack on the final slope to La Grand Bornand helped elevate Andy and Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) in the overall standings, to second and third, while simultaneously putting time into his teammates, Lance Armstrong and Andreas Kloden, before the final time trial. Although many were focused on how Contador's actions essentially ruined the opportunity for an Astana sweep of the final Tour podium, it presented Contador with the comfortable proposition of having to out duel the Schleck brothers in the Annecy time trial rather than his more accomplished teammates.

Although both of his superlative efforts on Stage 15 and on Stage 18 ruled the above points of argument moot, if neither of these occurred we may be talking about Lance Armstrong's 8th Tour de France championship or Andy Schleck's first.

Cavendish's Half-Dozen
Before relief turned into exultation for Contador, the other matter of the drag race on the Champs-Élysées had to be settled. The other dominant force in this year's race, Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - HTC), would win easily and lead a Columbia 1-2 on the final stage of the 96th Tour de France. The victory marked his sixth during this year's race, and his tenth Tour win overall.

During the final finishing circuits; however, it looked as if Garmin-Slipstream had finally come up with a plan to diffuse the explosive Columbia - HTC locomotive. But lead-out men George Hincapie and Mark Renshaw would have none of it. When they launched their final assault, none were able to stay in their streamline. The 24-year-old from the Isle of Man cruised to a victory as final lead-out man Renshaw celebrated from behind and claimed second. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) would follow in third.


Stage 21 Results
1. Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - HTC)
2. Mark Renshaw (Team Columbia - HTC)
3. Tyler Farar (Garmin - Slipstream)

Final General Classification
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana - 81:46:17
2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:04:11
3. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana - 0:05:24
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:06:01
5. Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:06:04
6. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana - 0:06:42
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas - 0:07:35
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:12:04
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas - 0:14:16
10. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux - 0:14:25

Final Leaders' Jerseys Classification
Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana


Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team


Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas


Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank


Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas


Astana - Best Team Classification


Highlights & Revelations
  • Juergen van de Broeck (Silence-Lotto) - Could he be the next great Belgian stage racer?
  • Andy Shcleck (Team Saxo Bank) - Attacks like a fiend, and is improving in the time trial
  • Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) - On a team dominated by a sprinter, Martin did it mostly by himself.
  • Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) - Lighter and more effective, will he focus solely on the road?
  • Brice Feillu (Agritubel) - A French champion in the making?
  • Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) - An emotional win for a sprinter during a mountain stage
  • Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) - At 24-years-old, the sky is the limit.

Vélib' je t'aime - City of Lights to City of Bikes


Cycling has been a significant part of the French culture since the first Tour de France departed from Paris in 1903. But with the advent of the automobile, the streets of Paris have seen a steady decline of everyday cyclists, to the point where the activity might even be considered virtually extinct.

But a funny thing happened two years ago with the introduction of the bike sharing program known as Vélib', or roughly translated "free bikes," that caused author Jay Walljaspar to remark that "the City of Lights has become the City of Bikes."

Walljaspar would go on to write about the system,
"Few spots in Paris are more than a five minute stroll from one of the 1,451 Vélib' sidewalk stations...The idea is to encourage short trips - running errands, meeting friends at a cafe, pedaling to a metro stop - so there are plenty of bikes available for everyone to use....Users can buy a daily ($1.40), weekly ($7) or yearly ($40) pass at any bike station with a credit card, from which a deposit will be taken in case the bike never returns."
None to surprisingly, there was upsurge of bicycle use with its launch in July of 2007, making the once seemingly arduous activity "fashionable" and placing auto users on the defensive.

Although there has been a recent spike in bicycle thefts, which has brought into question whether the demise of the system is impending, Vélib' has converted the city that host the most famous bicycle race from one that watches people ride bicycles to one that actually uses them.

Numerous cities in the United States, such as Washington, DC, have successfully employed similar bike sharing programs, but none are as extensive as those found in Europe.

Team Type 1’s Leal Wins Bronze At Pan Am Games

Hidalgo, Mexico – Team Type 1’s Veronica Leal won a bronze medal Friday at the Pan American Games women’s road race in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Leal was part of a five-rider group that contested the sprint at the end of the 83-mile (99 km) race. Joelle Numainville of Canada won the gold medal and Paola Munoz of Chile took the silver.

“That’s a great result for her,” Team Type 1 women’s Team Director Jack Seehafer said. “She kept feeling better and better on every lap and I think the criteriums here in the United States have helped improve her sprint.”

In 2006, Leal’s Team Type 1 teammate and Seehafer’s wife, Kori, won the silver medal in the Pan Am Games road race while riding for the United States.

Leal narrowly missed adding a second medal to her collection on Thursday when she finished fourth in the 12.3-mile (19.8 km) individual time trial. Alessandra Giuseppina Grassi Herrera of Mexico won the gold in 29 minutes and 10 seconds. Tara Whitten of Canada was second, 36 seconds behind, and Valeria Muller of Argentina finished third, 1:01 back. Leal’s time was 1:21 slower than Grassi Herrera.

“I was feeling great, but I did feel the effects of the high altitude,” Leal said. “But I’m still very, very happy.”

The Pan Am Games were originally scheduled for mid-May, but were delayed due to the H1N1 virus outbreak.

Jack Seehafer said Leal’s performance sets the stage for a run at more medals at next weekend’s Mexican national road and time trial championships.

“It’s good to see Veronica getting used to her Orbea Ordu time trial bike,” he said. “I also think the road race at nationals is very well suited for her to win the (national championship) jersey.”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Team Type 1’s Powers Climbs To Third Overall


Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort – Team Type 1 women’s Team Director Jack Seehafer told Alison Powers the climb to the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort suited her. But Powers said she wasn’t so convinced.

"After the climb two days ago and how poorly I did in the time trial (third) Thursday, I didn’t have much confidence,” Powers said. “It’s amazing how fast you can lose your self-confidence.”

But those doubts were swept away on the ascent to the finish of the 71-mile (114 km) race when Powers found herself in the final selection. By the time the race reached the parking lot of the ski resort, only race leader Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) was up ahead and Powers found herself sprinting against Amber Rais (Team TIBCO) for second place.

"The final climb was perfect for me," Powers said. "It was not very steep, with a gentle grade, and those are the ones where I can do the best. What I didn’t realize was that we would ride all the way around the parking lot. I was getting quite tired at that point, so Amber was able to sit on and then sprint around me.”

The third-place finish was Powers' second straight of the six-day race and moved her into third place overall, one minute and 39 seconds behind Stevens. Rais is second overall, 18 seconds behind Stevens.

Only Saturday’s hour-long criterium and Sunday’s 52-mile (84 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race remain in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) event. Powers aims to earn her sixth podium finish at an NRC event this season. She finished third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, runner-up at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, first at the Joe Martin Stage Race, third at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and runner-up at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic.

Powers is the NRC women's individual points leader and Team Type 1 is No. 1 in the team competition. Powers is also the leader in the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series.

Stage 4 Results - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1

General Classification After Stage 4 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
7. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
8. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
9. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
10. Meredith Miller (USA) Team TIBCO

Photo: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Team Type 1’s Aldape Solos To Victory

Mt. Bachelor Ski ResortMoises Aldape of Team Type 1 repeated his victory of a year ago at the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, soloing away from two others Friday to win the Cascade Lakes Road Race at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

Aldape attacked Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) and Steve Bovay (BMC Racing Team) with about a mile to go in the 84-mile (135 km) race. His sharp acceleration on the final uphill pitch before the run-in to the ski station parking lot opened a decisive gap.

"I remember last year’s race perfectly," Adalpe said after being congratulated by his Team Type 1 teammates. "So with one kilometer to go, I knew there was a possibility for me break away to win the stage. So I seized the opportunity."

Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) was second and Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) was third. Mancebo’s teammate, Oscar Sevilla, retained the overall lead.

Team Type 1 Assistant Director Gord Fraser said he sent a clear message in the team’s pre-race meeting: put away thoughts of the overall classification and just win the stage.

“And the guys responded with a first rate performance,” Fraser said. “Before the race started, I was really counting on some of our older riders like Moises, Matt (Wilson) and Valeriy (Kobzarenko) to start stepping up and riding like they normally ride. I think they’ve responded very well to that and it’s a reflection of how hard our team races. Having our older riders step up gives us an incredibly new dynamic and I expect nothing less for the rest of the year.”

Last year, Aldape won this same stage of the six-stage National Racing Calendar (NRC) event by out-sprinting five breakaway companions in the final hundred meters on the way to winning the King of the Mountains crown. He later represented Mexico in the Beijing Olympics.

But this season hasn't been as kind to the 27-year-old. He has missed much of the year with a prostrate injury that first came to light in February and forced his withdrawal from the Amgen Tour of California in February.

This is Aldape's second victory of the year, adding to a win at the 64 Aniversario Diario El Sol del Centro Clásica Ciclística on April 11 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It is also the 46th of the season for the Team Type 1 men, surpassing the 45 victories that the team racked up in its first year as a professional squad in 2008.

For much of Friday's race, it looked like another Team Type 1 rider – Michael Creed – might be the one climbing to the top of the victory stand. Creed was part of a seven-man breakaway that escaped the pack 17 miles in and built as much as three-minute lead with 34 miles to go.

But the chasing efforts by Rock Racing, which has had Oscar Sevilla in the leader's yellow jersey since his Stage 2 win on Wednesday, pulled the escapees within a minute with nine miles to go. From there, a second breakaway group – this one containing Aldape – bridged up and rode through the remnants of the original group.


Stage 4 Results - Men
1. Moises Aldape (USA) Team Type 1
2. Phil Zajicek (USA) Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing

General Classification - Men

1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
4. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
5. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Darren Lill (USA) Team Type 1
9. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
10. Matt Wilson (USA) Team Type 1

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Team Type 1’s Holt Takes Lead At Gwinett Bike Fest

Duluth, Ga. – Team Type 1’s Dan Holt finished second during last Thursday’s Gwinnett Center Criterium but it was good enough for him to climb into the overall lead at the third Annual Gwinnett Bike Fest.

The six-races-in-five-days event in Georgia features more than 600 local, regional, national and international competitors.

With the help of teammate and Team Type 1 co-founder Joe Eldridge (below), Holt bridged a gap to a group of six riders who eventually lapped the field in the 90-minute race.

“I was pretty happy I made it across the gap,” Holt said. “They (the six in the lead) were pretty far gone. I wasn’t sure I could get across, but I thought I had better try.”

With about 15 minutes to go, Holt was on his own when Eldridge’s blood sugar began to drop. Eldridge is one of four riders with Type 1 diabetes on the Team Type 1 men’s professional team.

“I was having trouble holding the wheel in the easy sections and went straight into survival mode,” he said. “I took in about 60 grams of carbohydrates to no avail. The blood sugar had dropped too low for me to help out and I had to pull the plug to get more food.”

Eldridge said it was the first time in recent memory that his blood sugar has gone low during a race.

“I reviewed what I did and realized I had not taken in nearly enough carbs,” he said.

Despite a lack of teammates, Holt still managed to finish runner-up in the sprint to Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia). In Wednesday’s 50-mile Road Atlanta Circuit Race, Holt was part of an 11-man breakaway on the way to a fourth-place finish.

With only Eldridge to help him, Holt said he will do his best to hang onto the overall lead in today’s 85-mile Subaru Gwinnett Road Race in Dacula, Ga. There are two stages Saturday: the six-mile Addictive Cycles Time Trial in Buford, Ga., and a downtown criterium in Norcross, Ga., in the afternoon. Sunday’s final race is the Events Response Circuit Race in Lawrenceville, Ga.

“There’s a little bit of pressure,” Holt said. “Fly V Australia has four guys, so they are probably going to try and stick it to us. But I have a great teammate in Joe. We’ll see what happens.”

Confusion Reigns Over Powers’ Third Place Finish, Zirbel Finds Truth


Bend, Ore. – Team Type 1’s Alison Powers was congratulated by reporters for winning the Skyliner’s Time Trial Thursday at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

A few minutes later, race officials told her she had actually finished second in the 16-mile (25 km) race against the clock.

And by the time she was summoned to the podium for the post-race awards ceremony, the reigning national time trial champion was accepting the prize for third place.

The surprising turn of events was confusing for reporters covering the race and a major disappointment for Powers, who was using the race as a tune-up for the same event at next week’s USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which also take place in Bend, Ore.


Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smackers), the apparent race winner, was not present for the awards ceremony. A member of her team reached her by phone but the Aspen, Colo., resident was unable to return in time for the podium ceremonies. That resulted in a $70 fine from the officials and forfeiture of the $150 she would have received for winning the race.

Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO) was listed as finishing second, two seconds ahead of Powers and 12 seconds behind Phillips. Race leader Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) was listed as fourth, 15 seconds behind Powers.

USA Cycling officials blamed reporters for the confusion, saying the results being tabulated by hand were unofficial. No timing clock was visible at the finish line, leaving reporters to look over the shoulders of judges who were recording and manually calculating times from stopwatches.

Powers said she isn’t familiar with either Phillips or Starnes, having never before shared a podium with them.

“Jessica Phillips is super strong, so maybe she had an amazing ride today. It’s good for her,” Power said.

Phillips and Powers have competed head-to-head in time trials in two National Racing Calendar (NRC) events the past two months. Three weeks ago at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Phillips finished 46 seconds behind Powers in an 8.8-mile (14 km) time trial that Powers won. At the Nature Valley Grand Prix last month, Phillips finished 13th, 51 seconds behind Powers, in a six-mile time trial. Powers was second that day, 13 seconds off the winning time of former world time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team).

Thursday’s runner-up finish was Starnes’ third in a time trial this season but her first at an NRC event. At the Cyclepath Cyclery Calavares Time Trial in Sunol, Calif., in May, she lost by 10 seconds to Emily Zell (PROMAN Racing). At the NCNCA District Time Trial Championship in June in Sattely, Calif., she finished nearly two minute behind winner Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling). Neither Van Houweling nor Zell are competing at the Cascade Classic.

Powers’ performance moves her into fifth overall, 1:21 behind Stevens, with three stages remaining. Friday is the 71-mile (114 km) Cascade Lakes Road Race. Saturday is an hour-long criterium in Downtown Bend, followed by Sunday’s 52-mile (84 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race.

Stage 3 Results - Women
1. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
2. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1

General Classification After Stage 3 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
6. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
7. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
8. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
9. Meredith Miller (USA) Team TIBCO
10. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker

Zirbel Takes Cascade's Race of Truth
Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling) once again laid down the law in an Individual Time Trial. The best placed domestic rider in this year's Amgen Tour of California Solvang ITT, Zirbel proved once again to be the undisputed fastest chrono man in the domestic peloton as he was eleven seconds faster than BMC's Ian Mckissick and 44 seconds better than Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing).

Stage 3 Results - Men
1. Tom Zirbel (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
2. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing

General Classification After Stage 3 - Men
1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
4. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
5. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
9. Darren Lill (USA) Team Type 1
10. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wiggins Walking the Walk

With his fourth placed finish in the recently completed Tour de France, it would be easy for some in this ultra skeptical, almost completely cynical, world of professional cycling to doubt the performance of Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream).

But whether it has been in Olympic competition on the track or during even the lesser known road races, Wiggins has always been at the forefront of offering himself up for testing. With the backing of Team Garmin-Slipstream, which has been dedicated to total transparency and ethical sportsmanship since its inception, the team, at the request of Wiggins, has released his hemoglobin and off score data from 2008 training camp through the 2009 Tour de France. This profile indicates no evidence of blood manipulation.


“Brad is an exceptionally talented athlete and it was great to see him do so well in the Tour de France. He’s always been an outspoken advocate of clean cycling. He requested that we release his results after the Tour and his decision makes me and the entire team proud,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports.

We can only hope that measures such as these can lead to a greater transparency within the sport, and a cleaner peloton now and in the future.

Team Type 1’s Seehafer Fifth At Elite Road Nationals, Crowell Third For U23

Bend, Ore.Kori Seehafer’s bid for a solo victory at the USA Cycling Elite National Championship Road Race came up a few miles short Thursday.

The Team Type 1 rider was caught and passed by a group of four riders within three miles of the finish of the 67-mile (107.5 km) race that was run on the challenging Awbrey Butte circuit around Bend, Ore.

Seehafer finished fifth as Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO) soloed to the win, ahead of Christina Ruiter (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team) and Kristen Lasasso (Team Lip Smacker).

Amy Drombroski (Webcor Builders Women's Professional Cycling Team) earned the Under 23 national title while Team Type 1’s Jacquelyn Crowell finished third in that category. The elite and age group categories competed together on the course that included more than 1,000 feet of climbing on each of the four laps of a 17-mile (27 km) circuit.

Seehafer said she did what she could to hang on after attacking with 15 miles to go and building a 35-second gap that forced a reaction from the field and the formation of the eventual four-rider chase group.

“I got caught at the right turn at the base of the last climb,” Seehafer said after her best finish at road nationals since a sixth-place in 2007. “I stayed with them until you take the right turn – about five kilometers from the finish. At that point, I was hurting and got dropped on the little climb. Then I caught up with them, only to watch Meredith attack and get off solo. Then I got dropped again.”

Initially, the group chasing Seehafer numbered five and included Team Type 1’s Jen McRae, who – like teammates Alison Powers, Samantha Schneider and Crowell – had been monitoring riders trying to mount the chase.

“I ended up covering the decisive move that went to Kori, but I just couldn’t say with them on that climb,” McRae said.

Seehafer said if she had to do it all over again, she would have kept riding hard after catching the four.

“My mistake was that when I caught them after chasing back, I should have gone straight through them instead of sitting up,” she said. “I just don’t have the acceleration after an effort like that.”

Crowell, who finished second in the USA Cycling Collegiate National Road Race Championships earlier this year, was pleased with her third-place finish among riders 23 or younger. More important than a strong finish, she said, was to try and help Seehafer get the win.

“I saw the attack with Amy (Drombroski) go and my teammate, Jen (McRae), was immediately on it,” Crowell said. “Once you see your teammate on an attack you can’t do anything. So I just let it go and hoped it would come back.”

Powers, Seehafer and Crowell will compete in the individual time trial Friday. Team Type 1’s Jeff Bannink is entered in the Elite men’s division. He was one of eight riders who have Type 1 diabetes who competed in – and won – the Race Across America (RAAM) in June.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Team Type 1 Women Aim For National Titles

Bend, Ore. – The Team Type 1 women’s professional squad has its sights set on challenging for a national title or two at this week’s USA Cycling Elite National Championships in Bend, Ore.

The first-year team’s best chances to put riders on the podium come in Thursday’s road race, the Elite and Under 23 individual time trials on Friday and Sunday’s Under 23 criterium.

Team Type 1’s Alison Powers is favored to successfully defend her national title in the 21-mile (35 km) elite time trial. Teammates Kori Seehafer and Jacquelyn Crowell will also race against the clock over nearly the same course that they did in last week’s Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

Team Type 1 Director Jack Seehafer said that is one factor playing into his riders’ favor.

“Also, with it being a longer course, it definitely suits Alison and Kori,” he said. “In a sense, it’s good that Alison lost the time trial during Cascade because she’s focused and fired up to get the job done.”

Last year, on a hilly course that ran through Santiago Canyon in Irvine, Calif., Powers beat Mara Abbott (Team Columbia-HTC) in the time trial by 99 seconds.

In Thursday morning’s 67-mile (107.5 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race – another course used in last week’s Cascade Classic – Kori Seehafer will be Team Type 1’s protected rider. Each of the four laps of the 17-mile (27 km) circuit feature more than 1,000 feet of climbing. Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) is the defending champion.

“Because of the climbing, it’s definitely going to eliminate a lot of the sprinter-type riders,” Jack Seehafer said. “It is definitely going to favor more of an all-around rider. Hopefully, we can get Jen (McRae) up and over the climb because we need her at the end. Depending on how the race is going, we might have Alison (Powers) shut it down early, just to make sure she’s good and ready for the time trial the next day.”

Weather may play also play a factor in the ultimate selection, Jack Seehafer said.

“It’ll be a cool morning start and in the 90s by the time they finish,” he said. “It won’t be as bad as it was for some of the road races during Cascade. That might make for more aggressive racing.”

Following a day off, Crowell, Morgan Patton and Samantha Schneider look to reach the podium for Team Type 1 in the 21-mile (35 km) Under 23 criterium. Last year’s race came down to a field sprint for the stars-and-stripes jersey, with Beatriz Rodriguez beating Kacey Manderfield and Amara Boursaw.

“We’ll look for Jackie to get in a breakaway because she has the motor and that’s her style of racing,” Jack Seehafer said. “If it comes down to a field sprint, we’ll be looking at Sam or Morgan.”

Patton is one of two riders with Type 1 diabetes on the Team Type 1 women’s professional team. She must carefully monitor her blood sugar level during competition because her body does not naturally produce insulin.

Team Type 1 Elite Team member Jeff Bannink, who also has Type 1 diabetes, is competing in the elite men’s 21-mile (35 km) individual time trial on Friday. Last month, the 38-year-old Beaverton, Ore., resident was a member of the Team Type 1 squad that bettered the Race Across America (RAAM) record on its way to winning the 3,012-mile (4,861 km) transcontinental race.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kenda's Numainville Victorious at 2nd Annual Chicago Criterium

Chicago, IL – Fresh from a Gold Medal performance in the 99km road race at the Pan American Games in Hidalgo, Mexico, Joëlle Numainville (Team Kenda) would win Sunday's 2nd Annual Chicago Criterium ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Sarah Caravella (ALAN), respectively.

The 21-year-old barely had time to celebrate her Pan American victory for her native Canada before she boarded a plane destined for Chicago. She would arrive late on Saturday night to join her teammates.

Because of the short turn around, the goal for the 50-minutes plus 2-laps criterium was to respond to any moves put forth by the peloton to protect Numainville and ensure no missed opportunities for a win.

The team, which included Catherine Walberg, Ashley James, Christy Keely and team captain, Kristin Wentworth executed to perfection. With the largest presence of the thirty-five woman field, Team Kenda would also win several primes during the women's Cat 1/2/3 race to go along with the overall victory.


In the final lap several riders shuffled, but Numainville’s only concern was to grab a good wheel despite being marked by several riders. Joëlle indicated that she was confident in her ability to drill it straight into the finish and thanked her teammates for their help in making the win possible.


Results - Women 1/2/3

1. Joëlle Numainville (Team Kenda)
2. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
3. Sarah Caravella (ALAN)

Photos:
Paul Forsythe

Triple Exclusive - An Interview with PROMAN's Nicola Cranmer


At the highest level of the sport, the Directeur Sportif, or sporting director, manages the daily operations of the cycling team. Often times you will see them following their riders in the team car, communicating with them about tactics, race situations, or upcoming terrain, and even provide some mechanical assistance. But at the lower levels of the sport, the responsibilities of the sporting director, or team manager, can run the full gambit of things, from pinning race numbers on jerseys or filling water bottles to sending out newsletters or even being the team masseuse.

Such is the life of Nicola Cranmer, Team Manager for the PROMAN Hit Squad. Since founding the California based women’s cycling team in 2006, Nicola has taken it from regional amateur team to national elite professional team, and now to UCI track team. In doing so, she has helped foster the dreams of the individuals she has worked with as well as precipitated the agenda of all women in cycling.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Nicola to discuss PROMAN’s newly formed Junior Development program, garner her perspective on women’s cycling, and explore her own passions as a cyclist.

Granny’s 30 (G): From your bio, you stated that you were previously an apprentice jockey, did you grow up around horses?

Nicola Cranmer (NC): Yes, you could say that in a sense, the horses were mostly on television; it certainly wasn’t a glamorous poetic introduction to them.

My dad is a huge horse racing fan, so I grew up with him jumping up and down on the edge of the sofa screaming ‘go on my son, come on come on! Betting on horses is legal everywhere in England and its quite common to pop down to the local bookies on a Saturday morning, get some fish and chips and a few pints and either watch racing at home or at the pub. My dad would bet a few pounds on a horse for himself and for me. Mostly I picked horses for their name back then, later on form. I was one of those girls that had every inch of her bedroom wall covered with pictures of horses; most of my friends had pictures of Duran Duran, Starsky and Hutch or the Human League, horses most certainly kept me out of trouble [that came later].

My mum when she was younger used to baby-sit for one of the leading thoroughbred trainers in England – Sir Gordon Richards; she stayed in touch with him and occasionally rode his horses. I remember one day I must have been about seven or eight I watched my mum riding, she was challenged by the man she was riding with to a race, they galloped across a field neck and neck it was very exciting, my Mum won the ‘race’ and it left quite an impression on me. I was then hooked. We were quite poor growing up although I didn’t realize it at the time, so I could never afford to have a horse of my own. I worked in a riding school on the weekends in exchange for free riding lessons; I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. My grandparents lived in a village where there was a training facility, so when I finished my secondary modern school, I moved in with them and worked for one of the leading trainers in the UK.

G: Were you ever into equestrian riding or was it purely racing? If racing, what type, flat or steeplechase?

NC: I competed in gymkhanas at about age 12 and a little cross-country; I went straight into thoroughbred racing at age 16. I was fortunate enough to work in the top yard in the country for a trainer, David Elsworth. In my first year in horse racing, one of the horses I took care of, Melindra won at Royal ascot, I got to meet the queen mum, that’s where the glamorous side of horse racing came in. Melindra was a very sassy two year old filly that was rescued by a police woman from a knackers yard, (slaughter house) turns out she was a really good sprinter, of course it was a rags to riches story that the media loved. It’s sort of the equivalent of an unknown rider winning Flanders.

It was a mixed yard, both flat and steeplechase.

G: How did you get into the sport of cycling? Did you ride prior to your move to California…before your mountain biking days?

NC: The only bike riding I ever did in England was a way of avoiding drinking and driving, although you could still get arrested for being drunk on a bike. The good thing was the local police man rode a bike and I was pretty sure I could out ride him if I needed to

There is a huge pub culture in England and it’s just what you do, if you weren’t paralytic by 11pm (pub closing) it just wasn’t a good night out. It’s weird thinking about it now, but it’s part of life there. I was 17 at the time. I lived in a little village and would ride my bike to the pub – skirt, heels and all. I think my bike had 3 gears but I didn’t really ever use them. It also had a dynamo light which was really tricky when riding home from the pub at night, struggling up the hill with the light getting dimmer and dimmer and finally stopping at the top, the first few feet of the descent it was pitch black until the dynamo got working again! Once in a while my skirt would get sucked into the oily chain, I mostly wore black then so it didn’t bother me much. It would have been far too sensible and not very fashionable to put trousers and trainers (sneakers) on.

I moved to California in 1986, primarily because I needed to take some time off from riding horses due to an injury, I decided to move to California for six months. While I was here I met a guy, Dan Lewbin, then expert National XC Champ, in the local bike shop – Planeaway Bikes, formerly the Koski Brother’s Cove Bike Shop in Tiburon (The Koski Brothers are the less known pioneers of mountain biking), who asked if I would like to go riding one day. I actually purchased a road bike first and would go on long rides by myself. I had no clue as to what I was doing. I would pack a lunch; slices of cheese, ham or salami and weird things like that…sometimes I would be out there all day.

I eventually borrowed a mountain bike and went riding with Dan and his friends who belonged to a sort of renegade outlaw team, DFL - "Dead Fucking Last," I quickly became a ‘member.’ At that time, mountain bike racing was so fun with classic races like Shasta Lemurian, Revenge of the Siskyous, TNT, Rockhopper, etc. These were more point-to-point or big epic loop races, which have now been replaced in favor of more spectator friendly lap races. It was good times, with bands and kegs at the finishes. I was naturally quite good and progressed quickly from sport to expert cross country, then to pro downhill. I raced for WTB and later PROFLEX. WTB now sponsors my team with tires and saddles.

In 1997, my life abruptly changed and so did my bike racing career, which I hesitate to call a career as I wasn’t getting paid. While riding my mountain bike on a Mount Tam fire road, I got a speeding ticket (yes, the state park rangers would literally hide behind trees on fire roads with radar guns), which led to a refusal of entry back into the US due to an over stayed visa. As I was not allowed to be let back into the US for over two years, I moved back to London, and signed with Lennox Lewis’s sports agency as a mountain biker.

My three years back in the UK were pretty incredible though. I met some wonderful people; one of them would eventually be the title sponsor of the team that I was to start 8 years later. It’s quite a long story, but a fascinating one for another day!

I moved back to the States in 2001 and then found myself back on the bike again. Simon Andalib, former Village Peddler employee/bike racer, was responsible for getting me back into racing, and pro mountain biker Chris Greene was a huge support and training partner.

G: What was your motivation behind starting up a cycling team?

NC: My main motivation…racing on a co-ed team I noticed that the men got more support than the women. This was frustrating so I decided to form a women’s team. I quickly found a shop sponsor, Paradigm Cycles, which at the time was owned by Julia Violich. Julia who is also the current 40+ national XC champ and 2nd placed finisher at Masters Worlds, has since sold the shop, and assists as our sponsorship director. It would be impossible running the team without her support.

Our title sponsor came to us very quickly too, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. PROMAN – PROject MANagement is a German engineering company, one of the biggest in the world, they certainly don’t need the advertising. They sponsor the team solely to assist its athletes attaining their goals and dreams; a very unique situation. I am eternally grateful for their support.

G: When you decided to start up the team, what was the hardest thing about starting it up? What turned out to be easier than you thought?

NC: The title sponsor came very easily, that was huge! Starting the team was actually one of those serendipitous moments where everything flowed. Not saying anything was really easy, it’s always been hard work, which is something I am not afraid of. I think the hardest thing is being taken seriously. It seems you have to pay your dues in road cycling for people to respect you. The team is rolling into its 4th year and I think we are gaining respect both on and off the bike. The road scene is pretty tight knit and I would say much of the respect is gained off the bike; integrity and a good sense of humor go a long way. There have been times that have challenged me beyond what I thought was my capacity but I seem to be coming out of it all OK. I have certainly made plenty of mistakes along the way. I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not, I don’t pretend to even know what I am doing – I am just doing it to the best of my ability with what I know. I think it’s a continual learning process and I enjoy pushing myself to become better at what I do. I love the sport of cycling and intend to be here for a long time. It’s a wonderful community of people and I have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.

We are at a point in the team’s growth where we are outgrowing our title sponsor. Although PROMAN will continue to support us I need to generate more sponsor dollars to give the athletes what they deserve. There is just so much that I want to do. We rely on private donations from fans, family and friends, even cyclists from other teams have contributed in the past. Without this kind of support we would not exist. We are definitely a community effort.

G: As Team Manager for PROMAN Hit Squad what are your responsibilities?

NC: Well, this may take a while, I do everything from securing sponsorships, order clothing, take care of logistics, update the blog, write newsletter, fill water bottles, recruiting and even occasionally massages, I was a massage therapist for 11 years – you name it I do it. It wouldn’t be fair to say I am a one-woman show, but I do take care of the meat of the project and I couldn’t do it without the help of the team and friends. I definitely need to delegate more. I think most people have no idea what goes into running a team. I really almost have three teams to run, road, cross and track, which is split into two categories domestic and UCI. The UCI team has been a challenge; one of our riders Shelley Olds has excelled beyond belief and will continue to do so.


I formed the UCI team two years ago to enable Shelley to compete at the highest level of track racing, the World Cup circuit. Last year we were in Sydney, Beijing, LA and Copenhagen. This year Manchester and Melbourne, and she raced Copenhagen with the US National team. It’s been a great experience and an interesting one. I sit at managers’ meetings at these World Cup events and I am the only woman team owner in a room of about 150 managers and coaches, there are other women coaches and managers but very few (by the way, some assume I am the masseuse).

I would like to see more women in leadership roles in cycling especially in track racing. Working with former Saturn director, Giana Roberge has been instrumental in my growth and confidence. Her years of experience brought professionalism and high expectation to the team. I have learned a lot from her and take my responsibilities very seriously. Giana has since stepped away from her directing role with the birth of her first child. One of my biggest responsibilities is to the athletes on the team who not only show ability on the bike but passion loyalty, dedication and a trust in me to assist them with their goals.

Shelley Olds plays an important role as my partner on the team, her dedication and vision is so strong. Shelley has had opportunities to join other teams, and certainly get paid better, but she is determined to create the kind of environment that will allow her to follow her dream of the 2012 Olympics. She is a natural leader and has inspired me to reach for higher goals than I would have imagined. Her fiancé Rob Evans has also been a significant in developing a business strategy for the team for the future. Tim Brennan, team mechanic and sounding board, has also been a dedicated supporter of the team, taking care of everything technical and just basically being a good ear when times get rough. My ringtone on his phone is the pinball machine…I think that tells you a lot!


Julia Violich has also been a rock. She is a dedicated supporter of everything cycling, who I could not do without. We are also very fortunate to be joined by Cari Higgins, 4-time elite track champ. Cari fits well into our program, she has a strong track focus and dedicates much time to mentoring juniors in her hometown of Boulder, CO. Rachel Lloyd is another key member, she keeps things dirty with her Cross and Super D skills and is also a natural with the juniors. All team members contribute in one way or another and without the support of these people there would be no team.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention any and all of our sponsors: PROMAN, Violich Farms, Paradigm Cycles, BMC Bikes, Cane Creek Wheels, SRAM Bike Components, Enduro Bearings, Rudy Project, Voler Clothing, JL Racing Clothing, Skins, Northwave Shoes, WTB Tires & Saddles, Arundel Cage & Bar Tape. Sapim Spokes, Velocity Rims, Dumondetech Lube, Pure Swiss Water, Mez Design, CLIF Bar, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Whole Athlete, Marin Spine & Wellness, Larkspur Hotels, Northpoint Advisors, and Brake Through Media.

G: Some former band/orchestra members who have gone up front [of the band] with the baton have stated that it's hard to jump back in [for whatever reason], have you found that with your managing a team and racing for it?

NC: The first two years it was not a problem for me to manage and race as we were racing at a regional level and the team was smaller. Things changed; however, going into the third year when NRC races came into the picture, and now UCI. It’s very important to have a solid foundation by which to operate a team, and I have come to terms that I will be racing less. I am ok with that. I think racing with the team on occasion has its definite advantages. Although all the girls appreciate what I do as a manager there is nothing quite like sacrificing your personal race for another, it forms a deep bond and a different level of appreciation.

Managing has its own set of challenges to keep me focused. I will jump in a few crits this year to help my teammates but I will focus mostly on track racing. My goals will be at Masters Track Nationals and hopefully Masters Track Worlds. But the girls on the team are so dedicated and focused that they deserve more attention, although they constantly remind me to focus on myself. My priority as far as the team goes is them. If I can provide a situation where all they have to worry about is racing their bike I will be happy. That being said, most of the current team members are very active in the team’s growth off the bike as well. We do have a great support crew.

G: Mountain or Road?

NC: Mountain for the soul, the big drop offs and technical descents, road for the grace, sprints and team efforts

G: Road or Track?

NC: Track for the speed and tangibility and to increase power for the road

G: Crits or Stage Races?

NC: Crit slut all the way! I am starting to appreciate more and more the beauty and challenges of the stage race though.

G: With your title sponsor (PROMAN) in Dusseldorf, Germany has there been any talk/consideration of the team racing in Europe?

NC: Yes we have considered racing the road team in Europe, it’s very expensive to send a team but we certainly hope to, the Spring Classics would be a priority if we had the budget. The UCI track team has raced two World Cup seasons overseas. Since we first chatted, PROMAN riders, Shelley Olds, Rachel Lloyd & Megan Guarnier, Ashley Dymond and Coryn Rivera have raced for the US National team in Europe. Shelley competed in Italy on the track and was on the podium all three days of racing and was on the podium at a World Cup. Megan also competed in races in Italy, Belgium and France, including the Spring Classic – Tour of Flanders. Both Shelley and Megan also recently competed in the Giro d’Italia Femminile. Betina Hold also headed to Europe to race for the Canadian National Team.

We have Jim Miller to thank for these opportunities internationally. These kinds of experiences are invaluable to our athletes and will add to the depth of our young squad. Jim has developed an outstanding women’s program and works very closely with developing domestic teams. He is very modest in regards to his achievements but I am very grateful for his focus on women’s racing.

I also want to mention two other people, Michael Engleman and Kristin Armstrong. Michael Engleman’s contribution to women’s cycling in the form of The U.S Women’s Cycling Development Program (USWCDP) is crucial to the maintenance & growth of the sport. Likewise, Kristin Armstrong's contribution to cycling as a whole and to women's cycling specifically is immeasurable. The newly formed Kristin Armstrong Academy is instrumental in the development of our young riders.

BMC bicycles, based in Switzerland and distributed by QBP, is working with the team for the second year. We had an opportunity to visit the facility last summer, and it is an amazing place. All the guys who work for BMC are a great. We are the first U.S women’s team that BMC has worked with and I am really grateful for their support, and the support of women’s racing.

G: Where do you see PROMAN/ Racing in the future…with a full U23 Development squad…as a UCI team racing both in the US and in Europe?

NC: My vision for the team has become apparent and crystal clear in the past couple of months. Creating our junior program is very exciting.

The junior development compliments our elite program offering accomplished riders an opportunity to pass along experience and wisdom. It is my hope that the team can offer the juniors an environment where they can develop their cycling skills, achieve their personal goals in competition and to encourage and maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as creating future ambassadors for women's cycling. It’s easy to talk the talk but we are truly walking it and have an international vision for our development program.

I feel that an investment in junior riders, girls in particular, is crucial to the growth of women's racing in the US. Recently appointed USAC athletic director, Jim Miller, has assured me that he will continue to focus on women's development. Miller has successfully developed the women's road endurance program that has resulted in world class contenders and Olympic gold.

It was an easy choice for us to include juniors in our program. You don't get the instant podium gratification that you would if I used the budget to hire elite riders, but PROMAN team members are in this for the long haul and we hope to contribute more to women's cycling than a win on any given weekend. Don't get me wrong, its fun to win and see the athletes achieve their performance goals but we are dedicated to taking this program well past the podium and helping secure the future of women’s cycling.


Although we are the USA’s premiere women's track team, our focus is definitely more diverse, spanning road, cross track and mountain. I feel it’s important to expose all of our juniors to every discipline defining a focus can come much later. It is my goal to get two of our juniors to World Cup level in the next two years. I would like to do it sooner but to compete at the elite World Cup level the rider has to be at the racing age of 18. Our riders range from ages 12 – 16 years old. The two I have in mind will be ready as soon as they are 17-years-old, so in 2010 and 2011 expect to see two of our juniors racing Track World Cups…the Road to 2016 Olympics is already being paved.


We currently have four junior girls from the Bay Area, where the team is based. We wanted to be very hands on in our first year in order to discover the needs of these young athletes. We plan on expanding it into a national program in the future. We have also added Coryn Rivera, who at 16-years-old holds 21 national titles, road, track and cross, to the roster. She will be focusing on Junior Worlds as well as some NRC races. On junior gearing, she has wins at this year’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, the San Rafael Twilight Criterium, and on Saturday she pulled off her biggest win in the Downtown Bend Criterium, which is part of the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Current National champions, Shelley Olds and Cari Higgins and I will be scouting for new juniors throughout the year. It’s our aim to establish more programs throughout the US over the next few years. Budget is our only limiting factor. I am finding many more companies, even industry sponsors, are keen to assist in the development of future athletes. I am hoping that this is an indicator of a promising future for our program; after all it secures their future consumer base! It is apparent that there is a need for more junior girls programs; this was evident by the number of resumes I received from many aspiring athletes, mostly from the USA but also from Australia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Our program is designed to take care of a rider from junior through elite. There are other junior programs as well as pro women's teams out there, but its in-between where lots of girls fall through the cracks. It’s my hope to bridge that gap. While focusing on juniors with world level potential, it’s my hope to offer a club program to young girls that just enjoy riding and competing at regional levels but will have a support system and resources to tap into. Again, the infrastructure for this is set and the wheels are in motion, it just requires a bigger budget.

Supporting juniors comes with a lot of responsibility, which we take very seriously, there are challenges involved. Of course there is a huge emphasis and encouragement on schoolwork.

The junior are an integral part of the team, their unbridled enthusiasm, is infectious and breathes vibrancy into it.

G: PROMAN won the NCNCA Women's Premiere Series in 2006 & 2007, had exceptional results at the 2008 US Track Nationals…what are the team goals this year…your personal goals?

NC: As far as team goals, a national jersey in every discipline wouldn’t be too farfetched: road, track, mountain and cross. And to see the team grow and succeed both on and off the bike, community is a big part of the plan for PROMAN Racing. I would also like to see continued development of women’s track and road racing in the US. A goal is to add more women’s stages to the Amgen Tour of California, and this could potentially happen. This year’s criterium, while a little early in the NRC calendar, was even more well received than last year. It’s very important for women’s racing to be associated with the rolling Amgen Tour of California media machine and other U.S tours.

Increased media exposure for Women’s racing is necessary to leverage more sponsorship dollars. Last year, PROMAN hosted the first International Style Omnium at Hellyer Velodrome. Because of its success, it will now be contested at the national level at the USAC Track Nationals in October.

G: What was your best moment on a bicycle…the worst?

NC: Best - Thousand Esses (Laguanitas fire break) it was a beautiful summer day or at least I remember it that way. I was riding with a few guys and we were going to poach some illegal single track, this trail was particularly challenging and there was a section near the top of the trail that very few people had conquered. That particular day I felt really confident dropping into the trail, I even said out loud that I was going to clean it today. It actually wasn’t even a trail but a firebreak; it was steep and loose. The guys I was riding with started ahead of me and they were waiting at the most difficult section as we were going to practice it. Well I was relaxed and happy and started in on the descent, I gracefully approached the difficult section with my eyes fixed on the trail ahead, it felt like I just floated over it and continued on, past my friends and just kept going. My friends were astonished, as was I. That was about 13 years ago and they still talk about it. The trail seems to have gotten steeper over the years and the drop off even bigger, but hey that’s the stuff legends are made of and that day, in my mind, I was one!

Worst moment had to be riding in the Mount Shasta area the day began clear and sunny but at about the 4th hour of riding a snow storm blew in and I had a long road descent, I was the most cold I had ever been, I could barely brake and my tears froze! I felt cold for days after.

G: Your most memorable race…your most forgetful?

NC: Let’s start with the worst. Worst race would have to be as a cat 3 on the road – Snelling road race. I was on third wheel going into the final half kilometer, with the field a few meters behind, this was a very rough road aptly named the cheese grater. I had a front tire blow out and went down immediately, after that it was carnage; the noise was something I will never forget, half the peloton rode over me. I ended up with some separated ribs, lots of road rash and tire burns on my neck and back where I had literally been ridden over. There were gals who were far worse off than me, including Tracey Ford who was racing for a rival team and she lost the tip of her finger. I felt really awful. Although it was an accident and no one blamed me, it was a tough time for sure. I personally contacted all involved that I knew were hurt.

Most memorable...I have won several races but somehow the moments that spring to mind are the races I have performed a solid lead out or bridged a team mate to a break or brought back a break. I do get great satisfaction out of team work, but yes its fun to win. One particularly memorable moment was helping Tracey Ford win the Fidelity Burlingame Criterium 2 years ago. Yes, the same Tracey who had lost the tip of her finger in the horrible Snelling crash!

Burlingame was a goal race for her. I had flown back the night before from my managerial duties at Nature Valley GP where Shelley Olds ended up 6th in the GC. I was feeling like crap, it had been a tough week. During the race I felt as though I could not hold my position, with three laps to go I could see that Tracey was not in a good spot, she was 2nd wheel and would find herself at the front much too early. I am not sure what happened in that moment but I knew that I was committed to helping her win, I went from the back of the field to the front, picked up Kristin along the way, leaving Tracey third wheel, I put the hammer down and went as hard as I could for over a lap to ensure no surge from behind, I pulled off with two turns to go leaving Kristin to finish the job for Tracey. Tracey won and was so grateful. It’s amazing where you can find strength when someone is depending on you. We have a lot of gals on the team that will bury themselves for the cause. It wasn’t a national level race but the satisfaction of helping a team mate achieve a goal was what mattered.

G: What did you think about Georgia Gould's petitioning the UCI for "Equal Pay"?

NC: I signed it and I agree that women should get equal pay but I am not sure if contacting the UCI directly on this is the only answer, although of course they have the power to implement the rule. It’s the race promoters who need to understand that women deserve equal pay – it’s a numbers game when you look at it from a business perspective and more men generally enter the races. But yes, absolutely women dedicate just as much of their lives to training and racing and in my opinion actually make more sacrifices so they deserve equal pay. This is different as it is salary but in a UCI track trade team contract, minimum wage (approx $12,000) is to be paid to both male and female racers annually.

G: You've stated that the team is somewhere in between a professional team and an amateur one. What are the unique challenges that you're confronted with "straddling both canoes," so to speak?

NC: The biggest challenge is man power. I want to be able to support a regional team as well as a pro team but it’s become apparent that I cannot do it all and will be focusing on a UCI track trade team and a small road team in 2009. This will allow me time to contribute in other areas of cycling, such as race promotion and to do a better job of managing. I am determined to make a stamp in the world of track racing, there needs to be more support for women also in road racing too but there are already some strong women ambassadors for the road.

G: You have two riders in Shelley Olds and Rachel Lloyd who have proven that they can compete on a world stage, how do you support their efforts while building that team of riders to support them?

NC: Both Shelley and Rachel’s disciplines; track and cyclocross are not so team oriented, it’s the road racing that brings the team together. They both enjoy being part of a team during the road season as it takes the pressure off the individual performance. Shelley’s goal was to podium at a track World Cup this year and to develop as a track racer with the ultimate goal of the Points race at the 2012 Olympics. She achieved the first goal. I have decided to put a strong focus in this area; it is something I love to do.

Rachel had similar goals for this year, which perhaps will be her last at the World Cup level of cyclocross. It was a difficult decision for me, but this season, so Rachel could get the level of support she deserves, she will be racing on another team with a very strong cross identity. With an already stretched out budget with increasing costs of international travel it seemed like the best thing for Rachel. It was a tough choice for both of us as she is very loyal and we are also great friends. She has rejoined us for road races in 2009.

G: Riders and teams come and go, but women’s cycling seems to be getting hit fairly hard with sponsors pulling out for the 2009 season. First, what is appealing about women’s cycling relative to men’s cycling? What do you think should change in women's cycling to get people, and sponsors, more interested and excited about it?

NC: This is a question that quite honestly bewilders me. I see the massive marketing potential in women athletes but it seems to be a sentiment that is not shared. There is a fine line between exploiting women's sexuality and women’s athleticism in cycling...it seems to be defined as one or the other, I think marketing strategists are confused by this. I recently spent time at the Amgen Tour of California and I was reminded of how the cycling industry is run primarily by men who show very little interest in women's cycling. Yes, some companies dedicate a few sponsorship dollars and product to a couple of teams for PR purposes, but in large part most companies are not very interested in the true development of women’s cycling. Men's teams get far more. There are a few industry companies; however that have put thought into women’s products. I have always been incredibly grateful for all the support but this gratitude can easily turn into frustration.

I believe women are far better ambassadors for the sport and the products they represent, for example, whenever the team travels internationally we take an extra few days to visit sponsors or dealers where their products are sold or we visit local schools. Team members will make time for shop rides or rides with local clubs. We are always well received wherever we go. Team members constantly reach out to the public to promote their sport. I can honestly say this is true of most women’s teams.

Women’s racing is exciting, I know that the top women’s teams in the U.S are very conscious of the comparisons to men's racing and race aggressively and hard to keep it exciting.

There are many parallels between the cycling industry I am now immersed in, and the world of horse racing and soccer that I grew up in. The struggle for women is very apparent. I am not one for sugar coating and there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in women's cycling and I certainly don’t want to sound bitter but it’s a sport that is struggling to gain the attention and exposure it deserves. The women racers and team managers make incredible compromises and sacrifices to ensure that their teams are out there on the circuit. Demographics show that women purchase more bikes than men and support the sport financially.

So what's the problem?

I wish I knew the answer. Surely it cannot all be a focus on the Tour de France and other grand tours? I notice in certain popular online cycling magazines that the men and the women can compete in the same NRC event and the men's headline is always first and in bold and the women's underneath in a smaller font!

I do know that the bigger races in the USA should all include a women's event; it helps to be a part of a big media machine like Amgen Tour of California or Tour of Missouri as both of these races are working hard to include a women's event, it my hope to see an extension of the criterium at ATOC. A three day stage race would be a good start.

That being said, we are forging ahead with a new program model that will ensure longevity and continued growth in the sport. We have a team of very bright future stars, I used to love the expression, "sky’s the limit," but I think we can go further.

Photos: Rob Evans (first through third, fifth and seventh); Bob Cullinan, CycleTo (fourth and sixth)

Third At Cascade, Team Type 1’s Powers Wins WPCS

Bend, Ore. – Being called to stand on the final podium at a National Racing Calendar (NRC) event is becoming a familiar routine for Team Type 1’s Alison Powers.

For the sixth time this season, Powers finished in the top three to retain her lead in the NRC individual standings. With only five races remaining in the series and a more than 200-point lead over her nearest competitor, Powers all but has the title locked up.

“This is really great,” Powers said after finishing third at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic behind Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) and runner-up Amber Rais (Team TIBCO). “Every stage race is different. So it’s great that the best overall GC (general classification) rider wins it because you have to be good at every one. I am lucky I have had a good team to help me.”

Powers placed fifth on Sunday’s final stage, the Deschutes Brewery Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Kristin McGrath (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team) won the 52-mile (83 km) race ahead of Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO) and Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light).

But the third-place result overall was made all the more special because it crowned Powers the winner of the season-long Women’s Professional Cycling Series. The WPCS is a four-race event that also includes the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Joe Martin Stage Race and the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

Team Director Jack Seehafer said Powers’ accomplishment does not come as a surprise, despite Team Type 1 being a first-year women’s program.

“We knew the abilities of all of our riders and what they were capable of achieving,” he said. “So it was a matter of holding up to those expectations. We also knew Alison wanted to learn and grow as a stage racer. So we worked to fuel that passion and work with her to succeed in putting her on the podium in every stage race this year.”

Powers finished third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, first at the Joe Martin Stage Race, third at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and second at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Later this week, she will defend her national time trial title at the USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which also take place in Bend.

In the men’s race Sunday, Team Type 1’s Moises Aldape finished fourth in 83-mile (133 km) race as Matt Wilson wound up as the team’s best-placed overall finisher in eighth place. Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla won the race overall title.

Stage 6 Results
1. Kristin Mcgrath (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
2. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light

Final General Classification
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
7. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
8. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
9. Robin Farina (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
10. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Rock Racing’s Sevilla Conquers Cascade Classic


Bend, Ore.
— Rock Racing stamped its authority on the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in a big way during Sunday’s final stage of the six-day race in Bend, Ore.

Yellow jersey wearer Oscar Sevilla helped Rock Racing teammate Francisco Mancebo put in an attack in the final miles of the Deschutes Brewery Awbrey Butte Circuit Race that moved Mancebo from third to second overall in the final standings.

In addition to the 1-2 finish overall, Rock Racing also took home the team title to cap a week that saw it win two stages and place third in two others.

“It was a good job by the boys,” Rock Racing Team Director Lorenzo LaPage said. “This was a difficult racem but all season long, this team has shown that it is strong and every guy has good experience. They just keep getting better and better.”
Jeff Louder (BMC Pro Cycling) was the rider Mancebo displaced for second place. Louder finished 20 seconds behind Sevilla and Mancebo in the final 83-mile (133 km) race that was won by Anthony Colby (Colavita-Sutter Homes presented by Cooking Light).

About the only disappointment of the race, LaPage said, was a crash Sunday that left David Vitoria with a lot of road rash but no broken bones.

“Thankfully, he’s OK,” LaPage said. “The idea was to bring Sevilla, Pena and Mancebo into good position on the last lap but after he (Vitoria) fell off, we had to do all the work with just three guys.”

Sevilla’s victory is Rock Racing’s 30th on the year to go along with 63 podium (top three) placings. It is also the Spaniard’s first win at a stage race in the United States and his first overall victory at a stage race since capturing the RCN Classic in Colombia last October.

Stage 6 Results
1. Anthony Colby (USA) Colavita Sutter Home
2. Taylor Shelden (USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin
3. Alex Howes (USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin


Final General Classification

1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
3. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
4. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
5. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Matt Wilson (USA) Team Type 1
9. Steve Bovay (USA) BMC Racing Team
10. Chris Jones (USA) Team Type 1

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rock Racing’s Dominguez Dazzles Downtown Bend, PROMAN's Rivera Sparkles


Bend, Ore. — It took Rock Racing nearly the entire race to chase down a four-man breakaway Saturday night at the Downtown Bend Criterium at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

But once the catch was made, there was little doubt who would be the man of the moment.

Ivan Dominguez blazed down the long finishing stretch lined by a massive crowd to score Rock Racing’s second stage win. Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Homes presented by Cooking Light) finished second and Andrew Pinfold (OUCH presented by Maxxis) was third.

Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla, who won Stage 2 to take the overall lead, retained his yellow jersey, as there was no change in the overall standings.

The victory is Dominguez’s first since joining the Rock Racing team earlier last month. But he is no stranger to winning in Bend. Two years ago, the Cuban-born, U.S. citizen won this same stage (racing for the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) in a field sprint.

“The last win that I had was in Georgia (at the Tour de Georgia in April of 2008), so this feels great,” Dominguez said. “I like this sprint. It’s long – the way I like. I knew if I went with 300 meters to go that no one was going to pass me.”

Dominguez’s fast finish would not have been possible without the help of his Rock Racing teammates, who worked tirelessly to keep Kirk Carlsen (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin), Michael Creed (Team Type 1), Russ Langley (Battley Harley-Davidson) and Jackson Stewart (BMC Pro Cycling) from stealing the win. The four came within 15 seconds of catching the back of the field at one point.

But Rock Racing teamed up with OUCH presented by Maxxis and the two teams traded pulls to shave seconds off the advantage each time around the six-tenths-of-a-mile (1 km) course after the four riders’ lead peaked at 60 seconds with 35 minutes left in the 90-minute race.

“I said to the guys to keep the break there,” Dominguez said. “I told them we had to take care of the jersey. Tomorrow’s another day. We didn’t need to kill it. That was good for us.”

Sunday’s final stage is the 83-mile 133 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Sevilla leads Jeff Louder (BMC) by 40 seconds. Rock Racing’s Francisco Mancebo is in third, 1:00 back of Sevilla. A third rider from Rock Racing, Victor Hugo Peña, is seventh, 1:54 behind.


Stage 5 Results - Men
1. Ivan Dominguez (USA) Rock Racing
2. Alejandro Borrajo (Arg) Colavita-Sutter Home
3. Andrew Pinfold (Can) OUCH presentec by Maxxis

General Classification After Stage 5 - Men
1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (Rock Racing)
2. Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Tea)
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Rock Racing)
4. Ian Mckissick (BMC Racing Team)
5. Rory Sutherland OUCH presented by Maxxis)
6. Chris Baldwin (OUCH presented by Maxxis)
7. Victor Hugo Pena (Rock Racing)
8. Darren Lill (Team Type 1)
9. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team)
10. Matt Wilson (Team Type 1)

Youth Is Served
With much of the focus surrounding the precocious talents of Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders), who was still atop of the General Classification of the 30th Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic going into Saturday's Downtown Bend Criterium, it was easy to forget about all of the amazing talent within the Women's peloton.


Not to be overshadowed, Coryn Rivera (PROMAN Hit Squad) showed why she would also be a force to reckon with in the future. The 16-year-old Rivera, already a winner at this year's Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and San Rafael Twilight Criterium, would out kick Colavita's Tina Pic and Kristy Broun (Team Lip Smacker) to take the Downtown Bend Criterium.

Given the assembled field, this is undoubtedly Rivera's biggest win to date, and surprisingly all of it was done with junior gearing.

Stage 5 Results - Women
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Proman Hit Squad
2. Tina Pic (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home
3. Kristy Broun (Aus) Lip Smackers

General Classification After Stage 5 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders)
2. Amber Rais (Team TIBCO)
3. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
4. Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO)
5. Cath Cheatley (Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Katharine Carroll (Team TIBCO)
7. Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
8. Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smacker)
9. Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO)
10. Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO)

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages (top); Bob Cullinan, CycleTo (middle and bottom)

Lance: "It's been a very healthy experience"

Cavendish Cruises on Champs-Élysées, Contador Crowned - 96th Tour de France Stage 21


An exultant Alberto Contador (Astana) stood on top of the final Tour de France podium for the second time in his short cycling career. The 2007 Tour de France champion can now boast of consecutive Tour victories (a team exclusion in 2008 prevented him from defending his Tour crown) and a total of four consecutive Grand Tour championships (winner of the 2008 Giro d'Italia and 2008 Vuelta a Espana).

He is undoubtedly the strongest stage racer currently in the peloton.

Where The Tour Was Won
In looking back on the 96th Tour de France, many pundits will point to Contador's dominating performances on Stage 15, the climb to Verbier, and on Stage 18, winning the Individual Time Trial in Annecy, as keys to his overall victory. But the true foundation of his victory came in two seemingly insignificant gestures, both of which would raise questions of his tactical abilities and also his loyalties as a teammate.

The first was his late attack on Stage 7. Left out of the selection on the windy Stage 3, where he failed to keep the wheel of the rider in front of him, Contador would attack on the slopes of the Andorre Arcalis. His manuever would gain back the time that he lost on Stage 3, and effectively help him leapfrog his teammate, Lance Armstrong, in the overall standings by two seconds. Although neither teammate would claim the yellow jersey on that day, Contador placed himself in the better position to take it if Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) or his team failed to defend it.

The second was his late attack on Stage 17. On the Queen stage of this year's Tour, Contador's decision to attack on the final slope to La Grand Bornand helped elevate Andy and Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) in the overall standings, to second and third, while simultaneously putting time into his teammates, Lance Armstrong and Andreas Kloden, before the final time trial. Although many were focused on how Contador's actions essentially ruined the opportunity for an Astana sweep of the final Tour podium, it presented Contador with the comfortable proposition of having to out duel the Schleck brothers in the Annecy time trial rather than his more accomplished teammates.

Although both of his superlative efforts on Stage 15 and on Stage 18 ruled the above points of argument moot, if neither of these occurred we may be talking about Lance Armstrong's 8th Tour de France championship or Andy Schleck's first.

Cavendish's Half-Dozen
Before relief turned into exultation for Contador, the other matter of the drag race on the Champs-Élysées had to be settled. The other dominant force in this year's race, Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - HTC), would win easily and lead a Columbia 1-2 on the final stage of the 96th Tour de France. The victory marked his sixth during this year's race, and his tenth Tour win overall.

During the final finishing circuits; however, it looked as if Garmin-Slipstream had finally come up with a plan to diffuse the explosive Columbia - HTC locomotive. But lead-out men George Hincapie and Mark Renshaw would have none of it. When they launched their final assault, none were able to stay in their streamline. The 24-year-old from the Isle of Man cruised to a victory as final lead-out man Renshaw celebrated from behind and claimed second. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) would follow in third.


Stage 21 Results
1. Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - HTC)
2. Mark Renshaw (Team Columbia - HTC)
3. Tyler Farar (Garmin - Slipstream)

Final General Classification
1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana - 81:46:17
2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:04:11
3. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana - 0:05:24
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:06:01
5. Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank - 0:06:04
6. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana - 0:06:42
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas - 0:07:35
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:12:04
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas - 0:14:16
10. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux - 0:14:25

Final Leaders' Jerseys Classification
Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana


Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team


Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas


Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank


Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas


Astana - Best Team Classification


Highlights & Revelations
  • Juergen van de Broeck (Silence-Lotto) - Could he be the next great Belgian stage racer?
  • Andy Shcleck (Team Saxo Bank) - Attacks like a fiend, and is improving in the time trial
  • Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) - On a team dominated by a sprinter, Martin did it mostly by himself.
  • Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) - Lighter and more effective, will he focus solely on the road?
  • Brice Feillu (Agritubel) - A French champion in the making?
  • Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) - An emotional win for a sprinter during a mountain stage
  • Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) - At 24-years-old, the sky is the limit.

Vélib' je t'aime - City of Lights to City of Bikes


Cycling has been a significant part of the French culture since the first Tour de France departed from Paris in 1903. But with the advent of the automobile, the streets of Paris have seen a steady decline of everyday cyclists, to the point where the activity might even be considered virtually extinct.

But a funny thing happened two years ago with the introduction of the bike sharing program known as Vélib', or roughly translated "free bikes," that caused author Jay Walljaspar to remark that "the City of Lights has become the City of Bikes."

Walljaspar would go on to write about the system,
"Few spots in Paris are more than a five minute stroll from one of the 1,451 Vélib' sidewalk stations...The idea is to encourage short trips - running errands, meeting friends at a cafe, pedaling to a metro stop - so there are plenty of bikes available for everyone to use....Users can buy a daily ($1.40), weekly ($7) or yearly ($40) pass at any bike station with a credit card, from which a deposit will be taken in case the bike never returns."
None to surprisingly, there was upsurge of bicycle use with its launch in July of 2007, making the once seemingly arduous activity "fashionable" and placing auto users on the defensive.

Although there has been a recent spike in bicycle thefts, which has brought into question whether the demise of the system is impending, Vélib' has converted the city that host the most famous bicycle race from one that watches people ride bicycles to one that actually uses them.

Numerous cities in the United States, such as Washington, DC, have successfully employed similar bike sharing programs, but none are as extensive as those found in Europe.

Team Type 1’s Leal Wins Bronze At Pan Am Games

Hidalgo, Mexico – Team Type 1’s Veronica Leal won a bronze medal Friday at the Pan American Games women’s road race in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Leal was part of a five-rider group that contested the sprint at the end of the 83-mile (99 km) race. Joelle Numainville of Canada won the gold medal and Paola Munoz of Chile took the silver.

“That’s a great result for her,” Team Type 1 women’s Team Director Jack Seehafer said. “She kept feeling better and better on every lap and I think the criteriums here in the United States have helped improve her sprint.”

In 2006, Leal’s Team Type 1 teammate and Seehafer’s wife, Kori, won the silver medal in the Pan Am Games road race while riding for the United States.

Leal narrowly missed adding a second medal to her collection on Thursday when she finished fourth in the 12.3-mile (19.8 km) individual time trial. Alessandra Giuseppina Grassi Herrera of Mexico won the gold in 29 minutes and 10 seconds. Tara Whitten of Canada was second, 36 seconds behind, and Valeria Muller of Argentina finished third, 1:01 back. Leal’s time was 1:21 slower than Grassi Herrera.

“I was feeling great, but I did feel the effects of the high altitude,” Leal said. “But I’m still very, very happy.”

The Pan Am Games were originally scheduled for mid-May, but were delayed due to the H1N1 virus outbreak.

Jack Seehafer said Leal’s performance sets the stage for a run at more medals at next weekend’s Mexican national road and time trial championships.

“It’s good to see Veronica getting used to her Orbea Ordu time trial bike,” he said. “I also think the road race at nationals is very well suited for her to win the (national championship) jersey.”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Team Type 1’s Powers Climbs To Third Overall


Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort – Team Type 1 women’s Team Director Jack Seehafer told Alison Powers the climb to the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort suited her. But Powers said she wasn’t so convinced.

"After the climb two days ago and how poorly I did in the time trial (third) Thursday, I didn’t have much confidence,” Powers said. “It’s amazing how fast you can lose your self-confidence.”

But those doubts were swept away on the ascent to the finish of the 71-mile (114 km) race when Powers found herself in the final selection. By the time the race reached the parking lot of the ski resort, only race leader Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) was up ahead and Powers found herself sprinting against Amber Rais (Team TIBCO) for second place.

"The final climb was perfect for me," Powers said. "It was not very steep, with a gentle grade, and those are the ones where I can do the best. What I didn’t realize was that we would ride all the way around the parking lot. I was getting quite tired at that point, so Amber was able to sit on and then sprint around me.”

The third-place finish was Powers' second straight of the six-day race and moved her into third place overall, one minute and 39 seconds behind Stevens. Rais is second overall, 18 seconds behind Stevens.

Only Saturday’s hour-long criterium and Sunday’s 52-mile (84 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race remain in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) event. Powers aims to earn her sixth podium finish at an NRC event this season. She finished third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, runner-up at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, first at the Joe Martin Stage Race, third at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and runner-up at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic.

Powers is the NRC women's individual points leader and Team Type 1 is No. 1 in the team competition. Powers is also the leader in the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series.

Stage 4 Results - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1

General Classification After Stage 4 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
7. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
8. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
9. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
10. Meredith Miller (USA) Team TIBCO

Photo: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Team Type 1’s Aldape Solos To Victory

Mt. Bachelor Ski ResortMoises Aldape of Team Type 1 repeated his victory of a year ago at the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, soloing away from two others Friday to win the Cascade Lakes Road Race at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

Aldape attacked Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) and Steve Bovay (BMC Racing Team) with about a mile to go in the 84-mile (135 km) race. His sharp acceleration on the final uphill pitch before the run-in to the ski station parking lot opened a decisive gap.

"I remember last year’s race perfectly," Adalpe said after being congratulated by his Team Type 1 teammates. "So with one kilometer to go, I knew there was a possibility for me break away to win the stage. So I seized the opportunity."

Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) was second and Francisco Mancebo (Rock Racing) was third. Mancebo’s teammate, Oscar Sevilla, retained the overall lead.

Team Type 1 Assistant Director Gord Fraser said he sent a clear message in the team’s pre-race meeting: put away thoughts of the overall classification and just win the stage.

“And the guys responded with a first rate performance,” Fraser said. “Before the race started, I was really counting on some of our older riders like Moises, Matt (Wilson) and Valeriy (Kobzarenko) to start stepping up and riding like they normally ride. I think they’ve responded very well to that and it’s a reflection of how hard our team races. Having our older riders step up gives us an incredibly new dynamic and I expect nothing less for the rest of the year.”

Last year, Aldape won this same stage of the six-stage National Racing Calendar (NRC) event by out-sprinting five breakaway companions in the final hundred meters on the way to winning the King of the Mountains crown. He later represented Mexico in the Beijing Olympics.

But this season hasn't been as kind to the 27-year-old. He has missed much of the year with a prostrate injury that first came to light in February and forced his withdrawal from the Amgen Tour of California in February.

This is Aldape's second victory of the year, adding to a win at the 64 Aniversario Diario El Sol del Centro Clásica Ciclística on April 11 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It is also the 46th of the season for the Team Type 1 men, surpassing the 45 victories that the team racked up in its first year as a professional squad in 2008.

For much of Friday's race, it looked like another Team Type 1 rider – Michael Creed – might be the one climbing to the top of the victory stand. Creed was part of a seven-man breakaway that escaped the pack 17 miles in and built as much as three-minute lead with 34 miles to go.

But the chasing efforts by Rock Racing, which has had Oscar Sevilla in the leader's yellow jersey since his Stage 2 win on Wednesday, pulled the escapees within a minute with nine miles to go. From there, a second breakaway group – this one containing Aldape – bridged up and rode through the remnants of the original group.


Stage 4 Results - Men
1. Moises Aldape (USA) Team Type 1
2. Phil Zajicek (USA) Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing

General Classification - Men

1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
4. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
5. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Darren Lill (USA) Team Type 1
9. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
10. Matt Wilson (USA) Team Type 1

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages

Team Type 1’s Holt Takes Lead At Gwinett Bike Fest

Duluth, Ga. – Team Type 1’s Dan Holt finished second during last Thursday’s Gwinnett Center Criterium but it was good enough for him to climb into the overall lead at the third Annual Gwinnett Bike Fest.

The six-races-in-five-days event in Georgia features more than 600 local, regional, national and international competitors.

With the help of teammate and Team Type 1 co-founder Joe Eldridge (below), Holt bridged a gap to a group of six riders who eventually lapped the field in the 90-minute race.

“I was pretty happy I made it across the gap,” Holt said. “They (the six in the lead) were pretty far gone. I wasn’t sure I could get across, but I thought I had better try.”

With about 15 minutes to go, Holt was on his own when Eldridge’s blood sugar began to drop. Eldridge is one of four riders with Type 1 diabetes on the Team Type 1 men’s professional team.

“I was having trouble holding the wheel in the easy sections and went straight into survival mode,” he said. “I took in about 60 grams of carbohydrates to no avail. The blood sugar had dropped too low for me to help out and I had to pull the plug to get more food.”

Eldridge said it was the first time in recent memory that his blood sugar has gone low during a race.

“I reviewed what I did and realized I had not taken in nearly enough carbs,” he said.

Despite a lack of teammates, Holt still managed to finish runner-up in the sprint to Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia). In Wednesday’s 50-mile Road Atlanta Circuit Race, Holt was part of an 11-man breakaway on the way to a fourth-place finish.

With only Eldridge to help him, Holt said he will do his best to hang onto the overall lead in today’s 85-mile Subaru Gwinnett Road Race in Dacula, Ga. There are two stages Saturday: the six-mile Addictive Cycles Time Trial in Buford, Ga., and a downtown criterium in Norcross, Ga., in the afternoon. Sunday’s final race is the Events Response Circuit Race in Lawrenceville, Ga.

“There’s a little bit of pressure,” Holt said. “Fly V Australia has four guys, so they are probably going to try and stick it to us. But I have a great teammate in Joe. We’ll see what happens.”

Confusion Reigns Over Powers’ Third Place Finish, Zirbel Finds Truth


Bend, Ore. – Team Type 1’s Alison Powers was congratulated by reporters for winning the Skyliner’s Time Trial Thursday at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.

A few minutes later, race officials told her she had actually finished second in the 16-mile (25 km) race against the clock.

And by the time she was summoned to the podium for the post-race awards ceremony, the reigning national time trial champion was accepting the prize for third place.

The surprising turn of events was confusing for reporters covering the race and a major disappointment for Powers, who was using the race as a tune-up for the same event at next week’s USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which also take place in Bend, Ore.


Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smackers), the apparent race winner, was not present for the awards ceremony. A member of her team reached her by phone but the Aspen, Colo., resident was unable to return in time for the podium ceremonies. That resulted in a $70 fine from the officials and forfeiture of the $150 she would have received for winning the race.

Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO) was listed as finishing second, two seconds ahead of Powers and 12 seconds behind Phillips. Race leader Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) was listed as fourth, 15 seconds behind Powers.

USA Cycling officials blamed reporters for the confusion, saying the results being tabulated by hand were unofficial. No timing clock was visible at the finish line, leaving reporters to look over the shoulders of judges who were recording and manually calculating times from stopwatches.

Powers said she isn’t familiar with either Phillips or Starnes, having never before shared a podium with them.

“Jessica Phillips is super strong, so maybe she had an amazing ride today. It’s good for her,” Power said.

Phillips and Powers have competed head-to-head in time trials in two National Racing Calendar (NRC) events the past two months. Three weeks ago at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Phillips finished 46 seconds behind Powers in an 8.8-mile (14 km) time trial that Powers won. At the Nature Valley Grand Prix last month, Phillips finished 13th, 51 seconds behind Powers, in a six-mile time trial. Powers was second that day, 13 seconds off the winning time of former world time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team).

Thursday’s runner-up finish was Starnes’ third in a time trial this season but her first at an NRC event. At the Cyclepath Cyclery Calavares Time Trial in Sunol, Calif., in May, she lost by 10 seconds to Emily Zell (PROMAN Racing). At the NCNCA District Time Trial Championship in June in Sattely, Calif., she finished nearly two minute behind winner Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling). Neither Van Houweling nor Zell are competing at the Cascade Classic.

Powers’ performance moves her into fifth overall, 1:21 behind Stevens, with three stages remaining. Friday is the 71-mile (114 km) Cascade Lakes Road Race. Saturday is an hour-long criterium in Downtown Bend, followed by Sunday’s 52-mile (84 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race.

Stage 3 Results - Women
1. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
2. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1

General Classification After Stage 3 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
6. Alison Starnes (USA) Team TIBCO
7. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
8. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
9. Meredith Miller (USA) Team TIBCO
10. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker

Zirbel Takes Cascade's Race of Truth
Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling) once again laid down the law in an Individual Time Trial. The best placed domestic rider in this year's Amgen Tour of California Solvang ITT, Zirbel proved once again to be the undisputed fastest chrono man in the domestic peloton as he was eleven seconds faster than BMC's Ian Mckissick and 44 seconds better than Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing).

Stage 3 Results - Men
1. Tom Zirbel (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
2. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing

General Classification After Stage 3 - Men
1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (USA) Rock Racing
2. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (USA) Rock Racing
4. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
5. Rory Sutherland (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
6. Chris Baldwin (USA) OUCH Pro Cycling Team
7. Victor Hugo Pena (USA) Rock Racing
8. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team
9. Darren Lill (USA) Team Type 1
10. Jeremy Vennell (USA) BISSELL Pro Cycling Team

Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages