So we didn’t really write about Speed Week but we had some amazing results from it across the board. Figured I’d list them here and recognize some of our racers achievements.
Athens: Zack lapped the field with a small breakaway and despite wrecking still ended up eighth.
North Charleston: Two wins with new team members Hayden Pierpont outsprinting the 4/5 field (with the VP just behind for the ol’ 1/2) and Rachel McKinnon doing the same in the women’s race.
Walterboro: The winning didn’t stop after leaving the home turf with Jeff Avans taking the Cat 4 W.
Nestor Cup: Although it’s not Speed Week it’s worth mentioning that many of our teammates have been crushing down in Savannah. R Scott Hellman and Nick D’Allesandro consistently near the top of the results and drastic improvements being made by new racers Sam Huntington, Matt Brady and Laurence Sutley.
Now let the beautiful words of an Ivy league PHD student serenade you on the colorful happenings of what we humbly call “Crossroads”
There’s nothing like a good crit series, and the Crossroads Classic around Winston Salem, NC every year is particularly special.
The first day is Mocksville: a crit that every crit should aspire to be like. It’s fast, four corners, downtown, nice roads, and short laps. Jon started the day off on wet roads from a heavy late afternoon shower and managed to bring it home safely in 6th place. Jeff stayed upright and looked comfortable in his very first Cat 3 race too. In the p12 race Zack took a long flier that according to all rules of bike racing should have stayed away, but didn’t, forcing Alex to go for the sprint but couldn’t launch till it was too late and he settled for 15th, good enough for the payout and a few PBRs. Cheers.
We were staying the week in Statesville, NC, home of the 2nd race of the series. The key to racing well throughout the week is recovering well. So in general we wake up late, find some coffee, spin the legs for an hour, then do ABSOLUTELY nothing for the next 6-8 hours until it’s time to race. [Bike racing is really rough sometimes.] And, since we were actually staying on the course, we had the added bonus of an extra hour of “recovery.” Jon and Jeff learned how hard it was to move up on the technical 6 corner course and could only manage 11th and 13th respectively. Because the p12 guys had raced the course before we knew the value of staying at the front. Alex did a fair amount of work patrolling the front in the beginning in the hopes Zack would show off his fast finish. Just as free laps expired (naturally), Zack followed the wheel of some guy who decided to eat it in turn two, forcing him out of the race. Justin had run over a water bottle ruining a wheelset and his chances, so Alex put together something out of nothing and finished another sprint in 13th overall. After the race, cleaning up, and eating we decided to go for a night on the town in Statesville. Which, I must say is something everyone should do once in their life, but only once because after that it just becomes weird.
Day 3 was in Asheboro, NC. Another fun and fast course featuring a technical corner in turn 3 where the best line to take involves a sidewalk, but our beloved official Judy said we couldn’t use the sidewalk, and EVERYONE listens to Judy. Jon and Jeff finished midpack, but both were more aggressive than previously and shook things up a bit in their respective races. The p12’s let a few trickle off the front but setting up for the pack sprint Zack made a solid solo move on the last lap to jump the lead out train, lines were chopped derailing his efforts slightly. Despite the unfortunate situation Zack still managed 8th place and Alex held onto 12th. It was also nice to see longtime J. Brown p/b Ms. Roses cycling supporters Billy and Catherine come support the race.
The final day Salisbury, is a beautiful course that feels eerily similar to the Dilworth criterium in Charlotte. There’s a nasty little hill on the home stretch and a lot of time to chase elsewhere. Jon started the day off right taking a top 10 and moving himself into 5th in the overall omnium after 4 straight days of solid riding (the notable performance earning him his eventual Cat3 upgrade). Jeff continued to impress in his cat 3 debut and finished with the group, holding his own as he had all week. In the p12 race the goal was to work for Alex who was highest in the omnium (11th), and in general likes hilly courses more than anyone else. Zack worked like a hero chasing down many moves—as did Paul and Justin. Late in the race Alex went off the front in a bridge attempt with 4 others to chase down a 3 man break. They didn’t catch the break, but Alex still took 5th on the day, which moved the team into 7th overall in the omnium.