Month: May 2011

Tour of Somerville, NJ Recap

Here’s a quick recap from Tour of Somerville NJ:

The race was a 4-day crit series around suburban New Jersey neighborhoods. It is the oldest bike race in United States, and there is a large following among local who line the streets in anticipation of watching some fast cycling action.

Keeping out of the warm jersey sun

Tour of Somerville, NJ race 1 (Crit)

Sunny Gill lined up at 5 pm in hot 85 degrees as the lone Bike Doctor rider. This race was a sprinter’s dream, flat and fast. Sunny’s strategy going in was to get in a break and try to stay away. Because every other rider in the field looked like Rashan Bahati (big and fast in last 30 meters).

Make room for Bike Doctor at the start line

Sunny went with from the gun with only intention of getting his legs warmed up. Soon he was joined by 1 other rider. The gap grew to a 20 sec lead, and then 6 other guys jumped up to the leading duo. They all started hammering the front. The group of six survived, and half way into the race they lapped the entire field!! Sunny was super excited, this was his first time LAPPING the field, not to mention going from the gun. All he had to do was sit in follow wheels. But the sprint was super dirty and many who were lapped were now trying to sprint with us! It was madness. So he decided to play it conservatively and keep himself upright for next 2 days.

Overall 5 th place, 40$, and felt happy about destroying half of the field. Check out the DNFs!

Results - Crushing the field!!

Day 2

Another day of flat and fast Crit racing. They lined up 9 am, already 75-80 degrees and heating up quickly.  Sunny tried to keep cool with ice in his pockets and spraying water over my helmet.

He wasn’t planning much today, just sit in and get to the finish in top 10 spots. But the day ended short for him when he got caught in a crash half way in to the race.  He wasn’t sure how the crash happened, but all he heard was “pow pow”, clearly someone’s tire rolled off. He saw 3 guys on the ground, and he was headed straight into them. Until a quick break, and changed his line at the last minute. He thinks his rear wheel actually rolled over someone’s bike.  Fortunately, he did not go down. But as he was powering to get back to speed back up, he ripped his rear derailleur hangar clean of his bike.  It was a sad walk back to the start line, but he and Stephanie made the best of the day and went out to test drive a Mini Clubman S!! What a sweet car!! I may roll up in one next week.

Broken bike - Can't wait for the CAAD10's

Day 3.

After visiting 3 bike shops, Sunny was unable to find a derailleur hanger that fit his bike. So, he threw in the towel, and decided to visit a friend in Philly for beers and famous Philly cheesestakes.  Yumm.. My caloric intake was certainly on the up and up this weekend.

Bank of America Wilmington GP…A story book ending

Start House

At the Wilmington Grand Prix this past weekend, Pete Warner soloed his way up on Friday to participate in the inaugural category 2/3 Omnium Stage Race. Unfortunately, due to the unique scheduling and timing on the calendar, more teammates weren’t able to make the trek. But, as Pete alluded to during the weekly run-up, “This race is all about having fun. No pressure. Looking forward to spending time with my supportive wife while not racing.” Hmmm…a little mini vacation (of course he had to toss in a stage race into the vacation plans!).

The Stage Race commenced with the 3 mile Monkey Hill Prologue Time Trial on Friday evening at Brandywine Park. Although the promoter mentioned “technical”…”same course made famous during the Tour DuPont”… many riders had no idea what this was going to be like. Oh, man, were folks in for a bit of shock, including Pete. Depending on what letter your last name started with, Mother Nature either smiled upon you with some intermittent sprinkles and sun or she cursed you with a monsoon. We think the A thru C’s and the S thru Z’s captured the brunt of her anger as depicted in Pete’s video below. Yep, that familiar voice is Joe Jefferson rousing the riders up to the finish on Monkey Hill! You may hear the snippet of water bottles floating down I-95. Pete was a bit disappointed to finish 17th, but he was more than happy to make it through in one piece. Memorable for sure!

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24126317 w=400&h=300]

Wilmington Grand Prix Prologue from Peter Warner on Vimeo.

The Criterium race took place on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in downtown Wilmington. Since EVERYONE knew that getting a prime starting spot is critical on this course, swords were being drawn WELL before staging began. Unfortunately, Pete’s staging strategy backfired when the pace car didn’t rollup BEFORE everyone dashed to the line…whoops! So for the added thrill, Pete ended up at the back of the 90 man field. Yowza! As Pete described it, “The first 20 minutes I was running from the guillotine of riders blowing up, crashes and the bungee cord effect.” Although it was a big effort to work his way toward the front, Pete knew he had time to recover and pace the rest of the race on his terms. Pete’s not a crit specialist, so he just wanted to make sure he finished safely and possibly add some GC points. Mission accomplished with what he says as, “THE most satisfying 14th place I can remember.”

Crit Finish Video (Congrats to the North Tek-Aria team on the win)
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24126052 w=400&h=300]

Wilmington GP Criterium Cat 2/3 Finish from Pete Custer on Vimeo.

After an evening of probably drinking too many Dogfish IPA’s (this was a vacation after all, right?), Pete was ready to try and work some magic during the 81 mile Road Race Sunday morning. Well, let’s fast forward to the meaningful part and hear it as Pete described it to the team:

“Today’s 81 mile road race was nothing short of something you dream about. A full rolling enclosure with endless amounts of motos & police to guide the field and keep us safe. Incredible organization by the promoter and support from the City of Wilmington! We felt like Pros for a day.

Pete Warner ended up getting in a move around 55 miles into the race which swelled to 10 riders willing to work. At one point, the lead stretched out to a minute on the field. Pete said later that he was really happy to see his buddy Pete Custer (North Tek-Aria) had made the move. It got to be pretty clear that Custer and Warner were the strongest of the group.  Around 68 miles in, guys started missing pulls. Warner told Custer it was go time and to follow. They attacked the break and got some room. A Kelly guy bridged up but the others finally reeled them in about 4 miles later. Then naturally nobody wanted to keep working. The moto told the group they had 45 seconds. Warner knew he had to try and get away again (fyi…race was fast, covered 82 miles in 3 hrs). This move was doomed. It was sort of unintentional, but when Warner went to pull on a slight incline, he gapped the group, looked back, [may have said a few curse words to himself], and then just started pedaling harder.

TO HIS DELIGHT, Custer jumped up to him alone. Without a word said, they just drilled it for the next 6-7 miles to the finish…on the rivet big time. Ok, Warner did ask Custer for water since he had lost a bottle and every time he pulled through he saw a damn Deer Creek bottle hanging in his back pocket. Warner is his boss, in the business world, he has to share with him!

Pete described this as an absolutely unbelievable experience. The race was on major highways shutdown with police escorts and the last part had them rolling into a major metropolitan city alone!!! With the glorious downtown skyline in sight, they made the final turn onto the 1/4 mile homestretch and Warner told Custer to “ENJOY IT! WE did it!” Custer rolled across first to take a well earned victory and Warner placed a rewarding 2nd. The field came in about 15 seconds behind. They had swallowed the break Warner knew was doomed. This is what racing is all about!!! Warner said, “that it was made even more special in being able to share the glory with great friend. I’m going to savor this one for a LONG time. A story book ending!”

With Pete’s 2nd place road race result, he finished 5th on the GC. What a great weekend for Bike Doctor!!! Special shout out to our Bike Doctor Sponsor who got Pete up and rolling on his new Cannondale CAAD10 frameset along with some of the new Mavic tires. I guess that bike is fast enough!

Road Race Finish:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/24121201 w=400&h=300]

Wilmington Grand Prix 2/3 Road Race Finish from Peter Warner on Vimeo.

Bank of America Wilmington GP Cat 2/3 Road Race Podium

Here’s a great write-up by the Delaware Online News Journal: LINK

Rist Goes Two for Two at Leonardtown!

[slideshow]The Bike Doctor Racing Team descended upon the quaint little town of Leonardtown, MD,  and left town with a handful of scalps. Quick history lesson: Team Bike Doctor went 1, 2 in last year’s Leonardtown ¾ race, and we have a reputation to keep up.

To start things off right, in the Master’s 1/2/3 race, Brian Rist and Scott Giles put in some serious attacks on the field until they finally got off with 11 laps to go. The rest of the team kept things in check while Brian and Scott put the hammer down. The tag team duo crossed the line ahead of the pack with Brian edging out Scott on the line. Reputation upheld.

Next up was the ¾ race, and there was a MABRA criterium championship jersey on the line. Everyone on the team did a great job covering moves, and after 2 stops of the race due to the local fire station on the course, a solo DC Velo rider was given his established 15 second break with 11 laps left to complete. Brian Rist was able to muster some more power from the engine room,and bridged to the lone DC Velo rider with 4 laps to go. From there, the rest of the team did their best to cover things, and move to the front in case it came back together. Unbelievably, Brian took the win, and the jersey! A total team effort.

We’d like to think that on any weekend, any one of us could win a race. But what Brian was able to do was, simply put, “special”. Congrats man, we are in awe.

35+ 1/2/3 Finish
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/23860653 w=400&h=300]

Leonardtown 35+ 1/2/3 Finish from Peter Warner on Vimeo.

“WINNING”

Here at Bike Doctor racing, we follow the Charlie Sheen way of life. We like “winning”, as evidenced by this past weekend.

Saturday- Fort Ritchie Masters ¾. Brian Rist was 1st, and Brian Sjoberg was 3rd from a four man break that began about 4 laps into the race. Todd Bickling, Robb Hampton , and Steve Fife patrolled the front,  isolated, and shut down all of the attacks throughout the race. The gap hovered at about 20-30 seconds, and they stayed away until the end. Todd was 5th, Robb was 6th, and Fife was 7th taking 1, 2, 3 in the field sprint.

Fort Ritchie ¾. Brian Rist 8th, Todd Bickling 10th, Sunny Gill 13th, and Robb Hampton  was 16th. Tony Abate from District Velocity, and Jose Nunez from Haymarket would not be denied a result on this day, but the Bike Doctor boys put up a good fight.

Deep Blue TT. Pete Warner was 2nd in the 35+ with the 5th fastest time of the day overall. Jim Weinstein was 4th in the 35+ after spending several weeks in a cast. Tanner Brown won his first TT ever in the Junior 13-15 age group, and he managed to ride fast with an average speed of 21.9 mph.

Sunday- Jefferson Cup RR. Sunny Gill won the ¾ race, all alone, with no teammates. Sunny conserved his efforts and played off all of the other teams for a real cagey ride in what we all know is a tough course. Hats off to Sunny for doing his homework at Sea Otter, and Tour De Ephrata, setting him up for this great win!

In the Masters race, Pete Warner was 4th out of a four man break that formed on the last lap. Brian Rist and Scott Giles softened up the opposition with several hard pulls on “the“ hill each lap, and once Warner got away on the last lap, patrolled the front and kept things in check.

Charlie Sheen would be proud. Leonardtown, here we come…..

Ephrata Recap

Day 1 : Hammer Creek RR

Hammer Creek RR was a 9 mile circuit with lot of turns and narrow roads in Lancaster Co PA. The race was fast fast fast!  55 miles, avg speed 24 mph! The field consisted of 60+ riders from NY, PA, MD, VA and DC.  The MABRA teams included ABRT, District Velo, Raw Talent, GamJammies, and myself (Bike Doctor). The whole place smelled like cow poo!!

Tony Abarte (district velocity) got away with a Haymarket kid. I was in the break as well but decided to pull the plug when I realized I had 30 more miles to go in headwind.  I thought I made a big boo boo tactically when the break stayed away for most of the race. But we caught them on the final climb!  I kept my nose out of the wind and made the others chase! Finally sprinted for 5 th place (I would later find out that I was relegated to 17th b/c they did not have a “clear picture of me in the sprint”, I was on the R. of three riders and the sprint camera was on the left)!

Sunny Gill of Bike Doctor out of the start house for the stage 2 TT

Day 2 Mt. Pain TT & Epharta downtown Crit

The TT was a 8 mile effort with 6 flat rolling miles, and 2 miles of uphill finish. It was imperative to show up at the start line with a hot engine and ready produce an explosive effort. The split between the TT bikes and the road bike was 50/50!! Although I had a Zipp Sub 9 Power tap disc at my disposal (thanks to Cliff Rock), I decided to use  my 404s. The decision came after a little humming bird named Judd W. whispered in my ear that the last few miles of TT was a bit*h of a climb!!  404s were remarkably light yet aero.   Perhaps my only mistake was that I did not fully recon the course. I underestimated the final 200 yards, which had a monstrous uphill that cost me 30 secs and perhaps top 10. I exploded out of the start house and quickly caught my 30 sec man on the first climb. I knew the winning time from last year was 23:40s, I arrived at the bottom of the climb with 22:00 mins, and at 200 yards at 23:30 flat. But the last 200 yards the gradient was so tough that it cost me 30 extra secs to finish my TT. I finished 14th with a time of  24:45.

Best support team ever - Stephanie & Mr. Pluto

Going into the crit I was told the bad news that I had been relegated to 17th during the Road Race. My initial reaction was to quit and go home. Thanks to a wonderful support team (my girlfriend & Mr. Pluto, my dog) I put the disappointment behind me prepared for the crit.  I was 15th over all in GC after the TT. Determined to get Bike Doctor into top 10, I raced the crit knowing there was no margin for error.

Once again, an early break Tony Abarte & Haymarket got away. The speeds were touching 26 mph for a rolling crit, and the chase was full gas coming from the PA teams.  My goal was to ride in top 10 positions, and follow the counter attack if the break gets caught. We caught the break with 2 laps to go, but no counter attacks. On the last lap, things got super scary as riders were slowing, attacking, and slowing again.

With 3 corners to go, I again moved up into top 10, a move that would save my butt from crashing. As we approached the 3rd corner, the Haymarket dude slid out taking out 2 other guys. I missed his saddle by inches, but crash forced me to come to a track stand.  The finish was an uphill, followed by a left hander downhill sprint. I chased back up with 8 riders in the front, 4 of them had a substantial lead due to the crash (and were long gone).  I out sprinted the other 4 riders in the lead group on the climb to capture 5 th place in the crit.

Overall result 7th place for Bike Doctor in GC and $65 dollars cash award. Not a bad weekend!!

Ephrata crit - Chase led by PA teams

Results North and South of Mason Dixon

Team Bike Doctor had a great weekend of racing racking up some good results and even better times.

On Sunday at The Bunny Hop Criterium in Suitland, Maryland, Bike Doctor represented in the Masters 35 race being aggressive launching riders in breaks one after the other until one finally stuck at the end. Scott Giles slipped off the front with about five kilometers to go soloing away to for Bike Doctor’s first victory of the year with the money shot. No one in sight.

Pete Warner also grabbed a preme and 8th place. The rest of the guys represented the front of the race countering and covering moves all day long.

In the Masters 3/4 race, Steve Fife represented the move of the day and placed 5th in a 7 man break. With a few top sprinters in the move, including Jose “no no upgrade” Nunez, we were rooting for Steve to pull out some magic tricks. Robb Hampton charged the field and took 2nd in the field sprint for 9th place and took a preme of his own earlier. The rest of the crew were victims of the carnage on the course.

The guys also represented the 1/2/3 race but tired legs, crashes, and other superfast maniacs took chances of racking up more results.

Meanwhile, Sunny Gill made a solo trip up north to The Tour of Eprhata. Sunny, off the heals from several great results at Sea Otter Classic in California, kept the momentum going in the Men’s 3/4 race. After getting dropped from the break in the road race, Sunny used smart tactics and was able to place 5th putting him in great position for the overall. The next day, Sunny took to the Mt. Pain Time Trial and landed 14th.  Knowing he needed a result in the afternoon’s criterium, Sunny again used his strength and tactics to his advantage and placed 5th netting him 7th overall for the weekend. Congrats to Sunny for a great weekend.

The team looks forward to Fort Ritchie, Turkey Hill, and the Deep Blue Time Trial next week.

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