Monday, June 29, 2009

Race Report: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix Sun June 28th

Alex - 3rd
Zack - 4th

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix is one of the last Cat 2 races of the season and Rob, Jason, Pascal, Zack and I were there representing Swamis DET. At a quick team meeting in the staging area, we hashed out our plan: be attentive and work together as a unit. The chances of a sprint finish were high, so Jason, Pascal and Rob were to keep Zack and myself as rested and sheltered as possible. It would then be our job to stay out of harms way, jockey for good position into the decisive last turn before the finish, and then sprint our trusty steeds with all our hearts (and legs) to the finish line.

Ralph Elliot rightfully labelled the course banana-shaped, and with a slight rise leading into each of the two 180 degree turns on opposite ends, it was definitely not a crit for the faint-hearted. Upon the official’s whistle it was go time and all us DET riders quickly took charge.

Pascal, Rob and Jason covered breaks and kept tabs on Zack and I, and the two of us were able to stay out of harms way and float around the top 20. The pressure mounted as our stellar team effort came to fruition but, we all fed off that pressure; this was true racing at it’s core: crashes ensued, the impressive crowd cheering as we passed by, the glory of an NRC podium was on the line! The field was lined out through the start/finish when, before I knew it, I saw 2 laps to go. Great carnage was likely on this technical course during the final laps, and a peloton of 100 or so over-eager and reckless Cat 2s increased the danger exponentially: it was important to stay close to the front. The team dropped us off perfectly for the final lap and with 1 to go I was somewhere around 10th wheel. On the back stretch I did my best to not get boxed in and anticipated surges on the wide course. I hopped onto a mini train and was about five riders back with Zack right behind me. Two riders jumped into the turn and I followed. TRhge sprint was on! I got edged out for second by about half of a wheel and took 3rd place on the day. Zack was close behind finishing in 4th with a well timed surge and bike throw. A podium finish and another teammate in the top five – a very respectable day in the office to say the least.

It is evident that all of our hard work and experience together as a team is paying off. We set out with specific objectives for this race and we executed them in textbook fashion. I look forward to building on this performance in the weeks to come. It was great motivation for us all as July is a month packed with some big races. SLO, Super Week, Cascade and Nationals in Bend, OR are just some of the races our DET riders will be heading to.

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Race Report: State Road Race Sun June 7th

When we last left off it was State RR time and the squad of Alex, Rob, newly minted Cat 1 Corey, Jason, Orion, and I travelled to Bakersfield for the 93 mile State Road Race. We were accompanied by super sognieur/domestique Kevin Davenport. Kev was there to help feed us. He raced the Cat 5 Sunday morning before our race and finished in 34th place. He's a real trooper for helping us post race. I think many of us were still in bed while he was going up the climb the first time!

The race started with the usual early attack which we let go without much fight. LaGrange rode on the front and kept the gap around 3 minutes. With 1 feeder and 6 guys requiring 2 bottle and food on 2 separate laps feeding was tricky. Corey and I were designated team leaders for the day and Alex, Rob, Jason, and Orion had domestique duty. they grabbed mussettes from Kevin and fed the team at each feed zone. This was huge. On the 2nd lap corey attacked the climb but the field chased him down. The break had dwindled to a solo rider and his gap was dropping. At the start of the 3rd lap we got our final feed and we lost Alex and Rob after they slayed themselves for the squad. a pair of riders snuck off and caught the solo man and the break surged ahead as we hit the final climb. Jason also snuck off the front to keep Swamis in the game! We rode up the final climb slow but we still lost riders; we were 80 miles into a 93 mile race! On the descent LaGrange chased furiously and they were down to 1 man, Adam Livingston in the final miles (Adam was defending champ and like the champion he is he chased solo on the front to stay in the race). SC Velo and Jason and Orion hit the front and pulled back the break with 1 mile to go! Orion put in a few digs to keep it fast and Jason moved me up to the top 5. I yelled at Jason to go and make it fast and with 600m to go he jumped. After he faded Thurlow Rogers took over and the sprint was on! A few guys came around my right and a few on the left and I passed a few and we hit the line. I crossed in 6th! Sweet! It was a great team result! Everyone rode awesome and we got lots of props for our efforts! Post race we snagged burritos at Chipotle- my favorite post race treat!

Next up: San Pedro GP and the return of the Cuban Missle!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Alex Jarman Wins Tour de Donuts!

Alex suffering up the final climb in Le Tour de Donuts. Does he get upgrade points for this? It must have been a really slow newsday too:

Corey Farrell: First DET Cat 1!!!! (One is not the loneliest number; it's the coolest)

We are proud to announce Corey Farrell got his Cat 1 upgrade. This is awesome news for Corey and the Swamis DET. Corey will be attending the U23 national champs later this season and hopefully he'll get an opportunity to go to europe with the US U23 squad.

Corey is the first development rider from Swamis DET to get his Cat 1.

Race Report: Ventura County Stage Race, Sat/Sun May 16-17

Squad: Corey, Chris, Zack, Skyler, & Robin

So finally a race thats about as local as it gets for me. I've been excited about this race since hearing about in December. The race was a 20 minute drive from my house in Ventura, Ca. So the crew got to my house the night before. Everyone just did some final adjustments to their bikes, ate, and slept.

The next morning we did the usual pre race stuff, and headed to downtown Ventura for the prologue. The course was 2 miles with 2 small risers, and one steep downhill that went straight into a left turn. I wasn't sure if I should race it on a road or time trial bike because of how technical the course was. I ended up riding the time trial bike, just because the turns were pretty wide, and there were some flat parts where you could make up some time.

The team signed in, kitted up, and started warming up. I never saw any of the other guys again, as I opted out on the trainer and got on the road. Since the prologue was so short you had to really get on it during the warm up. I got it done pretty well, but my legs were still a little stale while rolling up to the start.

My goal was to go under 4:05, but after crossing the finish I was told I went 3:58:71. Not that it really mattered because the time gaps between first and 50th would be something like 20 seconds. The time put me into 16th place, 4th in the U23 category, and 12 seconds off the lead. Later in the day was the crit, so we headed back to my house and recovered for a few hours.

Corey @ 3:58:71
Daggs @ 4:02:02
Zack @ 4:05:16
Robin @ 4:06:94
Skyler @ 4:18:30

So the crit was in the same place as the prologue. The course was going to be hard and lined out with a short steep climb after a long false flat to the start finish. There was also the same steep downhill to left turn that would keep everybody paying attention.
The race got going from the gun and within the first 5 laps or so, there was a crash that split the field. With a lead group of about 35 the pace was still being driven by a few different teams. The goal for the crit was to keep Daggs and myself in the front and save our legs for the tough road race the next day. We ended up finishing the 75 minute crit, and I ended up moving to 13th in GC and first in the U23 race.

Next up was the road race in Ojai. We were able to sleep in and take our morning slowly which was great. We drove up to Ojai and got Zack his caffeine fix at Starbucks. Quickly we realized that is was going to be super hot that day, which isn't unheard of in upper Ojai. The temperature was quickly at 95 degrees before the start, and got over 100 during the race. With no shade on the course everyones jerseys were quickly unzipped.

The race got off pretty slow, with the exception of a few solo attempts to get away. The course had climb that was about a mile long that was sure to blow the field up during one of the 11 times we rode up it. For the first few laps my legs weren't feeling super great, and it was HOT. Then on the 5th lap Neil Shirley and Roman Kilun attacked at the bottom of the climb, and I tried to bridge my way up to it. At the top of the climb I wasn't able to catch up, but I was with 2 guys from Liquid Fitness. I looked back and saw we had a pretty big gap, so I stayed with them. We quickly started rolling pretty well, and the gap to Neil and Roman slowly started dropping. Eventually the gap started to grow and they kept pulling away, but we were also opening up a pretty big lead on the main field. We were working pretty well together, and aside from the occasional cramping I was feeling pretty good. At the end of the 11 laps I rolled across the finish in 4th place, and we opened up about 4 minutes on the main field. I was pretty happy to finally get the result I have been wanting, and it was even better to find out I had placed 4th in GC and 1st in the U23 category.

The race organizers put on an awesome race, and I can't wait to race it next year.


Monday, May 18, 2009


Me and corey shadowing Roman Kilun, pro w/OUCH in the crit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Collegiate Nationals: Fort Collins, CO by Alex Jarman

Collegiate Cycling Nationals was this past weekend in Fort Collins,
Colorado. All of the best teams and individuals in the nation would be
competing for the stars and stripes jersey. Myself and Tammy
Wildgoose represented UCSD's cycling team, qualifying individually based on our rankings in the overall omnium for the West Coast Cycling Conference.
We arrived in Fort Collins on Wednesday to get acclimated
to the elevation prior to Friday's road race. Thursday morning we went for a beautiful spin through the valley in Fort Collins and then drive the tortuously hilly course. Several of the racers were at the rider meeting Thursday night. This was the real deal - full neutral support from Shimano, rolling closure, etc.
Friday morning was the first big day of racing. Tammy ventured outside
the hotel to warm-up and was greeted by a crisp-cold morning and gale
force winds. The womens Division 1 race was off first at 8am with a field
of about 80 of the nations best college women racers. The peloton stayed
together until the first major climb of the day. Tammy was able to stick
with the lead group for the first portion but by the top was not able to
hold onto the lead group. The rest of the road race was spent battling
the winds with a group of about 15 riders and attempting to chase down
the two groups in front. Tammy finished 21st in a shattered and tired
group of four riders.
The mens Division 1 race began promptly at 11 am with a field of more
than 130 of the nation's best. Although it was a "neutralized start," race was chaotic from the gun with a crash about two miles in ending the race for some. I immediately fought my way to the front, and sat two wheels back from the car leading the bunch. The peloton shattered into several groups by the time we reached the circuit in Masonville. The climbs, elevation and competitive field did me and several others in. I felt good in the third group, but being that our group was 6 minutes down at about 50 miles into the 70 mile race, I decided to end the chase and focus/recover for the crit on Saturday.
Saturday was the last day for Tammy and I to show off some sprinting
skillz. Tammy was frustrated with her performance in the road race and
was able to channel that energy into the criterium.
The women's field managed to stay together for the majority of the 60
minute race. With two laps to go their was a crash that fractured the
field. Tammy was able to avoid that crash and stick with the front group
to the finish line. It ended in a bunch sprint with Tammy able to sprint
as hard as she ever has for 3rd place! This finish also moved her up into
8th place in the omnium.
The men's race was fast and intense! The field was strung out in a long
line for most of the race. The peloton of over 130 riders stayed together
for most of the 75 minute race. I sat amongst the top 20-30 riders for most of the race. However, with five laps to go a group of about four riders managed to get away from the main group causing an enormous and chaotic chase effort by University of Vermont riders. The peloton averaged 29.5 miles per hour for the race, of which we were easily well above 30mph for the last 5 laps. The peloton caught the break with about half a lap to go and I was unable to get into good position. I finished 31st.
After a long weekend in Fort Collins and a good season of racing, Tammy and I were very pleased with an epic weekend of racing to end our collegiate careers.

- Alex