John Newsom went up to the USGP race in Louisville looking to see how he measured up to the big dogs in the SS class, well they found out he is one of the big dogs finshing 2nd. All of ST3 Cycling wants to give John a huge CONGARTS!! on having a great race.
Today was to be the day that ST3 would really showed its ability to work as a team. The plan was set and everyone seemed rested and ready to help get Stewart the overall Omnium win. Things then went a bit sideways with a text from David telling us he would not be able to make the race due to waking up with a bad stomach. Our race plan was tweaked a bit and to the line we went. We had Stewart, Jonathan, Mike H., Mike A., Mick, and Alan at the line. Our plan was to take charge and attack the entire race. Kevin Bevis from the Steel City team had two guys come up to help him and Kevin was one we needed to wear out. Kyle Campbell and the Snapple rider we had to work over also. The plan was to have one of us attack from the go, the pace though rolled slow and just as we started to ramp up Kevin and Kyle came shooting up at warp speed and all that could be done was for Alan to chase. It took maybe a mile and half but Alan was able to drag the peloton back up to them and get things back under control. As soon as things settled down Mick went off the front as our plan went into action. The field chased and the tempo stayed high. Mick was caught and Mike H. took off and again other were chasing. This went one for several miles all the while Stewart stayed protect behind Alan. Finally Mick and Mike H. were cooked and dropped back, but then came Mike A. he came up and took over and did a massive pull down the main stretch once again keeping the tempo high and us keeping Stewart protected. Once Mike A. tank went low Jonathan came to the front and picked it up along with Alan. As we came across the line and got the 2 to go Alan took the front and took the pace over, for the next 4.5 miles he was in control, finally out of gas Alan dropped off giving control to Jonathan. With about 2 miles left Jonathan moved to the left and went just a bit too far and caught his front tire on the curb sending him over his handle bars. Seeing that, Steve from the BPC team jumped hard and was able to take two of his teammates with him, Stewart without any more help had to fend for himself. As we made the last turn and ramped up for the sprint BPC had put two riders up front and in control. Stewart gave everything he had and was able to come away with a 4th place finish and took 2nd overall. Some said that we had done too much work during the race, but what we did was to utilize all our teammates in the effort to help accomplish a great finish for the over Omnium and with Stewart finishing 2nd it was a very well executed race plan.
It was not a large group going at it for the State title but a good group. As the race started Alan took the lead as per his usual, this time though no one really made any effort to deny him his first lap win. Determined to try and stretch the field out Alan made an honest attack, he was able to get maybe 50m or so but not much more before the peloton got up to speed and re grouped. As we came around for lap 3 Mick was at the front and controlling the pace. He was able to do so for a lap or two before Stewart and Alan moved back up to help. As the race went on a common theme was happening with the rider for Snapple winning the preams, each time though he would come back to the field. Well as he took the last pream and the 5 to go the peloton fell asleep a bit and he was able to put a nice gap on us. As the chase began each Jonathan, Stewart, and Alan took turns pulling and trying to close the gap, but with 2 to go Alan had 2 spokes come lose, leaving Stewart and Jonathan to do what they could. With one to go Snapple was in sight and there just might be a chance, but as the field came around the last turn he had just enough to take the win, Stewart had a strong 3rd place with Jonathan in 9th.
The day started early for all of us that competed in the Omnium and the Time Trial being the first race we needed to knock out. The team had a good showing with Stewart, Jonathan, Alan, Mike H., and Mick in the mix for the men and Lynne doing her first TT. As we all warmed up and made our way down to the starting line Lynne was starting to feel the nerves of her first TT, but was handling it like this was her 50th race. At least unlike at the MSGP our starting times were spread out and we weren’t chasing each other. The course they had laid out was to say the least a bit sketchy on a road that has been closed for many years due to sink holes and since has just become slightly more than a paved walking trail. By all accounts we were hearing that at some point the slight 3 to 4% grade would go up sharply on this short 1.8 mile course, but as all of us found out, too late, that it would not. Everyone really held their own except for Mick who unfortunately dropped his chain and lost massive time. Lynne really did great for her first TT staying steady and not letting the poor road conditions bother her, she really grinded it out all the way.
Finishing Results: Men’s Cat 4
4th – Stewart
8th – Jonathan
10th – Alan
14th – Mike H.
17th – Mick
3rd – Lynne
April 22, 2012
The day finally arrived for Lynne to make her assault on the Cheaha Challenge. The weather forecast leading up to this day kept change by the hour it seemed, unfortunately the last forecast was right when they said there would be lots of wind. As they gathered us all at the start Lynne seemed pretty calm and ready to go, but just like most events it was hurry up and wait. Being this was Cheaha’s 20th year they had to thank I think everyone who ever rode for the past 20 years….LOL
Finally we got the word to go, as we headed through town I was amazed at how mindless many riders were, trying to gain I guess those pressies seconds as they rode in the oncoming traffic lanes. Well at mile 3.1, YES 3.1 of 102 it caught up to a couple of the riders when an on coming car had to break hard cause of riders in the lane, one rider went into the ditch while the other yanked it back over into the peloton and of course causing a crash. I was proud of how Lynne handle all of this specially being the crash that followed was right in front of us. As we rolled out of the town of Piedmont it finally stretched out and we could settle in. The pace out to 78 was a good one and Mick and I had told Lynne we wanted to get her to rest stop 2 at close to 20mph avg, as we rolled past and turned to head into the park we were just over that and she was feeling good. Now for the work to begin. We had planned on making our first stop at rest stop 3, which is at the 33 mile mark and is where Lynne turned around last year. Rest stop 3 is at the top of the first tough climb in the park and the first barrier we needed to get her through, as we came to the top I looked at our average and let Lynne know we were at 17.3, she was excited to hear that and I think she started believing she could do this. We filled up and headed on, the rollers leading up to the next big climb just came and went and Lynne was handling them like she was riding in OMSP. As we started the climb up to rest stop 4, a nice lil 3 mile climb, Lynne seemed in a good zone and handling it good. About half way up we came around a slight right bend to find two riders that had to take a break from the climb, which hey not every body can make it straight up, BUT to be stopped in the middle of the road where other riders have to take extra effort to go around and oh yeah what about those things we call cars???? Lynne handle it well and pushed on. Finally we crested and as to our plan we rolled right through heading to the half way point. The reward of that tough climb was the relaxing down hill that was nearly 2 miles in length. We made it to the turn around made a quick stop and headed back. Lynne handled the climb back up to rest stop 4 now 6 great, we made a full stop reloading everything and catching our breath. It was around 1pm when we started down and the wind was at it’s highest levels as we were going down the long 3 mile decent I was several bike lengths behind Lynne when a Sharp gust of wind came from our right and I could had sworn it picked her up and blew her several feet over to the center, needless to say she was edge the rest of the way out of the park. We made our last stop at stop 2/8 loaded up and got focused on making the last 20 miles with no more stopping. As we turned up CR9 and headed towards Piedmont we realized that the wind was going to be head on the entire way back. Lynne kept a great pace and we started picking up other riders who on the up hills couldn’t hang so they fell in behind and let her pull them the last 15 miles (see above picture of two of those riders finishing behind us LOL). As we came back into town I saw that we could finish in under 7 and half so I start yelling at Lynne to push it, she jumped to it and finished the last two miles in great shape and with an awesome effort.
It was one of the toughest days I have had on a bike, but being able to ride with Lynne & Mick and help her accomplish this made it well worth it.
GREAT JOB Lynne!!!
April 1, 2012
It was another hot race down in Dothan, AL but again the people of Dothan put on a great event. The team rolled in with Mick Gould, Mke Herring, Max Diaz, Alan Laytham, and first time Cat 4 Reuben Dupre. The Cat 4 field was a bit smaller than what we had last week in Tuscaloosa, but the pace on this four corner course was much better suited fo us.
This time we all were up front at the start and got away clean, as we came around for lap one Cody Brooke of the West Florida Wheelman thought he could take the grand prize and out sprint Alan for the first lap win, HA no chance, oh wait that race still had 42 mins left, oh well. As the race progressed the pace stayed fast, riders started falling off till there were only 13 left on the lead lap. Alan and Reuben were apart of the 13 and Alan was doing his best to stay up front and keep Reuben out of trouble and fresh. With 8 laps left Alan finally cracked and started to fall back, Reuben on the other hand stayed up and was riding real strong. One rider got away by about 50m but the sprint was on for second, third and fourth. It came down to the two new Cat 4 riders Boris and Reuben, and Nate for those spots, Boris had just enough to get Reuben who finished third and Nate who took fourth. Alan came in at 13th, Max 19th, Mick 21st, and Mike 22nd.
Thankfully this year the Cat 4s kept it clean around turn 4 and everyone came home in tact.
March 25, 2012
Tour de Tuscaloosa was again the State Road Race Championship. The Cat 5s of John, Reuben, and Jonathan were ready to go after it. All three did a great job and filled the podium. John Newson took 2nd and Reuben Dupre 3rd. Jonathan Soto had a good 12th place. After this event both John and Reuben made their move up the Cat 4s.
In the Cat 4 race the field was nearly 70 riders, again we had Alan, Stewart, Mick, Mike, and Max. From the get go the field seemed a bit nervous and un settled. The second time up the hill towards the finish Chris Winter of BPC Cycling made his move and was not seen from again, he ended up finishing just over 2 minutes clear. Alan and Stewart stayed near the front, they passed Max on the side of the road fixing a flat, as they made the last turn to go up the hill the final time both were in the middle of the peloton, Stewart was able to keep up, but Alan faded and made it in just on the back of the lead group. Stewart finished 13th over all and took the bronze for the State.
Great job to everyone, on to Dothan next week.
March 24 – 25, 2012
What a great weekend, the weather this year for the event was awesome and again Gina at Velo put together a great event. ST3 Cycling had several firsts this weekend, John Newsom, Jonathan Soto and Stewart Miller all raced in their first non training events and Mick Gould raced in his first Cat 4 race. The team turned out with Reuben making it up from Mobile and Holly and Donna adding to the cheering section.
As for the racing, the Cat 5 event had John, Reuben, and Jon in it. From the gun John and Reuben mixed it up at the front, on the front, and off the front. The pace stayed high and Boris from the Bici team was right in the mix the entire time. As the laps clicked off John tried to make a move off the front but was reeled back in. On the final lap Reuben had a gap but was not able to hold it, but still took a good 5th place finish. John did what he could but was not able to get around the winner and took 2nd.
In the Cat 4 race Alan, Stewart, Mick, Mike, and Max took to the line. Before the race, Alan gave the race strategy, he was not going to try and lead any laps and just hang in and wait till the end and for the rest to do the same. WELL that lasted half a lap, Alan found himself once again on the front and pushing the pace. After lap one he settled in and him and Stewart started working together. Unfortunately for Mick, Mike, and Max the Rigsby had a quick trigger finger on pulling riders and the three of them were caught at the back at the start and could not make up what they needed to to stay with the race. On the last lap the field was still 45 or so riders and going at it, Stewart had great position going into the last three turns and was able to take a great 8th place finish.
We all took away good lessons on what we need to do and we all came out of Saturday clean.
This past weekend saw the team once again step up and take podiums, three to be exact. Also we saw several doing their first road events, and the following report is from Lynne, a woman that said not more than 6 months ago that she would never do a race, Well…..
Lynne’s First Race (EVER!)
Sunday 26th Feb was shaping up to be a beautiful day for a “ride” as Alan kept reminding me. My nerves were in over drive but kept trying to ignore the doubts and fears in my mind.
I pulled up to the start line and was disappointed that there were only four other riders in the “C” Group. Alan was by my side to help push and Mick and Stewart we’re behind for a warm up lap and also to shout words of encouragement. There were a few other riders back there, all just for the warm up lap.
We started off, and I got dropped by the other four riders immediately. My heart sank and I started to panic. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I may die at any second! Alan kept pushing me and I could hear Mick and Stewart behind shouting words of advice and encouragement. I hooked onto two guys from GSMR (Jeff and Lane). I really have to thank them both for pulling me around the 3 laps.
Halfway into the first lap I felt there was no way I could go on to do a second and third. The wind was terrible and at one point I thought it would take me out for sure. As I neared the end of the first lap something kicked in, maybe adrenaline, but it, and Alan kept me going.
Mick and Steward pulled off after the first lap, and with the help from Jeff and Lane, and Alan still by my side, I breezed through the second lap. Unfortunately nearing the end of the second lap, Jeff had a flat and had to stop. Alan pulled off at the end of the second lap so I was alone with Lane working to pull me through. Whilst pushing through the start/finish line I heard Mick shout that the only other girl racer was not far in front. It gave me hope.
Beginning Lap three, I was still feeling pretty good. At the first turn, I could see the other girl in front of me. She was probably about 1.5 miles away. We slowly started to gain on her. I kept feeling that I would reach her for sure, but just couldn’t find the strength, especially when we hit the head on wind again. We went through the second turn on to the chip seal road and I was hammering it, trying hard to gain my competitor. Approximately 1 KM from the end I managed to pass my competitor!! I was thrilled and excited, however she attacked and beat me to the finish line.
My biggest fear about the whole race was finishing last… I did, however now that I know how hard those 30 miles felt, it doesn’t matter that I finished last, the important thing to me is that I actually started it…..and finished it!
A BIG Thank you to Alan for your continuous training advice and support. Also to Mick, Stewart, Max and John for their help and encouragement during the race.
Already looking forward to the next one!
Great job to everyone!
Well the road season has finally kicked off, THANK GOD!! LOL
For those of us that ventured up to Camp Sumatanga yesterday we had a very nasty, damp, cold day to kick off the 2012 season. Myself, Mick, and John lined up for the “B” race, Holly & Lynne gave strong vocal support with Lynne handling the camera duties and snapping some great shots. The “B” race was 4 laps of the near 10 mile loop and was John’s first road event ever. With the way the weather was none of us really took the time to do a good warm up thinking we could get it in on the first lap, for two of us it did, but Mick just couldn’t get loosened up and suffered and eventually had to fall back. As for John and I we mixed it up towards the front all race, John showed some great strength and worked a bit too much on the front getting used a bit by the group. The race started with around 30 riders and for the most part stayed together, two riders went off early with one of them coming back on the second lap, we thought we would catch the leader, but not this day, he checked out and stole the day. As we made our way around on the third lap John was picking up on how to take advantage of pulls and to stay off the front, finally the pace picked up and riders started to go off the back. John & I kept to the front working to keep our position strong amongst the large squads. With around 6 miles to go we made the turn for home, things were picking up and my momentum was really carrying me strong. I bolted by John who was on the front and as I went by I yell for him to hold them of as long as he could. I was able to get up a couple 100m on the pack but it was not to be, the peleton came roaring by. I was able to grab like the 7th or 8th wheel, John rolled by and I grabbed his wheel, he motioned for me to come by, but looking over my shoulder I knew no one was going to work any type of pace line so I stayed put and told John “guess your going to learn how it feels to be used and abused”. John rode hard as we came up to the 1k sign and finally other riders came around. As we started to position ourselves for the sprint we were three across and I had the middle. I didn’t know how far John had fallen back but I knew I needed to stay pushing hard. At 200m I heard Russel from the Steel City team tell his guy Kevin who was to my left to go, I grabbed a gear and tried to match what he had, that lasted for maybe 50m, OK I’m stretching it a bit, I kept up what I could, thankfully John was right behind me and still had something left and was able to move through and take 3rd place. I rolled in with like 15th or 16th.
Over all I’m very happy with how the race went. With only three of us that started the race and Mick’s back cramping up early, John and I did well against a couple of the other teams that had better numbers. I think we showed them that ST3 was a player off road and yesterday we showed that they better not take us too lightly on the road.