Cochise 2013

CCCC2013Y

Bryan finishing the race in typical Sprinters fashion!

Rich Horn is my hero!  The wind is always a factor at Cochise and this year was no different.  Everybody, no matter how much they try to hide, ends up putting more watts to the pedals to overcome the constant drag than they want to.  He looked great going into Bisbee and had a fast time up Mule Pass considering the distance he still had to cover.  I expect from the results that he probably soloed all the way from Bisbee to the finish, pushing through the wind all by himself, the only one strong enough to finish.

Here is my take on the 97 this year:

Beto called the night before and gave me & Jeremy spot-on beta on who to watch just like always.  What an invaluable resource he is to this team!  Amongst his picks, I had spotted in the registered riders list the other 3 powerhouses that podiumed:  Tim Carolan, Sean Daley & Andre McNulty.  Those guys along with the winner (Flanders) and Michael Hast lit up the climb just after the roundabout and put 90 seconds on Jeremy, myself, Robert Chorost & 3 others’ chase group.

At the top of Mule Pass, Jeremy shattered our chasers with a strong pull in the last ¼ mile and we all went over fragmented.  I got an amazing running 2-bottle feed from Doogie at the top and hammered to get to Jeremy so we could descend together.  As soon as I got to him he had a blowout!  I cursed as he called Doogie to get a wheel & pace and I proceeded down the long hill to get to two of our group already descending.

I descend pretty well and pulled them back within a minute.  Staying tucked as I approached at a much higher speed, I was screaming at them to get on, determined to work hard to pull back the leaders.  Predictably, they let me go flying by solo without getting on, so I sat up to wait.  When they got to me, I encouraged a fast rotation (the best way to descend quickly with a group by the way) but since neither one of them seemed to know how to achieve a tuck, the mostly followed me down the remaining miles.

We began rotating and quickly pulled back Jose (McDonnalds sponsored sprinter) who also got dropped by the climbers.  After a few miles of work, the douche-bag tandem (we all have stories about these guys from years past!) pulled a 2-3 more riders to us, already yelling at & berating riders to pull hard as they roll up.  We all begin working well despite being cooked, everyone sharing in the work, rarely sitting out a rotation to recover the legs, but the tandem begins their chicanery.

I knew they were working with the pro and took care to point out their alliance to the rest of the group whenever they were out of hearing range.  The tandem riders continued to berate our riders so I knew what was coming and that our chase was doomed to fail.  From this point forward, I conserved my energy to recover my legs knowing that catching the leaders wasn’t going to happen.

The attacks began coming from the tandem & Jose.  I covered when I could & surfed others covering when I couldn’t.  Robert Chorost was real riled up and began attacking the tandem every chance he got.  The rest of us followed or pulled through.  This continued for miles up Davis road.

Karma was swift today and the tandem began to flat on their front wheel.  I took stock of the distance remaining, considered both options and the ramifications, and not fully out of generosity, I offered up my spare wheel for the tandem to use.  Doogie was close so I asked him to give my wheel to the tandem as our group soft-pedaled to wait.

All this lollygagging in the cross-wind allowed the substantially larger chase group 3 to catch us near the end of Davis road.  I breathed a big sigh of relief knowing my pulls on the front were over and went to the back to give my legs a much needed break.  The tandem and others took up the work on the front but without impetus.

We turned into the wind on 191.  The pace was slow enough and people weren’t pulling through, so I moved up to top 10 to surf and cover attacks.  I found Jose’s wheel and battled all on-comers to retain it, knowing he was the strongest and wouldn’t let any breaks get away.

Eight miles from the finish the pace slowed significantly in the blustery headwind and I knew this was the time to make a move.  Jose moved out left and started heading to the front.  I followed him a few places knowing what he was about to do and took stock of the situation.  I knew in that instant that if I went with him we would be working together in the wind for the next 8 miles, fighting to be first out of the chase group.  I also knew he was much stronger than me and that he would probably jump me for the win as we neared the finish line.  Those that know me know how competitive I am and how much I will give for minor victories.  This time I’m happy to say I decided to let him go solo and without reservation, gifted him 6th place if he could stay away by himself.  I dropped back a few places and reinserted myself into the group as I watched him disappear up the road.

I surfed up & back a lot as the group varied between charging hard strung-out and slowing, making sure to be sheltered behind big experienced riders.  I moved up to 3rd when we turned off 191 into a horribly strong crosswind, one of the few to actually get a draft a we were driving hard on the white line on the left hand side of the road!  We turned onto the final stretch.  Sprinters positioned themselves in key places while the usual early attempts at 3k/2k/1k solo glory went & sputtered.  The tandem drove a fast pace in the final 1k into that brutal head-wind.  I had made the decision earlier in the day to delay launching my sprint a bit longer than usual due to the wind direction.  Gary Raymond launched his sprint at 250 meters on the left side.  I waited on the right side of the group in 3rd position to surf chasers and launch at 150m.  Kudos to Gary!  He stayed strong for the full 250m.  I launched strong to pull him back accelerating the entire way, but even with my much faster top speed he beat me by a wheel over the finish line for 7th, relegating me to 8th.

After the sprint, my legs felt the best they had all day.  I feel good about the decisions I made on the road and I’m thrilled with my result.  I figure, the best result I could have had that day was 6th place, so two places back from that on my first event out in 3.5 years is pretty good.  It’s only been 100 days since I was cleared by my surgeon to ride again.  To be honest, I can’t believe it went this well, and I’m starting to regain some confidence back.

Y

CCCC2013J

I know.  It’s getting mildly frustrating.  I was climbing great and felt awesome.  The funny thing was the tires were the same but the wheel set was different.  If anyone has a suggestion on a durable race/training tire I’m all ears.

It was kind of comical after the ride when I was talking to Bryan about the tunnel.  When we were in the tunnel I heard Bryan shouting and saw him wave his hand.  What I thought he was telling me was to drill it to the top.  “Hey, go go go!”  Instead it was “Hey, you are popping me off.”  Dumb ass!  

Great job Rich!  As always, nice to see you in a race.  Even if it’s not the same race.  Animal!

Shout out to Doogie.  Magnificent support.  I’ll watch where I throw the bottle next time.  Great electrical taping job, it keeps the mind busy for a minute or two.

Bryan, as always, brilliant riding sensei.  

Jeremy

———————-
Bryan,

  Great story!  Wish I could have something as exciting to write up.  No I was not the only finisher in the 165, here are the top 10:

PLACE NO. NAME               SEX AGE TIME     MPH    CITY, ST

   1   3 RICHARD HORN         M  44  8:11:26  20.0   TUCSON, AZ          
   2  24 BOB MCKENZIE         M  61  9:04:35  18.1   TULSA, OK           
   3  21 CHARLES WHEELER      M  52  9:30:21  17.3   PARADISE VALLEY, AZ 
   4  22 BRUCE MOGEL          M  55  9:44:22  16.8   SCOTTSDALE, AZ      
   5  20 JOHN HEALY           M  31  10:02:01 16.4   SIERRA VISTA, AZ    
   6  10 ROBERT LAPOSTA       M  46  10:05:30 16.3   SIERRA VISTA, AZ    
   7   8 MARK GOLDENTYER      M  55  10:10:16 16.1   TUCSON, AZ          
   8  11 JESSICA WALKER       F  35  10:14:59 16.0   TUCSON, AZ          
   9  15 THOMAS ARMSTRONG JR  M  57  10:34:40 15.5   SIERRA VISTA, AZ    
  10   9 MICHAEL INGRAM       M  63  11:15:39 14.6   TUCSON, AZ 

  However this year between all three distances, there were over 125 DNF’s, 5 of those were in the 165.
 

   I was on the front from the outbound turn onto Glenn.  Due to a stomach bug that hit me Friday, I had to visit the facilities before the climb which caused a several minute delay.  After that I went slow for the first 2/3 of the climb to help bring Bob McKenzie back to the 5 or 6 riders that jumped in with  97 mile riders as they passed.  Once Bob was back with the group I thought I should try to catch some of the faster people from the 97 so I can draft off them from Mule Pass to Davis road turnoff.  I did pass many people going up to Mule, found no one to ride down with and a mile or so after the bottom jumped on a small group with a tandem for about 5 miles.  Then I left them to bridge up to another group of 10 or so riders because I thought I saw an Aggress jersey there.  Once I caught them, the Aggress rider was off the front by himself, it was the last climb before Davis road.  I left that group and bridged up to see who’s flames were burning brightly and it was Jeremy!  He said he had gotten a flat and the lead group was about 10 minutes ahead.  I road with him for about half a mile and then wished him well as he turned off at Davis.  It was nothing but wind and grasshoppers from that point on.  Oh, did I mention a stomach bug?  I had to stop a few more times, but I will spare you the graphics.  I did stop to swap out front wheels at Dragoon.  If I did not have to stop so many times, and for so long, I would have gone under 8 hours for a platinum.  Next year will be a piece of cake because more strong riders will be doing the 165 with me.

  I’ll post a picture of the Conquistador as soon as I have a chance.

-Rich

so there was this ride …

Aggress was flying some flames in the standard edition of our world-famous Shootout.  Ariana did not seem to appreciate the nuances of my Velonews-worthy recap of today’s ride, so I though to perhaps elaborate, embellish and enumerate our earlier engagement for a more rapt audience, and right this moment, that would be you.
 
So let’s see, where was I?  Oh yeah, so there were many familiar faces.  There was Big Jim doing Big Jim-like things; there was Mike ‘where’s my fucking bike?’ M taking mobile podiums on the hill and final sprint, and of course Rich ‘just resting and off the front’ Horn.  
And, yes I was there sneaking around sucking wheels and trying to not get dropped.  
 
There was the tandem taking the toll, stringing out the field / thinning the herd.  There was this bridge and we went real fast; there was no mail, and then came the winds.  There was the gutter, there was no shelter, there goes the wheel in front of me, a crack appears in my armor.  I dig deeper refusing to allow this breaking of my s…p…i…r…i…t….. We ride fast some more. I think to move up on the hill, but then… I double flat…  Miraculously, they repair themselves.  Then we go fast!  Then someone goes by faster and I go faster too.  We go away from the others.  We get joined by a few others and we all GO VERY FAST.  I got to the sign first and then others catch us right afterward; then we all just kind of go fast. 
 
Then!!!!  There is a sprint.  I am minding the back of the reduced group making sure everyone stays together.  I move up… I fight for the wheel of the tandem… Wait, it’s Jake in a seal full body suit and he IS NOT BUDGING.  So I fight to get behind him.  These boys are not very welcoming at the front.  The elbow of the tandem pilot twitches like someone with Tourerette’s and I’m supposed to, what, pull through at 35 heading into a sprint?  Did I mention I’m a wheel-sucking pussy?  Eljet and I were both called that some years ago by a female rider.  Yep, keep sucking those wheels.  And as we approach the end of the sprint, Mike goes by taking 2nd and I slip easily backward through the group.  
 
Isn’t bike riding fun?  
 
So there is this party…
 
Kurt

CCCC_2012 165-Miles

Rich Horn – Second place in the 165 mile event with a time of 6:52, 24 mph average! 

This is the first year the wind really cooperated, or should I say lack of wind!  What a perfect day for a ride.

Even though I placed second, my time was 30 minutes faster then the previous course record for the 157 mile event.

During the pre-ride expo the night before the race,  rumor had it that Brian Folts (Iron Man Triathlete) was talking to everyone saying he was going to win it this year.  Mark Goldentyer, who I knew from rides in Saguaro National Park and Mt. Lemmon, came up to me to give me the news.  I made a comment: “This is the same Brian that didn’t finish it last year (2011)?  I let him get ahead early on as I was trying to rally some of the other riders.  Caught him in Benson, pulled away on the steep section of I-10, never saw him again.  DNF.”   Mark didn’t know that he tried it last year.  Just hearing someone being so cocky before a race gets me worked up.  I started making claims that he would not win this time.  Especially with myself and Mr. McGehee in the event.  Don’t get me wrong Brian is a phenomenal athlete, he took first place overall in the Mt. Evens race in Colorado (running) a few months earlier.  However most tri’s I’ve ridden with just don’t do as well on the bike so I’m banking this is the same.  Never the less, he is only 26 years old, and his cycling equipment is worth about 5 times what my Fuji is.  I didn’t get as good a nights sleep as I should have.

When the race starts, I told myself I’ll be happy if I finish within 30 minutes of Mr. McGehee, after all he holds world records for 100 mile time trials and is 11 times winner of the 256  mile event.   Most important thing on my mind: Make sure that Brian kid does not win!

When the gun goes off, more like everyone counting down to zero, we are off on a neutral start till the first cattle guard.  After the event gets going, I find that for the first 10 miles it’s myself and a tandem on the front for most of the time.  Then we start approaching the gradual climb up to Bisbee.  

Having recently placed 3rd in Mt Graham, I knew the hill would not be a problem.  It was a piece of cake.  As a matter of fact our buddy Brian decides to drill it up the hill, every time I’d get on front to help out he would just come past me again.  He wanted to set the pace.  I was fine with this as he was dropping people every mile.  By the time we made it to the tunnel, there were only 4 of us left.  138 miles to go.  I was willing to work with these other three (Brian Folts, Dan McGehee and Shane Castle) for the rest of the rice, however Dan was a little perturbed that Brian drilled it up the hill so hard and said he was an idiot and we were not going to wait for him.   Three of us raced down the hill and pulled away from Brian with ease.  Each time we hit a small climb I made sure I kept the pace up so Brian would not close in.  By the Davis road turn off, he was no where in sight.

The rest of the race was fairly uneventful.  Just after we turned onto I-10 Mr McGehee flatted.  Shane rides up to me and said “What a shame, Dan has a flat.”  I will kick myself afterward for what I’m about to do.  I looked back and then told Shane we have to wait for him.  I soft pedaled with Shane for about 15 minutes until Dan got back with us.  After we crested the hill near Dragoon, Dan really started his tactful burning of our matches.  Every time it was his turn to pull, he would accelerate past the person who just finished their pull (me) and I would have to dig deep every time to catch back on. 

Somewhere in one of the little podunks about 50 or 60 miles from the finish, Dan wanted me to attack with him and drop Shane.  He could not hear me telling him my support was just ahead with my water and I would not attack right now.   About 50 yards before my support vehicle Dan attacked, he was talking over his shoulder telling me to go with him.  I would not right then because I was out of water and needed the feed.   He pulled away.   I grabbed my water bottle and stuffed it in the cage.  I think Shane made a comment, and there he goes!  I jump out of the saddle and said, well I gotta catch him.  I was off, and burning some matches.  I honestly can’t tell you if it was half a mile or 5 miles, but I caught up to Dan.  After I caught back on, he continued his tactful accelerations when I was done with the pull.  I knew he was getting ready to drop me because every other time he would try hard to drop me.  About 28 miles from the finish he made it clear he was going to finish on his own.  He let me do a long pull, then he would start to fall back.  He fell back about 50 yards or so, I thought maybe he was trying to take a layer off.  Being the nice guy that I am, I slow down to wait for him.  While I was not looking he accelerates … I hear the rumble strips as he crossed, I look over my shoulder just in time to see him on the other side of the highway going about 10 miles an hour faster then me.  Fooled me this time, no way I can catch him now, especially after a long pull and going blind.  

I look at the OD and see there is only 28 miles, I tell myself if he gains 1 minute per mile I’ll still reach my goal of finishing within 30 minutes! WooHoo! … uhh … mmm..  Didn’t realize, err forgot, how long riding 28 miles solo, in the middle of no where … feels.  

Though I was going blind and the legs were fading, I periodically thought I caught the gimps of a mirage ahead.  If I squint I keep thinking I see a bike ahead.  I knew Dan was gone, so could be riders from the 97 mile event, or just nothing at all.  Eventually I did start passing small groups of riders from one of the other events, I figure that must have been what I saw.  When I finally come to the finish line, Dan is still on the road.  People tell me he just finished.  I come to find out he was only three minutes ahead of me.   What! @#%$!#^!! Dang, all I had to do was shave 6.5 seconds per mile off the last 28 miles and I would have caught him.  I thought Dan was in a class way above me so I kind of eased up after he dropped me.  Now to find out I could have easily come back.  Lesson learned, next year I’ll play his game my way.  He may win, but I’m not going to give it to him again. 

165 mile event with a time of 6hrs 52min.  Going to get drunk tonight!  -Rich

Next Page →

  • Mission

    Aggress is a Tucson-based statewide / regional cycling team formed in January, 2004.
    As a developmental team for both road and mountain bike racing, Aggress continues to actively – yet carefully – recruit according to a philosophy that emphasizes teamwork in both training and racing tactics.
    Our focus is to race as a team, utilizing team tactics to get our man the win. We ride in support of our designated racer, with each member in turn supported in the key event(s) of his choosing.
    We are aggressive when we race, but we behave in a courteous and sportsmanlike manner at all times. We also have team training rides that we utilize throughout the season.