AZ State Crit

A perfect day; around 60F with calm winds at my race time, 9:25am.  The first ride in my new kit;  the new flames looked great on me so I had the really important part under control.  I followed Reg Dowdall the first lap as he gradually moved toward the front of the combined 65+ group.  By the lap 2 climb I was functional so I went to the front and bumped the pace up the hill fracturing the peloton into a lead group of 4 and a residual bunch just rounding the top turn as we went over the top and back down toward the Start/Finish line for lap 3.  Reg basically attacked every lap going over the top and back down to the Line.  With 3 laps to go his attack over the top gapped me and Steven Borer while Steve Long managed to hang with him.  Thus went the race; Reg and Steve Long were 1st & 1st while Steve Borer and I were 2nd & 2nd.  I wore my heart monitor for this event and did manage to get my HR up over 160 several times so all in all a good training ride.
Rick E.

Santa Catalina Omnium

The UofA crit course was pretty fun, long and fast save one very tight, very technical corner.  Early in the day, when it was cold, the paint in the crosswalk there was super slick, 7 separate crashes in race #1!  

I went out to try some different ways of breaking away to see if one would stick.  I’m just trying to learn and develop some skill and instinct really.  So if I don’t crash and I learn to be a better racer, it’s all good!

Nobody got away in my race, myself included.  After reviewing the race I now know how I could’ve won.  Whoever was first into that tricky corner, which is the last corner on the race, was first to the finish line.  I should have slammed past everybody on the front half of the race on the last lap and just buried it on the back half.  If they all followed my wheel, no matter, because once you’re approaching that corner, there’s no passing and so much speed is scrubbed in that turn, that whoever is there first has a huge jump.

As it turned out, I was 7th overall and 4th in my group.  I made my hardest move in the 2nd to last lap and it didn’t stick, so I just chased down people that were in the omnium competition on the last lap.  I let one slip away, I didn’t realize he was up there.  

It was nice having Rich Horn there cheering me on!  I’m looking forward to racing with some teammates tomorrow in Oracle.  If I win the race I win the omnium.  But, twice up that cat2 climb is a tall task.  Should be fun.  

Rubber side down and GO!

Here’s the footage:



A quick recap of yesterday’s events to start your Monday.
Gene, Rich S, and I were in the masters 4/5 35+ race. For the omnium I was in 2nd place, behind by 7 points. So, if I won the road race, no matter what happened, I won the omnium, too.
The course was 2 laps, down the hill a back up.  The day was windy and started pretty cold, even a small patch of ice on the road!  
Down the hill was without event but our group was pretty large.  Going down hill that fast with gusty cross winds in cold weather in a cat 4/5 and collegiate b/c kids is unsettling!  But, we made it.
First shot up the hill was punchy.  This is my first attempt at matching anything in a road race in almost 3 years and I was in trouble near the top. I decided to ease off and catch back on down the hill.  
As soon as I did, I saw the cattle guard, marking the top.  There’s still climbing after that but it’s more my style.  I could see them but couldn’t catch back on.  They started attacking each other and were soon out of sight.
I wasn’t sure, but I thought there were 2 guys in that group that were in my race.  I sat up and waited for a big strong dude that got dropped before me and we worked together through town, picked up a college kid on the way down.
I kept thinking how pissed I’d be for sitting up there if it cost me the race.  But, even on the long downhill we couldn’t see that lead group.  We just weren’t closing in.  The headwind made it tough and they were obviously working together.
So, about half way down I stopped taking normal pulls and just went full gas for 2 minutes.  Then, I saw the group … way ahead still.  I redoubled my efforts and at the bottom of the hill we were just 25 yards behind.  We caught them easily then.
I joined the pace line, there were about 10 total, including the two I brought down the hill. As I examined the two masters riders in the group I saw they were NOT in my race. All I needed to do to win was sit in and not crash. 
That’s what I did.  Back up the hill, the two older guys worked over all of the kids.  I just rode tempo up the hill and dropped everybody but the one kid I brought down the hill.  Turned out he had a chance to win his race so I worked for him, well tried too.  On the downhill section coming into town he lost my wheel … I was going 53 in a 25, not sure what happened there.  Anyhow, he won his race too. 
It was great riding with Gene and Rich and seeing Rick out there, too.  
Enjoy your week.

Merry Crit-Mas 12/17/16

This was criterium number three for me and since I crashed out in number two, I was a little nervous.  The field was pretty big compared to the other races on the day … 38 racers I believe.  The weather was windy and cold. 

My goals going into the race were as follows:

  1.  Have fun – Stay Upright
  2. Discover weaknesses I have
  3. Learn tactics
  4. Gain Experience
  5. Win

Yup, winning was pretty low on the list.  In fact, I had a very tough week of V02 max work and over-unders (intervals where the rest is at 95% of FTP), a trip to the gym for weight lifting and a whole lot of bad sleep. Also, I’m working on losing weight and lost 6 pounds the week of the race.  That’s great for the future racing, but lose 6 pounds in a week and you’re weak and tired.

My pre-race ritual was better executed than last race.  I remembered my gloves (left them in the car last time), and turned on my every-important GoPro!  My warm-up routine seems to work well for me, so if nothing else, I think that’s pretty dialed in.

At the whistle there was some dude who just took off, but he was given zero leash.  Two turns in, on the back stretch (directly into the wind), and the whole field was stretched out single file. I found myself on the back as I didn’t line up early enough for a good spot (lesson learned).  So I had to move up to the front 3rd of the field into the headwind, burning some matches.  What also got burned off with the match were my nerves. Once I was racing, I was calm.

About five minutes into the race, Team Tolero decided to toughen up the race and they shelled a large portion of the field. Thankfully, racers that were lapped got pulled in this race, unlike last time.  During this time with Tolero working hard to soften the race I realized that I suck at corners.  Watching the GoPro footage I realize that I scrub off too much speed heading into the corners.  I got gapped every single corner for the whole race, but especially when there was a high pace. I burned a lot of matches regaining contact coming out of corners.

The first prime lap was interesting as the field slowed down and they let one dude take off solo and win it.  Here I made my second big mistake … I chased him down, dragging everybody with me.  I had planned on attacking after the prime, but had I read the race better I would’ve known it was a bad time. 

The second prime was more like I anticipated, but I messed this one up, too.  There were aggressive moves and the top riders all took off.  I let them go and reeled them back in. (I was fully confident that nobody in that field could ride away from me, so I could burn fewer matches by not matching their explosive attacks, knowing they’d blow up, and then have juice to counter attack when I caught them.) On the back half of the course they sat up and looked at each other, which is when I should have attacked.  I don’t know why I didn’t attack there, doh!  Big mistake number 3 … which is perfect, I came to make mistakes and learn from them.

The rest of the race unfolded like the other crits I’ve done.  I did a good job allowing others to close gaps, just following 2nd or 3rd wheel.  Then, second to last lap there was a move, I followed it.  Once that dude seemed vulnerable I attacked him but not hard enough to shell the guy at the second wheel.  This time I didn’t get cute, I played my card which is putting out power and that last lap was the fastest of the day, 27.2 mph.   I figured that if he could hang on my wheel and roll me at the finish, he deserved to win.  That’s exactly what happened.  I hate finishing second or third usually, but am perfectly happy with how things shook out. 

It was very cool having Doug and Liz Perry and Tim there cheering me on. 

Here’s the gopro footage (edited) of the race:



–Philip Brown


USAC Nat’l Hill Climb


This inaugural event was my only significant objective for 2016 so I did set up and try to follow a training regimen to prepare for it.  Since the race was to be 20km up Pikes Peak with a start line at 9,380 ft and a finish line at 14,110 ft I included altitude acclimation as an integral part of my preparation.  I researched several training blogs and concluded that about one month at altitude was the optimum acclimation period.  If one cannot do that, little or no time at altitude is the next best approach.  Most of my training effort was put in between 4 weeks and 1 week before the event.  I took 2 days off shortly before the event and did a wake-up ride with a few pushes the afternoon before the event.

Weather for this event was forecast to be lousy until the afternoon before at which time the forecast changed to clear and sunny.  In the end, it was clear, sunny, calm and cold for the race.

The format was a staged mass start in waves.  My scoring group comprised about a dozen riders (MM70+) and left the line at 0703.  The first mile or so was deceptively flat and all of us enjoyed a bit of respite before the grind.  The grade then ramped up to about 10% and was relentless with very little easing.  Our peloton quickly fractured and soon Durward Higgins and I were alone off the front.  I have previously raced against Durward last October at the Huntsman World Senior Games where he beat me in 4 of 4 events.  Halfway up he bumped the pace 1 km/hr which I could not match, although I felt that I was performing well, and slowly but surely rode away from me.  I continued to be functional to the summit and was actually able to increase my own pace slightly the last 3 km.  I am admittedly a bit disappointed with my 2nd place finish, yet I feel that I performed about as well as I could, free of strategic or tactical errors, and without any equipment issues during the race.  Durward is simply stronger than I.  After summiting,  I took some time to enjoy the views, which I reckon were 50+ miles in any direction; truly grand. 

Given that this was a US National event,  my feelings about how the event was run are ambivalent.  The choice of venue was a profoundly wonderful challenge and would test the mettle of virtually any rider.  However, the extreme altitude should favor those who are already living at altitude.  Yet, having said that, it did not turn out that way for my group; 3 of the top 5 are living at low altitude.  Of course, for other groups it may well have been different.  Surprisingly, there were mistakes in posting of results;  I was initially not even listed in the results, and I know that other riders also had issues.  Fortunately, I had a “receipt” which I had obtained at the finish line listing my exact finish time and my finish position among those who had finished in my group; a neat feature, I thought.  Perhaps the most frustrating issue was the limited timing window; cutoff shortly after 0900 with riders starting between 0630 and a bit after 0730.  The road was opened to the public at 0900 and a steady stream of cars was nearing the summit by 0915, intimidating a couple of the racers in my group into giving up and turning around to avoid the press of vehicles in close proximity.  The Pikes Peak hgwy is city owned and I speculate USAC was simply unable to negotiate a reasonable closure window with the city.  As usual it was likely about the money.


Rick E.

I finished mid pack this weekend in my Men’s 40+ category. Gus, Kelly, and I showed up with plenty of time we thought. However after a long wait at the toll gate Gus and Kelly had to hurry to make their event. 
I thought I had plenty of time but needed to use the bathroom. A half hour later I headed out for my 2 miles of warm up. At 9000+ft I was dizzy just standing there. I had about 30 guys in my group. 
First thing I noticed was they all had compact cranks and a 11-32 on the back. Second thing was these were some hard looking dudes. 
As the race started I felt good. However within 2.5 miles I got dropped when the group surged. Ive never felt anything like it. My muscles didn’t hurt, no burn at all but I just couldn’t go any faster. 
I had to just mantain my pace and ride my race. Maybe a mile or two later there were people already on the side of the road. One of them a very fit young guy throwing up.
Ok this race is very different from any thing I ever done.
The great thing was I was starting to feel stronger every mile and was passing one competitor after another till the finish of the race. 
I believe my fitness was good but I just wasn’t quite acclimated properly. The winner beat me by 13 minutes. That’s a long time for a 12.5 mile race. My finishing time was 1 hour 28 minutes. The pro winners time was 1 hr 10 minutes. 
I’ll let the other teammates tell their stories. I will say this, anyone who finished this event is a champion in my books. Rick is my Hero at this event and I really look forward to hearing his story. 
I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to keep training, lent me equipment or just their ear when I needed it. 
I have to really thank Kelly O’Connor’s family for hosting us in their wonderful cabin in the woods.

State Road Race

I was nervous as usual. I guess I’ll never get over the pre-race jitters. It helped that I was with Rich & Cathy because they’re super chill before a race. We drove up together and stay at a friend of theirs. 
That morning I wad lucky to line up with Rich Horn and Philip Brown. We started in a masters group that was 30 through 49. It looked like we had some competition. 
I’m always quiet and focused at the start as I’m visualizing the race. 
Things went amazingly as I planned. I stayed near the front of the race not wanting to get into any trouble. I Was able to match any pace and felt very comfortable. The only real problem was my rear shifter was having issues. I think a new chain is in order.
I did struggle on one steep rollers in the back stretch of the race. I had just eaten and that often slows me down for whatever reason.
I made it back on easy enough and tried to conserve energy for my eventual break away. 
We finally reached the last turn towards Show Low and had a headwind heading back. I came around the corner and put in a hard two minute effort and created a huge gap from the field. Two riders who turned out to be one of my 40+ guys and a 35+ guy from Mexico. The group let us go because they had just been caught by the chase group.
The three of us worked relatively well together with me barking orders to put in work. I tested these guy on the first big climb and was surprised that they stay with me. We continued working because we knew the group wasn’t that far behind. However on the bottom of the last big climb I timed my break just as Bill the 40+ guy finished a pull and the other guy was starting his turn.
Bill was quickly dropped. He told me later he was already at the end of his rope at that point. The P&S rider manage to stay on my wheel and he must have been strong because on Strava I had the second fastest time of the day on that climb. Just behind the winner of the Cat 1 race.
I spent the next several miles cursing the wheel sucker who I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t afford to sit up because this guy wasn’t even in my category. I tried to explain that to him and he gave weak little pulls and claimed to be exhausted. Join the club right?! 
I yelled at him that if I was going to pull him to the finish he better not sprint me.
Guess what he did as we came around the corner. GAME ON! I gave it everything and caught him and we finished together. I haven’t seen the timing chip times yet but I’m pretty sure I had it. I won either way. 
However my hamstring instantly cramped up as I stopped peddling. I was embarrassed to have to drop to the ground in such pain. I was dehydrated and needed sugar.  I had given everything and it paid off.

Howdy, esteemed Aggressors!

First off, congratulations to those that raced, you guys all represented Aggress well!  Tim, two years after shattering his femur, killed the field.  I was more excited to see him win than had I won myself!  I did a dance of pure joy when he told me!  Rich, Shane and Rich and Cathy (who I just met), all raced well and had great results.  

For me, I’ve never been less relevant in the outcome of a race.  Yet, I can only think of one race where I was more proud of the outcome.  I’m literally in uncharted territory regarding my recovery.  There was hope I’d be “here” by December.  

As Tim mentioned, the race organizers lumped together all masters under 50 years old in one group.  I believe that was 35 total men.  I was nervous, which is very unusual for me. No matter what happened in the race it was to be a surprise, and I don’t like surprises during a race.  Just before the race, out of nowhere, my wife showed up and hugged me.  I really needed that!  She drove 6 hours the night before and stayed at our friend’s cabin!  I had no clue.  It was the best surprise I’ve ever had!  Thank you Tim for helping pull that off!

As for the race, mine wasn’t much of a race.  On the first real climb, about 18 miles in, I got dropped.  I tried to position myself up front before the hill so I could drift back and catch on, but I have a negative V02 max… I did drop back, but did not catch on.  

I found my own pace up the hill, and started catching and passing a bunch of other guys who also got dropped.  As normal, they were all surprised because I look more like a beer league softball dude than cyclist. I went by them all hoping they’d catch up and we could work together to catch back on.  We eventually formed a small group of about 10 or so. They tried to form a pace line but frankly, they sucked and were really slow.  I was upset to be with such a group.  When we made the series of right and left turns pretty quickly where there were a few houses around mile 22, I went to the front.  I didn’t attack at all, just gradually lifted the pace hoping to flick the clingons off the back.  Well, all 10 of them were clingons.  So I rode from there to the finish by myself.  I did just enough to keep them at bay. I had about 43 miles of solace.  It was a great time.  I really wasn’t hurting, kept my heart rate around 155 most of the time, and just stayed as aero as possible.  

I had some problems on the ride with my feet and hamstrings, which isn’t unusual still, but I knew how to keep it in check.  I kept looking back to see how close the chasing group was.  On the big rollers to finish the race I could them, so I stood up to make it look like I was attacking those hills even though I was just going a steady, relatively easy pace.  Anything to break their spirits!  From reading Strava accounts they were trying to catch me, and were upset they didn’t.  I thought they’d given up really.  

I’ll continue to take things one day at a time, but this was a big victory for me.  Not a result I’m used to, but I’ll take it! 



Mt Evans HC


The weather for this year’s edition of the highest road bike climb in North America was the best yet for  me; sunny, warm (sort of), winds light and variable.  At least half a dozen other Tucson riders, including Aggress Sandbagger Rich Horn, were also there to give it a go.  Six were registered in the MM70+ group but at our start (0715) there were only 3 on the line; Herb Johnson, Michael Raber, and myself.  Within the first 3 miles Michael was gone and it was down to Herb and I, as usual.  I knew going in that I would be more or less at the minimum point on the altitude acclimation curve (5 days at altitude) but it needed to be scheduled that way to give me a month at altitude before the Nat’l climb up Pike’s Peak.  I mostly followed Herb as we got close to Echo Lake (approx. halfway point) and I must concede that he was better able to maintain a good pace during his “stand and deliver” segments then I expected.  As we approached Echo Lake I began to suffer significantly and shortly realized I would have to let him go; dang!  My race was basically over at that point and it was henceforth a good training ride.  I pushed but did not bury myself and in the end finished 2nd, 8 min behind Herb and 13 min behind my own PR, set when I was fully acclimated. 


The consensus in the training blogs seems to be that when racing at altitude one should arrive at altitude either the day of the event, or more preferably at least 2 weeks prior to almost fully acclimate.  3-4 weeks are required for full acclimation;  4-6 days at altitude is the low performance point on the curve.  I guess I will know for sure if that was the difference in this case after Pike’s Peak.


The Summiting credential is attached, Jim A.; GOATS! 


Rick E.

State ITT

I took second today in the ITT M40+. My competition was a national track champ and 2nd in masters world track. So I was very happy when I rode my fastest tt this year averaging 26.7 mph for a 56.10 time. Not fast enough however. 
 It was not a smooth race. I forgot my HRM and I don’t run power so I was a little in the dark. 
I passed my first two competitors within the 5k mark. However by 10k Karl promptly passed me. I kept him close but at the turn around he was gone. I forgot to say he was riding a single speed bike to rub salt in my wounds. 
I was riding 30 mph on the return leg and felt pretty good so I settled in. I definitely could have gone faster but I was afraid of blowing up and having the two guys behind me catch up. With 10k to go I decided I better pick up the pace. Which I did but with several k to go I was done.
I think with a steady pace I could have improved my time considerably. Thank goodness there’s always next year. 
Congratulations to Shane and Rich who killed it today. Shane’s time was amazing but I’ll let him tell that story.
Really awesome job by Tim and Shane.  I think everyone asked Shane to quit taking the drugs.  When he posts you will see why.  
I signed up at the last minute thinking I may be able to pull out a 3rd place for a podium, first and second are way out of my reach.  Figured since I can’t win I might as well train, so I went and road Mnt Lemmon on Saturday. With a slight head wind still made it to Ski Valley in just under 2 hours 6 minutes, don’t think I was recovered from doing it on Thursday.
Any how, for the Merckx ITT: 
There were 4 of us, and Nippy had me go first. I don’t like the lineup!
I went out hard from the gun, then kind of easy as the head wind picked up.  At the turn I timed each of the riders behind me.  1minute after the turn I passed Steve Brechner who started 30 sec behind me (thought he was 1min behind), then at 1min20 sec Nelson Cronyn who started 1:30 behind, and lastly Huhn at about 2 min (I thought he was 30 sec behind me at the start).  I was not thinking clearly at first as I thought both Steve and Nelson had gained on me and would win, but that I would clearly beat Huhn for my anticipated 3rd place.  It was not until about 5 kilometers later I re-did the math and realized I passed them at 1min and 1min20, but they still had about 30 to 45 seconds to go to the turnaround where my timer started.  Eureka moment! I was at least 30 seconds ahead at the turn.  This energized me a bit as I now thought there is a chance this race could be close!  I went just a little harder.  I crossed the line at 1:02:07 for an average speed of 24MPH.  Once the dust settled, it turns out I won by over two and a half minutes.  I told the guys, if I thought I had a chance, I would not have done Lemmon yesterday.  I am more then pleased with the results.
Later I was talking to Michael Batson from Yuma,  nice guy I have raced with several times, he said they laid him on the ground at the start!  First they tried to keep him back for another rider until he points out his start time is in about 20 seconds.  Then they rush him up and drop him to the ground!  ouch!  Tim Scott said they almost dropped him as well! sheesh! Glad I had a smooth start. 
I want to thank Philip Brown for coming all the way from Rio Rico to spectate and support us!  It was great to see him there.  He even captured a very glamorous shot of me somewhere on the course.  It didn’t look like I was slaking at the time.
Lastly I would like to let everyone know we formally extended the team invite to Gene Rowley!  We are not to make it public yet until he has personally talked to his team.  Once he has done that we will get his email added to the Aggress group.  We are excited to have him join us and extend the family!
If anyone wants to loosen their legs Tuesday morning, Branden and I are doing Lemmon to break 2hrs to Ski Valley, he can do it with the new bike fore sure!
I’ll try to keep it brief, on second thought…no.
Heading into today’s race I knew I had a couple guys who could keep close.  One month ago we rode a TT over the same distance on that course and I won by 22 seconds over Steve Martin, so I figured I had to be on the top of my game today.  I was a bit concerned as I rolled out of bed this morning as I was still feeling a little sluggish after yesterday’s prep ride, oh well you race with legs you have that day and not the legs you wish you had. 
  Before the race I was telling Tim a little about how I monitor things during the race.  I have my Garmin set to record 5k laps, if you ride 7:15/5k lap you are on track for a 58 min 40k TT.  On the way out my first 5k was 8:37, uh oh, this is not good pick it up, 2nd 5k 7:30 something and now there is a headwind, stay calm, but your losing it…they are gonna catch you, enough of the splits.  Got to the turn in 30 and change, that is a 1hr 40k and will get you knocked off the podium, oh wait… is that a tailwind? Since it was, trying to keep the speed above 30 mph on my way back.  Now I am turning 5 1/2 min 5k intervals.  With 5k to go I had to do a double take on my Garmin, my time was 49 something, a final 5k in 6 mins would result in a 55 min 40k, keep rolling that big gear, they are catching you.  I finished in 54:18, 27.46 mph.  Only a handful of seconds behind the cat 1’s and Karl Baumgart in the 40-44 age group. 
  All week I’d work on visualizing the race and hitting the finish with nothing left, today was the closest I’ve come to that feeling at the finish.
Great rides by Tim and Rich brought home more hardware for Aggress. Awesome job guys!
Thanks to Philip for making the drive up from Rio Rico, it was great seeing you out there.

TBC 2016

The weather was great, and the race was well attended, although my age group was bereft; there was only me and J P Holloman. Stage 1, Prologue. This 3 mile TT is likely more important to race outcome than it should be. A 20 sec advantage here will frequently be insurmountable; the RR and CR time bonuses are not enough to overcome it. I chose to ride my road bike with my Reynolds MVT32 climbing wheels and I am comfortable it was a good choice. Although I beat JP by half a minute, I was not adequately warmed up; I only had 14 minutes on my rollers before the start. I need at least 30 to be fully functional. Oh well… I got away with it.

Stage 2, RR. We did 2 laps around the Sahuarita course in a combined field of 65+ (9 riders). Lap 1 was relatively uneventful; a few attacks on the uphill pitches shelled the two 75+ riders. Reg Dowdall took off as we entered the feed zone to begin lap 2 and all except JP (my competitor) managed to hang on, so now we were 6. Several attacks by Reg and Steve Worley from Boulder proved useless, and we were still 6 for the coast down Helmet Peak Rd. As we turned onto La Canada I looked back to see if JP was visible, and he was not, but our pace seemed slow enough that I was getting a bit anxious so I went up front and picked up the pace down La Canada to Duval Rd. As we turned onto Duval, I took a good look back up La Canada and JP was not be seen, so I knew my race was in the bag. The finish sprint started with Steven Worley at just under 1km to go, with Reg and Curtis on him. I did my best to respond but my sprint sucks and by the finish the gap between me and Curtis had grown to 10 sec. Reg won it and I gained another minute+ on JP.

Stage 3, CR. The action here began on lap 2 going West up the Anklam hill. Curtis Ingle was in front with me on his wheel. Reg and Steve came around at speed and I expected Curtis to jump on their wheels. Nothing! I hesitated just a sec or 2 expecting him to stand and deliver any moment. Finally, I realized he was going to let them go and I went around and began hammering up the last of the hill. One other rider, Ken Starke, tried to go with me. Reg and Steve got over the summit 30 m ahead of me and the gap immediately began growing. I got on the toptube and managed to keep the gap fairly stable down to the Speedway turn. Ken came around me just after the turn and we began alternating pulls to close the gap. The closest we got was up the Anklam hill on the next lap; it got worse after that and we rode together to the finish; 3rd for him, 1st for me.

Rick E.

Nice job out there, Rick.

I’ve given in to the fact that my fitness has been less than desired this season, but that hasn’t stopped me from having the busiest race season to date.

The prolouge was a bit on the warm side with a moderate W-NW wind to knock me around a bit on the downhill. I couldn’t get comfortable or produce the power I wanted on the downhill so I hung tight and tried to stay calm before the climb. As I hit the first hill a Team Winded rider came past me, which signaled to me that it was time to start making it hurt. I stayed in the saddle, in the big ring (brandishing a new 53t Rotor Q-Ring this season), and slowly started to increase my power output. Over the rollers I took the slight downhill sections to increase my speed rather than take a breather. Then the big climb approached, and I got out of the saddle to lay more power down. I quickly overtook the Team Winded rider that I’d kept in my sight after passing me, and found what I had left to finish the TT as strong as possible. Official time was an underwhelming 9:49, but given my fitness and the wind I was happy with anything under 10 minutes.

The road race was a slug fest from the start line. The first lap was frantic as the pace would go from fast to faster with the occasional immediate slow down. It was apparent that multiple factions at the front of the pack were vying for control of the pace with little resolve. As I’d done last year I spent most of the race trying to hang in and chill out for as long as possible, but the pace proved to be quite demanding no matter where I was in the group. By the final lap the pack had dwindled significantly from an inital 55 or more to under 30. I was also starting to become noticeably dehydrated, and began drinking more as time permitted. Somehow we were still hammering away. I started to begin to position myself further forward in the group (no breakaways at this point), and tried to eat a little extra for a big finish. As we rounded the corner from Duval Mine to La Canada I got out of the saddle to close a gap caused by our rubber banding around the corner, and the inside of my left leg cramped up from hip to heel. Struggling to stay in the group I tried to keep pedaling, but my leg wouldn’t have it. I quickly slipped out the back of the pack. Sitting in the saddle and drilling it proved less painful, but it was too late. I finished the rest of the race solo. I was pretty upset about not being able to finish in the pack as I’m a big fan of sprint finishes.

I have come to love the TBC circuit race. It hurts a lot, but it’s over before you know it. The pace, again, was set very high and remained very high the entire time. Laps flew by as I sat in reflecting over my underwhelming performace the previous two days. By the fourth, I’d convinced myself that I had nothing to lose, and to just focus on kicking some ass today, here and now. I started to poke and prod my way forward in the group, which proved difficult due to the size of the group. I commited to sneaking up the right side of the group whenever there was a lull in the action, and by the sixth and final lap I’d made it up to Michael Hast who was sitting quietly letting everyone else do the work. He was comfortably 3rd in the GC so I thought he might be a good wheel to follow to the line. After the final corner Hast swung from right to left and I followed him. We swiftly cleared most of the pack with 10 or 15 riders up the field. I realized Hast wasn’t going to do anything drastic so I rode off his wheel, and took a sprint clean down the (open) left side of the road to finish 9th for the day. It was a nice and reassuring finish to an otherwise frustrating weekend at the races.

I’m looking forward to finishing out the main thrust of my road season with Marana Heritage Crit and State Crit Championships. After that I’ll be training for the Whiskey Off-Road.



Southern Arizona Onmium 2016

I love road races.
I opted, as I did last year, to only do the road race as I am not a fan of time trials. The cat 4 group was, as I’ve noted in previous race notes, particularly large this year, and we were combined with the collegiate B. Thankfully they closed off both sides of the road this year all the way up the hill and past the finish line for a few hundred meters.
I approached this race as I did last year: with nonchalance…or being casually deliberate depending on your philosophy. It was a great day to be outside, smell the cactus flowers, and get in some nice climbing efforts. Brandon can tell you how the front of the group was as he played the role, handsomely I might add, of domestique for Brian (who captured 1st for the omnium in collegiate B) on the UA cycling team, but I chose to hang off the back, practice my whistling skills, and get to know some of my fellow off-the-backers. I don’t want to suggest that I wasn’t paying attention: The race was filled with, what appeared to me now on my 3rd run of it, ritual fake attacks on the downhill and surges up the climbs (all of which were neutralized) as if someone wrote a textbook entitled How to Race at Colossal Cave.
The race came down to the final climb as had been my experience. With the whole road open to us this time I rounded the corner and swung wide off to the left immediately getting out of the saddle. I stayed out of the saddle all the way up the hill steadily picking off riders, but I’d planned my move too late. By the time I hit the line I took 10th in Cat 4. I’m happy with that as my previous handful of races were a mix of frustration and lack of fitness, but today I felt calm and in control.
I can’t wait for TBC!
TTs are becoming sort of mechanical for me, and I don’t hate them as much as I used to.  I expected to finish 2nd behind Michael Patterson from USAC HQ, but I ended up crossing the finish line only 6 sec behind him and, as I started 30 later, beat him by 24 seconds for 1st in the TT with an official time of 30:52, my best ever on that course.  I’ve become quite comfortable riding my road bike without aero bars and I am now convinced that it works better that way.
I like the CCRR as it includes the Pistol Hill ascent each lap. The combined field of 32 (55+) riders was big enough to easily hide toward the back of, which I did.  Lap 1 was inconsequential, with a few furtive attacks, that were easily reeled back.  However, I should have noticed that they were almost entirely courtesy of Phil Holman, since I ride with him just about every week now.  Going over the top of the hill at the end of lap 1 Phil took off and was allowed to go.  In the downhill that followed Jay Guot, Preston Robertson, and Lou Waugaman commenced individual efforts to cross the gap to Phil and were also allowed to go.  I did not know any of this was going on as I was hanging out at the back of the peloton with my competitors.  Ultimately, Jay and Lou joined Phil, and Preston was dropped.  None of the 4 were ever seen again so the 55+ and 65+ races were over at that point.  Over the remaining laps riders continued to be dropped so by the final lap going East on Old Spanish Trail, we were down to about a dozen.  At one point the lazy-assed peloton leaders were 5 wide going about 10 mph up OST and I finally became so disgusted that I went to the front, got in TT mode, and bumped the pace quite a bit so I would at least get a decent training ride.  Finally, after the feed zone was cleared, a few standing riders contending for what was left did go by me, including my Canadian friend Roy Quade, so I stood and got on their wheels for the (sprint?) to the line.  I had no competitors left by then so I easily took the RR and the Omnium.
All-in-all a fun weekend, but I would have preferred it if I had been paying enough attention to try and go with Phil and the other breakaways, even tho I would almost certainly have been dropped with Preston, as we ride very close.
Rick E.

VOS 2016

We had perfect weather but sadly, only 8 65+ guys registered.
I elected to do the TT this year without aero bars because I’m convinced that I am actually a bit faster without them; my body position is 1-2” lower by just laying my forearms on the top of the handlebar.  I was please with my effort; I managed to get my HR up as high as 157 and never dropped below 150.  In the end I finished 3rd (1s behind my Canadian friend Roy Quade, Dang!), nevertheless, my best finish in a VOS TT.  Ken Louder from SLC won it, as usual, beating Roy and me by almost 3 minutes.
The RR is the high point for me in this event.  I like the course, which includes a modest hill every lap and features an uphill finish.  Ken, Roy, and I all hung with the 55+ leaders for the 1st lap but managed to avoid any pulls.  On lap 2 the climb pace was higher and Ken Louder was dropped, and stayed dropped.  As the lap 3 climb to the finish began, I moved up to about wheel 5 behind the 55+ contenders with Roy on my wheel.  At about 150m to go, the 55+ sprint began and shortly thereafter, Roy came around me.  I accelerated and we both had to kind of pick our way thru the ejected 55+ contenders as we went for the line.  I thought I might have just nipped Roy at the line, but video frame analysis said otherwise and I finished 2nd.
The Crit on Sunday was fun, but mute; the 65+ podium gc positions were locked in after the RR.  The 3 of us hung out at the back of the peloton and just cruised along since nothing was going to change as long as we all finished.  I cruised over the line for 3rd in the Crit and ended up 3rd for the gc.
Although I viewed this event as just a training ride to help keep decent base fitness until Summer, I must concede that losing to Roy Quade by a second (or less) is starting to become annoying.
Rick E.
VOS Podium 2016

VOS Podium 2016

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  • 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.