Arizona State Team Time Trial 2019

Nippy 2019 State TTT results

Tour of the Gila 2018

2018 Tour of the Gila This year a few Aggress members drove out to Silver City New Mexico to check out the Tour of the Gila. Rich Horn: 1st place Inner Loop Road Race. Rich Horn: 2nd place Gila Monster Road Race. -Rich

VOS 2017

First off, I think Gene deserves teammate of the year.  He let Tim and I stay at his house, even fed us, and then drove us the thousands of miles around central Arizona to the various sites … all after injuring his calf in the TT.  He cramped up and had some micro-tears that developed into a full blown calf tear first trip up the hill on the road race.  Despite all that, he braved the wind and cold, twice, to give Tim a bottle in his race which was about 3 hours after we were finished!

I’ll let Tim tell his story, of course, but I’ll mention what he’s going to leave out, probably.  He was in a VERY strong Cat 3 group … there were some absolute studs there doing their last Cat 3 races before moving up to Cat 2.  I follow several of them on Instagram and Strava…that field was LOADED!

As for me, I finished 2nd in the GC for men’s cat 4.  I’m super happy with that, especially since I never really expected to do a lot of winning this year.  I thought NEXT year would be my “come-back” tour.  (That’s a little sarcasm because I’ve only raced half of one season before getting hurt.)

In the TT I had a very, very bad day.  It was good enough for second on the day, but I felt I didn’t deserve it  … silly, but the amount of power I put on that TT was what I usually do for tempo intervals.  But, I was pretty sick, and I wasn’t slow due to lack of effort!

The wind on the TT was pretty strong, a tail cross on the way out, which is slightly uphill, and a head cross on the way back.  I had a 90mm front wheel on and I got pushed around a lot!  But, the wheel never got twisted, I just got moved side to side, sometimes abruptly.

The road race figured to be a real shit-show.  It was windy, blowing all different directions, very wet and there were parts of the course with some bad road, huge rumble strips and a cattle guard right after a turn.  But, as it turned out, the only people on the day that crashed were juniors!  I felt better than I did on the TT, but still was just dying to make it up the hill in the group.   I never really figured into the make-up of the race other than to try and bridge to a break away, but being 2nd, I wasn’t allowed any leash.  I came in 8th place on the day.

Before the road race both Stephen Pendone and Tom Danielson reached out to me with encouragement and advice.  It wasn’t advice I was able to execute in the road race, but I felt stronger still on day 3.  I wasn’t sore and had good legs.  The advice was, in TD’s words, “Make the race a fucking blood bath.”  It was interesting because during the crit, someone else was doing just that for the first few laps and I was hurting.  I moved up and moved up and it got easier.  I kept moving up until the first prime lap when I attacked, got $50 and got away.  One dude bridged and then another, but after I think 2 or maybe 3 laps, we got reeled in.  I just stayed well positioned from them on, until lap 3 when there was another prime.  I just moved up patiently and then stood on the pedals just enough to get a second prime!  

On the last part of the second to last lap riders STOPPED holding their lines and people started getting really twitchy.  All I needed to do to stay 2nd in GC was finish, so I just went on the front and held the pace high until the back stretch when some people started attacking.  I just surfed wheels in and came in mid-pack, same time as the winners.    😀 

I learned exactly what Stephen and Tom were talking about.  When you’re dictating the pace, even when you’re not attacking anymore, people look at you and treat you differently.  It gets way easier when they’re a little afraid of you.  Next time I’ll see if I can use that to get a W.


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


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

Mt Evans 2015

Greetings all:

THE mountain has been conquered, once again.  Race day dawned crisp, clear, and mostly calm.  Gran Fondo riders went off at 0645.  USAC racers began starting at 0700.  My scoring group (MM70+) went off at 0715.  Five of us went off in a tight group and all of us actually did a pull of about a mile or so.  However, for the next round of pulls, only Herb Johnson and I were willing to work at the front.  By the time we were approaching Echo Lake (1/3 of the way up) only Herb and I remained.  We continued to exchange pulls and he did make several furtive attempts to drop me, but his “stand & deliver” segments were barely faster than his seated segments, and I was able to maintain the pace without standing.  As we were approaching timberline I went to the front to pull and bumped the pace by a couple of km/h, because I could.  I could hear his breathing becoming more labored behind me, and after a while I could no longer hear him at all.  A km later during a hairpin turn, I took a look back and he was several hundred meters back.  I resumed the same pace and by the finish he was no longer visible behind me.  I think my Bete Noire has been finally banished.  Post finish, I grabbed a banana and some fig newtons and sat down on some rocks next to the summit parking lot to eat.  Soon, a herd of a dozen or so rocky mountain goats walked up to me and the other riders sitting on the rock pile and looked at us expectantly.  A rangerette asked us not to feed them and after a while they wandered away.  However, one goat in particular, a big billy, gave me a very knowing and disquieting look.  Made me wonder if this is where the Aggress goat goes when it dies.

A new disposable timing chip system was tested for this event, and it failed miserably (Courtesy  timing vendor).  Preliminary results listed Herb as the only finisher in my group so I immediately filed a protest.  I was followed in short order by 50-60 addnl protestors, at which point the preliminary results were pulled down and the Promoter announced that there was a bit of an issue to be resolved with the timing system.  By mid afternoon the estimate for resolution of the protests had degraded from “in a little while” to “as soon as we can.”  Judi and I were looking at a long drive back to our cabin, so I left my mailing address with the Promoter, and we hit the road.  It is very unfortunate when critical features (scoring) of a spectacular event of this magnitude are so poorly executed.  It will surely hurt next year’s attendance and the reputation of the event.

I was satisfied with my approach for this “bucket list” event.  I feel my training was about right and, in contrast to the opinions of many In the coaching sector, I feel the week at 10,200 ft (vs 5,000 ft) prior to the event was important and made a difference, as I felt comfortable all the way to the summit.  The descent back down was in some respects more challenging than the climb and required continual focus and a light hand on the bars to avoid craters here and there in the road surface and to mitigate the jarring impact of uneven cracks in the road surface.  There was also some casual water and dirt sections to keep you alert.

Rick E.

Arizona State Road Race 2015


Rich Horn – 2nd Place

Rick Ellwanger 1st Place!

Rick Ellwanger 1st Place!

This RR includes a feature I really like; a neutral rollout thru the town of Show Low before the race actually starts. It allows the riders to get comfortable in a position and get rid of the start line stress that may have built up, thus reducing the likelihood of incidents when the race begins. I raced in a combined (60+) field of 22 and had only 2 competitors in my scoring group, neither of whom were known to me. I did memorize their kit during the rollout and at the first modest uphill pitch about 12 miles into the race (Juniper Ridge per Strava) I went off the front of the peloton and set a pretty good pace up the hill. As I summited, I pulled out and took a good look back down the hill at the stretched out peloton and neither of my guys were even visible so I knew my race was in the bag as long as I finished. Of course, I could not just “finish.” By then, I was feeling comfortable riding up front with Reggie, Phil, Dave Burke, and Bixby and decided to make it a good training ride so I made the effort to hang with them on the roller surges from Clay Springs to Pulp Mill Rd. On a couple of those, I had to dig pretty deep to output enough Watts to barely hang. After the turn to the South in Taylor, I went off the front with Dave Burke and we traded pulls up the first hill, only to be re-acquired by Reg, Phil, etc. after summiting. I think we numbered 13-14 at this point and I got gapped a little on both of the modest downhills following that first summit. I was able to re-acquire both times on the uphills that followed. About a mile from the finish where the climb flattens out Reg, Phil, and Bixby began seriously bumping the pace and I tried but in the end had to settle for hanging with the slower guys in that leading dozen. Nevertheless, a satisfying effort and by then I knew I had gotten a good workout.
I’ve identified a serious flaw in my racing toolkit that Reggie, in particular, is persistently exploiting. As I summit a hill climb, especially early in a race, Reg will begin hammering the descent as hard, and for as long as he possibly can, and I am barely able to output the Watts to hang. Without hill climbs following several such events in this race, I would have been dropped, for sure.
Representation in this State level event was good; CASTLE, CIASCA, ELLWANGER, HORN, MISEVCH, MICHAUD, STEINMANN. Podium capture was fair; ELLWANGER, HORN
Rick E.

Cotton Classic TT #1

It was great to see Tim back on the bike … I even saved a place for he and Shane to park next to me!
For those that want the bottom line, without reading all my details below, I got second in the 20K and first in the 32K (I was the only entry in my age group in the 32K).
The Details:

When I got up yesterday morning at 4:15AM, it was pouring at my house and I was ready to bail on the race … I had signed up for both the 20k and 40K and would be making a contribution of $50 to Saguaro Velo, if I did bail. But I’ve been converted by Shane, so I first checked the radar … it was clearing in AZ City! So I hopped in my car and drove through the rain and arrived at AZ City, to find mostly dry roads with damp, windy and chilly conditions.

I spent my time on the trainer and did a little warm-up on the road and found that I definitely needed a base layer. Returned to the car to get one. First observation, for the way out on the 20K there was a pretty good headwind. Second observation, similar to Rick’s, was I wasn’t getting my HR up as high as usual … I had this happen at the Flapjack TT earlier this year when it was cold … may just affect us old guys?? Third observation,  my power numbers were not as high on the outbound as I expected them to be … I averaged only 253W versus my goal of 265/270W. Coming back was a tail/crosswind and I averaged only 247W … 250W average for the entire 20K. Average outbound was 22.7mph, inbound 27.1mph. Overall numbers were 30:18, 250W, 24.7mph. At first I was a little disappointed with these results as they were off from my time at the State Championship last year which was 29:48, but when I compared them to my key competition, my mood improved. (I’m always looking for things to improve my mood!) Specifically, against Phil Holman (the likely national champ in my age group TT this year), at VOS he averaged 27.1mph versus my 25.4mph. Yesterday he averaged 25.7mph vs. my 24.7mph. So the gap dropped from 1.7mph to just 1.0mph. I have no delusions of catching up with Phil (this year at least!), but I’m  getting closer. I was an easy second place in the 20K.

Upon returning to the car, after the 20k, I had about 15 minutes before the start of the 32k (reduced from 40K due to construction and according to Don Mehaldo it may be that way for the State Championships this year). I was the only entry in my age group for this distance so I was guaranteed first place! Yay! As Tim already reported, there were headwinds in both directions …. kinda weird. Doing both races makes it difficult to pace, but I like to get the race time on the TT bike. I finished the 32K in 49:34 and averaged 24.1mph. I was satisfied with the effort.

Note: the road condition in AZ City has gotten even worse over this winter … especially, the first 5K … spent a lot of time dodging potholes and looking for relatively smooth pavement!

I’m still thinking of going to Nationals this year for the TT … if I’m properly trained, I feel I have a good chance for top 10, and an outside chance for top 5. I’ll see how the summer goes before deciding.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Kurt and Ariana’s!!


2015 AZ Crit Champion

2015 AZ State Crit
Sometimes things just work out without any rhyme or reason.  The 2015 AZ Crit was one of those times.  I arrived at the venue an hr before my race.  The course was surprisingly park-like, given the downtown Mesa location and there was only one turn (a 180) that required close attention.  All the masters men 50+ went off together so it was a big group.  However, the other 70-74 guys seemingly hung out toward the back of the group and just before the start Jack Dillon rolled up next to may and said the 70+ guys were going to hang back a few seconds to stay clear of the 50+ melee.  I was on the front with Lou Wageman and did not really want to do that, but I agreed and moved to the side to be clear of the horde.  The 70+ mini-group was lapped about half way thru the race and I, Jack Dillon, and Michael Patterson latched on as they went by.  A prem lap followed and the group as a whole accelerated significantly toward the end of the lap and I was outputting near 100% to stay buried in the group.  With one lap to go I did look back expecting to see Jack on my wheel, but he was not there, nor was Michael Patterson or anyone else from the 70+ group.  I rode the last lap with Reggie Dowdall and he did sprint at the finish to take his group.  I rolled across behind him to take my group by attrition; all my competitors had been ejected and were absent.  How easy is that?
The event seemed very well run.  Boris DeCourt had the scoring completed half an hr after the race and the Promoter had the award ceremony completed an hr after the finish.  Impressive.
Rick E.

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.