Category: USA

September 27, 2009

Cross Vegas 2009: Men

Jamey Driscoll - (c) Ken Conley
Chris Jones - (c) Ken Conley
Ryan Trebon leads Todd Wells - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click for more Cross Vegas 2009 Men's Race photos

Ryan Trebon did his best to repeat at Cross Vegas but found himself outmatched by Jamey Driscoll and the Cannondale squad. Driscoll attacked with Chris Jones and Cannondale's Tim Johnson stayed in the chase group to mark moves. The two yo-yo'd off the front, with multiple attempts from the chase group to close it down, but the grass of Cross Vegas is tough turf to chase on. Trebon was isolated in the chase group and couldn't break free from the rest of the chasers to bridge up.

Click for more Cross Vegas 2009 Men's Race photos

Cross Vegas 2009: Women

Katie Compton - (c) Ken Conley
Katie Compton Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Podium - (c) Ken Conley
Georgia Gould - (c) Ken Conley

Katie Compton continues to clean up on the CX circuit as she repeated her victory at Cross Vegas. Luna's Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould put in a great effort to round out the podium, which gave the spectators the chance to see Luna's Podium Dudes escort Nash and Gould to the stage.

Click for more Cross Vegas 2009 Women's Race Photos

June 24, 2009

Nature Valley Grand Prix on Universal Sports

Universal Sports continues to cut into Versus often anemic coverage of cycling with multiple airings of this year's Nature Valley Grand Prix. They'll be airing an hour summary of the race at multiple times (PST):

  • Saturday, 6/27,11:00 AM
  • Sunday, 6/28, 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday, 6/30, 8:00 AM
  • Sunday, 7/5, 1:00 PM
  • Monday, 7/6, 3:00 PM

May 2, 2009

Tour of the Gila Stage 2: Gina Grain's Victory in Her Own Words

gila.jpgAfter I read Gina Grain's race report of her victory in stage 2 of the Tour of the Gila I knew I wanted to share it here. Official news race summaries rarely give you real insight into the tactics of a stage or the viewpoint of the racers within (especially not for a women's race), so a race report like this is a treat. So, here you go: team tactics, GC fights, and a Kristen Armstrong leadout, all leading to a stage win.

Gina Grain's Report, used with permission

The day started out with a nice 5-mile, leg-opener climb....well, leg opener for some, and locker of pain for others. Not too much happened on the climb until near the top when yours truly, Webcor, was firmly represented in the straw that broke the camels back break. Super-leader Kathryn [Curi Mattis] and Alex [Rhodes] were amongst the 15 women whose legs and/or lungs didn't implode.

And so it was. A chase group of about 20 or so, including Nikki [Butterfield], Amy [Dombroski] and myself, worked the descent and got within 200m of the lead group when the next little hill came, which wasn't so little, so we lost them to about a minute and 30 sec by after the rippin' technical descent. Somewhere in between the 2 descents we saw a struggling soldier up ahead: Rebecca [Much]'s astounding climbing efforts yesterday on the final 7-mile climb battling with one of the best climbers in the world caught up to her a bit today, and so she got stuck between the two groups and waited for ours.

The caveat in the whole chase group was the 3rd-place rider on GC was with us, meaning that the 2 other major-player teams in the chase group, Colavita and Value Act, didn't want to catch the lead group, because that would put their team GC riders higher on team GC and onto a podium position. So, yep, you got it, Webcor and a few other random riders at times were the ones to chase. Stellar efforts from everybody, we caught the lead group and the game was on -- or the bar was open for business, as Dave asked in the radio at about 10 miles to go! "Gina is the bar open for business...i.e. ready to sprint.?" I said, "the bar is open and has an open tab." Others said it was happy hour and ladies night. You see race radios are helpful!

Well, before this happened, a Value Act girl, Nicole Evans, managed to get away after Webcor was aggressive with attacks. She got around 2 min 50 sec at one point. But, was this enough to stop Webcor from a sprint finish and possible stage win? NO. Webcor again got on the front, this time with help from Colavita and Kristen Armstrong to chase her back. We caught her at about 1 mile to go -- I say we, well I was actually in the pack saving the sprinting trunks. So, by the time Webcor caught Nicole, their trunks were done in and needed watering. Kristen Armstrong came up to me and said that she was going to help us in the lead out!!! I said, ok, you know how this goes: it is a strong cross headwind, just gutter it and I will be there. Sure enough, going into the right hand turn at 1 mile to go, Kristen was there, Webcor was up there manning near the front, and I jumped on Kristen's wheel. She went into TT mode, and, in the cross winds, anybody who wasn't in the top 5 were going to suffer!! Me, I tucked in behind her and launched my sprint at about 200m to go on a slightly uphill grade. It was a bit early but the time was then. I kicked it really hard and made a pretty good gap coming across the finish line with time to think about the victory salute!!! (note: I forgot to zip up my jersey).

April 29, 2009

Tour of the Gila coverage

I'm not going to be there, so I'm just going to toss out some links as the racing gets underway:

April 28, 2009

What a (Gila) Crock

Leipheimer and Nydam - (c) Ken Conley

Where Lance goes, the rulebooks and stupidity follow...

First, Astana and BMC are caught up in the UCI's sudden desire to enforce a rule that says that ProTour teams cannot race in national events. If there was an epidemic of ProTour teams deciding that they would rather rack up wins at local races than, say, the Tour de France, I would understand, but with events like Philly and Tour of New York facing cancellation, the US Open, Lehigh, Reading, Tour de Leenau, Oregon Pro, and Priority Health Classic cancelled, and the Tour of Gila itself saved from extinction by SRAM, do we really need to be kicking race promoters in the gut by telling them that Lance Armstrong can't race in their event? I mean, Lance is like a Magical Money Unicorn -- you gotta spread that around!

There's a reason why that rule isn't generally enforced: it's bad for cycling! SRAM steps into save a race and the biggest team they sponsor can't race it? Stupid!

Now, of course, the UCI has 'compromised' and will allow three Astana riders to race (Lance, Levi, and Horner), without their Astana kits. This isn't too big a deal for Astana, but poor BMC now has to send five riders home and follow the same rule interpretation. We'll have to see if the UCI will now follow BMC around for the rest of the season and wreck havoc on their ability to race.

April 21, 2009

Save Philly, You Can Help

"unless a $500,000 gap can be closed in the next several days, the race will be canceled."

Philly is a favorite of many -- both cyclists and fans alike -- but the troubled economy this year has put the threat of cancellation on its back. Sponsorship dollars have dropped $250k and the city has decided to charge the race $250k for police services.

Unlike other sports, we get to enjoy the beauty of our sport without tickets and expensive hot dog vendors, which makes all the more difficult for race promoters to cover the costs of creating temporary venues for races to occur. You can do your part to Embrace the Race by purchasing stickers and posters at either $5 or $10 a piece. Help keep our sport alive and well in this troubled time. You can read more at Embrace the Race.

How You Can Help

February 26, 2009

Wente is entry to Nature Valley

The Wente Vineyards Road Race and Crit on April 25+26 are again entry for amateurs to race in the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Wente is the only race to have the honor to repeat this year as a qualifier -- this year there are six total qualifers (up from three):

  • Jefferson Cup Road Race Charlottesville, VA
  • Hillsboro Roubaix St. Louis, MO
  • Wente Vineyards Road Race & Criterium San Francisco, CA
  • Glenwood Road Race & Longbranch Classic Road Race Seattle, WA
  • San Luis Rey Road Race San Diego, CA
  • Bear Mountain Road Race New York, NY

Each qualifying race will select one man and one woman who will travel to Minnesota to race as part of the Nature Valley Cycling Team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix on June 10 - 14. Each rider will receive a travel stipend, free entry, housing accommodations, and full team support. They will make public appearances, get pre-race introductions, participate in autograph sessions, and race in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 during this five-day stage race. This program provides riders with a full professional experience and is only available to the Nature Valley Pro Ride winners.

At the Nature Valley Grand Prix, Category 1 men and Category 2 women will be pursuing the coveted Nature Valley Top Amateur jersey. This special competition recognizes the accomplishments of "everyday athletes" as they compete against many of the best cyclists in the country, including international riders, and Olympic and World Champions. This is also a unique opportunity for amateurs to showcase their talents in front of the professional team managers. Since the program was started in 2004, every Top Amateur winner at the Nature Valley Grand Prix has received a pro team contract the following season.

Visit www.NatureValleyProRide.com for more information.

October 2, 2008

Interbike Booths

Interbike boothsI was pretty busy at Interbike shooting booths for MTBR and RoadbikeReview. Appointments to start shooting booths started at around 9am and I usually didn't finish shooting until about 5pm, with half an hour for lunch. Then I'd take an hour break to unload photos off my camera, swap batteries, hopefully get some food, and shoot the evening races. I'd finally get back after 11pm and process photos until 3am. Good times. If I struggled in conversation with you at Interbike it was the sleep deprivation. Really.

I shot Look, Michelin, Hayes, Ibis, Kona, BH, Crank Brothers, Fox Racing Shox, FSA, Raleigh, Park, RASE, and WTB. I also shot Ritchey and Pivot, which will be open soon. I was understudy to Photo-John, who warned me it would be difficult, but I didn't fully appreciate it until I hit the convention floor. Instead of trying to be creative, it was me and my strobes versus the evil lighting. I got to meet a lot of nice industry reps, though, and I always enjoy learning by drinking from the firehose.

September 29, 2008

Cross Vegas Photos

Trebon Wins 20080923_5655

Cross Vegas Lance Armstrong20080923_5614

All this time shooting cycling and my first cyclocross event happens to be Cross Vegas -- with sudden surprise entry by Lance Armstrong. I'd like to pretend I could summarize cyclocross as a sport based on this one event, but somehow I feel that I can't: the Lance Circus, the Elvises (Elvi?) both on and off bike, dollar bills shoved into helmets, beer sprayed at riders as they run past, the wigs and beards (including Justin England in a particularly hideous wig), etc... It was such an impressive field as well: Trebon, Wicks, Kabush, Johnson, Sauser, Wells and more -- the callups seemed to last forever. I'm sad that I had to miss the women's race with the Compton-Gould-Nash podium (too many Interbike obligations).

Cross Vegas 2008 Photos

Wicks 20080923_5452 Adam Craig goes down 20080923_5560
The King 20080923_5522 Johnson leads Trebon 20080923_5606

Cross Vegas 2008 Photos

September 28, 2008

Thorburn

Giro_di_SF_20080831_3756

Christine Thorburn -- two-time Olympian, 2004 US TT champion, Palo Alto doctor -- bade farewell to the sport at the World Championships in Varese, Italy. I had the pleasure of seeing her put the pain on the field at the Giro di SF and SF Twilight races as she prepared for her farewell on the international stage.

It unfortunately had to end with an injury to her hand after she was forced into the barriers, but as the CycleTo video interview makes clear, she appears ready for retirement.

September 27, 2008

USA CRITS Finals: Men's Race

Hilton Clarke Wins 20080924_6356

Toshiba Falcon 20080924_6311

Ivan Stevic 20080924_6270 Umbrella Girls 20080924_6110 Toshiba Falcon 20080924_6147_1
Toshiba Mark Hekman 20080924_6200 Escuela 20080924_6246
Purple Thing 20080924_6289 Meyerson Meyerson Clarke Clarke 20080924_6183

Toyota United's Hilton Clarke took the sprint and Toshiba barely held off TIme Pro to take both the individual and team series crown with Yosvany Falcon at the helm.

USA CRITS: Men's Race Photo Gallery

Twilight

Sunset 20080924_5951

This one is from the master's race, so it gets its own entry. Still processing photos...

USA CRITS Finals: Women's Race

Jenn McRae 20080924_6073
Jenn McRae 20080924_6094 Jenn McRae 20080924_6070 Jenn McRae - Race Winner 20080924_6398
Mandalay 20080924_5981 Cheerwine 20080924_6042

Jenn McRae put on a solo clinic: she jumped off the front with Christine Smith and then shed her breakaway companion with several laps to go. She had no teammates to help in the pack behind, but Colavita, Cheerwine and Vanderkitten were unable to put together a cohesive chase.

Katie Compton put a lot of hurt on the field, only a day after her win in Cross Vegas. Tina Pic was also there to crank things up and ended up taking the field sprint over Laura Van Gilder.

USA CRITS Finals: Women's Race Photo Gallery

September 25, 2008

Interbike Wednesday: P4! Lance!

Cross Vegas Lance Armstrong20080923_5510

Cervelo P420080923_5068

So much went on Wednesday, but I'm still buried under a mountain of photos and have little time to write. Two of the major items are the ones you see above. Yes Lance raced 'cross, perhaps the oddest presence in a field that had Justin England wearing an awful wig, a rider dressed as Elvis,and fans pushing dollar bills into the helmets of passing riders. The field split quickly into two races: the race for the victory between Trebon, Craig, Wells, Johnson, and others in the first group, and the race to shoot Lance Armstrong in the second group. You can see more of my Lance photos in my Road Bike Action Web gallery.

There's also the Cervelo P4: get yours now before the UCI rules it illegal. If the water bottle were frame it might be illegal, but as it is removable, somehow it isn't. They claim its the fastest possible bike: UCI legal or no. I'm a little sad to see that physics hasn't somehow designed a better looking bike. It kinda looks like someone welded together a TT frame using tubing from a bunch of different spare bikes. RoadbikeReview has a video of the naked frame, so you can judge for yourself.

September 22, 2008

Sayers

Mike Sayers, 2nd place

I only just got around to reading Mike Sayers retirement farewell. Man, the Tour of Missouri is turning into the farewell race for North American stalwarts. Last year Moninger, this year Sayers.

Sayers is the sort of gritty, straight-talking, workhorse rider that I just can't help but like as a fan. I hope he keeps on blitzing the local NorCal scene.

September 8, 2008

Thanks Bobby

Bobby Julich - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

It's sad to see a generation of cyclists retiring, especially one that helped bring American cycling to greater prominence on the international stage. The US PRO championships highlighted the huge pool of young talent in American cycling and certainly many owe a bit of thanks to Bobby J.

VeloNews: Bobby Julich Retires

August 13, 2008

Get Your Kristin Armstrong Fix: Nature Valley Grand Prix to Re-Air

Kristin wins Stillwater.jpgNot satisfied with watching Kristin Armstrong tear up the Great Wall circuit? The 2008 Nature Valley Grand Prix is going to re-air on Versus on August 16th at 2:30pm and on August 19th at 4pm. You can watch as Kristin Armstrong battles the entire field with only a single teammate at her side. You can gaze in road-rash-horror at the torrential opening stage where Armstrong laps the field, but it doesn't count. You know you want to see that (again).

You can also watch as HealthNet and Bissell duke it out in the men's race: Jacques-Mayniacs vs. Roarin' Sutherland.

Relive the coverage like it's happening live by heading over to Podium In Sight and readin' the page in reverse ;).

Photo courtesy Nature Valley Grand Prix

cyclodro.me, now with more race

tour_of_utah.jpgMy eventual plan is to set cyclodro.me loose on as many different races as I can (especially the North American scene), but hastily written code at 4am during the Tour de France doesn't exactly grow well.

I've taken at my first step towards this grand goal. In addition to covering the Olympics, there is now a separate page for the Tour of Utah. There's some good content rolling in for the race already, so I hope this little experiment goes well.

July 12, 2008

Horner trains with fallen rider on back

horner-ccc-everydayathlete.jpgWhile browsing Podium in Sight I read this Cascades Stage 5 story that's so good I have to pass it on:

Chris Horner Gives Fallen Rider (and bike) a 2k Ride to the Finish

Follow the links to read Everday Athlete's account and see some photos. Jonathan Devich of CyclingNews also got a photo and there's footage from from KTVZ. Horner's feat is about 3:09 in.

I'm sure all of us would do the same as Chris Horner, if we were Chris Horner. Maybe that's just how they ride in Bend.

July 11, 2008

Crazy stuff at Cascades

From the stage 2 women's race:

Back in the pack, Janel and Amy were on the front around the 5 km to the KOM mark, doing some work to bring down that time gap. Random attacks were going off and only one riders attack really stuck...She got off and then really, really got off because her lead moto took her off course and she ended up waaay in front of us finishing way before the break that she never caught. That sure confused everybody at the finish line. So I don't know what happened with that. Too bad for her though.

This little nugget from the Webcor report -- CyclingNews' report sadly contains no details.

Update: podium in sight has the details

July 10, 2008

Rest of the US Olympic Squad Announced

Christine ThorburnFrom cyclingnews

The final names of the United States' cycling team for the Beijing Olympic Games were announced Thursday by USA Cycling. Joining Kristin Armstrong on the women's road team will be Amber Neben, in her first Olympic Games, and Christine Thorburn, who represented her country in Athens in 2004. Mary McConnelough was named to join the women's mountain bike team alongside Georgia Gould.

Armstrong and Thorburn are busy duking it out at Cascades, where Armstrong took first and Thorburn third on stage 1.

July 1, 2008

Olympians

Levi and DZ - (c) Ken Conley

USA Cycling announced most of the Olympic roster today. Several womens' selections won't be announced until July 15.

Men's Road Race

  • Levi Leipheimer
  • George Hincapie
  • Jason McCartney
  • Christian Vande Velde
  • Dave Zabriskie

Men's TT

  • Levi Leipheimer
  • Dave Zabriskie

Women's TT and Road

  • Kristin Armstrong
  • Two more TBA

Men's MTB

  • Todd Wells
  • Adam Craig

Women's MTB

  • Georgia Gould
  • One more TBA

Men's Track

  • Michael Blatchford
  • Bobby Lea
  • Taylor Phinney
  • Adam Duvendeck
  • Michael Friedman
  • Giddeon Massie

Women's Track

  • Sarah Hammer
  • Jennie Reed

See the USA Cycling press release for more.

May 4, 2008

Tour of America: It Lives (on a minivan)

Tour of America Van

As seen outside my hotel room in Statesboro, Georgia.

March 9, 2008

Enjoying the Return of DaveZabriskie.com

Dave Zabriskie is Cold - (c) Ken ConleyDZ's site went into a bit of a permafrost state, but he's brought it back under control and the diary entries show that he's back in form:

Thanks for all the positive feed back on the mustache -- I think I should keep it too. I pulled up to the CSC car on the first stage to say hi to Bjarne and he asked how it was going. I said, "pretty good, I grew a mustache." He told me I looked like shit to which I replied, "I grew it for you man -- I wanted you to be really happy I wasn't on your team anymore." We both laughed and the race rolled on. Part of the reason I want to keep the mustache is that I'm going to have a baby pretty soon and part of me thinks it'll be cool to have all the first pictures of me with him in the hospital looking like this – yes, that's how I see the photo album taking shape.

For those of you, like me, who miss the one-question interviews, I found a partial archive here.

davezabriskie.com

January 11, 2008

Favorite one-liner on Rock Racing

From the Friday Foaming Rant:

Still, man, I love this f--king Michael Ball guy. It's refreshing for a change to suspect that management may be on drugs.

January 3, 2008

Welcome to 2008

It's January 3rd and USA Cycling has posted the 2008 calendar. I most excited to see a date for the Tour of Missouri as I am contemplating Tour of California/Georgia/Missouri triple coverage this year. California is certain, Georgia has top priority, and the national championships may bump Missouri depending on how much travel I can schedule this year.

December 13, 2007

Tour of America: Shorter, still ridiculous

27 stages becomes 21 and 4000+ miles becomes 2200+, but Aqu Sports is still a bit off the deep end in hope to pull of a "Tour of America" as soon as September of 2008. The shortened route includes some ambitious transfers: multiple 100mi+ hops plus Columbia, MO to Denver, CO on a rest day. Part of the attraction of the Tour of California/Georgia/Missouri for international teams is that they are well organized; Aqu Sports' first and second volleys leave plenty of doubt -- and their Web site still needs a professional writer. Of course, Aqu seems to want to close the gap with a $10M purse.

I'm excited that they chose Palo Alto, CA as the finishing city, but it seems a bit silly to me that a Tour of America would spend five days in California and two days in Missouri, visiting many of the same cities. Perhaps they are hoping that these cities would be easier to signup?

The Tour of America

September 26, 2007

Tour of America?

A company called Aqu Inc has announced a three-week, 22-state Tour of America. I thought this was a hoax when I first caught wind of this. The current Web site is hosted on 'waninggibbous.com' and the text on the Web site is poor and full of errors:

The most famous cyclist in the world is still Lance Armstrong an American. Unfortunately there is not a large enough cycling event in this country worthy of assembling the worlds best talents most of whom are Americans. Isn't it time to bring such an event to this vast country so Americans in this country can experience and admire close up the amazing talents and achievements of our own.

The organizers are planning a route twice the distance of the any current Grand Tour and they want to run it in September, when riders not competing in the Vuelta are spinning down their legs. They also want to run up against the Tour of Missouri, which gets them into trouble with Medalist Sports. Although the Tour of Missouri is a new event without much traction yet, Medalist also organizes the Tour de Georgia, the Tour of California, and USA Cycling Pro championships.Update: 'InTheKnow' says that the ToM will not be taking place in September next year (see comments)

A million dollar prize for the overall winner and an eleven-million-dollar prize budget could sway things in their favor, but I'll believe it when I start seeing some teams sign up.

VeloNews is reporting this, though they too seem a bit skeptical.

September 14, 2007

Navigators' farewell ride as well

It was a bit surprising to hear that Navigators are pulling the plug as well, making the Tour of Missouri the last ride for two great USA teams.

August 10, 2007

Hincapie to T-Mobile

hincapie.tmobileHincapie seemed to just be waiting for news of the official demise: Hincapie Officially Joins T-Mobile. Neil@ROAD got the scoop from Greenville.

It will be weird seeing him wear the T-Mobile pink instead of the Discovery black and blue, though he'll be riding alongside Michael Barry once more. Maybe he'll get another national champion jersey and it will be the same.

June 25, 2007

Easy competition

The Wall Street Journal has an article on cyclists, runners, and tri-athletes using the Web to cherry-pick easy races in order to pick up some easy wins.

As competitive amateur athletics explode, a new form of gamesmanship is emerging. Millions of people can now say they've run a marathon or a triathlon, but how many people can say they've won one? In the past, that hasn't been easy for weekend warriors who work long hours at the office and lack six-pack abs. Now, some are trying to gain an edge by finding where the fast racers aren't. Instead of training harder, they're spending hours online to scout out the field, and they're driving hundreds of miles to race against thin competition in out-of-the-way places.

Article

May 13, 2007

2007 Collegiate Nationals Coverage

I noticed Josh Gray's photos zooming through my Flickr photostream so I thought I'd throw out some links:

April 9, 2007

US Open coverage

I missed the US Open due to being very busy, but thankfully Steve of steephill.tv has posted this exciting note:

April 8 update: I've just secured the right to webcast a 10 minute highlight reel to be assembled by the producer of yesterday's epic U.S. Open, Kent Gordis Productions. We plan to post a short highlight reel at 320x240 frame size on Tuesday tonight. Hopefully, by Wednesday or Thursday night the 10 minute, high-quality (640x480) version and the iPod version will be posted here as well. There will be no cost to view either of the highlight reels thanks to NBC Sports, Red Five Sports Group, Kent Gordis Productions and Michelob. Stay tuned...