A lot has been happening this past year. I started the Alto Velo company with my friend Bobby Sweeting and things have been going well. I received my first patent on the hub design I came up with and the wheel set already has a win at the San Dimas GC. We wanted to be a company with innovative designs and quality production. We are starting with road bike wheels, but plan to grow into other areas as well. You can check out the company website below and see what we’ve been working on.
Since I’ve been racing a crit-heavy schedule to prep for Joe Martin and Tour of the Gila, I figured the FL state crit champs was worth a go. Brooksville is a fun course with a tough, bumpy brick climb and a lot of bad pavement everywhere. A good classics style crit course, fitting with the World Tour Spring classics happening. A break got up the road early in the 80 min crit, but had a lot of firepower in it. Eventually the break split up after a prieme sprint and half of it came back to us in the field. Since I was flying solo, I was taking big turns at the front to help pull the break back. The Guerciotti and FSA combination really smoothed out the bricks keeping the tires on the ground.
About an hour in, they put out a field prieme and I countered it to get separation from the field. Good thing I had the Giro Synthe for a little aero advantage and Bolle glasses to block out the setting sun.
I was able to bridge up to Stephen Perezluha (Isagenix Seasucker) and we worked to try to bring back the remaining two riders, Ruben Campangnioni (Stradalli) and Owen Shott (Velo Brew), up the road. We were unsuccessful as the duo had too big of a lead and I ended up 4th after a long day.
This past weekend, we had our team camp up in Roanoke, VA. It was nice to change up the scenery and weather for a little bit, since I’ve spent the whole off season in Florida. This was the first time we had the whole new team together with all the riders and management in one place. We all rendezvoused at Starlight bikes in Roanoke and had our clothing and equipment distributed. We are riding Guerciotti frames with Microshift drivetrains, FSA components, and San Marco saddles. On the clothing side, we have Starlight apparel, Giro helmets, and Swiftwick socks.
After getting all the equipment dialed in at the shop it was time for pictures at the Blue 5 restaurant’s White room. Here’s the 2015 Lupus Racing Team UCI squad.
The riding at camp was a great change of pace. We had some good weather and plenty of company on the roads. We were based out of Camp Easter Seals in the mountains, and the riding from there was awesome. Rural and plenty of elevation gain. Here’s the whole team UCI and devo together after the last day’s ride.
Throughout the week we learned a lot about our sponsors and in particular a bunch of great information about the Lupus disease. If you have any questions about this autoimmune disease and how it affects people, please visit LupusGa.org for more information.
All in all it was a great camp and I’m looking forward to a great season with an awesome group of guys! Watch out for the team van at a race near you.
It has been an up and down season for sure. Started coming on to form using Joe Martin as a prep for Tour of the Gila, but I went down in the big crash on stage one about twenty miles from the first climb of the race. This past weekend, we raced in the Village Volkswagen River Gorge Omnium. The event began with a super fun TT around a reservoir and across the dam retaining the water. Nothing special about my result here, but in the crit later Saturday evening, my teammate Winston lapped up with a group of strong riders and took 2nd in a confusing final lap of the race.
Sunday was the road stage and Winston was sitting pretty well in the overall. He got held up in a crash a mile or so before the first climb. The whole Lupus team held back to help bridge him back to the group right before Sand Mountain, the first climb of the day. The field split over the climb and Winston made the front group. I had to climb my way through the field to make group two on the road, which we eventually caught group one in the rolling hill portion of the course. From here I started covering moves and keeping or group together for Winston’s lead. Closer to the final climb up Raccoon Mountain, a group broke away from the group and I covered it. This group stuck all the way to the climb. We went back and forth attacking up the slopes, but eventually I got away and was able to hold it to the line. Jonathan Jacob took second and Mark Fisher third.
I’m stoked to have won on one of my favorite regional climbs of the calendar, especially after the long journey back from crashing out of Gila.
It has been a goal of mine to have an in competition USADA test based on a good result. I finally got to cross this one off the list after the River Gorge Road Race win.
This Friday, we took part in the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, a UCI 1.2 road race. Our squad consisted of Jimmy, Winston, Oliver, Buddy, Stephan, Oleg, Igor, myself, and Jan as the Director. The course was hilly and wove through downtown Winston-Salem and the surrounding neighborhoods for 171km. Each of the 15 laps had a 10+% stair stepped climb in it, which did a number on the field. For those who want to watch the race or pieces of it, here is the link.
The race started out fast from the gun with the first 3 or 4 laps seemingly flat out. We were represented at the front with Buddy, Winston, and Jimmy going with a few moves. Jimmy ultimately made a solid break which stayed away for a good portion of the race, but was reeled in eventually. The winning move of ~20 riders got away after this move and we were out of position to respond to it.
Winston, Oliver, and I went with a few moves at this point, but nothing stuck. Heading into the last lap, I bridged to a chase group after the final climb, through the start/finish line. Here is the clip. I made it to the group, however we were later caught on the fast highway section. The final time up the climb, the remainder of the field shredded and finished in smaller groups, with our top placing being 43rd for the race. I rolled in with this group at 47th. Not quite the result I was hoping for, but this was a tough one. Just about half of the 190+ man field didn’t finish. As always I’m grateful to all the team and all the sponsors for making it all possible! Looking forward to the Joe Martin NRC race coming up this Thursday in Arkansas.
I’m at 30,000 plus feet in the air right now, heading back to Sarasota, FL. This was a bit of whirlwind trip to California for the San Dimas stage race. I am so grateful to my Lupus Racing Team for giving us the opportunity to come out to the race and for all of the support. My teammates, Winston, Jimmy, and Oliver came out for the race as well.
My Aunt was in town visiting before the race and left a little good luck charm for me.
The weather was great the whole week. Always a little cooler than the southeast, but a nice break from the heat. We flew into LAX and had host housing with Melissa and her husband, David. A huge thanks to them for opening their home to all of us.
After flying in on Wednesday, Jimmy and I took a nice easy spin around the Sunset Loop circuit from the Redlands race. It was nice to see the course again in a much calmer setting. Thursday was the GMR TT recon day. We pre-drove, and then pre-rode the course to get the feeling for the climb again. We had the rental van jam packed the whole week.
Onto the racing. I had a good ride in the uphill TT and finished 36th. A few spots lower than the last year, but still solid.
The road race was significantly less eventful than the previous year, however the first few laps were still pretty hairy. It’s always odd how the field is coned off to one lane for about 2 or 3 miles. The field always seems too big for the course and that’s what makes things dicey. The field split and came back together a few times through the race, but on the final lap, a break of 10 riders got clear on the final climb. They finished ahead of my group of around 30 riders and the field came in a short time after. This moved me up to 34th on GC. Not a huge jump, but consistent results.
I locked up the rear tire in one of the incidents in the first few laps of the road race, and couldn’t get a spare wheel before the crit. I guess this is the price you pay for traveling with tubulars. Needless to say, I didn’t have all that much confidence in my rear tire, so I rode the crit a bit gingerly. It was a wide open, six turn, flowing course which I floated to a field finish. I was same time as the group and moved up another spot on GC to finish the race at 33rd overall. Not too bad of a showing for the first big race of the season. After the race, we got to enjoy the rest of the evening in Redlands. Burritos, a beer, and some Oreos were the rewards for completing the stage race.
I’m now setting my sights on the Joe Martin stage race with the team. It will be another attempt at a tough uphill time trial, and another chance to race with the big teams.