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2015-05-23 Folsom BP Crit Race Report by Matt Tufts

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Riders: Jake Hensley, Scott Kingston, Steve McCaw, Kevin Tufts and myself.

I started the day with the intention of only doing the 35+123 race as I was racing Mt. Hamilton the next day, but I got there early and Kevin talked me into doing the 2/3 race as well. Our plan was to not do anything and use it as a warm up for the 35+ race.

Well, that escalated quickly!  Kevin immediately jumps and starts the first break of the day. Jake rolls up next to me and asks if we need to pull the break back, but was happy to hear Kevin was up there. As soon as the break got caught a couple laps later, Kevin attacks again, and that’s when I knew he was done holding back.

I stayed rested, knowing I’m not a breakaway rider, wanting the race race to be about 30 minutes in before I started to work. I was at the very back, and I heard a crash happening and it was Evan from victory velo. I braked hard, stayed upright, but since I was stopped checked on Evan. He was ok but donated a lot of skin to the pavement. I took the free lap, Kevin checked to make sure I was ok and the race was on.

Evan seemed to be feeling fine as he jumped hard to bridge to 7 or so riders that got about 20 seconds to up the road. A group of 3 looked to bridge led by Eric Brickler from Data Driven Athlete. I jumped on but nobody wanted to work so I jumped and bridged up to Evan. He was smoked so I kept going but was hurting. Tyler Janke from DDA came around me hard and proceeded to rip my legs off for the next 2 laps.

I then decided to go back to the main field and rest for the next race. However the break was still up the road and I could see Kevin rotating in the front with 5 guys from DDA to pull the break back and I knew I had to give it my best shot so Kevin’s hard work would mean something for our team. With 3 to go I found Jake trying to find Kevin’s wheel and I jumped in front of him, told Kevin that Jake and I were there, let’s do this! I figured Jake has the best sprint so I liked our chances. Amain cycling had a 5 man leadout and Kevin had their sprinters wheel, but they were going way too slow. We got swarmed, Jake lost my wheel, and I bullied my way through the swarm to be about 8 guys back. I was yelling at Corey from Amain to get his train moving faster. He yelled Go! but they just didn’t have it. Chris Espy figured it out and jumped with about 500 to go, I looked back to make sure I wasn’t going to take anyone out, jumped and was able to pass everyone but Espy going into the final turn. My speedometer said I hit 38 mph right before the turn, and at that speed no one was able to catch me. I was coming up on Espy, but ran out of pavement.
2nd place! Not bad considering I wasn’t even planning on racing!!

Needless to say, I pulled out of the 35+ race with spent legs. Save it for tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

2015-05-02 Golden State Race Report by John Novikoff

Day 1 Criterium

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This race always has been a good adventure for us in the past. We have had much success on this course throughout the years and I was excited to race it again as I missed last year. Rio Strada always puts on a good show. We had a good group of guys, and I knew a break was possible on this course, and so I planned form the beggining expecting something to materialize and I was willing to work should we get away. The attacks came, Specialized was very active but the break was not meant to be and so I settled in near the front anticipating the blue train. I looked up with 2 to go and there was a 4 strong Folsom Bike train at the front driving the pace. I blew up the right side and slotted in right behind Matt Tufts. We came through with 1 to go and Brian Choi gave a great last effort. When we hit the back stretch and Matt gave it all until halfway on the back stretch. Chronos was organized on the left side and brought their train up to the front. I swung over, slotted in behind Chris Baker and I went into the turns sitting 6th. This was great position and I was eagerly anticipating the sprint. Coming into the final turn, I had great position with tons of gas in the tank when Dean had to make a avoidance move from his lead-out guy cutting the corner which resulted in everyone breaking and running for open space. Chris Baker and I braked and swung far left, sighed in relief then hit the gas. I was making up ground, had to come around a few guys, but ended up 3rd just closing in on the top two.

Day 2 Circuit Race

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Knowing how things shook out the day before, the play was for a shot at an overall win. My plan was to get a break established, isolating the top finishers in the peloton from the day before. I knew full well that Chronos would be looking for such a move and would not allow it to happen and would chase everything down. They had numbers, but I knew the Specialized crew would want to establish a break as well, and I was down to give it a go. I stayed attentive up front, followed a few moves, but saw the right mix ramp it up early in the race. Buckley and Espy shot up the right side with a counter attack and I followed from the left side and we met at the front, put a small gap on, and applied the gas. Our group seemed to be eight strong once we established the break, but only Espy, Buckley, Newton and I were pulling through. Hammer had two guys, and sat at the back I guess to sight see. I believe we got close to a 20sec gap. With 5 to go, Specialized wanted to dump the dead weight from our break, rallied Newton and I and hit the gas. At this point Chornos went to the front and began drilling it. Word from the peloton was that it was stretched out for 3 laps full gas trying to reel us in. The rested dead weight all of a sudden found their legs and chased us down and the break regrouped which slowed our effort and allowed the Chornos effort to begin closing on us. We rested for a half lap, and then started again, but the group was close, and the catch was made shortly after. I pulled the plug and went in recovery mode knowing that I blew my legs with that long break effort. I started to feel fresh again and started filtering up to the front. I saw Kevin Tufts and the crew up front and I began moving forward. Al of a sudden our team was around me blocking wind, escorting me up towards the front. Judd came through and I latched onto his wheel as I could not see where the blue train had gone. Judd made a solid effort on the headwind section to the left hander to bring me up front. We hit the corner on the outside, Chronos occupied the left and hit the gas. Judd and I split around some traffic and he drilled it getting me almost to the front. I moved left to latch onto the Chronos train and found fourth wheel behind Padilla. Knowing I needed to be first through the chicane, I knew I was out of position. The top five went through the final corner and we placed in that order at the finish. Jake Hensley and I rounded it out finishing 4th and 5th. Chris Baker from Specialized finished with a 2nd place, bumping me down in the overall due to a tie to 4th.

Being in the break all day, I heard of the guys blocking and trying to help our break stay away. Great attentiveness by all in the final laps. I heard lots of communication. I am proud of our team and the results. Great job guys!

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2015-04-11 Topsport Stage Race Report by Matt Tufts

My phone 074On day 1, Kevin and myself made the trip to Copperopolis for the Topsport Stage Race this weekend. Our field was 6 strong. Yes, you read that correctly, only 6. However, with Dean LaBerge being one of them there was some legit competition going on. The road race started us off on Saturday, and our group raced with the E3’s and the 45 1/2/3’s, for a field of about 40. On lap 2 Kevin flatted out, twice. He ended up tying his tube in a knot after discovering that his patch kit dried up, and he was given a 10 minute time penalty, effectively ending his chances in the overall.
The 6 in our field were very attentive to each other, and after spending a little time trying to get in a break it was clear none of us were going to let anyone get away. This made for a 75 mile crit, and with a group of 5 that got away containing 3 Cat 3’s and 2 45’s it was a matter of staying sheltered and conserving. The wind did take its toll, and whittled our group down to about 20 riders to contest the final sprint. Coming into the last 3K, we were fighting a headwind and I managed to put myself 5th wheel as we turned towards the hill and the finishing sprint. I knew Dean would be right up there, and he was on my wheel as we crested the hill. He came around me with 300 meters to go, and I jumped on his wheel, clicked down a gear and gave a hard push towards the line, just coming around him to take the win!

Day 2 had the TT , and Kevin and I did the race on our road bikes, and fared pretty well considering. However, I lost 2 minutes being the sprinter that I am, and dropped me to 3rd on GC. Kevin put in a solid time and earned 3rd in the TT.

The circuit race was 2 hours later and the officials grouped us with the Pro 1/2 field. Again, no one was getting away in our field and it was all about a stage win. Kevin continued his weekend of bad luck and flatted within the first 2 laps. If you’re counting, that’s 3 flats in 2 days. Which is a bummer because Kevin is riding really strong.

In the last lap of the circuit race, there was a crash that Dean and I just got by, and then things got hairy as we were overtaking the cat 3 field within the last 800 meters. A Cliff Bar rider ended up cutting across the whole group, and went through the center divide and into the oncoming lane. I don’t know how he didn’t crash anyone out, but it sure screwed up my position coming into the last 500 meters. Dean was marking me and he jumped around at 200 to go, and i couldn’t make up the bike length difference. He won the stage, and I placed 2nd, but it secured my 3rd place overall.

A bigger field would’ve been nice, but it was a successful weekend for Folsom Bike/VW/Raley’s!!

2015-04-04 Copperopolis Road Race Report by John Novikoff

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This will be a short report. I’ve heard the horror stories of the wheel busting pavement and the bone rattling descent, and knowing full well where my strengths lye as a rider, I still decided to head down. It was a perfect day, a bit cool but very pleasant. Matt Tufts and I would be the only two in the 35+ group. The plan was to stay near the front at the base of the climb and go with any moves, but my plan failed. I was popped right near the top of the first climb and was in chase mode. I kind of threw the towel in initially, tagged up with another droppie and we caught back on. I went up to the front, took a couple digs, brought back a couple attempts, and was promptly dropped on the second climb. I rode part of the second lap with Conner Ellison from Limitless, and chatted with Mark Fiori as I stopped at the feed zone. It was a beautiful day and I did enjoy being on the bike just relaxed on the second lap. The road conditions were not at all what was hyped. The descent was bumpy, sure, but you can let em run the whole way. I’ll be back, a little lighter, and with the knowledge of the course especially where the climbs are and duration.

2015-03-28 Turlock Road Race Report by John Novikoff

As I have mainly done crits and circuit races, every road race will be a new experience for me. Such as with Turlock. The course had no real climbs in it, just some power rollers. I was solo in my field (40-44) while Mikes and Specialized had 5 guys each. A quick chat with Tyler Janke from Data Driven Athlete set an alliance in place in case we missed the break. I saw the Specialized crew roll up in the back and point my way which I took for “that’s the guy”, but they could have been pointing to the cow across the street though. We rolled and attacks were immediate. I was upfront covering the moves, staying involved. We hit a windy spot and I saw Tyler Jenke roll through and just soft pedal off the front like a magician. It wasn’t an attack and they just let him get 200M in front, then a few other guys rolled, and bam! While I was picking daisies the break forms. Every team was represented. I became desperate and been attacking hoping a chase group would form, but with everyone well represented it was not happening. I attacked 5 different times and each time Specialized or Mikes pulled me back. Jonathan from Chronos and I made some great pulls together for a lap, but They were controlling the front and covering each move well. On my sixth attack, someone came with me. He came through for one pull, then popped. I hit the gas as I had a small gap, and I began to put time on the group. So there I would be, solo in no man’s land for half a lap with the specialized and MB working to reel me in. I was coming up to a group which I thought was the 8 man break up the road, but realized the closer I got it was the 35-40 field. Being completely in the red, I was in no way going to give the chase behind satisfaction that they reeled me in again so I kept the gas on knowing I was blowing my legs to bridge to the younger group. I made contact, went to the front and was stung by a bee and the realization that my effort was in vain. The break was no were in sight. I rode with the younger guys until the group caught up, and assimilated. I figured I was going to get dropped after that effort and filtered back to the rear of the group, getting pats on the back and thumbs up. I hung in there and recovered a bit and with the knowledge that there were only three up the road, I might try for a top 10. The rollers were uneventful and I moved towards the front before the flat section. The run in was fast, and everyone was hugging the right side looking for protection. With about 500 to go, I stayed a bit in the wind on the left about 8 deep and waited for the guys to go. I realized they were going to wait till the last moment, so I hit the gas passing all but a MB guy ending up 2nd in the field sprint and 5th for the day. I was stoked to have legs after annihilating myself for a half lap and attacking so much in desperation. It sure make me wonder how this may have played out if I had made the break.

2015-03-29 Turlock Road Race Masters Championships Report by Matt Tufts

Going into this race I felt I could put up a good result knowing that a lot of the fast guys are freaking old. Only 18 guys were pre-registered for my field, and we ended up with 22. With the wind picking up and coming from the north I knew a break would probably win, and I was right. What I didn’t know was that the break would be established within the first 3 minutes of the race!

Stefano Profumo(Squadra) and Brian (SGW) got off and the group seemed willing to let them go seeing as it was so early. Thirsty Bear had 4 guys in the peleton and it was assumed that they were going to control the race. After one lap, Michael Claudio bridged up into the headwind on the rollers and we just kept the group in sight, never letting them go too far. Mike started cramping and quickly joined the peloton, and then promptly lost contact. With such a small group there was not a lot of room to hide. On the crosswind section of lap 2, we were going about 15mph and no one wanted to chase, and I rolled to the front at about 18 mph expecting the group to follow. I looked back about a minute later and saw that I had a 200 meter gap on the group, about halfway between them and the break. I figured I should give it some gas and see what would happen.

Being the sprinter that I am I was brought back on the headwind/roller section after about 20 minutes of being in no man’s land. Oh well, I had to try. Shortly after we picked up Brian as Stefano rode him off his wheel.The group came up fast but was down to about 15 riders at that point, and it was all I could do to catch back on as we turned into the tailwind section. I kept telling myself to hang on, that they would let up soon, and I was right. I recovered just in time to cover 2 more attacks, and I was hurting pretty bad. I had to keep talking myself through,” drink, recover, STAY ON, repeat”. Every attack dropped a couple guys, and It was everything I could do to stay with the group. Attacks kept hard on the last rollers, and the last tailwind I was with the final group of 9, with one solo rider still away.

Brian Zimny and I talked earlier how there was one Thirsty Bear rider who had done no work who looked like a sprinter to watch at the end. He had a teammate take him to the front and I grabbed his wheel. However, his teammate attacked about 1k out and their sprinter didn’t go with him. One rider took a vicious pull with Zimny on his wheel and I was able to be 5th wheel by the time I could latch on. I started my sprint about 300 out and was only able to pass one rider for a 5th place finish. No doubt that time spent in no mans land didn’t help me be fresh for the end, but I’m stoked to have won many mental battles as guys were getting spit out the back on the last lap every time there was an attack.

Huge props to Stefano for winning in commanding fashion off the front all day. Thanks for reading.

2015-03-15 Bariani Road Race 45+ 1/2/3 Report by Chris Morris


Bariani Road Race Masters 45+ 123
56 miles, 4 laps
Field limit 75, 70 starters

Representing Folsom Bike/VW/Raley’s
Gus Platis
Ted Toribio
Jeff Dillon
Marty Cunningham
Chris Morris

Gus had laid out a strategy prior to the race that anticipated wind – unfortunately at the start of the race the wind was not cooperating. It wasn’t until about the 2nd lap that the wind started kicking up. This race had all the big teams show up with their big hitters and a large presence, so we knew it would be an aggressive and fast race with lots of attacks.

From the start the pace was high and the attacks began – our team was very active not letting anything go. It looked like we were well placed toward the front and ready for anything. Somewhere into the middle of the second lap I did not see Jeff Dillon, Ted Toribio, or Marty Cunningham. We later found out all 3 had flatted. Jeff Dillon was able to get a tube and get back on the course to finish the race. So that left Gus and me. As we rounded the finish heading into the 3rd lap the chatter started with the teams setting up for trying to split the group. The wind had now picked up a bit and was now starting to cooperate. So heading into about the halfway point the pace into the headwind starts picking up. I realize that I am too far back and I notice Gus is on the front drilling it and pushing the pace. I have one of those “o cr*p!” moments where you are just hanging on and decide I better go help Gus. I make it up to the front and I am moving into rotation when the attack happens. I see the group including 3 Hammer, 3 Coretech, R4R, Thirsty Bear and a few others, they are away and we are not represented. Gus was blocked in and I am on the other side of the group and I hear him yell at me “Chris if you can get there you need to be on that break” right as he said this a guy rocketed off the front, I was on him like a cheap suit. He took us most of the way and then he started to fade, I closed the gap and was on the line. We pushed the pace with solid rotation picking up about a minute on the group, then the games started. We had 4 solid sprinters in the group: Fairbanks, Saltzman, Albrecht and Aldeman, but some in the group wanted to conserve and started moderating the pace. I figured that Coretech did not have the right guy in the field – Heaton was trying to bridge. When he finally made it the pace went back up. Shortly after Hunter attacked the group. Everyone then looked at Coretech and thought “let’s see how bad they want it”. No one went after Hunter. I took a shot at bringing him back and had him close enough to bring him in, but no one wanted it bad enough, so I got back into rotation. Hunter took the win and the rest of us were racing for second. I ended up 9th in the group. Gus was a great teammate, chasing the attacks and keeping things in control so the break could stay away. Sorry for the mechanicals Jeff, Ted, Marty – you guys were mixing things up and the race would have changed with you guys in it for the distance. An epic day of racing.

Thanks for reading.

Chris Morris

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