Friday, December 7, 2007

Tour of Marin Report


The Tour of Marin on October 29, 2006 was an invitational ride through Marin with some of America's most accomplished riders in the pro peloton including Levi Leipheimer, the Webcor Women’s Team and many more. Team Swift members Tyler Brandt, Ethan Weiss, Lindsay Myers and Ryan Eastman had the opportunity to attend the event with Coach Laura to meet and ride with these top Professionals.

Many other members of Team Swift met the same day in Marin for our All Team Ride. These riders lead by Coach Julia Violich and parents rode the Paradise Island loop. We coordinated the All Team Ride to finish at the same time as the Tour of Marin so we were all able to go to the lunch and hang out together. Lot's of fun!
The Marin Country Day School invited Team Swift to join their ride on October 20, 2007. Due to the success of their fund raising activities the school donors have made a contribution in support of Team Swift for $500. Thanks MCDS!

Great riding gang!
Coach Laura

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

All-Team Ride this Saturday

December 8 "All Team Ride" in Santa Rosa


*WEATHER UPDATES: Between 6:45-7AM there will be an update posted at
www.teamswift.org/schedules. The forecast is calling for clear skies both Saturday and Sunday. If it is raining at 6:30AM coach Laura will post it on the website and we will reschedule the ride. It will be sunny though and we'll see you there!!!
*If you need any specific clothing or equipment be sure to email chara30@aol.com so we can have it for you at the ride.
*Come meet the Norcal Sport Cycling Team!!!

Team Swift All-Team-Ride Details

Parents and friends are invited to join the ride and all youth under the age of 12 are required to have a participating parent or guardian in attendance. For those not current registered members of Team Swift you need to bring a signed waiver and release to join the ride which can be found at http://teamswift.org/join/. Be sure to read the Team Swift Riding Rules below so you come prepared.

1. All Team Ride:
· All Team Ride is December 8, 2007
· 9 AM at NorCal Bike Sport
· Ride Leaders: Coach Laura and Coach Jonathan. Parents are invited to join the ride and must abide by the Team Swift Ride Rules.
· Skill Level: All levels invited. Riders under 12 years old must have a riding parent in attendance.
· The ride will be between 2-2.5 hours.
· Heavy Rain will cancel the ride but not if it is just light rain.

The All-Team Ride is a chance for all levels of riders to learn cycling skills and start a ride together. Team Swift Alumni members, rider assistants, are also often on these rides which gives upcoming riders a chance to learn from their experience. Parents and supporters of Team Swift are welcome to join as well. We will start together and then break into different groups depending on skill level. There will be a coach and/or parent with each group. The ride will be approximately 2.0-2.5 hours depending on skill level and age.

Start Location:
NorCal Bike Sport
425 College Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 573-0112

Team Swift Contacts:
Coach Laura Charameda: teamswift@aol.com or Chara30@aol.com
P.O. Box 103
Fulton, CA 95439

Team Swift Riding Rules:
*Helmets are mandatory.
*If you are not a current Team Swift member you will need to sign a waiver and release. These will be available before the start of the ride and are also downloadable from the Team Swift website. If you are under 18 years of age you will need a parent or guardian signature. Everyone on the ride will need to sign a release. Parents are welcome to join the ride. http://teamswift.org/global/File/Release_Form_2005.pdf
*Carry 2 spare tubes, tire irons, money, water, energy bars, ID with an emergency phone number, and enough warm clothing.
*Your bike needs to be clean for each group and team ride.
*Pre Ride Safety Check: look at your tires to make sure you don’t have glass in them and check the quick-release skewers on your hubs to make sure they are totally secure. Ask for help at the shop prier to departure.
*Always ride to the right side of the road and in the bike lanes if available.
*Respect all traffic laws.
*Coaches or ride leaders are on the road for your safety. Listen closely for their advice in the group. This is a major safety issue especially when there are a lot of riders and traffic on the roads. A quick response may be necessary.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cycle with Champions Reports


Team Swift Special Report
Cycle with Champions Quotes
October 28, 2007

“I was so proud of our Team Swift program—everyone who was there on Sunday; the riders, parents, Professional cycling organizations, donors, sponsors and supporters. 100 people went out to ride on a beautiful day, stopping for a quick picture on Wohler Bridge, and then making our way up Westside Road. What a great opportunity for so many different types of cyclists to interact and all in support this youth cycling program.

The success of the event highlights the significance of junior development for the future of American cycling. It also underscores the vitally important role that leading American athletes and industry members can play in assuring an ongoing record of success by Americans in our sport. BMC Pro Racing Team, Director Gavin Chilcott, Ian Sherburne, Charlie Livermore and riders Scott Nydam, Mike Sayers and Nathan Miller are to be highly commended for commitment to the future of cycling. Steven Cozza, Slipstream/Chipotle, a graduate of Team Swift also deserves exceptional recognition for his generosity of time in which he dedicates to mentoring our future Team Swift riders. All of these people were present to show their conviction that junior development matters for the future of cycling, which has proven to be motivational for financial supporters and inspirational for young athletes. Team Swift owes these folks a debt of gratitude for joining them in their efforts to provide cycling opportunities for promising athletes.

Cycling industry leaders including Specialized, Clif, TIME, Mavic, Squadra, 24-Hour Fitness, The SockGuy, Marmot, Seghesio Vineyards, Norcal Bike Sport and others joined local business leaders in supporting the event’s benefit auction following the ride. Team Swift thanks these companies for their support.

Ronnie Lenzi has generously posted her Cycle with Champions pictures on her website: http://www.veronikalenzi.com/swiftchamps102807.php. If you are looking for ways to help, Team Swift will have a number of auction items posted at www.teamswift.org/events. Another way to help is to donate any cycling equipment you might have which can be used to help new riders (contact at teamswift@aol.com).

Thanks again to everyone for making this a great day and supporting our program. Hope to see you at our next Cycle with Champions event in 2008.”
Laura Charameda
Director & Coach, Team Swift Junior Development


“The cycling w/ champs event was an awesome day! The riders on Team Swift have the combination of youthful energy and a thorough understanding of what it takes to be successful in the sport. In both training and racing, they're learning lessons that will continue to translate throughout life. On or off the bike, these kids are a pleasure to hang out with!”
Scott Nydam
BMC Pro Racing Team

“It’s always exciting riding with Team Swift. I believe they truly are the fresh new future for cycling. What Laura has created is absolutely amazing and someday when I have kids I too will encourage them to be Swifties. Thanks to all the Swifties for letting me go on your ride.
Thanks,”
Steven Cozza
Team Slipstream Chipotle..

“Thanks again for having me join in on the Ride with the Champions on Sunday. I had a great time on the ride! It was so wonderful seeing the kids, some of the parents and the great support from Gavin and BMC all on their bikes. (Nice change from riding with all us middle aged dudes in the Club ;-) My big thrill was riding with Steven Cozza on Westside Rd. while we gapped up to the group at Madronna Manor and seeing my HRM approach 185! Quite fun. Can't wait for the pics from Veronika.”
Greg Durbin
Vice President
The Santa Rosa Cycling Club

“Yeah….that was a great day. Really unique mix of Swifties, pros, parents and supporters all riding in one big pack which made for some great interaction. Never get that in mainstream youth sports. So, congratulations to you on a job well done. Gavin said afterwards that his career will likely be either a bike racer or snowboarder or if that falls thru, an architect. Looks like a great plan to me!”
Greg and Gavin Oslund

“I flicked Scott Nydam on the back as Ryan Eastman and I came flying by. It seemed as though Scott had a giant crosshair on his back, just next to the BMC logo, that pointed him out as the guy we'd all be trying to put into misery; let me tell you, I wasn't one to pass up on the chance to try and beat up a great US pro bike racer like him! Heck, he got mentioned in the flyer promoting the event! He deserves it! As Dry Creek Road rambled on, and the Cycle with Champions rolled into Windsor and eventually the airport area of Santa Rosa, Team Swift had the chance to battle it out with some of the best of the domestic professional scene. Mike Sayers was a particularly wily one: he tried to sneak off, utilizing some unorthodox tactics of arm- and leg-flailing, but we naive juniors were soon back on the gas to make them chase once again. I found Gavin Chilcott's wheel, knowing his reputation of being where he needs to be, when he needs to be there. The day was a great one, and by the time we made it back to Sonoma Country Day School, to check out the BMC truck bling, everybody had a smile on their face. A big thanks Scott, Mike, Gavin, Nathan Miller, and the BMC crew for coming out and supporting the team, it really does mean a lot to be able to bump elbows with the pros, and to all the current and prospective members of the team for making the day memorable. Maybe we'll have a clearer city-limit sprint next time!”
Ethan Weiss
Team Swift Elite Team member, 17 years old

“Great event today! We had a lot of fun and you guys did a tremendous job putting things together. Caleb is definitely interested in joining. He's not the fastest kid around (like his dad), but he has a good attitude, is enthusiastic, seldom complains, and puts his head down and grinds. I was very pleased with how he did today. It was by far his furthest ride and I know he hurt, but the only time he got upset was when I had to drop back to fix his sister's helmet and he was left riding without me.
Thanks again for today.”
Joshua Weil

“I was very excited for this event. I knew it would be awesome riding with a whole bunch of pros. I got to the start and there was a sea of Team Swift jerseys, I don't think I have seen that many in one place. There were quite a few guys from the BMC racing team, as well as Steve Cozza. We started off slow to talk to all of the people, and then a few guys and I started racing a bit. Eventually Tyler and I were racing with a lot of the guys from BMC, all constantly attacking each other, until that moment came where we all started to work together and formed a little pace line. It was awesome being out there attacking on guys like Scott Nydam, and then seeing him fly by me like a rocket. Man those guys are fast! It was also fun when Steve Cozza was leading out my team mates and I to the sprint to the county line. Just being out there with guys at that caliber can teach you so much, and getting advice from Gavin Chilcott was cool. I felt that I l earned a lot in just one day. Thanks BMC Racing Team, and Steve Cozza, for riding with us.”
Ryan Eastman
Team Swift Elite Team Member, 15 years old

“I am very proud of how you do what you do for youth development and cycling in Sonoma County. Thank you very much for inviting me to partake in the special atmosphere of cooperation. I am very impressed by the demeanor of the athletes, and remembered some very nice conversation with Mr. Jeff Sergeant,), and Mike Carroll from Petaluma (he's senior at Petaluma High that is crossing over from track and field.) It's readily apparent that they have great coaching, and have developed superior attitudes above competition and health. Congratulations!”
Mark Walsh

“Thank YOU for including us in the Cycle with Champions! I LOVE and truly enjoy helping out (especially not riding a bike) when ever I can. Steven, Scott and I will NEVER forget that you are the one who got Steven to LOVE the sport of cycling. (It definitely wasn't his parents!) Anyway, I enjoyed the day and look forward to being "helpful" at the next event! Thanks for keeping us posted and involved! You do great work Laura and we all appreciate YOU!! Go Team Swift!!!!”
Jeanette Cozza (Steven’s mother)

“I just wanted to thank all the riders that came out last weekend to participate in the fundraising ride for Team Swift. It meant a lot to me to see so many people out there supporting junior cycling development. I especially wanted to thank the pros that gave up a little time to inspire some kids. I appreciate the chance I had to talk with Scott Nydam and Steven Cozza. On one of the sprints I got dropped and was hanging out a ways back from the pack. Steven Cozza waited for me and pulled until we caught up with the group...Thanks! I really appreciate you guys coming out and inspiring some up and coming cyclists.”
Lindsay Myers
Team Swift, 17 years old

“Hey Coach,
Well I think that yesterday went real well. I did not realize how many kids we have on the team, were definitely developing. It will be cool if the little kids stick with it and Swift will be super strong. So what should I do this week for training—I’m excited to get back to work.”
Tyler Brandt
Team Swift Elite Team, 17 years old

“The attacks started soon after the ride had begun. Teammates, Pros, friends all going at it, one after another. It was a great ride and I would like to thank everyone who was there especially the celebrities. It was great to be able to talk to the celebrities and to learn about their experiences. I also really enjoyed trying following the wheels of the Pro riders while they were attacking. It was awesome just to be there and to ride with the all of the Pros.
Two of my favorite parts of the ride both involve trying to stay on the wheels of the Pro riders. The first part was when I was trying to follow some of the attacks with my teammate Tyler. After a few attacks and counters I decided to sit in for a little while, I got on Scott Nydam’s wheel and then I watched the way he was riding and I could tell that he was going to attack soon. I stayed on his wheel and then he attacked really hard. I tried to stay on his wheel and after the initial really fast jump I got on it. I stayed on his wheel until he slowed and then we both slowed up and were caught by the main group.
My second favorite part was when I was again following attacks and breaks. I was on Tyler’s wheel when Steve Cozza attacked. He went very, very fast and I stayed on Tyler’s wheel and he was on Steve’s wheel. Steve must have gone like a mile or two at this speed. It was awesome to be going this fast on the flat behind Steve. After he slowed up Tyler pulled for a little while at a fast speed but not the same kind as Steve. Once again thank you to all of the celebrities and all of the people who made this event possible.”
Brentley Campbell
Team Swift, 14 years old

“I am thrilled to have been the winning bid on the Zabriskie Jersey! He is one of my favorites. We had a great time. Ben had never ridden more than 25 miles before, and never in a big pack, and probably never as fast. It was great to see him pushing it, which he really never does when riding with his Dad. Thanks for putting on a great event. Our whole family enjoyed it and our family and friends are excited about their big schwag haul from the raffle. Ben's Uncle Paul, his Aunt Amy, our neighbor Tom, and our friend Donna all got prizes from the raffle. They are all cyclists of varying degrees, maybe I can convince them to come to the ride next year. The best moment to me was to see Steve Cozza playing bocce ball with all of the "little" boys at the pit stop.”
Don Libbey
Team Swift dad

“Great event and way to go! That was so much fun and a good turn out!”
Jonathan Lee
Team Swift Assistant Coach
NorCal/Specialized Racing Team

“Laura, I am so happy that Caleb decided to join Team Swift, what determination! Your next Olympiad perhaps. Laura you put on a great event, good people, food was tremendous, and the ride with Caleb was perfect for my healing back. I had a wonderful time and will make as many rides as my schedule will allow.”
K.C. Mauk

“Cycle with the Champions was one of the best experiences I had with Team Swift. I got to hang with Steven Cozza, the BMC Team and my teammates. It was great to hear Steven was back to 100% from his concussion. Nathan grew side burns and told us of his racing in China. Brentley sprouted even more and Coach Laura was being her normal high energy self.
Before the ride I met up with Christian and Ashlyn. Ashlyn had a cool U.S national champion jersey, something I hope to have someday. The BMC director was especially nice to show us through their team van. In the van there was a lot of space but with all the bikes they need I was not convinced that every team bike could fit in the van. During the ride I saw a whole bunch of Swifties that I had not met yet. (I was one of those guys last year that haven’t been seen before) By the first re-group I felt like I did a good job in the front pack. When we got to the pit stop I was toasted from trying to bridge back to the pack after getting caught on the wrong side of the road when a group of granny motorbikes came. Later in the ride I blew up.
The raffle and the food were great. (The ravioli was the best) In the raffle I got a BMC jersey, a beanie, a Mavic T-shirt and some socks. At the end of the event I had to say goodbye to Steven, Nathan, Coach Laura, and my teammates. I will look forward to the next Cycle with the Champions.”
Stanley Goto
Team Swift, 12 years old

Cycle with Champions Report by Ashlyn Gerber
" In October my mom and I flew out to California so I could do the Cycle with Champions. We Flew out the day before the ride but the long flight was well worth it!
The morning of the ride I walked out of the hotel lobby after a quick breakfast and I was ready to turn around and go right back in. It was COLD! ;-) With about 5 layers and a huge jacket I looked more like someone ready to conquer mount Everest instead of a junior going for a bike ride. But never the less I was excited and ready to go.
When we got to the ride, very early I might add, it was just the Myers, Coach Laura, and the BMC mechanic Mr. Ian. It wasn’t long before people started showing up. Once they started coming I seemed like they didn’t stop. I was amazed at how many people showed up. I don’t know if I have ever shaken so many hands, but it was great.
The ride started and I was rather lost. I was over whelmed at seeing so many team swift riders. I was enjoying talking to people and getting to know everyone. After the stop at the bridge for pictures the pace quickened and I just couldn’t resist having some fun. I bridged up to the lead group, but not before realizing that 6 weeks off the bike really takes a lot of snap out of your legs.
When we reached the re grouping point I was rather relieved. It was a chance to let my legs rest for a minute and to gulp down a Cliff Shot.
Once we started again I felt a lot better. I got to talk to Mr. Kent about traveling and Europe and got some good advice that I will definitely remember. The easier tempo was all to short. We soon started going hard again , courtesy of Ryan, Tyler, Ethan, and the BMC guys. I was soon riding in a little group that was going a more reasonable tempo. When we reached the regrouping point I was anticipating the rest stop and some cold water. I found myself split off from the front group because we got stuck while the largest group of motorized scooters I have ever seen past by separating the group. I found them slightly humorous but I suppose that is what people think when they see a huge group of cyclists ride by.
After a rest stop, more hand shaking, and tons of pictures we started again. Now I was very well rested and totally looking forward to seeing the other side of the valley we were riding around.
After another easier tempo the pace quickened again as we neared the official sprint point. I hung on for a bit before falling off and riding with Nick and Zach. We weren’t far from the school but after getting lost once I was glad to be back.
The post ride food was great. I don’t think pasta has ever tasted so good to me! It was awesome to meet the celebrities and I was very honored to be considered one.
I want to thank Coach Laura for working so hard to make this an amazing event, and for letting me ride on one of her bikes so I wouldn’t have to fuss with putting mine in a bike box and lugging it out. Also a special thanks to Mr. Ian for making the bike run so well for me and getting it all set up and adjusted. Also a thanks to the pro riders for coming out and supporting us, and then to all the sponsors and reps that came out and showing their support. Also who can forget a big thanks to all the parents who get up super early in the morning to support us and so we can get out and ride.
I hope to get back out to California and race/ride with the team again soon!"
Ashlyn Gerber
14 years old

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cheese Factory--Marshall Ride


Thanks to Coach Laura and Scott Nydam for the great ride Saturday. And also to parents Eric and Dane for helping out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Team Swift Wins "Argyle Jersey"

From CyclingNews.com (11/15/07):

Slipstream supports youth teams

Slipstream sports announced today the recipients of their youth grant awards for "Causing the Slipstream". The Fulton Flyers Cycling Club of Atlanta, Georgia and the Major Motion Development team from Los Angeles, California were named as 'Yellow Jersey' recipients of financial support to support their outstanding youth cycling programs.

Each organization will receive a $5,000 development fund, a spot at a team training camp for the top rated rider, Felt bikes for the most outstanding junior, discounts from industry sponsors including Felt, Giro and Pearl Izumi, access to private online coaching from renowned sports physiologist, Allen Lim, PhD, and access to a private online forum with select Team Slipstream/Chipotle riders.

The winners were chosen based on their past history of athlete development, need for financial support, and proposed implementation of sponsorship funds.

"Slipstream Sports has an opportunity and an obligation to help the next generation of American cycling champions achieve their dreams," said CEO/President Jonathan Vaughters. "We're thrilled to be able to help these outstanding organizations and we look forward to helping them grow and prosper."

Four other clubs were awarded at the 'Argyle Jersey' level, each receiving $2,500 development fund: Mesa Cycles Racing Team, St Louis, Missouri, Rad Racing Northwest, Olympia, Washington, Motivated Over Bicycling (M.O.B.), Fishers, Indiana, and Team Swift Junior Development, San Francisco, California. Argyle Jersey recipients will also each receive a Felt bike for the most outstanding junior and access to a private online forum with select Team Slipstream/Chipotle riders.

Nineteen other youth cycling programs will receive the Polka-Dot KOM development fund and will be listed on www.slipstreamsports.com.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Team Ride this Saturday

All Team Ride: November 17, 2007

10 am at the Cheese Factory in Petaluma
Ride Leaders: Coach Laura, Jonathan Lee, and Eddy MacLeod along with other Team Swift Alumni members. Parents are invited to join the ride and must abide by the Team Swift Ride Rules.
Skill Level: All levels invited. Riders under 12 years old should have a riding parent in attendance.
Rides will range between 1-3 hours depending on your level.
Heavy nain will cancel the ride, but not if it is just light rain.

The All-Team Ride is a chance for all levels of riders to learn cycling skills and start a ride together. Team Swift alumni members and rider assistants are also often on these rides, which gives upcoming riders a chance to learn from their experience. Parents and supporters of Team Swift are welcome to join as well. We will start together and then break into different groups depending on skill level. There will be a coach and/or parent with each group. The ride will be from approximately 1.5-3.5 hours depending on skill level and age.

Start Location:
Rouge Et Noir Cheese Factory
(707) 762-6001
7500 Red Hill Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

Start Time: 10am
Parking: In back lot at the Cheese Factory

Team Swift Contact:
Laura Charameda: teamswift@aol.com
P.O. Box 103
Fulton, CA 95439

Phone:
(707) 579-5325
(707) 843-9056

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cycle with Champions this Sunday

Team Swift & BMC Cycle with Champions
October 28, 2007

Start/Finish Location: Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa
Event & Auction Detail: www.teamswift.org/events
Registration: Sign up is open at 8:30AM and pre-registration is not required.
Bring your 2007 USAC License if you have one.

Directions:
Sonoma Country Day School
4400 Day School Place
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Sonoma Country Day School is just north of Santa Rosa. You can find us from U.S. route 101 by following these directions:
Take the Airport Boulevard exit and head west.
Turn right at the first traffic light onto Aviation Boulevard.
Follow Aviation Boulevard for approximately ½ a mile.
SCDS is located on your right. Look for our colorful and distinctive entrance sign at the corner of Aviation and Day School Place.


Weather Forecast: Perfect!!!

High: 79 °F RealFeel®: 75 °F
Partly sunny and pleasant

It can be cool to start the ride so bring cool riding weather gear to begin. The afternoon temperatures should be pleasant although we always recommend bringing a jacket and perhaps your own fold out chair.

Cycle with Champions Celebrity List

Scott Nydam
Team: BMC Pro Racing Team
6th Place, 2007 Overall GC, Tour of Georgia
1st Place, 2007 Giro of Friuli Team Time Trial--*First TTT win by an all-American team in Europe
1st Place, 2006 & 2007 King of the Mountain Leader, Cascade Cycling Classic

Steven Cozza
Team: Slipstream/Chipotle
1st Place, 2005 USA National Time Trial Championships, U23/Espoir
1st Place, 2007 Best Young Rider at the Tour of Missouri
1st Place, 2007 Vuelta a Chihuahua, Stage 6

Mike Sayers
Team: BMC Pro Racing Team
2 Time World's Team Member
9 Time Team NRC Champion
1st Place, 2007 Tour de Nez Reno Criterium

Nathan Miller
Team: BMC Pro Racing Team
1st Place, Overall GC Tobago International Cycling Classic—U23
4th Place, 2006 Tour of Utah—Stage 4
5th Place, Vuelta Sonora—Stage 1
1st Place, Giro of San Francisco

Ian Sherburne
Team: BMC Head Mechanic
4 years US National Team
1996 Olympic Team
9 Time World Championships
6 Years Saturn Cycling Team
Team: BMC Pro Racing Team

Ashlyn Gerber
Team: Team Swift Junior Development
1st Place, 2007 US Junior National Championship Criterium
1st Place, 2007 US Junior National Championship Road Race
2nd Place, 2007 US Junior National Championship Time Trial

Team Swift members need to be in full team uniform and have your team T-shirts/polo shirts for after the ride. Clothing will also be available at the event. If you have a photograph or something you would like the celebrities to sign they will be doing autographs in the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cycle with Champions Auction Items


Silent Auction Details

To View Auction photo's go to: http://teamswift.org/gallery/gallery/26/
Each item has a minimum bid listed and bids must be at least one dollar over this amount. To place a bid on any item, please send an email to info@teamswift.org with "Auction Bid" in the subject line and your bid amount in the body of the email. The auction will end on May 28. Winners will be determined on May 28, based upon the highest bid received on each item. Winners will be notified via reply email from their original bid email. Items can be shipped, however, the winner will pay shipping and will be notified of the shipping price in the notification email. You may bid on as many items as you like.

Amgen Tour of California “hot lap” in the BMC #1 Team Car:
Minimum bid: $750
A "hot lap" in the front seat of the BMC #1 team car during a circuit race or time trial stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California. Join the team director and team mechanic in the caravan of a circuit race, or behind a specific rider in a time trial. Successful raffle winner can arrange individually with the BMC team director to select a stage that best suits the raffle winner's location and schedule. (2 available). Estimated value: Priceless. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Specialized Complete Bicycle: 2008 Roubaix Compact
Minimum bid: $1,200
The winner of this bicycle will receive a gift certificate to order the size from their local dealer. The MSRP is $1600. The long road didn't get shorter, just less painful. The Roubaix changed the paradigm of road bikes; no longer does high performance mean high sacrifice. From the most grueling of races in northern France (the infamous Paris-Roubaix) to spirited pleasure rides in Santa Monica, our Roubaix makes choosing between going fast and going long a thing of the past. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Sidi shoes signed by Two-Time World Champion Paolo Bettini
Minimum bid: $500
Paolo Bettini recently won the first back-to-back World road race titles in 15 years These Sidi shoes were made for Paolo Bettini after he won a gold medal at the Olympics in Athens. The shoes are size 40. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Marmot Women's Gravity Jacket
Minimum Bid: $100
Sturdy never looked so stylish: a popular, wear-everywhere softshell jacket that holds up to all forms of abuse. Color: Black, Size: Medium. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Marmot Men's Sharp Point Jacket
Minimum Bid: $150
The Sharp Point is the Gore Windstopper® Softshell that defined the category. Professionals and dedicated enthusiasts choose it year after year for its impeccable fit, durability and functionality. Color: Grey, Size: Medium. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Squadra Clothing Kit
Minimum bid: $150
Includes jersey, jacket and shorts. Estimated value $400 To bid on this item send email to info@teamswift.org with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

Greg Lemond Signed Jersey
Minimum bid: $200
Greg LeMond, was the first American to win the Tour de France... three times! Throughout his racing career and beyond, Greg was at the forefront of cycling innovations, from superlight frames, clipless pedals, aero-bars through to carbon fiber forks. Under his leadership, LeMond Fitness is continuing Greg's passion for developing exciting new products that help individuals achieve their fitness goals and train more effectively. We also believe in giving back ... supporting young cyclists, helping athletes train, and working with kids to instill a lifelong appreciation of the power of being fit. To bid on this item send email to teamswift@aol.com with "Auction Bid" in the subject line.

David Zabriskie signed CSC jersey
Minimum bid: $200
Dave Zabriskie's Palmares:
1st, Stage 3, Dauphine Libere 2006
1st, Prologue, Dauphine Libere 2006
6th GC, Tour of Georgia
2nd GC, Tour of California
Stage win in Tour de France 2005
Stage win in Giro d’Italia 2005
Stage win in Vuelta a EspaƱa 2004
5th in the World Championships, ITT 2004
5th and Best Young Rider in 4 Jours de Dunkerque 2003
Professional since 2001

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kris Holm Freeride video

Who needs two wheels anyway?

Tour of Marin this Sunday

Tour of Marin Half-Century
October 21st, 2007


NOTE: If you want to attend the Tour of Marin half century you need to register and pay at the Tour of Marin website. Or you can join the Team Swift All Team Ride at no cost which starts at 9AM and will finish at approximately the same time as the Tour. All Team Swift members are invited to attend a free catered lunch and to meet the celebrities.

Team Swift All Team Ride
Sunday, October 21st, 2007—Marin County
Start/Parking: At Paradise Foods Grocery Store
5627 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera

Ride Time: 9:00AM-11:30AM
Ride Plan: The Paradise Loop
Ride Leader: Julia Violich from Paradigm Cycles

Ride Details
8:15AM-9:00AM: Arrival. Sign in and Prepare bikes for a 2+ hour ride.
9:00AM-11:30AM: All riders will start together then split into different groups determined by riding ability.
1:00PM-2:00PM: Ride groups return*

*After the ride Team Swift members and their parents are welcome to have lunch at the Marin Country Day School and to meet some of the Pro’s finishing the Tour of Marin.

Skill Level: All levels invited. Riders under 12 years old should have a riding parent in attendance.Rides will range between 1-3 hours depending on your level.

DIRECTIONS:
From the South: Travel north on 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge approx. 9 miles. Take the Paradise Drive exit. Then proceed along Paradise Drive 1 mile to Paradise Foods on the right.
From the North: Travel south on 101, exit at Paradise Drive and cross over the freeway going east on Paradise. Proceed along Paradise Drive 1 mile to Paradise Foods on the right.

Coach & Parent Contacts: Julia Violich & Scott Nygaard
Julia Violich: (415) 308-1589
Scott Nygaard (Josef’s dad): (415) 722-5805, scottnyg@sbcglobal.net

Coach Laura will be at the Marin Country Day School to meet all the riders after the All Team Ride at the Tour of Marin. (After 11am). Come on down to the school after the ride for lunch and to meet some of the celebrities at the Tour of Marin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

BikeCal.com Article

Here's a nice article on Laura and Team Swift on BikeCal.com.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cycle with Champions


Don't forget to send in your pre-registration entry form for this year's Cycle with Champions, Oct. 28. Pre-registration entries are due Monday, Oct. 15.

Swiftie Cyclocrossers on CyclingNews

It's not off-season for some Swifties, as these photos of Ryan Grant and Christian Villasana on CyclingNews prove.

Check Out This Mt. Bike Video

I'm holding the camera--not!
--Laura

Monday, October 8, 2007

Challenge Road Race

Lindsay Myers
Challenge Road Race
1st Place Senior Women Category IV

Ok, so they started the 3s and 4s together. They told us we could work with each other but not any other groups. I didn't want to take off on the first hill because I had no idea how strong any of the other girls were...they were good climbers. I stayed in the front, not letting anyone pass me, but I wasn't killing myself off. I made sure to keep my breathing under control on both the climbs. I stayed in the front and eventually on the climbs we broke into about 5 of us up front. We stayed together for most of it, got stuck behind the master 45 who wouldn't let us pass. Several people told me about the course--2 climbs, flats, rollers and an uphill finish. I didn't think the rollers would be so hard. They were uphill rollers if that makes sense. The girls go so slowly on the flats...I couldn't believe it. I stayed in front, but didn't want to make any huge effort pulling. On the rollers we dropped two more girls, so there were three of us together at the end. They were both cat 3. I came in the finish before the cat 3 and 4 women, but they cat 3 had another lap, so that really doesn't count. I was probably 20 min. ahead of the second cat 4 and I got 20 bucks!! Woo hoo!! It paid for gas at least.
So I hurt on the hills..the flats felt good, really good, but the hills hurt-I guess they're supposed to. I felt good though for my first ever race.
--Lindsay Myers


Tyler Brandt
Junior 17-18 year old
11th Place Elite 3

Ethan, Ryan and I set out for Live Oak on Friday afternoon. We planned to stay at my grandparent’s home that night and drive up to Challenge the next morning. This worked out well so that we did not have to wake up extremely early for the race. We made it out there and got registered, and pinned some numbers. It was actually quite cold in the early part of the morning, but that would not last for long. We made it over to the starting line and sat there for about 30 minutes. Velo Promo is always late, but I can not blame them because they provide so many races throughout the year for us, and I really appreciate that. Velo Promo races are what racing is all about; its races for riders who just love the sport as the only prize is a T-shirt. I must say though, a Velo-promo T-shirt is considered to be quite the trophy in the bike race world.

Well the course started out on a crazy neutral descent. I got in front for the neutral descent and stuck behind the motorcycle, it’s quite amazing how much draft you can get from those. The pavement was horrible for this descent, but my trusty Specialized and I glided over most of it. We started up the first climb and I began to do some tempo near the front, I was not going very hard but it felt good to open up the legs a little since I had very little warm up. After a bit I dropped back and put in a small attack. I got pulled back in and Ethan attacked and Ryan blocked on the front. I think that we may have started our tactics too early, but it was a lot of fun to ride with a team. Along the course we went onto a very nice paved descent, and it was pretty steep. We got going about 5 2 mph so that was quite a lot of fun. I personally enjoy windy technical descent more than pure speed, but there is just something about going over 50 mph on a bike that provides a thrill. I sat in for much of the lap and then we hit the feed zone climb. This climb is tough and it is absolutely wide open so the sun was just bearing down on us. I went with an attack on the climb just so that I could sit on and be in front of the pack so that I would have a buffer zone and not get dropped because I was suffering. I made it up to the feed zone and poured water all over myself and then I felt decent through the final climb.

The second lap I just hung in and tried to conserve. We started the feed zone climb and I once again went with the attack to provide some room. The pack started to break apart chasing us down and about 20 guys made it up to the break that I was in. I started to really suffer on it though and was barely hanging on to the back of the new pack. I made it to the feed zone once again and got some much needed water. I then went up near the front for the start of the other climb. I suffered my way through the first part and barely hung on. I made it back up to the front for the steep section of the climb, but I was dropped there. I made it to the top not to far back and the pack was just humming along now along the flat section. I snapped up into my big ring and gave it all I had to get back into the group. I went straight up near the front and started the final climb there. One guy attacked right at the start, but he was chased down relatively quickly. At the 1 KM sign the pace began to heat up, and I was stuck in the second row. I wanted to move up so I could be ready to move quickly on any attacks, but with the yellow line rule and the ref on the motorbike right behind us I had no where to go. I was suffering and I made it to the 200 meter sign where there was a large attack and I was not able to respond. I suffered my way to the end and got caught by Zach Williams and Ryan at the line. I think that I should have conserved more, but I also think that on this day some 8 other guys were better than me.

Thanks for reading,
Tyler

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mt. Tam Race Reports


Ryan Eastman
Mt. Tamalpais Hill Climb
Juniors 15-16
3rd place


We were all very excited for this race. It would be the last race of the season. So Tyler, Ethan and I went out the weekend before and rode the course to see where to attack and other tactics to use. The day finally came and I woke up early, so Ethan and I drove to Tyler’s and then got on our bikes and road from Fairfax up and over Mt. Tam to the start in Stinson Beach. The race started and before we would hit the climb we had to ride up Highway 1 for about 4 miles. We made that right-hand turn and we were now facing the base of the climb. It was basically a sprint from there, we were climbing at a very fast pace so there were not very many attacks, but there was a couple accelerations. I worked my way up to the front and I got there and started to ride a steady hard tempo so that nobody would want to attack. I was riding there for a long time and I noticed that the pace was getting a little hard on some others. So the road kicked up a bit and I attacked and flew u p the road. I knew this would be hard to follow, a few guys got across the gap. I created a break away of 6 guys including me and we dropped the rest of the field. I was super happy my chances of winning just increases by a lot and I was feeling good. We reached the top of the major climb that was around five, six miles of steady climbing. Now all that was left was the ridge that climbed up and then went down a bit and this repeated quite a few times. We hit the first one and it was tough and steep and the whole break made it up, we crested the top and rolled down. We gained some speed and real quick we hit the next little climbing and an attack was made, one guy chased it down and the others followed. It was difficult, we were all back together again and I don't know what happened I was finding my self drifting away from them. They got about 50 meters on me but I would not give up. They were now not getting any more distance on me. They rolled over the top and then went down and t hen a little later so did I. The next little climb was the longest and I new I could gain some ground I hit the climb and just put my head down and did not think about any thing else but each peddle stroke, didn't focus on the pain and I was riding back up to the pack. There was one small climb left before the finish and I was just hammering it. I caught the breakaway right before the little climb and Peter looked back and saw me, and I knew he was going to attack right then and sure enough he did. I just held the same pace and hammered it to the finish line and I got 3rd place. I was super happy with my result and my time 45:22.

Well this race concluded my first year racing, and it was the perfect race to do so. I am looking forward to getting a bit of rest in and I am especially looking forward to next season and where it will take me.

Ryan Eastman


Tyler Brandt
Mount Tam Hill Climb
4th Place Junior 17-18


The day started out good and ended well, but the middle involved some dead legs. I got up early and Ryan and Ethan drove over to my house and we went for a warm up over Tam. I could already tell that my legs were not feeling good, but you definitely do not want to admit that to yourself before a race. I just kept rolling along hoping that they would come around before the race. We got down to Stinson a bit slower than we would have hoped and that meant for a little bit of a rush of getting pre-race duties done. I made it to the line with plenty of time, but I couldn’t find Ryan or Ethan, but they both made it there on time and we were off. Ryan, Ethan and I had ridden the course the week before and we were all excited and prepared. There had not been many tough competitors pre-registered so we had thought about doing a tough pace along the flats in order to get a really good time. However, quite a few other strong riders had showed up so we decided to just sit in on the flats and take it easy. It was a good steady pace around 22 mph, I would have liked for them to go faster, but I wasn’t going to go on the front and waste myself, especially considering how my legs felt. We got near the hill and I made my way towards the front and started the hill up there. I soon realized that it was indeed true that my legs felt terrible and I was dying to hold onto the last wheel of the shattered front group. After a few miles of the climb I lost all contact and was left to fight it on my own. My legs felt horrible, but I just kept telling myself "Keep Fightin...keep fightin..." I was caught by Danimal (Daniel Tisdell) and I hung onto his wheel for a while. I was hoping that I could find my legs and catch some riders that would blow up from the front group. That did not happen and I gave it my all to the finish, but was definitely not happy about my result. I was more than 2 minutes slower than my time of last year! I was thoroughly disappointed, but I had a lot of fun descending down Panoramic back to Stinson. Ryan, Ethan, and I plus my father and his friend Jeff rode out in the general area of the Lighthouse. On the way out towards Pt. Reyes I was suffering horribly, but I eventually found some decent legs. Ryan and I raced up a couple hill with one leg and we made our way back to my house. We were even able to drill it for the last 8 miles and we made it back with 100 miles under our belts for the day.
-Tyler

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tyler Brandt's Blog

Check out Swiftie Tyler Brandt's new Blog--lots of great photos and race reports.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Coach Laura on the Web

Here's a great website about Laura Charameda's racing career, complete with cool photos and her palmares, which include many, many wins.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cycle with Champions

Cycle With Champions

Sunday, October 28, 2007
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sonoma Country Day School
4400 Day School Place
Santa Rosa, California

Support the Team Swift Junior Cycling Development Program and join us for a beautiful 30 mile or 50 mile ride through Sonoma Wine Country with Scott Nydam and members of the BMC Racing Team! Scott will also be available in the afternoon for autographs and photos.

It’s a fun day for the whole family! Riders of all levels will go at their own pace along two mapped routes. For your efforts you’ll enjoy a free Commemorative T-shirt (if you Pre-Register by Oct. 15) a free cycling gift bag, prizes as well as a silent auction.

Schedule, pricing and event registration.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Steven Cozza at Tour of Missouri


Ex-Swiftie Steven Cozza (now on Team Slipstream) is leading the Young Rider classification at the Tour of Missouri. Go Steve!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Infineon Series Moved to Tuesdays

Tuesdays, September 4, 11, 18 and 25

Back on the Track for the Harvest Series

Autumn Cycling Series Schedule Released

Bicycling returns to the Infineon Raceway road course for four Tuesdays in September with the Infineon Raceway Twilight Race Series. For the fourth consecutive year, cyclists are invited to race on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, featuring the challenging climb up to Turn 2, and the hairpin at Turn 11.

Registration opens at 5 pm
Racing starts at 6 pm
More than $1,200 in cash and prizes
$15 per race entry fee
Juniors (18 and under) and children are free with a parent/guardian signature
2007 United States Cycling Federation (USCF) license is required
One-day licenses are available for $10
Rain or shine!
Helmets required
View Race Announcement here!

All Cyclists Welcome

The Infineon Raceway Twilight Race Series is open to all cyclists, from the amateur or recreational rider to the Cat 1 rider and even professional. In addition to the unique road racing opportunity, novice riders are welcome to just come out to train or ride on the official NASCAR course (race fees still apply). Ride as many or as few laps as you want during the open session.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ryan Eastman at SFGiro



Team Swift's Ryan Eastman on the front of the Giro di San Francisco's Cat 3 race, in which he won a prime.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tyler's Superweek Race Reports


Tyler Brandt
Superweek 2007


Superweek takes place in Wisconsin, and most of the races are in or very close to Milwaukee. There are 16 days of racing for the category 3’s, but I was only going to be there for 7. I had the opportunity to race 3 road races and 4 criteriums. It is a very cool event because there is a lot of prize money and usually the fields are good sizes throughout the week. There is really no where else in the US that you can find 16 straight days of racing. I flew from Nationals over to Milwaukee where I met my father and then went down to host housing. We were able to stay at Bob and Carol Diggelman’s house. It was super cool of them because they were not even home, but they let us stay in their house. They came back on our last day and we had dinner with them and I really appreciated their generosity. My father and I also went to see Janice and Vince, they are really great people and I hope that we can see them again next year and that some Swifties can stay with them at their host house. Finally the racing:

Saturn Whitnall Park Road Race
Category 3
4th Place

I had the opportunity to do this race last year so I was familiar with the course. I warmed up and my legs felt decent. We started the race and I felt good, and I tried to initiate a couple of moves, but the field wasn’t letting anything go so I decided to sit in for a while. This course is about 2.3 miles and it has some rolling hills, and then there is a decent little climb at the finish so I felt good about the course. One man was able to stick an attack and he held on for the win. I fought hard through the last lap though and was able to move my way up to the front for the finish and 3 of us got a bit of a gap in the sprint and I was about a wheel length away from 2nd, but I am happy with my result. I was able to get a massage after the race and that definitely helped out my legs.

Proving Grounds Road Race
Category 3
2nd Place

My father and I drove out to the course and I think we went through the wrong entrance. The course is located in this area that is used to test cars and we drove by a bunch of cars that were wrecked, but we eventually made it. I could not find much room to warm up so I just took it easy until the start. We took off and my legs felt awful. The course is about 9 miles and we did 6 laps. The course has some rolling hills, but there are no hills that break the field up. I decided that in order to do well I must either get in a break or just wait until the end. Considering my legs felt awful I decided to sit in. It was a pretty hot and humid day so I ate and drank a lot and tried to find my legs. There were constant attempts for breakaways, but everything was being chased down so I was quite happy. Halfway through the last lap it seemed that I had found my legs a little so I moved up near the top 10 and found a good spot. As we hit the last couple of miles I was sitting in great position and I felt I had a good shot. Then we hit the final climb and I found myself boxed in. I started thinking "Get me out of here, give me an opening…!" I was able to push my way out a little and then halfway up the climb I moved to 2nd wheel then I attacked hard and gave it my all. I crested the hill with a gap and then there was about 500 meters of flat to the finish. At about 300 meters to go 1 man caught and passed me and I had nothing to stay with him, but I was able to hold onto 2nd. I was happy, but I couldn't help thinking that I had lost again.

Humboldt Park Criterium
Category 3
5th Place

This race was super close to our host house so I got the opportunity to sleep in and we made the short drive down to the course. I got a bit of a warm up and I saw Jason Cardillo from Eastside, this was his first race at Superweek and I was excited to have someone to work with. We lined up and were off. The course was pretty cool because it had a climb in it. We took off hard and I tried to make something happen, but nothing much was going on. Then 3 guys rolled off the front and no one bothered to chase. I tried pretty hard to make some bridge attempts, but nothing was working and I found myself wasting myself towards a lost cause. Then another 2 guys rolled off of the front and I was suffering. Then with 2 laps to go we hit the base of the hill and I was in about 5th position with about 3 guys from one team and Jason in front of me. Jason and another guy took off while the other team boxed everyone out. I was able to get around but they had a bit of a gap on me. I drilled it and got a gap on the field. Along the top section of the course I was going so hard I wanted to cry. I caught Jason and the other guy and along the last lap we caught one of the guys that had been in a break. Jason and I worked together and he let me take the sprint for 5th. I felt all right with my result, but I was a bit irritated that I had missed the early breaks.

Green Lake Criterium
Category 3
5th Place

The race was over in Green Lake and that was about 1 hour and 45 minutes from our host house. My race was not until the afternoon, but we left with plenty of time so that we would have time to get lost and still make it their all right. Little did we know that we would be getting extremely lost. The race directions led us onto the rural highway instead of the main freeway and although we were on the right track we decided to backtrack and it all ended up in me changing in the car and us getting their 10 minutes after it was supposed to start. I sprinted to the start line and luckily they had not gone off. I had to check in and I used the restroom while the referee was yelling out the race rules etc. The race started and I was sure happy to just be in it. The course was pretty fun, with a decent hill in it. My plan for today was to make the break and so I started out attacking like crazy and being in every move. I was determined to be with everything so that I would not be racing for something less than 1st. But then I cracked and moved into the pack for some R&R. Just then 3 guys just roll off of the front, there was not even a real attack, and they were gone. The course had a straight-away start/finish area that led into a downhill right hand turn. One lap I was sitting 2nd wheel and the guy in front took the turn too hot and slides out in front of me, I was able to stay up and had no problems. I actually thought that it was pretty cool how my instincts took control and when he went down it felt like everything went into slow motion. The remainder of the race I attempted to make some moves, but nothing stuck. At the beginning of the last lap I got pushed to midpack and I hit the hill there, but I was able to move up into the front on the hill and onto the front. I headed into the final corner in great position to win the field sprint, but some guy cut me off through the corner and he took it. Good thing there is a race tomorrow because I am tired of having the race roll away.

Carl Zach Cycling Classic
Category 3
2nd Place

I am happy to say that our drive to the race was uneventful, no getting lost. I pre-rode the course some, and got a bit of a warm-up. The course is interesting to say the least. There are tons of corners and the road narrows a lot. It is not a fun course to be in the pack in, but it is great for breakaways. The course was full of spectators though, and that was super cool. Well I got a bad place on the starting line and that cost me quite a bit of energy considering it took forever to move up through the pack on this course. I made it up towards the front just in time for the first prime. I went hard for it, but I got nipped at the line by about ½ a wheel, I was not a happy about that one. The race was quite uneventful until about 17 laps to go and they started giving out some primes. I followed some guys that were going for the prime and I didn’t go too hard for the prime, but they got a gap on the field and I attacked out of the prime. I went solo for a few laps and then t here was a $40 prime that I got followed by another $40 prime I got and then a $50 prime I got. I was suffering out there by myself, but I was having an absolute blast with the crowd cheering for me. The announcer was talking about me and I could even here some people that I didn’t even know yelling "Go Tyler!" Now that is cool. Then two guys bridged up to me and I was relieved to get some help and we got a good paceline going and we were working well together. Then there was a prime for us and the guys let me have it, plus all of the other primes, they just wanted to keep the break going. With about 6 laps to go another 2 guys bridged up to us and there was a $100 prime for 1st and $25 for 2nd. I went sort of hard, but I thought that they were going to give it to me, but I got beat at the line. The group continued to work well together and I had a feeling that we were going to stick it so I took a little shorter pulls to save some energy. With 2 laps to go an other guy bridged up. The six of us were going to hold it and I went into the last corner 3rd wheel. It was a long straightway that was slightly uphill and with a headwind so I thought that I was in the ideal position. I went with about 200 meters to go and I almost had it until the guy behind me pulled up a ½ wheel ahead of me for the finish. I had lost again. Well that was all right because I had made around $350 from the 7 primes that I had won.



Evanston Grand Prix
Category 3
4th Place

We got to drive to Illinois for this race, another state to mark down as raced in. The course was downtown and there were big crowds. It was going to be a cool race. The area had little to no room for warm up so I just hung out. I watched by the start/finish and there was an electric speed gun up that was telling how fast the riders were going. I thought that was pretty cool so that the spectators could see how fast the racers are actually going. The course was nice, with wide streets, except for the 2nd to last corner was quite narrow, I thought that would be dangerous, but luckily my group kept the rubber side down through it. It was not the ideal course for me, dead flat, but I felt confident. We took off nice and quick and I took it easy in the pack. There was some action off the front, but there was a big field today and everyone was chasing. I made a good counter as a break was being reeled in, but the pack wasn’t letting anything go. The race was quite uneventful and there were no primes, so there was nothing much to do but save the legs for the end. The pace was actually pretty slow as we were nearing the end, and it was getting dangerous as we were going into corners with the field about 10 riders wide. It is much safer to have the field strung out. Luckily nothing happened and the pace kicked up for the last few laps. I moved into perfect position on the last lap and I sat 4th wheel through the last corner. The last corner to the finish was quite far, about 700 meters and I started the corner in my 52-14 – junior gears. Well I was standing up sprinting and then I was spinning out and I had to sit down and try to get some draft in the sprint, junior gears are great. Well I was able to finish in 4th and I was quite happy considering the course.

Holy Hill Road Race
Category 3
10th Place

We made it out to the race and we pre-drove the finish stretch. I was quite excited as it was my birthday and I had the opportunity to do a bike race. I was also excited to see that I sat in 2nd place overall in the race. I got all ready and warmed up, but then we did not start until about an hour late due to the COM car getting a flat tire. Then we were off and the pace was quite slow. I guess everyone was not quite as excited as I was to do 70 miles. As we got into the 2nd lap with nothing happening I felt like playing with the field a bit. It is fun to know that everyone is watching you, since I was in 2nd overall, so I made a few attacks and watched as the field barreled after me. I made these attacks to see if I could open my legs up a bit because they were feeling pretty awful. The race was an 8-mile loop and it included a gravel climb and descent. It was horrible; the climb was not that bad but the descent hurt a lot. Gravel was shooting everywhere and it stung pretty badly when it hit you, especially in the face. Well my legs continued to feel pretty awful and the course was boring so I tried to find a good spot and eat and drink and hope for my legs to come around. I tried to get into some breaks, but the field was not allowing me to go anywhere. Eventually a break went and it had about 5 guys. My legs had not improved so I couldn’t do much. I sat in and waited for the end and even though I had great position for the sprint, I came up quite short in the sprint. I guess my legs need a couple days off.

Well it sure was an awesome trip. I had a ton of fun and got to experience a lot of great racing. My legs were hurting by the end though, I cannot imagine what the Tour de France must be like.
Thanks for reading,
Tyler Brandt

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stanley's Race Report: Nationals


Stanley Goto
Juniors 10-12

18th Place Time Trial
16th Place Criterium
8th Place Road Race

Race #1 Time Trial
We’re screeching down the airport halls! I say were not going to make it to the gate in time, my dad says we’ll make it but it’s going to be close!! We slide into gate 86! SAFE!!! We dove into the gate right when it was boarding. That’s how my first trip to Nationals started.

The U.S National Time Trial was the first time trial I had ever done but after a day of driving on the course and watching the Tour De France 3 times with Tyler, Ethan, Ryan, and Brentley, I thought I was ready.

When I got to the race I saw about 10 guys that were pretty big. I knew those guys should get a decent place. Another thing surprised me. 2 kids had Cervelo P3 carbons. I defined them as crazy.

5…4…3…2.1 !!!!! I’m off!! First I couldn’t get in a rhythm because I had to go on the ramp but then as soon as I settled down I got passed!! In the climbing parts of the course I did fine but I lost ground on the flats. I was about ¾ through the course when another guy passed me. When I hit the line I did not want to hear how I did. I got 20:28, which put me at 18th. I was disappointed in my results but I guess that gives me something to work on.

I did work on my aero position later that day going down the alpine slides at the Seven Springs resort. : )

Race 2# Crit


Today my goal was to finish with the main field. The time trial felt like it took nothing out of my legs and I got a good night sleep so I felt 100%. When I started warming up I felt great so I expected to get a good result.

The race started at a crazy fast pace because one guy attacked with 9 laps to go. When we caught him on about the 4th lap another guy attacked but he got reeled in instantly. Then there was a crash. Zack Edwards (a friend I met a few days earlier trying out the course) got pushed off the road on turn 2 and took out the guy behind him. That slowed the back of the main field so I had to bridge to get back on the pack, which took a little out of me. On the 8th lap Curtis White attacked. The pack accelerated and I was exhausted, also the guy in front of me was fading so I got dropped. The rest of the race was grueling as I was all by myself and got passed by a couple guys. In the end I got 16th. That race also gave me something to work on. I need to have better bridging power.

That night, Tyler was crowned Team Swift ping-pong Champion. We transformed our dining room table into a ping-pong table. The net was remote controllers and water bottles. We couldn’t find something big enough for a paddle so we used coasters, and we found a ping-pong ball under the couch.

No one could beat Tyler. My Dad, Brentley, Ethan, Ryan and I tried to beat him. Even Nathan Miller tried but no one could dethrone him. We played until 12:00 then I decided that I didn’t want to mess up my sleeping schedule too much so I went to bed.

Race #3 Road Race


After pre-riding the course I knew this was my race. It was a prefect course for me as long as I had someone to go down with on the 50mph descents. After the last 13-14 girl finished it was like a pre race to get to the start/finish line. Since I was on the other side of the start/finish line that they weren’t using, I got there first and got a good starting spot.

I had a very good start. I got on the lead group and stayed with them for the 1st lap. It was a very fast pace and I didn’t want to blow myself up hanging on too long. So on the start of the second lap I dropped back to two guys that got dropped on the hill to the start/finish line. One of the guys was a shrimp like me and the other was big. So naturally us shrimps followed the bigger guy on the descents. On the descent through the entrance I hit 47mph. It ended up being a good decision because I passed Teddy Kozlowski, the last 11 year old in the lead group, who blew up trying to stay with them.

The rest of the race was extremely hard, probably the hardest I have ever pushed myself. I knew if I attacked before the last climb I’d just get caught on the descent so I waited.

On the last climb to the finish I was the first one to attack mid way up the hill. The smaller guy chased me but I dropped the bigger guy. Near the end of the climb I was setting the pace and then he attacked. I countered and if finish line were a few yards further back I would have caught him and snatched 7th place. When I was doing roll out I almost puked. That’s a sign that I did my best.

The reasons I did well:

1# I got a good start
2# I got on the lead group
3# I didn’t blow up trying to stay on the lead group

Being at nationals for my first time with my teammates and Coach Laura was awesome!!! Now that I have more experience under my belt I think I have a chance of doing really well next year.

Tyler's Race Report: Nationals


Tyler Brandt
Junior 17-18 year old

National Championships

Time Trial: 44th place

At this point in my racing the time trial is the weakest part of my racing, but I feel that I am able to post a decent time, and I hope to improve my time trialing in ffered on to the line with the wind blowing my all over the place. I crossed the line with a time of 27:52 and I was a little disappointed because I was hoping for around 27:30 but I felt good with my ride nonetheless. I knew that I could not crack the leader board, but I felt that I had put in a respectable ride.

Road Race: 26th Place

I woke up bright and early for the road race. Our race started at 7:30 and I was up at 4:30 in order to get food in and it gave me plenty of time to wake up and get ready for the race that I had been training all year for. I was excited but relaxed, I knew that I would give it my all, and I felt like if I could make it without error through the first few miles and get in good position then I would do well. Getting on the start line early was almost more important than the warm up due to the 172 guys that were signed up for the race. I was able to get a decent spot in about the third row and I got a great start and was able to move up into the top 10 and find a good place to sit and relax. I felt good and then at about mile 3 I looked to my right as a Rock & Republic rider came screaming by me and in to the gravel off the road. I saw him go over the guard rail out of the corner of my eye, but I did not realize what was going on behind me. I did not even think about the consequences of going 50 mph and going over a guard rail. I did not realize that about 50 other guys had also gone down. My race was ahead and that’s where I was headed.

We did four laps out on a 10 mile circuit then returned to the start/finish area. There was one super steep climb that was about half a mile long and that was the only part of the course that I felt could be decisive until we got off of the circuit and up the finishing climb. I was able to find the sweet spot of the field and I just sat there trying to conserve my energy. I was suffering up the steep climb, but no one was drilling it up the climb so I was able to gut it out each time. The first few laps there was a dense fog that we could barely see through. I was sure happy that I had pre-rode and drove the course as I knew each corner and climb and was able to shift before each. Two guys had broken away on the first lap, a Hot Tubes rider, Ben King, who had won the Time trial and a Colavita rider. On the second lap we caught the Colavita rider and Ben King was going solo. No team was chasing too hard though and the gap was slowly increasing.

We started the final climb about 8 minutes back of the leader and the strong guys started to drill the pace. I was able to stay over the first few climbs but as we hit the long climb I was not able to hold on all the way. As I started to fall off the pace, Micah Herman of the AMD team came up behind me and gave me a little push and told me to follow him, and I tried but I just could not hold on. I suffered up to the Condo’s where Ethan caught me and he took a hard pull in our chase group of about 5 riders. Through this section my legs quads began to cramp and it seemed that they were pulling against me, it was ridiculous how painful it was. We started the final climb up to the resort and the finish and I was hurting. I tried massaging the cramp out but that did little. I just concentrated on getting through each stroke and was able to make my way to the line without too many riders catching me. I felt good with my ride, a little disappointed, but I knew that I could hang with the top guys, and if I had good legs I know that I could have gotten top 10.

Criterium: 25th Place

My race was not until 4 in the afternoon so we had plenty of time to get ready for the race and get some packing done since we were leaving early the next morning. At 12 there was a huge thunder storm and that was interesting, so we decided that we were probably going to race in the rain. We got down to the course about 2:30 and I got to look at the course and get good and ready. I was excited with the course, the finish was only 200 meters from the final corner so the sprint would be determined mostly on positioning, and if it was wet then I could have a lot better chance since I am not a great sprinter. There was also a slight uphill after the first turn and it was all around a course that I felt good about. As I was warming up it started to sprinkle, then it began dumping and thunder storms, and I was excited. I always enjoy racing the rain, it feels epic with the water shooting all over your face and you’re soaking wet.

I was able to get another good place on the starting line and I got off to a good start and even got in a little attack at the beginning and was in a break for a lap. I then took it easy and got into the sweet spot of the pack. I am not sure when, but a break went and it started to pull away. I went with a couple moves to bridge up, but each time the pack chased hard. Then as the break started to get seriously dangerous I gave it my all and took off and was able to get within 2 seconds of the pack, but then no one would pull through and drive the nail in. And then my race was done. I continued to attempt to bridge, but I got no where and I rolled into the finish disappointed that I did not make the break.

I felt good with my experience at nationals, and I feel that I was able to develop a great deal over the past year. Nationals is always a great place to test yourself against hundreds of riders your same age, and I was able to see that I am heading in the right direction, and that I am able to race with the best of them. I had a great time with the team and we had a lot of fun hanging out and watching the Tour. Thanks to all of our sponsors for giving juniors the opportunities to compete around the world. I am off to Superweek in Milwaukee and I plan on some podiums next year and maybe even a jersey,
Thanks for reading,
Tyler Brandt

Ryan's Race Report: Nationals


Ryan Eastman
15-16 year old

Junior National Championship Time Trial

I was expecting it to be hot and humid in Pennsylvania but when we got there it was actually pretty nice. I had one day to get ready before the first day of racing, the time trial, so we went out to ride the road race course. So the day finally came on Friday the 13th, the day of the time trial. It was a 20k race back and forth on the freeway; my start time was around 10:30. The weather was nice but a little cloudy. I was warming up on the trainer looking around and I guess I was a little bit nervous about my first nationals and how it was going to play out, but I was so excited to be there. I got up on the start ramp and the clock started to count down from ten, I was so anxious to just get out on the road, and then there was the beep and I was off. I sprinted off the start ramp and then got into my aero bars and I was off pedaling at a high cadence down the freeway. The course was a little weird because it went off the off ramp and swished back to go down the on ramp. I pedaled my way though that and got on to the straight out and back part of the course. Now this was my first time trial so I wasn't sure exactly what to do. I guess go as hard as you can until the finish line.

I was riding my way out to the first turn around and I was feeling pretty good. When I got to the turn around I was a little confused. It looked like the cones were going in ten different directions. I went around the corner and sprinted out of it. On the way back there was a head wind that didn't feel so good but I pushed my way through it to get to the next turn around. By this time I was a little tired but at least I had a tail wind. I started to feel better and I picked it up a bit. I looked on the other rider’s faces and it looked like it was wearing on them also. I went through the last turn around to face the last 5k. I was riding and I was having such a good time. This was awesome, with about 2k to go a guy passed me and I used him to pace me. With 1k to go it was a slow drag up to the finish and with 100 meters to go I sprinted as hard as I could, coming in with a time of 30min. 46sec. In the end I got 69th with 92 guys in my field.

Junior National Championship Road Race
26th place

This was the race that I was looking forward to the most out of the three, because it was the longest, there was climbing and it was 48 miles. The day started out with some pretty heavy fog but by the time my group went off it was clear and sunny. My race was delayed about and hour and a half due to the massive crash in the 17-18 race. So they decided to neutralize our start. The start was on top off a ski resort so we descended down a ways before they gave us the go ahead to start to race. Now we had three laps to do and then we would climb back up to the finish on top of the resort. It didn't start out as fast as I thought it would but then it slowly started to kick up. It was weird racing in this big of a pack. I'm used to racing with around 25 juniors but in my race there were 92 guys. It was definitely cool though.

We got to this steep little pitch in the road where I thought it would brake up a bit, but it didn't. We flew through the little rolling hills of Pennsylvania until we reached the climb on the course. It was probably about a kilometer or so but it was pretty steep. I knew for sure that it would brake up a lot here. I made the left hand turn and then drilled it up the climb. Quickly one by one people were dropped off the back. I stayed with the pack. Once we reached the flats there were a few attacks, none got away. I made another left hand turn and went across some big rollers and descended down to conclude the first lap. We went around and reached the climb once again, about half way up I let a gap go and they slowly started to ride away. For some reason I wasn't feeling good on the climbs and that's where I should feel the best. I crested the top of the climb and felt horrible.

A small group formed with me and we started a pace line and that lead pack seemed to be getting closer and closer until I was finally in it. Now I was really tired, luckily there was a short decent coming so I could recover. Thankfully I did and was feeling better. Now we were on our final lap, there were around 4 or 5 attacks but everyone else chased them down. Once I reached the climb my plan was to set a steady tempo up the climb and save a final burst for the top of the climb. I did exactly this and it worked to perfection but I was about 15 meters away from the back of the peloton. I got to the top and they just slipped away from me. I was a little disappointed because I just wasn't climbing the way I always do. I got in a group with about 10 other guys and we worked together in a pace line and I started to just have a really good time. I was feeling better and better.

The group and I reached the climb that would bring us to the top of the resort to the finish and I started to lift the pace. Me and another guy rode away from the small pack and then in the distance I saw Edan (who is a strong rider on Davis Bike Club) so I knew that he and I could work together and make this gap that I had bigger. So I lifted the pace and dropped the other guy bridging my way up to him. He was with a couple of other riders as well, and once I reached him we took off working together extending the gap. We rode hard and strong and man I was having a great time, I also was climbing a lot stronger. We got to the 200 meter sign and then we started to sprint the final kick up to the finish. He crossed the climb around a wheel ahead of me. I had nothing left. That was an awesome race it was so fun, and I got 26th out of 92 guys so I improved a lot from the time trial.

Junior National Championship Criterium
33rd Place

I finally got to sleep in because my race wasn't until 3:30pm, but unfortunately it stated to rain in the afternoon. When I was driving to the race it really started to come down hard. I road over to the tent in the pouring rain and thankfully it stopped and by the time that my race started the course was basically all dry. We were all at the start bunched up to fight for a good position. We started to feel little water drops, but the race started off with a sprint as usual. I didn't have the best position around a third of the way back. It was hard to move up because I would get the accordion affect and once I would get back up to pace, the field would spread across the road. I slowly moved up a bit but it was tough. We got deeper and deeper into the race and it got wetter and wetter, but I was having a good time.

The race whittled down to a smaller group due to the riders that got dropped and then pulled. The race was getting toward the end and I knew that I needed to get up the re but for some reason I couldn't. Now the race was around 3 laps to go and it just started to pour really hard. It was raining so hard the rain drops hurt a bit when they hit you. I actually thought it was really cool. Obviously some other's didn't and they started to slow down leaving these gaps that I was left to bridge. I was feeling awesome so I did just that, it was raining so hard that when I had my mouth open it would fill completely up with water every 20 sec. It finally got to be too much so now I was about 6th wheel back just behind the pack and we flew through the last corner to the finishing straight. I didn't feel like sprinting, then suddenly I did, and I just gave it everything I had and I passed around 5 or 6 guys coming in 33rd place. I was very happy. I road up to the tent to Laura dripping wet and said, "Man that was the Best Race ever." I just had a really good time.

Over all, Nationals was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The big accomplishment for me was just going to Nationals since it was my first season racing. I had to race so hard to get those upgrade points so I was able to go, and I am so glad I did. I am really looking forward to next year because I will be one year older, stronger, and more experienced. Great job Team Swift!

Ryan Eastman

Brentley's Race Report: Nationals


Brentley Campbell
Junior 13-14 year old

25th Place Time Trial
27th Place Criterium
32nd Place Road Race

The USA Cycling National Championships where held in or near Seven Springs, Pennsylvania for 2007. The Team rented a condo located in the Hidden Valley Resort just outside Seven Springs. My dad and I flew into Pittsburg, PA, about an hour or two away from Seven Springs. After flying from San Francisco, my dad rented a car and we drove to Hidden Valley. The Team condo was not ready and the Gerber family offered to let us stay at their condo for the night. We accepted gratefully and we stayed the night. The next morning we got the keys for the Team condo and shortly after the Goto family arrived. Sometime that afternoon Ethan, Tyler and Ethan’s Mom Sarah arrived. The only person not there was Ryan and he came with his dad Bill later that night.

After a day or two the Time Trial start times were posted and I was to start my first TT sixth to last out of about sixty or seventy Men’s 13-14 riders. The morning of the TT I got on the trainer and warmed up then went to roll-out, passed and then went to the start ramp. The riders were going out every 30 seconds and soon I was on the ramp. With one second before my start the man holding me let go and because of that I got a bad start. It only cost me three to five seconds but that was two or three places.

Then I started going pretty hard and glanced at my speedometer and I was going 35 or 36 MPH on a slight downhill. At the first 180 degree turn I took it two slow; one reason may be because I crashed the night before while practicing my 180 turns. I was turning and my front wheel went into a storm drain. I got some road rash on my elbow but nothing to serious. Back to the TT, as I went through the half-way turnaround my legs were already toast. I was caught by the guy who started 30 seconds behind me and then finished with a time of 17 minutes and 14 seconds. It was an okay performance as it was my first TT and I was reasonably satisfied. Later in the day Ashlyn got second in the Women’s 13-14.

On the morning of the crit I had to wake up earlier than Ethan, Tyler and Ryan which was difficult as we all were in the same room sleeping on bunk beds that made LOTS of noise when you would move. After I warmed up the race began and I was at the back of the pack with 60 guys in front of me. I stayed with the peloton for a while than I almost got dropped but my friend Andrew Lanier helped pull me back up. I moved back to the front but with two laps to go I was bumping bars in the middle of the peloton. I got on the wrong wheel and within 30 seconds I was in the back of the main field which was about 30 riders strong. I could not move up and ended up beating Amir Merali who got third at Track Nationals. After my race Ashlyn won her race and Ryan raced in the pouring rain and had a lot of fun.

Later that afternoon we watched Nathan Miller race the U23 crit and then my dad and I had dinner with him. Nathan then spent the night at the Team condo and got a ride to the airport with Ryan and his dad Bill the next morning. Nathan is an awesome guy who has a large future of pro racing ahead of him, I am very glad we got to talk about racing and his experiences as a pro on BMC Racing Team.


The Road Race, the final event started similar to the crit with me in the back. After we started I had to pass a bunch of riders to get to the peloton. I was with the peloton on the first descent and then got dropped on the next climb. I tried to get back to the pack but never made it. At one point I caught up to my friend Joe Christiansen. He soon dropped me and on the final climb I went 110 percent. My eyes were only half open and my mouth was wide open getting as much oxygen as I could. I passed two guys in the sprint and then got off my bike and I got into the roll-out line and fell over my bike having no energy left. One of the officials asked if I was alright and I said yes and resumed my position over my bike.

After roll-out I gave my dad my bike and I rested on a rock. I drank some water but I could not keep all the water in my mouth as I was so spent. Eventually after eating lots and lots of Pasta and drinking lots of water and Gatorade I recovered and watched Ashlyn race and she won with a great performance. Stanley Goto raced the boys’ 10-12 year old race and got 8th place which is a very good result.

Overall it was an outstanding week and even though I did not win it does not mean I can not win the tour some day. Max Testa said that at my age I should just have fun racing and as I get older I should get more technical. It was a great experience and I hope to go to Nationals again in the future

Race Smart,
Brentley

Ashlyn's Race Report: Nationals


Ashlyn Gerber
Junior Girls 13-14 year old


1st Place National Criterium Championships
1st Place National Road Race Championships
2nd Place National Time Trial Championships

This year I went into nationals very excited. I felt like I had a good chance and was ready to go out and leave it all on the road.

My first race was the time trail on Friday 13. When I saw the date I was like “oh great Friday the 13!” I was nervous about the TT but I felt confident and was ready to take on the challenge. I got lucky and got a really good start time. I got to start second to last. I had all of the big names in front of me. I got a good warm up and a pep talk from Coach Laura. I passed roll out and was waiting in line at the start ramp.

Finally I was off. I had a good start and felt great. I had some trouble on the weird thumb shaped turn that they added to the course. Luckily I only lost a couple seconds. I had quickly caught my 30-second rider and felt like I was flying. I could see my 1-minute girl and just before the turn around. I had to sprint to pass her because I didn’t want to get slowed up in the turn. I had seen all my competition going the other way and they all were turning themselves inside out. They all looked very fast. I made it to the final little descent before the finishing hill and I was hammering to the line. The final hill was a lot harder than it looked. I felt like a slug! ;-) I crossed the line and heard my name announced in second. I was hoping to win it but I consoled with the fact that there were 2 more races.

The next day I didn’t have a race. They had the younger juniors racing every other day so I just sat around the house and relaxed. That night we had a fun team dinner at the team swift condo. I got to meet former swift riders Nathan Miller and Steve Cozza along with a couple Advil Chapstick riders. It was a blast.

Next on the calendar was the Criterium. I was excited. I have been racing against these girls since 2004 at my first nationals. I knew how well each one could ride. I was excited to see the outcome of the race. Before my start Coach Laura gave me the race plan. Last year I threw my race away. I attacked too much and could have won it. This year the plan was to sit in and wait for the sprint. Coach Laura knew that the race winner was the first one out of the final corner. She greatly stressed that I be the first one out of the last turn of the final lap. With a great plan and good legs I was ready to go.

The race started off at a very easy pace. Everyone was watching the winner of the time trial, Jillian Gardner. She attacked while we passed the finish at the start of the second lap. Everyone jumped and followed her wheel. Once she stopped hammering, the group, which had strung out, came back together. Many attacks went throughout the race. Most were made by Jillian. I did a couple fake attacks that got the speed up but for the most part I was enjoying sitting in the group.

When we came around with 2 laps to go I started to mentally prepare for the final lap. I knew that the winner of the race would be the first one out of the last corner and I wanted to be that person. When we came around on our final lap the pace picked up. The field was spread out. On the backside of the course there was a small hill. From the top of the hill to the line, it was about half a mile, it was all downhill. Going up the hill I was boxed in the middle of the field. Luckily a gap formed between the rider on my left and the rider in front of her and I was able to get out. I went hard and got to the front. They happily let me take the lead. I hammered to the corner. I came in full speed and sprinted out of the corner. It was one of the longest 200 meters of my life. I was able to hold off the rider in second. I had won the 2007 National Criterium Title!

The next day I had off from racing. I rode in the morning and that night my family and I had dinner with the Campbell’s and the Goto’s. Other than that I spent the day resting and being lazy ;-).

When the road race came I felt really relaxed. I wasn’t too nervous and was just excited to get out there and race. Before I started to warm up I got a race plan from Coach. I am not the best climber so I had to play it smart if I wanted to win. My plan was to spend as little energy as possible. I had to stay in the front group but try and save energy for the sprint.

The 13-14 men race was right before mine. I watched Brentley and was all pumped up for my own race. I got off the trainer and had about 10 minutes. I was going up past the start line to check out my gears and my dad took my bike. We had to park in gravel so I started to walk up with coach. Coach Laura stopped me and told me to get on her back because I would ruin my cleats. She carried me to my bike and the paved road. It’s nice to have a strong coach… ;-)

I got to the line and I had butterflies in my stomach. I knew that once the race started they would be gone. At the sound of the gun we were off. Jillian attacked right from the get go. We had to start uphill so she took off like a rocket. I hopped on her wheel and was tagging along for the ride. We crested the first hill and we were in a break of 5 riders. It didn’t stay that way for long though. The field had caught us on the descent. The group was about 10 riders strong. All the big names were there and it looked like it was going to be a hard day in the hills.

We rounded the first turn and started the first little hill. A rider in front of me got her gears all tangled and went down. I almost hit her wheel but I managed to avoid it. Luckily no other riders went down. While I was avoiding the crash Jillian was at the front hammering. She had gotten a little gap. I saw a chance to get to the front. I took it. I sprinted out of the field and got onto her wheel. We crested the hill and she bombed the descent. We made it up the little roller and came to the big descent on our course. She once again was absolutely flying on the descent and when we reached the final uphill she hammered.

I stayed with her as she attacked on the first hill after the line. I was only hoping she would ware down a little before the sprint. She flicked her elbow and I pulled on the descent. When we reached the first corner she looked back and saw 3rd-5th place were hot on our heels. She turned to me and proposed that we work together until the last lap. I agreed. I didn’t plan on attacking so it worked for me. On the next hill, we were caught by the two chasers behind us. They were the only ones I could see so I knew I had a top 5 finish. We went flying on the descent but when we reached the hill a rider dropped her chain. She had to stop to get it back on.

We crested the first part of the hill and it leveled out before it kicked up again. Jillian attacked again and I followed her. We had a little gap on 3rd and 4th. With 2 laps to go I was starting to get nervous about the finish. I had to push the thought of the finish out of my mind and focus on getting to the line with Jillian. We stayed away from the 2 riders chasing for the 3rd lap. When we came around to the finish Jillian attacked. I followed but it was hard. She finally let up and we both looked at each other. She got behind me and all I could think about was how to get her back in front of me. As we descended the hill I was going very slow. The 2 riders behind caught and passed us. Jillian reacted and I was able to get on her wheel. We all stayed together until the final hill.

The hill had 3 steep sections. In between each steep section it leveled out a little. We went over the first part of the hill and Jillian picked up the speed. It was down to the top 3 podium spots. We rounded the final bend and had a little over 200 meters till the line. Jillian attacked hard and I followed. She sprinted up the steep part of the hill but then her speed let up slightly. I sprinted hard. I still had about 150 meters until the line. It seemed like a million miles away. I could hear Coach Laura yelling at me. I sprinted hard. I made it to the line. I was so tired I could only pump my fist. It was the most amazing feeling. I had won 2 National Championship races.

I owe my 2 wins to a lot of people. Of course to my parents, they got me there and supported me all the way. The team sponsors obviously, Specialized, Time, Shimano, and a personal deal with Rotor USA. Also I owe a big thanks to a lady named Karen Whitney. She has supported me since I was 9 years old and about 4 feet tall ;-). But I think the biggest person I have to thank is Coach Laura. She offered great strategies, that worked perfectly, and a lot of encouragement and help.

After the races the most exciting thing was to watch my teammate’s race. They all raced hard and it was a blast to see them do well. Now it is time for some much needed R & R (rest and relaxation..;-) I hope that everyone has a great off season and I hope to see the team soon.

Ride Hard!

Ashlyn