Saturday, March 31, 2012

Americans Ready To Take On The World On The Track

Nine of America's best track cyclists are set to take to the track at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia for the 2012 UCI Track World Championships from April 4-8. With start spots at the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer still up for grabs, the Americans are resolute in filling those spots themselves.
Bobby Lea will contest the men's omnium and the scratch race at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne. (Photo by Casey Gibson)
Bobby Lea will contest the men's omnium and the scratch race at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne. (Photo by Casey Gibson)
"The track sprint team heads into the World Championships full of optimism, but realize it's going to take a perfectly executed effort in the men's team sprint for them to challenge Venezuela, who has performed tremendously this season," USA Cycling Sprint Program Director Jamie Staff said. "We need to get every ounce out of the athletes on race day, and get them mentally ready for the race."
The Americans come into Australia after placing better than the Venezuelans in the last UCI Track World Cup in London in February. That finish has the Americans only 75 points behind the Venezuelans in the UCI's men's team sprint Olympic rankings as the two countries likely duel for the final start spot in the Olympic Games. The American trio of Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012),Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) and Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) will represent the Red, White and Blue in the men's team sprint on Wednesday to open the competition. That evening, Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) will compete in the scratch race.
The next day, Lea is slated to compete in three races toward the men's omnium: the flying lap, points race and the elimination race. The United States is currently ranked 22nd in the UCI's men's omnium Olympic rankings and unofficially holds the final start spot for the Olympics. Lea, a 2008 Olympian, will have his hands full with strong riders from Japan and Argentina contending for the final Olympic start spot.
The women's team pursuit is also on Thursday's docket as the team of Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling), Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling), Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) and Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) look to build on the silver medal it earned at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Americans have unofficially secured a start spot in the women's team pursuit, as the U.S. sits in fourth in the world in the UCI's women's team pursuit Olympic rankings and tops among the Americas. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12),who placed sixth in the points race at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships, will also compete in the women's points race before contesting the scratch race the next day.
"Sarah had a very strong showing in London, winning the omnium in the final round of the World Cup at the Olympic Test event in February," said USA Cycling High Performance Director of Endurance Programs Benjamin Sharp. "The team pursuit women earned the silver medal at last year’s World Championships in Apeldoorn and we are working to take another step up the podium in Melbourne."
On Friday, Blatchford, Lea and Mansker are scheduled to compete in the qualifying rounds of the men's sprint. Lea is also ticketed to contest the last three races of the men's omnium: individual pursuit, scratch race and the kilo. The women's omnium, which will feature last year's silver medalist, Hammer, begins with the flying lap, points race and elimination race on Friday.
On Saturday, Hammer will finish the women's omnium with the individual pursuit, scratch race and 500-meter time trial. Additionally, the final rounds of the men's sprint are slated for Saturday's races.
Each day's second session will begin at 7 p.m. in Melbourne and will be streamed live at Additionally, Universal Sports will air a two-hour recap show on April 14 at noon EDT. Please find daily recaps, videos and a photo gallery from Melbourne
2012 UCI Track World Championships
April 4-8, 2012
Hisense Arena
Melbourne, Australia
Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) — team pursuit
Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) — omnium, team pursuit
Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12) — points race, scratch race
Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) — team pursuit
Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) — team pursuit
Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012) — sprint, team sprint
Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) — omnium, scratch race
Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) — sprint, team sprint
Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) — sprint, team sprint

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Safety Equipment - Velo Wrench Bike Shop

Vinny goes over the basic necessities of safety equipment for your bike. See more at Also don't forget when you get a new bike you get 20% off your purchase of safety equipment that same day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

USA Cycling announces team to contest 2012 Track Worlds

Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed are among the eleven athletes selected to represent the United States at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne.
USA Cycling on Monday announced the 11 riders that will contest the 2012 UCI Track World Championships at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia from April 4-8.
After earning a silver in the women's team pursuit at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships, the trio of Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling), Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) and Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) will be joined by Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) in that event. After placing third in the scratch race at the Pan American Continental Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./Exergy Twenty12) earned automatic qualification to contest the race in Melbourne. Hammer also earned an automatic qualification for the omnium. On the men's side, Bobby Lea(Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA), who earned his position by placing third in the omnium in Argentina, will contest the same event in Melbourne.
Joining them, will be Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12), who will contest the points race. Contesting the points race will be Matthew Lipscomb (Decatur, Ga./Hincapie Development Team) while a combination of the trio of Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012), Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) and Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) will compete in the team sprint and the sprint races.
*Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) — Team Pursuit
*Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) — Omnium, Team Pursuit
Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12) — Points Race
*Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) — Team Pursuit
Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy Twenty12) — Team Pursuit
*Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./Exergy Twenty12) — Scratch Race
Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012) — Sprint, Team Sprint
*Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) — Omnium
Matthew Lipscomb (Decatur, Ga./Hincapie Development Team) — Points Race
Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) — Sprint, Team Sprint
Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012) — Sprint, Team Sprint
* — Automatic qualifier

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Tour of California Selections

by  • March 13, 2012 • norcal sceneopinionate

Today AEG announced the Tour of California (TOC) selections.  It will be fun to see Quickstep, Radioshack, and Greenedge duke it out for the GC but it’s the US Continental teams that interest me most.  The Conti Team guys are the folks we actually get to see race in person and a spot at the TOC is a big deal for the riders, sponsors, etc.  Below is my quick take on the US team selections
  • BMC Racing Team (USA) – The only real NorCal team on the list. Go Team!
  • Garmin- Barracuda (USA) – Uhhh…. i forgot who was on this team.
  • RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (LUX) – Horner better win. Seriously… amnesia or no amnesia this former Webcor pro is gonna have a legion of NorCal fans out on the roads rooting him on.
  • Omega Pharma – QuickStep (BEL) – Levi is the best NorCal competitor but he should save it for the Grand Fondo and some small one week race in Europe which will get him more UCI points.
  • UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA) – Chris Jones. If you don’t put him on the team you will receive no mentions in #nccn.
  • Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) – We still have feelings for Scott Zwizanski. But this team barely won Madera with 10 guys. Unless they recruit Evan Huffman what are they going to do?
  • Bissell Pro Cycling (USA) – BJM all the way. What would be better than BJM winning in Santa Cruz?  Nothing, thats what.
  • Team Exergy (USA) – Would be awesome to see Freddy and Logan duking it out in the sprints. Not sure they can win one but a podium would be rad.
  • Bontrager Livestrong Team (USA) – WTF. Great… like anybody on this team is even going to finish the race. What a waste of a spot. I suppose it pays to be part of the Lance/Trek conglomerate.

But there is a big pile of WTF. Specifically the omission of Kenda Pro Cycling. With such a strong NorCal flavor these guys would be part of every early break in the NorCal stages. Such a shame that AJM, Mach, English, and the rest of the team won’t get a chance to take it to the Euro’s on their home roads.  I’m not too surprised about the Competitive Cyclist omission given their somewhat murky roster but they proved themselves as a contendor for all US stage races last year.  I suppose they just weren’t willing to pay the “entry fee.”
I’m going to be annoyed about the Bontrager Livestrong Team spot all day. Way to ruin my day AEG!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Juarez and Mata take early Pro UET leads following Spa City


Juarez and Mata take early Pro UET leads
The USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Ultra Endurance Tour (Pro UET) kicked off last weekend with the Spa City 6-Hour Mountain Bike Race in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Veteran ultra-endurance specialist David "Tinker" Juarez (Whittier, Calif./Cannondale Factory) cruised to the victory and the Pro UET lead on Saturday as did 2011 Pro UET champ Monique Pua Mata (Anaheim, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized) on the women's side.
Spa City
Spa City
The 51 year-old Juarez completed seven laps of the ten-mile course in 5:51:35 to outpace silver medalistBryan Fawley (Dallas, Texas/Orbea USA) by 18 minutes. Kip Biese (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Eric Bostrom(Westlake Village, Calif.) and Aaron Elwell (Lawrence, Kan./Twin Six) all quickly filed in, also completing seven laps and grabbing the reming top spots in the Pro UET.
Mata, who also sits amongst the top five in USA Cycling's Pro XCT standings, completed six laps in 5:45:06 to take the women's victory. The only other women to compete as a pro, Andrea Wilson (Cordova, Tenn./Mid South Velo) came in around 20 minutes behind Mata, completing six laps, in 6:10:40.
USA Cycling Pro UET Standings:
1. David "Tinker" Juarez (Whittier, Calif./Cannondale Factory) - 60
2. Bryan Fawley (Dallas, Texas/Orbea USA) - 40
3. Kip Biese (Colorado Springs, Colo.) - 30
4. Eric Bostrom (Westlake Village, Calif.) - 25
5. Aaron Elwell (Lawrence, Kan./Twin Six) - 20
1. Pua Mata (Anaheim, Calif.) - 60
2. Andrea Wilson (Cordova, Tenn./Mid South Velo) -40
For complete standings, visit the Pro UET's official webpage at
The Pro UET will continue on May 20 with the Sagebrush Safari 50 in Lake Morena, Calif. The second of five 2012 Pro UET events, the Sagebrush Safari will begin its 50-mile race at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 20.
Photo courtesy Spa City 6-Hour/DLT Events: Pua Mata looks to be in early form to defend her Pro UET title.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Tracksters Bring Home The Hardware From Conti Champs

 The 13 Americans representing the United States racked up 11 medals at the recent Pan American Continental Track Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The USA Cycling squad gained new continental champions in the men’s team sprint and scratch races. Overall the USA Cycling team also tallied seven bronze and two silver medals.
The men's team sprint squad scored a big win over Canada and Argentina.
The competition marked one of the squad’s final opportunities to gain valuable international ranking points in qualifying start spots for this summer’s Olympic Games in London. Medals in both the men’s team sprint and omnium put the U.S. in position to potentially qualify Olympic start spots in those events heading into next month’s world championships in Australia.   
“It was a long schedule with rain delays and warm weather, so we needed to conserve physical and mental energy,” said USA Cycling Sprint Track Program Director Jamie Staff. “We accomplished what we came here to do, and that was to gain points on Venezuela in the team sprint. The other medals we’ve earned have come as a nice reward for everyone’s hard work. Next, it’s straight back into training for the World Championships which are in a months’ time.”
The competition started out on a golden note on Saturday with the men’s team sprint squad of Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif./Project London 2012), Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) and Michael Blatchford(Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012) posting a 46:491 to edge Canada and leave rival Argentina settling for third place. The U.S. collected its second gold on day one as well with Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) outpacing a talented South American field to win the men’s scratch race and take the continental title.

Also on day one, Elizabeth Reap-Carlson (Jim Thorpe, Pa./Black Dog Pro Cycling Team) posted a 35:872 in the women’s 500-meter time trial to grab a bronze and raise the U.S. medal count to three. A young American men’s team pursuit squad of Matthew Lipscomb (Decatur, Ga./Fulton Flyers), Gregory Daniel (Englewood, Colo./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development), Ian Moir (Long Beach, Calif./Yahoo Cycling Team) and Zack Noonan (Kutztown, Pa.FCS-Metro Volkwagon) also had a strong showing, qualifying for the bronze-medal ride and clocking a 4:21.074 to settle for fourth.  
“Our goal for the men’s team pursuit squad was to make the medal round then to win the bronze,” said Benjamin Sharp, USA Cycling’s endurance program director.  “We fell a bit short of the final goal but the team is always moving forward and performed well overall.”  
Day two saw the women’s team sprint duo of Reap-Carlson and Dana Feiss (Telford, Pa./Home Depot Center) pull in the silver. The pair posted a 0:35.841 in the gold-medal round to miss the mark of Venezuela’s Daniela Larreal and Mariesthela Vilera by less than .8 of a second, marking the second medal for the 41 year-old Carlson. Beth Newell (Oakland, Calif./Now Cycling – NOW and Novartis for MS) also collected a bronze on Sunday with a time of 3:50.554 in the women’s individual pursuit.
Beth Newell collected a trio of bronze medals for the U.S. finishing third in the individual pursuit, team pursuit and omnium.
Newell continued her pursuit success into Monday, teaming up with Cari Higgins(Boulder, Colo./Exergy TWENTY 12) and Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./Exergy TWENTY 12) to win their bronze medal match with Mexico.
Day four saw Lea collect his second medal of the contest with a bronze in men’s omnium. Over the two-day, five-event competition Lea finished first in the lap, seventh in the points race, first in the individual pursuit, second in kilometer time trial and eighth in scratch race to tally 22 points. In the event where the lowest point-earner is crowned champion, Lea just missed the win finishing two points above continental champion Walter PĂ©rez’s (Argentina) 20 point total.
Eighteen year-old Valente collected two more medals for the U.S., finishing third in the women’s scratch race and Keirin to bring her medal tally to three on the week.
“The trip served as a great learning experience for Jenn Valente who rode the team pursuit and scratch race and medaled in both,” stated Staff. “Her confidence grew and she continued her trend, picking up another bronze in the Keirin for a total of three medals.”
The competition wrapped up with another pair of medals for the U.S. on Thursday. Mansker posted a faster time than the eventual gold medalist, Alsander Quincy of Trinidad and Tobago, before Wednesday’s men’s kilometer time trial competition was postponed due to rain, and subsequently restarted Thursday morning. He went on to ride a time of a, nearly one second slower than his top-Wednesday time, to collect his second medal of the competition in the form of a silver. Newell also tallied her third medal of the competition earning bronze in the women’s omnium on Thursday.  
The group will now look to carry the momentum of their 11 medals into the upcoming UCI Track World Championships, April 4 – 8 in Melbourne, Australia. The squad that will represent the United States at the world championships is set to be announced by USA Cycling on March 12.

The Pan American Continental Road Championships will continue March 9-11 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. View the complete schedule here.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bissell Train Dominant at Merco Grand Prix while Teutenberg Wins a Busy Women’s Race

by  • March 3, 2012 • race coverage

McDonald’s Downtown Grand Prix
Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic Presented by Mercy Medical Center
Merced – 3 March 2012
Top notch racing took place today in Merced as the Men P/1/2 and Women P/1/2/3 raced the Grand Prix on the third day of the Merco Cycling Classic. In the Women’s race attacks came almost every lap of the race where in the Men’s race breakaway were shut down by Bissell Pro Cycling who waited to execute their strategy.
The Women’s race started at a terrific pace and a large group of racers dropped of the back and were pulled very early. Breakaway attempts started to come come almost one after the other. First to attack was Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon) then Ina-Yoko Tuetenberg (Specialized-lululemon) took a turn. Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty 12) was the next followed by Hughes again. And so the race continued as other racers also took a spell off the front.
At five to go there a promising five-racer breakaway formed that included with Pascale Schnider (Exergy Twenty 12), Kristin McGrath (Exergy Twenty 12), Olivia Dillon (NOW and Novartis for MS), Loren Rowney (specialized-lululemon), and Joelle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). Even this attempt was caught one lap later and the race headed to a field sprint. Hughes and Armstrong continued to show their faces in the front but it was Tuetenberg that pulled off the win in the sprint.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) wins the Grand Prix over Joelle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) wins the Grand Prix over Joelle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Numainville finished a close second followed by Leah Kirchman (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) in third, and Coryn Rivera (Exergy Twenty 12) in fourth. Armstrong came home in fifth place and retains the Omnium lead by one point over Numainville and five points ahead of Hughes in third. Kirchman and Janel Holcomb (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) round out the top five a further two points down.
In the Men’s P/1/2 race, it was California Giant/Specialized team that was up front early, with James Mattis and Nate Wilson putting their noses in the wind to protect race leader Evan Huffman. The first attack came on lap three with Jesse Reams (Hagens Berman Cycling) and Brandon Trafton (Full Circle Cycling powered by Pure Gear) leading the charge but this was caught by the field quickly. Austin Carroll (Simple Green Bike Religion) and Bryan Larsen (Stage 17 Racing) were the next to attack but, again, they were caught by the field. California Giant/Specialized worked well as a team, filling the front of the pack, keeping Huffman out of trouble and the race fast, in their bright-red kit.
After Tyler Brandt (Team Mike’s Bikes) and Jos Le Roux (Simple Green Bike Religion) had a go at the front, the California Giant/Specialized team again brought the field back together. Race announcer Dave Towle called it the “Cal Giant Train” as the bright red engine moved past start-finish. Brandt took another shot at getting away, but after he was swallowed up and the field closed back up, it was the BISSELL Pro Cycling team out front taking control of the race. Despite a few break attempts by one or two other racers and a late race crash mid-field, BISSELL continued to control the race from 15 laps to go until the end of the race.
As the race came down the final stretch Patrick Bevin (BISSELL Pro Cycling) again won the field sprint, adding to his win at the MID RR  in this years edition of the Merco Cycling Classic. “Today, I was the designated man,” said Bevin, “I’ve got good legs and the team put a lot of faith in me. The BISSELL train set up nice and early and kept me out of trouble. It was very satisfying to finish the job off in the bunch kick.” Bevin goes into tomorrow’s Hilltop Ranch Road Race wearing the yellow jersey and was confident, “I raced [the course] last year. I’m looking forward to it and confident that the team’ is strong and I’m riding well enough to defend the jersey.”
Patrick Bevin (BISSELL Pro Cycling) wins the sprint again at the Merco Cycling Classic
Patrick Bevin (BISSELL Pro Cycling) wins the sprint again at the Merco Cycling Classic
Ken Hanson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished today’s race in second while local NorCal star Logan Loader (Team Exergy) finished third in the sprint. Loader, who is sitting in fourth overall summed up the race, “Really the sprint started with three laps to go. There were three teams fighting over the leadout. We had our boys up there but we were sitting back and letting Optum and BISSELL fight it out.”
In the General Classification, Loader sits 23 seconds behind race leader Bevin, along with Team Exergy mate Serghei Tvetcov. Perennial favorite Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) is second overall with a 22 second deficit. Bevin’s hefty lead and the apparent dominance of the BISSELL team make it look like the red and white boys will be in a strong position for a good showing in the Hilltop race and the GC.