Team Bicycles, Inc, puts on one of the first road races of the year just outside of Copperas Cove, about one and a half hours north of Austin. In its 11th year, the event is a well-oiled machine, with a large support crew and a lead and follow car for each race. Hundreds of cyclists from all over the state show up to put their winter training regimen to the test on a 54-mile or 83-mile loop (depending on category) through rural, rolling central Texas farmland.
Last Saturday, January 22, the weather was surprisingly balmy, warming steadily through the morning and into the 50s by race end. Predictably, it was windy – in this exposed terrain, you can rest assured that whatever breeze you're getting, you're getting all of it. ATC's three embedded reporters (yes, they ride among you) give you the inside scoop on the Pro 1/2/3, Women's Open, and Men's 5 races.
A field of 100 rolled out onto the course at 10am, with roughly 10 pros, including 2009 British National Road Race champion Kristian House, multiple New Zealand elite road and time trial champion Heath Blackgrove, and Pat McCarty, member of the Slipstream team that won the team time trial in stage one of the 2008 Giro d'Italia. The race was pretty tame in the beginning, our correspondent from team Bazaarvoice says, with an early move of three going in the first 10 miles. The field stayed together until mile 30, when cross winds shredded the pack and created a big split. A group of 40 remained until they hit the same stretch on the second lap of the course at mile 55. At this point the winds wreaked total havoc, and a group of eight led with a gap of 30 seconds on the second echelon of 20 riders. Our correspondent, missing the break, was stuck in the second group. He attempted a few gallant solo efforts to get across, twice getting within 10 seconds, but in the end lacked the bionic power needed to reach the eight-man posse of international super studs. Despite repeated efforts by the second group to bridge the gap, they held steady at 30 seconds behind for the rest of the race. And a headwind on the rollers heading back into town kept the pack on our correspondent's wheel, who took a flyer with 1k to go, but with the last 500 meters downhill, found himself swarmed at the line. Think our protagonist was discouraged? Au contraire – in Texas there's a race every weekend from February 4 to October 10, and 33 weekday crits in between, so he's just looking forward to the next one. Not to mention McCarty and House are rumored to be heading to Europe soon...
- Heath Blackgrove, Elbowz Racing
- Kristian House, Rapha Condor
- Jonathan McCarty
- Tyler Jewell, Elbowz Racing
- Joseph Schmalz, Elbowz Racing
ATC jersey, she was determined to show that her tri-roots would not prevent an intelligent victory. She forgot the sage advice she had received, however, every time she made it to the front - "The scenery just looks so much better from up here," she was thinking, and also, "Wow, I feel fast." Having experienced a modicum of success in time trialing, our correspondent takes off on a solo breakaway with two miles to go (or so she thinks – we will never know for sure, since the previous day her husband had bought her a fancy fork instead of a bike computer). Her logic? Where's the guts or glory in sprinting the last few yards to the finish for a millisecond victory? Well. That sort of tri-thinking, my friend, is the difference between first and fifth place. Our foolish triathlete, who managed to bolster rather than refute the negative stereotype, was caught shortly after the 1k marker and soundly spanked at the finish line. Congrats to bike stud Jenn Mix of 787 Racing for the victory!
- Jennifer Mix, 787 Racing
- Shannon Gaffney
- Megan Baab, FCS/Metro Volkswagen
update:Pink Helmet Man is Wiley Mosley!
- Daniel Ramirez, Cyclone Cycles
- Arthur Cowsen Jr., Velossimo Racing
- Wiley Mosley, North American Velo
- James Perrin
- Mike Panozzo
All photos are courtesy of Andrew Wolfe Photography. Enter your contact info at PhotoWolfe.com and Andrew will email you when your photos are online.
And now for the correspondent-less categories:
- David Milham, Nick Lopez Tailoring Cycling Team
- Grady Hodge, Alchemy Racing Team
- Frank Cusimano, Dallas Racing
- Brandon Martin, Team La S'port
- Kyle Anderson, Wichita Falls Bicycling Club
- John Wilmeth, Woodlands Cycling Club
- Sean Sullivan, Velossimo Racing
- Alexander Gibson, Dallas Racing
- Michael Adams, TBarM Camps Racing
- Richard Linebaugh, Team Bicycles Inc.
- Will Ross, Team Hotel San Jose
- Cord Offermann, Austin Bikes/Revenant
- Michael Brown, McKinney Velo Club
- Clay Hobson, McKinney Velo Club
- Eric Warnsman, Bicycle-Heaven