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EC Devo u-25 team seeks one more rider


The EC Devo Elite U25 Cycling Team is looking for one additional rider to round out its roster for 2016 season. 


EC Devo is a Pennsylvania based Elite U25 team with a focus on developing athletes in an environment which educates them in how to race, and how to use their strengths as individuals, as well as collectively, as a team, to achieve success. More importantly, the team is committed to teaching athletes the value of hard work, team-work, and professionalism both on and off the bike, and in all aspects of life, to help shape not just successful athletes but successful people.


The EC Devo Team schedule will consist of a mix of NRC events (criteriums, road races, and stage races), as well as a mix of local and regional northeast events.

The ideal athlete should be: between the age of 18-22; category 1; live on the east coast or at be willing to be based there from May-Sept; and proficient with social media.


Interested athletes please contact the teams DS, Bill Elliston,

at ellistoncoaching at gmail.com.



Mid Season Here already?  CX news!

With cross season starting so early these days, and running long---into January for Nationals---late October seems to offer up a 'glass half empty or half full' approach: the first part of the season is behind us, and with some great rides. But there's still the biggest dance yet to come in a few weeks time.  

On the national scene, a few clients have been making some noise. Cassie M started off the season in fine fashion by being selected as one of several women to represent the US at the first round of the World Cup, in Las Vegas.  Even in taking a slow start to the season, she battled much of the race inside the top 25, eventually finishing in 29th. She's continued to rack up steady progressive results since, including an impressive 4 race win streak in UCI C2 events.  Those wins not only cemented her early season form, but vaulted her into the truly elite with a current world ranking of 43rd. 

Dani S started her season in China, where she fought some bad luck to still come away with two top 15 finishes, and valuable UCI points. When not dominating her local Chicago 'cross scene with multiple wins, she's been hitting more UCI events throughout the mid-west and east coast, building her fitness and experience with each event, and eyeing a solid finish at Nationals. 

And Rebecca B has wrapped her (hugely successful) xterra season, and started dipping her toes back into cross. With just a few races under her belt so far, she's turned some back row starts into very close calls for UCI points, so expectations are high for the big stuff to come yet.

Many more athletes with their eye on Nationals have been doing their local scenes, and showing just as much form: Angie F has been playing bridesmaid all year, showing much improved form in racking up a string of hard fought 2nd places. Gary S has been racking up personal best results in nearly every race so far, racing against---and often beating---competition that last year was several minutes ahead of him. Eric S, despite taking a relaxed and easy approach so far, has visited the podium several times in some bigger events. Chuck A has been taking a very light race approach so far, and is set to really kick it in next week. Max K has been also taking the light approach, but showing good legs and steady progress. Likewise, Marty J has been focusing mainly on training and building a solid base, and will look to start sharpening up the race form in the next few weeks. And Scott W is finally putting an early season injury behind him and quickly finding his race legs with some recent top 6 finishes.

Proving that it doesn't need to be all about Nat's, out in Chicago, both Barron Gand Joan H have been going between Chicago and WI races, and racking up some personal best results. Charles K has been focused on the MAC series, and is lurking very close to top 10 overall with several solid and consistent rides. En route to that, he recently took a fine win, racing down an age group, and showing those youngsters what's up.  And Nick I has been focused on the NJCC series, and has had consistent showings there to maintain a top 10 standing.

Here's to hoping part II of the season is every bit as successful as part I!     

Cassie M. with her 4th win in 4 races!

Angie F. on her way to another podium!

Eric S. rocking the second step of the podium.

Chuck A. muddin' it up at Nittany. 

Dani S. en route to another ChiCrossCup Win

Rebecca B. making the barriers look easy.

Charles K. lay the smack down on the way to a win!

Barron G. has the cornering mojo down. 

Joan H. clearly enjoying her ride at Trek.

The Racing is good all over

With the run into Memorial Day upon us, good time to update of some recent results. Out in Chicago, Dani S has been finding her crit legs with a solid run of results recently, including 3rd a few weeks back at the Monsters of the Midway Crit,  and just this past weekend taking two wins and some podium time at the PSIMET series: the Friday twilight, and Sunday in Fox River .  Friday also stood as her first 1/2/3 crit win, so even more impressive.  

One of the other Chicago client peeps, not so lucky: Joan H hit the ground hard a bit over a week ago and will miss some big spring/early summer events as she nurses her broken collarbone back. The upside?  She can now focus on a full cross season!

Rounding out the ladies, Angie F has been continuing her rebound from surgery;  a few solid races, including Smoketown and Wilmington, show she's poised to be back to last years form soon.

And Missy M Is shredding the MTB scene, with a win a few weeks ago that has her sitting 2nd in the Mid Atlantic Super Series. Here she is on the podium with 2nd at the French Creek stage of MASS.

Also on the MTB, Gary S has had a solid spring, and just rolled a great ride at the French Creek round of the same MASS series, which has him comfortably in the top 13 overall now.

Speaking of series, Nick I is leading the GS Cup series, courtesy of a super consistent spring.  He also recently scored a solid 9th place at the Bear Mt RR, a NY classic hard mans race.  

Junior Sam M has been mixing it up with the big boys, scoring a 3rd place, and bronze medal, in the Cat 3 PA State Crit at Smoketown.  That was followed up by a solid ride in the Cat 3's at Bear Mt, a course not normally banked to his liking.  Here, he's pictured, again with the big boys, at the Wilm 2/3 race. 

Chuck A has been having a light spring in anticipation of ramping up for cross season.  He had a solid ride Friday at the Monkey Hill TT portion of the Wilmington wknd (pictured rolling it out of the start gate), ripping a 5th place finish. 

Max K also hit up the MH TT, and had his own killer ride for 7th place

Eric S, another guy doing the slow burn for cross, got his season underway recently, and scored a top 15 finish at the NJ Masters State Crit Championships. 

And, for me, this past weekend was the debut of the new EC Devo U23 program. With all the guys wrapped with collegiate racing for the semester, we gathered in Wilmington, DE, for our first event which also happened to be one of the hardest NRC events on the schedule.  For some, this was their first NRC ever, but everyone held their own.  Most of the boys made it about 1/2 - 3/4 through the difficult race, with Alan making it full distance alongside myself, and our co-director Gui.  Gui and I tried to show the boys by example by covering a few dangerous moves, and me sneaking away in a group at 8 to go, contending for 7th place. Ultimately, we were brought back with 2 to go, but I managed to sneak into the top 20 alongside Gui.

The following day we trekked to Baltimore for one of the regional classics, Kelly Cup. This raced proved a great place to actually race, and work on teamwork and tactics.  We set a few plans before the race, and everyone did a great job following through: we covered any dangerous moves, and also rode aggressively, trying to put some of our guys up the road.  In the end, it came down to a bunch kick, and I took the lead with 5 to go to organize the boys, and protect Gui, Chris, and Ian for the sprint.  We did a solid job to keep it strung out and safe, and launch our boys to the line in the last 250 meters.  Gui and Chris came home 5th and 6th, with me 11th, while Ian had fallen back with a mechanical on the last lap.  In the end, while we didn't get the win, we more importantly made some great strides as a unit, and built some great confidence in the boys going forward.

This coming weekend is the granddaddy of them all for anyone in the northeast: the Tour of Somerville, and the crew is excited to put our cohesiveness to the test and bring home a great result. 


Thank you Marco Quezada for the snaps!

And we're off!  2o15 Road season has begun

Woohoo, first race report of the year!!

A couple of clients defied Mother Natures stranglehold on winter and pinned up this past weekend, and automatically started logging wins, podiums, and top ten's. 

Way down south in 'Bama, Melissa M, one of the newest of the EC mtb crew, pulled down a win in her first race of the season in the 12 hr enduro event. 

Up in the Jerz, Nick I doubled down, scoring a 2nd place Saturday at Branchbrook, and worked an 80k break Sunday at Ronde Van Mullica into a 5th place finish.

Charles K tackled the LV classic, Monkey Knife Fight, a spirited ride over some gnarly northeastern PA roads, that helps raise proceeds to battle cancer. With minimal outside rides this winter, Charles did a killer job to throw down against the course in preperation for some bigger events to come. 

Sam M and Mike F hit up the sacred BikeLine crits in PA. Mike doubled down in the B and A, and rolled a solid ride in both, making the chase group in the B, and continuing some aggressive riding in the A.  An understated awesome showing for Mike, with his best rides to date in these races.  Sam just hit up the A and as per orders, attacked himself to death to get some good interval work in, that will pay dividends down the road. 

And out in the midwest...where I can't believe bike racing even occurs in frigid March...Joan H smacked down the Barry-Roubaix classic with a 9th place in her age group. 

Not a bad place to start for folks...bodes well for a solid season!

Looking Back at PSIMET Team Camp

All photos by Wil Mathews photography. 

While I sit here and stare out the window at the slowly melting piles of snow, I wanted to reflect back on a great week I had two weeks ago, leading a training camp in sunny Encinitas, CA, for the PSIMET Women's Team out of Chicago. 

Seven of the PSIMET ladies-- Joan H, Leah S, Sarah S, Cathy F, Katie I, Christine T, and Lauren M, ditched their endless hours of indoor training to come to California and get some quality training in.  Because mother nature had kept most of the ladies indoors for the prior weeks (months, really), I decided to add a few different elements to the camp.

First, as most had been restricted to their 1-2 hr indoor rides of either high intensity intervals, or easy recovery rides---to maximize time---I set all the rides as long steady endurance rides, to both help get a bit of needed volume in the legs, as well as a reduction in intensity they'd been used to. This would help to help switch gears so to speak, and give the intensity workouts a break and a chance to really take hold and maximize gains.  

Within that, for the ladies coming from pancake flat Chicagoland, we also tackled something else they rarely see: some climbs.  We didn't want to overdo the climbing at the expense of the intended goal of steady volume, so we did one good day of some stiff climbs.  On the last day, Friday, we did split the group for a few that wanted to tackle some more climbs.  For that, my friend and guest for the day, Bobby Lea and I escorted Christine and Lauren over to Palomar Mt.  While we didn't climb Palomar itself, it's a stiff ride with plenty of scenic climbing just to get there and back. 

Second, with the start of their season just around the corner, we added an hour + of skills work each morning, to get reacquainted with riding in pace-lines, side-by-side, and some of the normal incidental contact that can occasionally come with it.   I also added a few other skills simply designed for them to feel more at one with their bikes, and increase their comfort level, to help keep them more relaxed and confident. 

Lastly, while some of the girls were different categories, many will be racing together throughout the season, so we spent several hours Wednesday working on lead-outs and tactics so they could learn to play off each others strengths, and try and create winning opportunities for each other in a variety of scenarios. For me, this was maybe the best day at camp:  Initially, many of them were nervous running through the initial tactics and sprint drills.  But with some feedback, pointers, confidence boosting, and repeated efforts, by the end of the day, they executed like a well oiled machine.  My satisfaction with this was doubled when I learned that at their first team race this past weekend, they put some of the tactics into effect, winning 2 premes and getting first and 3rd with their efforts. Well done!

The quick weeks recap:

Monday- 1+ hrs of skill work, followed by 4.5 hrs of mostly flat terrain heading north on the 101, and through Camp Pendleton to San Clemente and back.  A good day to stretch the legs and get some pace-line practice in.   

Tuesday- 1+ hrs of skill work refining some of the prior days drills, and adding some new, followed by 3.5 hillier hours, along the local Sleeping Indian route. 

Wednesday- 1+ hr skill work, followed by an easy 2 hr recovery day south along the 101 into La Jolla.

Thursday- Load in the van and hit Fiesta Island park in San Diego. Fiesta offered a semi-closed circuit which made for great practice for tactics and lead-outs. We ended the day with a total of 4 hrs of pedaling:  2.5 hrs of practice, and a 1.5 hr ride home along the bike path back to La Jolla, and the 101 back into town.

Friday- This was our split day as some re-rode Monday's San Clemente loop, while some of us headed to Palomar.  Both groups got in solid 4.5 hr rides. 

All in all, it was a great and productive camp. Hopefully the ladies will continue to capitalize on the momentum we created, and have a successful season. 

Elliston Coaching Services are available for your team's custom training camp as well!

USA Cycling Regional Talent ID Camp - 
Mid-Atlantic Region, August 3rd-8th

USA Cycling is once again hosting a Talent ID Camp in the cycling rich region of the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. The camp is one of 13 camps nationally, and will be based in the cycling friendly area of Northampton Community College, in Bethlehem Township, PA. The area offers up friendly and quiet roads, and a rich cycling heritage that one can’t help but draw from.


Read more about the camp here.  

Coming this February - elliston coaching winter training camp, west lake village, ca!!! join us

Are you looking for an escape from the winter time blues?  Want to get in some beautiful base miles in the gorgeous California sunshine while fully supported by professional SAG support and soigneur services?   Look no  further, join us in West Lake Village, CA from Feb 14th through the 21st and we soak up the sun and get a leg up on the competition. Download flyer here.

Cyclocross News!

Another killer cx weekend is in the books for clients, with races from several regions going down. Starting out to the west, in Chicago, Joan H continued her upwards trajectory, logging another solid finish and improving on her skills for yet another week

Out at the Cincy 3-day UCI festival, Rebecca B had solid rides each day of 24th, 28th, and 21st in some of the deepest elite fields yet this season. 

More locally, both PA and NJ served up some great races. Sat in NJ was CX Muer, with Marty J continuing his streak in the men's 50+, coming just shy of the win with a 2nd place.  Nick I finally shook his demons, and landed a 6th in the Elites.   They both lined up for Sunday's Crossnado, with Nick I further upping his game for his first podium of the year in 3rd (pic attached).  Marty suffered some early mechanical's and had to settle for 4th. Despite that *setback*, he still has a solid lock on 2nd in the NJCC standings with 2 events yet to come.  

On the PA side of the river, it may as well have been the Beer CX weekend, with Saturday at Swashbuckler, and Sunday at Stoudt's. Max K and Angie F threw down at Swashbuckler; Max had a solid ride in the sand, while Angie rebounded her form quickly with a solid 2nd place! (pic attached).  Sunday, those 2 were joined by Charles K and Chuck A at Stoudt's, as it also served as PA States. 9th place seemed the mode of the day, as both Angie and Charles pinned down that finish on the hilly difficult circuit. Max had another solid ride, and still awaiting word from Chuck.

Gary S and myself made the pilgrimage to New England for the 24th Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, MA.  Gary had 2 solid days in the super competitive 45+ field, and I squeaked out a 4th and a 2nd for the 35+ contingent. 

Awesome riding by all!

All the Latest in client news

Lot's of big events on tap this weekend for clients, several of which were centered around the Philly area.  Starting out with Saturday's Philly TT event, both Max K and Angie F represented. Max blew out of the start house hard, and held on for a solid ride in his category.  Angie F also left the start house in a flash, and, armed with all kinds of aero goodies, blasted out a 3rd place finish...just mere seconds out of 2nd....and at over 2:30 faster than her last years time!!

Sunday brought the bulk of the racing for the crew.  Starting off up the road from Philly, at the PA State MTB Championships at Bear Creek, Gary S took home a sweeeet bronze medal with his 3rd place finish in his ss category. What I suspected might be a rough go on those rocks with a ss turned out as a PR for Gary, and renewed confidence on the course.

Also of note at Bear Creek,  EC alumni Rich W represented the alma mater with a sweet 2nd place ride in his category; check the sweet pic.

Just across the river from Philly was the NJ State RR with representation from Nick I, Gui N, Dave M, Dave C and Mike G.  In the end, Mike G made the final selection of 6, and took home 5th (c'mon Mike, we've worked on that sprint...), which was good for NJ silver medal.   Gui N ran home with the field sprint for 7th.

Sunday, Philly also played host to the Parx Casino Classic, the re-branded version of the original CoreStates Classic.  I had the luxury of directing the Mellow Mushroom team for Laura VG and Co.  Not so luxurious for Laura, as she hit the floor coming into Manyunk the 4th time.  While it only added some road rash, it also compounded the road rash she received Saturday in a last lap crash in Glencoe, IL.  2/2 on the crashing certainly merits the Hard Luck award for the weekend..   

And, funny, driving in the caravan Sunday and rolling past the feed-zone, I spied none other than Max K handing up bottles like a champ.  Solid work!

And speaking of Glencoe, and the Chicago area,  Joan H rocked out the Tim Johnson Ride On Chicago, a 5 day 500+ mile fundraiser from KC to Chicago.  Big miles, hard pace, some long gravel stretches (her favorite..), and some wet weather (see attached Euro looking pic) added up to a killer training week for a great cause. 



So many race reports so little time

Okay, once again I find myself behind the 8-ball on race reports.  Always so much going on, hard to keep on keeping up!

Going back several weeks to the Turkey Hill RR, Mike F continued his streak of sweet rides with a 8th place in the field sprint.  Angie F also kept her streak alive and went 7th in her race.  Alex R also made an appearance on one of his favorite courses, and had a solid top 20 ride.  I showed as well, and rolled a break from the gun with 5 others, only to be caught with 12 miles to go. Oh well....effort counts for something.

Jeff L also discovered the *fun* of TT's and is working on refocusing the summer portion of the season to the NJ series. 

NJ also hosted their Team Challenge the same weekend, and Nick I rolled away with a convincing win there...sweet!

Down south, Laura VG closed out the Speedweek series with a 3rd the final night, in Gaffney, and a sweet race long solo win effort the nest day at the NODA GP. 

And on the knobby's, Gary S hit up a solid day at French Creek, cutting his teeth for another week as a new cat 2 in the single-speed race. 

Fast forwarding a week to last week, a few clients hit Smoketown, and the PA State Crit Championships.  Angie F just missed the podium, rolling 4th. And  Dave M, NJ boy and thus unable to contest for a state title here, scored a nice 5th place.

That FINALLY brings us almost up to speed to this past weekend..    Wilmington NRC and NJ State Crit were the two biggies this weekend.  In Wilmington, Laura VG finished on the podium in 3rd in a close fought field sprint finish.  At the NJ Crit, Gui N rolled 2nd, with Dave C close behind in 4th.  Mike G and Nick I both rode hard to lay it down for their team to drop their sprinter off for 3rd.  

In another rocky affair,  Gary S scored 15th in NJ's Rumble in the Jungle mtb.  

Lastly, I spent a great week in Asheville, NC, helping good friend Kurt Begemann run his training camp with clients.  Great roads, great folks, and a great itinerary made for a fun week helping develop riders' fitness and skills.  Already looking forward to next year! 

Okay...back on track again. Now to keep it that way!

The last two weeks in bike racing land

Okay, time to catch up on the last few weeks of racing action. Going back 2 weeks, we had a couple of events going for clients.  Biggest was Naval Yard Crit in Philly. Dave M kicked it off in style taking out a hard fought win in the 45+!  Having already been on the podium several times this season he's  proving that he's clearly on form. 

Angie F kept the ball rolling, coming in 4th in the most stacked field she's yet to face.  At some point it may get old giving her crap about not wanting to be a roadie.  That time just isn't here yet though. 

Dave C got a *great warmup*, working the reg table all day as head promoter, as he and I hit the main event.  Knowing he might be limited, he orchestrated his team to ride a great race, which was awesome to see. 

As for me, I was a little tired coming in from doing the Winston Salem NRC event (which went fair: made it nearly the whole way, only losing contact in the final 15 km), minimal sleep, and a long drive back to Philly to hit the crit I so tried to limit my losses and let everyone else carry me through. I made the winning split...barely...and rolled home near the back of it for 7th. 

Bigger than Naval Yard was  Mike F's outing  at the Farmersville RR.  Mike finally got the monkey off his back and made the lead break, running home for a solid 8th. After all the work, and finally making the right moves to make the split, and doing the work to stay in it till the end we should see this as a major turning point in seeing Mike back at the top of the results sheet much more often.   

Gui N made a rare TT appearance at the Somerset TT. Blowing the cobwebs off the TT bike, he rode a more than respectable 4th against the bigger TT specialists.

This past weekend saw more action, first at the BLP GP.  Dave M rolled a 3rd in the 45's;  Dave C soloed the last few laps of the main race for 6th (pictured, before going clear near end); while Nick I also made the lead split, and came home 12th after putting his teammate on the podium in 2nd.

Angie F continued her road dominance...and stockpile of upgrade points...at the Wernersville RR, completing a team sweep of the podium in 3rd place (check the sweet pic!).

Pulling a rare double, she traded the skinny tires for her knobby 29'r, on Sunday. Dusting off her semi-rusty off-road skills, she scored a sweet 10th at the Fair Hill mountain bike race.

Also at Fair Hill, Gary S kicked off his "official" season, and first race as a Cat 2.  25th place was a great showing and proved he'll soon be competitive at the pointy end of the race.

Way down in Arkansas, Joan H kicked off her road season with the Joe Martin Stage Race.  Taking to terrain that one couldn't call her favorite, she had consistent rides to come home 10th in GC for the masters women.  A solid debut, as she looks forward to getting back to the flatter terrain to showcase her improving form. 

I was also in Arkansas, directing the Chicago based PSIMET women's team for the Pro women's event.  Racing at this level was a first for most of the women, and they did a great job to be competitive and learn what it takes to succeed at that level.  It was a great experience for me to see them come in somewhat green, and leave with much more experience and confidence. No doubt they'll take the lessons from the week and continue to build on it. 

 

Pre-Easter Race Recap

This past weekend saw lots of action, with 3 road events and a mtb event on the schedule, and plenty of clients mixing it up. 

Starting on the mtb side of things, Gary S kicked off his season in NY at the SS Palooza...24 *fun* miles on a single speed.  The goal going in was to just get some rhythm and try and best his prior best of 3 hours. Proving he kept his nose to the grindstone all winter, and that his upgrade was no fluke, he did best the 3 hr goal...by a whopping 24 minutes, to roll in at 2:36!!  Great way to start the season!!  

Onto the road side, and starting down in NC, Laura VG continued her pursuit of USA Crits dominance. Saturday night in Charlotte, she rolled home 5th and kept the series leaders jersey on her back.  The following night in Belmont, she stepped up to the podium in 3rd place. 

Closer to home in PA, a large contingent hit the Philly spring classic of Lower Providence.

Dave M got it started , show-casing his field sprint form with a fine 3rd place in the 45+.   In the same race, Mike F tried his hand and settled for a field finish. 

In the 3's, Scott S was prominent in a few breaks and settled for 15th in the finish.  Zack H played good teammate, and rolled home mid field.

Gui N and Dave C hit out in the elite race.  Gui (pictured below) covered an early split that turned into the race winning move, and he came home just off the podium in 4th.  Dave C had banked on a group sprint, so had to settle for a field finish.

Mike G was the sole rep at the Rahway River Crit, a tribute to one of the regions late old school characters, Manny Lopez.  Mike made the break and got his workout in attempting to split the break many (many...) times.  When the dust settled, he was content to roll home 6th. 

Another good schedule this coming weekend with Farmersville, Naval Yard, and the Winston-Salem UCI races. And of course, Easter, and a welcome day off for many. 

The Battenkill Edition

Two big races dominated last weekend, with Battenkill and Cherry Blossom on the schedule. Up north at the Battenkill, Nick I broke out a great result for 6th.  With one guy clear for the win, Nick broke out his newly found field sprint abilities to finish within bike lengths of the podium.  A truly great ride, and affirmation of a hard winters work for Nick.

Pat Z made his first attempt on the Battenkill.  He enjoyed a solid ride, despite a mid-race spill taking him out of the front group. He battled back to the second group before running out of gas late, but still finishing up solid.  First attempt is always the hardest, but with that knowledge and experience in the bank, guaranteed he'll be back for another shot.  

At the Cherry Blossom, apparently the March Winds didn't get the memo that it was now April....cuz man, they howled all day... 

Dave M kicked things off in the 45+.   Dave worked his sprint form, coming 2nd in the field sprint for 13th, behind the shattered front break. 
 
Dave again took to the line, along with Scott S and myself, for the 35+.  Another wind-fueled split went early, with yours truly latching on for the ride.  In the end, I rolled in easy for 9th, while Dave again worked his sprint magic, this time taking the group for 11th overall. Scott instigated several chase groups, and in the end just squeezed into the top 20. 

Next up was Zack H in the 3/4.  Zack infiltrated several of the days breaks, and in the end set up some teammates to make the lead split. Despite all his work, he finished strong in 22nd. 

Predictably, as the day went on, the winds picked up, and the main event bore the brunt of mother natures pain.  Gui N, Edwin B...making his seasons debut,  Dave C, and myself, toed the line for that pain contest.  The crew were all active early as the wind kept the group absolutely lined out and attacking from the word go. The elastic finally snapped with 5 (of 23) laps to go, as Gui made the front group of 6.  The next split occurred with 2 to go, and Edwin...loving his Belgian roots style of racing..making that selection.  In the end, Gui ran home 5th, Edwin 15th, Dave C absolutely blazing the 3rd group sprint for 20th, and me 22nd.  A pretty solid day all around, as this was the first race to really showcase the crews fitness, and it didn't disappoint.

Twilight NRC crit racing made it's way to Anniston, AL, and Laura VG dutifully attended.  Another great race for her, as she finished just off the podium in 4th place.  Never one to be content with no podium shot, she'll be looking for revenge this weekend in NC at arguably the biggest crit on the calendar, the Novant Health Invitational in Charlotte, NC. 

Okay...this weekends already about on us, so hopefully more great results to come shortly!

Spring is here at last!

Well, I suppose it really is spring.  Not so much from the temps, but all the precipitation falling from the sky this weekend was at least rain, rather than snow.  And rain it did...nearly all weekend.

Saturday, a few souls braved the Salisbury RR in Lancaster County.  Mike F had an aggressive outing, ultimately crossing the line in 14th.  A bit outside of the days goal, but definitely a positive step. 

Angie F also continued her streak of road appearances.  No stranger to mtb podiums, she decided to try a roadie podium on for size, sprinting home to a fine 3rd place!   Enthusiasm abounded from the girl who once claimed to have zero interest in the road.  All of which amounts to me giving her a resounding I TOLD YOU SO, in regards to how much road butt she can kick if she wants too.

Saturday was also the standard Hell of Hunterdon follow-up,  the Fools Classic.  Gary S was the only HoH alumni this year to decide he actually wanted more of that kind of suffering.  Starting out the first 2+ hours on great pace, once the heavy rains started bombarding them, Gary came to his senses and called it a day, opting not to risk sickness before his big run of racing starts. A coach approved smart call. 

Down in Tampa, FL, the day long rains subsided in time to offer dry conditions for Laura VG for the USA Crits, round two.  Not totally a fan of step two on the podium, she decided to roll with the upgrade this week, sprinting to a clear win (pictured below)!  The win also moved her into the leaders jersey for the series ahead of stop three next week in AL. 

Sunday was the first of the Dirty Jersey Spring Classics, in Ronde Van Mullica.  Lot's of clients got their Euro Spring Classics mojo on for this, including Gui N, Nick I, Zack H, and the trifecta of the Daves': Dave M, Dave G, and Dave C. 

Zack H got the ball rolling in the cat 3's,  doing the brunt of teamwork to help set up some of his guys. Despite all his effort, he still rolled a top 20, with 19th place.  

The rest of the crew all rolled the 1/2/3 race.  Dave M, Mike G, and Nick had had a 'mate up the road, so they dutifully neutralized all the chasing attempts. Unfortunately, Mike G flatted shortly thereafter and was out of contention. Dave C and his boys all also contributed a chunk of time to chasing efforts, as well as Gui, but in the end it came to a bunch kick from 4th on back. In the gallop, Gui ran 3rd, for 7th overall. Dave C smartly followed Gui, for 8th, Nick just behind in 10th, and Dave M in 25th.

Never being one to learn the easy way, I again doubled down, doing the 35+ and the 1/2/3, for 110 miles of rainy fun.  In the 35+, four of us rolled clear early in an effort to work hard enough to stay warm.  I let the other 3 sprint out the win as I was more concerned with just getting fresh dry kits for the next race.

The 1/2/3, did my best to help Gui try and get across and then set-up for the group sprint. I dropped him in position at the front w/ 600 meters to go and politely backed out, as they legs were screaming, and rolled home easy in 24th.  

Last, but hardly the least, down in the land where the sun always shine---Belize---Zahir F pinned up for his country's biggest classic, the Junior Cross Country race.  Making the winning break (including another teammate), Zahir made a late race attack that proved the springboard for his teammate to go clear for the victory.  He then patrolled the rest of the attempted chases and rolled home in 7th. Not the hoped for end result, but a great showing nonetheless.  Now he gets to gear up for the 240k  'big boys' Cross Country in two weeks. 

USA Cycling Lehigh Valley Talent ID Camp

Have a junior rider in your life looking to take the next step in their cycling development?   Join me at the USA Cycling LeHigh Valley Talent ID Camp in Bethlehem, PA  this summer.   Read all about it here.




Full on Road season!

The first full weekend of spring brought with it at least one true warm-ish spring day; which, I suppose, after this winter is about all we can ask for at this point.  What it brought on in full effect though, was lot's of racing.

Saturday, being that one nice day, was appropriately the busiest day.  The biggest showing, while not a true race, was at the Hell of Hunterdon Classic. This has turned into ideal prep for the Battenkill focused crew (and just good fun for the rest), and this year was no exception.  Jeff L, Gary S, Pat Z, Mike F, Max K and Dave C all came to play, and had great rides in dialing in equipment, nutrition along with the demanding effort of the course.  All proved that they're dialed in for the big show in a few weeks time by having some personal best days.  The only hard luck story was an untimely flat and wheel failure for Jeff L at mile 45 that saw him have to call it a day.  Still, with a great day up to that point, all wasn't lost.

Farther north in Jersey, another outing at Branch Brook park took place with Nick I, Mike G, myself, and Scott S and Gui N making their season debuts.  

I got to kick things off with the old old man race, going clear with 4 laps to go with none other than old teammate/DS Ed Beamon. Reliving our glory days, we did our little 2 man TT effort  to roll to the finish together, where I had to settle for 2nd. 

Mike, Scott and myself then lined up for the 35's.  Mike and Scott had aggressive showings, with repeated attacks. Ultimately, Mike got to surf the group and control, as he had a mate up the road. Scott stayed aggressive, looking for chase attempts and getting in some promising moves. And I surfed the field, and gave a leadout to my teammate for the group kick.  

The 1/2/3 race was again an aggressive race, with an early break being the decisive move of the day.  Gui covered the initial 4 man move; that swelled to 10 a lap later when 6 more crossed, including Nick and myself (Nick is pictured below, second wheel, with myself and Gui following. Photo courtesy of 2nmr.com).  Nick's squad had the upper hand with 3 in 10, and didn't disappoint, launching the late attack for the team win. Following my lead-out to put Gui in second, Nick also got his hand in the sprint with a solid 4th place. 

Back in the group, Mike was again on patrol duty, and finally got clear late with a chase group. Scott, looking for race miles, did a good job to follow wheels and put some form in the bank. 

Far away from the warmth of Jersey, Joan H traded in her running shoes of last week for her cx shoes, and the Barry-Roubaix race in Michigan.  Enjoying an on-form day, and a rare cx race outing (go figure, for the former USGP and World's promoter..), she was set up for a strong finish until an untimely sheared rear derailleur with 10 miles to go ended her day and her bike race became a walk. The upside, besides getting a fresh new derailleur from the good people at SRAM, is that things are well on track for her first road race in a few weeks time.   

Speaking of warmth, late day Saturday, all eyes were on sunny Delray, FL, and the season opening National Crit Calender race.  Laura VG, fresh off a big training block out west, didn't disappoint and rode the field sprint home to second place, and another podium pic (attached) in what kicks off around year 20 of pinning numbers.

Sunday brought back frosty temps, and the final week of the SJSS Crits.  Some of the usual suspects came out to play: Angie F, Dave M, Dave C, Max K, and Zack H.  Angie proved her first outing a few weeks back was no fluke, and put her game face on (pictured below)to come home 6th this time.  Dave M decided to put his efforts in one race, the 1/2/3, this week.  Riding a smartly aggressive race, Dave launched with 3 to go, coming up a painful 400 meters shy of taking the field sprint for 5th.  Zack doubled up to continue cramming in the race form, and had solid showings in both. Max also continued his trend of doubling down, as well as playing course marshal in between.  And Dave C played the team card, working hard to put a man in the group that eventually lapped the field. 

Lastly, Sunday, Nick I and Mike G made the trek to the Bethel CT series. This time, Nick played good 'mate and put Mike G (and another 'mate) into the winning field-lapping break. He otherwise helped shut things down, while Mike suffered some mid-race mechanical issues that took him out of the break.  He still held on ahead of the group for 17 laps...17...solo....to still roll home 7th.  Oh, and he did all that in the little chainring..   Leg speed, anyone?

That's a wrap for this week. Tine to sit back and pray for warmer weather as we roll forward. 

Spring racing rolling along!

Well, I suppose at this point we're back to our regularly scheduled programming of weekly race reports.  Last week saw more action, with several more clients climbing off the trainers and pinning numbers on.

First up is the Philly Flyer weekend, with Angie F, Zack H, and Dave C representin'.  Angie and her Team Bicycle Therapy mates (pictured below, hamming it up before the start) rolled out the TTT action, Eddy style, and netted a solid 3rd place finish. Not bad after a last minute decision, and only one practice session together.    

Zack H truly did roll straight off the trainer for about his 3rd and 4th outdoor rides of the season at the circuit race and crit.  He hung tough and proved his indoor workouts have been on point, as he rolled in the field both days.  Bring a bit of endurance back into the picture, and he'll be dialed for success. 

Dave C did the ITT, rocking out a solid 8th place.  Not bad for Mr. Sprinter.

Several more hit Branch Brook Park again, with both Mike G and Dave M pulling the 35+ and 1/2/3 double.  In the 35, Mike G and yours truly helped roll the race-long 6 man break, while Dave---also Mike's teammate---helped patrol the field for him.  In the end,  I tried to help set up the student for the win, and he came home a solid 3rd.  In the 1/2/3, Mike and Dave were both aggressive and rolled home in the group, as it came to a bunch kick. 

The only other item of note from BB is I *finally* got to triple up, rocking the 45+, 35+, and 1/2/3. Hats off the the boys who do that every week.  After a chill opener in the 45+, I was content to help the break and get 5th in the 35+, and then roll aggressive and try and initiate a break; and ultimately help out our team sprinter in the finale of the 1/2/3.

Next up is another week of the South Jersey Training Crits.  This one saw Pat Z and Dave M and Max K all ripping it.  Max continued his path of improvement, again doubling up, and having a great aggressive ride with plenty of attacking and time off the front in his 2nd race.  Pat Z doubled as well, and also had better legs second time around, coincidentally in his harder category (35+), notching a top 20 ride. 

Lastly, Dave M  upped the ante, by throwing down in 3 races. To boot, he opened his win account in the 45+, with a photo finish sprint (below)...big congrats to Dave!  He also had solid showing for top 10 in the 35+, and an aggressive ride in the 1/2/3.  

And Nick I. again hit the Bethel series (after over sleeping the Branch Brook action...), and played solid teammate, using his strong spring form to launch his mate into 2nd, while still rolling top 20 himself. 

Back down in the toasty oven of Belize, Zahir F rolled 6th in the Belmopan Classic, the final tune-up before his Cross Country race in early April. 

And even Joan H got in on the action this week, albeit courtesy a half-marathon out in Chicago-land where she had solid finish in her age group and running a faster than expected pace.  Thankfully now that frigid Chi-beria is thawing she's setting aside (mostly) the insane running habit and kicks off her bike season this weekend in the midwestern classic Barry-Roubaix.  

Whew...think that covers it for this time.

Asheville, NC Training Camp May 11-17

Looking for a early season training camp?  Look no further than Asheville, NC.  This Begemann Racing Systems Camp will hit all the great regional highlights in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains including Mount Mitchell, the Biltmore Estate and much more. Camp runs May 11th through May 17th. Read all the details here.  

And so begins another season.

It's game on with racing, so time to catch up on a few weeks of action. 

Starting off by backtracking two weeks, clients braved to frozen temps to pin up for the start of road season.  Saturday mornings near teen temps saw a handful make the trek to Branch Brook Park in Jersey.  Mike G, Nick I, and Dave M...coincidentally enough, all teammates this season...all lined up. Being the dominant team, they immediately put a rider up the road in a group, that stayed away for the win. Mike covered another move a bit later that stayed away, and he sprinted in for 5th on the day. Nick tried another late move, getting swallowed up just before the line.  And Dave played teammate for the day, helping the boys, and rolled home safe in the bunch.

Sunday saw split crews, with Dave C and Max K hitting the SJ crit series.  Dave made the rational call to pull the pin when the rains came; the ensuing crash moments later proved he made a worthy call.   Max had a solid showing in his race,made more impressive by pulling the double duty of working it as well.

Over in PA, Pat Z and Mike F came out to play at the Bike Line Crits.  Pat had a solid showing, after getting a great 'warmup' on the local hammer-fest group ride just prior.  Mike had a personal best outing as well, at the front and competitive in both crits. A great start to the season to build from!

Not everyone was dressed in layers that weekend, trying to fend off the chilly air while racing.  Down south....waaaay south, in Belize...Zahir F had another great weekend. Backing up an ever further two weeks,  Zahir had a solid 3rd place (behind his winning teammate) in the Hummingbird Highway Hill Circuit RR.  This weekend, he started off with a win in a TT, and followed it up Sunday with a 2nd place (again, to a teammate) in the Spanish Lookout Hill Circuit. Hitting the podium so far in every race this season proves his form is on point for the bigger races to come in the next few weeks.  

That brings us up to this past weekend, where Saturday saw the early return of the Grant's Tomb Crit in NYC.  Nick I doubled down there, having an impressive ride in the first race, and logging more quality race miles in the second.  Dave C also rolled in and put his sprint legs to the test, rolling in 10th in what's always a crazy and fast finale. Not a bad start for minimal hard efforts in the bank yet.

Saturday was also another round at Branch Brook in Jersey, and Mike G represented there. Dutifully playing teammate in the first race, Mike busted out in the main event, creating several breaks, and eventually dropping all to roll solo for a while. Unfortunately, he fell a bit shy, getting caught back just over a lap to go.  A solid effort nonetheless, and a precursor of better things to come. 

Sunday, Nick I headed to the 'other' part of the trio-state area, Bethel, CT.  Nick made the lead selection and after several attempts to ride clear, rolled in just outside of the top 10. Like Mike the day before, a good effort and sign that things are headed in the right direction.

And back in the Jersey on Sunday, Dave C, Max K, and Angie F hit the SJ crits.  Angie, making a renewed effort on the road this year, was the star of the day. Unrelenting in her aggression and battle for position, Ang never left the top 6 all day, and sprinted home a fine 5th. All y'all better look out, cuz she's more motivated than ever now..   Max K had another solid weekend 'double' of working and racing, and Dave C had another solid day, riding aggressive and putting the hurt on the field, helping his teammates.  

And once again, we close out with the warm weather news edition.  No racing---but some good hard training---for Zahir F, but also some great news in that he's been chosen to represent Belize in the Youth Olympic Games!!  The Games are slated for mid-late August, in China.  A huge score for Zahir, as Belize is only granted two slots for this prestigious event.  Now comes the real work in getting ready for it!  

A lil update to break up the winter monotony..


The road season may be weeks (or months, seemingly..) away yet in the homeland of the great northeast, but for new client Zahir F, it's already hot and heavy. Last weekend, Zahir scored the first win of the season, taking out a TT win in Belize. The win was made extra special as the race served as selection criteria for international events on the horizon.   Fingers crossed that it bodes well for him.

In the meantime, he has plenty of big races coming up to focus on, the next one being on Feb 15. 

Also happy to welcome another new client.  In keeping with the Belizean theme, I'm happy to welcome Alvin Card into the fold. Alvin has been involved in the scene for a long time, and is looking to get back into a bit of racing after a few years away. Of additional note, Alvin was also behind the sponsoring team that brought me down to Belize back in 2005.  Great to get reconnected with him, and looking for much success. 

Till next time, stay warm. Or in Zahir's case, stay cool. Lucky dog..

Elliston Coaching welcomes new athletes

It's that time of the year where folks are starting to single out their goals for the season. As part of that, many realize the benefits of coaching to help guide them, and this week I'm the lucky recipient of two of those folks. 

First is Geoff Brunner. Geoff is a local (to me) area cyclist with an affinity for long distance riding.  Those ambitions saw him train for, compete in, and complete, the 2011 Race Across America (RAAM).  Just sliding in under the official time allowance, Geoff is looking to up his preparations for this years RAAM, and turn in a faster time.  You can read a great story about his first RAAM here:

Second is, well,  not quite as local.  Zahir Figueroa is a junior athlete from San Ignacio, Belize.  I had the pleasure of meeting Zahir and his dad, Emil, a few years back when I helped run a US State Department program on training down in Belize.  Zahir is already an accomplished athlete, with a silver medal in the TT at the 2012 Caribbean Junior Championships among his many credits. This season, Zahir has his sights set on taking out several of his country's biggest classics. 

I'm excited to have both Geoff and Zahir on board, and looking forward to steering them towards their goals! 

Thank you! Congratulations 
on making it a great season!

Every year, once the ground thaws, the thermal garb gets stashed away, and the flowers bloom under the warm sun, it seems as if the season will go on forever.  So it's hard to believe that we're closing the door on it "already".

But, man, what another great season it's been. The results clients compiled came from nearly every avenue: road, track, mtb, and cross. Countless victories were achieved by multiple clients; some taking out their first wins ever.  And even more podium finishes; I think this year, nearly every client I worked with visited the podium at least once, if not more.  Again, some for the first time ever.  Outstanding!!  We also saw State Championships won, multiple National Championship medals won, multiple race series' won (and dominated!), several category upgrades, PR's broken, goals accomplished, and comfort zones expanded. 

The results continued with athletes from teams I worked with at the Philly Parx Casino Classic and Quebec's Tour de l'Abitibi. Much success was gained from both these events, with multiple riders in the top 20 at Philly, to an unbelievable stage win, two more podium appearances, and numerous other top 5 stage finishes in Canada, at North America's only Junior UCI road event.

At the end of the day, I want to thank all the athletes for putting their trust in me to help guide them towards their goals. And, for giving me their all in their pursuit to ensure we were as best prepared as possible.  I can only provide the framework, guidance and insight; they provide the drive and desire.

A HUGE thanks also goes out to all my affiliates: Van Dessel and Revolution Wheelworks kept many clients on cutting edge equipment, for both road and cross.  Race Wheel Rental helped supply those without the means to have aero wheels and equipment at their disposal.  Enzo's helps keep us nice and comfortable downstairs with their chamois creme for those long rides, as well as keeping the legs toasty warm with embro for cross (just don't confuse the creme and the embro, and you're in business...).   OSMO fed our nutrition needs with cutting edge hydration and recovery drinks.  They even went above and beyond and helped support the squad I took to l'Abitibi with everything they needed.  Pain Cave helped supply guided, interactive workouts for the dead of winter, when motivation can be hardest to muster.  And lastly, Verge, for crafting the EC kits (based on the artwork from Gabe at RWR!), giving us great deals on them, and with outstanding service and turn-around times (3 weeks in most cases!).

Each one has been a loyal backer, and provided generous discounts and support to clients to help them have some of the best tools possible at their disposal. Without them, much of the success' gained would have been much more of an uphill battle.  I look forward to continued work with them and being able represent their great brands.

Okay...that's it...   Enjoy the holidays, and rest up...2014 starts soon!   

IT'S OVER JOHNNY!

Yea  yea, I may have used that one before...guilty!...but it's even more applicable now, as the final racing of 2013 for the EC crew is in the books.  We had a light turnout at the final MAC series race at Limestone, with just LVG, Gary S, and myself, braving the 6+ inches of fresh snow.  

On a super fun snowy and slippery course, Laura did what Laura does, and graced the podium with a 3rd place finish. Laura was all smiles with the true winter cross conditions, and was equally as smiley after, with the prospect of some well deserved downtime awaiting her as soon as she stepped off the bike. 

Gary S notched another solid top 25 finish in the super competitive (and biggest field of the day) 40+ category, to cap off what has been by far his most solid season to date.

I had my own fun in the snow and mud, and surfed around to 6th place.  Of note, I had a good battle for 5th going with one of the juniors who rode for a former program I ran. Ultimately, he proved that youth trumped experience on the day, as he got the best of me.  Next time, kid...

Not that all clients are all about pedaling: out in the windy city, Joan H swapped her cleats for some running shoes and toed the line for a chilly 5 mile race in 12 degree temperatures and snowy conditions. She had a great showing, finishing 15 in her age group.  Pretty good for somebody who is not a runner.

2013 racing may be in the books, but 2014 racing is right around the corner.  And I'm gonna count on Jerel W to represent with that, as the NCCX winter series gets underway shortly after the ball drops on New Years Eve.  #nooffseason !  

The End is near

One week closer to the winter hibernation.

As the days get shorter, and the nights colder, we're starting to drift away towards winter hibernation for the last remaining racing clients.  This weekend saw 5 clients---6 including this guy--- tackling 3 different events.

In the final New England race of the season, Laura VG scored a 2nd and a 3rd at the NBX GP in Rhode Island. With that, she nailed down the big one:  the overall title for the Shimano New England Professional CX series. Yet another huge score to add to her lengthy resume. Hats off for a super consistent showing, including a win at round 6 in Northampton!

Down in the 'Jersey, Nick I and myself took to Horseshoe Scramble.  Nick had another solid showing, making the lead split right out of the gate. Derailed by a 2nd lap crash, he rebounded nicely to ditch his group and solo in for 5th place. I had my own crash to chase back from, and an untimely last lap flat that saw me fall behind to roll in 4th.

Gary S also made his return, after a bout of the flu over Turkey Day, to notch another sweet top 20 finish.

The BIG show for the weekend, however, took place in Philly: the sscxwc event. Equal parts drinking fest, costume party, and bike race, it lived up to it's wild expectations.  Taking part just for the fun atmosphere were Max K and Dave C. And fun it was, as they represented as a winter bbq of sorts, dressing as a cheeseburger and hot dog.  Making coach proud...   Good to see these boys cut loose after toeing the line all season....well deserved. 

Lastly, I'm psyched to welcome on board a new client. Certainly no newbie to the sport, Dave Margolin has had a dominant presence in NJ racing for over 25 years. I'm excited to work with Dave and take both his impressive talent and strong work ethic, and help him take it up one more notch. I'm sure it'll be an exciting season working together.   

The weather was cold but the racing was Hot!

Cold was the word of the weekend as old man winter rumbled through the northeast with frigid temps for racing. Several hearty souls braved the temps for some great racing. 


The biggest news of the weekend came from Zack H.  In racing hibernation since Town Hall CX in late Sept, Zack cast aside some schoolwork to come race on of his favorite venues at Sussex.  His low key training schedule proved to be the magic, as he, nearly literally, owned the race from start to finish.  One minor bobble 3/4 of the way through couldn't even stop him as he soloed to the win by a comfortable margin.  While Zack's won a few junior races in years past, this one marked his first of the season, and first as a senior level rider.  And you can see by the sleepy pic of the drive home, he left it all out there..

Also at Sussex, Jeff L continued his comeback from injury. Not really one for the bitter cold (blame the FL college days...), he put in a solid mid-field ride against a strong group. 

I also represented at Sussex, coming in 3rd, despite a start line debacle that had me limping to the pits over 2 minutes behind the back of the group on the first lap.  Nose to the grindstone, I trolled through the group best I could after that point.  Some days, the luck is left sitting at home.

Up at NY's Supercup UCI weekend, I think Nick I and Laura VG decided to mimic each other. Both had solid performances on Saturday to score 2nd place.  Nick, on his recent run of form, decided for Sunday that he was just a tad sick of being 2nd. So he went out and won in convincing fashion.  His first MAC series win, and biggest cx win to date. Laura, watching that action while warming up, must have decided that one day of being the bridesmaid was enough for her. Sooo, she went out and owned her race as well, as pictured, stomping off to the familiar victory salute we're so accustomed to. 

And out here in PA, at the State Championships, Alex R pinned up for the final time this season.  His 8th place wasn't the goal result, but given that he'd already bagged and tagged his goals for the season, he was content.  The PA Series Overall,  including 3 wins, 3 seconds, and nothing outside the top ten all season, made for the Mr Consistency award for him. Hats off to a great season! 
 

Cx Success Continues!

Jerel W flew the flag down in NC on their sandy circuit, and had a great battle going with some riders that normally distance her.  You can see from the pic (Jerel descending in foreground) that it was tight all the way to the line. Overall, a good showing for her, and good indicator of the rising form as the second half, and more important one, of her season approaches. 

Otherwise, pretty local affairs this weekend, with a double at Kutztown the only racing on tap here.   Saturday served as round 7 of the PACX series, with Alex R, Gary S and Laura VG  in attendance.  

Gary got off to a great start near the front of his bunch and was holding his own till over-cooking a turn and losing some spots.  Oops..  fortunately no damage,  as he got back on and finished it out. 

Alex R also got off to a great start, determined to finally seal his overall series win, albeit a week early.  And that he did; with only one other unknown slipping him for the win, Alex cruised home a comfortable 2nd. With 7 of 8 series races in the books, including 3 wins and 2 second places so far, Alex easily walked away the B series champion. Huge congrats for a consistent season!

Laura VG enjoyed a rare local race, but treated it just like a big one, by walking away with the win.

Sunday's race served as race 8 of the MAC series and saw just as much action as the day prior. Again in attendance was Laura, joined this time by Nick I, Matt M, and Jeff L.

Laura came to the line with the series leader, but took out the win in a tight battle.  The win moved her into 2nd overall in the series, with just one race remaining.  Like Alex, she's been a dominant force with 4 wins and 2 seconds thus far; with 2 missed races being the only thing keeping her from the lead.

Nick I also hit the podium with a strong 2nd place ride, only being distanced by his series leader late in the race.  With only one MAC race remaining, this was also likely Nick's final race as a B as he looks to make the full-time bump to racing elites next season. 

Matt M  (pictured) had a solid race, as his season is about wound down.

And Jeff L made his return from injury to tackle the last few races of the season.  Showing he's been diligent in his post-injury training, he turned a near back start into a solid mid field ride.  Not at all shabby for having missed the meat of the season being laid up. 

happy coach!

I wonder if other folks get tired of talking about winning, and podiums;  I sure don't.  Good thing, because clients keep giving me plenty to talk about. This time, the latest round of UCI racing at HPCX helped serve up the good results. 


Nick I is riding a wave of consistent results lately, and continued it here.  Getting the hole shot, and nearly riding away with it from the gun, he overcame a late spill to finish a close 2nd.  (And funny enough, in the podium pic of him is another rider I've worked with via a USAC Talent ID camp, in 3rd)

Also rocking a podium was Laura VG, taking out a hard fought sprint to claim her 4th UCI win of the year.  

Gary S also got in some good racing, taking on the Fair Hill MAC race Sat, and HPCX Sunday.  Overcoming a bit of a leg injury, and some last row starts, he had solid rides both days. Especially notable were his repeated attacks to shed some of his normal nemesis at HPCX on a hilly circuit not overly suited to his liking.  

Matt M also came to play at HPCX, getting a solid start and having a good ride. 

I even poked my head in for the rare UCI appearance, scoring 16th.  Not as good as I'd hoped, but, after looking at the reg list Saturday, I knew I should be good for anywhere from 11-16.  So, not totally off base, but plenty of work to be done yet!

The rest of the crew enjoyed a down weekend, preparing for the final months assault of racing. Should be plenty of good news from then in the weeks to come. 

All good Things

"IT'S OVER, JOHNNY!"   As all good things must end, so too does Alex R's winning streak. This past weekend saw him get his first taste of a course full of sand at Swashbuckler CX, and, despite navigating it well, he was just outdone to roll in 2nd, as evidenced by the pic.  The following day at Stoudts saw him with another first---having to pit with a tweaked front wheel.  He survived that, and a few other mishaps, to roll 7th.   It may not be winning but still a solid weekend, and he still leads the PACX Series with just 2 events to go.  

Stoudt's also saw several other clients in action: Pat Z closed out his first ever cross season with another solid ride in 34th. Pretty sure next season we'll see a lot more of Pat.  Max K was on solid form with a great ride till he suffered his own mishap and a tweaked knee. And Matt M put together a great ride, to just narrowly miss the top 10.  Both these guys are on the upswing to big results soon.

Up in New England the original and oldest UCI race in the US, the Cycle-Smart International, played out in dry sunny conditions.  Laura VG, pictured, came out firing on day one to score a fine 2nd place.  Not content with that step of the podium, she tweaked her tactics for Sundays race.  Anyone who was there to witness, or watched it live via the livestream coverage, was treated to a show that few others can replicate: In a display of impressive tactical prowess, Laura dominated the front of the race start to finish, and took the win.  The stellar results vault her into 3rd in the Shimano New England Professional CX Series, as well as into 5th place in the USA Cycling Pro CX Calendar.

Last but not least, Jerel W threw down another solid double day day in NC, using the masters men as her warmup to the women's race. 

Greed Is good!

Just because I like movie references, we'll go with it again this week:  Alex R took a page out of the Gordon Gekko handbook---greed is good---when he took yet another win, this time at Crossasaurus.  Perhaps the bigger test of his prior few wins, this time he had to battle back from a less than stellar start, and capitalize from some other riders miscues, to get the job done. But get it done he did, with another comfortable margin. And the best part?  The podium pic here, where he's the only one in full kit. Kid is true class. Other podium peeps, take notes..

Lot of other clients had strong showings at Crossasaurus as well:  Matt M, Pat Z, Max K, and Gary S---who noted it was the best he'd felt in some time---all had solid races in their respective categories. 

Over in the Jersey, Nick I had a solid day on a tricky sandy course to get a top 10 in one of the deeper fields that the NJCC has seen in a while.  In the same race, I overcame a silly crash of my own fault to get 7th. 

Next week sees more local, and UCI, action return.  And in the coming weeks, we'll start seeing a few more clients back at it: Jerel W, RJ, and Mike G to name a few. Hell, there's even a rumor that former USGP head, and client, Joan H may kit up to ride her old Louisville stomping grounds..

CX Updates: The Groundhog day edition

After getting race reports over the course of the weekend, I started to wonder if Bill Murray was going to pop up, as it all felt strikingly like Groundhog Day.  

Starting near home base and expanding outwards, Alex R scored back to back wins in PACX Series events. Taking the hole-shot Saturday at Star Rock, he rode solo start to finish to post up by a large margin.  Sunday wasn't much different: though he didn't go wire to wire, he assumed the lead early and had just enough time in the finish to post up again.  Super excited with his rides, he had this to say:

That warm-up lap with you was a huge help. I watched you over the barriers and I can instantly see where I'm giving up handfuls of time. Seeing the best lines. Huge! Thanks! I knew I wanted to do well but never expected to do this well. My teammate says I have fitness "from another planet". Thanks again! I couldn't have come this far without your insight and guidance.

Definitely some good stuff, as this keeps the series overall goal squarely in sight. 

Over the river and through the woods in 'Jersey, Edwin B also decided to double down for the weekend, taking both days at the NJCC- Marty's events. Riding in his true Belgian style, he went from the gun both days, never looking back, and left the others fighting for scraps. Another good sign, as he primes himself for several bigger upcoming weekends.  

Also at the Marty's events, Nick I strung together two solid days of 6th place finishes.  Both days, in the chase group, and holding his own and fighting it out with some of the guys he used to trail behind.  A solid step of progression for him, as he looks to podium the overall NJCC series.

Expanding the horizons a bit up into Rochester, NY,  Laura VG scored at sweet double win weekend at the Ellison Park UCI races.  Both days, she took solo wins with well timed last lap attacks on the hilly technical circuit.  She not only pocketed a fistful of crucial UCI points, but also debunked the myth that's she's merely a flat-lander and sprinter.  Lesson?  If she's on the start line, look out...    

Moving away from our "repeat offenders",  we had numerous other solid rides to report. Angie F rocked a solid 4th place Saturday at Star Rock, as well as another good showing yesterday.  Just as we predicted, her form is coming along nicely. 

Max K looked solid and aggressive throughout on Sunday, improving on his skills each week. 

Down in the NC, Jerel pulled a double of sorts, starting the masters men's race to get a few race-speed laps of the course to dial lines in. She put that to solid use right after in her race, and finished an excellent 7th.  

Matt M returned from his tropical honeymoon just in time to blow the cobwebs out on Sunday.  I'm sure that one felt *great* after toes in the sand all week, but should be a good jump-start to the second part of his season. 

Pat Z made a late decision to come out Sunday after catching the cross bug, and made a huge improvement already from his first outing.   Starting at the back of the big field, he trolled his way through nicely to finish right inside the top half of things.  At his rate of improvement, I might expect a big result this coming weekend from him..

Cx Season in Full swing  -The wins & weddings edition!

This past weekend saw lot's of action from clients: a win and some sweet results, some newbies getting their 'cross baptism, and one getting the bigger result, and not even in a race.

Starting off with one of the first-timers, Mike F. put his new 'cross bike to the test at the legendary FSX Cross, where the racing is as competitive as the after-party.  Mike reported having an absolute blast; he couldn't believe that this kind of fun was actually considered training; and already can't wait for this week, as well as venturing into some bigger events. Always great to see that reaction when someone makes their first foray into the dirt.

Saturday was Whirlybird down near Philly which saw Laura VG, Nick I., and Gary S. toe the line.  Looking to wrangle the MAC series lead, Laura did what she does and stormed off to the solo W in fine fashion. Nick I. turned a call up waaay back in the 70's to a 10th place finish at the end.  One of these days, the kid will start front row and be able to open the throttle fully rather than play ping-pong surfing the field all day.  And Gary S. showed that his weeks prior trip to the Providence Cross Fest gave him a solid boost in form, as he reported much improved riding.  So much so improved,in fact, that he went so hard so as to push himself to the brink of throwing up...  Success!

Also hitting Whirly was another 'cross first-timer, Pat Z. With several weeks of specifics under his belt, he put in a solid ride for a newbie. The biggest win though is, like Mike, he's so hooked that he's already looking to ad some more races to his schedule. I anticipate seeing some big results from him soon.

Sunday, the crew headed across the river to Cooper River/NJ State Championships. Once again, Gary and Nick threw down, this time accompanied by Angie F. and Dave C. Gary again reported a much improved fitness level, this time getting some revenge on his compatriot who'd won their mtb nationals category, by beating him handily.  Nick paid a bit for his prior days steam-rolling, but still had a solid day in 20th, and 7th NJ rider.  Angie (pictured) had a good battle with her group, as she makes her return to "normal" cross from the Ultra CX and mtb racing she's been doing all year.  Another race or two, and she'll have the 'cross legs right back under her.  And Dave C. made his traditional once-per-year cross appearance, just to have a bit of fun. Kind of hard not to, when the course is literally right around the corner.. 

Not to be outdone, Sunday also saw Jerel W. rock out NC's Brute CX with a podium!  Awesome ride for her, as she is putting her maniacal work schedule behind and settling into her cross season.  Hopefully, we'll see more of these podium shots to come from her!

Last---but hardly least---the weekends biggest result belongs to Matt M.  Saturday night in Philly, Matt tied the knot to his longtime girlfriend Jaime. A fun reception was had by us all, and we wish for nothing but the best for these two!

off And Running - early cx season news

This weekend offered up cross racing at a variety of unique venues. The first, and most local stop, was Town Hall Cross, which saw Alex R and Gary S brave the mountain-goat style course.  Gary had a solid day of noted improvements, and turned in a respectable ride beating many of his normal adversaries.  On a course not as suited to his strengths, it was a good showing of what's in store when he gets on more familiar territory. Alex R made his '13 cross debut in fine fashion, landing on the 3rd step the podium.  He rode a nearly flawless race, coming through traffic all day, from a 4th row start. As just his first race of the year, that should speak of more big things to come.

Also in PA was Iron Cross, the Ultra CX racers dream.  This year, both Matt M and Max K made the trip for hours upon hours of cross suffering.  Matt M produced a solid ride, feeling good and noticing some improvements. The ride was made even more impressive by the fact that he's been knee-deep in wedding plans for his upcoming nuptials. Max showed his determination in taking to his 2nd Ultra CX race in just a week, and continued to expand his horizons of suffering that will no doubt pay dividends as we get back to *normal* cross racin'.  

Nick I and Jeff L hit up the first NJCC race at Westwood.  Nick rolled it from the gun strongly with the big dogs for the first half, till back problems forced him to back off and nurse it in.  Jeff made some forward leaps from his last race at Nittany, and already has his sights set on bigger strides in races to come. 

Laura VG and Edwin B made the journey to the New England World Championships known as Gloucester.  Day one saw Edwin put in a great ride to make the second group for a top 25 finish. VG rocked out impressive top 10's both days, with 9th on day one, and 6th on day 2,  just a whisper away from the podium.  Excellent showings in fields that are  unparalleled except for Nationals. 

On the rehab side of things, good news from Mike G as his separated shoulder is coming good after a warm-up spill at Charm City.  Little more recovery, and trainer time, and he expects to be back in the mix in the next 2 weeks. 

Round 2 of the NE Cyclocross blitz on tap next weekend with Providence, and several clients making the trip.  Stay tuned.

Alex R on podium at Town Hall Cx.

Interbike, cross Vegas and More!

LVG on the loose at Charm City. Clearly the days of travel had no negative effect of her near perfect form..

You can tell it's getting down to that busy part of the season as I start to get a bit slow with the race reports.  It had nothing to do with being in Vegas for a few days...  really, nothing...


Vegas was the epicenter of the cycling universe last week, hosting the international start to the cross season with Cross Vegas, as well as the last stop of the USA Crit series.  Being smart enough to not race with the big boys, Edwin B, Nick I and myself represented Van Dessel in the Wheeler-Dealer event.  Edwin and I both made the front selection early, as Edwin forced the pace for the bulk of the night. Enjoying that luxury, I quietly sat the back of the group until the last lap fireworks. At the line, I was a close second (to former World Cup standout Christian Huele), while Edwin rolled 5th. 

Nick had perhaps a more worthy effort than us, and gets the award for most spots gained. He started waaaay back in 120th and trolled himself up into 20th by the finish.

Laura VG toed the line (on her new Van Dessel sled!) and shook the long days travel out with a solid 16th place. Apparently, that served as a quality opener for her, as the next night at the crit she swept several premes, and several point bonuses, to finish 2nd on the night, and move into 2nd overall for the USA Crit series. 

And that was just the warmup..    Friday, she hoped a plane to Boston to hit the Mayors Cup Crit. Her Vegas luck continued as number 2 proved again the lucky number. 

It keeps going.

Straight from Boston, she flew to MD to hit Sundays Charm City Cross.  Jet-lag proved no match for her, as she...again...scored an excellent 2nd place.  

Last (wo)man standing and frequent flier awards solidly in her corner after that whirlwind. 

Gui N and myself made our way to CT for the final road event of the year. I made the second group that gained a lap late in the race, and only had enough real estate to run 11th. Gui floated the field sprint, taking 3rd in that for 17th overall.  Not ba bad way to shut down the paved pedaling for the season.

Lot of big cross races on the horizon, so look for some big results to come.

 

It's Official - Cross is once again Boss!

Cross took center stage this past weekend, with the season getting underway at Nittany. For some it was continued podium appearances straight from the road, while for others it was a re-intro to racing after taking breaks and re-shifting focus.  

Making their reappearances were Jeff L, Matt M, and Alex R.  All had solid starts to the season, with Jeff improving over 30 places from last years outings; and Alex turning a 8th row start into an impressive 25th place finish.

Gary S traded his mtb form into the super competitive 45+ group for 2 solid rides. 

Max K got his intro, having moved up a class this year, and settling into the newer more competitive group.

Mike G also came to play, his first year in the Elite Masters, turning his near-back start into a 21st place b.y the finish.

Nick I put his end of season killer road form to use with a 2nd place finish in the 2/3 race.  Coming off 4 days of flat out illness, maybe the best ride of the weekend. 

For the ladies, Angie F  (pictured) took a break from training for her upcoming trifecta of Ultra CX races to nail a solid mid-field ride.

And in the Elite Women's, Laura VG showed why she has 2 CX Worlds Team spots on her resume by winning Day 1, and getting a close 2nd on Day 2. To add to the glory, this thrusts the recently signed newest member of the Van Dessel Factory Team into the spotlight as the number one UCI ranked rider in the world...SWEET!   

Even with all this good cross racing, there was still some road to be had. Out in Chicago, Joan H pinned on the final number of the season in the ABR TTT National Championships, walking away with a fine silver medal!  Not a bad way at all to start her off season!

Back here in the 'Jerz, we had the Fort Lee crit.  Zack H and RJ took to the line in the Cat 3/4 race. RJ covered a move on lap 2 that turned into the winning move, as the 3 riders held off the field for the duration. RJ played his card with a last lap attack, but couldn't shake his companions, so took home a fine 3rd.  Very solid ride, and some valuable upgrade points for the 17 yr old. Meanwhile Zack H sensed the dangerous move and made repeated efforts to get across, easily being one of the most aggressive back in the field.

Gui and myself took to the 1/2 race, and with the help of a few of the other strong teams, shredded down the field that last half of the race, to put Gui in 5th at the finish. 

Hard Work Nets Results over Labor day weekend!

Friday night, Gabe L.cast aside his bad luck of a few months ago and made another effort out under the lights at the velodrome. Showing no fear, he rode the season ending Madison Cup, 120 laps of *fun*, and just his second Madison ever.  A hard Madison baptism for a rookie, but he did a solid job to stay safe and competitive.

I took to the boards as well, and was content with our teams 7th place finish, just behind many national championship medalists.

Nick I. and RJ both made the trek to VT for the New England staple, Green Mt Stage Race.  Nick had solid, consistent rides starting with a PB in the TT, 40 seconds faster than last year's time.  Coupled with a 19th in the crit, and consistent RR finishes, he rolled in 22nd on GC.

Like Nick, RJ started out well in the TT, but dove straight into a sea of bad luck from there. A broken derailleur hanger, being routed off course to add an extra 20 miles, and being time-cut for that to boot, being the highlights. RJ certainly the hard luck award for that one.

Mike F. hit the Millport RR, putting in an aggressive ride, and launching a well timed move on the last climb, only to be nailed back just before the finish.  So close, can practically smell the win coming...

Over in Jersey, Dave C., Edwin B., Gui N., Zack H., and myself did the old Labor Day classic of Basking Ridge.  A bit shortened due to some uncooperative weather and crashes, it was nonetheless aggressive as always. Edwin, making his return to racing after some down time, showed his form never really fades as he made the lead break and ended the day 5th.  

Dave showed good legs, making the first split, and just missing out on the re-shuffle.  He made good in the end though, by still sneaking in for 8th in the bunch sprint, for 15th overall. 

Gui put in some solid efforts in the finale for me, as I nailed 4th in the sprint, for 11th overall.   

And Zack H. rode solidly all day, prominent at the front on several occasions, in one of the more competitive races he's entered this season.

Out in St Louis, Laura VG was front and center at the Gateway Cup, nailing down a win at the Tour de Lafayette stage, several podiums, and the overall GC for the second year running.

Next weekend...it begins...CROSS!!

end of summer road successes!

Another light week of activity, as road slowly winds down. 

Gary S officially wrapped his MASS campaign, taking another podium at Fair Hill, with 3rd, but more importantly, taking the overall series win.  HUGE congrats to Gary, as this series provided him with a season long series of firsts: 2 wins; a State Championship; and an overall series win.

Angie F made her return from vaca debut at Fair Hill. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on her side as she suffered a late race mechanical forcing a DNF.

Down in NC, new resident Jerel W scored a silver medal in the NC State RR Championships...sweet! Nice way for her to cap the road season, as she now turns her focus to cross.  

Out in IL, Joan H also capped her road season, taking a strong 10th place after chasing down a dangerous break with hopes of bringing things back together for her teammate in the field sprint. 

Fond du Lac, WI, played host to the Race the Lake, where Laura VG made her yearly pilgrimage to play.  Shredding the 90 mile RR in 3:21, VG took not only the win, but the QOM competition as well.  

Back here in the Jersey, a host of NJ peeps took to the NJ State Crit Championships. RJ (pictured; hamming it up for the camera after getting caught from a breakaway attempt), Dave C, Nick I, Mike G, and Zack H all took to their respective categories, with Zack coming closest to glory, with just a mistimed lead-out proving the culprit. 

Ladies Week!  And welcome To the EC Family!


It was a case of "ladies first", it's pretty much all about the women last week.  Starting in the mid-west, Joan H scored herself an Illinois State Crit Championship!!  She took the  ABR women's 40+ top honors in fine fashion.  She then that up on Sunday, with 4th, in a field sprint, at the Vernon Hills Crit.  Awesome Job!! And not bad for fancying herself more of a roadie..

Further east, down in NC, Jerel W scored a 4th of her own in the Orange Start Crit, keeping her build-up for cross right on track. 

Up in the northeast, Laura VG made a rare local appearance, and her first since 2003, at the crown jewel of NYC racing, the Mengoni GP.  In a big field, vying for the same prize list as the men,  Laura came hone a close 2nd, to land herself on the podium once again this season.  

Most of the guys had the weekend off, with a few exceptions.  Zack H survived a true rite of passage , hitting the city for his first Mengoni GP.  Riding aggressively, he spent several miles off the front, including towards the closing miles of the race.   Lil confusion over where the finish was, saw him swallowed up in the closing moments. So close...

The rest of the crew spent the weekend tuning up for cross, since that's right around the corner now.  But as we still have a few big road events left, we're still looking for some crowning moments on the road season for all. 

Beyond the racing news, I'm looking forward to working with the latest two new client additions to the EC family.  First is, Patrick Zbyszewski.  Patrick is a somewhat newcomer to racing, having two seasons under his belt, and is looking to expand into some cross this fall, as well as target Battenkill, among other races, for 2014.

The second newbie is, well, hardly a newbie.   Lesleee Schenk Trzcinski was a fixture on the national scene in the 80's and early 90's, racing for the biggest programs, including 7-11, and winning silver and bronze medals at the World TTT Championships.  She's making her return to racing, and I'm super excited to help her get back to her winning ways.   Welcome to them both!

Fall Kit Orders and
 All the race news that is fit to print!

Better late than never they say...  at least that's what I'll tell myself, as this report comes on the cusp of another weekend.  Before we get to the racing news - just a reminder to all clients that our Fall Clothing order has opened.  CLICK HERE to get to ordering page.  Orders close on August 22nd so we can get our clothing in time for cx season.  You'll see that we've added a lot of great cold weather riding options, so order yours today!


Now on to the fun stuff - the racing news. It was a bit of a quiet one last week (see, there's my *real* excuse), with only a few local races to be had.  Gary S rocked out another---seriously, I've lost count on how many---podium, with a 3rd at the Summer Sizzler, the penultimate round of the MASS series. With one to go, he's virtually locked down his series title.

Zack H rode strong to make the break at a rainy and slick Cycledrome crit,only to have some technical issues force him out late in the race. 

Alex R also represented in the rain, choosing a conservative race on the slick course, with cross just around the corner.

Mike F, Max K, Gabe L, Dave C, RJ, flew the flag at the Rodale crit (same as Saturday, minus the crappy conditions). Mike notched a nice top 15; Dave put in some hard work to launch his teammate into the field sprint; and the rest of the crew rolled home in the bunch.

Lastly, Nick I rocked the double: racing Saturday at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, trying his best to shake it up (pictured here in action); and then again Sunday in NJ's Heart House GP, where he rode the break for 20 laps before getting caught inside of 3 to go. So close...

Plenty more racing this weekend, but what could matter more than the NYC World Championships, aka, Mengoni GP?!  Plenty of crew hitting that, and more, so stay tuned..

Late Summer Racing is here. 

As I write this, it dawns on me that, within hours, it will be August already. Hard to believe that late summer is creeping up on us, and fall is right around the corner. Which then sends me into mild panic, thinking, why does summer have to fly by so fast??! 

On to more pleasant thoughts, another fruitful client weekend is in the books.  Gary S scores the top result, rolling his knobby tires to a 2nd place finish at the Midnight at Marsh Creek MTB race.  In doing so, Gary not only successfully defied his normal bedtime, but stepped onto the podium for the umpteenth time this season but also extended his lead in the overall MASS series.

Also on the knobby's, Forrest C put up a solid ride at the Wilderness101, setting a personal best time, and setting himself up nicely for his last few races of the mtb season. 

On the skinny tire side of things, and in a continued trend of podium talk, Joan H scored 4th place at the Winfield Criterium/ABR National Championships by getting in the early break that started on lap one and stayed away for the entire race. 

Jerel W is back in the mix, enjoying a solid ride in the High Point Crit,  just after finalizing her move from Chicago to Raleigh, NC. A solid step back into things as she preps for cross.

Alex R also made his return to racing after vacation at the PA State Crit Champs in Malvern. Looking to build form for his last big races of the year, he rode aggressively in his first race, and then doubled down for an extra dose of speed-work.

Mike G, Nick I, Gabe L, Gui N, and I rolled out in NJ's Freedom Tour.  For Mike, it was his sponsors event and he was aggressive and represented in every major move, even rebounding nicely from a late race crash to finish strong.  Nick I was also present in every move, riding aggressively;  which was especially good to see as he was coming off nearly 2 weeks of work travel.  And Gabe and I put together a solid lead-out for Gui, to place him in 5th on the day. 

The biggest winner though? Angie F.  Not just because she closed out the first half of her season with some personal best numbers over the weekend, but, because by the time you read this, she'll be pre-gaming for her vacation to Mexico that starts tomorrow.  She clearly wins the race to la playa.




   

Camp, Abitibi Round-up

Wow, what a busy few weeks it's been, with plenty to catch up on..


First up, was heading to Canandaigua, NY, to head coach the USAC Talent ID camp at Finger Lakes Comm College.  We had an awesome crew of kids, 13 boys and 3 girls, who we put through the various paces for the week: group rides, short and long power tests, skills sessions, and nightly seminars. An enthusiastic group with some great talent in there; hopefully we'll see some of those names in the headlines in the future. And all was made easier by a great staff who brought a deep pool of knowledge to share with the kids. 


From there, it was straight to Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, and the 45th Tour de l'Abitibi, North America's only UCI junior stage race.  For the fourth year, I directed the Mid Atlantic Development Foundation Team and this was, by far, our  most successful trip to Canada .  The team was a mostly composite group; client RJ Reisen, local standout Dakota Schaeffer, Reese Levine from CA; 2 NC kids in Dave Duquette and Grayson Brookshire; and VT rider Pete Vollers Jr.


Of note, I grew up racing with Pete's dad, Pete, back in the 80's and early 90's. Which doesn't make me feel old. At all..


Also along for mechanic duties was Nick I.  Good timing as he was just coming off a week break, so easing back into things lightly. 


The week was highlighted with some exceptional results, great riding, and selfless teamwork by all. Dakota pulled down a HUGE stage win on stage 6, along with a second on stage 4; Pete nailed 3rd in the Sprint Challenge Tournament;  Dave racked multiple 4th and 5th placings (including 4th to Dakotas win); Reese and Grayson provided the horsepower and leadership on the road; and RJ kept the boys hydrated most days, serving as bottle boy, along with helping keep guys in position. 


It was a hugely rewarding week for me and an honor to help direct the boys and see them achieve these results in a race of this magnitude. And much of it was made possible with the support of many of my affiliates: Verge for the super deal, and quick turnaround, on the team kits;  LionOfFlanders.com for some stylish socks to match the kits; Osmo for keeping the crew stocked with generous supplies of Pre Load, Active Hydration, and Acute Recovery drink mixes; PainCave for the case of bottles to put all that in; and Van Dessel for use of the trailer. A BIG thanks goes out to all of them!


Mixed in between all that, the rest of the clients were out nailing down their own great results as well.  Huge props to 2 clients who had great rides at the US MTB National Championships: Gary Snyder stepped onto the podium with an awesome 3rd place finish, highlighting the stellar year he;'s had to date. And Matt Morison finished 9th in his Super D event, just 30 some seconds out of the medals. An extremely solid ride for him on home turf.


Zack H is keeping his run of top 10's alive with 8th at the Pheonixville round of the Chesco Crit Series; and 7tgh at the Saucon Valley circuit race.


Also at Chesco, Gui N snagged a 7th at the final round in Kennett Square.


And out in Chicago, the ladies hit the Prairie State Games Series: LVG notched a win at Elmhurst, along with a 4th at Lake Bluff; and Joan H stayed safe to finish 13th overall in the series. 


Dakota Schaeffer with the Stage 6 WIN

Dakota on the 2nd step for Stage 4

Pete Vollers started the week off right for the team with 3rd in the Sprint Challenge.

Team photo.

Great staff at Camp! 2013 Camp Staff L-R: Julie McKenzie; me; Todd Scheske, former World Keirin Champion, and Fastest Man on Wheels Gordon Singleton; two time World Championship TTT medalist Leslee Schenk Trzcinski; Bob Beise.

Joan H. gets the front row call up for Lake Bluff. 

Van Gilder storms  dairyland & other EC race news

Summer's heating up, in many ways..

Continuing her near-dominance out at Tour of America's Dairylands, Laura VG stormed through the week notching  5- podium finishes, including a final stage victory (see pic of her with her victory bouquet!). Those, along with 2 additional 4th place finishes, saw her secure 2nd overall in the series, just missing the win by 2 points. Between that, and her NCC omnium win there the weekend prior, it was quite the rewarding road trip!

Back on the east side, and no to be outdone, Dave C finally got the win that's been eluding him, at the Marlton Crit. Using his turn of speed, he handily won the bunch sprint.

Mike G and Nick I also put in aggressive rides at Marlton.

Mike F had a solid ride at Brownstown RR, just falling shy of a good result as a last lap near-mishap derailed his chances.

Zack H continued his good run of form, logging another top 10 finish; this one a 7th place, and in the 2/3 field at JBN to boot.  Slowly but surely keeping an eye on the cat 2 upgrade.

Gui N and Dave W rolled the early morning Prospect Park, with Dave making the day's main break, and Gui coming across late with a few others. After one rider soloed to the win, Gui rolled in 3rd from the rest of the break, for 4th overall.  

The rest of the crew put in some quality training miles for some of the many big goals right around the corner: MTB Nationals, Jr Road Nationals, the Prairie State Cycling Series, and Canada's Tour de l'Abitibi, just to name a few.  Stay tuned as there's sure to be good reports from these events to follow! 

The EC Summer of Fun rolls on

Another hot summer weekend in the books, with great results from a variety of venues. Starting out in WI and working east, Laura VG kicked off the weekend on Thurs night at the Tour of America's Dairyland's opener, with a 3rd place. As consistency is one of her strong points, she followed that up with another 3rd, a win, and a 2nd in the ensuing days.  With another 7 days of racing left out there, stay tuned for more good news.   

A bit farther east, on Saturday in West Virginia, Angie F (pictured at left) broke out the cross bike for the Hill Billy Roubaix, Ultra CX, race: 70 miles of dirt and gravel road *fun*.  Ang brought her A game with her, and had an excellent ride for 7th, in a race she described as, "the most suffering she'd ever done on a cross bike".  

Saturday also kicked off New Jerseys only stage race, the Giro di Cielo.   Junior RJ lined up with the Cat 3's and had great rides in the first two stages: 18th in the opening uphill TT, and 11th in the crit, leaving him as the top ranked junior by a wide gap. He'd close it out Sunday with a 30th place in the RR. 

Zack H also rocked out the Giro: he rolled 25th in the TT and had field finishes in the rest, as he had a poorly timed virus as his copilot.  

On Sunday, the mtb crew of Forrest C and Gary S took to the Neshaminy round of the MASS.  Forrest rolled a solid ride in his group, while Gary continued his podium ways with a fine 2nd place finish. Also garnering a 'podium finish' was Gary's blow-by-blow of the race: an incredibly detailed report that highlighted how savvy he was to play every scenario with great thought, and to continually create tactics on the fly that allowed him to highlight his strengths and maximize his end result. Perhaps my proudest moments when that stuff happens. Bravo!

Lastly, Sunday also saw the Emerick Blvd crit  just a stones throw from EC World HQ. Mike F rolled against a stacked field in the 45+ for a top 20 finish.  Mike G and Dave W did the 2/3 race, and were 2 of the most aggressive boys out there, either initiating, or being a part of, every serious move. In the end, both made the lead split, and rolled in 7th and 8th respectively. 

And seeing  as to how I'm not one to miss a local race, I hoped in the 35+ race, to add to the 80km I'd already done on the way there. Lot's of attacking and a near all day break later, I came 8th after the wheels started coming off at 8 to go...fun times... 

Strong Weekend For the Ladies.

It may have been Father's Day this past weekend, but it seems the ladies forgot about that and stole the show.  First up on Saturday was the Illinois State RR Championships, where newly minted IL resident Joan H scored an excellent 3rd place finish from a strong woman's field.  A huge ride for Joan, in a RR she'd done many times before, but always struggled with for success.

Just a few hours later under the street-lights of Winston-Salem, NC, Laura VG graced the podium with a 2nd place, breaking the sweep by the Now- Novartis ladies.

Back in the northeast, Alex R made his return to racing after a nice break to roll aggressive in the Race Ave Crit in Lancaster.   

Nick I rolled the Tour of Washington County, and scored top 25 finishes in most every stage. Gui N, Edwin B, Dave W, Zeb N and myself made the traditional fathers day pilgrimage to Harlem, for the 40th Skyscraper Classic.  Super aggressive racing saw us cover all the major moves, as it wound down to a field sprint.  Little bit of miss-communication took over and derailed our plan, and Edwin and I ended up rolling home in 13th and 15th respectively. Oops. 

And poor Gabe L.  He gets the hard luck award, for finding the floor twice in one week: first at Brooklyn's Red Hook Crit, where he traditionally has a solid ride; then again under the Friday night lights at the Trexlertown Velodrome in the finale of the scratch race. Fortunately, he walked away with mainly road rash and just a few stitches in the hand.  Heal up fast!  And keep the rubber side down, damnit..

Hot summer racing is here.

As usual, lot's going on this past weekend, so we'll start on the dirt side of things. Angie F debuted her sweet new 29'er rig at the 12 hours of Granouge. Must have been the good luck charm, as she and her 2 teammates crushed the 3 woman relay division.  She even noted the bike made uphills fun...  whaaat??

Saturday saw lot's of clients gathered at the Tour de Pitman.  Gui N (pictured at left) rode the wave of great teamwork from bro Zeb and Dave W to get 2nd in the field sprint, for 3rd overall.  Nick I rode aggressively as well, and junior RJ jumped in with the big boys, only to be hung up in a little mishap 3/4 of the way through (and thankfully not hurt).  But the tough guy award goes to Mike G.  Mike was part of the days 5 man break, that got pulled along by a local BMC Devo Team superstar Robin Carpenter.  One by one, guys were shelled, and Mike was the last man standing alongside Robin until late in the race when his ticket was finally punched. A solid effort for sure.

Sunday was another south Jersey classic, the Riverton crit. RJ and Max took to the 3/4 race, with Max unfortunately getting caught out by some early splits, and pushed into the second group with many others; and RJ just making the front selection to finish in the main group

Nick I, Dave C, Gui N, and myself took to the p/1/2 race. Splits galore early on, and eventually Gui made the second group, and he took 5th. This guy slipped in for 3rd in the bunch sprint, and 9th overall.  Like Max, Dave was caught by some untimely splits, while Nick got tangled in a little wreck at the finish.  The beauty of racing: live to fight another day!

Lastly, Edwin B made his return from his little twilight crits crash(es..) to take the win at the weekly Augusta Crit. Thinking since he wore his EC kit, I should get a cut of the bounty...

This weekend is some more dirt racing, as well as the east coast cult classic Harlem Crit on Fathers Day. Meanwhile the Mid-west crew will be hitting the Illinois State Road Championships.  Good to every everyone!

A hot weekend of Racing & remembering Dave Jordan

No doubt, it was a hot weekend ...not just weather wise, but results wise as well.  The biggest bounty comes from The PA State MTB Championships at Bear Creek, where both Angie F and Gary S walked away crowned State Champions. 

Angie, pictured on the podium, took the cat 2 title by finishing an excellent 3rd...again, tying her best ever MASS finish...and first PA resident on the hilly, rocky course, that she described as the hardest of the season.

Gary took his title a bit more the hard way, flatting near the end, to finish 6th, but yet still first PA resident.  Gary described the course equally as brutal, and seemed convinced to go back for nationals next month only after having a beer - the way all truly good decisions are made.

On the other side of the river, Zack H scored silver in the NJ State TT- U23 division.  Losing by a painfully close 15 seconds, he already has revenge in his sights for next year.

Big props to all three of them for being recognized as some of the best in the state in their respective categories!

Down in Philly, Laura VG and Dave C both took part in the Parx Casino Classic. I had the luxury of directing LVG's Mellow Mushroom crew for the 3rd year running.  The ladies put in a great team performance to finish better than many of the bigger squads, with 12th, 17th, and Laura's 22nd...after breaking her chain in the uphill sprint just 50 meters shy of the line. True to her cross skills of course, she had no problem running the rest of the hill with her bike, and not getting caught.

Dave C unfortunately saw his race come to an untimely end with a crash, chase, and coming up on another fallen teammate.     

The mid-west crew of Joan H and Jerel W had some solid aggressive racing at the Geneva RR/WI State Championships providing a solid tuning up for the IL RR Championships coming up in two weeks.

And last, but hardly the least, Saturday morning in Central Park saw the first annual Dave Jordan Memorial Race, honoring the legacy that Dave left behind as competitor, coach, advocate, and friend. It was truly a great tribute, and exactly how he'd have wanted it, with fellow cyclists gathering at 5:45 am on a hot summer morning for some spirited racing.  My end result of 12th wasn't great, but I was content knowing he'd be happy that I was aggressive and put it all out there. Just as he would have asked from all his riders. RIP Dave.   

The news!  Last weekend/ this weekend it's all here!

Amazing after what seemed like such a long winter, that the official start of summer racing season is here, with the passing of Memorial Day.

On the east coast, Memorial Day can mean only one thing...Somerville; and it's supporting races on Saturday and Sunday. In Saturdays crits, Zack H scored more points toward his Cat 2 upgrade with another 6th place, after instigating the race winning break early on.  RJ also turned the pedals in the Cat 3, and had a very solid ride in the group.  Saturday also featured a bigger RR, featuring Edwin B,  Dave C,  Nick I, and myself.  Everyone was quite active, with Dave being away in a promising group for some time, and Edwin making a run for it towards the end. 

Sundays crit saw aggressive rides and field finishes by all, including RJ, Zack H, Gabe L, and company.

And the granddaddy of them all, Somerville, again saw everyone aggressive, resulting in several top 25 results, including:  RJ in the juniors, Zack H in the 3's, and Edwin B in the Pro race.  Since coming away from Somerville with all your skin intact is a victory in itself, not a bad day at all. 

Not to be outdone, a few clients battled it out in the Chicago area at their local Memorial Day wknd races. Joan H scored several top finishes, including a 3rd place on Monday, which helped seal a 3rd overall in the women's category. And Jerel W scored in her age group races, taking out 2 wins, and a 3rd, to seal the overall win in her age group.  If I was keeping score, I would say the mid-west crew pulled one over on the east coasters..

This weekend, lot's more on tap, including the PA State MTB races at Bear Creek, where several clients will get a great test run for nationals in July.   Joan and Jerel will be taking on the Wisconsin State RR Championships in Lake Geneva.  And Sunday sees the tradition of the Philly race continue, with several clients taking to the new start on the Wall in Manayunk.  I'll be in the mix as well, directing Laura VG's Mellow Mushroom squad.  Fun times!

Joan H. mixing it up at the Memorial Day Masters weekend.

Zack H. ignites the winning break.

Spring racing finishes strong!

Things have been a bit quiet for the past two weeks with limited racing on the schedule, but EC clients are still posting some great results.  At the By The Whey Crit, Zack H  scored the first of his upgrade points towards Cat 2, with a 6th place finish. 


The Wilmington GP saw a few clients take to the TT with great success: Nick I scored a huge win in the Cat 2/3, while Edwin B scored a 5th in the Pro/1. 

At the Wilm NRC Crit, the old men proved they can still take on the youngsters, with Edwin riding aggressive all day to finish 24th, and this guy rolling 18th.

On the mtb side, Forrest C finally got his new team sled running, and put it to the test at French Creek, only to have good legs derailed by multiple mechanicals.  

Also at French Creek, Angie F proved fearless on the rocky technical course, to take another MASS career-best of 5th place.

Next we roll into Memorial Day Weekend, which means both some of the most popular races in every region, as well as the near official transition to summertime racing.  Stay tuned..

More Spring Success!

Another nice spring weekend closes out with more great results for the Elliston Coaching crew.

Down south, Laura VG capped off an intense week of crits at Speedweek with a win at the Belmont Crit. Given all her top placings throughout the week, and the seemingly endless preme wins, this big one was just a matter of time. 

Not to be outdone back in the northeast,  Gary S decided he liked the feeling of winning so much that he scored his second one ever at the Iron Hill mtb race. Nothing like never having seen that top step, then grabbing it twice in a few weeks time! 

Zack H rolled out his first TT of the year and score a very respectable 6th place

At one of PA's classic road-races, Turkey Hill, Nick I scored 10th, after making the lead split, and making his play for the win from 1k out.

At the Picitello Law Crit, Max K continued his run of aggressive racing, gaining more confidence each week.  

Way waaay up in the northeast, RJ hit up the Tour of the Dragons, a brutally hilly stage race, in VT.  He walked away with some solid results against the regions top kids, with 13th in the TT, 14th in the RR, and 17th overall. 


Lastly, both Forrest C and Joan H made their season debuts. Forrest at the Iron Hill mtb race, and Joan at the Urbana, IL, Crit. Should be no time before we start seeing some results from these two now. 

Another Week of Firsts!

This weekend was another great weekend for clients, with some more wins, and a few personal-bests.  In the W column, RJ (pictured) snagged his first of the season, winning the juniors High Point Hill Climb. In the process, he chopped nearly 6 minutes of his time from last year!  Mike G also scored a win in the 35+ Hillside Crit,  soloing in after dropping the remnants of the break 1/2 way through.  Rounding out Saturdays results, Mr Van Dessel himself, Edwin Bull, made the lead break the the New England classic Quabbin RR and came home 8th. 


Sunday saw another personal best,  this time from Angie F.  She scored her best MASS mtb series finish to date by finishing 5th in the U40 women (and 7th overall), at Fair Hill.  Also at the Fair Hill race, Gary S got his second consecutive podium finishing, coming in 3rd; and Matt Morrison had a solid ride, taking 3 min/lap off his times from last year. 

On the road scene Sunday, several clients hit the BLP GP in South Jersey:  Both Mike G and Nick I made the winning 6 man break just 2 laps in to the 1/2 race, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.  In the Cat 3, Zack H finished 15th, after the break he drove was caught with just four to go.


Great Going Gary!!

The story of this weekend is Gary S: he notched his first ever win at the MASS Greenbriar mtb race.  HUGE shout out to Gary for getting the monkey off his back....great job! 

Post race he was elated and had this to say:

I've been working towards this since I got back on a bike about 6 yrs ago and have had my sights set on the Greenbrier race since last year. I never thought I'd win a race when I started a few yrs ago, so it feels pretty good tonight.  Thanks for your help along the way. Reached one goal early this season and now looking to win more races, to win the series, and to do well at nationals. Doing well this yr will officially kick me into cat 2 next yr. Thanks again.

Matt M also took to the trails at Greeenbriar, and notched a solid 4th place finish.

On the road side, many turned out for the Lower Providence Criterium, PA's traditional crit season opener.  Max K, Zack H, Dave C, Gui N, Gabe L all came out firing. Gui rode a wave a solid teamwork and, with a good lead-out from Gabe L and yours truly, notched a 3rd place finish.  That should set the tone for many more sprint podiums to come for him. 

Mike F hit the Farmersville RR, riding aggressively and spending a good bit of time up the road. 

Laura VG scored a 4th place at the most recent stop of the NCC series at Anniston, Alabama.  Look for more updates from down south, as Laura will be back there next week for the Twilight Crit that started it all, Athens Twilight, and follow it up with the Speed Week crit series immediately following.  


Two Weeks Into the real season....


Two weeks into the real season, and plenty of stuff to report!  


The first week of April saw several clients taking to the roads of  'Jersey for a couple of the Garden States "spring classics" of Cherry Blossom and Ronde Van Mullica.  Cherry Blossom saw strong aggressive riding from Nick I., Mike G., Zeb and Gui N., Dave W. and Gabe L. In the end, Gui was the only one to break through the gnarly field sprint, with a ton of help from Gabe, to score a 10th place. Laura VG also mixed it up with the boys with some aggressive riding. 

Mullica was quiet the opposite as the race blew into several groups that formed one large break.  Both Mike G. and Gabe L. made the break, coming home 7th and 9th respectively.  Back in the field, both Laura VG and Zack H. had solid rides, each contributing heavily to the chase efforts.

Across the river in PA, Dave C. made the winning break at the Naval Yard crit and came home 7th. And making a rare roadie appearance, Angie F. scored 8th in her race

On the mtb side that weekend, both Gary S. and Matt M. helped anchor their respective teams at the MASS Relay race; Gary getting tuned up for the first big races in weeks to come, and Matt M. blowing out the cobwebs for his first effort since 'Cross Worlds. 

This past weekend was the east coast classic of Battenkill.  We had riders in multiple categories, with most having personal best rides: Mike G. and Zeb N. in the 35+, coming home 16th and 29th; Alex R. and Zack H. representing the Cat 3's for 25th and 69th; Nick I. rolling 18th in the Cat 2; and RJ nailing 34th in the juniors. 

Not to be outdone by the roadies, Angie F. scored a solid 7th at the Michaux mtb race.

And in the national scene, all eyes were on Charlotte, NC, and the Presby Hospital Crit, as Laura VG  broke out her podium attire after a fine 3rd place finish.

It wasn't Flanders but we were Racing bikes...

With the Easter bunny in town this past weekend, racing was in limited supply.  Zeb N. hit up the last of the Branch Brook training series, again doubling-down and getting some last quality miles in pre-Battenkill.

More of the crew did another last pre-Battenkill tuneup: Zack H., Max K., Alex R., and Rich W. all came out to test the dirt roads and climbs in central jersey at the Hell of Hunterdon. They were joined by Gary Snyder, getting set for mtb season to kick off; Dave C just out for a fun spin; and myself, also looking for a fun spin, and chance to assess some clients progress. 77 miles of dirt, gravel, and later, FUN.  It looks as if the crew is ready for the big dance at Battenkill.

Junior, RJ, headed north to NY for a 48 mile road race and nearly stole the show. Straying in good position and out of trouble all day, RJ launched an attack at 1k to go, and was just overtaken inside 200 meters. Bold effort, and proof that he too is ready to take on bigger things. 

Gabe Lloyd tested the crit legs at Brooklyn's Red Hook crit; still waiting to hear how that played out.

Lastly, but not necessarily in the racing category, out in Chicago-land, Jerel W. has been making steady progress from her January run-in with a car, and was finally able to get back to riding outside. After a month of no riding, and another month of forced indoor rides, she looks to be getting back on track to start full-time training again. 

That's a wrap on March and training races; stay tuned as the real spring races start next weekend. 

Racing Recapped

This past weekend saw the most widespread outings to date this year, with athletes at 6 different venues from Florida up through the northeast; as well as some clients making their first appearances for the season. 

Starting from the Sunshine state and working north, Laura Van Gilder shook off the cobwebs of a long winter at the Delray Beach Crit, part of the Nat'l Crit Calendar series. In typical fashion, she was present in all the action, and just barely missed the final podium with a 4th place finish. Not too shabby a start, I'd say.

Angie Fick represented the mtb contingent, racing in MD on Saturday. Like VG, she too had a great race coming home 4th, while chopping more than 15 minutes off her last years time!  Angie raced again Sunday, at the Tuscarora Endurance in PA, and threw down another top 10, this time in 7th. 

Rolling farther north, Rich Weinstock returned from FL in time to hit the SJ Training series again. And again, he played his hand well and rolled home 11th.

Jersey also saw tons of client action at Branch Brook Park, with Gui Nelessen and Dave Wells making their first outing of the season (Dave tried to last weekend, but that's too long a story to recount. Lets just say, it didn't really work out).  Also present was Zeb Nelessen, Nick Iacovelli, Mike Goret, and myself.  Check out Nick leading the break in this week's race photo (above).

Zeb got the ball rolling by piloting a 3 man break for the duration of the 35+, and coming home 2nd. 
The 1/2/3 race split early in the nasty March winds, with a 6 man break dominating the day. Nick made the selection, along with myself, and was instrumental in driving the break along, as he had another teammate on board with him. He rolled home 6th, after putting his mate in for 2nd place. I rolled home 4th; Gui showed the winter sprinting work was coming along by taking a close 3rd (for 9th overall) in the field sprint; and Dave and Zeb rolled in the field. Mike may have had the busiest day of all, leading the bulk of the chase from behind, and keeping us honest in the front.

Lastly, Gabe Lloyd and I hit up the Bike Line Training Crit series again, and had some fun trading off attacks and working some lead-out practice.  A good days training!

With Easter coming next week, racing will likely be light. Then it's onto April and the official race season kick-off for us northerners. 

This week's racing roundup

Week two of the road season in the books, and we're on the board with a win!  Mike G again doubled down at Branch Brook Park in the 35+ and 1/2/3.  Fighting gusty winds, he soloed the majority of the 35+ to take top honors.  He then jumped in with the big boys, making the lead break and coming in 4th.  A great showing for getting off to a later start this season. 


Sunday once again saw clients split between PA and NJ. Representing on the east side of the river in South Jersey were again Rich W, Dave C and Max K.  Rich just missed the winning move in the 45+, but made a rare foray into field sprinting, coming home 3rd in the gallop for 8th overall (we'll make a sprinter out of him yet..).  He topped that off by logging some extra speed-work in the 35+ race. 

Dave also had a more aggressive showing, building on his form for some bigger targets to come. 

And once again Max pulled double duty, officiating for part of the day, then jumping into his race with no warm-up.  Next week he gets the chance to really double down---racing, not working---so will look to use that extra racing to gear up for Battenkill.

Over on the west side of the river, Nick I made the trek from Jersey to join Mike F and myself in Trexlertown for the Bike Line Training Crits.  Both showed good form in thew aggressive racing, with Nick figuring in one of the late race attacks. 

Next week looks like more of the same, as March slowly winds down the training races and leads into the real objectives for the season.  And now that we're on the scoreboard, look for more of that to flow in. 

And...Road season is ON!

Okay, here we go with the continuing race reports from what's sure to be another exciting road season.  Starting by backtracking a week, both Gary Snyder and Angie Fick made the trek down to VA for Monster Cross (who said cross season is over?!) Both had the intentions of getting a race effort in to break up the winter monotony, and came away with respectable showings.  A good building block for the higher priority events to come. 

This weekend was the first road race opener for several.  Saturday saw Nick I and Mike G hit the NY staple Branch Brook races. Both rode aggressively to good finishes in the 1/2/3 race, and Mike doubled down by doing the 35+ as well, and notched the first (of many...) podium finishes with a fine 3rd place. Nice!!

Sunday saw split crews of clients across PA and NJ. NJ offered up thew South Jersey crits that Rich W, Dave C and Max K hit.  Rich had an aggressive day of attacking and chasing, and logged a solid 12th in the 45+. Much the same with Dave, with repeated attacks and aggressiveness throughout.  Max pulled double duty of sorts as his team promotes the crit series. Still waiting on word from him on his race. 

The PA races were our standard Bike Line Training Crits near Trexlertown. As per usual, those crits were preceded by a solid hard group ride. Opening the season there was Zack H, Gabe L, Alex R, Mike F and yours truly. Everyone showed off some good legs with stints at the front, solid attacks, and snagging some sprint points. 

Next week should bring more of the same---good racing, and solid results---so stay tuned. 

Welcome New Clients! Is coaching right for you?

With spring around the corner, it always means some new faces in the house, so it's great to welcome Jerel Waide and Angie Fick into the fold.

Jerel is based in the Chicago area and rides for Project 5 Racing alongside Joan Hanscom.   She hit this past cross season hard, and was looking for a solid ride at Worlds; unfortunately, that was derailed 3 weeks out by getting hit by a car.  With recovery going smooth (hey, she is in Mexico on vaca right now...and yea, jealous of that, too..), she's looking down the road at some big summer crits, and another big cross season.  

Angie is a Philly based rider, who score points with me right off the bat because she rides with one of my old teams, Team Bicycle Therapy. And really, she's not entirely new, as we've worked together in the past.  After some time off, she's decided on a big mtb and ultra cross season, and some strong focus to get back to her old form.  Definitely psyched to have her back.

And kinda in the new rider department, but in a different way, it's great to have long standing client Gabe Lloyd back on the Van Dessel Factory Team.  Gabe's coming off a few years on bigger teams, chasing the USA Crits series (with top 10 overall finishes), so his form and skills will be a welcome asset to us.  

With road season ramping up it's not too late to tweak your program or target changes in your training to address your warm weather racing goals.   If your training feels stale, you've got a new goal or you just want to reinvigorate your time on the bike it's a great time of year to consider a coaching program.   Read more about it on our services page.

Kits, Kits, Kits!

One of the projects that I've worked on for the past few months has finally come to fruition. With a TON of work from Gabe Lloyd---seriously, a ton---, I finally have EC cycling kits available.  I chose to have them done by the crew at Verge Sport, in New York, as they put out great products, and Mike Magur and his staff have been super to work with along the way.  


Many have ordered already, and orders are available on a rolling basis. A sampling of what I can get is available on this website, just click the 'riding clothes' tab to check out what it looks like. They can do pretty much any item in their repertoire  so if you don't see what you want listed, just contact me and we can make it happen!

Cx is done!  Long live road season

Whew, that was some winter hibernation...    Amazing that cross season is officially behind us, yet there are only a few precious weeks of downtime before road season kicks in. Where did the time go?! 

With that, most are back to full-on training, putting down base miles. Some, like Rich Wienstock, are even heading west for a week to put in some major stress free miles in the warm Arizona sun...quite the welcome change from our chilly east coast winter. RJ Reisen is learning that trick at a young age as well, escaping for 2 weeks to split time between the Carolina's and Florida in an effort to build a big base.

(for those keeping score at home, yea,  I *might* be jealous..)  

And with races like Battenkill on the mind, many are past the base miles and now revving the engine. Looking down the list, it looks like we'll have 7 or so clients making the trek there in search of a big result. Looks like the March Training races in 2 weeks can't come soon enough to tweak the race form up!

Alright, now that the (ever shorter) off-season is about over, we'll be back to regular updates on the road scene.

Elliston Coaching Kits and Ordering!

Finally!  Elliston Coaching kits are designed and we are ready to take orders. The kits are being produced by Verge, from their Elite race collection. I have worked with Mike there in the past and they make great stuff.


Below are the finalized designs of bibs, ss jerseys and LS jerseys. There are two ss jersey designs: the black base is the "normal" version, and the white base is for summer weather. Jackets, vests, etc, will be available as well (in the black base), providing some minimum numbers of each are met.  

Because I don't have the means to make a mass purchase and carry a lot of stock, the plan is to  take pre-orders from anyone interested, and then make one mass order for everyone, and alleviate me having to carry the stock. 

Pricing is based on order size - the better our order the better the pricing. For example, the ss jerseys we are offering (with their premium Trafo material and full zippers) will at most be $65 per; then hopefully lower based on quantity. 
 
Working with Verge will also give us the ability to do no-minimum purchases beyond this first initial mass order. So at another time down the road, we can order just one-two pieces at a time. At that point, for small orders, pricing will be their catalog pricing (so, $79 for a ss jersey, but still including the free premium material upgrade and full zip).

Please email me by the first week in January at the VERY latest with your order so we can get this in in time for some great winter riding.



The Season is getting short.

For all but six Elliston Coaching clients the 'cross season came to an end this past weekend. 

It was a weekend of racing punctuated by yet another dominant display from Laura Van Gilder who took wins on both days of Long Island SuperCup UCI races.   Laura's season will continue into the new year when she heads to Madison, WI for Nationals.


Edwin Bull and Jeff Bahnson joined Laura in Long Island in the UCI events where Edwin rode to a strong 7th place finish before heading to Emmaus, PA on Sunday for the Limestone at the Kiln race where he finished third in the elite race.  Both Jeff and Edwin will be joining Laura in Madison.

Gary Snyder and Jeff Lau also raced Limestone with Gary hanging up the bike for the rest of the season while Jeff will take a brief break from racing before heading to Masters Worlds in Louisville, KY. 

I raced the final stop of the USGP in Bend, OR where two flat tires dashed my hopes for a strong result after getting off to a good start.  I then decided to test the waters of the Elite race -- where I suffered like a masters racer among the elites on the technical and fast course.   Next up Madison and the Worlds before turning focus back to the road and track.

Wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.



SNOW season!!

Thanksgiving weekend proved a rather quiet weekend for clients with just a few overcoming the turkey coma to get out and race.  Locally, Jeff Lau, Rich Weinstock, Forrest Conrad and myself represented at Jersey's stalwart race, SCCX.  Jeff and Rich both had solid rides in their respective categories while Forrest and I took to the elites. Forrest had some unfortunate mishaps take him out of the race, while I was fortunate enough to run home with the W. 

Of other note at SCCX was my pit crew, client RJ Reisen. Taking his break before plunging into road training, RJ was out for the day helping out and hooked me up with a bike change on the last lap. 

Down at the MABRA Championships in MD, Zach Semian just missed podium with a great 6th place finish. 

LVG and Edwin Bull made the trek to New England for final stop of the Verge New England Series in Sterling, MA. LVG closed out that series in fine fashion with two podium finishes, 2nd and 3rd.  Edwin threw down  one of his best rides of the season thus far on Saturday, coming from a 7th row start spot to rally for 10th place, and logging the ever elusive UCI point for his effort. 

And now the cross weather is in full effect at EC World HQ, as the temps have dropped and the snow is coming down. Lets see if it lasts for the remainder of the cross season..

Welcome Osmo Nutrition!

Osmo Nutrition is a new company in the sports drink mix market but the science behind it is anything but - cutting edge science that is peer-reviewed.  Based in Fairfax, California, Osmo Chief research officer Dr Stacy Sims MSc, PhD has spent a decade in the lab and field testing with athletes, to formulate the Osmo system, which has been proven to work - with Olympic medalists, professional triathletes and race car drivers. 

Dr Sims has taken a more in-depth approach to hydration and recovery and developed products tailored to an athletes' exercise cycle. Two are geared for hydration: pre-workout and during. And two are geared for recovery: immediate and overnight. Made with natural and organic ingredients, Osmo Nutrition is the most advanced hydration and recovery system available.

To find more about Osmo Nutrition, you can visit their website at osmonutrition.com
And for details on the exact science behind Dr Sims approach, you can watch and listen to video links for each specific mix at osmonutrition.com/science

You can also follow them on Facebook at Osmo Nutrition, and on Twitter at @osmonutrition

Osmo Nutrition offers a  10% discount to EC clients. Contact [email protected]  for more info.

 EC Clinets Topping The POdium!

Yet another weekend of racing has come gone leaving me with some more news worthy of print. 

Remember last weeks continuation of the client win streak? Yea. Repeat that.  This week, again, two wins, but by two different folks.  First Laura VG notched up what has to be at least the gazillionth MAC Series win of her career, this one at Fair Hill.  And Alex Roberts continued terrorizing the C category, taking the win at Crossasaurus Awesome. A fine end to his first cross season, as next time he toes the line, it'll be in the B field. 

Jeff Bahnson and I tried our hands at the USGP Louisville, on a course that's received much acclaim in its design for the upcoming World Championships.  Jeff had solid rides both days, spending the first few laps Sunday up among the top 25. I played the role of consistency, logging 7th and 8th place finishes in the masters.

The rest of the crew are in various stages at this point; some are riding out the last few weeks of their cross seasons; a few more have called time on cross season to rest up; and some are already coming out of hibernation and starting to log the base miles for next road season.  

Podium, Podium, Wedding!

This weekend was a tad quiet, as, locally, many folks were a bit more concerned with damage control courtesy of a little hurricane in the mid-atlantic area. But there were still some who braved the aftermath to race and fly the EC flag; and to give me a little news to post.

So with another week down, and limited racing happening, the client win streak stays alive. This week it comes from Rich Weinstock who won---both days no less---the 45+ category at Miami Cross in FL.   Big hats off to Rich for finally bringing his fitness full circle again. 

Forrest Conrad had a solid ride in the cold mud of Stoudt's Cross, scoring a 6th place finish. Perhaps not bad that he missed the podium, since Stoudt's was serving some of their own tasty adult beverages and young Forrest isn't exactly street legal for that just yet...

Gary Snyder also hit the Stoudt's Cross (and hopefully did partake in some tasty beverages) and had another solid ride.

And in other news---*almost* as big as racing news---long time client Gabe Lloyd got married over the weekend. All the best for Gabe and Kacey in their future together!

Lastly, for me, a weekend off to enjoy the wedding, and to report for duty in Louisville for the next round of  USGP work.  After a long week of set-up, we'll get to race the course that in a few months time will host the World Championships. 

Look for reports on that, and plenty else, next time.

Racing before the storms hit!

As promised, I'm trying to get back on the update bandwagon on a regular basis, so here goes.. 

Three clients posted up wins this weekend, with Alex Roberts taking his first ever cross win---in less than 5 starts---at Star Rock Cross in Lancaster, PA.  And he did it in true Belgian style, with no one else in the picture. Few more rides like that, and he'll step up to terrorizing the cat 3's. 

At the AACX race, part of the Sportif Cross Cup Series in Davidsonville, MD, and on a course she helped design, Laura Van Gilder used that "home field advantage" to notch yet another win in her belt.

Jeff Bahnson, Edwin Bull, and myself all toed the line for the UCI Elite race at HPCX. Jeff used his UCI points, and front row start, to lock down a win in the U23 category while finishing 12th overall. Meanwhile Edwin and I had the *luxury* of a last row start, and got to attempt to thread our way through the mayhem. Edwin had about zero luck in that department, first getting stuck right off the line by a guy missing a pedal; then flatting; then crashing trying to chase; and then jamming his chain between the cassette and wheel. So he gets the Yo-Yo award, ending his day in 18th.  I was luckier with a clean run all day to finish 14th, just 30+ seconds off the group going for 9th.

Nick Iacovelli walked away with the Mr Consistency award, snagging 12th at the Independence Cross in the A's and 12th again at HPCX, in the B's.  I'd say considerable proof that not only is his form coming quick, but his new carbon Van Dessel being 5+lbs lighter than his old ghetto sled makes a bit of difference. 

Continuing on the HPCX theme, Gary Snyder has his best ever showing there by a long shot, and also got the better of one of his chief weekly rivals.  RJ Reisen, in his first race as a Cat 3, suffered a crash early, but fought back hard for the rest of the race. And Rich Weinstock had the misfortune of a flat, way away from the pit, putting an end to his day.  Lucky (or not?) for Rich, his next cross races are in Miami..

Up for this week is storm survival...stay dry!

What do you mean it's October already?!

Man, time flies when you're having fun...   Hard to believe it's late October already, the road season is wrapped and we're over a month in to cross. Which means, I'm looong overdue for an update on things. So here's a quick re-cap on some of the notable results being produced by clients:

RJ Reisen has been on fire with his cross campaign, logging a win in the Elite U19's at Whirlybird, and a 2nd in the same group at Nittany. Since then he's moved to the Cat 4 races, logging a bronze medal at the NJ State Championships followed by a win the next day, also in the 4's. RJ's next move is his Cat 3 upgrade as he pushes on in preparation for Nationals.  

Jeff Bahnson has come out swinging as well. In his second season out of the junior ranks and racing with the "big boys", he's been hitting all the regions biggest races, and USGP series in a quest for U23 Worlds team selection. He's produced consistent top 5 finishes in the U23's including at the USGP-Madison and the Gloucester GP, and just outside of that  at the USGP-Fort Collins, where he finished an excellent 31st overall with the Elites.  

Laura Van Gilder---as usual---continues her standard streak of solid riding with the win at the recent DCCX race; podiums at Nittany and Charm City UCI's; and consistent top 10 finishes at Gloucester and Providence UCI's. Sandwiched in-between all that, she capped off her road season with 3rd place at the Mayors Cup Criterium in Boston, which cemented her 2nd place overall in the National Criterium Calendar series.

Edwin Bull has made his comeback from knee injury in fine style. With just 4 races under his belt coming into cross season since Masters Worlds this past January, he's already on fire. He started it off with a top 15 finish in the Nittany UCI, and has since had multiple podium appearances in Gloucester and Providence 35+ races, and top 10 ride at the USGP-Fort Collins. (and day two at FoCo would have surely been much better if not for an ill timed mechanical late that took him out of the group going for 3rd) 

Nick Iacovelli is slowly building his form into the season as well. Surely, he'll also reap some benefit this weekend as he scraps his 25+lb rig for a much more svelte Van Dessel.. 

Rich Weinstock has made his cross comeback this season. He's starting to log some solid results after a long time away from racing. Look to start seeing some podium appearances from Rich in the 45+ category as the season progresses. 

And it seems Alex's Roberts road and new-found track success' weren't enough for him, as he's now trying his hand at cross with solid results in his first few events.

The rest of the 'cross crew of Forrest Conrad, Gary Snyder, Max Knee, Erik Mitchell, Zack Hutchins and Shannon DeHart are out there every weekend as well, putting in solid rides, and will surely be heard from in the near future.  Meanwhile, client Joan Hanscom, is killing it in the cx race promoter category - not on the bike but helping to put on the biggest races of the season.   We'll see Joan back on her road bike before you know it!

And as for your truly, I finished out the road season with a 4th at the Basking Ridge Criterium (for the 3rd year in a row..), 5th place at the Ft Lee Crit, and ran straight into cross season. Taking a slow start with an eye towards January, with Nationals and Masters Worlds, I've still managed a 2nd place at the opening USGP round in Madison; 2nd at the NJ State Championships (after chasing back to the leaders after a puncture); and a few solid rides at the USGP rounds in Fort Collins. Not a bad place to be as I actually start training for real this week. 

Look for more---timely---updates as racing keeps on rolling the next several weeks! 

Race Updates!  More Success!

Gui Nelessen fell just short of the win with a second place finish at the Pinecone RR in south Jersey. Gui bridged solo to a big break early on and then made the final selection of 6 in the final 10k of racing. Of special note, he was only edged out by Garmin-Chipotle Devo rider Robin Carpenter. (Fortunately for yours truly, Gui isn't just a client but also a Van Dessel team-mate, so we were able to take turns splitting the big break until we got a more desirable situation, and then I took the sprint for 7th from the remaining 10 riders. 

Dave Casale also made the early selection helping contribute to the success and rolling in with the remnants behind that lead 6. 

Junior athlete Forrest Conrad represented in the Cat 4 field, rolling 7th to add to his point tally towards Cat 3.

Also in Jersey, Jeff Lau capped off his road season goals by completing the NJ Gran Fondo. 

Keeping the Nelessen family name alive in the tri world, older brother Zeb turned his fastest ever time in the Madison (WI) Ironman, clocking 10:59:03. A huge accomplishment for him, as he now looks to close out the road season by snagging his last few Cat 2 upgrade points. 

On the banking, Alex Roberts got it done...again...running a clean sweep of his 3 races. Thinking it's upgrade time..?! 

On the 'cross side of things, a few clients took the plunge on starting the season. Gary Snyder tackled the International Intergalactic Global Open Cyclocross Team Relay Championships in Marysville, PA.  As a mainly fun season opener, Gary noted he felt some good legs and was excited for the real deal to start.  And in new England, Rebecca Wellons kicked off with a third place finish at the Qua Cross race in MA. 

WELCOME To the EC Family!

EC is pleased to welcome some new clients to the mix: Shannon Dehart, Dave Casale, RJ Reisen and the return of former client Erik Mitchell. 

Shannon is no stranger to the cycling scene, coming from a strong recreational riding background, and is now excited to trying her hand at some cyclocross.  

RJ is one of New Jersey's promising young juniors on the Colavita Cycling Team.  He's been racing for several years, and is looking to put a focused effort into cyclocross this fall, and carry over to next years road season and see where it takes him.

Dave, riding for the Tri-State Velo squad, recently earned his cat 1 upgrade, and is looking to put in a big off season to come out swinging and tun some heads next season.

Erik had been a great client a while back before taking a bit of a break. But he's back again, and re-focused on putting out a big cross season

End of the Road season, Get well wishes and Time in the paincave.

Laura VG scored a convincing hat-trick, plus one, at the Gateway Cup races in St Louis. A fitting way to wrap yet another hugely successful road season, and carry the momentum and confidence straight into cross. 

Zack Hutchins put the stamp on his third and final goal for the season by earning his cat 3 upgrade on the track, making him a cat 3 across the board. He can now relax and take a little breather to prep for some cross this fall, and keep a big eye on preparing for next year, his first year in the elite ranks.

Edwin Bull made his successful return to racing from a knee injury to score a podium spot at the NJ State Masters Crit. No doubt with all the recovery and focus on base miles, he will make a big splash during the cross season. 

Nick Iacovelli had a great run in his last road race of the year, the Green Mt Stage race, wearing the climbers jersey for a day, and logging a 10th place in the final stage crit. After a brief rest, he turns his sights on the NJ Cross Cup Series. 

Forrest Conrad also logged some impressive results in his last road events of the year, with a 5th in the cat 4/5 Tour of High Bridge, and a 3rd in the junior Tour of Basking Ridge. Those points should be the final stamp of approval for him to get his cat 3 upgrade. And like many other clients, Forrest now shifts his focus to cross, and his first year in the U23 ranks, with the highly touted Philadelphia Cyclocross School team.

In the not-so-nice results column, well wishes for a speedy recovery to Joe Petrucci who hit the deck and suffered some broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Joe crashed early in the race, took his free lap, and got back in and finished...how's that for tough guy points?!  Joe reports to be doing better, and hoping to be back on the bike by weeks end.

All in all, most clients are putting a wrap on the road season and breaking out the cross bikes in anticipation of a great season. There will be plenty more to report from everyone as that all kicks off in the next two weeks. 

As for me, I spent last week in Philly in a super top secret location (not really, but a really cool warehouse) filming for an innovative new series of training videos, PainCave.  Creators Mike Egan and Jacob Mueller recruited a talented array of riders in Michelle Bishop, Nick Friesen, Anna Drakulich, and luckily included me. To help create their vision, we worked with a professional film crew all week, shooting various training segments, along with motivational tips, interviews, group discussion and more.  Definitely an exciting project to be a part of, and looking forward to its release projected for late winter.  Give us a like on Facebook here.

VanGilder Does it again!

Congratulations to long time friend and client, Laura Van Gilder, for winning her 4th Chris Thater Memorial Criterium.   The win came 20 years after her first one there in 1992.   Laura's won the race a total of four times - 1992, 2002, 2006 and now in 2012.   It's testimony to a great professional career that is still going strong!  

Last Time This Year......

Today, a trip in the Elliston Coaching Time Machine.  Last year in Belize....  


congratulations Gabe!!!

Congratulations to long-time client Gabe Lloyd.  Gabe just returned from vacation in Alaska where he became engaged to Kacey Manderfield.  Join me in wishing them a healthy, happy future together! 

EC Clients Racing STRONG.

Elliston Coaching clients were on their bikes racing hard this weekend - and getting great results both nationally and locally.   Read on!

Rebecca Wellons:
Competed in, and completed, her first Leadville100 mtb race in 9:41, good for 23rd in women's field. Awesome job for her first attempt, and first race at altitude!  Caps off a light summer season of racing as she turns her focus to cross now with Verge New England CX Series and the Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series as her main focus.

Nick Iacovelli:
Did the Millersburg Stage Race in PA, and had solid rides in all 3 stages: 20th in the TT, 11th in the crit, and 20th in the RR, to lock up 10th overall, and a few more points towards his cat 1 upgrade. Hopefully the last few road events of the season provide Nick with the rest of his upgrade points before he turns his focus to cross, and the NJ Cross Cup Series.

Gary Snyder:
Hit up his final mtb race for the season at Bear Creek. Continued his consistent run of results for the year with a 4th place ride.  The race also served as the PA State Championships, and Gary was awarded the silver medal for his effort. The real icing on the cake however, and showcasing his solid consistent finishes all year, was his gold medal podium spot for the Mid Atlantic Regional Championship series, in the 40-49 Cat 3 category. Well done, Gary! Like Rebecca, Gary will take a well due break and then start to ramp up for the upcoming cross season in PA.

Keep up the good work all!

tandemonium!

Standing at the rail this Friday at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center you might think you’re seeing double, but rest assured your vision is fine, it’s just Tandemonium taking over. Bicycles built for two will be featured August 3 as the World Series of Bicycling presents Tandemonium in conjunction with the North American Tandem Championships.

Tandemonium is unique to the Lehigh Valley. “You will not find that many tandems on the track at one time anywhere else,” Marty Nothstein, executive director of Valley Preferred Cycling Center, said about the scratch that will have eight tandems on the track at one time.

The race shakes out differently every year, and this edition is especially wide open. “This year it is really up for grabs. There’s no clear powerhouse squad and previous winners like Roberto Chiappa and Andy Lakatosh will not be competing,” Nothstein explained, “It’s always a mystery, the past couple years it’s been an upset. The team that will come out on top has skills, power, endurance, and a lot of luck.”

This year’s field will include Matt Diefenbach and Tyler “Bones” Nothstein or Team “Dief’n’Bones” and the Dutch team of Nils Hoanderdaal and Hylke Greakan. Previous United States National Tandem Sprint Medalists such as Ray Ignosh, Bill Elliston, Kurt Begemann, and Jim Alvord will also be in attendance.

The North American Tandem Championship is very similar to the sprint tournament that is contested by individual riders. The only difference is that instead of riding a 200 meter time trial to qualify, the tandems have a whole 333.3 meter lap to record the best time possible. The riders will be seeded according to these times and then sent out to make their way to the championship ride.

Event Details: The World Series of Bicycling event starts at 7:30. Gates open at 5:30. Tickets start at just $5 and kids 12 and under are free.

Story by Elspeth Huyett

Link to original article:  http://www.thevelodrome.com/featured/tandemonium-runs-wild-this-friday-in-t-town/

Some Images from Devo Camp

We made IT!!

The 2012 Tour de L'Abitibi is in the books.  It was a tough week and I am proud to say that we finished all 6 riders.   All of the guys faced down challenges and adverstity - punctures, crashes, bad weather, and tough competition and they all came through it intact -- making us, the MADF team directors, proud.  

Pictured:  Back Row: (L to R) Bill Elliston, Zach Bender, Brady Barker, Zack Hutchins, and Ray Ignosh.   Front Row: Ethan Fedor, Issac Kaplan and Dean Hass.

Congrats boys, nicely done.  Look forward to see what comes next!  -- Bill

A Double Tough Day on Tap

July 18, 2012.  Rouyn-Noranda, QUEBEC.

We made it through Tuesday's stage intact with most of the MADF riders finishing in the group.  Zack Hutchins was unlucky and double punctured -- forcing him to attempt to chase back on.  Ultimately he was dropped by the caravan but finished on his own safely within the time cut and lives to race another day.  Ethan Fedor also flatted, but much closer to the finish, and came in just a few mintes down on the main field.  Both worked hard to keep themselves in the race.

Today is a tough, tough day.  A  double stage that begins with a 9.6km tt.  It's technical, twisty and takes place mostly on a bike path.  Handling skills will count.  Tonight we have a 50k circuit race -- dead flat and fast.  Last year it was finished in 1:05.  FAST.  

Finally, we celebrate Zack Hutchins 18th birthday.  Hope he gets birthday present of a puncture free day on the bike!

"Killer Job By All"

July 17, 2012.  Rouyn-Noranda, QUEBEC.

The first real road stage - which also happened to be the longest at 117km - is in the books and it's time to get up and do it all over again.   

The whole team rode well and all finished more or less in the field.  We were not without mishaps.  A crash at 10k into the race Brady Barker punctured and had to chase to get back into the race.  Ethan Fedor had a crash. Zack Hutchins broke a spoke at an unfortunate time and finished just off the group.  All in all, a killer job by all.

Today we race 106km from La Sarre to Rouyn-Noranda with 84.4 of those on the road before the finishing circuits.  Wish us luck. -- Bill

Oh CANADA!  Youth Development riders take on The Tour of L'Abitibi.

JULY 16, 2012.  Rouyn-Noranda, QUEBEC.

This week I'm in Rouyn-Noranda , Quebec with Ray Ignosh and a composite version of the Mid-Atlantic Youth Development Foundation Team for the 44th annual Tour de L'Abitibi.     The Tour de L'Abititi is the only UCI stage race for Juniors in North America and racing here is a great opportunity for young riders hoping to grow as bike racers -- whether their ambitions are professional or collegiate. 

The riders that make up our team are Zack Hutchins and Zach Bender -- both from the MADF.  The Zachs are joined by: Issac Kaplan (MD); Brady Barker (CO); Dean Haas (CO); and Ethan Fedor (UT).  

We arrived in Canada on Saturday, spending Sunday setting up the team compound and doing a 60K ride to shake out the legs a bit.   Things get underway in earnest today - we'll be up and moving by 8am -- with plans for an easy spin at 10am and then it's off to preview the daily finishing circuits.  The Teams are presented this evening at 5pm.  After that, racing kicks off at 6pm with the Street Sprints competition.   The first real road stage begins on Tuesday at 4pm with a 117km race that begins in Amos and ends in Rouyn-Noranda. 

Ray and I will be tweeting throughout the week and posting stories and images here.  Follow me on Twitter @EllistonCoachng and Ray @YouthDevo for all the action as it happens.  


mid-season update!

Easton, PA (June 28th, 2012)  Mid-Season News!

It's been a busy and successful season for Elliston Coaching athletes so far this season and I felt like it was time to recognize the hard work being put in by all of you as well as let you know what's news around Elliston Coaching HQ.

First of all, you'll notice a redesigned look here at the website.  We've got Elliston Coaching clothing and other cool stuff available here in our webstore - so you can fly the EC flag off the bike too.  Check it out!  The ringer tees are especially sharp.  

We will be heading to Rochester, NY to help run the USA Cycling Development Camp there prior to serving as Director Sportif at the  Tour de L'Abitibi in the middle of July.   Stay tuned for race updates from Quebec.

Now on to the good stuff.  First, the road side:

Laura Van Guilder (Mellow Mushroom)
  • Having another standout season, Laura is currently crushing it at the Tour of America's Dairyland where she has made a visit to the podium a daily habit.

Alex Roberts (SPINTEK Cycling)
  • Soloed in for third place in the Luzerne Criterium (Jun 10th)
  • Recently began racing on the track and has already scored his first win and several other top five finishes
  • At the Race Avenue Crit (June 17) was in the break all day and finished 7th overall.

Zack Hutchins (MADF/ Specialized presented by Bicycling)
  • Has been racing on the track a lot and has scored several wins in the past few weeks, showing consistently good form with top 4 placings.   
  • Has earned half the upgrade points needed for Cat 3 upgrade
  • Has also been racing strong on the road - earning his most recent Cat 3 points with a 7th place finish in the New Bethlehem Crit, 2nd at the Augusta Crit and 5th at the Giro di Cielo Crit.
  • Preparing to compete at Junior Track Nationals and the Tour de L'Abitibi in Quebec

Gui Nelessen (Van Dessel)
  • Winner (P 1/2) , Norristown Criterium
  • 2nd Tour de Pittman Circuit Race

Zeb Nelessen (Van Dessel)
  • Winner Norristown Criterium (A Nelessen domination of the podiums that day, Zeb won the Cat 3)
  • Earning final points needed for Cat 2 upgrade

Gabe Lloyd (XO Communications)
  • Fresh off being instrumental in helping teammate WIN Elite Criterium Nationals

Zach Semian (Pure Energy / ProAir HFA)
  • 11th Place, Collegiate Crit Nationals (D1) in May
  • Earning points towards his Cat 1 upgrade!

Steve Hovey:
  • Achieved season goals of completing both the NYC Gran Fondo and Colorado's Ride the Rockies - congratulations!

Joe Carew (CycleFitters/ TORQUP)
  • Earned his Cat 3 upgrade in May

Joan Hanscom (Project 5 Racing)
  • Had a strong weekend of racing at the Memorial Day Masters Omnuim  with 4th, 2nd and 3rd place finishes to secure second overall on the weekend.
  • 6th place finish in the Elite Women's race at the Illinois State Road Race / O'Fallon GP

On the Mountain Biking side of the program:

Forrest Conrad:
  • Despite being a Junior, Forrest has been logging consistent top ten finishes regionally in the Pro and Elite fields
  • Traveled to California to compete at the Sea Otter Classic in April
  • Competing at the Windham World Cup MTB Race this weekend (June 30/July1)

Gary Snyder (Team Evolution Bike Shop)
  • Has been consistently finishing top 5 throughout the spring in local and regional events
  • Targeting the 2013 National qualifiers to be eligible to race National Championships

Keep up the good work!


Van Dessel Cycling Team / Elliston Coaching Partner with Enzo’s Cycling Products


Easton, PA (May 7, 2012) The Van Dessel Factory Team and Elliston Coaching announced a new partnership with Enzo’s Cycling Products for the 2012 Road and Cyclocross Season.


“The Van Dessel Elite team is a comprised of a small number of riders who are as passionate about their racing as they are about enjoying themselves. They put great stock into smart, aggressive racing across all the disciplines they compete in: road, track and cyclocross.” Said Enzo’s Cycling Products founder Wayne Simon. “Enzo’s sees them as a perfect partner for us. They represent the same qualities as our brand - we are small, quality, serious about making a great product but at the same time we want to enjoy ourselves and maintain of sense of humor and balance even when competing at a very high level.”


Bill Elliston, member of the VD Elite Team and owner of Elliston Coaching, expressed his excitement about the new partnership by saying, “When I was introduced to Wayne and I got to know more about the Enzo’s philosophy of ‘for cyclists, by cyclists’ and learned about his product line I knew this was the right fit for both the team and my clients. A product like Enzo’s chamois cream, that makes my clients time on the bike more comfortable is fantastic. Personally, I’m already looking ahead to cyclocross season and trying out the Red Embro Stick. With the Cyclocross Masters World Championships a huge priority for our team and my clients -we’re going to need it!”


The Van Dessel Cycling Team will be bringing samples of Enzo’s products to races throughout the season and encourage fellow racers who want to try Enzo’s for themselves to come say hello and ask for a sample.


#

Excerpted from the Valley Preferred Cycling Center Season Recap:


8/5/11 - TANDEMONIUM!  Presented by RLB Accountants

The VPCC was proud to host its 2nd National Championship this summer, as TANDEMONIUM! also doubled as USA Cycling's National Tandem Sprint Championship.  Two tandem events, the sprint championship and a 15 lap scratch race were the featured events of the evening. Giddeon Massie and Andy Lakatosh rode away to a convincing victory in the Nation al Championship, to make it their second in a row.  The 15 lap scratch was a thrilling contest.  With a handful of laps left, the Kiwi/Aussie duo of Tom Ashley and Doug Repacholi tore away from the field and opened up a significant gap.  Bill Elliston and Ray Ignosh bridged from the field, caught the leaders and passed them on the final lap with an incredible burst of speed and power to take home the TANDEMONIUM win! The night's electric atmosphere was fueled with some fan entertainment by SWOOP, the Philadelphia Eagle's mascot, and the Lehigh Valley Roller Girls.