Elijah Johnson- WORS #3 Battle of Camrock – June 4, 2017

The 3rd WORS race had some new challenges to it.  There were many rocky climbs, and the weather was in the upper 80s and sunny.  This was ten degrees warmer than average.

On the morning of race day, we arrived at the venue around 8:30.  We set up our canopy tent in a great spot for both handoffs and viewing multiple parts of the course.  At 9:30, the Junior’s race began, and at 10:00, Citizen started.  During these races, I was careful to stay hydrated and in the shade.  Shortly after the Sport race began at 11:30, I began to get ready for my race.  Around 12:40, I began my warm-up which lasted until 1:10.  I then made my way down to the start area.

We began to line up at about 1:20. This race they did not allow the Cat 1 Juniors to line up until all the Cat 1 racers were in the start chute, resulting in me starting in about the 6th row.  At the top of the first climb, I was trying to establish my position.  The first section of single track was tight since everyone was still in a close group.  In the next section of double track, I advanced in position a bit.  My front tire slid out about 2 miles in on a section of single track.  About 2 people passed me.  We then had a short section of double track followed by a fairly technical downhill.  I held my place for the next several miles through both double track and single track.

At the end of the first lap, we had a very technical climb with several switchbacks in which balance was critical.  I was able to make it to the top since Coach Nathan had taught us to do slow mo which is a race in which you go as slow as possible over a short course to practice balance.   As I passed through the start/finish area, completing the first lap, I took a handoff from my Grandpa.  Staying hydrated was more important than usual with the temperature being in the upper 80s.  The entire second lap went smoothly with no crashes.  By the end of it, I was only about 5 seconds ahead of one of my competitors.  At one point in the final lap, one of my competitors passed me when I went by the water station.  On the next hill, I was able to pass him.  There was a good amount of climbing and double track at the end.  After finishing strong, I spun around for a while and drank a recovery drink.  Overall, it was another good race.

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“Ain’t no place like home” – June 4th

Hey team !

Here’s some race news from western France. So, today was (only) my 7th race of the year, and one of the biggest for me, 5 kilometers away from home. 20 laps of 4.5km (90km), with 2 climbs (1100m total eg) and a lot of wind.

Even if the legs did hurt quite a bit, I did manage to stay with the pack until the end, this time. And I even went forward and attacked in the last kilometer. I finished “only” 22nd, but still, we worked hard as a team, and we placed 5 of us in the top20… including a 2nd place !

The only fact that I was able to attack in the final kilometers is enough to give me some confidence back, as it is only the 2nd road race I complete this season, and the first one with the pack. Let’s see what the next ones will show ! 🙂

Strava link : https://www.strava.com/activities/1021141576/overview

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Vision Wheel & Sprocket WORS #2 Iola Bump & Jump: May 21, 2017

As the 2nd race in the WORS circuit this year, Iola still brought fast paced fun as it has for many years.  Promising quick single track, repeated climbs and a slight modification to the Bowl – rain didn’t prevent this year’s event from having another high turnout.  Vision racers had a great showing and we’re looking forward to a season full of results like these!

Junior Results

  • Brianna Fletcher 3rd in age group AND 3rd overall!
  • Abby Johnson 4th in age group for AND 12th overall
  • Joshua Wardle 4rd in age group AND 36th overall

Vision’s Jr. Elite, Elijah Johnson recalls his win

  • Elijah Johnson 1st overall for Junior Elites!

Category 2 and 3 Results

  • Asa Guerra 4th in age group AND 10th overall for Cat 3 Females
  • Lucas Fletcher 20th in age group AND 79th overall for Cat 3 Males
  • Isacc Johnson 5th in age group AND 27th overall for Cat 3 Males
  • Dean Wardle 1st in age group AND 1st overall for Cat 3 Males!
  • Leah Fletcher 1st in age group AND 1st overall for Cat 2 Females!
  • Todd Fletcher 2nd in age group AND 49th overall for Cat 2 Sport Males!

Elite Team Results

Pro Nathan Guerra finished strong and took 1st overall for the Elite men field. Watch below for an after race recap:

Lindsay Guerra also brought home a podium finish by taking 2nd overall for Elite women. See as she comments on her race:

Brian Paterson pulled out a 3rd place on the podium in the Elite male 30-39 age group with an Elite overall of 26th in a very deep field.

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  • Matt Paterson 12th in Elite male 19-29 age group AND 41st overall!

We look forward to seeing you all at the Battle of CamRock!

Elijah Johnson- WORS #2 Iola Bump & Jump- May 21, 2017

The race day began with a pre-ride beginning at about 7:45 a.m.  I pre-rode the course on Sunday morning at an easy pace since it had been closed on Saturday because of the weather.  When I arrived back at our camper, I ate a breakfast of oatmeal and cleaned my bike.  The Junior race began at 9:30, so I rode over to watch it start.  I then returned to the camper to eat and finish getting my bike in racing condition.  From there, I had a perfect view of the course and watched both the Junior and Citizen race.

 At the start of the Sport race, I went over to the bowl to see how the new course design worked when a large group went through it.  After that, I returned to our camper and got ready for the race.  At 12:40, I went out to begin my warm up which lasted until 1:15.  Then I spun over to the start line to line up for the race.  I arrived just in time.  At this race, I began in about the 4th row since Cat 1 Juniors do not get a call up.  The race started at 1:30.  My start was not the best since my foot did not clip in on the first try which almost made me crash.  I recovered quickly and made up the second I lost on the hills soon after.  I was able to pass a few people while climbing out of the bowl.

The race was going well until I crashed.  There was a downhill corner with loose dirt which was about 2 miles out.  My front tire lost traction, and I slid out.  We were still in a close group, so I got passed by a few people there.  Soon we had another section of double track, so I made up the time I had lost in the crash.  There were some muddy spots which followed.  I was able to make it through all of them on the first lap.

As I completed the first lap, I was in first place for all Cat 1 Junior racers.  My Dad told me I had about 13 seconds over the next Cat 1 Junior.  I continued to go at a fast pace in which my heart rate was about 183 in the double track and a bit lower in the single track.  The second lap went smoothly with no crashes.  I continued to do my best to hold with the riders I was around.  The course was quite slippery in some spots now since so many riders had gone through.  It was still quite wet from the rain on Saturday.  I continued to lengthen the gap between me and second place.

At the completion of the second lap, I was both half way done and had a 45 second lead on those in my category.  On the 3rd lap, I had no crashes or times I had to dismount.  By this time, I could begin to feel that my legs were beginning to tire out.  I kept up a moderately fast pace which I could keep up for the remainder of the race.  Near the end of the lap, I began to pass some of the Comp women.

As I began the final lap, I chose to sit down while climbing to the top of the hill instead of standing up and pushing hard.  I took my 3rd hand off from my Grandpa while I climbed out of the bowl.  I passed a handful of riders during this lap.  On one of the climbs, I chose to jump off of my bike and run up since it was very muddy and running uses slightly different muscles than biking.  I continued to keep a moderately fast pace until the last mile where I went pretty hard.  When I came out to the finish, I picked up the pace to a near all out sprint for the remaining 100 or so yards.  Upon finishing, I mixed up a recovery drink and rode around for a while.  Overall, it went well and Coach Nathan’s training has been working great.

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Quentin Lafaye – “Back on the road” May 14th

Hey team ! It’s road race report time !

For those who don’t know me yet, I’m Quentin, 25 yo from western France. I race 3rd category on the road and have been for the past 10 years or so. I race for a local team called “VC Châteaulin”, in the land where Cycling is king : Brittany.

First off, little situation : it was my 5th road race of the season, last one being 1st of May, and the one before back in March. I came back from 2 days of work the day before at 11pm, so… not the best prep’.

Race data : 90km, 1400m eg, 25 laps of 3-4km with a 1ish-km climb each lap.

I actually “raced” for the first time in a very long time, going into breaks and putting down some watts (5 times 950+), so I was pretty happy with that. Hung on to the pack for 21 of 25 laps, and had no more fuel after 2 hours… In my defense, it was the first time I raced for 2 hours since “the injury” (right knee tendinitis), back in september.

So yeah, quite happy with that, and let’s hope better things are to come.

Strava link HERE.

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McKenna Dwyer – Iceman: November 5, 2016

Coming into the race I probably didn’t get all the training that I needed to, but I was still in better shape then I was about two weeks ago. I haven’t won a race since I shined at the Copper Harbor Trails Festival and I was hoping to end the season on a high note. For those of you who don’t know what Iceman is it’s a point to point race starting in Kalkaska, MI and ending in Traverse City, MI. The race is approximately 30 miles give or take depending on the year and the conditions of the race are in the name. This year, we all lucked out seeing that it was 60 degrees and we could all race in our normal kits and not be cold. This year I feel like I have really struggled mentally because I let my mind get to me making me too nervous before a race. I really want to figure this out for next year but for right now, I learned I had to deal with it until the season was done. The day before the race we got out and rode the last few miles of the course and we already knew there was going to be record breaking times on this course. I felt prepared and was focusing just on my race and having fun and not making it too competitive.

The day of the race we drove the half hour drive down to the race and on the way I decided to watch Peaking: UCI World Cup – 72 Hours with Jenny Rissveds for some motivation and inspiration. I got to the venue and tried to take some beet juice but as you know, having something you don’t like the taste of plus nerves never works out and I puked half of it back up. This has also been something I’ve struggled with this year. I just did some casual warm ups seeing that I don’t need to do any thing to crazy since it’s a long race. We watched the older boys go off and then we lined up and per usual I was being myself on the start line and cracking jokes because it’s what I do when I’m nervous. The race started off casual as we quickly broke the group down to five riders. We switched off pulling and drafting except for one girl who sat on the back and never pulled. About six miles into the race coming out of a short single track section my chain came off and I had to watch that lead group pull away from me. As I struggled to get my chain back on, I counted 30 seconds go by and got on my bike and thought in my head “now I have to go.” Thanks to Nathan Guerra and Vision’s training I knew I would have to use one of my 20 minute efforts from training to close a 30 second gap that seems so small but really has an effect on your body. Of course where my chain came off ended up being the spot where all the climbing started. I struggled to get up the climbs by myself with no help and quickly got pretty tired but knew I just had to get to that lead group to catch a break. I kept pushing until another racer informed me that a group of four girls just went by a few seconds ago, I was closing the gap. Luckily, I just got out on to the road section that was super fast and I put the power down and that group came into view. When this sort of thing happens in a race and the racer comes so close to contact with a lead group it motivates them more and this happened, but they knew I was coming. Once they were in my sights it probably from there still took me 10 minutes to catch up to them. Once I finally caught up we were coming up to the half way point of the race and one of the girls who was a road racer knew I just put in a huge effort to catch up and of course she decided to attack and one rider went with her. After they started their attack my friend Katy passed me and started chasing after them. The girl who hadn’t done any pulling fell pff the back quickly and it was the two girls who pulled away from Katy and me and then it was Katy just 20 feet ahead. Soon that effort started to kick in and Katy pulled away from me. This was all so disappointing to me because I feel like I would’ve been able to go with those two girls if my chain wouldn’t of came of so it’s always frustrating. Knowing that I’ve beaten all the three girls who were ahead of me in previous years was also disappointing but it helps me learn what I did right and wrong. Almost the whole year hasn’t gone well for me and any race I have felt super good in I usually then end up having a mechanical. It had been an off year for me and I hope to recover and come back stronger next year mentally and physically.

I pushed pretty hard for the rest of the race just trying to beat the times of the older girls to get on the overall podium. Honestly, I felt really good in the race and was proud of my body’s improvement over the past two weeks compared to the last couple of NICA races. I got to one of the final climbs and saw my dad who was telling me to push it on the last hill so I of course hammered it up the hill with everyone cheering. I came into the exciting finishing area and was disappointed I couldn’t hold up the three from winning three years in a row but right now I just wanted to place overall. I came through and after about an hour figured out I just made the overall podium getting fifth place overall.

I learned so much form all my failures this year and know what I need to try to key in on for next year. Thank you to Nathan Guerra, Vision Cycling, my family, my friends, and all other supporters and sponsors for helping me make it through this year. This year was definitely tough on me but that’s what makes improving so much fun.