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.

Vision Wheel & Sprocket Fall Color Festival: September 24, 2016

Held at the John Muir southern unit of the Kettle Moraine state forest, the Fall Color Festival is independently run single day race.  This course, known for its well maintained and flowy single track, draws in many racers from all over the state.  Not overly technical, but still remaining challenging this course was met with rains in the days prior to the event.  With slick conditions in lower lying areas, the higher sections with sand remained tacky and fast.

Participants were able to select from several different course lengths ranging from 5 to 35 miles.  Racers are able to choose their race regardless of category.  The shortest race, 5 miles, is the perfect opportunity to introduce kids and beginners to the sport with a single lap of the brown and white loops.  The 12 mile race, equivalent to a citizen category 3 race consists of a single loop of the brown and blue.  With a brown loop and 2 blue loops, the 22 mile provides a good intermediate race for participants at roughly a Category 2 level.  The final race, 35 miles includes the entire brown, blue, connector and Emma Carlin green loops.

22 Mile Results

  • Elijah Johnson 1st overall with a time of 1:57:14
  • Steve Lipski 11th overall, 1st in age group with a time of 2:04:17
  • Walter Sdrenka 25th overall, 3rd in age with a time of 2:14:52

35 Mile Results

  • Nick Sdrenka 4th overall, 1st in age group with a time of 2:43:12
  • Lindsay Guerra 1st overall (females), 1st in age group with a time of 2:57:07
  • Brian Paterson 12th overall, 1st in age group with a time of 2:55:33
  • Matt Paterson 13th overall, 1st in age group with a time of 2:55:33

Take a look at the start of the 35 mile race from Matt Paterson’s perspective:

 

Vision Wheel & Sprocket WORS #9 Treadfest: September 11, 2016

Being one of the most challenging courses in the WORS circuit, Treadfest remains a fan favorite among spectators.  Recently cleared trees by the newly opened switchbacks that climb towards the infamous rock garden offered the perfect vantage point for spectators.  Once again, the Grand hosts a course that promises plenty of rocks, roots and tight turns.  This course is offers some great white knuckling twists, but still manages to spread it into a fun package that doesn’t leave you ever wanting it to end.

Junior Results

  • James Wardle 1st in age group for Junior Males age 9 AND 9th overall!
  • Charis Guerra 1st in age group for Junior Females age 9 AND 12th overall!
  • Brianna Fletcher 1st in age group for Junior Females age 10 AND 1st overall!
  • Abby Johnson 4th in age group for Junior Females age 7 to 8 AND 14th overall
  • Joshua Wardle 4rd in age group for Junior Males age 7 to 8 AND 38th overall

Vision’s Jr. Elite, Nick Sdrenka showed he is ready for even the most difficult trails by taking a 1st overall!

  • Nick Sdrenka 1st in age group for Cat 1 Junior Male AND 1st overall!

Category 2 and 3 Results

  • Asa Guerra 3th in age group for Cat 3 Females 11 to 14 AND 3rd overall
  • Lucas Fletcher 16th in age group for Cat 3 Male 11 to 14 AND 64th overall
  • Isacc Johnson 12th in age group for Cat 3 Males 11 to 14 AND 56th overall
  • Dean Wardle 4th in age group for Cat 3 Male 30 to 34 AND 31st overall
  • Leah Fletcher 1st in age group for Cat 2 Sport Female 13 to 14 AND 3rd overall!
  • Elijah Johnson 2nd in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 13 to 14 AND 6th overall!
  • Walter Sdrenka 9th in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 50 to 54 AND 67th overall
  • Todd Fletcher 2nd in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 55 to 59 AND 55th overall
  • Steve Lipski 1st in age group for Cat 2 Comp Male Masters 50 to 59 and 28th overall

Elite Team Results

Vision Elite’s Lindsay Guerra represented with a strong 3rd for the day and earning herself a spot on the podium!

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  • Brian Paterson DNF
  • Matt Paterson 1nd in age group Cat 1 Elite Males 23 to 29 AND 32nd overall!

Closing Action Shots

James Wardle taking a 1st in age!

James Wardle taking a 1st in age!

Charis Guerra with a 1st in her age group!

Charis Guerra with a 1st in her age group!

Brianna Fletcher in 1st overall!

Brianna Fletcher in 1st overall!

Asa Guerra taking a 3rd overall!

Asa Guerra taking a 3rd overall!

Leah Fletcher with a 1st in age!

Leah Fletcher with a 1st in age!

Elijah Johnson with a 1st in age!

Elijah Johnson with a 1st in age!

Steve Lipski, Cat2 Comp, 1st in age!

Steve Lipski, Cat2 Comp, 1st in age!

Lindsay Guerra with a 3rd overall!

Lindsay Guerra with a 3rd overall!

Matt riding for a 1st in age.

Matt riding for a 1st in age.

Nick Sdrenka WORS #9 Treadfest: september 11, 2016

As one of the harder races in the WORS series Treadfest held at Grand Geneva ski resort in Lake Geneva proves to have high credentials when is comes to well known courses, with many hills to climb back to back steep, short, and very long it’s just enough to get you out of air for the upcoming tight and technical singletrack with the imfamous rock garden, wood features and switch backs to knock you off your feet. For me this course is like a carnival because of how much I loved growing up and racing at treadfest every year as the one race I did every year I grew very attached to the course knowing it inside out racing here this year was definetly something special. On the Sunday of the race did everything as I usually do, I did my warmups and then took to the start line facing the first hill climb, and everyone was off just as fast as we lined up. Following the start the first few hill climbs got everyone out of breath so the first half of the first lap all of us juniors riders stayed together but right after that me and Nate Knowles broke apart from everybody and rode within the top 15 riders and stayed in front of the guys who usually are fater than us keeping good pace so pretty much the rest of race me and Nate worked together and took turns making the race as fast as possible. Nearing the end of the race on the last switchback which was arguably the hardest one on the course I made the move and hammered out the last quarter of a mile to a mile and a half to the finish to go on and take 1st overall and 1st in my age at what I considered to be my home course and was very happy to take my first ever win there after 5 years of racing there!

Race reflections

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