This upcoming morning (10/5), we will celebrate the life of Stu Press with a slow-paced Nichols ride. While this has been a very difficult last 24 hours for all of us, we owe it to Stu to have a great turnout to celebrate a great human being. We’ll leave at the usual start from La Grange and Westwood and end up at Peet’s Brentwood where we can hang out and share our favorite Stu stories with each other.
Last night Ivy secured her second gold medal in the Junior National Championships being held at the Carson Velodrome and the overall title on points to become the 2014 National Omnium Champion. She did it in a dominent fashion. Starting from the first lap she covered every attack from her main rivals on points but let the other attacks go. She didn't waste an ounce of energy in her 16 lap scratch race. And when it was the bell lap, she laid down a devestating attack that left everyone in her wake. She pedaled like a woman on a mission with no one behind her able to make up any ground. When she crossed the finish line first her smile was from ear to ear as she punched the air with emotion.
Dexter was following a strong wheel going down the back straight on the last lap of his 4 lap scratch race. That wheel belonged to Alex and he's taking Dexter right to the front of the race. But then in turn 3, Alex overlaps the wheel in front of him and that rider decides to go up track. Their two wheels collide and Alex's front wheel goes wobbly. Right at that momnet a small opening occurs below Dexter on the black line. He instinctually dives down and comes out of turn 4 in second place with some momentum towards first. He can't make up all the ground but does come across in second place and takes home a big ole silver medal. It's the happiest I've ever seen him before after a great race result.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
The 2nd and 3rd events in the annual LG Cup are coming!
Dexter's weakest event is the 500m TT and that was first up. But Dexter put in a good TT time of 45.56 giving him 4th place overall in the three race omnium. Dexter's main competition was Alex M. and Alexander L. Alex loves the breakaway and uses it effectively all the time when he races. Alexander is more of a sprinter so he likes to wait for the one to go bell to make his move. Knowing this, Dexter's plan was to mark Alex and wait for his breakaway move at around 2-3 to go and if that doesn't go down, then find Alexander and duke it out for the sprint.
In the first 1K scratch race, Alex didn't make his usual move because the pace was too high so it came down to a sprint and Dexter was lined up on Alexander's wheel. When the sprint was started, Dexter was able to hold his wheel but couldn't quite get around him so he finished third behind Alex and Alexander.
Ivy likes to make her State Championship wins dramatic. So when she began the third and final race of the omnium, she was sitting in a great spot to take the overall win. She won the 500m TT. And she won the 4k scratch race easily. So all she had to do was finish third or better in the 32 lap points race and she would defend her title as state champion. There were four sprints for points in the race and Ivy was sitting in second place with 1 1/2 laps to go. Cheyenne Comer, who was in second place, had done an effective solo breakaway and was racking up sprint points but Ivy was also earning points sprinting against the field. Cheyenne had 11 points and Ivy had 8.
Then it happened. Ivy had a momentary loss of focus and overlapped a wheel of a girl below her. That girl started to move up track and when she contacted Ivy's front wheel, Ivy lost control of her bike and went down hard on the apron. A sinking feeling arose in my throat. I knew that if she was DNF in the race, that she wouldn't get the points and therefore wouldn't get the jersey she had and was earning on the track.
This past weekend, I won my age group in the North American Qualifier for the UCI World Masters held in Winston-Salem, NC over 74 miles and 3700 vertical (see picture of me and the 3rd place finisher with my UCI qualifier winner half rainbow jersey). There were about 120 riders from the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Belarus, Brazil, and Belgium (you can qualify at any race they sponsor around the world). The UCI World Masters is now open to all amateur age groups from 19 on and we had a mass start. The course was rolling but no real climbs for those of us vertically inclined. The pace was fast from the beginning and there was a tight pack of about 30-35 most of the way. There were a number of flats (one pot hole ate at least 2-3 riders), mechanical problems and crashes along the way. Scottie Weiss, a recent pro in the 40+ who won overall last year by 6 mins won again this year but not by so much. I finished 28 seconds behind him this year with a pack of about 25 or so with an average pace of just under 25 mph.
April was a terrific month for your club. We had so many great performances by our racing teams. At every level we had winners and podium finishes and it seems it is just getting better as the year progress'.
One particular day really stands out, April 21. On that Sunday we had two events and La Grange really showed up for both. The City of Los Angeles put on a new version of CycLAvia. They closed down the entire length of Venice Blvd. from downtown to Santa Monica. The turnout was the largest ever with an estimated 150,000 + joining the fun. Among this tremendous show of the importance of bicycles were numerous LGer's. From what I am told it was lots of fun and very very crowded.