La Voix - April 2017

A message from the publishers:

We're hitting the peak of the 2017 season and with lots to report on from last month as well as lots coming up, this is a big edition of La Voix. Your email client (phone, computer browser etc) will almost certainly this email due to its sheer size, so be sure to click at the bottom to expand and see everything!

Dear members,

We are almost halfway through the race season and I wanted to give you an update on where we are so far. Prior to the start of the season, the La Grange Race Team Captains met and agreed to radically overhaul our racer support structure. The most significant change was the introduction of the La Grange Race Calendar.

In years past, the club provided race entry fee support that varied by race category. As racers progressed up through the categories, they were provided with more support from the club. Ultimately though, it remained up to the individual racers which races they chose to enter and race.

That's all changed this year. The team captains chose 12 races to focus on in 2017, a mix of road races, criteriums and circuit races. The La Grange van will be at all all 12 races, along with Camp La Grange - a place to warm-up, chat and hang out with your teammates as well as our friends stopping by from other teams. For these 12 races, you know you will have teammates to race with as well as full support from the club.

Moreover, whether you are a Cat 5 or a Cat 1 racer, we provide race entry fee support for ALL of these races. We've moved from the traditional "Cat 1s are the kings and queens, Cat 5s are the peasants" model to a completely flat, non-hierarchical race entry support structure.

But most of all, by driving participation to key races, we've aimed to make racing FUN and an experience greater than just time time between the whistle and the final sprint to the finish line. Here's a glimpse into what the vibe is like at Camp La Grange when we're out at the races:

La Grange Race Team Hijinks at the Tour of Murrieta

OK so it's all fun and games for the La Grange Race Team, right? Not so fast.

While we've aimed to foster a fun, relaxed, relatively irreverent team environment where no one takes themselves too seriously (we are all amateur recreational hobbyist cyclists after all), the racers take their training and racing very seriously and the results show.

The podiums have been plentify for both the men and womens race teams. We are very proud of what they have accomplished so far and expect more of the same in the second half of the season. But if one race race result photo demonstrates the merit of a cohesive, team-based race approach, it is the podium shot you'll see below from the Mens Cat 3 Lake Elizabeth Road Race - a race a certain local cycling blogger called the "Hardest Race Ever." [Ed: This is not fake news. While the linked blog post quotes a racer describing the race as "the hardest race you'll ever do," in a subsequent Facebook post, the blogger did indeed state that the race was the "Hardest. Race. Ever."]

You can read all about the team's efforts in the race reports below.

If you want to race for La Grange, here are your team captains. You can contact them directly or I can point you in the right direction:

  • Juniors Development: Brian Koester
  • Womens 1/2: Alicia Silvera
  • Womens 3/4/5: Danielle Cooper
  • Mens 1/2: Drew Kogon
  • Mens 3/4/5: Patrick Barrett
  • Masters: Jaycee Cary
  • Track: Kate Wymbs

Still not convinced to pin on a number and race for the team? No problem, we still have something for you!

The first event in this year's La Grange Cup is fast approaching. Whether you are a racer or someone who drops it into the granny to get up San Vicente, the La Grange Cup has something for you. This is the club's annual three race event and is open to all club members. You do not need to race or have any sort of racing license. Come out to improve your own personal record or duke it out with your fellow members and racers for club bragging rights. 

  • Sat, May 6: La Grange Cup #1. 500M time trial on the track at the Encino Velodrome.

  • Sat, Jun 24: La Grange Cup #2. 20K time trial from Trancas Canyon to (almost) The Rock.

  • Sat, Sep 16: La Grange Cup #3. Piuma Hill Climb.

The first event is one that any member should be able to handle: riding 500 meters on your bicycle! Yes, that is all it requires. The entire effort should take you between 35 seconds and a couple hours, depending on how hard you decide to pedal. We hope you can make it. There will be food, drink, prizes and good times! And socks.

Wait, did I say socks? Yes! This year, in conjunction with a generous donation by sponsor Seth Davidson Law - Bike Injury Lawyer, we will be giving away

FREE CUSTOM LG CUP SOCKS

to all participants! There will be three unique designs - one for each event - and you will need to sign up and show up and race the event in order to get your socks. Sign, up, show up and race all three events and you've got yourselves three pairs of custom, unique, never to be available again 2017 LG Cup socks.

Designs are currently underway (thank you Jaycee Cary!) and we'll have further announcements soon with details on how to sign up for the first event, the 500M on the Encino Velodrome May 6th.

Robert Efthimos
President, Velo Club La Grange
www.lagrange.org
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Velo-Club-La-Grange/280123768478
https://vimeo.com/channels/lagrange
http://app.strava.com/athletes/337152
https://vimeo.com/user11846099/videos


Tour of California / L'Etape California

The 2017 Amgen Tour of California is loaded with its strongest lineup of racers everand will be contested next month from May 11 to May 20. Best of all, the fan favorite "Queen Stage" with the mountaintop finish on Mt. Baldy is back, Thursday, May 18. For those who can make it out, we will have the La Grange van out on the climb with food and drink. So you can ride up and hang out and watch the race La Grange style! Further details to come, but go ahead and request the day off now so you can join us.


Before you watch the pros fly up Mt. Baldy on May 18, The L'Etape California allows us ordinary mortals the chance to ride the same Queen Stage that the pros will ride a few weeks later. This year, the L'Etape is Sunday, April 30. We are happy to report that the race organizers have provided a special discounted entry fee for La Grange members. Just use this link to sign up and enter this code:
 

lagrange15


Here is this year's route, which covers 74 miles (84 miles if you ride back to the start) and 11,000ft of climbing. It's an amazing ride on some amazing roads and is very well organized and supported, so if you are all so inclined, give it a go!


Upcoming Events April 2017


Apr 1: LAVRA Main Event Elite Omnium Series 2, VSC Carson
Apr 1: LAVRA Juniors Rule Omnium Series, VSC Carson
Apr 1: Big Bad Hillclimb TT, Glendora
Apr 1: Helen’s MDR Meets Helen’s SM Group Ride, 7:15 am Helen’s MDR
Apr 1: Helen’s Monthly Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s SM
Apr 1: Lobster Ride 2017, Encanto Park / Duarte
Apr 1-2: US Cup / Fontana XC, Fontana
Apr 2: CBR 4 of 6, Carson
Apr 2: Nine Mile Canyon Omnium, Ridgecrest
Apr 2: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Apr 3: LAVRA Monday Night Sprints, VSC Carson
Apr 4: El Dorado Race Series, Long Beach
Apr 5: Six Weeks of Spring Racing, Encino Velodrome
Apr 7-9: Victorville Omnium (RR/Crit/TT), Victorville
Apr 8-9: US Cup / Bonelli Park XC, San Dimas
Apr 8: LAVRA Main Event Elite Omnium Series 2, VSC Carson
Apr 8: Helen’s Monthly MTB ride, 7:45 am Helen’s SM
Apr 9: LAVRA TT Series, VSC Carson
Apr 11: El Dorado Race Series, Long Beach
Apr 12: Board of Directors Meeting – All current members are welcome to attend!! 7 pm Yahoo! Center across the street from Helen’s Cycles Santa Monica
Apr 12: Six Weeks of Spring Racing, Encino Velodrome
Apr 15: Helen’s Cycles Women Only Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s SM
Apr 16: Ontario Easter Sunday Criterium, Ontario
Apr 16: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s SM
Apr 17: Women’s MTB NIGHT Ride, 6:15 pm Starbucks 26th/San Vicente
Apr 18: El Dorado Race Series, Long Beach
Apr 19: Six Weeks of Spring Racing, Encino Velodrome
Apr 19-23: Tour of the Gila, Silver City NM
Apr 21: Sea Otter Classic, Monterey
Apr 23: LA Circuit Race, Los Angeles
Apr 25: El Dorado Race Series, Long Beach
Apr 26: Six Weeks of Spring Racing, Encino Velodrome
Apr 30: Dana Point Grand Prix, Dana Point
Apr 30: Amgen Tour of California L’Etape, Upland

Special thanks to Joey Santa Cruz for putting this list together


Later in 2017

We've set the dates for some of our biggest events this year. Mark your calendars!

May 6: LG Cup Stage 1 - 500M Encino Sprint
May 18: La Grange base camp roadside at the Tour of California Mt. Baldy Stage
Jun 24: LG Cup Stage 2 - 20K PCH Time Trial
Jul 16: Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride
Sep 16: LG Cup Stage 3 - Piuma Hill Climb & Club Picnic
Nov 5: Club Photo & Annual Award Show Banquet


A Message from Sponsor
Seth Davidson Law - Bike Injury Lawyer

Light it up!


By Seth Davidson
seth@sethdavidsonlaw.com
(424) 241-8118, 24/7
Bike Injury Lawyer and 2017 Velo Club La Grange Sponsor
 
Over the years I’ve made a lot of adaptations to improve safety while riding. The biggest one was transitioning to a helmet. In 1982, when I got my Nishiki International, no one wore a helmet although when we raced we wore leather straps of leather around our skull quite accurately referred to as “hairnets.”

I think it was in 2005 that I began wearing a helmet on group rides, and in 2007 that I started wearing one all the time.

The other big adaptation was lane control. I think that started in 2011 or so. I learned to ride in the center of the lane to prevent close passes, right hooks, door prizes and the like.

But the thing that has enhanced my safety more than anything else has been riding with daytime lights. In the bike injury cases I handle, almost everyone gets hit because the driver “didn’t see” them. Once you’re visible, you’re 99% of the way to not getting hit.

And by lights I don’t mean a feeble red blinker on the back.

Regardless of where or when I ride, I now look like an out-of-season Christmas tree. I have two 1,400-lumen headlamps set to strobe. Just yesterday those lights kept a woman from changing lanes into me. The blasts of light from the headlamps hit the rearview and side mirrors of cars ahead and they see you.

On the back I have a 180-lumen red flashing taillight, and two mini-lights that strap to the seat stays. From the left-back side of my helmet I attach another 150-lumen flashing red light. Because it sits up so high and flashes off to the left at the driver’s eye level, it makes me especially visible.

I’ve been riding for at least two years now with a front and rear daytime light, which has reduced car-bike conflicts to almost zero. With my new Christmas tree rig, it is zero. Cars just don’t get close to all that light.

If you’re not riding fully lit up during the day, you’re passing up the cheapest safety measure available, cheaper than a couple of new kits or one nice carbon wheel. Don’t be ashamed to look silly with all those lights, because if you’re in spandex you look silly anyway. And trust me, better to look silly on your bike than cool in the ICU.

[About Seth: Seth has been cycling since 1982 and road racing since 1984. More than 90% of his practice consists of representing injured cyclists in the South Bay and West L.A.]


Lake Elizabeth Road Race

  A podium sweep for the Mens Cat 3 Team!

A podium sweep for the Mens Cat 3 Team!

Lake Elizabeth Road Race - March 18th
Alex DeRoche, Cat 3 (1st)
:
[Ed: Alex's racing age is 20]

Holy toledo, was this race a shocker for me, and an epic podium-sweeping doozy for La Grange!

This race was a total paradigm shift for how I see myself as a rider. After nearly a year of establishing myself as something of a prodigy at getting dropped from road races (not a climber), I had resolved to be a critbanger. Apparently, all those crits whipped me into shape.

Anyways, the race started on a headwind climb. Yuck. Ethan Frankel boldy attacked up the hill, establishing a strong gap on the field. However, he could not quite get out of sight, and the chase was hot. I decided to cover moves as Ethan soloed. This worked to my advantage as I burned no energy and remained in good position for a counterattack. By the climb on the next lap the field had caught Ethan and theoretically it was my turn to counterattack, but I was doubtful of my abilities and was already in the pain cave, so I waited. Figuring that it would be better to try and establish a steady breakaway than get dropped later in the race by attacks on the climb, I decided to put in a few pedal strokes on the kicker before the descent. Interestingly, nobody followed me. Now on the descent, I figured I might as well lick my front tire for a few minutes and see if the field could catch me. My lead only grew, and before long I decided to go all in on my solo breakaway. The favorable winds, my skinsuit, deep dish wheels, aero helmet, aero tuck, and 130mm -25 degree slammage were in aggregate good for 4 minutes on the field - the race was over! Ethan attacked the field, reducing the front group to James Cowan and three other people. From there, Ethan and James went 2 and 3. La Grange crushed it!

After the finish, I was straddling the edge of consciousness. I had turned myself inside out and couldn't even comprehend whether I took the win. Apparently I did, which was one hell of a shocker for a guy who wasn't even sure he could finish the road race without getting dropped, much less win solo off the front! So happy!

Congratulations to Ethan Frankel and James Cowan on 2nd and 3rd. We swept it guys! And thanks to my teammates Patrick Barrett, Thomas David Rennier and Palle Gravesen Jensen for making this podium sweep possible. I look forward to more races with the LG cat 3 squad, it's always a pleasure :)


Lake Elizabeth Road Race - March 18th
Ethan Frankel, Cat 3 (2nd)
:
[Ed: Ethan's racing age is 19]

Since January, placing well in the Cat 3 races has become a regularity. Maybe it’s because of my fitness, maybe my mentality, or a combination of both. After two weeks of “rest” (meaning no racing but plenty of training and studying), I came into this race eagerly confident. On the hour-long drive up, I took a look at the Strava profile of course. I quickly realized it probably wouldn’t be ideal for someone more suited for sprints, like myself. It was a 1,000-foot climb, a few rollers, and then a long, fast descent. There were then a few miles of windy flats where echelons could be a factor. So if you were dropped on the climb, no bueno. 

RJ, Claire, and I drove around Lancaster, California for an extra 30 minutes before we were finally able to locate the course in the middle of a hilly desert in the midst of a windstorm with 30 mph gusts in the middle of nowhere. 30 minutes before the start, I jumped out of the car and bolted to the portable toilets for a pre-race emptying. With 20 minutes to go, I was registered and starting the pre-race ritual. It went something like this: kit up, pin, pump tires, eat food, hydrate, warm up, go to the bathroom, and eat. I only got around to the first three steps before I was lining up with 31 others. Parker, my former teammate from Team Swift and his dad, David, were also in racing! I was stoked to see them and have another chance to race with them, although this time they would be the ones I was trying to beat. Our race was 56 miles of morale-shattering headwinds up the climb and brutal crosswinds on the flats. It was going to make for an interesting race.

La Grange had one goal: get the win. As we rolled off the line, I immediately got to the front. I sat top five as we turned left onto the climb. The wind slowed us to less than 10 mph. The climb had barely started, and I knew it was going to be a long, long time until the top. A minute later, the climbers started increasing the tempo. I sat on their wheels into the headwind. A move went up my left side. I followed. He quickly sat up when he realized that there would be no point in leading the group into a headwind. I, on the other hand, had different ideas. I jumped around him and suddenly had a 15-second gap on the rest of the field. I set a solid tempo over the climb into the headwind. I periodically glanced over my shoulder to see a Pacific Premier rider at the front chasing. But I was still opening the gap. By the time I crested the climb onto the flats before the descent, I was nearly out of sight. 

It was then a 10-mile solo TT trying to stay away from the field. According to Alex, there were some chase attempts, and it was very difficult to get a huge gap on such a windy course. Halfway up the second climb, the field reached me. I hopped into the top five in case any gaps farther back opened up. I definitely did not want to be in a position where I would have to chase into a gnarly headwind. I hovered around the top five up and over the climb. There were some half-hearted attacks, but my teammates – James Cowan, Alex Deroche, and Thomas Rennier – and I were all able to cover those moves.

Shortly after cresting the climb, Alex made a move as I was taking a pull at the front. I nodded as he rode by. In minutes, Alex was out of sight. As we descended, I cruised alongside Alex from Helen’s-BMW. I guess “cruised” is the wrong word since we were both in a pedaling aerotuck position whilst descending through crosswinds at 50+ miles per hour. But I certainly had fun. 

The next two laps were relatively uneventful. We had time checks every few minutes, and each one kept getting bigger. After one lap, the referee called out, “Two minutes to the solo leader!” Suddenly, a Big Orange rider attacked and established a solid gap. However, he was going to have trouble bridging to a very motivated and very aerodynamic Alex Deroche. 

One lap later, Thomas covered a move and they had a 30-second gap going over the top of the penultimate climb. A few motivated individuals without teammates worked on bringing them back, and before the lap was over, Alex was the only rider in front. And it was the last lap. “The solo leader has just over four minutes!” shouted the ref.

“Perfect,” I said to James. “No one is going to catch that.”

And nobody did. I was, however, feeling very good and saw an opportunity to whittle down the field to make it easier for James and I to place well. Halfway up the climb, Alex had nearly five minutes and even with an extraordinarily organized chase, we were not going to make u that much time. So I drilled it.
Of course, people just sat on my wheel into a massive headwind, but I found my climbing legs and accelerated several times. I looked back and noticed riders dropping off the back in ones and twos. It was working.

I flicked my elbow. “You got this,” I exclaimed to the rider behind me. He gasped. “Alright, I got this,” I responded.

Up and over the climb I kept the pace high. The field dwindled from over 20 to about 12 in the matter of five minutes. There were just a few of us who weren’t utterly exhausted from the climb and went to the front to ensure no one else tagged on to the back. As we hit the top of the kicker before the descent, a Big O rider attacked. James, a rider from SimpleGreen, and myself all responded. No one else cared or no one else thought that the four of us would get a big enough gap. They were wrong. We pinned it on the descent and opened a five-second gap to 30 within a kilometer. 

We were basically home free, but didn’t want anyone else bridging. James and I effectively rotated with our breakmates until it came into the last 1 km. Big O attacked into an insane headwind but was quickly brought back. We travelled along the slight uphill grade at 14 mph. No one wanted to work. Finally, James decided to get to the front for a mini, one-man leadout. The SimpleGreen rider hopped onto his wheel and began opening up the sprint from 500 to go. At 300 meters out, I came around him without difficulty but had lots of trouble accelerating into the wind. With one last push, it was over. James rolled in a few seconds back for third. A La Grange Cat 3 podium sweep! It was a phenomenal race. 

I was very proud of Alex for his effort, especially after having a rough few weeks of training. It was truly a spectacular moment for him and La Grange. Personally, I also rode well. I was never outside of the top five, and even had the legs to drill it at the front going uphill (I’m not much of a “suffer-for-45-minutes-at-an-insane-tempo-up-a-really-steep-climb” climber, more of a punchy “can sort of climb but prefers not to” sprinter). And soloing had also been a mental boost for me. I am really excited for the rest of the season, especially as Collegiate Nationals approaches in just a month!


Lake Elizabeth Road Race - March 18th
James Cowan, Cat 3 (3rd)
:
[Ed: James's racing age is 47]

Listen.  When you ride to a road race in the LG Team Van, you’re not just doing it to save the environment, you’re doing it because there is Team information being delivered.  I sat in the back and listened carefully.  A handbook was waived around, the PowerPoint was too much, and the charts put me to sleep.

We were on our way to the Lake Elizabeth Road Race, a 14-mile loop with 1,000 feet of climbing per lap.  The 32 Cat 3 racers had 4 laps to complete.  Our race was after the Cat 5s, so we eagerly watched them race, learning from their moves.  The wind picked up and it was apparent to me that sitting 3rd wheel the entire race was my best strategy.  Not at the front, not in a break, and definitely not getting that KOM on the downhill.

It turns out that sitting 3rd wheel is very hard, but I could actually do it.  For every pedal stroke I laid down I was using just a little less energy than the front guys, and about the same as the riders behind me.  As we crested the hill for the 2nd time, teammate Alex Deroche attacked, creating a solo breakaway that would never be caught.

Round we went, lap after lap until we crested the final climb.  There were about 15 of us left.  There’s a 100-meter power climb before the long descent and teammate Ethan Frankel and I attacked along with 2 others, and broke away.  The four of us let off the brakes and drifted away from the peloton, creating a 30-second break as we came into the final 5 mile stretch.  We worked together, sealing our break.  As we approached the final half-mile, I replayed the PowerPoint, charts and words I had learned earlier.  I tried my best to stay 3rd wheel in this break of 4.  With 100 meters to go Ethan hit the gas, 2nd wheel was too tired to cover, and I dug deep to get somewhat in the vicinity of his wheel.  4th wheel couldn’t catch mine, so in an instant we crossed the line ahead of the other 2, placing us 2nd and 3rd overall.

Listening had paid off, LG had swept the podium!


Lake Elizabeth Road Race - March 18th
Matthieu Delcourt, Cat 4
:

Got smoked again by the same professional triathletes who won USCB and UCLA. They won Lake Elizabeth by 11min on the field! I held on to their wheels 80% of the first climb then found two other guys to chase them before being dropped on a power climb. Power numbers were higher than ever but it wasn't enough. Entering lap 2 Maykol and I rode together in a group of 10 but we got blown away in the head wind. As I entered the pain cave, With Monty and two other guys we formed a new group and Monty found the words to motivate me and convinced me to keep pushing. Without him I would have given up. Approaching the finish sprint I offered to burn my last matches to help him on the sprint. I attacked four times to tire those two guys out while Monty would just follow their wheels. After four accelerations in the head wind, they were spent and Monty was ready to sprint and secured 15th place. The race was very hard so we'll take it!


Lake Elizabeth Road Race - March 18th
Liutauras Rusaitis, Cat 5 (4th)
:

Shortly after the start of the race I found myself mid-pack with the front two guys already breaking away from us quickly on the climb. I had four teammates with a plan of sticking together, and we were already being broken up few minutes into the race. I jumped on Chris' wheel and he lead me out to the breakaway. Ryan and Paul stayed with the pack at the front and prevented the group of chasing us down. No wonder - the guy we were chasing was a pro triathlete and we had to let him go solo before we all blew up.

Now it was four of us starting to work together. Chris made sure I didn't do any unnecessary pulls and he kept our group together for the first lap. Upon the climb on the second lap, Chris dropped off and I was by myself with the other two. With one of them being a good descender, I ended up leading out the third rider back to our group while chasing down the front rider. Unfortunate for me, because the guy was a good sprinter! I ended up getting a 4th place after a hot sprint at the finish.


Tour of Murrieta

  The La Grange Race Team came out in numbers for this year's Tour of Murrieta!

The La Grange Race Team came out in numbers for this year's Tour of Murrieta!


Tour of Murrieta Circuit Race - March 12
Maddy Ward, P123
:

This was the sketchiest race I've ever been in. I was almost crashed out 3 times, one of which I was run off the road and had to unclip to avoid going down. It was comforting to have Kate and Lis in the race with me, though. When the road narrowed and the center line rule went into effect, another rider who felt I was closing in on her space yelled at me. I didn't let it bother me, but it was great to have Lisbeth come up from behind and reassure me that I was fine. So while it wasn't the ideal race condition, and Kate, Lisbeth and I didn't really have the chance to execute team tactics, I still appreciated having teammates in the field which made the race worthwhile.


Tour of Murrieta Grand Prix - March 11
Jaycee Cary, 30+ 3/4
:

BOOM! 4th place from a break!!!


Tour of Murrieta Circuit Race - March 12
Patrick Barrett, Cat 3
:

With Thomas still holding on to the GC and LG in the shot for the team competition, we were to assist Thomas getting into the winning move and then get the rest of us to finish in the top 10 to take both the GC and team competition. Unfortunately after the break was set and LG did repeated attacks on the front to put Thomas within striking distance, most of us had to sit in while Thomas opted for a solo bridge effort. This put Thomas in no-mans-land between the break and the pack which ensured the break would be caught.

When the break was finally caught with 2 laps to go, Alex DeRoche, Marco and I schemed up our top ten tactic. Going into 1km, Alex attacked up the right side while Marco and I grabbed on but put a few other riders in for padding. Alex delivered us to the 500m turn with about 20 more riders in front and I took over, taking us into the final turn in 7th place. Marco came around me and charged on to 3rd place with Alex taking 10th! Unfortunately, I did not make my top 10 placement as my rear skewer came loose with 50m to go and I dropped from 7th place to 29th in a fraction of a moment...but I stayed up and no crashes!

LG put 2 riders on the GC podium but we barely barely barely lost the overall team competition. Always check your skewer!


Tour of Murrieta Circuit Race - March 12
Alex DeRoche, Cat 3
:

The LG squad was greeted by moonlight heading over to the circuit race. Daylight savings had struck again, and we were all zombies propped up by coffee.

After hanging out, watching races, and warming up, the men's cat 3 squad was ready to race.
Early in the race, Patrick and I were warned about the centerline rule and sent to the back of the pack. (unmarked section, somewhat ambiguous as to what to do). Oops. Thankfully, moving up at that point in the race was not too difficult, and the moves were not threatening. For about the first half of the race, Marco, Patrick and I covered moves and tried to deliver Thomas, our GC contender, to a breakaway. At one point I was on autopilot and chased down a break with Patrick in it. Dumb, but inconsequential as the chase was quick and easy.

The second half of the race at first was chill, but soon enough the surges came and the pace (and the temperature) got pretty hot as riders attacked and chased. On the narrow roads, it got pretty sketchy and there were a few near misses. For me, the race became a struggle to stay together with my teammates and establish a game plan.

By the final lap, we had decided that I would lead it out to the penultimate corner, Patrick would lead it out through the final, Marco would gun it to the line, and Thomas would protect his GC opportunities. It worked out pretty much as planned, sans Patrick's wheel coming out of the dropouts in the sprint. Yikes.

Marco, congrats on 3rd place (and 5th GC!), Thomas, congrats on 3rd GC, and Patrick, mad props on not going down. Today's race was an exhibit of great teamwork and was certainly a blast. I look forward to more racing with the LG cat 3 squad!

Cycling on the Internet
with Matthieu Delcourt

http://mywindsock.com

Winter has brought us lots of rain and lots wind, making it hard to train, race and find good roads to ride on. Now you can predict what the wind will be like on your next ride thanks to http://mywindsock.com.

Sync it to your Strava account and you'll be able to see the wind conditions, directions, speed of your previous rides but also on any route you created in Strava or even your favorite segment. You have a forecast option with date and time also which is quite useful. A great tool to anticipate which sections will have a headwind or a tail wind or even get the race team lined up for the upcoming crosswind!


The Month in Photos

  Mentor Jonathan Paris with the La Grange Development Team, scouting out the course for the San Dimas Stage Race.

Mentor Jonathan Paris with the La Grange Development Team, scouting out the course for the San Dimas Stage Race.

  Liutauras Rusaitis and Yudai Nunome engage in their top secret training regime.

Liutauras Rusaitis and Yudai Nunome engage in their top secret training regime.

  Local pro Katie Donovan is all that stopped Daniela Garcia and Claire Van Ekdom from the top spots at the Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

Local pro Katie Donovan is all that stopped Daniela Garcia and Claire Van Ekdom from the top spots at the Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

  The La Grange women showed up ready to race at the Island View Criterium in Isla Vista!

The La Grange women showed up ready to race at the Island View Criterium in Isla Vista!

  Elijah Shabazz makes his season debut (finally in blue!) at the Tour of Murrieta.

Elijah Shabazz makes his season debut (finally in blue!) at the Tour of Murrieta.

  Ellen Shinogle and Tracy Paaso lap the field and go 1-2 at the Island View Criterium!

Ellen Shinogle and Tracy Paaso lap the field and go 1-2 at the Island View Criterium!

  Thomas Rennier took 4th in the Stage 1 time trial on his way to a GC podium in the Cat 3 San Dimas Stage Race!

Thomas Rennier took 4th in the Stage 1 time trial on his way to a GC podium in the Cat 3 San Dimas Stage Race!

  Womens Race Team Camp just outside Los Alamos.

Womens Race Team Camp just outside Los Alamos.

  Cari Smulyan wins the Cat 4 Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

Cari Smulyan wins the Cat 4 Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

  Patrick Barrett on the Cat 3 podium for the Stage 3 Criterium at the San Dimas Stage Race! Later that week, he helped recycle a rocket or something along those lines.

Patrick Barrett on the Cat 3 podium for the Stage 3 Criterium at the San Dimas Stage Race! Later that week, he helped recycle a rocket or something along those lines.

  Dan Funk on the podium for the 55+ Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

Dan Funk on the podium for the 55+ Lake Elizabeth Road Race!

  Thomas Rennier and Marco Fabrizio both make it onto the final Cat 3 GC Omnium podium at the Tour of Murrieta!

Thomas Rennier and Marco Fabrizio both make it onto the final Cat 3 GC Omnium podium at the Tour of Murrieta!

  Garrett Olsen lost somewhere in Korea - hopefully he makes it back to race for the team soon.

Garrett Olsen lost somewhere in Korea - hopefully he makes it back to race for the team soon.