La Voix

While it might be the "offseason" for some, things remain in full swing at Velo Club La Grange. We have not one, but two events coming this Saturday, we're joining forces with clubs all around SoCal for a great event next Sunday, August 12, and we know you are all training hard for Piuma! But before we get to all that, let's talk La Grange Cup!

2018 La Grange Cup Update

We've now completed 2 of the 3 stages of the 2018 La Grange Cup. Your last chance to compete in the 2018 LG Cup comes next month, September 15, with the event that started it all - the Piuma Hill Climb!

The Piuma Hill Climb will of course be followed by our annual summer picnic - this year FREE to all member and their families. So go ahead and eat kale and sand for the next 6 weeks as part of your Piuma prep, then come out and enjoy your first real meal in over a month after your assault on the mountain. Details to come!

Congratulations to Zach LaBry and Cara Applegate for turning in the fastest overall mens and womens times on the day. And thanks to La Grange Cup Directeur Sportif Marco Fantone and his crew of volunteers for helping out and making the event such a success. The crack volunteer crew was comprised of:

  • Barry Goch
  • Catherine Guentert
  • Colin Rasor
  • Dan Chapman
  • Edgar Burksen
  • Frank Whitelock
  • Jan Datomi
  • Jerry Cipriano
  • Scott Lipe

All racers and volunteers received custom LG Cup socks courtesy of sponsor Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer. Thanks Seth! If you haven't had a chance yet, check out the great photos shot by Dan Chapman!

Here are the official results from Saturday's Stage 2 PCH 20K Time Trial from Trancas to (Almost) The Rock, including overall standings. Remember, you need to compete in 2 of the 3 events in order to score points in the overall, so the overall standings are preliminary and subject to adjustment for those who only compete in one event.

20K PCH Time Trial Results:

LG Cup #2 TT category results (7-30-18).jpg
LG Cup #2 TT overall results (7-30-18).jpg

Current Standings after Stage 2 of 3:

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2018 LG Cup Category & Overall Results (7-31-18)-2.png


Drills for Skills Saturday Morning!

Saturday, August 4 - 7:45am

Marc Thomas will be leading another Drills for Skills class. We’ll meet at the Coral Tree Cafe, then head over to the V.A. The class works on improving bike handling for level of cyclists. So if you’re a new rider or you’ve been riding for years, you can improve your skills and confidence on a bike. After the class, there will be a casual ride for those interested. So please come out and join us!


Trackstravoganza Saturday Afternoon/Evening!

Join us this Saturday, August 4. This event is for the whole club!! Let's get together drink some tasty beverages and talk about Bicycles!!! 

Dr. Zach LaBry - our notoriously awesome, marvelously verbose, and keen witted Track Captain has decided to share his Track budget to allow all of us to partake in one amazing day of Trackcycle Speculation and Velodrome Amazement!! Seriously, dudes and dudettes, there is going to be an amazing show of some world-clath Assletes. 

Anywho, here's the rub! 

We will have space at the Phantom Carriage, an awesome brewery just down the street from the Velodrome. La Grange will be servicing us with delightful bites and delectable brews and ciders. Be prompt because we'll be leaving this place at 5:30pm to make it to the Velodrome for the TRACKSTRAVOGANZA! (starts at 6pm entrance paid for by LG) The lineup of events that they have scheduled will excite even the lamest of non-velo-ers. (link below)


All Clubs BBQ & South Bay Cycling Awards August 12!

La Grange is very happy to be a presenting sponsor of the first-ever All Clubs BBQ - a day for all local cyclists to get together off the bike and enjoy a day together, building bridges across a large and diverse community. La Grange Pitmaster General Patrick Barrett will be representing the club in the BBQ Cook-Off Challenge, so come out and taste the meats! (as well as the other food and drink on hand)

From the FB event page:

The All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards will take place on August 12, 2018 at El Dorado Park West from 12-6 PM. The event entry is free. All are welcomed.

The All Clubs BBQ & Awards is a continuation of efforts to engage the cycling community in social activities bringing us all together. These events provide us all opportunities to broaden our perspectives, develop our channels to have discussions, strengthen bonds to enrich our camaraderie and allow us to meet others from the many diverse communities in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

• El Dorado Park West 2800 N. Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA
• "Willow Grove" Picnic site enter on E. Los Arcos St. off Studebaker
• There is ample free parking
• Extensive tree covering and covered picnic shelters (available on a
first come basis)
• Family friendly outing
• Playground & Bounce house
• Games extravaganza
• We have a lot in store for you to make it an unforgettable day!

12 PM - 6 PM
All Clubs BBQ & Awards opens.
There will be several chefs cooking in our BBQ Tri Tip Cook Off Competition , and we will be selling $5 tickets to taste and judge.
Delicious FULL plates of BBQ plus sides will be provided FREE FOR THE FIRST 150 PEOPLE by the exceptional women of the Flawless Diamonds.
Potluck style is the format for individuals and all clubs allowing each to provide and cover themselves or their members.
A DJ will play music for the duration of the event.

12:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Inter- Club Game Extravaganza brought to you by Peta Tekai and Jeff Prinze!

3 PM - 5 PM
South Bay Cycling Awards with Seth Davidson as your host.

5 PM - 6 PM
Social Mixer and maybe a little dancing!

We hope to see you all there!

Race Reports

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix - Cat 5
by Anthony Metzidis

Lead Up to the Event

If you asked me even a year ago I never would have guessed that I'd be doing criterium races. I'll be honest I was intimidated. And just a couple years back I was typically getting dropped by most of the LG group rides, especially Nichols. So placing 19th in the Cat 5 Manhattan GP feels like an enormous accomplishment for me.

Joining the LG Race Team in January and attending the training camp was a tremendous experience. Not only did I learn a ton of tactics and skills, but the simulated races helped familiarize me with the feel of racing. I received tons of guidance and support from Patrick, Irene, Zack, Martin and pretty much the entire team. Moreover the camaraderie and mentorship during our chill time gave me the confidence I needed to consider diving in.

I started the year doing the track events, and really enjoyed them. But I then took a racing pause from April until this race. It was a great coincidence that I had a chat with Pat during the LG century, which motivated me to give it a go at Manhattan Beach.

The feeling after Sunday's event was unreal. The race was such a rush, and I felt confident that with some solid training and practice I could be a more competent racer. It'll still take some time to shed the fred--but I'm on my way.


Pro tip #1 -- get in early, reg early to beat the queues, warm up on the course, pick your lines

I arrived around 0615 with nearly no one around, and the barriers were still being installed. I took the time to practice my lines. Turn 2 felt more technical, with a descending left 180. Taking it a couple times, I discovered that I could pretty much hit it at any speed as long as I committed to the turn, watched the exit and kept my weight on the frontend.

Overall the course was undulating, the turns were fast, which suited my riding style -- I can usually carry momentum over rollers and out of turns pretty well--so I went from feeling nervous to feeling confident that I could be competitive. All the butterflies went away.

Race Start

Pro Tip #2 -- move to the front quickly and efficiently. 
Pro Tip #3 -- The outside line feels a lot safer
Mistake #1 -- I kept getting boxed in as the pack slowed down--losing precious momentum.

I started toward the back of the pack, and quickly tried to get toward the middle. But I got swarmed into turn 1, which was a bit terrifying as everyone's lines were all over the place. The barriers for turn 1 had an odd radius, which seemed to push the inside lines into the middle--lots of cross wheel action.

Thankfully prior to turn 2, there was a bit of a climb, so I was able to push forward to get some breathing room. And after turn 2, the pack slowed considerably into the slight climb, so I jumped up toward the front. From that point i was able to stay in the front third for most of the race, which was liberating. I then got better position entering the turns on the outside, which gave me more confidence to keep speed.

Around lap 3 there was some real sketchiness. There was an agro rider, who passed on the right and deliberately collided with another rider--the two then proceeded to curse each other and take their eyes off the pack going into turn 2. After those 2 calmed down there were a couple less intentional bumps around me but thankfully it was kept under control. From that point on, things seemed pretty composed. For 70% of the race it felt like a fast group ride.

Middle, Or the Time When I Went Too Hard

Mistake #2 -- Too much momentum put me at the front, and gave me false confidence
Pro Tip #4 -- Keep thinking "conserve" , make a smart move, and recover.

With about 4 laps remaining, I made a big mistake, coming out of turn 1 with too much speed, I ended up in the front 5 without a draft. I spent a ton of gas trying to get back in while going up the roller, and I could feel my body fatigue. I quickly found a protected position and calmed down. But I knew I'd burnt a match on that.

Final Lap

Final Lap picked up the pace, but nothing unsustainable. Turn 1 was fast but consistent, but I started getting nervous for turn 2--anticipating someone losing their line or tread. That went smooth, and a big gap opened on the left while the pack slowed on the right. Someone pulled the trigger early, so I jumped on his wheel with ~500m out. We were toward the front, and I felt I had a good position to attack. But the joke was on me, as he pulled off almost as quickly as I jumped on his wheel. I figured "what the hell" and started my sprint with prob 400m to go. But the wind was so strong that I quickly started to fatigue. That's when I heard the carnage.

The Crash and Final Sprint

Pro Tip #5: Keep 2 or more people ahead of you, so if one pulls off, the 2nd will do the work
Pro Tip #6: You can lose a race by starting the sprint early, but you'll save your skin.

At this point I was ahead of the big crash, with prob 125m out. But I could hear the carnage and a blowout behind me. Between my fatigue and being startled by the crash, I slowed my effort and medium-pedaled into the finish. It seemed like 30 racers passed me, but I guess the count was 18. Happy to finish, happy to compete, and even happier to start the fiesta.

MTB smiles.jpg

Big Bear MTB State Championships - Cat 2
by Barb Blakley Millot

Big Bear was my second mountain bike race and my second race traveling with La Grange. I really wanted a bear jersey but wasn't sure how it would go, I am a climber but going downhill on the dirt is not my forte! Additionally our MTB team captain had a bad crash during the week and my husband and I would be the house parents along with racing. So the pressure was on, but I also knew we had a great crew going up, including our puppy Sophie, and it would be a fun weekend no matter what!

We had a quiet dinner in Big Bear's downtown with Kate, the road captain, and really enjoyed getting to know her and reminiscing about races in the Northeast where we've all lived fairly recently. Saturday started as a beautiful morning so we all had some breakfast and headed to the race village. We set up the tent and started riding up to the start, which was around 2.5 miles uphill. It was definitely a thorough warmup and when we reached the start we were sweaty and feeling the altitude. The women's cat 2's lined up last and all of a sudden we were off! A few of the ladies did what I would call a cyclocross start - way too hard, at least in my view. I let them go for a minute and rode within myself and passed them within about 2 minutes. This was about a 10 minute jeep road climb and at the top I couldn't see anyone else in the field. I tried to ride the downhills as aggressively as I could but it's still definitely not my thing. Bianca from SWAT passed me like I was standing still. We went back and forth for a while, me passing her any time we went uphill, and her leaving me in the dust when we went downhill. 

We turned onto singletrack and I never saw her again. The singletrack was intense for a while as the men's pros, who had done an extra loop, started passing us. I pulled over a lot! Most of them were super nice. I just kept riding what I could, getting off the bike through some boulder sections, and trying to push myself on the downhills. The trail here was great - really nice and flowy, not too technical, and some gorgeous views. I tried to enjoy this as much as I could even though my lungs and legs were burning.

I got to the finish after a small crash and rolled through. I was hot, thirsty, and excited to see that I was the second cat 2 over the line and had won my age group so the bear jersey will be mine! The rest of the team did great as well - Carter Baker was second in his category, Michael Kehrberg was 4th, Tina Grant was second in spite of an epic crash that had her rolling down the side of a hill into a sand pit, Kate Wymbs won her category, and Rod Millott was 6th in his category (though his wife did beat him!). Really terrific efforts by the whole team. 

The Finish Line

Credit: Daili Shang

Credit: Daili Shang