La Grange Grand Prix, March 50 for 50 Ride, 2019 LG Cup Dates, July 14 LA City Proclamation Day, Track Report, Race Report
La Grange Grand Prix Sunday, June 2, 2019
Thanks to the relentless work and dedication of Joseph Duerr, Velo Club La Grange will be the very first cycling club to negotiate a cycling race on a 53 acre CLOSED course race track at the Porsche Experience Center in Southern California! For those of you that do not know about this race track, it is a location where Porsche USA allows owners and guests to race around this enthusiasts play-land https://www.porschedriving.com/porsche-experience-center-los-angeles.
The La Grange Grand Prix will offer an extraordinary bike racing experience. Several club members have had a chance to ride this course, and it is spectacular. 1.4 miles of straights, turns, hills, and descents on an immaculate high-speed unblemished tarmac. When you ride on it, you will know that with every turn of your crank it will test everything you’ve got. This race is incredibly unique and will not be missed.
Sunday, June 2, 2019, is the date. Keep it free and get ready to race or just attend to watch your fellow members and friends race this spectacular course. Plus, all Juniors will race for free, so we want to see you all out there!
March 50 for 50 Ride
The March 50 for 50 ride route was changed the day before the ride due to the closure of Topanga Canyon for hillside damage repair. The turnout was awesome. The route went south to Marina Del Rey, east on the Ballona Creek bikepath, north through Beverlywood and into Beverly Hills via Rodeo Drive with a stop at the Witch’s House, then into Franklin Canyon with SAG provided by Jan Datomi, down into the valley to the Orange Line bike path then up and over Sepulveda and into Santa Monica for lunch at Tacos Por Favor. We hope you join us for the April 50 for 50 ride!
La Grange Cup Dates
500M Track Sprint - Sunday, May 26th
Trancas 20K TT: Saturday, July 13th
Piuma Hill Climb: Saturday, September 14th immediately followed by the annual club picnic
July 14 LA City Proclamation Day
Save the date! Sunday, July 14th, which is Bastille Day, the City of Los Angeles will present the club with a proclamation recognizing the club’s 50th anniversary at the start of the World Famous Nichols Ride. We expect a huge turnout for this so be sure to mark it on your calendar now.
A little background…
This year, as part of its commitment to developing track racers and as the club with one of the largest contingents of track racers in LA, La Grange sponsored a set of race-focused women's track clinics earlier this year. The first clinic on January 26 introduced racers to basic concepts of racing on the track and the different types endurance races. The second clinic, held over two days on March 9-10, was geared toward intermediate racers with a focus on skills an tactics for the four events of the International Omnium. The clinics were taught by Chris Birch, a two-time US Elite National Champion and member of the US National Team.
Katy's race report
A couple weekends ago I participated in the LAVRA Women’s Race Clinic on Intermediate Mass Start Racing on the Track. I was hesitant to register as the event was advertised for Intermediate track racers, and I’d only ridden on a velodrome three times before, but eventually Zach LaBry, who organized the event, set me up with one of the track’s rental bikes and coaxed me into it.
A mix of women showed up for the clinic – masters racers who had earned stripes on their kits, women who’d been racing track for a few years, women who had ridden on velodromes for years but had never raced, and a few women who – like me – had only been on a track a handful of times.
The clinic consisted of two 3.5 hour sessions lead by Chris Birch and Zach LaBry. Over the weekend we covered all four international omnium events – tempo and elimination on day 1, followed by scratch and points on day 2. We talked about tactics as Chris drew diagrams on a whiteboard, then we’d break into drills for attacking, moving around the pack, and defending position that were tailored for the specific situations we’d discussed, but applicable to any mass-start track race.
Everyone at the clinic was extremely supportive. Chris and Zach did a phenomenal job of making sure everyone was getting something out of the drills – not an easy task with that spread of experience levels. The racers who had spent a lot of time on the velodrome were helpful and respectful of those of us who were brand new, encouraging us and making us feel welcome to share the boards with them.
The clinic culminated in a mock omnium in which we raced shortened versions of all four events with a quick rest and debrief after each. Again, I was hesitant to participate in the mock races, fearing that I’d inadvertently get in the way of the more experienced racers, but they insisted that wouldn’t be the case. It was a huge mental hurdle for me to race in close proximity to other people on a bike with no brakes, but knowing that all the other racers wanted me there helped me get over it and boy, was it fun! While I can’t say I did particularly well in any of the mock races, I got a glimpse of what it would be like to actually race track – blistering speeds, people on all sides of you, and –of course – a lot of left turns.
Over the course of the clinic, I faced fears, made friends, learned a ton, and got in a workout. What a way to spend a weekend! Next up for me: buy a track bike and sign myself up for a race!
Race Report: Tour of Murrieta
This year 18 members of the race team traveled to the Tour of Murrieta. Held the weekend before Redlands, this race gives amateurs the chance the rub elbows (sometimes literally) with pro riders who are just warming up their legs. As a cat 3, I had the chance to race hard in the women's 3-4-5 crit and then start again shortly after with the pros. With the Mexican national team, a pro canadian team, and numerous others it was an unprecedented chance to see how it's really done. Spoiler: it's done FAST.
After that crit, Daniela Garcia reports: "The Mexican team was leading the overall and I knew they will control the [circuit] race. I was covering the brakes because Liz was on the overall. It was a hard race.. I suffered bad cramps on the last lap but was still able to get 7th on the stage." Her teammate Liz Ureno took 8th overall in the women's P12.
As for the men, Duncan Clark returned to take first place in the 2/3 omnium for the second year running! Patrick Barrett and Victor Ayala, each racing in different categories, raced super hard in the circuit race. "I broke rule #1 of being in a break," says Victor with a huge grin. "Don’t get dropped from the break." As Patrick's breakaway - it's all on video. After many laps of gaining reputation by attacking the leaders ("two Dutch brothers"), he sees the winning break and bridges up. By the time the break passes Ft. La Grange he's on the back of the break with his tongue hanging all the way out. Then on the back stretch he blows up.
It's races like these that help riders grow their skills. Acacia Shyr writes: "A highlight was watching the amazing talent in the other races! I realized that I could have pedaled through many more of the corners than I did while I was watching the other races. I think this skill comes with lots of practice." Acacia also describes working together with teammates Emily Conant and Ellie Perry, who passed her a gel when the going got tough. Emily is new to the team, and agrees on the importance of bike handling. " I slowed myself down a lot at the turns and had to expend a lot of extra energy catching up." Another tip from Kim Kopenhaver: "It's important a few laps to go start moving up. I had the strength at the end but hesitated too long and the window to move up closes very quickly!"
Having your teammates around is the best part of a travel race weekend, especially for all the new racers. "Unfortunately for my legs, I could not disappoint LG’s cheer-leading squad, let alone let down my teammates. So I stuck through." "The atmosphere and camaraderie was motivating!" says Liz Fu. In the W345 circuit, "I even managed a little (accidental) breakaway! In fairness Dani was shouting “go go go”, so who am I to ignore instructions?"
Race Day Boss Ellie Perry, who booked the house and shopped for food, has maybe the greatest racing lesson of all: "Racing isn't only fun if you do well in the race - if nothing else it's just fun to ride your bike somewhere different and spend quality time with some of the best people around!"