KR Women Win 2014 Ballard Criterium!

10 06 2014

KR Women Win 2014 Ballard Criterium!

By: Ivy Audrain

On Saturday, June 7th, I won the Ballard Criterium, a hometown favorite that always brings out a lot of tough competition. With an incredible number of premes offered and a larger field size than usual, my teammates Kele Murdin, and former Ballard Crit Winner Jocelyn Setter, were eager and ready to animate the race and protect me for the finish. Kele’s shifter broke half-way through the race, leaving her in a monstrous gear, which she was happy to stay in and motor on the front to keep the pace high, while Jocelyn covered and responded to countless attacks. Complete chaos ensued in the last lap, and with one lap to go, but I surprisingly found my way to the front by the last corner, where the field sprint started and I was able to come away with the win, and ‘clean wheels’. Cheers to another successful Ballard Criterium, followed by an even more successful after party at our annual post-race Ballard Pizza Co food-smashing.





Mutual of Enumclaw Success!

19 05 2014

Mutual of Enumclaw Success!

A rainy and slippery criterium and road race at the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race still resulted in two podiums for Ivy Audrain! A strong showing from several Canadian teams made for an aggressive and fast criterium, averaging almost 27mph in spite of the rainy conditions. The race leader soloed away with one lap to go, and Ivy won the field sprint for 2nd, coming very close to the leader at the line.
The road race brought countless attacks to form a selection each time up Mud Mountain. Ivy stayed active towards the front, making the selection each time, and finished 3rd in the field sprint. KR withstood a true race of attrition!





Volunteer Park 2014!

29 04 2014

by Colin Gibson

Volunteer Park is a classic.  It’s marked the start of crit season for years and somehow always seems to fall on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  It’s literally impossible that it will ever rain on Volunteer Park. KR showed up full flex with Nick, Rad, Galen, Jamie, Karl, Pete, Ian, and me.

Despite Galen almost jinxing the weather and Benny Swedburg standing me up for our annual coffee date, we decided to race anyway.

The plan was to ride selfishly and make sure one of us won.  We decided that the danger men were Joe Holmes and the sketchy guy wearing the CWU kit.  Pete marked Joe and waited for the right time to put him into the curb while Ian shouted at the CWU guy to pull until he ran out of energy.

With the two main threats neutralized, Ian and I found ourselves off the front in a strong group of 7 with about 30 minutes remaining.  With us were Dave Richter, Will Teal, and Aaron Shaw (HSP), Steve Wilssens (Audi), and Ryan Short (WWU).  The group was hesitant to commit because of its size but had a good gap thanks to a snack break in the pack.  After some odd gaps opened up, things were whittled down to just me, Richter, Wilssens, and Short.  Threat level: midnight.  The four of us rolled through and it quickly became apparent that the bunch behind was mostly content with us staying away.

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Group of seven whittling down to four. All photos from https://www.facebook.com/NWBikeRacingPhotos. Thank you thank you!

I was weary of Richter in the sprint, but the up-down nature of the course meant that attacking never seemed like a great idea, so we kept rolling through, and came to the bell lap looking at each other. Ryan Short was the first to jump going into the water tower curve, followed at a few bike lengths by Richter, me, and then Wilssens.  We all coasted on the descent, and right at the bottom, Wilssens had built up a head of Belgian steam and made his move, flying by the three of us.  Short immediately responded with Richter and me in tow, but Wilssens’ gap was growing.  Nearing the final right-hander onto the finishing straight, he had ~10 meters on us.

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Short accelerating with one to go

As Short faded, Richter jumped and took the outside line through the turn.  Wilssens still had a gap but was hurting from his initial acceleration, and Richter and I squeezed by between him and the left-hand curb.  With the wind coming from the right, Richter hugged the barriers.  I came out of his draft with 100m to the finish and was able to eke out the win by about 3 inches.

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Throwing bikes

Pop bottles! It was also Jamie’s birthday, and his dad Tom, who lived like 8 feet from the course, made us a feast.  Now THAT’S #professionalism.





Tour of Walla Walla – A Stage Win and More!

22 04 2014

by Ivy Audrain                             photo: Chris Shepley Photography

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The Tour of Walla Walla! One of the best attended and toughest stage races in the Pacific Northwest! Although the Women’s field did not race the Friday Waitsburg road race this year, myself and stellar guest-rider Tamara Bessette were eager to make the most of our three stages.

After finishing 6th in the time trial and 47 second down from the leader, there was a ten second bonus for a stage two win up for grabs, which would put me into fifth overall. And how convenient, stage two was the fast and technical downtown criterium, right up Tam and I’s alley! I have had experience leading out superstar KR sprinter Jocelyn on this course before, so Tam and I knew that it needed to be fast with at least one lap to go…. and man did she make it fast. With one lap to go, when Tam hit the front, it was so unbelievably fast that only three other riders were able to match the acceleration, creating a gap to the rest of the field. It was perfectly executed, I won the sprint with plenty of room, and nabbed that ten second time bonus while Tamara was able to hold of the field and finish 4th. Did I mention she is my Mother? At 52 years old she produced an effort that shattered a category 1/2 field. A very emotional day and win for me, and for my own Mom to play such an integral role in such a huge win was an incredible feeling.

On to the road race! My mind is still numb from being in a 40 mile break that began on one of the steepest climbs on course. Six other riders, including the overall leader, worked hard to establish a gap that put us six minutes ahead of the field. I finished 5th on the day, and moved into 4th overall! Tamara attacked the chase group and after an astonishing solo 28 mile effort, finished just over a minute behind us, moving into 7th overall. Such an incredible effort.

A very successful Tour of Walla Walla in which KR showed depth in a really strong field! Thanks for reading!





Tour of Walla Walla M.1.2 Wrap-Up

22 04 2014

by Colin Gibson

KR sent a small men’s delegation to the Tour of Walla Walla this year.   This is their (our [my]) story.

Jake and I got to stay in a child’s bedroom with two beds like this:

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Adorable!

Racing festivities were scheduled to begin on Friday with a 62-mile road race for the men and a bag full of anti-race-development incentives for the women.  That went well until the stage was canceled due to lack of course marshals.  All those snacks for nothing. Next!

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The TT was a TT.  I beat Jake’s triathlon bike, which is the only thing that matters. After team nap time, team coffee time, team pillow talk, team fight club, team shower time, team nail-polish application, and team snacks, we rolled out to the crit.  We parked where we always parked and listened to some kind of country music.

Jake and I wore fluo orange socks for the crit. Flying squirrel tactics defined the first 20minutes of racing. I was astonished at the tremendous sprinting ability that some racers demonstrated out of turn 1 early in the race. Also out of turn 2, 3, 4, 5, and every other point in the race (except for the sprint at like, the end of the race). After coasting with Jake and eating more snacks, I countered a Jacob Rathe/Benny Swedburg/HB move and got away with Dylan Davies of Russ Hays and Darren Goff of Live Well. The three of us were all pretty high on the BMI chart, so we motored and were holding at 15-20s, splitting primes and trying to get some time. Eventually shit heated up behind and we were caught with 1.5 to go. Jake got knocked out of good position due to a last lap crash, but received many congratulations for his strong riding in the breakaway, that popular rascal!

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The road race was the usual 90 miles of tailwind climbing. Jake was hurting from the burger I force fed him the night before, so he was in conservation mode. I was feeling good and wanted to find a way to try and win like a #professional instead of defending my 12th place GC, which would have been a #bitchmove. Ian Crane was leading GC, but his main man Carson Miller was momentarily sleepy from pulling like a champ with 35mi to go, so I attacked with Jordan Cheyne (2nd GC) on the more selective tailwind climb, and we had a gap until every other team realized that I might leapfrog them into 9th and started chasing.

Moment of seriousness:  the willingness of people to do the race leader’s work for him never ceases to amaze me.  Congrats to everyone who chased us and then missed the actual selection on the last lap:  good job.  Actual quote from the race:

“So where are you in GC?”

“Oh, like Xth place.” (not 1st)

“So are you going to try and attack?”

“Nah, I’ll probably defend.”

Heads up: no one is trying to take your top-10 GC spot, which besides is a result that zero people care about.  Going into a race with the mentality that you’re not going to challenge the race leader, but that you will challenge other racers who are trying to attack the race leader in order to save the small scraps that you’ve managed to secure is a pretty lame way to spend a weekend and a couple hundred dollars if you ask me.  Plus it makes Ian Crane’s life easier, which no one should ever support.

The real selection came the last time up the same hill, and Jake and I were both too sleepy to go with it. 8 guys including Crane bridged to the small break and went to the line with ~0:45 on our group, which means we dropped way down in team GC, individual GC, and ego size :(((((

Jake gave me San Pellegrino Orange Juice after, which made everything better.  Overall, a great weekend for snacks.





Vance Creek — A hard fought 2nd place

11 04 2014

Vance Creek! 6 laps of a 13-mile course with a ~3-4 minute-long finishing hill.  Colin Gibson (KR) and Carson Miller (Jamis) attacked the first time up the hill, had a 6-man chase group about 15 seconds behind the two of them for a few miles until they got caught by the bunch.  It rained a lot and we pedaled hard for two-and-a-half hours while our gap grew to 4:00.  We passed a bunch of HSP guys who had either flatted, mechanicled, or been dropped, which explained the lack of chase behind.  Colin G attack Carson through a farm road corner on the last lap and got a little gap, then he flatted.  Carson soloed in for the win while Colin rode a mis-matched wheel, but held off the heavily diminished field for 2nd.
After the race, Colin and Galen got Taco Time and Ginger Ale and watched a dad spill a liter of orange soda on his family.  Galen was immune to Colin’s peer pressure and bought two choco chip cookies like a good American.  





KR Hits The Podium At Independence Valley

1 04 2014

by Ivy Audrain

Saturday the 29th of March marked the 9th annual Team Group Health Independence Valley road race in Rochester, WA. Spring Classics weather was in full effect and Team Group Health did an incredible job promoting with a prize purse of $1000 between the category 1,2,3 women, our biggest local prize purse for the year!

The course is a 20 mile circuit with two several-minute long climbs and a very exposed windy section between that created little space for rest. I had no KR teammates, but after the first attach from team starbucks went on the flat section between climbs, we were all fairly motivated to bring back the break….until a full-stop neutralization in the middle of the backside climb really killed momentum. By the time we passed through the finish the first time, the gap was up to around a minute, and the larger climb of the course was just a few kilometers afterwards. I pressed on the climb and a selection of four of us formed, one of which was a starbucks racer, so naturally skipped out on our chasing efforts and was getting plenty of rest, making us all quite nervous. We continued on chasing and after another time pressing hard up one of the climbs, our selection was down to three, still with one starbucks rider. The local pro who was also in our group worked well with me to ensure we would at least get second and third after our chase was unsuccessful, so we agreed to attack and counterattack the group to isolate the rested starbucks rider. After my second attack, my surrogate teammate was able to stay away with around one kilometer to go, and soloed in for second while I out-sprinted our final selection member for third.

Overall, incredibly hard day in the saddle with a broad spectrum of weather, but much satisfaction. Thanks for reading!

 








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