2014 Tour of Las Cruces!

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Registration is On-Line at NewMexicoSportOnline.com

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“Racing is only half the story”

Team Zia: Racing in the North

Team Zia: Racing in the North

David: Racing is only half the story…

David Vaughn

David Vaughn

This weekend racing the Los Campanas Circuit race and the Santa Fe Hill Climb brought about a change in perspective. The circuit race was fantastic. With glass smooth roads, and lively racing (a special thanks to Scalo Veloce for that!). The course was a mid length loop of ~10 miles that had a rolling ascent on one half and a gradual descent on the other. The pace for the race was very high, and it was clear early that getting anything to stick in a breakaway was going to be difficult. On the final lap there were several attacks that thinned the lead group, and with a slight lull in the action at the 200 meter mark I launched with everything I had, I ended up second, my best result ever and was happy to deliver a quality result after all the work my ZiaVelo teammates had done to protect me throughout the race. The hill climb was super hard as usual, and I ended up 4th after blowing up slightly on the steepest part of the climb. For this particular weekend, however, the racing was only half the story.

thI was fortunate enough to race against a young man named Janvier Hadi, from team Rwanda. He outsprinted me to take the win in the circuit race on Saturday (this was the first win in the US for team Rwanda), after my team had set me up perfectly to be fresh on the last climb to the finish line (a BIG thank you to Jerry, Kyle, and Marcel for working so hard!). Before that day I had no idea about Team Rwanda or the documentary Rising From Ashes, however, something about him blowing by me at the finish made me want to find out more. That evening, while staying with my wonderful hosts in Santa Fe, Tom and Jodi, I took the time to watch the movie. I am not going to provide a review, but I strongly encourage anyone reading this to watch it. It provided me with a sense of how fortunate I am, and to be thankful for the things I generally take for granted, especially cycling. Cycling is a haven for many of us, a place of peace from our frenetic lives, a point of focus that aligns us, an activity to bring us together, and the film showed me that these things are universal.

Until we race again….Salud!

Marcel: Cycling from another point of view…

Marcel Berger

Marcel Berger

The worst case of ambitious athletes who love and enjoy their sport, is probably an interruption of activity caused through a serious injury or disease. All of the hard work, processes, and goals which an individual went through seems as though they are ruined. Unfortunately, I must had that experience this year. Suffering of a disease, my season got disturbed in March. Now, as a passionately cyclist who loves the sport, I had to hang up my passion, bike, and my goals for this year. Well, “What should I do now?”

I did not want disappear totally from the team, the club, and even this great cycling community here in New Mexico. So, I found a new job for a while, in supporting my team mates during races. The first race which I went to but did not compete in, was the Adoption Exchange in April. My job was to set up the TT warm up area, support the riders at their warm up, help them with mechanical problems, standing in the feed zone to provide racers with food and water bottles and deliver post-race recovery drinks like great tasting German non-alcoholic beer.

The hardest part of all which I had to face, was to watch all those cyclists and my fellow teammates racing together. Damn, I missed racing so sadly.

But, there was a moment where I realized what it means to set up a bike race. Starting with the volunteers in the neutral feed zones, the folks at the sign in and start and finish area, voluntarily drivers in the following cars for each racing category, the women and men who marshalled the traffic and blocked road junctions, USA Cycling officials and commissaries, race directors, the community in the respective area who had to endure the bike race and traffic delays, photographs, journalists, the police, families to cheer their relatives on who are racing, and not to forget the sponsors of the races and the teams. I would like say THANK YOU to all of you, without your support competitive cycling events were not possible!!!

Now that I got a new “Mission”, I went to the Tour of Gila, Crest Race, Tour of Los Alamos, and the State Championships throughout the summer. On that journey, thankfully, I had the possibility to meet great people and gain a lot of new experiences. It changed my view on this great sport massively. Thus, this was the positive side of my forced break.

Finally, racing day again. The first race which I joined after a 5 months period of non-racing was the Las Campanas Circuit Race in Santa Fe. It was the first edition of this event and a great one. The course was perfect in regards traffic and road surface and was fantastically organized

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Zia Velo got lined up with David Vaughn, Kyle Martinez, Jerry Garcia, and myself in the category Pro/1/2/3. Patrick Holland represented Zia Velo in the Masters Race as well. To be involved in a race again and racing with my fellow team mates was, to mention it in one word just “Incredible”. Although I was totally done after 2 laps of racing, I had not been so happy for a long time. David’s 2nd place and the teams performance was “the Cherry on the Cake”.

I would like use this occasion to send our fellow team mate Santiago Chavez best Health Wishes from your Team, the Club, and the bike community throughout in New Mexico. GET WELL SOON, Santiago!!! We all can not wait to see, ride and race with you again!!!

Chain Right…!!!

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Coming soon… the 2014 Tour of Las Cruces

2013 Tour of Las Cruces

2013 Tour of Las Cruces

Stay tuned for info on the upcoming 2014 Tour of Las Cruces!!!

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2014 TOUR OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

torgv_2014It’s time for the 2014 Tour of the Rio Grand Valley on September 14th, 2014…

TORGV was started by the Albuquerque Wheelmen in the 1970’s and ran for over 20 years. At its height, TORGV attracted thousands of riders and was the premier bicycle tour in New Mexico. BCNM was proud to bring back the ride in 2011 and is continuing the event in 2014. TORGV 2014 takes riders on scenic flat roads through the Rio Grande Valley. The longer routes pass through Isleta, Los Lunas, Belen and return to Los Ranchos.Money raised from TORGV 2014 will fund BCNM staff and its successful bicycle education, promotion, and advocacy programs.

Visit BCNM for more info and registration!

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Success in JUNE…

June was a big racing month in New Mexico, as it was defined by four races – The Crest Race, Los Alamos, State Road Race Championships, and State Criterium Championships. These races are all quite different in regards to terrain, type of riders that excel, and the tactics a team needs to employ in order to achieve success. The early season races helped the team riders learn about themselves and how to work with each other on the road. With each race, including The Gila, the progression was obvious. The Team was growing in confidence and starting to believe in themselves.

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The June block of races saw the fruition of this process. Each race had a plan. Each race saw the team adapt the plan to the race situations. The team road selflessly, aggressively, and were the animators of each race. Zia placed 2nd, 3rd, and 5th (twice) in these four races. Not only did Zia see its first 2 podiums in the Cat 1-2′s, it showed the versatility of the riders and the tactical sense to adapt to these very different races.

At the beginning of the season there was doubt, and it was voiced openly by the team riders. The words and mindset has now changed to a quiet confidence and a belief that the podium is attainable. The Team riders were told at the beginning of the season that the priority was not results but rather how they raced. If they raced selflessly, aggressively, and worked together then the results would come.

Well, the results are starting to come. Well done to the Zia Team Riders.

- Travis Dixon

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“That’s bike racing, bro.”

Words by Kyle Martinez

dixona2-IMG_5803I have heard one thing this season more than any other: “That’s bike racing, bro.” Bike racing is rarely predictable. We train, eat, sleep, train, and train in hopes to be on that top step (or near it) and hope everything goes to plan. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. If there is anything I’ve learned from bike racing it’s that one needs to take those precious lessons of why things didn’t go to plan, and move forward.

This year’s Tour of the Gila for me was a little different than last year. We had three less people in the cat3′s, but the advantage for the three of us was clear: Dustin, Marcus, and I have been racing together for all 4 years we’ve been racing (the past 2 on the same team). We are honest with each other, know how each other ride, and have a lot of fun doing it.

I’ll try to avoid going into the hairy details of every stage, because if I do I’ll end up writing something close to a novel about every day.

Stage 1 we went out to Mogollon. Everyone anxiously waits for that last, brutal climb of the day and nerves are sky rocketing. Marcus joined in with our friends Scalo on the front to control the pace and bring back a few flyers off the front, leaving Dustin and myself to save our legs for that last little kicker up the mountain. I finished a little bit off the back of the front group, Dustin a few minutes behind me, and Marcus with a very respectable placement after working all day.

Stage 2 gave us the “Inner Loop” with 76 miles and 5800 ft of climbing. I wanted to be aggressive and make the bigger teams work. I was off the front in breakaways for about 90% of the stage. It was hard work, but I felt great. I never had any of those “OH man, what am I doing up here?” moments. I moved our two man-break in the valley to up to 3 minutes at one point. We were caught near the feedzone, and in trying to avoid chasing wheels up that massive hill, I went off the front again and set my tempo. The moto came up to me and told me the entire pack was strung out over a mile and a half. I finished with the front group of about 13 or so after being dropped by the main GC contenders playing cat and mouse and chasing back on (the “inner dialogue” of Travis Dixon “yelling at me” was the one thing that saved me from losing 3 minutes).

dixona2-IMG_5506Stage 3 was the Time Trial. On paper, this should have been my day. I didn’t feel 100% already due to my long day prior, but I was still excited and ready to roll. Shane and Marcel were working our ZiaVelo tent and made every pre-TT stressor disappear: setting up bikes with wheels, trainers, nutrition, etc. EVERYTHING. Those guys were awesome. The TT didn’t go as planned, I couldn’t get into a solid rhythm and didn’t feel great at all (worse than TT’s actually feel). I dropped my chain on the top of the climb. What I’m proud of is the way I handled it. Generally, I get into David Millar mode and am ready to throw my bike off a cliff, but I handled the drop well: hopped off the bike, put the chain on in a matter of seconds, rolled away, and emptied the tank. I spun out my frustration on the trainer when I got back and everything was fine. I’m pretty sure Shane was more upset than me! ; ) The night ended with a quiet dinner and a lovely IPA.

The morning of the criterium was perfect with warm weather and practically zero wind. Travis met up with me and we talked about the day before. We rode downtown for a bit, watched some of the early crits, and then went out for a warmup spin. I was aggressive in the crit: grabbing a prime and recovering enough to get 4th. I’ve never actually placed myself well in crits to where I get a legitimate sprint in. It was fun. Marcus and Dustin went on some attacks; we were aggressive as a team and they kept me safe.

The last day was set in my brain: do not do an ounce of work until the hill. A breakaway got 7 minutes on the main group and the Gage (leader in GC) assembled his Colorado allies and they started rotating on the front. We hit the climb all together and the select group of climbers were off. I found myself hanging in there until one of the steep switchbacks (usually the corner where everyone flies off the cliff during the descent on Day2). I was dropped and the select group was riding away.

This is where things got awesome. I was on the rivet when I took a look back and see my boys in yellow. Marcus rolled up and told me to sit in, as calm as ever. Dustin was behind me, and we were off. Marcus towed me up that mountain and picked up stragglers from the main group as we moved on. Dustin had to push me up to our little chase group a few times so I hung in there. We got to the top and Dustin took over along the faux flat; he was turning over a massive gear and we were still picking up stragglers. We started a short descent before the last little group of hairpins to the top of the climb when we see the follow care and the main group just a few turns ahead of us. I could tell the boys were excited, as I had to control my energy and prevent myself from yelling, “THEY ARE RIGHT THERE!” Marcus went right to the front at this point (IN HIS 53 CHAINRING) and nailed the last group of hairpins and then DRILLED the descent: cutting every single corner with the perfect line and accelerating out of them. He was hitting it so hard that we dropped the rest of our chase group that included Dustin! At the bottom of that descent we caught our group and there was a short little respite until Dustin took a flyer up the hill! This guy chased down this entire group and then went on the attack! I was in the perpetual state of “on the rivet” and my teammates were dragging me around the mountains and attacking all at the same time!

At 3k to go Marcus went in for one last attack for the stage (two people still up the road from the early break) and for a second I thought they were going to let him go. He was quickly reeled in and the group ended up finishing together (with me being dropped ONE last time before the finish).

I couldn’t help but give these two the biggest hugs at the end of the day. They sacrificed their own stage ambitions to make sure I recovered and made it to the group: literally pushing me up the mountain, towing me around, and drilling the descents. There is no question who deserves all the credit for my GC placement that day (and all the beer). That’s bike racing, bro.

dixona2-IMG_6071I wish I could write about every little thing I enjoyed about the Gila, but I’ll have to just say that our whole team is awesome and we throw the best parties. Thank you to Brian and Lynn for hosting me and making sure I was fueled the most proper way possible for every day! Thanks to Travis for all the advice and encouraging words. Thank you to Tom Jones and JBV coaching for getting me through this first half of the year. Thank you to Shane and Marcel for taking care of every single one of us for a whole week. Thank you to Lola for the bread. Thanks to Chris and everyone at the Gila Hike & Bike. Thanks to Cat’s parents for taking care of us after every stage. And thank you to Dustin and Marcus: true teammates looking after another. Without you two guys I wouldn’t be a Cat2 right now.

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ZiaVelo Cycling at the Tour of the Gila

dixona2-IMG_9916ZVC entered the tour this year with one of the largest contingents of racers from the team ever to have entered the race, and one of the largest numbers of riders from any team at the 5 day event this year. Racers at the TotG included:

 

Men CAT 4: Luke Hollomon

Men CAT 3: Kyle Martinez, Dustin Walthall, Marcus Toya

Men CAT 1/2: David Vaughn, Chris Schlabach

Men Masters B: Bret Carter, David Rutledge, Patrick Holland, Tim Ketelaar, Brad Wilkenson,

Shane Cunico

Men Master A: Jerry Garcia

Women 3/4: Catherine Stailey, Tonya Sotelo

…15 Racers in total and some of the most talented and hardest working racers in the peleton.

dixona-edit-0633First let’s talk about what we learned: supporting racers is a lot harder than it appears. THANK GOD for Marcel Berger!! Due to an unforeseen illness (He is doing quite well and should be back to racing soon) Marcel could not participate as a racer in this year’s edition of the ToG. However, that did not keep him from supporting his teammates in an incredibly professional manner. Marcel served as our feed zone support throughout the 5 days of the race, preparing water bottles and nutrition each day (or the evening prior to the race) so that EVERY ZVC racer would have the opportunity to take a feed every day. This may seem a small feat, but consider that Marcel had to drive over 400 miles at the event, just to make sure he was in the feed zone at the most remote places on the course. ZVC racers were never in need of neutral support. In fact, Marcel and Dave Rutledge not only provided race support on Stage 1 to Mogollon for ZVC, but helped out the single TIBCO support person, attempting to provide feed to 8 racers, at the Glenwood feed zone. Just another example of ZVC working to support racing and making friends along the way. The support that is required of 15 racers cannot be overstated. From the feed zone support things just get more challenging.

dixona2-IMG_5441As an up and coming team, we have certainly come a long way, but we also have a long way to go. Let’s consider the third stage of the ToG and the support required to get 15 Time Trialists on the road and in position to perform to the best of their abilities. One of the most difficult aspects is the sheer time spread from the earliest racers off, to the last racers off. Between arriving at the TT venue at 10:00, about the same time the pros were finishing, and staying until the final ZVC racer finished at around 4:00PM, there was never a lack of things to stay on top of. The first thing that had to be done was getting a schedule of when each of the ZVC racers was starting. This allows the racers to concentrate on racing and not worrying about finding their respective start times. Shown below is the “Start Board” at the ZVC support trailer. Second, and again this is a challenge due to the limited resources in this small team, is figuring out the staging of equipment, including front TT wheels, rear disks, trainers, etc., so that there is the maximum potential for the resources to be used, but also allows for resources to be set aside for racers in the highest GC positions. For the dixona2-IMG_5330ToG, this meant having wheels and disks available for Cat Stailey (She actually brought out her own wheelset), David Vaughn, Kyle Martinez, Bret Carter, and Jerry Garcia. Thanks to the understanding that each of these and the other racers have about what it means to be a supportive teammate, each of these racers got a set of “Hot Wheels” to use during the TT. In spite of a couple of small mechanical issues, the ZVC racers all did exceptionally well in the TT. Thanks again to Marcel for his tremendous support to all the TT racers. We could not have done it without you!!

dixona2-IMG_5649Racing as a team is the essence of road cycling. There are a great many aspects to what this actually means, but sacrifice and selfless service pretty much sum it up. I certainly won’t try to give every example I saw of these traits during the 2014 ToG,(because there were many) but I will call out a couple. The first example I will use is in the Men’s Masters B race. Starting the race with 6 racers, we knew we had a small advantage over teams with far fewer racers. We also knew that we probably had loftier goals than these other teams as well. After a quick team meeting the night before the race began, it was fairly (and quickly) obvious that the main objective of EVERY racer was getting ZVC on the podium in GC after the race was done. However, it was also clear that we had the opportunity to do this in both the 35+ and 45+ categories in the Men’s Masters B race. Thanks to the combined and selfless efforts of Dave Rutledge, (in every stage, but particularly the crit and Gila Monster RR!!) Tim Ketelaar (Outstanding work in the Crit Stage) and Brad Wilkinson, ZVC ended the race with a MISSION Accomplished!!

Another stunning and beautiful example of how a team is supposed to work was on display during the Gila Monster stage of the Mens CAT 3 race. (I will use the story as it was relayed to me, so I apologize if the details are a bit off). During the final climb of the stage, Kyle Martinez, the highest placed of the CAT 3 racers in the ToG for ZVC found himself distanced from the lead pack and watching his top 10 placing going up the road ahead of him. Starting from the last 2 positions in the peleton at the base of the Sapillo climb, Marcus Toya and Dustin Walthall saw what was happening and fought back. Reaching Kyle as they progressed up the climb, Dustin and Marcus went to the lead of the chasers, slowly picking up riders as they went up the climb. The two ZVC racers worked together, with little help from any other team, to eventually claw their (and Kyle’s) way back up to the lead pack. This tremendous effort, and the sacrifices to their own individual placing in the race, ensured that Kyle maintained his top 10 placing in GC at one of the most prestigious stage races in the United States. It was incredible to see the gratitude in Kyle’s face and he relayed to me how Marcus and Dustin buried themselves to help out their teammate.

Achievement [uh-cheev-muhhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngnt]: something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed

We hear of achievements all the time. It’s almost as if it is expected. But in the sport of cycling, where it is often you against 100-150+ other competitors, it is difficult to pull off. It is even more difficult when you consider a race the caliber of the ToG. A top 10 placing at the ToG is, for many amateurs, the crowning accomplishment in a life of racing. As mentioned in a previous posting, the ToG is a rite of passage, and it has significance well above most other races.

So it is with pride in these racers that I mention the achievements of our top finishing ZVC racers, each result a tremendous feat in many aspects.

dixona2-IMG_6082David Vaughn. After racing in the ToG last year, and winning the GC in the Men’s CAT 3 race, it would have been easy for David to rest on his laurels. Expecting that would have been foolish. David is a fierce competitor, but it would have been easy to assume David was at the ToG simply to ride after of coming off the recent birth of his second beautiful daughter. After 5 tremendous days of racing, with the support of a super tough Chris Schlabach, David Vaughn found himself just off the podium in 4th place in the Men’s CAT 1/2 race!! This at one of the toughest races in North America!! Congratulations David, both on your young family and your TotG results!!

dixona2-IMG_6071Chris Schlabach. Perhaps nobody on ZVC has a more challenging week at the TotG than Chris. Racing at the highest amateur level in the Gila at the CAT ½ race, Chris is a mountain goat and sprinter. Despite racing all day, as the co-owner, he is working at Gila Hike and Bike just a few minutes after his races end. Chris was counted on to work for David V. and Dave’s results demonstrate the success Chris had. In spite of a high speed crash in the criterium, Chris took the start on Day 5, and finished the Gila Monster stage of the toughest amateur race in the North America. Thanks for your support of all of the racers of ZVC Chris!!

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Kyle Martinez. I have often said that Kyle represents the heart of the Zia team for ZiaVelo Cycling. Kyle is often the supreme teammate, working tireless for others in races. So it was with great pleasure that we were able to watch Kyle finish in the top 10 of the CAT 3 race. This accomplishment was in spite of a mechanical in the TT that cost him precious seconds in the GC placing. Kyle was obviously pleased with his placing, but had nothing to say of his position on the GC at the end of the final stage. Kyle could do nothing but gush enthusiastically about the work done during the race by Marcus and Dustin.

dixona2-IMG_5500Marcus Toya. The quiet assassin of ZVC. Looking at Marcus off the bike (except when he is glaring at me!) you would never know that Marcus can rip your legs off on the bike (and as a boxer in his free time, maybe literally!!). Marcus is a tremendous climber and sprinter, but gave up his own ambitions to protect Kyle, particularly on the final stage of the TotG. Marcus can be counted on time and time again to work, whether that is pulling back a break or towing you up a climb. Beautiful TotG Marcus!!

dixona2-IMG_5496Dustin Walthall. Big Tall!!! Another quiet racer for ZVC, Dustin is hard to miss in the peleton. Despite his height, Dustin is a tremendous climber that can suffer, and did on the final day of the Gila! Coming from the back of the peleton to lead Kyle up the final climb, get dropped, catch back on, and go to the front…over and over again….all in a successful r to protect his teammate’s position in the top 10 on GC. A tremendous asset for ZVC.

dixona2-IMG_5890Jerry Garcia. It would be an understatement to say the Jerry is new to road racing. Coming to the road for ZVC as a CAT1 mountain biker, Jerry has shown talent not often seen in a “mature” racer coming to the road after such a long career racing off road. Starting last season as a CAT5, Jerry has risen to the top of the Masters racers in the state..and now beyond. Working without the benefit of even a single teammate in the Mens Masters A, 5 day race, Jerry showed why he is feared in any event on a bike he entered. At the end of the day, Jerry was standing on the Masters A, 45+ podium with a third place finish. He represented ZVC with pride and the stature of a seasoned road racer.

dixona2-IMG_5579Bret Carter. Coming back to ZVC after downgrading to a CAT 4 (Due to his schedule as a commercial airline pilot), Bret once again showed his tenacity at the TotG. With the able assistance of Dave Rutledge, Tim Ketelaar, and Brad Wilkinson, Bret won the TT stage with an impressive performance and secured 3rd overall in GC in the Mens Masters B Race.

 

dixona2-IMG_0075Patrick Holland. New to ZVC for 2014, Patrick appears to have found a new home..and are we ever lucky and happy to have him on ZVC! Patrick turned in an incredible performance and found himself on the podium in third place in the Mens Masters B 50+ race. Way to go Patrick!!

 

dixona2-IMG_5649Dave Rutledge. What can you say about Dave? Dave is the good cop (to my bad cop) great co-director of ZVC, and a fantastic team member to have escorting you through the Gila. Dave worked tirelessly, sacrificing his own GC placing to escort our Masters B racers up the Gila Monster climb. He also tried his best to keep all of the Mens Masters B racers safe and in the field as long as he dared. Dave is the ultimate worker on the team and for the team. Thanks for all you do for ZVC Dave!

dixona2-IMG_5546Cat Stailey. There is little to say about Cat, except WOW!!! Racing in basically her first year as a road racer, and taking on the Gila is no small feat. Cat attacked the Gila with the tenacity of a seasoned veteran. As competitive and fierce as she is on the bike, she is polite and unassuming off the bike; hiding her fantastic cycling abilities. Cat turned in a tremendous performance and finished a solid 9th in her first TotG. Watch out for Cat Gila, I have a feeling she will be back with a vengeance next year!

dixona2-IMG_5332Tonya Sotelo. Tonya showed why she is a force on the bike at the TotG. Her attitude and never give in (forget giving up!!) attitude is a sight to behold. Tonya represented ZVC with class and strength. Another newbie to the racing scene, Tonya only has better things ahead of her!

 

Tim Ketelaar. When you think of “never give up”, think Tim. Racing against some of the best Cat 3&4 masters racers in North America, Tim holds his own in the peleton, and works tirelessly for the other racers of ZVC. Attacking in the crit or chasing down breaks, Tim was counted on to be there when he was needed in another TotG!

dixona2-IMG_5579Luke Hollomon. It is rare that a cyclist decides to race the TotG only 1 week prior to the event, but that is exactly what Luke did. Luke represented ZVC as the only racer in the Mens CAT 4 field. Finishing this race without months of preparation is a great accomplishment. Give him two weeks to prepare, and watch out! Thanks for representing ZVC Luke!!

dixona2-IMG_0030Brad Wikinson. Brad holds a special place in the heart of ZVC racers and riders everywhere. The reason he is in our heart is how he raced and finished the Mens Masters B race only 1 ½ years removed from open heart surgery!! Brad is an inspiration to all of us. This is only the most recent of many years that I have raced with Brad at the Gila, and I have NEVER seen him upset, angry, or sad. Brad is a fantastic teammate and an accomplished guitar player as well. (You learn a few things about a guy after sharing host housing for a few years!)

Finally we have the accomplishments of our family and friends. This team would be nothing without the support of every member of ZiaVelo Cycling, our families and our friends. Leading this list in a tie is Marcel Berger, the Robinsons and the Murphys!! Supporting a road race is like herding cats; really fast and tired cats!!! We are constantly in motion, most of which is never seen by our supporters. A quick glimpse of a racer in a feed zone, and a quick grab of a bottle are about all a race supporter ever gets. But these angels are so critical to the success of our team.

Marcel Berger. How many of us would give up our free time to go to an event we would love to be racing in, only to find ourselves cooking meals, filling bottles, driving hundreds of miles, getting up early, and staying up late, all in an effort to ensure that those that are racing have everything they need to be successful. Thanks Marcel again for being such an outstanding teammate and person.

Anne Murphy (Cat’s Mom) and Curtis Schipper. Holy cow!! How many folks would bring their Winnebago out to a bike race to support a team of racers they had never met, with food, drinks, facilities, etc? These wonderful folks would!! They were there for ZiaVelo Cycling with more support than one could ever ask for…everyday!! You were a pleasure to meet and speak with and I look forward to seeing you both more in the future! Thanks for all you did for ZVC!!

Brian and Lynn. B&L are two of the best people you could ever meet. Brian has worked in so many ways for this team over the last many years, both as a sponsor and racer (working for me in so many races I cannot even count them!). And now we have Lynn. After making dinner for the team last year, Lynn hosted TWO wonderful and delicious dinners for ZVC (almost 20 members!!) this year at their beautiful home in Silver city. Two of the BEST evenings I have ever had and certainly two of the most enjoyable!! Thanks so very much for all you do for this team and thanks to Lynn for being one of the ZVC lady racers!!

 

Well, that my friends is a wrap. Thanks so much for reading and thanks to anybody I have inadvertently omitted from this post. The Tour of the Gila is a tough event, but wonderful people, great friends, fast racing, and a beautiful experience make it all worth it! Great Performances and a preview of coming attractions! Learning, racing as a team, and achieving. I think that this best sums up ZiaVelo Cycling’s takeaways from the 2014 Tour of the Gila.

Ride On!

Shane

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