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Tour of Franklinton and Beyond

Category : Blog

This post is a few weeks late to be a race report from the Tour of Franklinton but we wanted to write a bit about the race, share our gratitude to Team 614 for putting on a great event and dive into our plans for the rest of the season.  First lets tackle the 2015 Tour of Franklinton.  Wow what an awesome event!  It’s something special to be able to wake up and drive 20 minutes to get to a race and even more special because it is one of Ohio’s premier races.  The atmosphere, crowds, and talented racers made it a day that will go down on the 2015 race calendar as one of the best.

The Cat 1/2/3 race was about as predictable as they come.  A bunch of really fast guys toed the line and hoped to hammer with the best of them but in the end that team from Cleveland wearing the blue, black and pink just worked over the field.  It was no surprise to see Paul Martin from Netherland Rubber take the win.  Doesn’t he do this at most of the crits?  And if it’s not him it’s usually someone wearing the same kit.  Some might find it frustrating but our group sat and watched the tactics of this team play out to perfection wishing we had the ability to ride as smart and as wise as they do.  Jack shot out of the gates giving an over FTP effort to try to lap the field but when that didn’t work he quickly sat up to rejoin the field.  Once back in the group three or four Netherland guys, including Paul and Jack, decided to up the pace a bit and shredded the group leading to a victory by Paul and a Second place by Jack.  Jeremy Grimm was stuck with the two Netherland guys finished in a solid third position.

In the Cat 3/4 race we had Steve racing his second race of the day after competing in the Cat 4/5 hours earlier. He finished a very respectable 21st out of 50 or so racers.  None of the other guys on our squad were willing to take the line for a second time.  Most of this had to do with the cooler full of Elevator Beer that waited for us after the Cat 4/5 race.  Our group stayed right on the course and cheered Steve on as he braved the course.  Mike repeatedly yelling “Move up, Move up” over and over again each time Steve passed the team.  Steve will be the first to admit he isn’t a crit guy but he is quickly becoming more and more comfortable with the high speed turns and the elbow rubbing that takes place at 25+ MPH.  Look out competition.  If Steve commits to crit racing he will be a force to recon with.

The Cat 4/5 race was the main focus for the team at the race this season.  We had five guys in the race this year with hopes of performing well and hopefully grabbing a podium.  The owner of Elevator Brewing Company came down to the race this year so it added a little motivation for a podium spot.  The unexpected part of the race this season was that the Juniors 15-18 were added to the field to complete two races at once.  This is common at crits due to the tight time schedule.  What turned out to be unexpected was that in the Junior field was Nicholas Vorwerk a Cat 2 racer, that is, well, a bit faster than everyone else.  From the moment the go, Nicholas was hammering the pedals forcing the group of nearly 60 racers to be strung out immediately.  With a course like Franklinton that has seven technical corners, if you aren’t at the front of the pack during an increase in speed it’s almost impossible to catch back on.  That’s exactly what happened to 4 of the 5 from our team.  Steve was the only one that was able to navigate the course without being dropped by the Junior’s increase in speed and finished 3rd on the day.  A great podium for Steve and a great result for the team.  The rest of our guys slid back to form a group which was the third group on the course.  Neil, Mike and Dave worked together to keep the pace in their group high with hopes of catching riders that were falling off the lead pack.  Dan was dropped from the group due to the high pace and intensity.  Mike tried a number of times to create a gap from the group to surge forward to catch the lead group but wasn’t successful.  Neil and Dave took turns on the front increasing the speed during the last two laps in hopes to drop riders before the sprint finish.  At the sprint it Mike was nabbed by a rider from the Ghisallo Cycling Team at the line with Neil and Dave finishing right on Mikes wheel.  Mike took 2oth, Neil 21st, and Dave 22nd.  Dan finished with a solid effort in 38th.  When compared to last years results the entire team has improved drastically.  Let’s hope we can continue this momentum into the rest of the remaining races this season.

Tour of Franklinton

 

Speaking of the rest of the season, we are starting to ramp up our training for the State Championship race on July 16th.  It’s another trip to the hills down in hocking for the right to the Cat4 state championship.  Let’s hope our climbers are ready to go in about a month.  The State Crit Championship is this coming weekend and Mike is looking to test his legs at this event up in Sylvania.  Then comes Ohio Cycling’s Triple crown.  June 26th, 27th and 28th with Grandview, Hyde Park, and Madeira.  Let’s hope next weekends weather cooperates and gives Ohio’s cyclists a great three days of racing.

Our team has also decided to volunteer for the Women’s Midwest Road Race Championships held out in Zanesfield on July 12th.  We always look for ways to help the cycling community and this event will attract riders from all over the Midwest.

 


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2015 Spring Valley Race Report

Category : Race Reports

The fourth installment of the Ohio Spring Race Series brought Team Headwind to the rolling hills of Spring Valley, OH. This race was characterized by one long 2015 Spring Valley Road Racewooded climb and plenty of corners mixed among numerous rollers. The Cat 4/5’s were to do 4 laps totaling 38 miles which culminated in a finish atop this sustained gradual grind above the valley. A chilly start to the morning had many of us trying to sort out our attire, but as race time approached, we figured things out. As we waited to depart the staging area, the sun showed us a warm smile and we all knew this was going to be a good day of racing. A neutralized start ushered 41 racers to the top of the climb before any racing had commenced. Even after we had the green light to start racing, Mike was content on the front pacing the peloton slowly through the corners….until…he decided to have a dig. Rider after rider went with him until there was a contingent of approximately 10 racers who had bridged a 20 second gap. Mike was the only Headwind representative in this group and the riders accompanying him were strong enough to maintain this gap, but a lack of motivation from the group to stay away or extend their gap saw the breakaway shut down after a few miles. The second half of the first lap was uneventful as no real breakaways formed. Neil, being tired of methodically following the wheel in front of him, decided to take a flyer on the second lap to see who would bite. Nobody did, so he let up and was absorbed into the peloton but remained well situated towards the front for miles to come. Meanwhile, Dave and Steve were content holding mid-pack positions in anticipation of the day’s drama to unfold at any moment.

2015 Spring Valley Road Race

The third lap transpired without any real developments until the climb came into our midst. The two strongest riders from the previous race bridged a gap on the climb and nobody had the impetus to follow. Steve and Dave could only watch the two edge away as they were sandwiched within the pack, and Neil was conservatively managing his energy levels. Desperate attempts were made to organize and catch the duo over the next several miles but the peloton did not seem to be gaining ground. A chase group of three riders had formed a gap from the main group and was effectively chasing down the breakaway. As the pack accelerated into the base of the final climb, Steve was situated in about 15th position and knew what he had to do to maintain the points lead for the series. The expectation of a top 10 finish was in reach seeing that the final element to conquer on the course was the climb and Steve has proven himself as a perennial climber. Establishing a steady tempo, Steve crested the hill and finished strong behind two racers from this group which secured him an 8th place finish for the day. Dave did not trail far behind, finishing 13th, Neil locked up 18th, Mike finished in 35th after putting in a lot of hard efforts, and Dan had a solid day not necessarily reflected in his 38th placing. We all agreed that it was in fact a wonderful day for racing and we couldn’t have imagined doing anything different on a Sunday in mid-spring.  We had a large crowd at the car after the race to discuss the days events and share a beverage from our sponsor Elevator Brewing. The team is looking forward to the flat and fast Lynchburg race this coming weekend where they hope to expand on their successes.


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2015 Zanesfield Race Report

Category : Race Reports

The weather was warming up and so was the competition at Zanesfield, the third round of the Ohio Spring Racing Series. After surviving the frigid temperaturesStaging at Zanesfield Road Race and steep punchy climbs of Lake Hope, the members of the Headwind Cycling team came out of the gates swinging. The Zanesfield course is characterized by its two climbs. The first climb comes early in the lap and is steeper; the second climb is not as steep but is almost three miles long. To keep things interesting, Mother Nature decided to throw in a nice stiff breeze right before the start.

Not happy with just riding around and enjoying the scenery, the team decided to attack early and often. The opening salvo was fired within the first mile by the dynamic duo of Neil and Dave. While still on the lower steep section of the first climb they cranked up the pace to see what would happen. The field reacted and was strung out over the top of the climb and through the rolling descent that followed. Everyone came back together once the field got its first taste of the strong cross/headwind that kept the flat section of the course quite grueling. True to plan, as soon as the field reformed, Mike put in a dig to see if anyone would chase. With few in the field feeling sporty enough to brave the wind the field reformed again and settled in for what looked to be a long and difficult morning. The end of the first lap had the field take its first trip down the fast decent back into Zanesfield proper, with speeds in excess of 50 mph.

OSRS #3 Zanesfield Road Race

The second time up the steeper first climb, Steve decided to open up his legs up a bit and attacked from the bottom of the climb. This had the desired effect, shedding close to half of the original 47 registrants from the front group leaving only 20 or so riders in contention for the win. The lead group made a rapid run through the rolling descent to the backside of the course and when taking the right hand corner into the headwind the remaining 20 riders slowed to form a large pack while everyone waited for a brave sole to make a move. It just so happened that at this time an independent time trial specialist from Dayton took a flyer into the wind. He quickly opened up a 30 second gap on the field. Not wanting to let this strong rider get away, the remaining riders formed a strong pace line and began the chase. It took strong pulls from a number of riders in the chase group, including Dave, to start reeling him back in. The efforts of the chase continued to whittle away at what was left of the peloton. In a moment of inattention Dave had a touch of wheels (sorry Levi) and almost hit the deck. The small gap created by the near miss caused the lead group to split right before catching the lead rider at the beginning of the third and final lap.Mike - Zanesfield Road Race

One more trip up the opening climb cut the lead group to 13 riders including Dave and Steve. The front group, feeling more than a little gassed, set a steady pace through the last lap until one kilometer to go. The Belgian import from the Paradise Garage squad took off at 900 meters to go and never looked back. Steve and Dave managed to take a solid 8th and 9th place respectively.  The result by Steve should help maintain his 1st place overall in the series.  After doing work early in the race Mike crossed the line out sprinting two Team 614 racers for 24th and after a hard effort on the first lap Neil rode solo for much of the race and finished 33rd. Dan brought it home in 37th.

It was a tough race on a tough course, but the team didn’t sit in and ride. They attacked early and often creating many of the decisive selections in the field.  Next week the squad travels to the fast and flat Deer Creek road race. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Headwind Cycling.


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2015 Lake Hope Race Report

Category : Race Reports

Lake Hope, the second race in this year’s Spring Race series, always promises challenging parcours and usually Headwind Cycling at Lake Hope Road Racebrings with it wet roads and cold temperatures. This year’s edition graced us with clean and dry roads but brutally cold temps, with the thermometer hovering around 15° at staging as a group of 25 to 30 riders took the line.

OSRS #2 Lake Hope Road Race

After the whistle blew, we took off for two laps of a hilly 20-mile course. Lap one saw a rider break off the front on Mine Hollow Road (the first of two major climbs) and hang there for nearly the entire lap. The pack stayed huddled together (probably for warmth), and didn’t seem too keen on immediately chasing. The group eventually reeled him in as we turned down the long finishing straight, and Mike decided to take a flyer to see if anyone would chase. No takers. He eventually made his way back to the group in time for the second climb up the two-mile Mine Hollow Road.

Neil, Dave, and Steve went over the top close to front, and Neil descended in second position. A small gap opened with two other riders, but the main field eventually closed it down and the group came back together. This was the time another solo rider chose to take off. The pack took their time getting the chase organized, and by the time Steve and Neil took the front to work, the rider was gone. It was too late to attempt a catch and we were racing for second. Steve created a small lead as we approached the second climb of 2-Mile Road, but what was left of the main field was bearing down on him. Neil dropped off, his work done, and let Steve and Dave ride off in search of glory.

Headwind ended the day with Steve taking 5th, Dave finishing in 8th spot, and Neil coming in with the stragglers off the main field in 13th. Mike finished a solid 20th, a great showing and one of his best performances at Lake Hope, and Dan crossed the line in 25th, a tough day for everyone.Lake Hope Road Race

In all, a solid second race for Headwind. Lessons learned: it’s all about conserving energy, but sometimes the smart strategy is to take a few risks.

View the official race results here.


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Ohio Spring Racing Series #1 Race Report

Category : Race Reports

Our team had a great first race of the spring out in Oxford on Sunday.  We had Steve finishing on the podium at the first race of the season with a 3rd place finish and our first time where all guys on our team were in the same race.  Here is a full race report with the details of Sunday’s competition.

Oxford Race ReportOSRS #1 - Steve Podium

Temperatures were in the mid 30’s at the start of the race, the sun was shinning bright and the wind had a bit of a bite.  We lined up for 4 laps with close to 50 other racers ready to take on the 4 corner course that included 2 moderately difficult climbs.  These climbs were nothing we are going to see next week at Lake Hope but they were leg burners.  Our team struggled to find the staging area but after receiving our third direction we rolled up to the staging area with 2 minutes to the gun.  This wasn’t ideal for our team as we typically like to be near the front of the group but it wasn’t a huge concern.  After the start, Mike was able to make his way to the top 10 during the first lap and stay there for the first two laps.  On the first lap one rider from an unknown team made the decision to try to take on the wind by himself and went on a flier.  He stayed away until the pack caught him at the start of the 4th and final lap.  Neil and Dave were stuck further back in the pack and during the 2nd lap were able to move their way through the group to find the front part of the pack.  Dave took to the font of the group to up the pace and go on the attack.  With little help from other teams no gap was created and Dave linked back up with the main group.  Steve was analyzing the course from the back of the pack waiting for the right time to make his move.

The pace was rather steady with surges up the hills each time.  The back end of the course forced the riders to drive directly into a strong headwind.  On the third lap, Mike was put into a bit of difficulty on the first hill and was kicked off the back of the main group.  He put in a significant effort to latch back onto the pack with a bit of help from Steve Q.  It was on that same lap where Dave, riding with the main group, hit one of the massive pot holes, cracked his rim, and forced him to finish his day with a DNP.

On the 4th lap, the breakaway rider was caught and the lead group contained all 3 of our remaining riders.  Once again Mike was kicked off the back on the first hill and worked with another rider to catch back onto the lead group.  Once the main group hit the headwind section that lead to the finish line Mike and his new friend were within 100 meters of latching back onto the group when one of the riders in the lead group hit the gas pedal.  The main group then split into two groups with Steve jumping on with the leaders.  Neil didn’t have the positioning to stay with the main group attached his group to bridge the gap.  His effort wouldn’t be rewarded as the lead groups pace as just to intense.  Steve felt right at home with the lead group as they hit the final hill.  Pushing his lungs to the limit Steve was able to sprint to the line taking 3rd place.  Neil out sprinted everyone in the second group across the line to take a solid 20th place and Mike finished about 30-40 seconds behind this group to take 29th.

Elevator Hanging - Oxford

 

It was a good start to the season for the team.  A bit of a tough day for Dave and Dan who both got DNP’s due to a mechanical and a bit of a stomach bug but overall it was a great day.  Who can argue with sunshine, mild temperatures, and bike racing in Ohio during March?  Not this team!

Here is a link to the race results.  We look forward to next weekend at Lake Hope!


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We Welcome The Feed!

Category : Blog

2015 will mark our third year as a race team and one of the major gaps in our sponsor portfolio has been not having a nutrition sponsor.  It’s been a bit difficult to select and partner with a nutrition sponsor due to the needs of our members.  We have a member of the club that has vegan needs, we The Feed.  Food for Athleteshave guys who hate gels, love blocks, some drink recovery shakes, while others rely on organic products.  There was really only a few nutrition sponsors out there that would make everyone on the team happy.  One of them is an awesome company called The Feed.  They have options for all of our members because they partner with selected companies to offer only the best nutrition products for endurance athletes.  The Feed also has categories for paleo, organic, vegan, nut free, gluten free and other nutrition needs.

We reached out to The Feed about a possible partnership a few months back and we recently got word that they had accepted our application for sponsorship.  This is great news for our team!  This partnership will allow our members to get the right products to help fuel their engines.  We look forward to working with The Feed as we approach our 2015 season!


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2015 Headwind Cycling Planning

Category : Blog

Most folks this time of year are prepping for Holiday Parties, shopping for presents, and getting ready for end of the year events.  Most of the member of Headwind Cycling are doing the same.  We all have parties and things going on for the Holidays as well but we also run a cycling team.  So what does a cycling team do this time of year?  We are spending a lot of time getting ready for our 2015 cycling campaign.  What does this exactly mean?  Let’s take a few minutes to get into it.

2015 Planning & Announcements

The first big item we would like to share with everyone is that we have new sponsors for 2015 !  This is exciting for our team as we take great pride in supporting our sponsors.  New for 2015 is Rockwood Dry Cleaners and Proficio Mortgage Ventures.

  • The owners of Rockwood Dry Cleaners have come on as our Level 2 sponsor.   You will see their logo on the side panels of our new jerseys.  Their business is driven by offering dry cleaning and textile restoration services to consumers from Westerville to Canal Winchester.  Their specialty is delivering your cleaned or repaired goods directly to your home or office for no additional cost.  Everyone has Dry Cleaning needs so if your a fan of Headwind Cycling we expect you to give our partners Rockwood Dry Cleaners a try.  You can even book your pick up and delivery on their website! If you prefer using the phone you can call 614-353-2700 to schedule a pick up or delivery.
  • So what’s happening with Elevator Brewing Company for 2015?  Don’t worry folks, they are back as our Level 1 or primary sponsor for 2015!  We couldn’t be happier to have Dick Steven’s and the wonderful folks at Elevator back with us for a second year.  Check our site frequently to make sure you don’t miss out on events we attend with Elevator throughout the year.
  • Our bike shop sponsor won’t be changing for 2015 and we couldn’t be happier.  Mason and the folks at Westerville Bike Shop have done a great job making sure our bikes and equipment are ready for the road.  Mason has some of the best wrench skills in the city and we couldn’t feel more comfortable with our gear after a tune up from Mason and his crew.

As you can tell we are busy.  We forgot to mention that you are on a website right now that looks a bit different.  Well yes!  You figured it out!  Our website has a completely new look and feel for 2015.  We felt we needed a better way to reach our followers, represent our sponsors, and keep you updated on our efforts.  With this new website we will be able to post more frequently and add pictures to our Headwind Cycling flickr page so you can stay updated on our high speed antics.

Our team couldn’t be more excited for 2015.  New sponsors, new logo’s on our kits, new website, and possibly a few new members.  Now, it’s time to quit writing and get on the bike.  Cheers!

 


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Our Friend at Start Confident

Category : Blog

Cycling is truly amazing.  It allows us to smile, laugh, compete, stay fit, and the list could go on and on.  One of the major things that cycling has done for every member of our club is it has allowed us to meet great people.  The 2015 season will be the third for Headwind Cycling and we have had the opportunity to compete and meet great people from all walks of life.  Last season we met a great group of guys from Cincinnati on the Element Cycling Club.  At first we weren’t sure quite how to interact with the guys from Element.  They all rode these fancy Italian made Colnago bikes, they look about as pro as a team can look (outside of ours of course) so we were a bit intimidated.  Not to mention they were all very solid cyclists with podium representation starting at the first Spring race.  After a few weekends of racing and an invite to enjoy a post race beverage or two we all became friends.

Start Confident

One of the guys from Element that we really bonded with was Sam Lowe.  Sam always wanted to talk race tactics, race positioning, and he always approached the races with a heavy dose of analysis which we enjoyed.  We continued our relationship with the Element guys throughout the season even doing some pre-race recon rides together prior to the State Championships.  When the season ended we got an invite on our team Facebook Page from something called Start Confident.

Start Confident?  What is this?  After reviewing the site we found it had a plethora of awesome cycling content.  Come to find out a few days later that this project was started by Saw Lowe from the Element Cycling Team.  Sam’s goal with Start Confident is to provide cyclists with the information needed to get into and be competitive in racing.  The Start Confident site includes information about what gear you will need for racing, nutrition for racing, testing different cycling data, and much more.  The site is one of the best resources we have found for cycle racing.  If you are thinking of getting into racing or if you are a racer you should jump over to Start Confident and start checking out the content that Sam is putting together.  It’s great to see our friend create such a great resource for cyclists.

Keep up the great work Sam and we can’t wait to see where you take Start Confident!

 


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Ohio Spring Racing Series News

It looks like Team 614 is the first group to announce a date for one of the races in the OSRS in 2015.  This article claims the Zanesfield Road Race will take place on April 12th and encourages local vendors to participate in the days events.  The folks at Firehouse Pizza have always opened their doors for this event and is a frequent post race stop for our squad and many others.

We look forward to other teams announcing their race dates for the spring series.  It’s always a little easier to train when the calendar starts filling up with race dates.


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Happy Thanksgiving

Category : Blog

Happy Thanksgiving to our followers, sponsors, friends and family!


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