June 4, 2012 on 4:00 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Chloe Black
In Kempville, Ontario, Canada, near Ottawa, our nation’s capitol, the inaugural eQuinelle Grand Prix drew a strong field of elite men and women races due to a sizable prize purse! I had to pull a few strings in order the get my Canadian racing license in order, but all worked out and I made the 3+ hr drive to a far eastern part of our province.
They had a $1200 prize purse for the winner of the women’s race, with 2nd: $500, 3rd: $300, 4th: $200 and 5th: $100. Winning had a lopsided advantage and 20 + women, including Team Exergy Twenty 12 rider, Heather Sprenger plus a number of Canadian National team riders, lined up to take a run at the big payout.
Lap 3 included a very bad crash. I managed to avoid hitting the deck, but not before skidding, going up on one wheel and dropping my chain. I ran to the pit, but the race was stopped for 30min while they took one rider away to the hospital.
They restarted and shortened our race from 60 min + 5 laps, to 45 min + 5 laps. The race started with gusto and this was good as it kept women from bunching up in the narrow, technical corners. With a few $100 primes on the line, I sat back, watched and assessed a field that was virtually unknown to me. The pace never seemed too difficult, but there were a few teams with 4+ riders so I knew I would have to be smart. The last prime was presented with 15 min to go, again, I sat and watched.
The classic lull after the prime was perfect for an outside attack from the back and away I went. A sizable gap opened right away, but I never made it more that 25 seconds away. With no allies in the field, I knew the only chance I had now was to just 100% commit to this move. With 3 laps to go, the field was now motivated to fight for the biggest single day payout in Ontario. They were coming on strong, but I managed to fight them off, as they closed all but 5 seconds! That is not my typical style of crit racing, but it was an amazing feeling to win solo, off the front, for 25 min! Now my pocket book can breathe a little easier!
March 30, 2012 on 6:00 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Brian Ellis
On Saturday, March 16 the TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing team lined up in Tucson’s biggest cycling race of the season, the Old Pueblo Grand Prix. Expectations were high as the team was still enjoying their recent successes in Murrieta, Avondale and Tucson Bicycle Classic. With nearly a full squad including Brian Ellis, Andre McNulty, Justin Orkney, Ben Lair, David Welsh, Shawn Daly and, making his first Cat 2 start, Christian Maldonado, the plan was to stay at the front and ride aggressively.
The pace was fast right from the gun and within the first few laps, gaps in the field opened and riders were shelled off the back. Things settled down about 5 laps in and Brian took the opportunity and flew up the right side to launch an attack. A group of 4 slowly but surely pulled away from the field. The group of 4 grew to 6 with riders from the teams of TriSports Cycling, Jetset Racing, Green Team, Tachycardia and Tolero (and one unattached rider).
Content with their representation in the break, the TriSports team sat up and left the chase efforts to the rest of the field. Meanwhile, up in the break, Brian and his companions drove the pace and increased their gap on the peloton. As the lead grew to 30 seconds, Justin Orkney made a valiant attempt to bridge up to the lead group. Just as he was within ~25 meters of making contact with the leaders, he overcooked a turn and went down. Not to be deterred, he got up, dusted himself off and continued racing.
The lead group continued to push the pace and further increased their gap to the main field. After nearly 45 minutes of riding off-the-front, the leaders had the tail end of the peloton in sight. The field would be lapped!
With 5 laps to go, the field was lapped and things got messy. A handful of the breakaway riders were content to sit on the back and take their top 6 placing but the rider from Green Team quickly made his way to the front of the pack. Brian was in hot pursuit and the rest of the TriSports team did what they could to position him near the front. Amidst the confusion, the Green Team rider sprinted a lap early and thought he had the win but in reality, there was still one lap to go. The final lap was fast and the field was strung out.
Andre led Brian out of the last turn but a long day in the break had taken the toll on his legs. Brian gave it his best but the finish line was just a tad too far and he was passed by the rider from Jetset Racing who took the win. No one else from the break was able to come around Brian though and he held on to 2nd place overall.
Justin Orkney gets the Spirit Award for this race. Despite crashing early on, he continued to race and even made a second attempt to bridge up to the leaders! Unfortunately he never made contact with the lead group, but his efforts would net him 7th place on the day! Andre would finish in 9th overall and Ben, David and Christian rounded out the top 15 with 12th, 14th and 15th respectively. All in all, a great day for the TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing team!
March 13, 2012 on 4:21 pm | In Races, Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Andre McNulty
The Elite men’s team went to Murrieta, California this weekend to test our legs against the best of Southern California at the Tour of Murrieta and came home with the team victory.
Our team was represented by Brian Ellis, Ben Lair, Andre McNulty, Justin Orkney and two composite riders Michael Dziedzic and Christopher Chase.
Friday’s time trial was like nothing we had done before. It was a 6.5k rolling course that ended on a climb up an unpaved road with several challenging switchbacks. Brian, Justin, Andre and Michael had impressive showings. They scored points by placing 5th, 7th, 10th and 15th respectively. Though we all managed to stay upright and upbeat, we were losing the team competition to the California based Team Revolution.
Saturday’s race was a fast and furious 6 corner criterium in downtown Murrieta that was made especially challenging by strong winds. Multiple attacks were attempted but nothing stuck until the teenage phenom that dominated the time trial got away solo for the win. With 6 laps to go, Andre jumped across to two riders from Team Revolution and Team Clif Bar Cycling. With three riders in the break representing three of the bigger teams, the break was successful. The three riders worked well together and Andre placed second of the breakaway for third overall and a place on the podium. With strong finishing sprints by Michael, Ben and Justin, we were able to take the lead in the team competition.
Our spirits were high going into the final day of racing despite strong winds and a stacked field. The cat 2 men set a blistering pace finishing the 56 mile circuit race as fast as the pro field. Midway into the race, after a flurry of attacks and a crash, the field split in two. Justin and Michael made the split of 16 riders. Realizing, we had numbers in the break, Brian and Andre were able to discourage chase efforts. In the break, Justin took monster pulls to ensure they would stay away, allowing Michael to unleash his killer sprint. Michael won the bunch sprint, placing second to one rider who attacked late in the race.
Knowing we had a 7 hour drive home, it was tough to stand around in our racing kits. We had goosebumps from the chill in the air as the sun was setting. The wait was well worth it when we stood on the podium hoisting the crystal team award above our heads.
Ah, the sweetness of victory!!!!
February 28, 2012 on 10:09 am | In TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Justin Orkney
The TriSports Cycling/Eclipse racing men’s team had a successful outing this past weekend at the Avondale Criterium. The course is a quick six-tenths of a mile with only 3 turns, which proved to be a great opportunity for the team to race on our new Orbea team bikes and Zipp Firecrest wheels. Ben Lair, Andre McNulty and Justin Orkney lined up for the pro 1/2 race alongside other prominent Arizona teams such as Bicycle Haus, Landis/Trek, Carlos O’Brien and Jetset Racing. From the gun the race was very fast with each team trying to establish a strong break. The first half of the hour and fifteen minute race included a barrage of attacks, but none were able to establish a clean break away. With about 35 minutes left in the race, a breakaway of four was away free and clear. The break included Justin Orkney of TriSports, Brian Forbes of Jet Set, Michael Dziedzic of Landis/Trek and a William Westfall from Bicycle Haus. Since most of the major teams were represented in the break, it looked strong from the beginning. With Orkney and Forbes riding hard to extend the gap, which grew as large as 40 seconds, the break became just two.
McNulty and Lair were happy to discourage any organization in the peloton that would potentially threaten the break away and the two men maintained a healthy lead over the field. Despite an organized effort by Bicycle Haus and Landis/Trek to reel them in towards the end of the race, it proved too late and the break stayed clear with Forbes winning the final sprint just feet ahead of Orkney.
The men’s team is looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Tucson Bicycle Classic, just days away.
February 14, 2012 on 10:48 am | In TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Heather Dunphy
The first stage race for the 2012 TriSport’s Cycling ladies was thrilling! Valley of the Sun, in Phoenix Arizona, attracted a variety of high caliber category one and category two riders from around the country to compete in the three day event. A special appearance from Evelyn Stevens, who is on the U.S. Olympic team for the women’s road race this summer, kept all of the ladies on the top of their game!
The 14.2 mile time trial, held the on the Sun Valley Parkway, was smooth, open and windy. Heather Dunphy came across the line in tenth place, followed by Tracey Perez, Chloe Black, Kristen Hetzle and Kimberly Truitt. After a good night’s rest, they were eager to take on the road race. The tragic car/bike accident in the pro men’s race casted a morose shadow over the event, thus forcing a neutral lap, followed by 45 minutes of uneasy waiting for the course to clear. The race was shortened to 32 miles, making it exceptionally fast from the (second) start. The first climb shattered the pack, but TriSport’s leading lady Chloe Black made the break. For eight miles, Heather Dunphy (Trisports) tried to bridge, but was swallowed by the peloton. Black finished in 8th place and Dunphy took the peloton sprint for 11th. Hetzle and Truitt followed soon after and the evening was spent relaxing with the team and downing burgers at a local eatery.
Music, smells of food, the cheering crowd, and aggressive racing gave the downtown criterium a festive vibe. From the start of the 40 minute race, accelerations from the top pro women lap after lap kept the field fighting for position. Black took the first prime and aggressively stayed in the top five most of the race, while Dunphy, Truitt and Hetzle glued together any cracks in the peloton. In the final sprint, Chloe Black claimed third place followed by Dunphy, Hetzle and Truitt. The weekend ended with tired legs, but excited spirits for the next team race at the Tucson Bicycle Classic in less than three weeks.
February 6, 2012 on 9:51 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Heather Dunphy
The Trisports.com ladies were in full force this weekend at the McDowell Mt. Circuit Race. Chloe Black, Kristen Hetzle, Kimberly Truitt, Tracey Perez and Heather Dunphy wore the red white and blue of Trisports around the 1.8 mile narrow circuit. The weather couldn’t have been nicer with temperatures in the mid 60’s and a light breeze.
With 20 women the field, and some top local talent, we were near the front the entire race. The ladies shut down every attempt at a break until about half way during the race, there was a gap in the field and Heather Dunphy accelerated in order to widen the gap. Immediately the Trisport ladies went to the front to slow down the field in order to allow Dunphy the chance to stay away with the others in the break. Dunphy rotated and worked hard with the others to stay away while the field was out of sight on the twisty narrow circuit. After capturing two primes, Dunphy settled in for the sprint finish. “I didn’t even have to sprint for the primes, I was just taking my turn at the front and it happened to be a prime lap!” Around the final turn, Dunphy was in third position waiting for others to pounce, but waited too long and finished fourth. “With hindsight, I should have dropped back a bit, gained some speed and powered to the line.” Every race is a good learning experience! The Trisport ladies did an excellent job of blocking and the team work is beginning to really gel as we get to know each other’s strengths.
A podium shot would have been preferred, but I couldn’t leave the race without hoisting one of my prime prizes over my head for this photo.
November 14, 2011 on 12:37 pm | In Community, Employee Adventures, Sponsorship, TriSports Triathlon Club, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | 1 Comment
I look forward to my Saturday ride all week. Nothing is better then spending a couple of hours on my bike when my only worry is what I’m going to have for breakfast. The only thing that can make a Saturday better is getting to share those miles with some elite athletes. This Saturday, the Tucson community and I enjoyed a ride with the sponsored professional triathletes of BH bikes – Angela Naeth (Team TriSports), Eneko Llanos and Nico Ward. We headed out west to ride through the cactus forests of Saguaro West on a beloved route for Tucson riders. After a solid beat down, we returned to the shop for some bagels, coffee, raffle and conversation with the pros and the minds behind BH. A big thank you to the pros and BH crew who came down to ride with us, and for hosting the breakfast! We look forward to having you back in January with the BH demo fleet!
Photos by Tom Demerly.
August 29, 2011 on 12:06 pm | In Community, Employee Adventures, Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
This past weekend we had the Arizona Team Trial Championships that was put on by the good folks of the Southwest Hand Cycling Team. Since I am a triathlete at heart it is always good to get out and do time trials with the roadies because they are playing in my space, not to mention the fact that in a TTT you are expected to be in a pack in your aerobars! The TTT is a fun discipline because you start with four people and your finish time is taken by on the time of the third person. This means you are able to lose a team member and still get an official finish. Also, in the team competition you are very limited by the weaker riders on the team because you can’t exactly shell them off the back so you need to work a bit harder (taking longer pulls at the front) to keep the team intact as long as possible.
The TriSports.com contingent was super strong at this event – we had 7 teams (6 of them from the TriSports Cycling Club and Team and one team of all triathletes). Our two women’s teams took the top two spots on the podium while our best men’s team took 3rd. It was awesome to see all of the red, white and blue out there on the road!
June 28, 2011 on 3:00 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
Tulio Weber is TriSports Cycling’s youngest star. At only 15 years old he is already a category 3 racer, and dominating at races throughout the southwest. The other weekend he participated in the Bike The Bluff in Show Low, Arizona. Saturday’s race consisted of a challenging 74 mile road race held at 6,500 feet!
I had lots of fun at this race even though I didn’t get to do the crit on Sunday because of the wind. One thing that made the race especially fun was I got to ride with the cat 1-2 on the TriSports team and some other cat 1 and 2 riders. I enjoyed finding out how I race against the BIG GUYS!
At the start of the race, I was nervous. But, little by the little, I got more comfortable. I stayed with the group for a while, and then I attacked around 30 miles into the race. I got away by myself and was on a break. I don’t know how long I held on, but when the official came to me, he told me that I had a minute and a half time gap on the peloton. I was happy because I opened up a big gap for my age in the cat 1-2-3 category. Eventually they caught me and I was tired, and sometimes I was falling behind in the race. In my mind I stayed strong and kept going and I was second place in the 3’s.
- Tulio Weber
June 7, 2011 on 1:45 pm | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
TriSports.com would like to congratulate TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing team member Anna Sanders on her recent invitation to the USA Cycling Women’s Endurance Talent ID Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Talent ID camp enables USA Cycling to identify athletes that would potentially benefit from the USA Cycling Women’s Endurance Program. It will be used to identify and collect data on athletes that are not involved in their program who have future goals of competing with the USA Cycling Women’s program.
Anna has had a phenomenal season and been an integral part of the women’s cycling team. She started her season off with 3rd place finish at the Valley of the Sun Road Race, and finished 14th overall. At the Tucson Bicycle Classic she help the team take the overall title while also winning a road race stage, taking 4th in another stage, and finishing 6th overall. At the time trial for the Redlands Bicycle Classic Anna posted the highest placing for the team in 19th. Congratulations Anna and best of club at camp! We are very proud of you!