Over the past few weeks, a few great results have come in that are just too good not to share for various reasons...
Team co-Captain Remi McManus, 2001 Elite Road Champion, had a rough year last season with nagging injuries keeping him off his best form. Earlier this year, Remi's season was starting off a little frustrating with illness... but nothing sets things straight like getting a race win;
On a day that would be dominated by the sun, the cold and the winds of the high desert, Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy pro Remi McManus finds his legs and prevails on his MASI 3VC against a peloton of his friends and enemies alike.Nice job Remi! We're all proud of you my friend!
The Birds Of Prey Road Race started with the peloton shivering and huddled together to find warmth as the temp was in the 40's and the winds seemed to be about the same. Although the temp was cold the pace heated up from the start. With a whistling cross/tail wind some of the larger, stronger teams saw the opportunity to put it in the gutter and see what damage could be done early in the race. This was not the start to the race I was hoping for, as I was caught in the back in a conversation, thinking we would start at a gentelmen's pace- I was in a bad spot right away. When I realized what was happening I had to put a serious effort in to make my way to the front- this was the hardest effort of the year for me. After the first 20 to 30 min the pace seemed to slow as groups would go away and come back into the fold. This continued for the next few hours...
In the closing 20 miles the attacks started flyin' one after another. Not knowing who was riding well I made the decision to go with any and all attacks, although I was unsure how my legs would respond as this was the first race of the year. As we drew closer to the finish it became clear to me that there were only a few riders that could challenge me for the win and one of those riders put in an attack about 7 miles out. I thought of going but 7 miles in this wind seeemed to be too far out. The group gave him about a 15 second rope to hang himself with. Then 5 miles out it was time to make the move with the help of 1 other very strong rider and a tag along we made the bridge and atttacked straight away. With only 3 of us left rolling to the finish. Although 1 rider would not work with us I was not all that concerned- I knew if I could see the line with theese 2 no one would get the better of me in a sprint. As we came on the 1 K marker, I finished my pull and slotted in 2nd wheel looking back waiting for the attack. At 200 meters I decided that it was time, and jumped...
After a year of sickness and injury it was nice to cross the line with the hands up again. I look forward to more days like this.
Next up on the podium is the Flying Duthman, Bennet van der Genugten- BVDG for short.
Bennet made the trip down to Trinidad for an invitation-only international event with riders from around the world paired into teams for a few days of grass track racing in front of excited fans.
Racing the grass track…
Its sort of hard to describe racing a track bike in the grass, it looks basically like a soccer field but it rolls quite fast from being pressed down by a steam roller of some kind. There is some extra resistance to where it feels like you’re in a head wind the whole race, which works to the favor of the roadies thankfully!
The field was comprised of some really top track racers, the US national sprint champ, some German national team members who rode in Beijing, some British guys, Jamaicans and the Trinidad national team in full force. I was a little out of my element in such short races, but as Jeff Hopkins always reminds me, “run whatcha brung.” I was very consistent through the races, faking my way through the shorter races and sprints to some 3rds and 4ths against the big fellas, and putting the hammer down in the longer events for some more thirds and 2nds (it was a long and grueling omnium with some 20 races for those of us crazy enough to enter all of them!) I wasn’t able to win anything other than a few rounds in the sprint tourney, and the 500 meter qualifier for the sprints. My form is great but the top end is still a little sluggish to get rolling – its quite ok with me though, I was having an absolute blast, and my team director was very pleased with me, as were the race promoters who have already invited me back for a couple different races!
My equipment selection ended up being just right. I was running the Masi Coltello track frame with 85mm carbon rims on tubular tires, with the only specialty being 80-lbs of pressure instead of 150 for more grip. It looked really sharp, and the green I thought was especially cool as I was racing in the grass!
AWESOME! Way to go BVDG- it's great to see a "skinny" roadie do so well by releasing his inner track sprinter. For even more of the story and more recent racing news, you can also take a peek at BVDG's blog.
Again, we love each and every race win or podium appearance- whether from our guys on Kenda Pro Cycling or all other riders everywhere else. If you have a race report you want to share with us, send it along with a few pics and we'll add you to the pantheon of champions!