Wednesday, November 14, 2007

News from the Peloton

Hello Gang,

This week in Vegas, all the hype was for the big showdown at the Silverman.
Some of the top time trialists in the area were out in force to contest the
event and they did not disppoint.  There were a lot of notable performances
and that I will get in too later.  I wanted to take a moment to say how
impressed I was with the level of organization that it took to put this
event on.  I can not believe the amount of volunteers and support from the
community as half of Henderson was shut down for the Road events.  I have
never been a big Tri fan but that was pretty cool.  I hope that some day we
can see that kind of support behind some local bike races.  Nice job
Silverman.  I also wanted to high light Dave Ellis.  His company was a
notable sponsor and most of the team members of CES were out to either race
in the event or volunteer as a worker.  Lots of praise out to those guys
for supporting a local event.


The Arctic Squirrel has arrived.  He landed in Vegas via the Audi Turbo
Express on Saturday.  He looks fit but looks can be deceiving.  Let me know
if there are any Jay sightings on the road.

Silverman Report:

There were lots of Vegas notables involved with the race and I apologize
that I did not see everyone or get your specific times.  I did see the
Wolfman in the half iron man looking pretty cool in a Air Force Kit.   The
big showdown in the Relay TT of 112 miles was a great event to watch.   The
boss was first on the road and maintained his position as the best Time
Trialists in Vegas.  We all take for granted his abilities in this event
but he improved his time over last year by 14 minutes and had the fastest
bike time of the day with a 5:08:03.  Chicken was second in the Valley with
a time of 5:33:30.  Louie's team won the overall relay and the Mens relay.
Chicken team won the coed relay team.  Nice job guys.  Hansel had a great
showing with a time of 5:52:37.  I did not get the ladies time splits
because I was not able to get their team names but I know Hilary was out on
the road with a good effort as well.  Big Ryan and Brandon Cunningham both
had good times to support their relay teams as well.  I was in the
transition area and it was obvious, every one left it on the table.   Dave
Ellis looked pretty sharp on his X-lab TT bike.

Non PT Retrospective

As promised, I am sitting here at my desk and going over all the great
performances of the past year by non-PT riders.  It has been a long season
so this is going to be from the best of my memory.  If I forgot someone or
did not quite get a fact right, I apologize now.  It is much easier for me
to remember races I was in so here we go.

I will start with one of the most impressive riders in the City, Little
Hurt.  Andy had an incredible year with many accolades to his credit.   From
getting his Cat I to taking on the Zoolander boys at LA College, he has
been solid all year.  I think one of his most impressive performances was
taking out Kayle LeoGrand at West LA College.  Even before that, the way he
gutted out the finish in Boulevard this year against arguably the best
field that race has ever seen.  Not many of us would be willing to line up
in  crit against most of those riders, he did it in a tough ass road race
and was one of the top non-pro finishers.  Great season Andy.

How could we forget Greg Christian.  Now most uf us know that Gregg checked
out after the first part of the season, but before he did he was notching
up some serious placings against some NRC caliber racers.  His ride at Red
Trolley was inspiring and he certainly got Lance excited.  I recently spoke
with him at Red Rock and he may start racing again.  Lets hope so!  We need
somebody to give Jay some competition.

Spider Monkey has had a tough year.  From going to school to getting plowed
by a car, he was not able to salvage very much of his season.  For that
reason I will have to remember him as being a great antagonist at TNW.   The
one thing I love about Ryan is he is unafraid.  From attacking Burke
Swindlehurst in Utah to trying to disrupt the PT train at TNW, I can always
count on Spider Monkey to mix it up.  i know he is training for a big year
next year so keep an eye on him.

Mr Dark Cloud (Tony Gebbia) had a good year in the early part of the
season.  He was getting some good placing in the early season crits in
Socal.  Again I do not have specifics as I was not at a lot of the CBR
stuff.  I will also say that between him and Luna, the two of them have the
sweetest peddle stroke in Vegas.  They pedal like glass.  The guy just
looks pro.  Nice!!

Pitter Pat impressed the hell out of me at the Mt Charleston hill climb.  I
know what you are thinking, he is supposed to go uphill fast.  He passed me
like i was falling backwards off a ladder.  Nice ride on the Mountain Pat!!

One of the biggest character's in the peloton, Troll, had an awesome year.
I love the way he gave it up for his teammates in Indio but his all time
best achivement this year was taking the 4-up sprint at TNW.  It looks like
all those videos he had been watching of tactics paid off.  Than he goes
down to Socal the next week and wins a crit.  That was a breakthrough ride.
Good luck with the new baby!!

Hansel made a great return to the Peloton this year.  After a year in
absence he rode strong all year with quite  a few crit placings to his
resume in masters races.  He has steadily been improving his TT again to
his former level.  I am looking for some great battles on the road this
year.  He had one of his best rides at the St Valentine's day race.  He was
the power in a two up break.  Nice job Chris.

Gagne has been improving his sprint all year and doing well at TNW.  I have
to say my best memory of Chris this year involved the Tour De Gap.  I know
he may not agree but he had a breakthrough ride in the first days road
race.  I know we always talk about placings, but sometimes it is the
challenge of a hard event that will take you to a new level.  Gutting out
the finish on those climbs that day when your body was telling you to stop,
changed you as a rider and I am sure it will pay off.  If he keeps taking
his game to that level, he will be one tough rider in the future.  Nice job
at Gap getting over those hills.  Trust me when I tell you that you
impressed me and my teammates that day.

I was not at this race but Ryan J had a great day down in Phoenix at the
beginning of the year.  He did a crit that had rain, snow and sleet.  I
talked to some of the people from that area that were at the race and very
few people finished.  Ryan had a good day to get a top 20 finish in the Pro
1-2 crit and tough out the weather.  He also just stepped up and completed
the 112 mile Silverman TT.  Can you say tough guy!!

Little Nathan, what can we say.  This kid is smoking hot this year with
none other that a state title to his name.  He has steadily been improving
and it all culminated with a break away win at state.  I thought that was
impressive until Charleston.  This kid smoked most of the elite field to
have one of the best times in the city, and he does not even have muscles
yet.  Keep an eye on him and lets hope he gets picked up by a good
development team for next year.

Hillary had the race of her life at Indio to win some big money.  I watched
her come out of the last corner and accelerate to the line for a well
foughtout win.  I was laughing all the way home that day thinking about how
she won more money than any of the guys from vegas that placed that day
including myself.  here is another vegas athlete that had  breakthrough
year to become a threat in almost any race.  Awesome!!

Alicia goes right along with that.  You would think that she would only be
a sprinter but she actually placed well in quite a few road races including
San Luis Rey.  She was also the best finisher in the Pro Crit here in Vegas
at Mandalay Bay.  Look for bigger things for her this year.

Last but not least, Big Lance.  Always the sprinter, he spent most of the
season working his ass off for members of his team.  He stepped up and did
an entire season with arguably one of the best local teams in Socal.   Along
the way he was able to win a masters crit and provide lead out after lead
out for his sprinters.  It was tough to hold his wheel and even tougher to
beat him at his race, the local TNW.  He was by far the dominate winner of
the belt.  I am hoping that the rumor of his retirement is just that and we
will have many epic battle to come.

On that note, I am sorry if I forgot you.  You are always welcome to add in
your own memory.

Random Thoughts:

Happy Birthday Hileman.  I am not gay and Chicken wrote the card!!

Again, special props out to CES for their sponsorship of the Silverman.
How about a Road Race next year??

Is it the training or the P3???  Nice job Boss!!

Tucson is this weekend.  It is on Bitches!!  I hope I can hang in for the

See ya next week.

Jim Robbins

Sunday, November 4, 2007

News from the Peloton (The Retrospective)

Hey Gang,

I am stuck here at my office working on  a Sunday so I decided to kill some
time by getting the newlsetter out.  I have to say the weather this weekend
has been awesome so I am sure you are all out riding and enjoying our mild
temps.  As i sit and ponder the season that we just finished, I thought I
would go through and highlight some of the best moments from the year past
and of course get your mind wandering to good things to come for the next

Special Announcement:  Today is the Chickens 41st B-day.  If you see him
out on his TT bike today be sure and wish him a happy birthday and buy him
some calf muscles.  He will need them next weekend for the Silverman.   By
the way his bar age is now 31.


The only racing in January was a TT put on by the gang at ProCyclery.   That
same weekend some of us PT Riders escaped the ass kicking cold and went dow
to SoCal for a weekend of long miles.  Our training camp consisted of a 110
mile day on Saturday from Papa's house to San Diego and back again the next
day.  I think the highlight of that trip was just spending time with my
bro's and coming into San Diego right at sunset and checking out the
skyline after a long day in the saddle.  That little trip showed me how
good we were going to be this year as you could just tell the team was
clicking.  OHHHH I forgot the TT.  Louie smoked them like usual, but the
real accomplishment was riding in those 17 degree temps.  Damn that is
cold.  Mark is laughing in Utah at us desert dwellers but I am sure he
wants to be here in Winter.


The first race of the year was Boulevard.  I have to say, that race set the
tone for the season.  The teamwork was awesome and with all the major teams
there to show off, Louie showed why he is feared on any climb.  With
Chicken working like a whore, he set the boss up for a podium placing.
kircher was incedible in the beginning chase on lap one and the team worked
hard.  Valley of the Sun was next.  Louie, Mark and Balch took on the 45+
race and won the overall.  I will never forget how RS got his nickname that
day.  With myself, Chicken, and Kenny blocking like mothers he took a well
deserved 4th in the road race and than did another lap just to show how bad
ass he is.  Than just to make sure we new the boss was the boss, he kicks
ass in the Crit and takes another podium.  I finally saw the Cuban sprint.
I will say the boss owned February, but RS gets the MVP for this month for
making me laugh my ass off.  Run Scared Bitch


March was jam packed with the lead up to San Dimas Stage Race.  We all went
down to McClane to race with the long lost squirrel.  The crit was insane
and the boss and Chicken were in a nasty pile up in the Pro Crit.  The
masters crit did not go as planned and we all were lucky to survive without
major injy.  The best moment of that weekend was Jay telling the Pro
Woman's T--Mobile team how they need to win the race with his sweats pulled
up around his chest and his skinny ankles sticking out underneath.  TOO
FUNNY.  Murrietta was next and Kircher, RS and me tried like hell to get a
break to stick.  RS was an animal that weekend and worked his ass off to
help me try and get a placing.  Next was SanDimas and what a race we had.
To Podium at arguably one of the toughest stage races of the year in terms
of competition was awesome.  The team worked like a well oiled machine.   I
will never forget Louie after the TT at dinner.  His quote of the night,
"who the hell wants 9th, tomorrow we go for the win and this is how we are
going to do it."  Of course the strategy is a closely guarded secret but
Kenny launched the Chicken with a blistering acceleration up the side of
the field and that was the last we saw if him.  That race, I was never more
proud to be on this team.  With Jay winning preems in the Crit to poor
Mark, coughing up his lungs but fighting to stay in the race so he could
help the team.  I give the MVP for this month to Kenny for his unselfish
riding and teamwork and Chicken for finally cracking that big podium.
Maybe you two should team up more often!!!!!


For me this month had some highs and lows.  On a high note, I went down to
Indio and finally got to race in a true Pro Crit with a stacked field.   I
got 8th in the masters to win some cash and than busted my ass for 90
minutes just to say I raced Henk Vogels.  FUN STUFF.  San Diego Omnium was
a blast for me, Chicken and Kircher.  I am very proud of this race because
we had to fight so hard to get a placing when all of us were arguably not
on.  Kircher was completely dominate in the crit and helped me lead out
Chicken three times to make sure we could get bonus points and a finish to
stay in the money.  The boss, Kenny and Mr. Freeze went down to Tucson and
completely dominated the AZ boys for another GC win.  Mr Freeze and Kenny
were a two man wrecking crew for the boss and I am sure that Mr Freeze
absolutely gets the award for the MVP for that ride.  I am sure Louie felt
like he was on a Mack diesel riding behind that wind tunnel.  The low was
Conquer the Canyon.  We did not ride well as a team but learned some
valuable lessons.  Louie came back strong on the last day road race but it
was not the highlight of our calendar.


Two big highlights in May.  I went down an raced Bario Logan and tried to
get in every break I could just so I could miss the winning attack by
Bordine for the state championships.  the next day was San Luis Rey RR.
The boss had some great form, but we let Kircher attack early and
unfortunately he was not able to stick with the break.  Not our best day
but we took a shot on our long break away specialist and I have to say this
was good training for what Kircher did later in the season.  RS was bad ass
in the 4 race and picked up 2nd to get the balance of his upgrade points.
Damn he is strong.  I forgot to mention he won Punch Bowl in the 4s.   All
of this while he was actually a Cat 5.  Go Figure.  Summit Center was at
the end of the month and what a battle.  It was touch and go and man did
the team work well.  With Kircher kicking ass in the crit (he had a solid
ride that day and spent more time off of the front), Louie taking the 100
preem, and getting the lead out of his life from his team, he was able to
stay in first after the first day.  The circuit race saw the whole team
take teams protecting Louie and than launcing him in the break.  The last
day RR we had a narrow margin of victory and the Ride Clean team came out
swinging.  Louie put us all on the front and Kenny set a sweet tempo to
keep anyone from attacking.  We just rode any attacks down and set up our
climbers on the last climb to go for the win.  Chicken flew the coop to get
a W and boss rode awesome to defend his lead.  Freeze was incredibel in the
cross winds and showed strength that I shall not soon challenge.  Balch did
the 45+ and one almost every stage including lapping the field in the Crit
to put all GC hopes for his competitors out of sight.  My MVP for May is
the return of the Balchesaurus.


I finally got up to race with Mark Schaefer up in Utah at the High Uintas.
I will just say that by far this was my best race of the year and Mark is
the badest man in Utah.  Enough said.  I had a personal break through with
my TT and Mark completely dominated the RR to put the GC out of sight.   If
you could have seen the cross winds he had to fight coming into Evanston,
and he put 4 minutes on the field solo.  DAMN!!  Louie was riding well and
unselfishly worked for Mark.  Just to make sure he did not get bored, I led
him out for the crit and he took another sprint win.  Are you sure you are
not a Crit Racer??  RS was an awesome teammate that weekend and he reallys
et me and Louie up for a good placing in the crit.  The week before that,
the resurrection of Robo Cop was completed.  He went to the state RR
championships and with the most unselfish riding of the year by Louie,
secured 3rd place for a bronze metal.  Louie was awesome to patrol the
front and Kircher started his own break and than powered it for the rest of
the day to stay away for third.  Kircher and Schafer are the MVP for June
with an assist for Louie for his domestic duties.


Of course July is the month for Nationals and Louie and Mark did not
disappoint.  They took a silver in the tandem TT and Gold in the RR.
Another National Championship and a hard fought battle to get it.
AWESOME!!  The two of them went to Cascade with me after that.  They were
both exhausted and still had great rides with Mark getting 4th on GC in the
45+ race.  OK again I will say that is a bad man.  Louie got third in the
last day circuit race and rode a very solid stage race considering he was
exhausted from Nats.  Just when i thought the Squirrel had gone into
hibernation, he calls me up to Carson for the NorCal Crit Champs.  He laid
out a plan and we gave it everyhing to try and win another championship.
He rode a very good race to secure a 5th against one of the toughest crit
racing teams I have been up against this year.  Nice way to end July
squirel.  MVP for July is the two National Champs Louie and Mark.  Jay gets
honorable mention for one awesome sprint in Carson.


Apparently August is Kircher's favorite month.  He started by going out to
another state championship in Sisquoc and getting another bronze, his third
of the year.  Ohhh and just to show you he is bad ass, he did it by
himself, no teammates with him on this trip.  Tour De Gap was on tap and
the 45+ guys stepped up with the return of Polocko to the peloton.   Him,
Balch, and Schaefer lit up the field to take the GC for the 45+.  The boss
whooped ass in the 35+ to take another stage race win with a lot of great
riding by his team.  The set up on the first days RR by his climbers,
Polocko, Balch, Chicken, RS was incredible.  The crit was te scene of the
famous PT Team Time Trial and I have to sat it is harder getting a placing
on this team because my team mates attack befoe I get a chance too.  I am
talking about RS taking off 8 miles in the last RR never to be seen again.
The TT was a true test and I am glad to say that I had another break
through ride.  After sweeping both categorys you would think that Utah was
ready for us, but the next week Kircher, Chicken and I went down and did
the San Pete RR and Kircher took another win.  Chicken rode a good race to
thwart any chasers and I busted my ass in the break to make sure we stayed
away,  It was a nice way to end the season.

I know that was long but damn, we race a lot.  All in all we have had a
great year.  I would like to thank all the sponsors, significant others,
and support staff that helped make this a great season.  I hope this got
all of you dreaming of big wins and good times for next year.  Sorry this
is PT specific for all of you that get this that are not on the team.   I
will highlight some other Vegas notable next week for not PT.  Just too
much too write in one letter.

Random Thoughts:

How does Chicken look so young???  I will tell you his major secret.   He
spend almost all of his free time lying around the house in his pajamas.
He will only leave the house to ride, work, or go to a party.  He literally
has no other activities beyond this.  Truly amazing

Rock Racing is talking with Mario Cipollini to ride for them for next year.
WOW, can you imagine that CipoLilge may actually get to race Cipolini.   I
will lead you out Jay but you better start doing some intervals.

The Silverman is next weekend, come on down and watch local favorites
Chicken, the Boss, Hansel, and Big Ryan battle it out for TT Supremecy

Working on a Sunday Sucks.  Thank god I can do this so I do not go crazy.

The roster has not been finalised for PT for next year.  I am told that
several of us are on the bubble.  I will be at Louie's house next week to
atone for my sins by washing his RV.  Chicken will be assigned to clean out
the shit tank.  Hopefully we make the cut.

There are some new races coming out on the national calendar.  It appears
that our sport is still healthy in the US.  I am looking forward to our
local stage race.  Rumor has it that the Nelson's Landing RR is going to be
back.  I guess we can count out the various ALL Crit All Stars.  You boys
better start doing some climbing.  I am sure there will be some no name
crit in Phoenix you can do that weekend.  Seriously, if we have a local
race, lets get out and support it.  If promoters do not get good turn out,
they do not have an incentive to keep the race going or try and do more
races.  If we want a healthy race scene in Vegas, we need more races here.

See you out on the roads

Jim Robbins