GSC takes on the Annual Escape Velocity Spring Racing Series

Represented by men and women in all categories, the Glotman•Simpson Cycling Club became a dominant  force to be reckoned with at this year's Escape Velocity Spring Racing Series. A total of ten road races were hosted through the March and April months in the various locations across Langley, Aldergrove and Abbotsford, BC. Due to the overwhelming popularity and growth of these events, in addition to the A, B, and C racing groups, we also saw the succession of a D group, and a Learn To Race stream. 

 

The A Group - Contributed by Mark Rainer
This year marked the largest squad of A-Group Glotman•Simpson riders with the likes of Ryan Jones, Travis Streb, David Gillam, Ted Matson, Micheal Parrish, Craig Holden, James Anderson and Mark Rainer rolling to the start lines. Despite our line-up of men in black and yellow jerseys, the group found themselves surrounded by even larger teams that occasionally had up to 18 riders. When the field is only 50 riders in size, the odds of accomplishing a podium spot, or anything at all, were not in our favour. But true to form, that did not stop us to work effortlessly on every single lap, and aim to land on the podium for a few select races.

Against the pros, ex-pros, ex-national champions and soon-to-be pros, our team scored many top 10 finishes and secured two top 5 placings both in breakaways, mission accomplished! We've already seen great development of talented guys and gals who are up and coming into the A racing. I can offer them these words of wisdom: "quit carrying so much damn water!"

A Group Top Results:
5th, Wix Brown - Mark Rainer
4th, Aldergrove Long - Travis Streb

 

The B Group - Contributed by Craig Holden
Over the 10 Spring Series races over a dozen well-drilled GSC B riders put in a superb showing with 10 podiums (top 5s) and 2 wins!  The results were not by chance and even the rain gods could not stop the GS B train. In short, we recap the magic moments and key findings that was, racing in the B's:

  • Racing should be fun and it was!  Riding with and for such an ace team makes it all worthwhile.
  • Planning, back-up planning, and back-up for the back-up plan was essential:  We can’t control every single move in every race, but with everyone having a clearly defined plan and working together this greatly maximizes the chance for success.
  • Being in the right place at the right time is so important and this happens to be at the front and not mid-pack.
  • Sometimes you need to gamble everything to win - Dreamland three lap solo breakaways really do exist!
  • Ian Hendry set the scene by grabbing a podium in the first race of the season. Kurt Withers was always around to sneak a result at each outing.
  • Craig Holden, three lap solo all-or-nothing Aldegrove East win, with Michael Goodman easily riding away from the field in the sprint to grab second.
  • Managing to get in the 1 in 20 breakaways that stuck to win Thunderbird Long was exciting.

B Group Top Results:
4th, Aldergrove Short - Ian Hendry
2nd, Aldergrove Short - Morgan Cabot (Women)
4th, Aldergrove Short - Meghan Grant (Women)
5th, Wix Brown - Kurt Withers
3rd, Wix Brown - Morgan Cabot (Women)
2nd, River Road - Meghan Grant (Women)
2nd, Bradner - Meghan Grant (Women)
1st, Aldergrove East - Craig Holden

  
2nd, Aldergrove East - Michael Goodman
3rd, Thunderbird - Michael Goodman
5th, Thunderbird - Kurt Withers
3rd, Aldergrove Long - Kurt Withers
2nd, Aldergrove Long - Morgan Cabot (Women)
2nd, Murchie - Ian Hendry
3rd, Murchie  - Michael Goodman
1st, Thunderbird Long - Craig Holden

 

The C Group - Contributed by Mick Stobart
If racing in the D group is an introduction to racing, then racing in the C group is where you learn how to race… poorly. Our team of C Group men and women were a dominant force in each and every race, executing many tactics, plans of strategy, and adaptive scenarios to take home the coveted musette bags and podium jerseys. But what coaches and other racers don't teach you, are some of the finer points which I learned during the Spring Series:

  • Eating a granola bar and breathing while climbing are mutually exclusive activities. 
  • If you hang your jersey on the latch of a porta-potty, double check to make sure you didn’t unlock the door. Someone will walk in on you, it will always be a girl, and that girl will always shriek.
  • Pre-opening a chocolate fudge gel at the start of a race is a great way to get unsightly brown stains all over the back of your jersey. 
  • If you succumb to peer pressure from your team mates and remove your saddle bag, make sure you still carry a spare tube and pump in your jersey, unless you really enjoy long walks while wearing bike shoes.
  • You’ll be made fun of if you only use four pins to hold your race number. Austerity measures don’t apply to the use of pins in bike races. 
  • A solo breakaway attempt is a lonely affair. But riding in a breakaway with your team mates is as magical as riding rainbow-spouting dolphins. 
  • Get to know the competition as you never know when you’ll need their help in a race. You can start a race with strangers and end a race with friends.
  • Cycling is a team sport and it’s just as rewarding helping a team mate get onto the podium as getting onto the podium yourself. 

GS was well represented in the C’s and the selfless riding of the entire team led to a string of strong results. Well supported by more experienced members of the club, more impressive than the actual individual results was the teamwork that the C team showed throughout the Spring Series.

C Group Top Results:
1st, Aldergrove Short - Jem Arnold
2nd, Aldergrove Short - Duncan Lanoville
4th, Aldergrove Short - Thomas Wallace
2nd, Aldergrove Short - Jody Rechenmacher (Women)
2nd, River Road - Andrew Coelho
1st, Wix Brown - Thomas Wallace
2nd, Wix Brown - Mick Stobart
5th, Wix Brown - Jem Arnold

 
3rd, Bradner - Aaron Brown
3rd, 
Aldergrove East - Aaron Brown
2nd, Thunderbird - Mick Stobart
3rd, Thunderbird - Aaron Brown
5th, Thunderbird - Alex Henry
4th, Aldergrove Long - Robert Reinert
3rd, Murchie - Aaron Brown
3rd, Atomic Long - Mick Stobart
1st, Thunderbird Long - Mick Stobart

 

The D Group - Contributed by Peter McNamee
Due to a significant increase in registration for this year’s Spring Series, Escape Velocity added a D race to its regular A, B, and C races. Kudos to EV for setting this up, as the D group provided an opportunity to race to those of us who, while perhaps not quite being able to hold with the speed demons and hammerheads in the far more talented and awesome faster groups, have exactly the same desire, strength, and commitment to get out there and, well, race.  For many of us who raced D Group in the Spring Series it was our first time at racing.

The GSC D Group contingent included Alison MacCulloch, Jody Rechenmacher, Andrew Funamoto, Ben Johnson, Clint Murphy, Kevin O’Connor, Ben Smith, Sean Solheim, Farouk Zaba, and Peter McNamee, and this group acquitted themselves extremely well.  GS raced D Group in 9 of the 10 Spring Series road races and ended in the points 23 times, with 16 top 10s, and 6 podiums, one of which was a first place finish for Sean. In Sean's words about his winning sprint:

“One quick side to side at 400m out. Fulgas on the right, EV on the left. Yeah OK, **** it, go NOW. Things were a bit of blur for a bit...  Felt a considerable twang in my left calf with 5 m to go. Never mind that, it's DONE!  Got my first Spring Series win and a cool orange jersey! Thanks GS for all the support on my first road win! We really do rock.”

The first-timers will definitely be back.  Simply put, there is nothing in cycling like racing.  All D racers would really like to see even better GS representation in the D-group next year – actually, how about starting with the upcoming crit season? – so the D Group can move closer to the A’s, B’s and C’s with respect to race strategy, planning, and execution.

Racing is a sure way to realize that you’re better and stronger than you think you are.  It’s also incredibly humbling, because racing drives home that you’re really not as good or as strong as you think you are, and you still have some work to do.  And, there is no substitute for getting stronger and faster on a bike than by racing.  It’s simply the best training you can do.  To all GS rouleurs, think about it, take a chance and get out there on a race or two – you’ll become addicted, we guarantee. It was a privilege wearing the GS kit in the D group races in the 2015 EV Spring Series.

D Group Top Results:
1st, Wix Brown - Sean Solheim
3rd, Bradner - Andrew Funamoto
2nd, River Road - Peter McNamee
1st, Aldergrove East - Jody Rechenmacher (Women)
2nd, Aldergrove East - Alison Macculloch

 
4th, Thunderbird - Andrew Funamoto
1st, Aldergrove Long - Jody Rechenmacher (Women)
4th, Aldergrove Long - Sean Solheim
3rd, Atomic Long - Andrew Funamoto

 

Glotman•Simpson Cycling at the 2015 Escape Velocity Spring Series

Photos courtesy of Escape Velocity, Andrew Funamoto