The men and women of GS made the trek south April 17 through 18 to take in the first stage race of their season at the Tour of Walla Walla. With four races over three days for most categories, GS riders proved their endurance and versatility with strong performances from all 13 racers.
Cat. 4 Jody Rechenmacher made a strong debut in her first stage race, smashing the time trial and taking the GC lead, 42 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. She learned all about positioning in the crit, with several ‘aha’ moments, just narrowly missing the podium in 4th. In the final road stage, having made it into a select group of 5 racers, Jody put it all on the line with a monster attack with 3km to go. Unfortunately she was chased down before the line, but held on to the yellow jersey and finished with her first GC of this season and her career.
Matthew Brown, the sole GS representative in the Men’s 4’s had strong results to take 7th in overall. Lacking any aero getup, he held his own in the tt, minimizing his time losses. Holding strong position in the crit, Matthew managed to stay off the asphalt, despite an untimely crash in the last lap, and managed to finish with the bunch. Sunday’s road race was fruitful, and he made a solo move on the last lap which blew the peleton apart on the final climb. Though eventually caught by a chase group of 8, this was the winning move and Matthew sprinted for second in a photo finish.
In a hotly contested Masters race, Ted Matson and Paul Krzywicki took on the Northwest’s best over 40. After the first morning of racing, with both teammates sitting comfortably in the GC rankings, they took some risks in the first road race with Ted spending 15km in the break and Paul putting out some watts on the front of the peleton early. In the Saturday crit, called true ‘Gentlemen’s racing’ for the lack of crashes, Paul positioned himself well, followed a strong wheel for the last lap and took 4th in the bunch sprint.
The Cat. 3 men came into the weekend with ‘lame excuses’ due to crashing, injury and inexperience, but managed to produce some solid results regardless. After maintaining mid-pack GC position through the first day of racing, the crit was a highlight for the men. Michael Goodman won an early prime for $50 and finished 5th in the sprint. Avoiding a car driving the wrong way on the course, Jem Arnold and Ryan Jones held good position near the front and stayed safe. The men finished strong on the last day of racing, and achieved their goal of ‘not sucking too much’.
The 1/2 Men made it through the time trial without any serious time lost. GS Director David Gillam reportedly wore an aero helmet, saying “I didn’t want to go all the way to the car for the other one.” GC contenders Devon Moonie and Mark Rainer finished about two minutes back from the race leaders which set them up well for the stages to follow.
The men represented the club well in Stage 2, which featured several 3km grinding climbs. Travis ‘No Bars’ Streb put in a strong performance, finishing in the front group alongside teammate Devon, despite an inconvenient mechanical. All of the men stayed safe in the crit, avoiding a massive pileup in the second to last lap, which saw the race neutralized. With temperatures in the high 20’s, Travis and Devon both rode strong in the final stage to finish with the first chase group and maintain top 30 positions in the GC.
The GS 1/2 women rode a strong time trial, with Morgan Cabot and Justine Clift placing 1st and 2nd to start off the weekend in the yellow jersey. Friday afternoon’s road race was disappointing, which despite the women finishing 3-4, let a solo break get waaaay too far up the road. This left the women 2-3 in the GC with a significant time gap. Looking for redemption on Saturday, Morgan and Justine showed excellent teamwork. They alternately attacked the field and chased down any threats. With patience being the goal of the day, and looking to make up some lost time, Justine moved to the front in the last third of the race and waited through three primes in a row before attacking. She got a gap on the group and managed to hold on for four laps to take the win solo. Unfortunately, after making several dangerous attacks, Morgan took a spill in the final sprint and wasn't able to finish. Sitting strongly in second in the GC going into Sunday’s road race, Justine rode a tactical race, but wasn’t able to get away from the group without a teammate. It came down to a bunch finish, and she managed to sprint for second, narrowly avoiding a serious crash in the last 300m.
The early-season heat and strong fields bring GS back to Walla Walla every year. Along with three hard days of racing, there was fun to be had off the bike as well. Plenty of time was made for off-the bike wine-tasting and fine dining chez Glotman, while the women perfected their nail polish-sports bra-sock matching combinations for the rest of the season. If you’re interested in giving racing a try, get in touch with a men’s or women’s race ambassador, we would love to race with you!
GLOTMAN•SIMPSON CYCLING AT tour of walla walla 2015
Photos courtesy of Christian Beaudrie
GLOTMAN•SIMPSON CYCLING AT TOUR DE BLOOM 2015
Photos courtesy of Andrew Funamoto, Morgan Cabot, David Gillam