USC dominates WCCC Championship in Davis

USC First and Third Men's A Crit

WCCC Championship Podium, photo by Yao Saeturn

The 2013 WCCC Series came to a dramatic end with USC riders winning both the Cache Creek Road Race and Mondavi Criterium. John Tomlinson won the grueling, crosswind-heavy road race by attacking the elite lead group of 6 with 15 miles to go and crossed the line solo, in the leader’s yellow jersey. Colin Don won the Mondavi Criterium in a similarly dominating fashion: a solo attack with 3 laps remaining, holding off the field. Tomlinson won the field sprint, earning third place.

The victory in the road race sealed Tomlinson’s domination of the WCCC Individual Omnium, winning the series by over 600 points. Following are USC’s victories this season:

  • 1st place, Cal Poly Road Race: John Tomlinson
  • 1st place, UCLA Road Race: John Tomlinson
  • 1st place, Stanford Road Race: Brendan Larkin
  • 1st place, Fresno State Road Race: John Tomlinson
  • 1st place, WCCC Championship/UC Davis Road Race: John Tomlinson
  • 1st place, WCCC Championship/UC Davis Criterium: Colin Don

Brendan Larkin and John Tomlinson will represent USC at the Collegiate Cycling National Championship Road Race and Criterium in Ogden, Utah on May 4th and 5th.

Thank you to our sponsors Intelligentsia Coffee, Helms Bakery, Chemex, Amy’s Gourmet, and Jessup Auto Plaza. We are looking forward to another exciting year next year for both the mountain and road seasons. Stay tuned!

Brendan Larkin Wins Stanford Road Race – Report

Photo by Yao Saeturn

Photo by Yao Saeturn

When I crossed the finish line first at the Stanford road race with enough time to sit up and take in the moment, I hadn’t been the strongest rider for the past three hours. That is the frustrating beauty of cycling, the strongest doesn’t always win, the smartest and the one with a little (or a lot) of luck usually gets to salute.

I rolled away in the first mile with a Stanford rider and the pack sat back for what sounded like a tempo ride. Another Stanford guy bridged with the lone Santa Barbara guy in the race. It was breakaway as usual for the next few hours. I chose to lead up the climbs to set the pace and let the rest work more on descents and flat roads. I really started hiding from the wind on the hideous head wind section once we had established a 7 minute lead.

With approximately twenty miles to go we dropped the SB rider. I was initially pleased, but this lead to a barrage of attacks from the Stanford duo. I actually welcomed these attacks, because they didn’t put me in trouble and I could refuse to work after they began. One attack almost got me when both riders got up the rode, but I grit my teeth and latched back on the group. (rule #1 of breakaways, never get dropped)

Coming into the finish, the primarily downhill and tailwind ten miles made closing attacks easy. We got an update from the moto-ref that a chase group was beginning to gain on us, so we started to work together again to make the break survive. I continued to sit on the most, with one Stanford kid doing the lion’s share of the work and his teammate appearing to be queuing up for the sprint.

I seemingly ruined the parade for the Stanford twosome when I attacked on the final hill with 1.5 miles to go. I was certain that one Stanford rider would chase, and the other would pass me, leaving me with a respectable 2nd. However, once I realized that I actually had a chance, the final moments of suffering were easy. With a football field length to go, I recognized that I had struck the lethal blow and soft pedaled across the line.

I don’t think my attack or tactics would have a high success rate over time, but sometimes everything just falls in place and that is what makes cycling a beautiful sport.

Thanks so much for everyone’s support this weekend and thanks to boss man John Tomlinson for putting some unwarranted faith in me. Let’s keep notching up the W’s.

Fight On!

Brendan Larkin

Updated USC Helms Bakery Criterium Flyer

Please see below the updated USC Helms Bakery p/b Intelligentsia Coffee Criterium flyer. The only race that changed time is Women A, which will now begin at 9:30am.

We’re getting very excited for the event, hope to see you out there!

Please also see the map below for parking information. Look on the WCCC Google Group for more information in the coming days.

Also, look for a race report from John Tomlinson, who got 2nd place at the Boulevard Road Race and 3rd place at the Red Trolley Criterium last weekend, in the coming days.

Preliminary Race Flyer

Course Map & Plan

Karl

2013 Kit Order Link + Website Updates

Here’s the link for the 2013 Kit Order you’ve all been waiting for! Orders will ship in December, so if you’re in LA head to Bike Effect instead to get yours right away.

Also, the website has seen some major updates in the past few days. The sponsor page is now up to date, the roster is updated and we’ve even posted some of our favorite rides (north of campus for now, stay tuned for west to Malibu and Palos Verdes).

Ride On and Fight On! (Also, Beat the Buffaloes tomorrow! Happy Parent’s Weekend)

2013 Kit Information

2013 kits are here! If you are in the LA area, head over to our awesome sponsor shop Bike Effect (910 Broadway, Santa Monica) to pick one up. An online order for those outside the LA area will open on Friday – stay tuned for the link.

Stay connected with Trojan Cycling as we prepare for the 2013 Road Racing Campaign through this website, Facebook, and Twitter. Fight on!

Mountain Bike Skills are Important when Mountain Biking

ImageReno is a long way from Los Angeles. This might be something we all know, but it’s hard to truly comprehend it until you’ve driven it, in a car, having to stop every hour or so because you know you’re going to race at altitude and are forcing fluids. Karl and I know this, because that’s just about how our drive up north went this past weekend. While lacking some of the epic vistas of our drive up there last year, the views were stunning as always and we arrived Friday afternoon (after a 6.30am departure) to a wonderful venue up in Tahoe. This year Reno hosted its race at Sky Tavern, a resort dedicated to making skiing and snowboarding affordable so that anyone who wants to can enjoy sliding downhill fast without the barrier of cost. An excellent vibe that translated well to an excellent race. 

We pre-rode the course Friday, which turned out to be a great idea because, ladies and gentlemen, we had ourselves some real mountain bikin’ on our hands! While Parkfield is always the most popular race, its notoriety is based more on its party atmosphere than the quality of riding. UNR offered up both in spades! The race started off with a maybe 3.5 mile fire road climb, then went into a rolly singletrack bit and ended up with a mix of fireroad and singletrack screaming descent. And the singletrack was tricky! The top rolling bit had a number of step ups and creek crossings that it was good to have been able to practice, to make sure we were in the right gear and confident in clearing the obstacles. But the highlight of the course was the WAY loose and gnarly (for XC) singletrack down at the bottom. Karl and I ran through it a couple of times, and after three tries I felt good about being able to clear it all during the race. Georgia (dog), of course, was able to get through everything no problem, sitting in the shade while we struggled to keep traction in the wet grass and loose sand. 

After a horrible showing at Parkfield, I was looking forward to doing a little something at Reno. The race was at altitude, which doesn’t help those of us who live at sea level, but after a summer of racing Rim Nordics I felt confident that I knew how to handle the challenge. With so much fire road climbing, our race started off at a reasonable pace with the terrain breaking up our group as we climbed. First place quickly got out of sight, but I was able to keep second in view for all of the climb. I was able to get past Eileen, from Stanford, on the descent and hoped that I could keep her within reach again, once she passed me on the second lap, to do it again and end up second on the day. I wasn’t, but even still, I am happy to have finished third. I pushed myself the whole race, really getting after it through the rollers, and cleared everything on the course at least once. All in all, a fun day! 

Unfortunately the short track race the next day wouldn’t play out the same way. The course featured a 2/3 road, 1/3 fire road climb up into a hairpin, then down through some berms and over some bumpy stuff through the campsite (WCCC courses seem to be running the short tracks through the campground, and it makes for a great atmosphere!) and into another hairpin before spitting you back out on the pavement. I spent about half the race chasing third place and finally caught her heading around the top hairpin into the downhill, but ate it coming out of the second berm on the descent, which claimed its fair share of victims over the course of the day. Game over. With four laps to go, after a race of chasing, I didn’t have it in me to catch Liz from Berkeley again and I phoned it in for 4th. It was a great short track, and felt good to actually be racing instead of just pedaling around in circles. Great races by Maren from SLO and Eileen from Stanford to win the XC and STXC races, respectively, and thanks to Reno for giving us some real mountain biking! 

2012 Parkfield XC Race Report – Karl Tingwald 10th Men’s A

Photo by Will Scheel

Mountain bike season is here in the WCCC. My fling with cycling began with riding mountain bikes in the NICA NorCal league, so racing MTB has always held a special place in my heart.

Parkfield is always a highlight of the season – it’s the oldest MTB race in Central California and the pixie bike races on Saturday night are a WCCC classic. Virginia and I arrived in the afternoon and did a pre-ride of the singletrack portion of the course. As usual the trails were extremely dry, but not too loose.

This year the race began with a lap around camp before heading up the infamous hike-a-bike first pitch. I didn’t start well and found myself about 2/3 of the way back in the pack once through camp and on to the hill. Knowing the terrain to come, I made an effort to advance on the rolling climbs leading to the cow trail singletrack. I managed to pass 4-5 riders here, and continued my push into the first main climb. Again, I passed a few riders and tried my best to stay with a group that included Ben from Davis and a few Cal Poly riders.

I ended up falling back a bit on the descent (no surprise there) and was alone by the time the A’s route diverged from the main course. The A’s course included an extra five mile fireroad climb followed by a very hairy descent. I dug in and suffered up the climb – it really never seemed to end – passing two riders on the way to the spectacular summit. I lost one spot to Brian from Cal Poly on the way down to the finish but ended up with 10th place out of 24 starters. Pretty happy with that for my first A’s race!

The MTB season will continue with Reno, Humbolt and Chico before Nationals, and Berkeley, Santa Barbera and Fresno after. Stay tuned for more updates and race reports!