One Last Spring Break
21st Mar 2018Posted in: Blog, Featured Posts 0
One Last Spring Break

The phrase Spring Break typically carries with it images of warm sun, cold beer, and beaches. For Little 500 cyclists, however, that phrase stands for something entirely different. Any cyclist who has stayed in Bloomington during that fateful week in March can attest to the extreme highs and lows of such a situation. The following will serve to update you all on what Beta Cycling has been up to the past few weeks.

Spring Break got off to a quick start as Colten, JJ, and Sam moved all of their gear over to my live-out apartment. We quickly realized that with only 4 members, cooking, cleaning, and other tasks would be plentiful, and we all had to work together to maximize recovery / chill time. This year, instead of traveling to Louisville for collegiate races the first weekend, IU Club Cycling hosted its first racing weekend in recent years. We were excited for this because it meant less traveling, more sleep, and a chance to defend our home turf.

Saturday morning started with a collegiate road race through Morgan-Monroe State Forest, a route ridden an abundance of times by all of us. Colten, Sam, and JJ raced the collegiate C’s. They had three fast laps totaling 42 miles. Unfortunately, JJ and Sam got caught behind a wreck on Bean Blossom Hill and the pack shot past them as they attempted to clip in on a 12% grade ascent. Colten, however, held fantastic position and launched a move on the final Bean Blossom climb. He gapped the field by nearly 100 yards and a victory seemed imminent. On the final push, a pace line of 5 strong IU and Marian riders worked together to bring the move back and caught Colten at the line. It was a gutsy move, and Colten certainly gained tactful racing knowledge from the experience.

Sam, JJ, and Colten hold great position while working together in the road race.

Following this, I participated in the collegiate B’s road race. It was a blistering race, averaging 23 mph over 42 miles of rolling hills. On lap 2, another very strong IU cyclist, Joe Krahulik, launched a move that I followed. We stormed up the Hindustan climb and had a break with 3 other riders. Joe, myself, and a Marian rider worked together to sustain the move. Approaching the final Bean Blossom climb, Joe launched another move and he and I were able to separate from the group. He led me out into the climb, and I was able to fly up Bean Blossom and secure a 3rd place finish behind 2 other IU riders that went off the front during lap 1.

The following Sunday was the IU criterium race. Sam, JJ, and Colten again participated in the C’s race and held strong position throughout, all finishing in the pack sprint with an emphasis on keeping it safe. I did the B’s criterium and was able to finish 4th in the sprint despite poor positioning going into the final turn.

After a successful weekend of racing, the boys knew what lie ahead at the track. Monday was a two-a-day with some interval work. At night, we focused on exchange work and more interval drills. Our coach, Eric Anderson, made his way into town that night and talked us through a film session. Tuesday opened up with a difficult sprint workout followed by more team pursuit style efforts, as Anderson provided commentary throughout. Tuesday evening was a recovery road spin that certainly boosted morale. Following this, Wednesday was all about knocking out a tough evening workout.

There was now a light at the end of the tunnel, but we all knew what Thursday night had in store for us. Dubbed “the workout that won the race”, the 2013 Beta Bikes Champions conceived this workout one snowy night in the spring of 2013. We were all tired, but ready to attack this ruthless workout. The team crushed it. The boys were feeling confident, and we took this confidence into our weekend of racing in St. Louis.

Jack Ruth (’21) our freshman rookie, joined us Thursday night and was ready to begin his racing career. The weekend kicked off with all 5 of us participating in the CAT 4/5 race. We all held great position throughout, with Colten, Sam, and myself doing a lot of work up front to pull back a rider off the front. Colten and Sam then led me out, and I was able to out sprint the rider off the front, but got edged out by another rider for 2nd place. Colten, JJ, and Sam finished right behind in the top 10. This race was followed by the CAT 4 that Colten, JJ, and I participated in. Again, great positioning was held by all of us, and I launched my sprint from a poor position but was able to finish 3rd overall. Colten and JJ were right behind in the top 10 once again, proving that they can consistently hold great position and finish strong and safe.

Podium after the first win.

Sunday was our final day of racing and again, all 5 of us were racing the CAT 4/5 in Forest Park. The field was huge, and I was itching to prove myself after just missing a win yesterday. Colten, JJ, Sam, and I controlled the race doing most of the work up front. Going into the final sprint, I finally aligned great positioning with some pop and was able to overpower the field for my first win. Colten, JJ, and Sam again finished right behind in the top 10. It was the perfect ending to a long week of training and racing. Even more importantly, the team stayed safe and no one got injured. Beta Cycling was feeling primed and ready to crush the remaining 4.5 weeks until April 21st.

I want to extend a huge thanks to the Mower Family once again for graciously hosting us a 4th year in a row. They provide a huge amount of help and support for our weekend in St. Louis. Also, a thank you to Mrs. and Mr. Hagedorn for taking the team out to dinner and saving us from cooking an extra night.

This weekend, Beta Cycling will take the track at 12:00pm this Saturday to throw down a fast qualification run, weather permitting. Please continue to check our social media outlets for updates. As always, we really appreciate all of your support and can’t wait to turn some heads on April 21st.

in _kai_,

Jack McNamara


Leave a Reply