Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Criterium for USA season 2009

The final race for my 2009 American season was the Binghamton criterium. I have done this race the past 2 years and it is always tough. This year it was a USA crit series and NRC race.

There were a few break aways but nothing really stuck for extended periods. It was a coarse that was easy to sit on but difficult to get off the front. in the last 10 laps Hayden tried to ride across to a small group off the front and almost made it but the bunch was on a mission to pull back the break, so Hayden was pulled back in. with four laps to go it was high tempo and difficult to move up. about half a lap to go it settled enough for me to move up a bit but not enough. i crossed the line in 14th with Hayden right behind me in 17th.

Looking forward to heading home back to NZ tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Glencoe Grand Prix, Chicago

The race was a 1 km 4 corner circuit down newly paved residential streets, the most difficult part of the course was the very sharp turn onto the finishing straight.

The weather was terrible initially with races being held up due to lightning strikes before we started. The race had 10x $100 primes and a pretty good purse for the finish. I felt strong from the beginning and managed to pick up the first two primes in a row, from there the race was full of attacks. Hayden made a great solo attack, opening a promising gap for an extended period in the middle of the race causing the field to chase hard.

I went after another prime 7 laps from the finish, the primes were coming lap after lap so i ended up off the front for about 4 laps solo, i was caught by a break of four riders with 3 laps to go, as we closed in on the final lap so did the bunch on us. We got caught with 2 corners to go, i was still at the front and the bunch was in tatters after shutting the gap so quickly. A rider jumped early going into the last corner i jumped right onto his wheel out of the final corner for the perfect leadout. It was all on for 200m to the line, i managed to get ahead before the line taking the win. Hayden had an awesome sprint, taking second coming from far back going into that last corner.

I am stoked with the result, its great to be sprinting better. Finally i have a result after working so hard for the last 3weeks it is very satisfying.

Flying back to Kutztown tuesday.

Meijer Classic Grand Rapids MI

Here is the write up from the subway website, its got it pretty covered.

I didnt feel my best for the day but still not a bad result.

The SUBWAY® – Avanti Team raced the Meijer Classic in Grand Rapids MI. Allen, England and Godfrey coming to the end of there Mid West racing program were keen to pick up the pace after a meager showing at the Elk Grove Tour the previous weekend.

The Criterium event was held under testing conditions with clement weather lifting just in time for the main event but leaving much of the course wet for the whole race. Adding to the testing event was two sections of brick in the one kilometre circuit.

Other top US teams at the event were Bissell, Kelly Benefits and Kenda Surprise Cycling Team.

Godfrey having a call up at the start of the race covered a lot of the early moves with aggressive racing by the field taking advantage of the wet conditions. Eventually after several promising moves SUBWAY® – Avanti was represented in two riders managed to slip the field from Kenda Surprise and Bissell.

Unfortunately SUBWAY® – Avanti missed this move but England managed to make a promising group of five that threatened to ride the two leaders down. Unfortunately for England some of his breakaway colleagues didn’t want to work and the main field caught them 15 laps from the finish.

Going into 10 laps to go the break of two had 1st and 2nd in the bag leaving SUBWAY® – Avanti racing for 3rd. After a disorganized last couple of laps Godfrey managed to win the field sprint for 3rd with England a close 5th.

This leaves one race to go in the Mid West for the SUBWAY® – Avanti Team. The Team is yet to find the top spot on the podium but with two podiums and several promising results with only three riders the team is quite happy with its first US campaign.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

elk grove stage #3

110km crit: i made the first break of the crit and won the first prime, we ended up staying out there for about 15km. The coarse was 1.2mile with a hairpin turn after the start finish. i felt pretty good but never got close enough to the front towards the finish. the coarse was tough to pass on especially when you have teams on the front driving it.

hayden ended up 15th.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

elk grove stage #2

todays stage 150km road race 10 laps of a circuit with 27 each lap. it was a very interesting race. i managed to ride across to a 3 man break at one point and got there in time for the prime, ended getting pipped on the line for it though, pretty gutted about that. i was top placed subway rider at 31st not such a great result. hopefully there will be an improvement tomorrow.

tomorrows race: 110km crit

Friday, July 31, 2009

elk grove stage 1

first stage was a 4.5mile tt, i borrowed mikes tt bike which wasnt ideal but better then riding the drops, i ended up about 90th with a 9:16. hayden finished around 50th with a 9:02.

road race 15okm tomorrow afternoon hopefully i will see some better results.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

chicago pix

Sunday, July 26, 2009

big chicago crit

well, Chicago crit was on a flat wide open coarse, the hammer was down from the start. because the course was so wide it made it very dangerous being able to ride 5 wide through some corners at full speed. This was probably the most dangerous/dodgy race i have done. I followed a lot of attacks for the whole day but nothing stuck. The course wasn't hard enough to put the peloton under pressure.

2 laps to go we did a burner up the side of the bunch together before getting chopped once we were up there. A crash happened a corner later at the front which caused the top 30 riders to go everywhere and then the chase was on to get back together. this left us in a position not so favourable and we had to work very hard for the last couple of laps. I wasn't able to move up enough before the final lap when it strung out. i rolled over the line 27th and Hayden 18th.

Very disappointing day when you know you have the legs to go better. looking forward to next weekends Tour of Elk Grove, have to make up for this one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

superweek race #3 kenosha

Todays race was a 100km crit on a 1km 4 corner circuit. The weather was looking a little dodgy all day but the rain stayed away till about half way through before drying up for the finish, thanks goodness.

The race was flat and wide open, which meant that it was going to be fast. The first half of the race was chaos again as usual with us covering a lot of breaks. I thought i had made the break of the day and was feeling pretty comfortable but obviously there was too much fire power still in the field and we were pulled back.

Hayden managed to get in the move of the day with aussie rider Hilton Clark, a rock racing rider and one rider from the weis team. The field was still riding fast but the break away group managed to lap the field and it didnt take them too long, they were going quick.

After lapping the field Hayden made his way back up to the front of the peloton, it was the job of Jason and i to try keep the field together and let no breaks get away. A few small breaks went but nothing stuck. Coming into the final laps i was getting swamped by waves of riders constantly after i kept putting the effort in to get up front. 2 laps to go things starting getting serious, a guy managed to hit the deck at about 8th wheel coming into a corner with just over 1 lap to go. I got a little held up as i was right behind it but managed to stay clean and get back on the group. From there it was too late for me to get to the front to help Hayden out in the sprint which was a shame. Hayden managed an awesome 2nd place getting beaten by Hilton Clark who had a lead out from Carl Menzies. i rolled over the line in 12 place. not a bad result considering the amount of work i needed to do and a great ride by Hayden.

Next race Chicago Sunday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Superweek race #2

Todays Lake front 150 km road race was on a 24 lap circuit. Either end of the circuit had reasonably steep short climbs. This we had fellow Subway-avanti team mate Jason Allen racing with us.

As always we covered every attack we could from the start and there were quite a few to begin with considering the distance of the race. It wasn't until we got close to half way through, the peloton split into 3 groups. Hayden and i ended up in the 2nd group. No one was really chasing the front group, we got them as close as thirty seconds, we would get close but couldn't close the last bit. I happened to be working and ended up rolling off the front of our group across the flat part of the coarse were i was joined by a Kahala La grange rider, followed by Emile Abraham. We worked well together and managed to make it across the gap pretty quickly. once we got across the group was pretty settled and we stayed together until about 2km to go when the attacks started, again the finish was very strung out i managed to get pipped on the line ending up 6th, with Menzies and Heath Blackgrove taking out the top two spots.

Again it was a pretty successful day. looking forward to upcoming weekends racing.

My first superweek race

Well we arrived in Milwaukee Wisconsin (a good 12hour drive west of Kutztown) a couple of days ago to rode the final week of international superweek.

The race today was a 100km road race at Whitnall park, it was held on 3.6km circuit on private park road. the circuit was rolling and consisted of a short sharp climb up to a false flat finish. Hayden and i spend time from the start looking for a break we were sure would stick on this coarse, Hayden ended up in a great one which i thought would stick but ended up getting pulled back at the half way point, immediately i covered an attack which formed a group that stayed away. The break away group of about 9 riders from a range of teams including, Garmin, jelly belly, Kelly benefits, a South African team and also Heath Blackgrove of San Jose, We all basically stayed together till the last half lap when the flyers started and we all got strung out. we hit the bottom of the climb with a few small gaps. I had enough gas to put in a half decent attempt at the sprint i ended up choosing the wrong side to go up and got a little held up. i rolled over the line in fourth place just ahead of fellow kiwi Heath. I was pretty happy with my day considering i felt like i still had bad travel legs.

Now looking forward to wednesdays 150km road race.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kutztown and Iron hill criterium

Since I have been here in Kutztown Pennsylvania I have only really been training and the closest thing I have done to racing is the local derby training race a couple of times a week. Well this weekend was the first chance for me to see how I was really going, with track racing on Friday and Criterium on Saturday night.

Track racing on the Friday never happened for me as my track bike didn’t turn up on time. That wasn’t exactly a bad thing as I was feeling pretty fried from training throughout the week. I went down to the track to help out Hayden and some of the NZ U23 riders that are in town. Track races for the night consisted of mile race with heats, a six lap Wheelrace and a 60 lap Madison. Hayden had a successful nights racing featuring dominantly in all races. Hayden paired up with NZ development rider Jason Christy in SUBWAY® – Avanti colours and rode into second in the Madison. Ending a good nights track racing.

Saturday, I had a short ride in the morning with a couple of efforts in there and actually felt pretty good which was nice.

Iron Hill Twilight Criterium - USA Crits series race, Hayden and I both had a call up for the start of the race which meant we started on the front row for the 60 lap 60km race. It was a fast four corner circuit false flat finish, down hill back straight up hill to the finishing straight. Hayden and I never ventured outside the top ten from the start covering attack after attack looking for the one break that would stay. Eventually after numerous break attempts I ended up in the right one consisting of six riders including Colavita, Garmin and Harley Davidson.

We got away just before the halfway point of the race, it was a long time off the front with all of us chasing to eventually lap the field. I felt really comfortable in the break and with less then six laps to go we managed to lap the field and this was when it got difficult.

When we got on the back of the hundred strong field there was a lot of tired guys losing wheels so moving up was very difficult. The bungy effect on this course is terrible, you have to really drive it hard out of the corners and then make sure guys don’t let wheels go in front of you. This happened five or six times to me and it took a lot of energy to make sure I stayed in touch and try move forward as much as possible. I lost touch with the break guys that lapped the field so I didn’t really know where I stood going into the final sprint.

The short amount of training I have done so far was starting to show, I was just hanging on for the last couple of laps passing people at every opportunity. I ended up crossing the line in 7th. I also managed to pick up a couple of midway primes. I was very happy with my result and the way Hayden and I rode the race for Subway with just the two of us was excellent. Hayden had an awesome ride at the front of the peloton while I was off the front keeping tabs on the attacks and impressively picking up four consecutive primes in the last 10 laps.

The whole nights racing was an awesome atmosphere with over 20,000 in the crowd and a lot of people all around the course cheering for subway being such a well known brand here in the US. We had no idea who they were but appreciated there support! It was fantastic.

Josh England

2009 America trip

Well it has been a while since i have posted on this blog and i have decided to get it up and running again now that im back over here in America. posts comming...

here is a short clip i was involved in before i came over here