Friday, April 29, 2011

Litespeed-BMW Cycling Recap: Perry/Union Cty/Brooks – Benjy Gets Ornery

With big-time racing on the calendar this weekend (Athens Twilight and Roswell Criterium), here is an update on some of the racing from Litespeed-BMW Cycling earlier in the season.

From the Litespeed-BMW blog:

Whoa, has Benjy been going after it out there. The guy has obviously been too busy racing to get any updates out, so let’s knock all of these out at once. We’ve got a whole bunch of races in here, with a whole bunch of our guys…and a whole bunch of great results! Read on!

Perry Circuit race

The line up at the Pro 1,2 race was Benjy, Hank, Wes, Matt and Artur. Artur had done well earlier in the morning time trial and had committed himself to race for a strong overa ll finish in the omnium overall classification. There was representation in the field from Team Type 1, Locos Deli Iron Data and a large group of the region’s strong teams. The race played out with steady attacks off the front, all of which were quickly caught. Artur, Wes and Matt were busy at the front attacking and chasing moves while Hank and Benjy cruised in the field. With about 5 laps to go Matt flies off the front and was out on his own for about 3 laps. About the time Matt is caught by the group, everyone was trying to get position at the front. Benjy was being led toward the front by a hard effort from Hank. With Hank’s help, Benjy hit the final corner in good position and sprinted to a third place podium finish with Artur just back in 10th place.

Perry “Roubaix” Road Race

Benjy and Artur against about the same crew from the previous day’s circuit race. The Perry Robaix is really fun due to the good roads and a long section of dirt road at the latter part of the race loop. The race began with a group of six rolling slyly away before anybody was really paying attention. Turns out that the escape group contained guys from many of the strongest teams in the race…oops. Before long the group was almost five minutes ahead of the peleton. Since Artur was trying to place well in the omnium and he was racing for better than a seventh place finish, we decided the best thing to do was to work together with the other guys who wanted to chase down and catch the break. At this point I was racing for Artur and slowly cooked myself in the chase effort for a couple of loops while Artur was able to conserve energy for later in the race. Hard attacks eventually took a toll and and riders were shed off the back…including me. Artur was able to respond and remained in the group that eventually caught the six man break and then attacked each other for the rest of the race. Artur, alone now amongst the likes of Team Type 1, Locos, Iron Data, and several other strong teams, had to respond to many strong attacks. Artur escaped up the road for a while and was eventually caught. Artur battled to the end with the strong men of the race and ended up with 5th overall for the omniuim. Well done!

Union City Circuit Race

Another good day of racing with most everyone on the team lining up. We were all happy to see Oneil Samuels racing with us, fresh in from Jamaica. Tim Henry quickly established himself as one of the more aggressive riders in the race. Everyone else joined the game eventually. Attacking was constant during the race but nothing ever really stuck and it was looking like a field sprint for the line. Hank put forth a huge effort to try and get away with a small group with five laps to go, but was ultimately reeled in. With two laps to go we fought for position up front with Tim keeping us all together. Just before the last turn of the final lap Benjy sneaks into a good forward position and was able to sprint for a 7th place finish.

Brooks Road Race

Chris Chotas and Benjy Coil raced the 4 lap, 68 mile road race on a fantastic cool sunny spring morning. The Brooks course is a scenic loop through long flats and gentle hills. There were lots of strong riders in the race, most of whom had several team mates. The first lap was a typical display of constant attacking. I was able to get into a 4 man break for most of the second lap. If the three of us were as strong as the young BMC development rider in our escape group we would have been gone for the day, but we were caught. After catching us the counterattacks began and led to another break of four riders. This time Chris Chotas was up the road and I sat back to recover a bit. Chris and most of his escapees worked together like stallions for about 35 miles. The peleton caught Chris’ group with about 10 miles to go in the race. Attacks began again and I gambled and rode away from the front with one other rider. Somewhat predictably, we were caught and I had spent most of the little energy I had left. I ended up 9th place in the field sprint and Chris cruised in with the group after a strong display of strength. Better luck next time!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Litespeed-BMW Readies for 2011 Speed Week

Hold your breath...2011 Speed Week is here. Part of the USA Crits Series, Speed Week starts on Saturday with Athens Twilight and continues with seven days of big-time racing in the Southeast. Litespeed-BMW Cycling team is ready and will have a big presence in both Athens Twilight and Sunday's Roswell Criterium.

The Terrapin Twilight criterium, better known as Athens Twilight, kicks off Speed Week. While this festive weekend is known for its music, food, and fun, there will be plenty of action on the crit course. Another nightime crit like Sunny King, look for Litespeed-BMW member Oneil Samuels to rip in the premier Pro,1 race.

The race action stays hot as the riders head to Historic Roswell for a day of crit racing. Litespeed-BMW will be lining up in several of the races including the Category 2/3 and the premier Pro/1.

Good luck, Team!

For an idea of the breath-taking speeds and technical nature of Saturday's course in Athens, check out this video from last year's race.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Racing Heats Up for Litespeed-BMW Cycling Team

The 2011 road racing season is in full-swing. The Litespeed-BMW Cycling Team already has some solid wins and strong finishes on the team resume. In mid March, the team raced at the 13th edition of the Rouge Roubaix (sponsored by Litespeed dealer, Precision Bikes) and in early April, a regional race in Rome, GA.

Team member Tim Henry finished lucky 13th at Rouge Roubaix in a stacked field that included such notables as Cesar Grajales and Michael Olheiser. In what can only be described as "epic", the race is 105 miles (for all classes of racers!) that includes slow, dirt sections and steep, gravel climbs. With the winner finishing in over 4 hours and 30 minutes, you can bet there was some real suffering out there.

You can read the race report here, but for a taste of the fun, check out the excerpt from Tim below...

...The first dirt section was 8 miles long and relatively flat. No big deal until we come around a curve and there is a lumber truck parked across the road, leaving only one lane for riders to pass. This broke the field up quickly and I had to chase hard to get back to the front group of 15. I think I was the last to make it on at this point. Our tempo increased as the strong riders realized the gap we had and our group rolled along at a good pace through that first section. After we got back onto pavement, our group really slowed down. Realizing I only had 5 hours of food with me, I decided to attack to get things going again...


April found things a lot more traditional in Rome with criterium and road races-no gravel to be seen. At the crit, Litespeed-BMW teammates Colby Millen and Chris Brown lined up in both the Masters and Pro,1,2 races for some extra race action. They walked away with one win in the bag and a top five finish. At Sunday's road race, new teammate Artur Sagat joined the guys in the Pro,1,2 road race, and the team earned a top ten finish amongst a strong field.

Action from the Masters crit on Saturday...

...The group never really got organized so Brown just kept rolling and eventually lapped the field. Once back in the field Brown tried to help set up Colby for the finish. Colby was very attentive and aggressive and took a solo flyer on the 2nd to last lap only to get caught with about 3/4 lap to go and was a bit cooked for the sprint. Brown wins and Colby pulls 6th, solid results for both guys....

Nice work, guys. For a full report on the weekend and other team items, please check out the Litespeed-BMW Cycling Team website.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Litespeed-BMW Cycling Team Heads to Sunny King Crit

Litespeed-BMW Cycling team heads to Anniston, AL on Saturday, 4/9 for the 2011 Sunny King Criterium. Team riders will be duking it out in the Category 2/3 race and the main event, the NRC Pro/1 night-time race. will be streaming the full day of racing live, along with the race website at The headliner Pro/1 race starts at 7:30 pm CST.

Five TV cameras around the race course will catch full course racing action, including slow motion replays of finishing sprints and any mishaps on the course.

Check out the video from 2010 Sunny King below to whet your racing appetite.

Taste of the race from 2010...