Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 Winston Salem Cycling Classic

It was a big weekend for Astellas Cycling at the 2014 Winston Salem Cycling Classic. A brutal 171km road race on Day 1 saw almost half the field DNF, leaving many riders unable to compete the next day in the Criterium. Astellas took full advantage of this opportunity, and Brecht Dhaene came home with a huge win on Day 2, beating out race favorites such as the United Health Care team.

Day 1: Full Race Video

Brecht getting ready for a long day in the saddle on Day 1

Matt Green spent some time leading the breakaway on Day 1

Day 2 Full Race Video

Thomas Brown just before the start of Day 2

Brecht Dhaene spent most of the race in a 3-man breakaway on Day 2

No escaping that post-race interview, especially with a win.

Top of the podium. It's a good place to be.

Check out Chris Uberti's first-person account of the races, and be sure to follow Astellas Cycling on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Litespeed M1

With a new frame design for 2014, the redesigned M1 arrives complete with full Shimano 105 components, Easton bar, stem seatpost and Shimano R-500 wheelset.  The elite unidirectional monocoque 24T carbon frame is loaded with features not normally found at this price point. 

New frame technology includes a box-section profile at the oversized PF30 BB to ensure optimum power transfer, while the unique design of the downtube improves aerodynamics for decreased drag and further improved stiffness. 

The new, tapered headtube provides precise handling and front end stiffness.  Fun and fast for a solid day of racing or training, this bike is ready to take what the road throws at it.  

Our carbon bikes are loaded with cutting edge technology and great component sets to provide a responsive, stiff, smooth and modern ride. The M1 offers the Litespeed badge and heritage, plus a bit of technology from both the C & L Series, at more aggressive price point. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 Sunny King Crit

2014 Sunny King Criterium

Just as Stage 4 of the Redlands Bicycle Classic was coming to a close, the 2014 Sunny King Criterium was just getting started. As with the Redlands Classic, we had two teams riding Litespeed bikes in the Pro category: Astellas Cycling and Seasucker-Guttenplan. The race was exciting right from the start, as Astellas rider Chris Uberti did not hesitate to push the pace and ride off the front. Ultimately, though, David Guttenplan was able to set himself up for the sprint finish, coming in with an exciting 3rd place overall, while Astellas managed to place 4 guys in the top 25: Thomas Brown, Brandon Feehery, Hogan Sills, and Chris Uberti.

Pre-race shenanigans from Astellas Cycling, getting ready for Sunny King

David Guttenplan got some air time on the live feed

David right after an exciting sprint to the finish

Guttenplan on the podium. Wasn't the first time, definitely won't be the last.

Sunny King race-recap from Astellas rider Chris Uberti

Full race-replay, full results here

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Astellas Cycling: Redlands Classic 2014

Redlands Bicycle Classic 2014

From April 2 to April 6, Astellas Cycling competed at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the longest running stage race in American history. Held in Redlands, California, the race consisted of five stages: a 59-mile Circuit Race, an uphill 7.8-mile TT, a 120-mile Road Race, a 90-minute Timed Criterium, and a 94-mile road race.

Stage 1- Circuit Race

for Stage 1 of Redlands Bicycle Classic

Brecht Dhaene placed 8th in the field on Stage 1, Cortlan Brown 15 seconds back, Jake Rytlewski, Matt Green, Max Korus, and Ryan Aitcheson, 20 seconds back, and Andrew Baker 51 seconds back. As a team, Astellas finished 9th overall.

Stage 2- TT

Andy Baker was first off for the team

Next for Astellas was Ryan Aitcheson

Followed by Max Korus

Matt Green ready to go

Last rider for Astellas was Brecht Dhaene

Andrew Baker was the top man for Astellas on Stage 2, finishing in the top 25,
Astellas Cycling as a team 10th overall.

Stage 3- Road Race

Brecht Dhaene took 6th in a field sprint, while Matt Green, Jake Rytlewski, Andrew Baker, Cortlan Brown all finished 20 seconds behind the leader. As a team, Astellas was in 12th overall.

Stage 4- Timed Criterium

At the start of the 90-minute timed criterium.

Max Korus was part of a breakaway that led the field for a large part of the race.

The wonderful hosts for Astellas Cycling Team.

Ultimately, Max Korus finished 5th overall in the crit, with Brecht Dhaene, Jake Rytlewski, Cortlan Brown, Andrew Baker, and Matt Green right behind.The team finished 4th overall for Stage 4.

Stage 5- Road Race, Final Results

Jake Rytlewski was the top Astellas rider on Stage 5, finishing 17th overall.

At the end of five days, Astellas Cycling Team placed 7th overall. Can't wait to see what's to come! Next race on the Astellas calendar is the Charlotte-Belmont Omnium.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Get to Know Astellas Cycling Team... Chris Uberti

New for 2014, we are proud to sponsor Astellas Cycling in the team's first year as domestic professionals. Get to know the team: 

Age: 26

Hometown: Northville, MI

When did you start cycling?

I started riding Mountain Bikes with my Dad in Middle School. I wore baggy pants and was into free-riding, and also thought that all the roadies with their shaved legs and tights were lame.

What do you like about cycling?

I love how it can be whatever you want it to be. For myself cycling has been a job, a form of transportation, a community, and a vehicle for exploration.

What do you not like?

The off season.

What do you do outside of cycling? Jobs, hobbies, family? 

Before I turned pro I was an Aerospace Engineer designing turbine components for aircraft engines and other turbomachinery. Currently I mostly ride bikes and brew my own beer.

When did you start riding with Astellas?

2014 Is my first year with the team.

How do you feel about becoming a Professional domestic team this year? 

I turned Pro last year with Smart Stop. I felt like I learned a lot last year and am ready to apply my new skills to the 2014 season.

What type of racing is your “specialty?” 

Lumpy road races, or Hilly Crits. I love tough races….except for ones that require you to have a body fat % below 10...I love pop-tarts too much for anything like that.

What races are you excited for this year? 

The US National Championship is a very cool race to be a part of. Also the Winston-Salem UCI race. By far the hardest road course I did last year, I got 2nd with my teammate winning the race. It’ll be incredibly tough with a better field in 2014.

What bike will you be riding this year? 

Anything else? Tips, tricks, advice? 

Ride slow. There’s too much stuff to enjoy in the world. If you’re plugged into music, have your head down, and crushing some interval, you’re going to miss out on some of the best aspects of riding.

Be sure to check out Chris Uberti's blog Rockets to Sprockets and follow him on Twitter @cuberti. And don't forget to check out the new Astellas Cycling website

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Litespeed Li2

Our long history of material knowledge and expertise has been meshed with new frame and bottom bracket technology to create the 2014 Li2. In fact, we spent over four years to develop and design this elite, UCI-approved racing bike. The Li2 uses every possible material advantage to improve ride quality and handling while maximizing power-to-pedal quickness and overall agility.

An example of trickle-down technology, the Li2 features the same frame technology as the L1R, only in 30t carbon. Combine our premier frame technology with a top-of-the-line spec that includes Ultegra Di2 components ad Reynolds Assault aero wheels, and the conversation is over before it even began.

The BB386 bottom bracket design not only provides increased stiffness and performance, but the larger bottom bracket size allows us to incorporate larger diameter tubing. The result is maximum power transfer. To take advantage of this, our proprietary Quadrilateral System creates a box shape to minimize frame flex while braking and power sprinting. Combine this with the reactive and precise, yet stiff, 1.125'X1.5' tapered steerer fork, and you have a bike that is begging to go fast.

Our design team continues to look for ways to include top-of-the-line, performance-enhancing technology into our frames, always striving to build the perfect ride. The 2014 Li2 offers a perfect example of our ability to help set the de facto cycling industry standards in the course of in-house applied, practical design.