Monday, March 24, 2008

Webster Roubaix

"Fifty-one men showed up for the 105 mile long Webster Roubaix road race, known for it’s 2.5 mile long dirt road stretch on a 9 mile long loop. Conditions were near perfect with a temperature around 60 degrees and overcast skies. Many of the usual suspects of Florida racing were present including Herbalife, Preferred Alliance, and Blue Star as the major players with surprise visits from Scott Tietzel (Jelly Belly) and Daniel Holt (Team Type-1). Team Lindner Capital was represented by Karel Sumbal and Ryan Saylor.

The race started off neutral in the middle of the dirt stretch. Once the last rider hit the pavement, the race officially started and the attacks began to fly. One group of three slipped off the front and lingered about 30 seconds off the front of the group as Herbalife and Blue Star set tempo to keep them from gaining too much of a lead. After a couple of laps the trio were safely back in the group. Unfortunately, Ryan Saylor suffered a broken spoke at the end of the second lap and despite a fairly quick wheel change could not catch back up to the field.

On the 5th of 12 laps, six men escaped the grasp of the field for good. Daniel Chavez and Chris Keen (both of Preferred Alliance), Joel Chavez, Bobby Sweeting (Toshiba/Santo), Daniel Holt (Team Type-1) and 16-year-old Mike Niemi (Metro Volkswagen) rode steady and were soon out of sight of the field. Although Herbalife missed the break and had 3 riders on the front of the field chasing, it simply wasn’t enough. The break away continued to gain advantage. Then, during a moment of lost concentration, University of Florida student Chris Keen overlapped wheels with fellow Gainesville resident Mike Niemi in a turn and lost control and crashed taking Daniel Holt down with him. Holt quickly scrambled and was able to regain contact with the break away but Keen was out of the race leaving only 5 men in the breakaway.

Meanwhile back in the field, more attacks came as racers wanted to at least form a chase group. Eventually, Alison Anjos (Herbalife), Ricardo Hernandez (Blue Star) and Sean Coleman (U.S. Military) slipped away to form a chase group and Garrett White, Adam Baskin (Team 19) and Donnie Autore formed yet another chase group. While Karel Sumbal was active in the closing laps trying to get in a late move, all were reeled back in by the field.

Bobby Sweeting (another University of Florida student) surprised the crowd and out sprinted Daniel Chavez to take the win. Daniel Holt took third, Joel Chavez forth and Mike Niemi took 5th.

With two chase groups of three between the breakaway and the peleton, the field was now sprinting for the last money place of twelfth. Andrew Gonzolas graciously took that money with sprinters Frank Lopez and Karel Sumbal close behind to take 13th and 14th places respectively ahead of the hard charging field."

-Ryan Saylor

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Below is the update from Ryan...also of note, Karel Sumbal did the Masters 30+ race on Saturday morning and finished in 3rd place for a podium spot!

"This past weekend Jeff, Curtis, Karel and Ryan headed up to Perry, Georgia to represent Lindner Capital in the Perry – Roubaix race weekend. There was a time trial and circuit race on Saturday and a road race with a dirt section on Sunday. The format was an omnium, not a stage race meaning the overall placings were not based on time, but rather points earned for placing in the top 15 of each race.

Time Trial

The time trial route was mostly on a Georgia state highway in an out and back configuration. The course was rolling with one fairly long climb near the turn around.
Jeff in route to a 12th place finish
The weather was pretty nasty in the morning with a bunch of freak tornados striking the Atlanta area just a couple hours north the same morning. Fortunately, it eased up for the time trial except for some strong wind. Forty two people registered for the time trial and Floridians Bobby Sweeting and Frank Trevieso (both of Toshiba) took the two top spots. Jeff was Lindner Capital’s top finisher at respectable 12th place.

Circuit Race

The circuit race was later in the day and the weather remained stable with no rain but plenty of wind gusts to make things difficult. Toshiba controlled much of the race covering the breakaways that they didn’t initiate themselves. While Lindner Capital was able to stay in the mix of most of them, eventually one slipped away and within a couple laps it was obvious that they were not coming back. More attacks ensued to create a chase group. Jeff and Curtis remained active and were able to get in many of these. Finally, Curtis got in a strong chase group with Mike Niemi (Metro Volkswagen) and two Toshiba riders including Frank Trevieso. The field slowed to a crawl watching these four ride away. It didn’t take long and the original breakaway ended up lapping the field despite the relatively long lap. Additionally, Curtis’s chase group was also about to take a lap from the field and caught the field/breakaway. This brought the number of people who lapped the field to about a dozen riders. After getting some reprieve in the group, Curtis was ready to take on the sprint and found his way up to Jeff Kopp’s wheel who took him up near the front of the group. Curtis unleashed his sprint and was able to beat all but 4 of the dozen who lapped the field. It was a great finish in a tough race. Karel again showed his sprinting prowes s and also finished near the front of the group taking about 4th place of the lapped riders.

Road Race

The road race saw clear skies and cool but not cold weather. The course was rolling with two fairly tough hills to hurt the rider’s legs. Additionally, there was about a 2 mile long dirt (clay) section the racers had to traverse every lap of the 8 lap, 100 mile race. With a hard rain the night before the race however, the dirt had a gummy feel but was not loose sand as it was in 2007. It wasn’t long into the race before the attacks started to fly. Ryan got into a break of 6 riders eight mile s into the race. The break included 2 Myogenesis riders (one of the larger teams in the field) as well as Daniel Vaillancourt, a Toshiba rider (formally of Colavita/SutterHome), which seemed like a good mix. The break stayed away for close to 40 miles and despite a steady and fairly balanced workload, the 6 riders could not keep the field away and were caught half way through the race. More attacks followed and two riders, Australian Tommy Nankervis (Toshiba) and Canadian Bruno Langlois (Myogenesis), who both previously raced on Jittery Joe’s, were able to get away never to be seen by the field again. Later a chase group formed with six more riders containing Floridian Sean Coleman (US Armed Forces Cycling Team) who took 2nd in the race in 2007. The group was quickly out-of-sight of the field and 65 miles into the race, it seemed as if the breaks were established as the field grew lethargic. Finally, Ryan slipped away with two riders and the trio worked steadily. Soon the 6 man chase group was in sight and another lap later, the two groups merged to form a 9 man group chasing duo Nankervis and Langlois. The race was taking its toll however and the 9 men split into three, three-man groups over the course of the last lap. Ryan made the 2nd group of three who worked diligently to keep the following group at bay and the group ahead in sight. In the closing miles, it was apparent that none of the groups would catch each other. Ryan attacked his group with one mile left in the contest and was able to hold them off until the finish for 6th place."

-Ryan Saylor

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ryan Rages at Rouge Roubaix!

Ryan Saylor was the sole representative from Lindner Capital at Rouge Roubaix and has compiled this report:

2008 Rouge Roubaix

"Mike Niemi and I made our way up to the 10th edition of Rouge Roubaix Road Race this past weekend in St. Francisville, Louisiana. This classic road race covers 100 miles in one big loop and traverses greatly varying road conditions from smooth-as-glass, fresh pavement to horrible, pothole ridden roads plus three fairly long sections of dirt/gravel roads. The “A” race (pro/1/2/3) started at 8am with well over 100 riders. Temperatures at the start were a finger-freezing 37 degrees, but were expected to reach the low 60s by the end of the race causing many quandaries for the racers when deciding what to wear.

With a long race ahead and near freezing temperatures, the race started expectedly slow. Soon after the start, Mike’s young Metro Volkswagen squad (directed by former Florida racer Nathan Rogut) took control of the race and sent three riders to the front to set tempo early in the race. While their pace was far from fast, it was just fast enough to keep almost everyone content with just sitting the slipstream. However, some impatient racers couldn’t sit still and would intermittently attack only to get reeled back in by the steady effort of Metro Volkswagen. Eventually, a Hotel San Jose rider attacked and a Metro Volkswagen rider was sent up to him. I saw this as an opportunity since the most well represented team i n the race, Metro Volkswagen, was now in a break so I jumped across making the break three strong. It quickly became evident that the break was going nowhere because the Metro Volkswagen kid wasn’t pulling. Despite this, we quickly gained a minute gap on the field. I was satisfied working in our destined-to-fail break because I hoped to make it to the first dirt section without trying to compete with 125 guys going ballistic trying to be the first to the dirt and my plan worked. We were caught a few miles into the first dirt section and I elbowed my way into the front of the hard charging pack. The group hammered through the first 8 or so mile long dirt section only to hit the pavement again all together. For the nex t 25 miles or so (all smooth pavement), Metro Volkswagen again went to the front and set tempo while the rest of the field lazily sat on. However, the second dirt section started with a mile long climb and the selection seemed to form with 12 or so riders slipping off the front (including myself) and managed to get out of sight of the field. Unfortunately, lack of cohesion made the gap short lived and we were caught a few miles later when back on paved road. The group stayed together again until the third and final dirt section about 75 miles into the race. This section also started with a steep, leg-breaking gravel climb which finally fractured the field into several smaller groups. While one guy slipped away solo, I found myself in a group of 10 who tried suc cessfully to fend off the next group for the remaining 25 miles. Amazingly, the solo guy held his lead until the finish (I didn’t even know he was off until after the race was over). I managed 4th place in my group for 5th overall.

This was a great race and I would recommend it to any of you who are up for a little adventure."

- Ryan Saylor

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Georgia Cup #1 - Albany

Once again, here is another great race report from Ryan Saylor:

Regions Bank Albany Stage Race
Team Lindner Capital made their way up to Albany, Georgia the first weekend of March for the Regions Bank Albany Stage Race, the first stop of the Georgia Cup race series of races. Jeff Kopp, Curtis Long, Karel Sumbal, Clint Bridier and Ryan Saylor were in attendance to represent Lindner Capital. The weather was nice all weekend which made for some great racing. The stage race consisted of three stages—a prologue, a criterium and a 85 mile road race. Some big teams were represented in the race including Jelly Belly, Health Net and Jittery Joe’s.

Time Trial
The time trial snaked around the crit course in downtown Albany and ended up being a little less than 2 miles with no less than eleven 90 degree turns and one 180 degree turn around a roundabout. John Murphy (Health Net), who just two weeks prior tied Tom Boonen for 20th in the Tour of California Prologue (and finished one second faster than Bobby Julich), smoked the Albany course with a time of 4:07 to win the opening stage in a field of 70 Pro-Am starters. Notably, Florida’s own time trial specialist, Grant Potter (Herbalife), just missed a podium spot and took 4th. Curtis Long again proved he’s a force to be reckoned with in the race of truth with his 9th place finish. Jeff Kopp also had a great ride and missed a top ten by less than one second taking 11th.

Later in the day, 74 riders lined up for the criterium. The race had eight 90 degree turns per lap with some brick crosswalks thrown in for good measure. Attacks were fast and furious throughout the race but none could gain any significant gap.

Criterium start and Karel sprinting for the line

In the end, the group was destined for a field sprint and Curtis Long again came through for Lindner Capital. Long led the pack through the last two turns and opened up a massive sprint but Emilio Esconeguy (Latino Cycling Team) edged him out by the width of a tire. Floridians Chris Scott and Seth Hansley (both of Locos Grill & Pub) rode well to take 4th and 7th respectively and Lindner Capital’s Karel Sumbal avoided his string of recent bad luck an d finished a strong 8th place thus giving two riders in the top ten for Lindner Capital.

Curtis on the podium after taking 2nd in the criterium

Congrats for Curtis...and the ever popular Czechoslovakian, Karel Sumbal

Road Race
The road race course showed the riders the fantastic roads just outside of Albany. The roads were relatively flat and lined with many open pastures with which the breeze tended to pick up speed. The race started off at a cool 51 degrees, but the sun brought the temperature above 60 in the first hour of racing. For the first 5 miles or so, the cool weather kept the pace easy. As the riders warmed up, so did the race. It seemed as if alarms sounded every time John Murphy (Health Net) or Nicholas Riestad (Jelly Belly) attacked as the group quickly reacted to each of their moves. Within the first 10 miles of the race, a group of three formed off the front including 16 year o ld Floridian Mike Niemi (Metro Volkswagen). Niemi, just a junior in high school, is the training partner of Lindner Capital’s Ryan Saylor. While the field didn’t seem too concerned with the break away, the three kept their heads down and worked relentlessly to stay away. The field continued to see attacks which even brought the break away trio to within two hundred meters at one point. The three would not give in and continued their fight. As the apathetic field started to dally, the gap opened again and the break was soon out of sight. About 30 miles into the contest, a chase group of 10 formed containing Lindner Capital’s Ryan Saylor. By the 40 mile mark, the chase group caught the break away and the break was then 13 men strong. One of the 13 poorly took a musset bag in the feed zone, crashed and ended his race early bringing the break away down to 12 riders. The gap continued to grow between the break away and the field and swelled to over 4 minutes. Saylor nabbed two time bonuses during the race for a total of 4 seconds in intermittent “king of the mountain” sprints. While the break away rotated steadily for mile after mile, attacks continued in the field and eventually another 10 riders slipped away to form a chase group. However, the break away was not to be caught. Saylor, not known for his sprint, could only muster 7th place in the end just edging out his tra ining partner Niemi who is required by the USA governing body of cycling to race the pro/1/2 races using junior [smaller] gears. Karel Sumbal (Lindner Capital) finished strong taking second in the field sprint.

Team Lindner Capital ready to Jeff wonders why he can read his arm warmers, and nobody else can...

Karel takes 2nd in the field sprint

The overall standings were overshadowed by the road race with the lead group of the road race finishing 4 minutes faster than the chase group and six minutes faster than the field, thus neutralizing time gains in the time trial except for the twelve who were in the road race break away. In the end, Mike Niemi (Metro Volkswagen) took 7th overall and Ryan Saylor (Lindner Capital), just four seconds slower, took 10th overall. Fifth place and tenth place overall were separated by just 5 seconds. Stage races often make riders think about where they could have saved a second here and a second there and the Albany edition of the Georgia Cup was no different!

Results for all races can be found

- Ryan Saylor

Note: The race leader going into the road race, John Murphy, was disqualified for multiple "center line rule" violations. From what I hear through Curtis, he got into some kind of shouting match with a motorcycle official...and some obscene gestures and language were used, and the official DQ'd him...strange turn of events for such an incredibly gifted rider.