How much caffeine does it take to get a group of bike racers to go fast at 9:30 on a Friday night? Apparently a lot and apparently it makes them go really...really.. fast. The opening laps of the Tour of Washington County Kickoff Criterium were a brutal adrenaline and caffeine fueled assault on the streets of Hagerstown, MD. Many who came to battle for the finish were left behind behind before the race had truly begun. So it goes with Meidhof on the front. DJ Brew took the win in convincing fashion and provides his play by play below.
The next day, Saturday, June 20th, 2015 marks the birth of the Steinerator. Riding away from the field in the opening road race stage of the Tour of Washington County was DC Velo Senior Team Racer, Kris Stein. Crossing the for victory was the Steinerator. Read below for his chronicle of suffering.
Sweltering heat met the racers for the third and final stage of the Tour. Mark Hyatt (Mr. Hyatt if your nasty), bored with his companions in the group, rode away alone into across the sun bake Williamsport criterium course and brought home yet another win for the Senior Team Win.
Of course all of the caffeine, training and prose in the world would mean very little without the support of our fantastic sponsors and the love from the entire Team Beyer Auto family.
Hagerstown Twilight Crit Race Report by DJ Brew
Every year I, and I think it's safe to say my team, get super pumped for this race. It's definitely something about racing at night, in a town center, and performing well year after year that makes the race super exciting. For me personally, I mark this race down as a must win every year. I already know that in 2018, if this twilight crit is still kicking, this race will be a must win.
At the team meeting beforehand we pretty much said we were going to do what we do best and that's race as a team, keep the race together and light it up at the end for the sprint like it was the 4th of July! My adrenaline was flowing hard at the beginning of this race. I've been on the podium the last few years there and previously on the top step and I wanted to make a return trip. Needless to say, I felt the pressure to perform, and I never want to let my guys down when they spend 75 minutes racing their butts off to put me in the best position to do what I do best and that's sprint for the win.Our team pretty much rode a textbook race. Start position in this race is crucial to success and it helped to have the reputation on our team of winners which resulted in 5 of us getting call-ups to the front row. But they way we were gelling throughout the race, you could've start all of us on the back row and given the field a 30 second head start and I still wouldn't have bet against us coming out on top.
The last ten laps of the race were crazy with Joe calling premes almost every lap. This kept the pace high and kept people pretty frisky at the end. We didn't have our #1 premes hunter in the race, McKinney, but we did make sure we had our whole team at the front to make sure nothing got away and that we could still do our leadout. Literally everyone on the team did a massive turn at the front to keep it fast in the end and to establish our control at the front. Dimitri, Sommers, Mica, crush it enough so that with one lap to go I still had three guys left for the leadout. Hyatt took over the front early enough to snatch up the gamblers preme for the team. No one dared to try and come over top because we had the speed so high at that point. Hyatt took a massive pull dropping Jason, Bozak, and me at the top of the little rise on the back side of the course. We took a right handed which led to a slight downhill to the flat section.
Things were going so according to plan that it was almost unbelievable!
Jason took off down the hill through the back straightaway. If there was a time I was worried it would've been then. Not worried about getting swarmed but worried about Jason pulling so hard that he would drop both Bozak and me. Jason crushed through the back straight and dropped Bozak off at the next to last turn. Dave stood out of the saddle to start winding up his sprint to drop me off at the last corner and I couldn't believe what I was seeing up the road. Some drunk dude had started to cross the road right at the last corner. At this point we're about 50 yards away going over 30 miles an hour. Next thing you know the cop at that corner goes flying across the road and tackles the guy out of the rode right as Dave is dropping me to the last corner. I coast through the corner and get on top of my gear and start winding up the sprint. No one was able to come around.
Wins are definitely much more satisfying when it's a true team effort. When our team rides like one we can't be beat and everyone else who has to do a race report from this weekend will only prove my point.
Tour of Washington County Road Race Report by Kris Stein
My great thanks to my tremendous teammates and our awesome sponsors for their continuous support. None of us would be here without either of them. Special thanks for:
-- making it possible to race
-- the full team support (especially Andrea & Kirstin, who braved the sweltering heat to save the day with hand-ups!)
-- making us look cool (Thank you Bicycle Pro Shop...so many complements the new Kask helmets)
-- selling me a couple nice Subarus (Beyer Auto Group is the best!)
For those that weren't around beautiful Hagerstown & Greater Washington Co for the long weekend, I'll fill you in on Saturday's P/1/2/3 road race in Smithsburg (home of the biggest cycling fans). Each lap we had complementary front porch hose sprinkler service to cool us in town and a cheering household in the loneliest part of the rural course with a giant 5'x10' "Go Bikers!" sign in their yard. Crazy good motivation!
Coming off the high of DJ's textbook win Friday night, Ryan McKinney tagged in for Mark Sommers (who dashed off to represent DCV at the track Saturday). The rest of our eight man wrecking crew, Bozak, Dimitri, Hyatt, Meidhof, and Mica were ready to kickoff the stage race with a plan to win the green points jersey, not let anything up the road without us (duh!) and hopefully keep Jason in a good place to contend for yellow based on the TT.
Each of the eight laps alternated a designated KOM or Sprint point, so we had fun leading out DJ each Sprint lap. Bozak gave DJ a personal escort for the first points. Personally, it took me a few laps to get my engine going before I came to the front to drive the train on one of them. It was pretty amazing though to see DJ come around Ryan and me just before the line (although Mattison Brady did sneak by us too, so we need to work on our timing!). Fast forward to the bell and the final mid-race KOM sprint where the field was still together and I followed Sean Barrie
as he led us to the S/F/KOM line to secure his KOM jersey. He's not a rider you want to let get away and luckily I was in the right place to follow him over the top. He decided to sit up not too far after the line and feed zone, so I just kept pedaling knowing that the field was just behind us and the inevitable regrouping would occur shortly. Only this time I was wrong. Maybe the field stopped to thank the guy hosing us down from his front porch, but the next thing I know, I look back and there is a sizable gap. I wasn't attacking. They must have decided to rest for the final 8mi to the finish. Well, the terrain was a good downhill and tailwind so I did keep pedaling, since it wasn't too difficult. A mile later in the valley I looked back expecting they would be 5-10sec behind me, but all I could see was faint motorcycle headlights way back there. This was a serious gap all of a sudden, so I decided I better just keep going and at least take the pressure off the rest of the team.
During the lap, I didn't get any splits, but knew it was all or nothing this late in the race. The largely flat/downhill tailwind section felt great of course, and then the 2nd half of the course would really be the test. Some gradual rollers the first couple miles were the appetizer for the 3 climbs into the headwind to close things out for the final couple miles. Luckily, the neutral support car came up to me on the opening rollers, so I figured I must have 30+secs (or the car wouldn't be between the field and me). It can be tough to pace yourself without knowing if you're
holding, growing, or losing the gap. The car gave me good incentive to keep pushing on though, because I kept waiting/imagining it passing me (and signalling the field must be closing in on me). After the final turn I did get a look back and could just see the group coming into my view, but it was too difficult to know if I had enough gap or if I would get swallowed up.
Of course, the mere fact that I'm writing this (and you've suffered through reading it), means that I did hold on through the headwind and over the three climbs for the win. Luckily, the car never stopped following (and even offered words of encouragement). So, finally, by the start of the climb to the finish, it felt great to know that nobody was catching me! It felt great to have everything work out and capture a very "non-textbook" win for the team to start the stage race portion of the Tour of Washington County. We win as a team and this was obvious judging byeveryone's excitement. In fact, the rest of the team might have been more excited than me (and for good reason). Apparently, oxygen debt and delirium from the heat during the race resulted in a very myopic thought process.
Only after the race did I realize: - now I have to actually ride the TT Sunday morning (and not wave hi to everyone along the way) - I really should have put in an effort and final sprint to the finish (I likely needed more time than humanly possible to survive the beating I would suffer in the TT, but, hey, every second counts) - Now I have to write a race report Lesson learned: Maybe I should have told McKinney to cover Shane (I mean Sean) Barrie! Just Kidding! DC Velo is the Best Team Ever and if you've raced with me much, you know I'll do my job....including covering Barrie!.....and even looking goofy on Ryan's TT bike :) Sorry I can't explain the Shane reference. I'm way over word count as it is, plus it's a callback to the Sunday crit, so it would really belong in Hyatt's write-up!
Tour of Washington County Criterium Race Report by Mark Hyatt
The initial plan was to get myself and Jason in a move. Jason was roughly 30 seconds down and we are betting that some of the higher GC guys couldn't handle this fast crit. We we're going to go all in and attack hard in order to shock the field and maybe get 40 seconds and Jason in the lead.
We only really have one shot at it. We waited for the second time bonus sprint and Ryan myself and Jason went over the top of the slowing field after the time bonus. We had two tagalong's that weren't really motivated to roll with us.
The field seem very motivated to pull it back and it was over. once we knew that the field really wouldn't let any GC guys get away The whole team went into "win the stage mode". Chris and Ryan were in a move up the road with the field chasing hard. as soon as they were caught I countered and got about a 10 second the right off. Team put everyone near the front in order to cover any chase moves into show that if they wanted it to be a field Sprint we were more than happy to oblige.
I never really knew I had it until the bell lap but it was a great win to cap off a great weekend of racing with DC Velo. I don't know any other team that could win three races with three different guys the way we did. See you on the road.