Friday, May 30, 2008

BMW Performace Center Thursday 29 June Circuit Race

Team POA has done a really nice job with their Thursday night series at the BMW Performance Training Center in Greer, SC. Last night was the second event of the series. My team mates and I (Team Carolina Triathlon-Metro Reprographics) did both the Master's 35+ and Pro-Am race.

We took 1st & 2nd in the Master's race and 4th & 5th in the Pro-Am race.

If you haven't given these a try I highly suggest you do. The courses are safe with no cars and really wide lanes. Blair LaMarche, event coordinator from Team POA, does a great job giving out lots of primes too! I think he had over 20 last night! Plus the entry fee of $15 ($10 for a second race) is quite reasonable. These are USCF races and one can earn some upgrade points too!

Coach Jim

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tour of Atlanta--Mission Accomplished!

Today's stage was a four-corner crit with one short hill in it. Our rivals were there ready to go as were we. The course was fast and the weather was sunny and 81 degrees. The racer second to me was down 21 seconds at the start of the day. Being a sprinter and with four MAR (Most Aggressive Rider) time bonuses available along with time bonuses for 1st thru 3rd at the finish, we knew we had to beat him in as many of those as possible. In the end we did our job and held him at bay with Sean Weddell going on to win the stage and Rick Creed taking second. And I managed to win the GC in this 2008 Tour of Atlanta!

Coach Jim

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tour of Atlanta Sunday Update

The pressure was definitely on today. We had a 45 minute criterium and I was down 19 seconds to first place and 3 seconds to second place. Further, this is a timed race and they had sprint primes (three of them) which gave the first, second and third rider through the line on that lap a 5, 3 and 1 second bonus respectively. The two guys ahead of me were sprinters too... Clearly, I had to watch them and drill it at the right time and get away.

With about 20 minutes to go in the crit I did just that following one other racer along with Steve Sperry and we opened a gap of 5, 10 and eventually 35 seconds! We managed to stay away and I was surely inside-out trying to earn as many seconds back as possible. Steve came to the front and pulled like a freight-train three or four times (turning me doubly inside-out!) which really helped us build the lead.

First on GC with one day to go! We'll do out best tomorrow, Memorial Day, to keep the jersey and put the nail in the coffin for a victory at the five-day, seven-stage Tour of Atlanta 2008!

Coach Jim

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tour of Atlanta Update

Well it's been three days and five stages. Thus far things have gone rather well. Thursday was the ITT in which I finished fourth. Not at my best due to just coming off a bad virus... lungs still not 100% but legs were good.

In the evening we did 800 meter street sprints and first of all they were a lot of fun. I managed to win the first heat, get second in the semi-finals and fourth in the final round. Not bad for the first go at this and man was it a lot of fun!

Friday evening found us in a wet and technical crit. Got away and one guy came up to me. We built a lead of 35 seconds by the end and it earned me the leaders jersey--1st on GC, whew-hew! It's always fun to have but is the pressure ever on and you feel it shortly after earning it... Now you have to defend and keep it!

Saturday was the TTT in which we did okay finishing the top 3 teams. At the moment we're not sure where and what the time gaps are due to poor management on Georgia Cup's part. It appears I've fallen to second overall by about 20 seconds. We'll see tomorrow... In the afternoon was our road race and after many hard attempts by all six of us it came down to a field sprint. Rodney Dender took second and Steve Sperry fifth.

More to come in the next few days. We'll go for it tomorrow and Monday in two crits. Looking forward to it and surely going to try to put a dent in things...

Much fun and legs are good!

Team mates are doing great too with three of us in the top 10. I'd fill in all the details but must run!

Coach Jim

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ed McAlister puts the hammer down!

Jim Cunningham Coaching athlete Ed McAlister not only completed but top-20'd this past weekend's Brasstown Bald Century (that's miles baby, not kilometers!). This ride had over 10,000 feet of climbing and ended atop Brasstown Bald--one of the most difficult climbs in the country. Here is Ed's race report:

Wow, what a race. I had really good legs-your suggestions during the week were dead on. Started with the lead group-maybe 10 or so, but on the first long grade I realized that I could not hold the pace and dropped off. Rode by myself for about 5 miles—all the rest were behind me. Another guy dropped off the lead and we worked together for about 60 miles. He was stronger on the flats and I was on the hills and grades-imagine that. My weight loss has really made a difference. We picked up two more guys at about 70 mi and worked with them to about 85 miles-the bottom of Hogpen Gap. The 3 of them pulled off at an aid station, but I kept going-turned out to be the right move because I never saw them again.. I climbed Hogpen and pulled back 3 more riders –got to the top had the great down hill and started in the valley for Brasstown. Along the road I passed 2 guys, but one passed me back at the bottom of Brasstown. Up to this point I was in good shape getting tired but was really strong and climbing well, both in and out of the saddle. Out of water at the bottom of Brasstown-stopped filled up and started. That climb is amazing. I did well, but it was a struggle-mainly because it was at the end. I kept waiting on the wall and then I found it. I realized half way up I may be in trouble and then it hit me suddenly---I was in trouble. Going maybe 3 mph I swerved to the left then overcompensated and swerved right turned back to the left and just tipped over-man was I mad. Only 20 or so meters from the top of the wall. I jumped up and almost ran 20-30 meters jumped on the bike and took off. The rest of way was almost easy. Finished in 6:27. Not sure about how I placed, but no worse than top 15. The answer I got was the finishers would be posted later. Finishing was bitter sweet, but I was actually amazed I felt so strong and had the energy to do so well. The food drinks worked perfectly and the meal suggestions in preparation for the race were great.

The wall is very similar to Sassafras, but I have never rode 98 miles and tried Sassafras. Yesterday I was pulling on the bars so hard my front wheel came off the ground.