TEAM H&R Block-Kona Goes 1-2 in Alberta Time Trial
TEAM H&R BLOCK – KONA set the two fastest times against the clock at the Speed Theory Individual Time Trial held on Saturday, June 6th. Riders were treated to a light dusting of snow over night which added some additional stress on race organizers. Luckily conditions improved throughout the day, and the race went ahead despite conditions normally seen in December. The creative race course was set on a new portion of highway, not yet open to motor vehicles. Racers proved to have motors of their own as they completed three 10km loops of a NASCAR style race course including five 180 degree turns, at average speeds of 45km/h. In the end, the final two riders to hit the course set the fastest times in a field of almost 150 participants. Chris McNeil of Team H&R Block-Kona took first place, followed closely by teammate Gideon Krishtalka. Read the report in the Calgary Herald
Three riders in Top 10 Overall General Classification – Banff Stage Race
A massive bunched sprint closed the final stage of the Banff National Park Bike Fest, a small group had stayed off the front for the latter part of the 117 kilometre Tunnel Mountain Road Race, but were reeled in with 2 laps to go, setting the stage for an exciting 24-rider sprint to the finish. Cyrus Kangarloo (Team H&R Block – Kona) powered his way to second place.
Team H&R Block – Kona had a very successful weekend with 3 riders in the top ten in the final general classification – Cyrus Kangarloo 5th, Chris McNeil 6th and Marcel Arden in 10thplace.
Aaron Schooler – 2nd Place Canada Day Criterium, Edmonton (race report by Aaron Schooler)
The team started the race with 4 riders, Aaron, Dustin, Zane, and Robin. We went into it with the plan to make it hard and initiate lots, and hopefully we’d be able to widdle it down or get in a break with at least 2 H&R riders represented. As the race was done similar to a points race on the track where every 4 laps you sprint for 5,3,2,1 points towards a final tally, it made for an interesting race. Also banking on the pretty killer of a kicker climb in course, it forced the split long before it normally would have. H&R was active early, with Robin setting a death tempo on the front of the race for the first 2 or 3 laps. I think people started popping off the back even before the first time around the course! During the first couple of sprints, it was quite confusing with lots of people interested in the points, and lots of bumping and elbowing going on, Dustin was able to shine in some of the early sprints. After a few more, he began to feel the burn of the multiple sprints, and the objective quickly turned to getting me as many points as we could. Any break that tried to go off the front in between the sprint laps always managed to be pulled back in with most of the big fire power still left in the peloton. From then on in, we started to focus on the sprints, and Dustin and Robin were very instrumental in trying to lead me out for some of the sprints. Basically, it came down to a head to head battle between Aaron and Heemskerk.
Aaron Schooler – 2nd place
Dustin – 4th Place
Canadian National Road Race Championships – Quebec
June 28, 2009 (Beauce, QC) – When a duel is played out on a court that lies 180km long, many things can happen. Crucial attacks are volleyed, mistakes are made, and great stories can be written – but in the end, a winner is always crowned.
The combined elite and espoir men’s Canadian National road race championships began like many other races in St-Georges-de-Beauce. At about 20km into the competition, a break of three that swelled to nine went up the road, and no one seemed too concerned about it. What was unique about the break was that seven of the nine riders were U23 riders.
At one point, early during the second lap of the four-lap race the lead extended to over 8 minutes. A small chase group of six riders lead by 2008 champ, Christian Meier (Garmin-Sliptream), formed to lead the charge to the break. Soon after another break 12-strong launched including Meier’s team mate Svein Tuft and many other strong men. They were racing against the ticking clock and the peloton would soon swallow up both chase groups and find themselves coming up short on catching the leaders.
With one lap to go (45 km), the gap to the initial 9-man break was at 6 minutes. In cycling, we often say the peloton must bring back a break at about 1 minute per slice of 10km – would the pack run out of time?
With the gap now down to just over 3 minutes, Ryan Roth (Planet Energy) and Meier escaped again and decided to chase on their own. Meanwhile, the leaders were looking each other over as they prepared for the finish – a tactic that often proves costly.
Cyrus Kangarloo finished in 11th place for the elite men.
Mark MacDonald – Racing in Italy on the track
Congratulations to Mark MacDonald who was asked to race track in Italy. We will share some stories from Marks racing in the next team update.