stageco1Canyon Velo rocked the 2014 Stagecoach 100 mile Team Time Trial!  Canyon Velo's 4 man 40+ team won the 40+ club division with a time of 5:04:31. Canyon Velo's 4 person mixed 50+ team destroyed the course with a blazing time of 4:53:15, winning the race and setting the age group and overall course records for a mixed team, and giving Sue Griesbach the fastest finishing time ever for a woman on the 100 mile course! It was an incredible experience.

stageco2On the weather front, what a difference a year makes! That was the buzz around the start line. Last year it couldn't have been any colder and never warmed up. In 2014, it couldn't have been any nicer. According to the promoter, the weather for the 10th annual Stagecoach event was by far the finest ever, with starting temps at 48F for the first starters, and up to 65F for the last starters of the day. The finishing temps were in the low 80's. There was a slight headwind all the way to the turn around and then a cross-tail wind on the way back.

Canyon Velo members Justin Corea, Danny Davisson, Glen Wells, and Henry Moreno made up the four man 40+ TTT team; while "Pastor Bob" Burris, Sue Griesbach, Paul Leek, and I (Ed K) formed Canyon Velo's 4 person mixed 50+ TTT team. There were also a few individual CV riders present as well, including Paul Knight, Steve Mclelland and Bob Stipp. A family friend of Sue's from Australia, Gina Ricardo, also came along and did the ride.

Canyon Velo's 4 Man 40+ Team Report

stageco4The Canyon Velo four man 40+ team's primary goal was to beat their 5:13:38 time mark from last year and to improve upon their fourth place in the age group division. Their more lofty goal was to beat the 5 hour mark. The first two goals were accomplished, finishing at 5:04:31 and winning the "club" division for 40+. As for the other goal, it just wasn't meant to be to a sub 5 hour day.

The first 50 miles went well for the team. They set a much more consistent pace than last year which allowed all team members to get warmed up and stay together without over extending themselves. Their first half split was a respectable 2:40, making the 5 hour goal a possibility with a quick return. Unfortunately, their return got off to a slow start as they used entirely too much time (nearly nine minutes) at the turn around in getting wrist bands stamped, topping off bottles, addressing nutrition, and using the restroom.

With Danny nursing a respiratory bug and Henry dealing with cramps from a previously injured hamstring, the guys had to fight to stay together on the return trip. As true teammates, they determined that since they started together they were going to ride as far as they could together.

Glen and Justin pulled most of the way back and luckily Danny and Henry were able to grit their teeth in order to hang on. On the last climb at mile 85 they were all pretty tired and out of water. Glen and Justin were able to get up the hill to grab some water from the support stop while Henry and Danny fought with everything they had to summit. After finishing the climb they made a valiant effort to reach the finish line within the 5 hour mark but it was just outside of their grasp. Justin summed up their experience by saying, "All in all, the weather was perfect, it was a great team ride, had fun, learned a lot and we beat last year's time! Thanks guys for the amazing effort!" Great job Canyon Velo 40+ 4 man team!

Canyon Velo's 4 Person Mixed 50+ Team Report

stageco5It was like it was meant to be, but it didn't start out that way. Last summer Paul and I decided to see if last year's 50+ four man team would like to reunite to see what kind of damage we could do. When we talked to Ryan and Pastor Bob, we found out that Ryan was going to be out of town on race day and Bob said, "another 100 mile TTT, no thanks!"

That left us with only half of a team. Paul then began thinking... which is a dangerous proposition. Paul said to me one Sunday, "You know Ed, we have a couple of pretty good girls on our team and in OC, why don't we ride the mixed category at Stagecoach?" That got it started. We first talked to Annemarie, but it wasn't long until she found that she would be moving to Chicago. Later we talked to Sue, who expressed a cautious interest. We also were talking to other gals in OC in case Sue didn't join us, but to our delight, Sue said that she would commit to it. The rules at Stagecoach allow a mixed team to have a three to one split, instead of the normal two/two mixed arrangement, so we now just needed a fourth. It was about then that Pastor Bob called and said that he had a change of heart and wanted to ride Stagecoach again. Now we were set.

Training went well, as we logged many miles together along with the guys from the four man 40+ team and several other CV riders. We also had help and assistance from many others, including "friends of Canyon Velo" Eric Sternlicht and Christopher Thompson. At the race we had Sue's husband and fellow CV member Bob there for support and photos.

Race day really couldn't have gone much better for a 100 mile effort. We moderated the hills and power rises for Sue, but found that there was a great side benefit to that strategy, as we all were super strong on the flats because we took it easy on the rises. This enabled us to get to the turnaround in 2:36, well within striking distance of a sub five hour performance.

Throughout the day Paul took several incredibly long pulls. He just would not come off of the front. Bob and I kept waiting for him to pull over so we could take our turns, but he just sat up there. Bob also took long pulls as did I. We found that this was another side benefit of moderating the hills and rises, as we were able to take much longer pulls than ever before.

stageco6When we started up the last climb at mile 85, I did my best Jeff Rhodes imitation by singing a couple of lines of the Everly Brothers' song, "Wake Up Little Susie" only with the words, "Can't keep up with little Susie!" Paul even joined in on the chorus! I'm sure Sue was not all that impressed. Bob noted at that time that we were at 4:20 and had a real shot at breaking 5 hours if we got over the summit in a decent time.

Once we got over the top we were flying toward the finish...35 mph! With about 5 miles to go we had our only hiccup, as both Paul and Bob almost simultaneously cried "cramp"! Sue then came to my wheel and I thought, OK, whichever one of the guys gets it together first gets to come along for the last couple of miles. Thankfully, however, after sitting on for a few moments, both said, "I'm OK!" We then drove on to the finish. We were ecstatic crossing the line to see that we not only made five hours, but had minutes to spare. It was a super gratifying day. We all want to say a big thank you to Canyon Velo and to our "friends of Canyon Velo" for all of your support!



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