VOS Recap

So I tried to find time to do an update, but I was just so busy that I couldn’t find time to do it.

This will be a full recap of the VOS stage race!

Starting with Thursday:

I had to wake up really early to make my flight, so that I could arrive with enough time to ride. I did have the pleasure of sitting next to a bunch of friendly personalities and I think I made a few new friends.20140220_095902

Once I had arrived and built the bike up, I kitted up in the new CHAMPION SYSTEM kit! I have worn a lot of different kits and by far these new kits blow everyone out of the water. I didn’t think they could out do there bibs from last year, boy was I wrong.

It was definitely top notch sportswear, I will say that my favorite was definitely the skin suit. It is just really well made and in a time trial you really want comfort and aeroness, yet a lot of other products are just aero and don’t consider the comfort of a rider. Which is why I was so impressed by Champion System.

After I got a good team group ride in, we all got cleaned up for some team pictures. Once everything looked alright, we were off to go and meet Steve with Airpark Bikes, which is one of our sponsors and is located in Phoenix.

I was really impressed at how cool the shop is with all of the different bikes they carry and a wide selection to suit any riders needs. I was lost in paradise until we found the unicycle and we all had a shot at it. Austin was clearly the best at it and made us all look silly as he schooled us.

Once that was through we went and met with Endurance Rehab, which is the coolest personal training facility I have seen. They have had riders anywhere from the Jelly Belly Team to Chris Horner!

It was cool that they took the time out of their schedule to show us a bunch of things to do with how riding affects the body. One things for sure I am going to keep an eye on some new things and make sure that I am maximising my performance!

Friday:

So this marked the first stage of VOS, which began with a nice 20 kilometer time trial, which was an out and back.

I was pretty pleased to arrive and have the entire caravan of Winded stuff there, it was really cool!

I think the thing I enjoyed the most was being able to lay down in the bed in the team bus and relax before the time trial. It was really cool, my favorite part of the entire thing is the fact that it is ready for combat; equipped with missiles we are definitely ready to tackle any problems.20140222_101640

Anyways, once it was time to go I headed up to the start ramp and prepared to hit it. I always say that the hardest way to start your racing season is with a time trial.

Everything went fine I caught two guys right away and was about to catch my third by the time I finished. It was a really hard time trial because I had the head wind going out and when I turned around to head the other way the wind had shifted and I had the head wind coming back, which was awful!

I ended up finishing in twenty fifth, not the best result but it wasn’t bad, considering how many riders had shown up this time. I heard my coach say that this will be the second largest junior race other than Nationals, which was pretty cool.

The best part was I got to see some of my friends that live far from me, like Justin Griffin, Kyle Kato, Efren Flores, etc.856

Saturday:

The road race was going to be a very key part in the GC since everything is wrapped up by the crit.

To summarize this one, everyone on the team did there job to the letter Austin and Chaz road there butts off for me but I blew it and I ended up missing the winning break.

I am definitely not going to let that happen again, I will make sure of it.IMG_83648796613007

It came down to a group of twenty of the main riders at the end, no one from the top ten was in the breakaway, we were all together leaving the break that slipped away consisting of four guys. So I finished with the main group getting pack time.

This helped me a smidgen and I moved up in GC from 25th to a whopping 23rd.

Sunday:

This was the crit and we all wanted to step it up and get a result today. The plan was with two to go we were going to start setting up the lead out for Clayton.

The race was very fast and the course was shortened to a four corner screamer, which made it impossible for any breakaways to get more than five seconds off the pack.

I of course gave it a couple of digs, but I was well marked, so I wasnt going to get any help and with the speeds we were hanging with it was all for not.IMG_118437396580234

When it came down to it, with one to go we got separated, we had two guys on the right going to the front and two on the left. I had Clayton on my wheel and brought him up to about sixth wheel behind me. Unfortunately a surge on the right swept us a bit, but in the end both Austin and Clayton were able to get into the top ten.

Overall, I ended up with a disappointing 21st in GC, but in the end I give myself a B+ for fitness and power for this time of the year which isn’t bad considering that crappy weather we have had to deal with.

Learning lessons for our team as we get to know one another and learn how to communicate. It was good to see that we almost had it worked out because with a bit more riding together we are going to get it dialed in to perfection.

Overall the team was awesome, I was a bit stiff from all the time spent on the rollers, especially these last 30 days or so, but for my first race I can tell I am going to be on great form this season, plus the power checked out as well.

Next weekend I will be attending the Spring-fling and I can’t wait to bring some West Coast pop to the race.

Connor Brown

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