Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Florida Riders in St. Johann Tirol

The Stradalli team ran into a good local Florida friend in Austria, Pablo Santa Cruz of Florida Velo. Pablo is well known in the Florida cycling scene and is the owner of Florida Cycling Magazine (FCM), a semi monthly digital mag that covers all Florida events as well as some international. Pablo kicked butt in his races as he powered up the climbs proving once again that even Florida boys can hang in the mountains.

It was great seeing Pablo and his family.

Last Day in Germany

After the Stradalli guys finished up racing in St. Johann Austria and the wonderful 5 week bike trip through Europe, it was time to pack up and head back. They made their way back to Germany in the motor home to say goodbye to all the guys on the Stradalli Germany team. Naturally they stopped by Tom’s mothers house for a final goodbye and one last chance for an awesome German meal! Tom’s mom is hands down one of the best chefs! Thank you so much for the awesome hospitality! Wish there was more room in the luggage to take home some left-overs : )

Richard Distlerath long time cycling buddy with Tom and Grant

Richard Distlerath’s path to St Johann started in 1976 when he rode his bike for touring.  By 1978 he entered  into the world of racing bicycles.  After many races and many miles he won the 1989 Sr 35 National Criterium Championship and was subsequently invited to the 1990 USSR National Road Championship in Minsk where he finished 3rd.  This was the beginning of long friendships with racers from former Soviet Union.
He has gone to race in St Johann, Austria for 8 years.  Although he is no longer as fast as he once was, he has enjoyed racing together with many of his friends from around the world and is always happy to hang out with team stradalli . He has been with his wife 36 years and is always very grateful that she lets him go on such long trips away from home. Here are a few pictures from the award ceremonies at Worlds masters cycling .

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Race report from Saturday September 1st, 2012 St. Johann Austria (continued)

After Tom got crashed out , P.J. (Patrick) found him and got his bike fixed and rolling again.  Just in time to get back to the top of the biggest climb were the feed zone was located. In the picture below, you can see P.J. rocking his borrowed cruiser from the hotel in St. Johann. He sold his 2013 Stradalli Verona the day before to a racer who just had to have it. Needless to say, it took him a little longer to get to the top of the climb J

Tom and P.J. gave Grant his last feed on the 3rd lap, and then raced down the climbs back to the finish line to watch the finish. 

Race report from Saturday September 1st, 2012 St. Johann Austria

Saturdays race was 3 laps on the 40km hilly course. With such an unexpectedly small turn out due to the weather being 5.5 degrees Celsius , the 94 racers had their work cut out for them. Right off the bat, the race bolted off the starting line and into the foggy cold mountains. Anyone who was not properly warmed up was in for a rude awakening. Tom and Grant started together and made their way toward the front of the pack before the first climb. As they approached the steepest section there was a massive crash forcing 30 or so riders into a full on brake. About 7 men actually crashed, including Tom who was behind a guy who ended up going head first over his handlebars and down the side of the hill into a huge ditch. ( had to get picked up by ambulance and rushed to the hospital ) Grant managed to keep his rubber-side down, but had to come to almost a complete stop in his effort to get around the chaos. Tom tried his best to hop back on his bike, but the impact nearly ripped his shifter off his integrated handlebars and knocked his carbon race wheels into the frame so they would no longer turn and his chain came off. By the time he was able to get the bike rolling again, there was simply no way to bridge back to the peloton who were already over the crest of the last climb.

Into the second lap of the road race, 8 men were off the front and had no intentions of being caught. Grant managed to break away from the main group and began his journey with a handful of other riders to bridge up to the race leaders. By the third and final lap, Grant and  other riders were turning over the biggest gears possible to catch the break. In the end, the leaders managed to stay away and sprinted for the win out of 7 guys. Grants group had 6 guys in it and Grant managed an impressive third place sprint finish putting him in 10th place overall. 

Stradalli on the Last Day of Races

Sept 1

Today's race was insane. Insane doesn't even begin to describe it. Out of the 202 racers registered, only 94 or so actually showed up due to the horrible weather from the few previous days. It was 5.5 degrees Celsius and reports forecasted rain and even snow in some areas. Of those racers who showed only 24 crossed the finish line.  

Right out of the gate, the race headed straight for the mountains. Right into 7-12 percent gradient climbs. Full throttle and then a little more. 80kph descents, splits, breaks, crashes, and ambulances. The boys are ok, but that's all we know right now. More details and photos to come