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Cycling Team

Posts by Keith Hillier (9)
Cold start to an ~80mile race. After a neutral start two riders made an early move. There was a crash. H-D flatted his rear wheel. Joe Dickerson gave him his wheel and wasn’t allowed a neutral wheel. Next lap in the rough section his drive train became intertwined with this wheel and catapulted him to the ground. Left were Justin, Nate, and I. Tired of the attacks/chasing/coasting Nate and I set tempo. Bringing the breakaway from around 3minutes down to 1.5minutes. Justin attacked and was followed by Tyler Williams (BMC Development Team) and got a pretty good gap. Forcing the GC contenders to chase. Almost dropping me and successfully dropping Nate. I followed the chase and when everyone was looking around catching their breath I countered Justin’s move. No one chased and I was able to solo bridge across the rough section and catch the all day breakaway of David Benkoski (Team Clif Bar Cycling) and Eric Riggs (Team Mike's Bikes p/b Incase). Catching Benkoski first and he wasn’t able to pull through and told me he wouldn’t contest the finish. Then catching Riggs who refused to do any work (just like the rest of the Mikes Bikes riders the whole weekend). I kept the power on and brought them to the finishing stretch. Riggs jumped then Benkoski I had no legs left and coasted in for 3rd place.

Photo Credit: ALEX CHIU

Photo Credit: ALEX CHIU

No idea why but for some reason the officials relegated me to 8th place on the day (taking away any finishing bonus time) but kept my actual finishing time and at this time now i'm 7th overall. Justin finishing in the pack preserved an awesome 4th place overall. Nate finishing 12th overall.

Half of the racers that started actually finished. Brutal.

H-D showing off his tattered shorts.

H-D showing off his tattered shorts.

First Race of the Year and Already a Win

Look at all that Castelli on the podium.

Teammates Art Rand and Chris Harland-Dunaway
Plan was to get Chris some points for an upgrade. After a few laps Chris had a mechanical. Art did a stellar job at managing the field and keeping the pace up on the last lap. I was dealing with a cold so I was far from feeling spectacular. It was fun playing with Bear Development Team and the Slipstream-Craddock Development Team. But in the end it came down to a bunch sprint. There was a hesitation in the field so I lit up the sprint from pretty far out and no one came around.

Feels pretty good to get a win outta the way.

Amazing sunset on the cool down spin. Gotta love the central coast.

Time to kick this cold...

They aren't kidding when they add the word "Hills" to the title of the race. The hills are named after 3 bears and let me tell you I am no climber. We had to do 4.7 laps about 90 miles and 7700ft of climbing with some wind thrown in.

Chuck (I can't climb) Hutcheson was very aggressive and got himself in a solo break off the front which lasted almost the entire first lap. Nate English (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) seemed to get antsy and put the power down, and I was nearly dropped from the group a few times on the first lap. Chuck was pulled back in. Eric Riggs (Team Mike's Bikes) and Vincent Owens (Sierra Pacific Racing) got in a strong move together, but they were reeled back in. Attacks and counter attacks were flying.

Kris Lunning signaled what seemed like we needed some relief on covering moves. At that moment the front of the peloton slowed and was looking around. I then took a flyer and dug deep told myself not to look back until I got to a sign up the road. I thought for sure the entire peloton was on my wheel. I looked back and only 1 rider (new found friend Colin Daw) was smart enough to latch on.

Last year I got in a breakaway and 1st place snuck away and I came in second. This year I wasn't expecting to be in a breakaway again. A few weeks ago I meet this strong new cat2 Colin Daw (Fremont Bank Cycling Team) through my teammate Frank Spiteri and we had, what I thought was jokingly, made plans to get in a breakaway together.

We worked together and escaped the sight of the peloton. We hammered along expecting to be caught at any moment, but heard nothing not even time gaps. We caught other categories and kept looking back not knowing if the riders behind us in the distance were chasers.

Finally last lap we have a time gap....5 minutes! We did it! We continued rotating in and attempt to make this thing stick. Time gap is now 3 minutes. Climbing and looking back. Keep pedaling!

Made it to the finishing hill and Colin conceded allowing me to bring home the win!

We had 4 Riders finishing in Top Ten!
1st Keith Hillier

6th Charles Hutcheson

7th Jonathan Teeter

9th Art Rand
And couldn't have done it without these guys...
11th Justin Rossi

23rd Nate Freed

28th Kris Lunning

DNP Frank Spiteri
Only got 1 KOM this year cause the past 2 years I got all the rest....

Grasshopper Adventure Ride starting and ending in Occidental. Sign in and donate and you get a route card for 80miles torture. To then get demolished by the wind, course, wrong turns, and Levi. I Hung on the first few climbs then on Highway 1 there was a crazy tail wind and I got popped off then took a wrong turn. Caught on with a big group then that group got smaller and smaller. Rotating echelon was the name of the game for the next few hours. Until the last climb up "Joy Rd" then I was cooked. Nate Freed ended getting a flat around 10 miles in then leapfrog time trialling from group to group for 4hours. John Teeter was crushing it with Levi then got pop from the breakaway then called it a day.

1st Levi Leipheimer @ 3:48

13th Keith Hillier @ 4:06

35th Nate Freed @ 4:21

DNF John Teeter

Grasshopper Adventure Series Website

Next one is on March 10th - "Super Sweetwater" Cross/Road ~75miles

Lembi Park in Folsom was the sight for saturdays cyclocross event. It had rained a little so the grass at this park was a slippery in the off camber sections. The sand pit was ever changing and got deeper as the day went on. Rand Miller of Sterling Sports Group had recently blogged about how he wants to beat me and I'm not about to let that happen.

Unfortunately I kicked my rear brake mounting my bike after a barrier on the second lap and disengaged my straddle cable so I had no rear brake. Not wanting to stop and fix it and have to chase back. I decided to get to the front and control the race and be smooth. After loosing Miller to the sand pit I ended up with two Mash SF guys in tow. All I had to do was ramp up the pace and be the first out of the last barriers. Simple right?

Here is a fun video of the treacherous sand pit:

Festive mardi gras themed podium thanks to Team Revolutions

Hillier (Marc Pro - Strava) 1st, Velasco (Mash SF) 2nd, Schaefer (Mash SF) 3rd, Miller (Sterling Sports Group) 4th, Braun (Mountain Biker) 5th

CX Magazine Race Report by Tim Westmore of SacCX #4 @ Lembi Park

Sacramento Cyclocross Series

Check out the course and my crazy high heart rate on Strava below:

My racing number for the day is 666. Time to make some legs hurt. 4 times up Cantelow and 99 miles with what felt like 99 degree heat.

Attacks went and got brought back. Nate English drilling it crazy hard up Cantelow hill made everyone chase to stay in the race.

A small group was off the front and attacks to try and bridge across were not working. The pace slowed to a casual group ride. Our field was neutralized as the masters passed us.

Marc Pro and then Fremont Bank went to the front to bring back the breakaway. We passed the masters field back and a couple of other fields. Caught the break and attacks were flying.

A good breakaway of 6 was formed that I was lucky to be part of and I had a teammate! We worked hard to create a growing gap. I suffered up the last time up Cantelow and stay connected with the breakaway. Chris Stastny from Cal Giant flatted after the hill and we all new they would start chasing hard.

The breakaways gap started shrinking. We are almost to the finish and could feel the peloton breathing down our necks. We must keep going. Rossi jumps first as I’m sitting on Yury’s wheel. And the sprint is on. I sit in Yury’s draft for a few seconds then pull around digging deep then put the afterburners on for the last few meters to the line.

I won!!!!… I can’t believe it.

88 Miles/4 Laps/22 miles per lap/8,700 Total Elevation Gain

Limited squad for this race of… Art Rand who had just returned from a bike touring adventure. Frank Spiteri which had just recovered from mountain biking injuries. Justion Rossi who is just always on fire. And me who is somehow always in a breakaway.

The plan was to get a win for Justin and the team.

After the first lap of easy riding there was a breakaway that rolled off the front. I bridged to with a helper. Everyone didn’t seem to want to work. Yury Yurchanka rolled off the front of the breakaway while the breakaway was gobbled up by the field.

On the second lap on one of the smaller rollers Justin crossed bars with another rider and went down. I stopped to see if I could help out but his derailleur was ripped off. So I took off in hopes to catch back onto the field and report back to my teammates.

Somewhere on the third lap a few pairs of riders were able to separate themselves from the field. Then Nate English and Evan Huffman attacked and no one followed. A few guys (including monster pull Frank and Art) organized at the front of field and started pulling on the super fast tail wind flat section to bring back the English/Huffman break. With me tail gunning and holding on for dear life.

With teammates bringing the gap down I was then able to solo kamikaze bridge across to the English/Huffman break. Now my teammates were able to just sit in and it was time for another breakaway for me. The breakaway wasn’t working together well with Huffman not really working because of his teammate up the road. But we managed to catch two riders and share more of the workload.

Up the last roller a few miles from the finish Huffman attacked and blew apart the breakaway. I followed English as we crawled back to Huffman. Once English realized that I was stuck on his wheel he started to soft pedal. I then attacked him and he crawled back to me. Then we were stuck in a soft pedal waiting game. I knew it was a head wind finish so I held off my next attack until we got onto the finishing straight. I through down whatever sprint I had left in me and was able to hold English off and almost brought back Huffman for 5th place.

Art through down a sprint but James Wingert got him by the line for 10th place and Frank pedaled in for 16th.

Merco Cycling Classic Downtown Grand Prix was a day I wasn't looking forward to. Construction in Merced forced the course to be changed and to have a hairpin corner. Everyone knew it was going to hurt. 50 laps were on order and 50 sprints out of the hairpin. Bissell Pro Cycling basically had call ups for their entire team to the starting line. So that allowed Bissell put all 9 of there guys on the front and control the race. It was challenging to get past the entire bissell team but a few riders including myself made attempts. Only to have bissell up their pace and pull everything back. The hairpin was tricky because you'd have to slam on your brakes, track stand around the corner and sprint down the finishing straight away. With bissell chopping wheels, elbowing and yelling at riders that were disrupting their train. After trying to stay near the front the whole race to stay out of trouble. It came down to the final laps to see who had the fitness. Frank Spiteri was pulling Justin Rossi to the line. I jumped in and followed Frank to the line with Justin close behind. Everyone finished safety on the team and Ricky Escuela of Full Circle Sports stole the W from Bissell.

First race of the year for Marc Pro - Strava. It just so happens that its in my hometown. To bad its a foggy and misty wet day. I was able to warm up on the roads that I learned how to ride a bike on. Nice to have a low pressure race thats right around the corner from my parents house. It was like the first day back at school.

Race started off with me missing my clip in and wishing I had double sided pedals. A large breakaway went from the gun. I patiently worked my way up through the field into a proper postion. The initial breakaway got pulled back around lap 3. I counterattacked with no hope of staying away and noticed I had two followers on my wheel (Rand Miller from Webcor and Evan Huffman from Cal Giant). Adam Switters bridged the gap to the breakaway. Now we were four riders strong. Still not guaranteed that we were staying away. Half way through the race there was a small crash in the main field at the hairpin turn. Friends and family on the side lines cheering. Roads starting to get more wet. Evan Huffman staring at his power meter and leading the us out for the finish. I was second wheel with Adam and Rand behind me coming out of the final corner. Waiting for them to come around and hoping that I could respond quick enough. Rand seems to have gone first with Adam on his wheel. Adam squeaks by Rand to take the win with me coming in third and Even coming in fourth.

Thank you Jen, family, and friends for coming out and cheering. It really means a lot.

Link to Michael Hernandez blog of the race. NorCal Cycling News