How Painful was the New Gopher Criterium at the State Fairgrounds?

How Painful was the New Gopher Criterium at the State Fairgrounds?

The Gopher Criterium or Campus Criterium has been forced to change locations numerous times over the last several years. Even this edition was forced to modify the course slightly away from the St. Paul Campus and toward the State Fairgrounds at the last minute. However, the general response from those that raced this technical course was positive. Mattio Montesano (Second Chance Racing) said, “Yup, this was one of the tougher crits I’ve done.  Nice job, Noah and Grant and whoever else on the UMCT was involved in making it happen – please pass on my thanks.” I think this race may suffer a bit from the fitness hangover of the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race happening the day before. However, that might just be the opinion of someone who has always faired poorly in back-to-back weekend races? So who did showed up to race on Sunday and how did all of the races shake out? Here is a Prenzlow Photography perspective of the afternoon races. Masters 40+/50+ If I was rolling up to the Masters Race (which I didn’t), I would have known clearly that I was in for a world of hurt based on the size of the field (14) and the makeup of the riders . . . or rider (Dan Casper). Small field sizes in crits result in very few places for riders to hide and plenty of opportunities for riders to suffer from wind and aggressive riders. At the beginning of the race it Dan Casper (Donkey Label) attempted a few attacks as early as the first lap, but nothing stuck until he initiated a break...
Who were the Big Winners in the Afternoon Fields of the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race?

Who were the Big Winners in the Afternoon Fields of the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race?

The weather conditions may have been a little warmer than when I raced in the morning, but the afternoon fields at the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race experienced just as much wind and elevation. Congrats to all who spent their Saturday afternoon racing in Cannon Falls, MN. I know I enjoyed both racing and shooting, but sitting in a ditch with a camera in hand for the afternoon waves was certainly more relaxing. Here is a Prenzlow Photography perspective of the afternoon. A full gallery of shots are up at: Shop Full Photo Gallery Juniors Boys 10-14 Nick Carter (NorthStar Development) Adam Vail (Minnesota Junior Cycling Inc.) Ethan Peterson (NorthStar Development) Junior Boys 15-16 Wyatt Furois (NorthStar Development) Tyler Curtis (NorthStar Development) Nick Gordon (Minnesota Junior Cycling Inc.) Junior Boys 17-18 Grant Wass (NorthStar Development) William Kerker (NorthStar Development) Ethan Nelson (St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club) Junior Girls 10-14 Jennifer Mettler (NorthStar Development) Veronica Church (TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) Junior Girls 15-16 Wyatt Singh (Minnesota Junior Cycling Inc.) Full Junior Results Shop Full Photo Gallery 50+ Field Jim Bell (Donkey Label) David Herbert (Flanders) Robert Ashton (Flanders) Full 50+ Results Shop Full Photo Gallery Men Cat 4 Carl Bauer (Synergy) Carl Meine (RVCC) Cory Cunard Full Men Cat 4 Results Shop Full Photo Gallery Men 5 John Klem Paul Buchanan (The Hub Cycling Team) Joe Pond (Midtown Cycling) Full Men Cat 5 Results Shop Full Photo Gallery Women Cat 1/2 Corey Cisek Coogan (The Fix Studio) Carrie Seipp (St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club) Diedre Ribbens (St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club) Full Women Cat 1/2 Results Shop Full Photo Gallery Women Cat 3...
Snowy, Cold, and Windy Conditions were the Biggest Opponent for Week Two of the Tuesday Night Worlds Crit

Snowy, Cold, and Windy Conditions were the Biggest Opponent for Week Two of the Tuesday Night Worlds Crit

Week Two of the Tuesday Night Worlds Crit saw a 30 degree temperature swing from the previous week, 25 mph winds, and frequent snow squalls throughout. With conditions like this, it was clear who the diehard crit racers are for 2015. However, these same conditions led to nearly every field being blown to bits by the end of each race. Beginner Men & Junior Boys Could this week’s beginner men and junior boys race be as entertaining as last week’s beginner women and junior girl’s race? Nine brave men (5 juniors and 4 beginners) took the line for the snowy 25 minute race. The group quickly split into groups of two and three on the course after the first lap. It was a battle between Austin Dirks of Synergy and Ethan Nelson of St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club. Austin won the final sprint of the race, but the two junior riders tied in overall points at 20 apiece for the night. I overheard a couple racers say that this was their very first crit. With conditions like these, I’m sure this is a crit they will remember for quite a while. Beginner Men and Junior Boys Results: Austin Dirks (Junior) Synergy—20 pts. Ethan Nelson (Junior) SPBRC—20 pts. Louis Mueller (Junior) Angry Catfish—12 pts. Full Results Shop Full Photo Gallery Men Cat 4/5 I think there was a little confusion at the start of the Men Cat 4/5 race as Brian Welch (Hollywood Cycles) took off from the gun and left the remaining 18 riders scratching their heads. The chasing pack stuck together more tightly than the other fields of the evening, but it appeared...
THK: Were There Any Surprises in the 40+ Race?

THK: Were There Any Surprises in the 40+ Race?

THK (Thoren Heuval Kermesse) was the first race on my 2015 calendar and I didn’t know quite what to expect from my fitness at this point in the season. I can’t believe this is the start of my sixth year of racing road bikes. This was never anything that I thought I would have the opportunity to do, but now racing has become one of the biggest parts of my life. I try not to take racing too seriously, but the hours of training required just to participate in these races definitely dictates a certain level of focus. I will be 40 years old (sadly) at the end of 2015, so I am now able to race with a new category of riders. I still plan to race a mix of Category 1/2 and Masters Races, but after 8 sedentary–but wonderful–days on Kauai last week, I thought Masters might be the way to go for THK. However, I have never been so unsure of my fitness at the start of the season before. I rode the trainer and cross-trained with weights all winter, but was not able to put in the number of hours on the bike that I have in the past. Time will tell? Seven of the eight Erik’s Regional Road Team members from MN were able to make the trip up to Avon, MN. Petersen and Keogh raced the Cat 1/2/3 Field and Alberti, Schinke, Mardosz, Kermisch, and I raced the 40+ Field. After meeting at the Walmart parking lot in Maple Grove and consolidating our Specialized SL4’s to a couple of cars, we were on our way...
Who Had Early Season Form at the First Tuesday Night Worlds Crit?

Who Had Early Season Form at the First Tuesday Night Worlds Crit?

I can’t imagine a more gorgeous night to kick off the road and crit season in Minnesota. With sunny skies and a starting temp of 70 degrees, the conditions were perfect for the start of Tuesday Night Worlds at the MN State Fair Grounds. Which one of these sun-deprived riders would prove that the hours of trainer and/or fatbike time during the frigid winter months would pay off on the State Fair race course? Would there be new muscle on the MN race scene? Would we avoid the inevitable first race crash? Would Shane be able to handle the massive number of riders waiting patiently to register? Let’s take a look at Prenzlow Photography’s perspective of the night. Beginner Women & Junior Girls The beginner women and junior girls field and beginner men and junior boys field will alternate during the six week run of Tuesday Night Worlds. The first week was for the women as 17 women took the starting line for this first race of the night. With the limited hours of light, the first few races of the evening were only 25 minutes long. For this field, that computed to nine laps around the 4-corner course with a sprint lap every three laps. Of course this race was focused on developing race skills and gaining comfort in group, but the standout rider of the evening was Lisa Martens. Lisa rode strong and smart the entire race and was able to take both mid-race sprints and the win. Congrats Lisa! I’m guessing your coach might take some of the credit? If you are a female rider interested in getting started in racing, come out to Tuesday Night...

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