Track update from Kyle Knott

Thank you to www.ckdake.com for permission to use this photo

As many of you know I have been spending a good bit of time track racing this season. I was lucky enough to move to Greenville, SC to work for our wheel sponsor Boyd Cycling which put me right in the middle of the two premier velodromes in the Southeast, the brand new Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC and Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point, GA. Since I first started racing in 2009 I have played around on the track, but with those two velodromes so close I have made it part of my weekly racing. Continue reading

Johnson City Omnium Recap (Masters 30+)

A tough weekend.

None of the races were particularly suited to my strengths, as I am neither a climber, a time trialist, nor a technical crit racer.  But the courses were fun, the scenery new and interesting, and the peloton… deceptively challenging.


Last year, I did pretty well in the Roan Groan RR, escaping the field early on and holding off all but two of the chasers until the finish.  But this year was a little different.  First, I chose to race in the Masters 30+ (which was combined with the Masters 40+).  I’ve been out for a little while with soreness and swelling in my right knee, so I have been tentative about jumping back into the Pro1/2 field.

That’s not to say the Masters races are easier.  They’re not.  But there are far fewer riders taking unnecessary risks, and the fields are generally smaller.

Unfortunately – though scored separately – it was almost impossible to tell the Masters 30+ from the Masters 40+ racers since the numbering system did not appear to have any rhyme or reason.  It made it very difficult to be tactical, and because of that, I made a few miscalculations that cost me a couple of places.

Second, the course for the Masters fields was the “short course” that rolls directly from Elizabethton to the top. (My knee thanked me for avoiding the 57 mile Pro 1/2 race.)

The third and most important difference was that the finish line was at the very top of the mountain – an advertised 1.75 miles of steep climbing beyond last year’s finish.

The weather at the start was cool, almost pleasant (~55º), but at the top, it was windy and downright frigid!

I didn’t have a great ride, and burned up too much energy chasing down the one break that rolled away. I was also a bit tired from Thursday night’s crit (teammate Marc Williams pulled out the victory!). So, when we started the Hors catégorie climb to the finish . . .

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Tour of the Battenkill

Team Athletix Benefitting globalbike made their way up to Cambridge, NY for the 2012 edition of the Tour of the Battenkill this past weekend.  Battenkill is a race notorious for its challenging sections of dirt roads and the twisting, hilly path it takes over 200 kilometers in upstate New York.  This year the race was categorized as a UCI 1.2 race which attracted the best American domestic teams, the ProContinental teams UHC and Team Type 1, and even several European teams.  The rest of the field was filled out with talented and hungry amateur teams like our own.

The roster for the weekend was Josh Whitmore, Simon Bennett, Jimmy Schurman, Coulton Hartrich, Shane Braley and myself (Christian Parrett).  After meeting up in Greenville, Simon, Jimmy, Josh and I caravanned up the country towards NY.  We were joined by our awesome support staff of Sara Jarrell, mechanic extraordinaire, and Sandy Krief, soigneur/feed zone support/dishwasher for messy hooligan bike riders.

After one night in Virginia we made it to NY Friday night and were joined by Coulton and Shane, who flew up from Florida.  We were all able to relax, see parts of the course, and plan for Sunday.  This was our teams first UCI race.  However, Coulton and I were confident of a result as we’ve both accrued 17 days of UCI racing already this year, in even tougher fields than Battenkill would see, with generally good results.  Shane was coming back from injury but has more experience than any of us.  Simon, Jimmy and Josh weren’t as sure what to expect but are all very strong and experienced bike riders.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.  Sunday I managed to slot myself towards the front fairly early.  After the first dirt section I barged my way into the first 20 or 30 riders and had no problem making the early splits.  No teammates were to be seen, unfortunately.  I’d later learn this was due to flats (Jimmy, Shane, Coulton), sickness (Josh), and a crash (Simon).  Eventually I saw Coulton, who worked his way into a small move.  After it came back he suffered more flat troubles.

View of the exploding race, Simon Bennett fights his way through the gravel

On the longest dirt road section the race exploded under pressure from Kelly Benefits and the numerous flats.  I managed to make the front split of fewer than 20 riders.  Several riders came back on but the lead group stayed small.  Unfortunately, I suffered a slow leak in the front tire at this point.  There had been so many flats that neutral service ran out of wheels, and the race caravan was minutes behind with the chaos in the peleton on the small roads.  By the time I managed to get a wheel from our team car, I was well behind the group.  Our team car tried to motorpace me back to the group, but the commisaire didn’t allow it, and that was my day over.

That's a pinch flat through the sidewall of a tire designed for gravel

Overall, the race redefined the word “epic”. Out of the 170 starters, only 40 or so finished. The majority of teams including several of the large well funded professional team in the race did not finish any riders. Just getting to the finish line was proved to be a combination of luck, fitness, smarts, and just plain hard man racing.

With all of our days ended by some form of bad luck, we packed up and headed back to the Southeast.  Sometimes bad days can be learning experiences.  Sunday, we learned very little other than what to expect for the same event next year.  It was just a simple case of bike racing being an unforgiving sport.  However, if you can’t suffer through the bad days, you don’t deserve the good.  We will be back starting in just over a week at the Joe Martin Stage Race.

Christian Parrett

Athletix Products by Contec, inc. Announces New Partnership with Globalbike

News Release from Contec, Inc…

Contec, Inc. is proud to announce its affiliation with globalbike™, a nonprofit organization that uses the transformative power of bikes to create positive social change in the developing world.  Founded in 2006, globalbike began as a volunteer organization with a mission to provide bikes to HIV/AIDS care workers in Zambia.  The organization has steadily grown and is now active in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
CEO Jack McBride states, “As Contec has become a global company, we have been looking to sponsor an organization whose mission reflects the values and concerns of our global customer base.  globalbike fits this description to a “T”.  The organization’s founders are passionate about both cycling and helping those who are most in need.  At Contec, we are working to promote healthier living among our employees and also looking for creative ways to have a positive impact in areas that don’t have the benefit of recent breakthroughs in healthcare technology.  The globalbike mission reflects both these goals.”
With a goal of expanding to 5 continents by 2014, globalbike,  continues to seek creative partnerships that will allow it to provide those in need with access to healthcare and vital services. To learn more about globalbike,  and to find out how your organization can help, visit www.globalbike.org or send an email to info@globalbike.org.

New Partnership with Lazer

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Team Globalbike is pleased to announce a new partnership with Lazer Sport to supply the team with helmets and eyewear for 2012. Lazer is a Belgian company started in 1919. They offer a full line of helmets, from high performance racing to stylish urban commuter versions. Lazer helmets have been worn by some the greats in the sport. Paolo Bettini won the Olympic games in Athens and two world championships wearing a Lazer helmet. Tom Boonen has been a lifelong Lazer wearer and has won numerous titles under the Lazer lid. Continue reading