Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thursday's UBC ITT #2 sets up as showdown for 2017 VCC Title

As part #2 of the UBC Individual Time Trial approaches this Thursday and the last major stage of the 2017 VCC season approaches four riders sit atop the standings all with equal chances of pulling out the victory. Will Harrington typically casual, is facing a crucial performance in his chance to repeat. Can he improve upon an already fast 16:29 to pick up enough points in the improvement table? Tak Takeda, not-quite-fresh off an astoundind 3000km since May 31 stands with much to gain but crucially he'll have to have a strong hill climb to stay ahead of #3 Eric Cessford and his big-leg, big finish time trialling ability. Also, somewhat in contention is veteran Troy Barrie. His aero-wheels will give him an advantage - is the lore of his 16:09 time from 2008 still a faint possibility??

You're Invited! 
We hope you've been enjoying lots of summer cycling because it is now time to test ourselves out at part #2 of the UBC Individual Time Trial! The ITT is a 10km event that will last anywhere between 14:59 (Zach!) and 25min. It features the beautiful views of spanish banks, a 'small little rise' up NW Marine Dr and some fast flats around behind UBC allt he way to Kullahun Dr.

Who?: People of all levels! You're only competing against yourself ... and the wind. :)
Start LocationLocarno Beach Concession
When: August 10 @ 6:15 (it will take a few min to send out the riders)
What: An "Individual Time Trial". Riders will start individually one minute apart and ride a timed route. Show up on time to start early! 
Bring?: Your bike. Some electrolytes and preferably a strava account but not nec.
Rain, Smoke or Shine!

26 of us got together on April 3 to ride the same route we've been riding since 2006. The purpose was to see how we performed early in the year - and then compare to how much we improved over a season of training, camping trips, commutes to work, etc... No problem if you weren't at the firsst event! This is a little something we've been doing every second year now so the year-to-year is pretty fun to compare too.
Picture: Troy Barrie and Will Harrington grind it out on the finish of Race the Ridge this Spring.

2017 Canada Day Populaire: No "Big 3" Opens the Door for a First Time Stage Winner

All season long, the Vancouver Cycle Series has been dominated by what pundits have been referring to as the "Big 3" of local riding: Will Harrington, Tak Takeda, and Troy Barrie.  While it's unclear whether or not they were out of town for the weekend or just deemed the 2017 Canada Day Populaire as unworthy of their presence, the absence of the "Big 3" did not deter 6 VCC hopefuls from seeking their shot at glory.

Typical Populaire Scenery. Photo Credit: Pam Yan.

With a frantic start to the race, the 6 were split into two groups of 3 on the first descent.  Race director, Eric Cessford, long time VCC stalwart, Peter Stevenson, and favourite for the most improved rider of the year award, Pam Yan separated themselves from the pack.  Tom Skinner, Sarah Booth, and Rob Shaer rode valiantly over the 150km course but could never regain touch with the leaders.

Despite there still being another 100km to ride, it was decided that all of the VCC points were going to be awarded on the lone climb of the day, 4.4km of 3.3% up Sumas Mountain culminating in 1.7km of 6.8% gradient.  After seeing almost no other riders on the flat lands of Northern Abbotsford, the VCC lead trio caught a large group of other riders at the base of the climb.  Excited by the prospect of getting to pass "hundreds" of riders, Cessford picked up the pace which proved to be too much for Yan but Stevenson appeared unfazed.  As the gradient increased and more unknown riders fell to the wayside, Cessford took one last glance over his left shoulder at Stevenson who seemed to be pedaling effortlessly and knew he had to apply the pressure.  The final pursuer was left behind and all that remained in his way was a bear that had come to watch the race but was standing in the middle of the road.  Fortunately, the ultimate showdown between bear and bike was avoided once the bear realized the side of the road would give him a better view of the passing riders.  It was over and the race director had won his first ever stage of the VCC!  Stevenson and Yan rounded out the podium. Points for the race were awarded as follows:

1. Eric Cessford - 6 pts
2. Peter Stevenson - 5 pts
3. Pam Yan - 4 pts
4. Tom Skinner - 3 pts
5. Sarah Booth - 2 pts
6. Rob Shaer - 1 pt

Unapologetic of any perceived conflict of interest, the race director arbitrarily decided to give the 3 riders - Cessford, Stevenson, and Skinner - a bonus point for riding out to the race.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Riders Smash Pedals through Summer Months

Updated Yearly Ride Totals are below:
Photo: A family van finds a way to get it done.
  1. Tom Skinner 16pts  8313km
  2. Will Harrington 15pts 7562km
  3. Pam Yan 11pts 5897km
  4. Dan 'Sprint' Finnis 5599km
  5. Troy Barrie 5573km
  6. Doug Egan 10pts 5308km
  7. Tak Takeda 9pts 4796km
  8. Greg Egan 7pts 3836km
  9. Peter Stevenson 3792km
  10. Eric Cessford 6pts 3021km
  11. Sarah Booth 4pts 2113km
  12. Nathan Barrett 3pts 1528km
  13. Eric Fung 3pts 1503km
  14. Zach Garland 2pts 1168km
  15. Daisy Yee 1pt 847km
The top ten from May 31 to Aug 7 is as follows (way to go Pam!)
  1. Pam 3073km
  2. Tak 2982km
  3. Doug 2920km
  4. Will 2704km
  5. Tom 2545km
  6. Eric C 2211km
  7. Troy 2132km
  8. Greg 2002km 
  9. Peter 1837km
  10. Sarah 1203km

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tour de France Fantasy Pool Magic sees Brian Poole solo to first stage victory

The Tour de France was an exciting one this year filled with crashes that left many teams in disarray. Only the skilled cycling tactician was able to build a team deep enough to survive the relentless enslaught that is Le Tour.

Brian Poole attacked early and held off the Peloton at the finish - soloing alone for his first ever stage victory. The also counts as Eric Cessford's first ever lifetime defeat at a fantasy pool (although second is basically the worst possible result this genius could face). Patrick Egan rounded out the podium with experiential picks groomed from years of being sat upon on the couch while his three older brothers watched in earnest at Phil Liggett's storied commentary.

Notably absent was Troy Barrie, using his already-used 'I was in the Sequoia's' excuse while pool-organizer Tak Takeda also fared extremely poorly (potentially due to a Peter Sagan man-crush).  Could this event cost them the 2017 VCC title?

  1. Brian Poole    7pts
  2. Eric Cessford  5pts
  3. Patrick Egan   5pts
  4. Connor  4pts
  5. Pam Yan 4pts
  6. Daisy Yee 4pts
  7. Will Harrington  3pts
  8. Annabel Kehoe  3pts
  9. Andrea Egan 3pts
  10. Eric Funguy  3pts
  11. Greg Mumford  3pts
  12. Richard O'Grady  2pts
  13. Doug Egan  2pts
  14. Takuma Takeda  2pts
  15. Dan   1pt
  16. Tom Skinner  1pt
  17. Chris Froome 1pt

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Upsets Rule the Day as Giant Killers take the long Stage Two of Robb's Ride

Day Two of Robb's Ride was a 186km jaunt that cut down across the border. The route passed rolling green farm valleys tucked into the grassland hills of Boundary country. Similar to last year, the first climb was a 5km, 250m climb up a bumpy back road.

Doug Egan was first out of bed, first out of the hotel and first across the border. This proved to be a winning strategy in the 'first over the top' style of competition on day 2 and set the tone for a day of continued upsets. Reaching the base of the climb ahead of slow-eaters Takeda and Barrie and visa-issue foreigners affected by the travel ban (Harrington), Doug was able to set the pace and build an insurmountable lead. Tagging along to his strategy, Nathan Barrett, Greg Egan and Eric Cessford also picked up valuable points ahead of the favourites.
Pictures: Egan and Cessford strategizing at the bottom and celebrating at the top.

Bonaparte Climb
1. Nathan Barrett 10 pts
2. Greg Egan    9pts
3. Eric Cessford   8pts
4. Doug Egan   7pts
5. Will Harrington  6pts
6. Troy Barrie  5pts
7. Tak Takeda  4pts
8. Peter Stevenson  3pts
9. Michael 2pts
10. Scott 1pt

The group had re-formed for the second climb, another 5km puncheur in the midst of the ride. This time the favourites had assembled and it was a classic 'drop-ride'.  Team Oakland set the pace early, their numbers were daunting as Takeda, Egan, Cessford, Barrie and Barrett had all donned the blue and orange and Will Harrington was the lone villain on this climb. Doug Egan, having accomplished his goal on the first climb released himself from the suffering first. Then Harrington surges and one-by-one he dropped the Team Oakland pretenders. Cessford and Egan pacing themselves out early. Takeda later. Then Barrett volunteering himself out a little later. While Barrie alone stuck to Harrington's wheel and casually kept his rival in sight. The 'race to the border' sprint at the end of Day 2 being a bigger prize.

Picture: Will Harrington setting the pace with ALL of Team Oakland buzzing at his heels

Hwy 21 Climb
1. Will Harrington 10pts
2. Troy Barrie 9pts
3. Nathan Barrett 8pts
4. Tak Takeda 7pts
5. Greg Egan 6pts
6. Eric Cessford 5pts
7. Doug Egan 4pts
8. Peter Stevenson 3pts
9. Michael 2pts
10. Scott 1pt

Race to the Border:
As the VCC peloton made the way to the border sprint, one name was absent. Will Harrington had turned off to make an early scouting trip on the Boulder Creek climb ahead of Day 3. The conditions at the top of the mountain being important for the next day. This led Barrie to team up with Eric Cessford. Sensing that his legs were tired, Barrie elected to transfer team leadership to Cessford. "I really thought it was the last thing that Greg Egan would expect. I'm sure Greg had his eyes all over Tak and would probably not notice my lead-out with Eric Cessford on my wheel. It was worth a shot at least." But, as is common in cycling, the best laid plans can get blown apart in a sprint finish. As Cessford, Barrie and Takeda were posturing wheels, an early break by Barrett and Egan through in some chaos. Barrie started chasing them down but just as they were caught Takeda took off for glory. As Barrie put in chase #2, Cessford, panicing, sensing that victory was so close but about to be lost came around Barrie for his own dig to catch Takeda. But it was for nought, Takeda led through to the finish and put his stamp on a successful Robb's Ride.

Sprint to the Finish points:

1. Tak Takeda 10pts
2. Eric Cessford 9pts
3. Nathan Barrett 8pts
4. Greg Egan 7pts
5. Doug Egan 6pts
6. Peter Stevenson 5pts
7. Troy Barrie 4pts
8. Michael 3pts
9. Scott 2pts
10. Will Harrington 1pt

Day Three:
Day Three was also a success. The Egans, Cessford and Peter went 1250m up the Eholt pass for a coffee in Greenwood, BC (home of BC's smallest city and unchallenged, world's best water!) While Takeda, Barrie, Barrett and Harrington set a blistering pace to the Christina Lake border crossing before a casual trip into the states to go up the 19km, 940m Boulder Creek Climb.

Pam Yan and Tom Skinner awarded 14pts each (= to Michael) for having their own epic weekends of riding concurrent to Robb's Ride. Next year!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

TSN Top Ten: Where does Barrie's Hardy Hill Climb stand amongst all-time VCC victories?

The Sports Network - June 4 2017 --- TORONTO, ON---
It was an epic ride - unscheduled and unexpected - but a ride sought after with plenty of secret training and hard January rain miles. It was a victory for long-time VCC cyclist Troy Barrie to savour, but, how does this first place finish compared to the storied history of the VCC?

TSN takes a closer look with this week's Top Ten!

#10) Davey Mitchell holds onto 2007 Yellow Jersey with 7th place, 13minute beer mile:
Considering that Tom Skinner has sucked down all that carbonation in 7min, and legend has it Nathan Barrett has dropped 6min times before stop-watches were ever invented; Davey's 13minute run is not that impressive of a performance in its own right. However, the story as a whole stands out in history. In 2007 Davey led the VCC after a stand-out season on the bike and came into his weakest leg of the VCC in yellow - it was a gutsy performance to gain enough points by staying ahead of Jed Brewer, Fraser Harris and Eric Cessford to not lose too many points to Troy Barrie as Davey went on to win his first VCC yellow jersey.

#9) The Fatherless Children win Bodin Ball Hockey Superleague in 2008.
Ok, this doesn't have much to do with cycling either, but after being regular season champs for six straight terms, the fatherless crew turned in a finals performance for the ages, dominating the Baseball team and their ex-WHLers 9-0.

#8) Elliot Holtham wins 2014 Ironman Australia:
After being a rank-and-file athlete on the VCC circuit, Elliot's conversion to 'pro-triathlete' - first announced on his own LinkedIn account - turned out to be sorta impressive. In perfect sandbagger form, the geophysicist that the world had never heard of came out of nowhere to win a race people have actually heard of.

#7) Troy Barrie wins Hardy Hill Climb at Robb's Ride 2017
Here it is! TSN picks this victory at #7 all-time VCC victories.

#6) Zack Garland wins the 2011 Whistler Gran Fondo
Zack took a few short turns at the front, positioned himself behind the wheel of his biggest threat, pretended to be getting tired, waited for his rival to spend a turn at the front, took a few deep breaths and then soloed to victory. People have also heard of this race.

#5) Eric Fung takes Yellow Jersey after 2006 Individual Time Trial
After winning the sprint to Harrison Hot Springs, and following that up with a podium finish at the 2006 ITT Eric Fung headed into the final stage of the 2006 VCC season in Yellow. With Troy Barrie washed-up and out of shape, Eric Fung was Top Choice Pizza's favourite that year and unanimously looked at as the only contender who could stop the formidable Elliot Holtham from repeating as VCC champion. History would show the odds were stacked against him, but the world waited and cheered with utmost hope and hesitant anticipation after this solid ITT performance.

#4) Eric Cessford crushes 2015 Vancouver International Triathlon
Sure, Holtham has won this event, but this triathlon signaled the coming of a new giant onto the VCC race scene. It was Cessford's coming out party as he transitioned from 'Race Director' to 'Impressive athlete'. Hey, the race even has international in the title, and Cessford's 16:08 solo lap time still stands as his PR to this day.

#3) Tom Skinner Commutes Ridiculous Distances
We don't really know where to start with this one. It could be the fact that he's reaching pro-level time commitment at 1/2 the distance, while hoofing it day-in, day-out around Vancouver on his fat tire dingle carrying miracle beers and u-locks this way and that. One day that stood out was his Jan 21 2017 50km snow ride just to run a few errands. Tom's been the leading distance cyclist in VCC recent memory and looks well placed to be the first person to not only beat, but crush the 10000km barrier in 2017....

#2) Nathan Barrett wins 2012 Knee Knacker
What can we say, Nathan Barrett doesn't pay much attention to those who don't believe in him on twitter. If he did, he probably would have won by even more than 22minuts....

#1) Engineering Physics wins UBC's 2005 Storm the Wall
It wasn't M-Bomb, it wasn't a frat, it wasn't H-Kin Express or anyone else you thought it was going to be.  Yea, that's right. Eng Physics was celebrating on the grassy knoll that day. For about four minutes before trudging back to Main library to study for more exams. Why is this race in late March? We've got homework?! Compliments to Elliot Holtham, Luke Rot, Greg Egan, Troy Barrie, Ralph Botha and spare, Brennan Lowrie on the VCC's greatest victory yet!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

VCC riders show peak form on Day One of Robb's Ride

From the Hardy Hill to the Bonaparte Goat Rd climb VCC athletes impressed with dazzling, sunscreen soaked performances at the annual Grand Forks tour infamously known as Robb's Ride. A three-day charity, that many a sandbagger has claimed 'this is not a race' group ride has become the circled date on the VCC calendar.

Day One: 112km ride starting with a slow closed race tour of beautiful downtown Grand Forks and surrounding farmlands. The early start was a chance to waive to fans, warm the legs and break in your new set of Dura-Ace carbon wheelset (depending on one's commitment level to Robb's Ride glory). As the pace picked up on Granby River Rd, Veterans Eric Cessford and Greg Egan were once again caught unaware at the back of the pack as Nathan Barrett put in his legendary "I'm at the front of the pack and there's a hill, so I know I'm supposed to ride hard" attack that shattered the pack and led to a splintered peloton. The VCC still fared well in the breakaway with Barrett in a solo breakaway, GC contenders Will Harrington and Troy Barrie looking strong, and Robb's Ride rookie but recently in steller shape Tak Takeda. Still the foes were many and strong: Joe from Victoria, Michele "the Diesel", Gary from Vernon. The Balance Point team that never talks to anyone. A guy with a beard from Gastown Cycling that could be strong, two dudes with calf tattoes from Todd's Racing, and the Fulgas team leading the chase group to pull in Barrett from his solo escape. Legendary, aero helmet attack guy had a few pulls at the front and even Robb Sebastian himself was in the front group. It was setting up for a Hardy Hill climb for the ages.

At the turn-around, disaster struck for team VCC. Team leader Will Harrington, normally on-top of quick feeds was being too polite at the banana feed and ended up taking 'an extra date square' before finding that the peleton had taken off on the return journey. It would be a long ITT for Will going home. Takeda and Barrie, focused on victory managed to stick with the break and proceeded to shelter themselves for the ride back. The Hardy Hill Climb, a 250m vertical rise over 2km was waiting at kilometre 110...

The ride back had a few notable events. As an experienced kinematics expert, Barrie knew that emptying his water bottle hill climb would divert precious wattage to vertical assault, but desiring secrecy had to do so discreetly at the back of the pack. Meanwhile, in Chase 6, Egan and Cessford paid no heed to a pack-mate crashing into the bushes. Barrett, well accustomed to bushes himself, stuck around with Peter damaging his chances of catching the main group.

When the Hardy Hill climb came, Barrie surged after the Fulgas team but it was the wrong wheel and Barrie quickly found himself weaving up the road in the lead as the cagey veterans of Balance Point were, silently, sticking to his wheel. A standoff ensued almost lending itself to a mid-hill climb track stand. Lucky for Barrie, a race stock full of favourite produced a new leader as Green-jersey Dan pulled to the front. Barrie, strong but unsure, quickly grabbed onto green-Dan's wheel. Two turns of the Hardy Hill climb flew by as the pace and the day's heat increased. A quick look back was enough for Barrie to realise that he and Green-jersey Dan had created a gap. From there it was all reaction, Barrie went for it, he was in the lead, he had a few more corners, then it was the final corner. His thoughts raced, 'I didn't even imagine this, getting to the top of the hill to get my RR 2017 socks in first is going to be so great!'. As the turn came around, Barrie, expecting cheers, was shocked to see a completely empty hill-finish. The kids were late! There were no socks!

Tak Takeda, in his first Robb's Ride, was given incorrect information and was at the back of the pack at the base of the climb. His Stanley Park form proved dominant as he slowly reeled in exploded riders, if they had a calf tattoo, no problem. Beard and fancy jersey? No match. At the end it was a success for the VCC sponsors with a 1st and 5th wrapped up on Day 1. In all, 10 VCC riders completed the stage with five first-ascents being completed.

Greg Egan, emerging from chase 6, showed once again his savvy training regiment leads him to reach peak form for big races. He may not be able to beat Cessford all year, but he sure can put the upstart Cessford in his spot when it counts.

Doug Egan, in the best shape of recent memory impressed the crowd early with his first Hardy Hill climb completion. It may prove wise to watch the wise veteran as the days continue with many kms and hill climbs ahead!

Hardy Hill Climb 2017 Results
1. Troy Barrie 7:30  20pts
2. Tak Takeda 8:15  17pts
3. Will Harrington  8:38 15pts
4. Nathan Barrett  8:41 13pts
5. Greg Egan  11:17 12pts
6. Eric Cessford 12:24 10pts
7. Peter Stevenson 13:20 9pts
8. Doug Egan 14:07 8pts
9. Mike 7pts
10. Scott 6pts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Updated Mileage after record May

The VCC has updated the yearly point totals for training/commuting kms following the heaviest May training on record. It is increasingly more and more difficult to call this group 'elite recreational' - as we can see on the Canadian 'Sport for Life' development the VCC was once an option for cyclists squarely within the 'First Involvement' stage. The group and their excursions to Bellingham breweries provided a healthy outlet with the sole goal of being 'Active for Life'. This phase dominated the first 13 years of VCC history and created exciting stories such as 'who could remember how to ride a bike' and 'are Greg Egan's thighs actually that large even without training?' May brought in a distinct inflection point to the usual pedestrian training volume - seemingly limited by the inability to rotate arrows at non 90 degree angles, it was a sharp left turn in trajectory for the VCC, dangerously approaching 'Competitive for Life' status for these athletes.

As seven of the top nine commuters prepare to travel to a pinnacle event circled on the calendar, the annual 'Robb's Ride', we watchers of Vancouver's greatest cycling competition (for people of questionable recreational intents) watch in eagerness as the group contemplates a bold step into the frontier of competitive mantra. Most worthy of mention, May's most impressive performance was clearly Pam's whopping 1202km May (and counting!). Potential tales and folklore of this great collection of feats have drifted towards stories that she may have even chased off a bear after summiting Cypress. For her fifth mtn summit this month. Okay, we're really impressed with Pam. [slow clap].

Yearly totals, here they be:
  1. Tom   5768km  11pts
  2. Will 4858km  9pts
  3. Troy 3441km 6pts
  4. Pam 2824km 5pts
  5. Doug 2388km 4pts
  6. Peter 1955km 3pts
  7. Greg 1834km 3pts
  8. Tak 1814km 3pts
  9. Nate 1484km 2pts
  10. Sarah 910km 1pt
  11. Eric Cessford 810km 1pt
  12. Zack 535km 1pt
  13. Eric F 490km 0pts
  14. Daisy 189km 0pts
  15. Brian 77km 0pts

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Nathan Barrett defies Training Logic

Results are in for the UBC ITT #1 and while the casual observer may awe at the prowess of Eric Verster, Will Harrington and Troy Barrie in their podium finishes at this classic test. A deeper look into this spring's details reveals much more interesting data. It is after-all the era of big-data - and the VCC has not been spared. So, pay attention or fear that you'll always be a bike length behind in your next VCC fantasy pool.

Cycling's Secret Decoded - Training is linear!
Barrett and Cessford outpace science while Tak, Greg and Peter need to train smarter, not harder:
We had to remove the tyrannical Tom Skinner from the above. Speculation is that his bike lock, paniers, change of clothes and bottle of beer weighed him down too much and would have skewed the formula. Clearly, without those items he would have averaged 41km/hr almost breaking Zach Garland's nine-year course record. We also removed Eric Verster who was too far above the curve - with this new data the VCC cycling brass is now demanding to inspect his bicycle for a hidden motor, or simply, we accuse him of having too expensive a wheelset. 30mm's for you, Eric!

Eric Cessford, the champion performer, turned in a performance equivalent to a 332km training specimen as opposed to the 184km fair-weather rider we all know him to be. As for Nathan, we always knew he was an animal, this appearingly-casual veteran had the best performance by this Cessfordian-dynamic metric even while dressed in a bunny costume. Impressive.

Pacing: Troy & Tak tire tremendously!
When comparing the first flat portion next to the beach to the final flat portion along NW Marine, the data-story here tells a sad tale of  two riders going bust. Troy and Tak were simply too gung-ho to get moving as their impressive starting speeds led to eventual disaster when they couldn't hold the pace in the final leg. Troy clearly has some work to do or it'll be another season as a super-domestique!

Of special note here as well, a verrrry curious observation is the relative proximity of a Mr. Greg Egan and a Mr. Brian Poole.... Brian especially had an effort to remember only falling 2s to Troy over the final leg. For those curious about the effects of drafting - it works! Could these two have joined forces on the course...?

Hills are what defines us - or maybe just tire us out:
Will, Troy and Nathan appear to be very much of a common breed of rider which has fuelled many a backwoods suffer fest. Is this the best strategy? Eric Verster may have something useful to say, while it's clear Brian Poole was saving himself for that monstrous final leg. The clump in the middle provides excellent anticipation as we look to a spring and summer of training. ITT #2 - scheduled for August - will be a repeat with points awarded for improvement. Who of these commoners will put in the time to separate themselves from the pack of wolves and anoint themselves, the most-improved sandbagger of 2017?

VCC Points for the ITT:

  1. Eric Verster 16:12  20pts
  2. Will Harrington 16:34 17pts
  3. Troy Barrie 16:55 15pts
  4. Nathan Barrett 17:34 14pts
  5. Tak Takeda 18:05 13pts
  6. Tom Skinner 18:21 12pts
  7. Sasha 18:30 11pts
  8. Eric Cessford 18:37 10pts
  9. Greg Egan 18:44 9pts
  10. Peter Stevenson 18:49 8pts
  11. Eric Fung 19:04 7pts
  12. Brian Poole 19:06 6pts
  13. Peter Allingham 19:14 5pts
  14. Alice Kruchten 19:52 10pts
  15. Ben Percy 21:52min 3pts
  16. Pam Yan 21:56 9pts
  17. Brittany Hilbrecht 22:31min 8pts
  18. Ben Sammy 23:06 0pts
  19. Jean-Bob Dumas 23:42 0pts
  20. Bill Curf 24:06 0pts

Also, Congrats to the Pacific Populaire Riders! Will Harrington (7pts) kept up with the traffic dodgers and big rings in the cross wind due to his incredible ability to inhale the date square at the halfway point. Not so lucky was Troy Barrie who choose to enjoy his date square and was consequently dropped like a stone from the front pack, relegating him to Chase 1 for the next 54km. Also compeating were Sarah, Tom, Pam, Tak, Eric, Greg and Peter. (5pts). Tom Skinner was awarded an additional Miracle Beer & U-lock point...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bellingham Brew Tour tests Bike Mechanic Skill

Panic set in for Eric Cessford the night before the big ride. No, this time it wasn't just his lack of training, but clearly over-training. Cessford the power house had blown out his back wheels spokes chasing KOMs on his route home from work. Where could he get another wheel? Why don't they make 10-speeds anymore?

Enter Eric Fung (5pts) the hero of the day. Who not only fixed Cessford's wheel but also survived his own de-railment on the ride as he finished with style on an over-featured single-speed. Tak, Greg, Cessford also completed the journey. (3pts)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

VCC Spring Classic Season in Full Bloom

The spring thaw has been slow to warm the cascadian territory this year. In anticipation of the 2017 season VCC athletes have been meticulously preparing despite the snowy conditions during the winter months. Like the local ski hills most VCC athletes were busy working on their base over the winter.

Looking at the VCC club page on strava there appear to be two diametrically opposed strategies to success amongst the veteran. The tyrannical Tom 'Safety' Skinner logger, the tremendous Troy 'Joseph' Barrie who has plans to make Top Choice Pizza great again and the walloping Will 'Hurry Up!' Harrington had the studded tires on all winter long. These three riders ascribe to the nouveau theory in high performance sport called "Training". Will all this hard work pay-off or will their over-stressed muscles spontaneously combust on the start line... will tell.

Mean while several VCC vets have taken a slightly different approach during their off-season. The egregious Eric 'grows in the dark' Fungi mac cumulated just over 4km in December and January... combined. While the erroneous Eric 'The Commish' Cessford flexed his quads for an average of 62.14km per month from November through March. The beleaguered Brian 'self-proclaimed tetris master' Poole logged one incredibly arduous workout of 1.1km in January. These riders were not persuaded by all that 'evidence-based' training theory and choose not to ride for various reasons.

These are the riders to watch in the upcoming UBC ITT on April 3rd. Only time will tell us which philosophical approach will prevail in the upcoming VCC season. The photo below (credit: Graham Watson) demonstrates the dedication displayed by Troy Barrie and Tom Skinner in the unseasonably cold January days in Vancouver.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Season is Underway: quarter point status

Spring has arrived, cycling's cold months have passed and VCC riders are out showing their world-level endurance bases accumulated through many a day in the snow/sleet/hail/rain. At this point, we have counted zero fingers lost over the winter which included a 50km snow ride by the effortful Tom Skinner and a near-hypothermic collapse  by Troy van der Barrie as he joined 2016 VCC champion Willberto Harringtonio at the Richmond Vet Ride.

The season ahead is already filling with races, so check the schedule and join in!

2017 Early Results:

Cessford (5pts), Richardsen (3pts) and Takeda (1pt) podium at the UBC Triathlon.

Cessford claims it was his hardest race. It appears the commonly held theory amongst VCC riders that 'Zwift miles account for squat' is entirely true yet untrue. We can't ever trust this sandbagger so we really don't know any more than we did before. He probably crushed the bike leg.

Chilly Hilly: Harrington (10pts), Takeda (9pts), Stevenson (8pts), Skinner (7pts), Richardsen (6pts), Cessford (5pts), Barrie (4pts), Fun-guy(3pts), Egan (2pt) and Karen (1pt) complete Chilly Hilly.

Those that rode down to Bellingham were ranked highest, but still there was no match for Harrington and Cessford who rode out early from the 25km aid station with an unflappable race tactic of 'skipping the baked potato'.  Strava was in an uproar as it appeared Barrie had a fiery finish for the ages in an unsuccessful attempt to reel in his nemesis: Eric Cessford. Barrie won the day's award for 'least friendly' as he blew past Egan, Fungi and Stevenson without so much as a 'Cheerio' or a 'Pleasant day for riding, isn't it?' It seems the 2017 crown is too great a prize for the old champion.

Many thanks to Pam, Daisy, Sarah + Brittany for coming along (1pt). We unfortunately were unable to remember who lasted the longest on the mechanical bull, so unfortunately I guess that just means that it won (3pts).

2017 Most km's:

The riders are off! Tom Skinner is again having a Gretzky-esque year. Let's see who's gone the furthest this year:

March 23 2017

  1. Tom Skinner            2899.5km (5pts)
  2. Will Harrington       1839.8km  (3pts)
  3. Troy Barrie              1042.3km (2pts)
  4. Pam Yan                   810.7km (1pt)
  5. Takuma Takeda         476km
  6. Sarah Booth              434.3km
  7. Peter Stevenson        414.9km
  8. Nathan Barrett          407.8km
  9. Zach Garland            279.6km
  10. Greg Egan                192.5km
  11. Eric Cessford            157km
  12. Doug Egan                139.9km
  13. Eric Fun-guy             110.4km

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Breaking News: Will Harrington Wins 2016 VCC

It started with a sprint win to Buckley Bay, a crash at Robb's Ride following victory on the Hardy Hill climb and ended with Will peeking over 8000km for the year via a last minute training camp in Austin to claim his first VCC title.

Congrats to the hearty Irishman who logs the wintery miles. His Bianchi sponsor should be chiming in for a new contract as the VCC favourite to repeat in 2017.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 VCC Schedule Announced

Vancouver elite athletes once again will prepare for a season of momentuous rides and gritty performances with the recent released 2016 VCC schedule. Due to a recent string of unpopular PR events [including Troy Barrie's extended detainment in California, Greg Egan's recent fascination with driving his car to weekend get-aways and Tom Skinner gaining 95lbs (to his bike weight)] the VCC took to the classifieds section of the Georgia Straight to release the 2016 event schedule.

Once again, this season will feature a smattering of destination races as well as historical cliches drudging up past memories of greater infamy for a race series popularized by college students and funded by Pil-cubes and mom-and-pop pizza shops.

Highlights of the 2016 race include, the first race physically located on an Island, Will Harrington representing as the only cyclist with a regular training schedule and a new type of race involving a Do-It-When-You-Can strava segment.

As always, questions and controversies persist: Can Eric Cessford's incredulous improvement in performance continue? Will Nate Barrett re-discover his passion for lonely cycling up mountains? Will Eric Fung put in the training time to win races longer than 40km? Will Tom Skinner's epic commuting kms turn into epic race shape? Who will win the Fastest Egan category?

Race Schedule Below:
  1. Year-long Most Kms cycled (1pt/500km)
      1. Tom Skinner  19pts
      2. Will Harrington 16pts
      3. Troy Barrie 15pts
      4. Eric Cessford 7pts
      5. Christian Beaudrie 6pts
      6. Greg Egan 5pts
      7. Pam Yan 5pts
      8. Peter Stevenson 4pts
      9. Nathan Barrett 4pts
      10. Zack Garland 4pts
      11. Doug Egan 3pts
      12. Eric Fung 2pts
      13. Daisy Yee 2pts
      14. Takuma Takeda 1pt
      15. Sarah Booth 1pt
      16. Aileen Tien 1pt
      17. Andrew Young 1pt
  2. Year-long Strava Segment: VCC ITT course Sasamat to Camosun along Marine.
      1. Will Harrington 16:43   20pts
      2. Eric Cessford 17:57 17pts
      3. Troy Barrie 18:09  15pts
      4. Zack Garland  18:53   13pts
      5. Takuma Takeda 19:00 12pts
      6. Eric Fung 19:19 10pts
      7. Julien Lamoureux  20:01 9pts
      8. Tom Skinner 20:28 8pts
      9. Nathan Barrett 20:29 7pts
      10. Greg Egan 20:30 6pts
      11. Sian Slawson 22:07 5pts
      12. Pam Y  22:11 4pts
      13. Peter Stevenson 22:32 3pts
      14. Daisy Yee 23:07 2pts 
  3. May 15: Fanny Bay Inn to Buckleberry Ferry
      1. Will Harrington 10pts
      2. Troy Barrie 7pts
      3. Nathan Barrett 5pts
      4. Eric Cessford 4pts
      5. Pete Stevenson 3pts
      6. Eric Fung 2pts
      7. Ross Richardsen 1pts
      8. Tom Skinner 1pt
  4. May 16: The Beer Mile at Ross' Stagosaurus:
      1. Tom Skinner 5pts
      2. Brennan Lowrie 4pts
      3. Brian Poole 3pts
      4. Will Harrington 2pts
      5. Troy Barrie 1pt
  5. June 2: Robb's Ride: Hardy Hill Climb
      1. Will Harrington 5pts
      2. Nathan Barrett 3pts
      3. Troy Barrie 2pts
      4. EricC/Doug/Greg 1pt
  6. June 3: Robb's Ride: First person back to Canada after Robb's Ride USA route
      1. Troy Barrie 5pts
      2. Will Harrington 3pts
      3. Eric Cessford 2pts
      4. Greg/Doug/Cam Egan 1pt
  7. June 3: USA 'correct route' Hill climbs
      1. Greg Egan 5pts
      2. Eric Cessford 3pts
      3. Doug Egan 2pts
      4. Cam Egan 1pt
  8. Aug: Fanny Bay to Buckleberry Ferry #2
    1. Troy Barrie 5pts
    2. Eric Cessford 3pts
    3. Eric Fung 2pts
    4. Greg/Tak/Ross/Tom/Sarah/Daisy/Pam 1pt
  9. Aug 28: Bellingham Classic Double-Metric Century
    1. Tom Skinner 5pts
    2. Will Harrington 3pts
    3. Troy Barrie 2pts
    4. Eric Cessford 1pt
  10. Lynn Canyon Orienteering
    1. Eric Cessford 5pts
    2. Nathan Barrett 3pts
    3. Tak Takeda 2pts
    4. Ross Richardsen 2pts
    5. Troy Barrie 1pt
  11. Portland World Single-Speed CycloCross World Championships
    1. Tom Skinner 5pts
    2. Tak Takeda 3pts
    3. Eric Cessford 2pts
    4. Ross Richardsen 1pt

Saturday, July 19, 2014

VCC athlete Elliot Holtham Wins Ironman Australia

Years of secret training, ruthless summit assaults, turbulent sprint finishes and gruesome Triple Crown races seemed to have worked for the Ironman Australia's latest champion. In an effort to regain his past form, Elliot picked up triathlons as an effective way to crosstrain for VCC races. History has been made. Congrats Elliot!

Most impressive, I don't anyone would ever plan to fly in to Australia for a weekend Ironman event, win it and then fly home on the Monday. Even though he is a geophysicist and a self-denied but peer-proclaimed Smartest Man Alive, Elliot has set new standards for the definition of weekend warrior. This is a huge achievement and I'm sure the sound of the happiness in your voice describing that win would bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has had the pleasure of riding away from you on the slopes of Cypress...   And to those as well who in different years have succumbed to your infamous second-switchback attack!

Congrats Elliot - keep up the dedication and the enjoyment in sport. The VCC can't wait to see what's next.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Barrie owns Barrett (avenue)

The Barrie vs. Barrett rivalry hit a new high last week as Barrie, while riding along in an unfamiliar city came across a peculiarly named avenue. Thus, the idea came to him, there must be a strava segment in this oft traveled roadway, and if perhaps, I were to own that strava segment, would it mean that I own a little bit of Mr. Barrett himself?  Maybe. Time will tell if Barrett goes off searching for a Barrie Avenue to destroy. I hope Barrie Avenue isn't all downhill....

Here it is, the Barrett Avenue segment. Check fast, this Jim Merrithew guy is hot on my heels.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Francois Clark wins 2013 VCC!

Francois Clark earned the 2013 VCC yellow jersey after a spirited race by a 15-rider field. The VCC returned to race tradition and had the final race of the year be a 3-lap sprint around Vancouver's famous Stanley Park. Almost taking the title was a surprise late-entry into the field, a man by the name of Cessford's cousin. The genetic talent of this family never ceases to amaze.

Eric Cessford was in yellow at the start of the stage and he managed to hang on to the final podium spot after his DNF. In true VCC Race Director fashion, Eric abandoned the stage in order to write down the finishing times at the finish line.  

Race favourites ED and Troy Barrie, while having numerous fans cheering them on, waving Canadian flags and writing the names in chalk along the Prospect Point climb were present but were not able to factor in the final sprint. As well, Tom Skinner, Tak Takeda and Eric Fung while urged by Barrie to form their own breakaway and drop everyone were somehow not in the impeccable form they had been displaying earlier that year.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eric Cessford leads the VCC going into the final race!

Rumour has it Eric Cessford has been training all season. It started with a blistering 1000km June that took Eric only 27 days to complete (and involved a week off due to a stolen bicycle).  Numerous commutes to work kept this cycling marvel in tip-top shape.

Then came his epic completion of the Seattle-to-Portland ride. After missing the High Pass Challenge, Eric came back in full force and finished in fourth place in the Orienteering race to Louise Oram.

Eric leads the pack with 33 points, with Nathan Barrett's season ending surgery his closest competitors are Tom Skinner and Tak Takeda, each with 25pts.

The Stanley Park crit, the final race of the season, will award 50pts for the winner. Decreasing by 5pts for the podium and then like so:  50, 45, 40, 37,35,33,31 etc...

Monday, September 9, 2013

High Pass Challenge: Feat Smashed

Now this one was really good. Proclaimed to be super strenuous, and only for serious riders, the 205km (including a detour) route to the base of Mt. St. Helens was advertized as an expert only course. They were very wrong and this ride will be added to the VCC annual calendar from now until time no longer has any meaning.

It was very fun. Involved some precarious moments at the start and can only be described by Strava. See here.

Congrats to Zack (10pts) for leading everyone up the hill, the excitement for what was around the bend was too much! Will Harrington put in a solid solo effort after two flats delayed his start by an hour. Nathan Barrett and Troy Barrie fought it out on the hills in matching (and flying) colours. (5ers)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Seattle to Portland trip a Success

The Seattle to Portland (STP) ride was an outstanding success. This is a must-do for 2014. Who doesn't like to end up in Portland after two 160km days?

The VCC especially congratulates Tak Takeda for being first to the top of the bridge entering Portland. Also congrats to VCC riders Tom, Ross, Eric, Troy and our Beer Baron friends.

Tak 10pts
Others 5pts.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Seven Riders complete 1000km June!


Seven riders accomplished the 1000km June!

Viviane Dubois-Cote, Robert Kehoe, Tron Antonius Christopher MacDonald all put in large efforts on the final weekend to catch podium finishers Eric Cessford, Brian Adams and Nathan Barrett who had already completed.

Troy Barrie rode 124km on the coquihalla on his way to a golf trip, Chris MacDonald capped the month impressively with 370km on the final weekend including a trip up and down Mt. Baker. Viviane rode out to Harrison and Cultus Lake and did some laps of her campsite as Rob Kehoe took a route out to Horseshoe Bay.

With Nathan Barrett finishing on June 17, the final two spots on the podium were contested between Eric Cessford and Brian Adams. Both riders completed the 1000km June on the June 27, with Cessford leading out Adams to the line solely because he left work one hour before Brian Adams did. It was a finish to remember!

Doug Egan was the next rider at 714km.
  1. Nathan Barrett 25pts
  2. Eric Cessford 23 pts
  3. Brian Adams 23pts 
    Viviane DC, Troy Barrie, Rob Kehoe, Chris MacDonald, Tom Skinner(May) 20pts.Doug Egan 15pts. Everyone else who tried. 10pts.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Francois Clark posts epic ride in India!

VCC member Francois Clark completed an epic ride this June on a hefty bike - in what appears to be the none other than the Himilayas; major props to what must have been a heroic effort. I didn't even know oxygen existed, or that hammers were allowed to be dropped at 5335m. Francois has shattered our entire belief system. Here is his google map trip (notice the switchbacks...) And an excerpt from his blog is below...

"So I am a fairly new VCC competitor, and a bit bummed to miss the 1000km June challenge.  Traveling in India at the moment, I decided to create my own challenge, that perhaps is only half the distance required to win this section of the VCC, but I am sure, nobody cycled up more than I did on my 480km bike trip between Manali and Leh in India. 

It was hard. Very hard. Probably the most hard bike ride I have ever done. The most adventurous as well. The most beautiful. And the most Epic! What else can someone ask when you like riding a bike.

I am also hoping to get some points considering the bike I was riding (Akita Honey Hunter with fake shimano gear), 12kg of luggage to carry up those hills and some of the shittiest (and sometimes best roads in the world). Solo.

I rode the five passes along the way, from the 50km climb of Rothang La (3980m) to Baralacha (4900m) , Nakee La (4970m) , Lachung La(5035m) and finally Tanglang La at 5335m. Not only did the scenery change daily, the weather went from sunny and hot to cold, windy and snowy on top of the passes. But the most exhilarating moment came when I reached the top of Tanglang La (pass) at 5328 meter above sea level, and let a scream of joy out of my mouth. From there, it was downhill for the last 100km of the 480km bike ride.

I will let the VCC officials determine the ranking I get for this ride, hoping that they will be generous. And I will be ready to bike the Stanley park ride in August, boosted with red cells after spending two months at 3500m. Don’t worry, I will not imitate a certain Lance in saving my blood for that race ,it will still be within me..."

Congrats Francois! The real test will be around Stanley Park when you get back! Did you know that is a painful 80m above sea level?

But yes, I think we'll have to credit you for completing the 1000km June after this onslaught you put on yourself!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Halfway Standings for the June 1000km; Barrett closes in on Goal

Nathan Barret has clearly taken the reigns of being the early 2013 favourite for the VCC title by impressively crushing all other participants in the June 1000km. Strong performances dragging Troy Barrie out to Lions Bay, and losing his virginity by completing his first Triple Crown as a Top-Secret training regime have highlighted his impressive start to the month.

The June 1000km is more than half-way thru! We have four athletes currently ahead of the pace car, noteably Viviane Dubois-Cote and Race Director Eric Cessford are adding credibility to the rest of the bunch. Doug Egan, Troy Barrie and Greg Egan are all within 28km within the 'Vernon' category.
 Standings at the Half-way point:
Nathan Barrett 925km (congrats on joining the Triple Crown club!)
Viviane Dubois-Côté ~608km (counting today's second half of the Ride to C. Cancer!)
Eric Cessford 525km (This guy is unreal)
Brian Adams 510km (colleague from work, not the singer...)
PACE CAR 500km
Christopher MacDonald 472km
Tom Skinner 447km
Tron Barrie 401km
Doug Egan 398km (our role model and hero)
Greg Egan 373km
Natasha Moore 372km (strava)
Sandro Ricci 317km
Brandon Russell 295km
Will Harrington 269km
Julien Lamoureux 184km
Brian Poole 160km
Aileen Tien 111km (up from 14km in May!)
Jen LeMercier 110km (up from 0 in May)
Jon Haley 84km
Ross Richardsen
57km (I think this guys been doing some top-secret training outside of his endo mondo stats....)

Keep up the good work!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

2013 VCC schedule starts with the June 1000km

In rough form......

First Event:  June 1000km
The VCC 2013 season has kicked off in full participatory method. The June 1000km has kicked off as an achievement based goal to cycle 1000km in the month of June. This involves weekend warrior rides, commutes to work and even rides home from the bar.

Please add 'Troy Barrie VCC' to endomondo and sign up on the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/333582003436459/

Second Event: Triple Crown
Should we do this July 6? Yes, I think we should. Will be awesome training for those doing the Seattle to Portland.

Third Event: Seattle to Portland
Ok, it might be sold out. There is still a way to join on June 15 if you want in. I heard 10,000 people have signed up for this VCC event. Our largest participation yet.

August Event: Stanley Park Race
The legendary 4-lap burn around Stanley. We won't ride hard until the hill, I wouldn't be the one that leads us all out into it...

September Event: High Pass Challenge
Troy Barrie has officially registered for the HPC on Sept 8. Consider yourself in as well for this epic ride. Note the stated difficulty, but don't heed it anymore than I did.

Later Event: Gunner Shaw
I really think we should dress up like Santa and 8 reindeer with some elves this year. Yes? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Barrie wins 2012 VCC in classic style

On a weekend more suited to a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fire, the elite riders of the VCC, in the 2012 VCC finals, once again showed the heart and class which has captivated legions of fans. December 1st and 2nd are rarely fair-weather days in Vancouver, but this didn't deter the VCC's dedicated athletes from bringing out their best in a weekend double-header: the Gunner Shaw Memorial cross-country race at Jericho Beach Park, and the fabled Stanley Park Road Race.

Despite a clearing in the morning, at start time for the Gunner Shaw's 10k course of brutality the late fall weather had hit with full force. Jerry Ziak, the VCC's cross-country specialist, ran away from the field early on, leaving so-called "runner" ED struggling to keep him in sight. ED was later heard whining about the race being "too short" and "too flat"; speculation is that he forgot to loose his sandbags on the final hill. Nate Barrett, recovering from injury, came out and put in a manful performance, finishing 3rd in the VCC's standings on the day despite at one point mistaking the race for a triathlon and attempting to swim. Other notable performances came from Gilles de Belgique, finishing 3rd in the men's 25-29 division; from Troy Barrie, running strong to the finish line while carrying an extra 5 pounds of water in his stylish get-up; and Tak Takeda, holding on to his yellow jersey across the finish line despite thinking at the start that it was only a 5k race, and pacing himself accordingly.

All these legends of the fall (except, mysteriously, Mr. Ziak) were ready at the start line for Sunday's Stanley Park Road Race - 3.5 laps of the park, with 4 times up the grueling Hill. Despite an early clearing in the weather, the rain, true to form, came back. Nick rode off to a hard start, stringing out the peloton, but on the Hill he was pulled in by ED and Barrie, and the pack came back together. For two more laps Nick, ED, Barrie, Gilles de Belgique, and Tom rode in a tight peloton. The peloton broke when Barrie and Gilles de Belgique stopped to wait on ED with a "mechanical" - widely considered to be an excuse for not having to take on, and perhaps lose to, Nick on the final climb. These riders then timetrialed together with Tom to the base of the hill, with every rider throwing in big attacks in classic, exciting style. Barrie, launching an early attack to the finish at the base of the hill, was pulled in and passed by a charging ED, but cannily Barrie stayed on ED's wheel through the bend. Just like a Mark Cavendish to ED's Mark Renshaw, Barrie pulled out at the last minute before the line and charged away ahead of a helpless ED, to claim back the yellow jersey he has so desperately coveted. ED was heard uttering cries of "No! No! Nooooo!" as Barrie once again beat him to the line, shutting him out of the yellow jersey for his fifth VCC season. Gilles de Belgique and Tom finished strong on the heels of these seasoned VCC veterans, showing yet again the promise of the upcoming young riders.

In a display of incredible stamina, and the "one for all, all for one" spirit so characteristic of the VCC, all riders later adjourned to upscale local fine foods establishment "Frenchie's" to each do battle with a heaping pile of poutine. In the authoritative words of race director Eric Cessford: "In this final stage of the 2012 VCC, everyone emerged the victor. Except the poutine."

The VCC looks forward to welcoming you back next year!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Race Start Sunday changed to 10am!

Quick note to everyone planning on coming out tomorrow. We've moved the race start to 10am! As Tom enlightened me, it will be unlikely that many tourists will be out in Stanley Park on a rainy December morning. Meet at the same place, here for race start. Bring warm clothes - and we'll all head to Frenchie's after for some poutine!
As it'll be raining, we'll take the hill hard and go easy as a group through the rest of the hills and turns. We'll try. It might split wide open on the final lap of course. Just be careful out there eh, those skinny tires can't hold too much!
Congrats to Jerry Ziak, ED McCarthy and Nathan Barrett who were 1,2,3 at the Gunner Shaw today! Tak Takeda held onto his Yellow Jersey with a strong finish and is lucky enough to be wearing the overly-large jersey tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2012

VCC prepares for double event showdown to end the 2012 season

This weekend will see the final two events of the VCC 2012 season.  Athletes will kick off the festivities by running the 29th annual Gunner Shaw X-Country race on Saturday, December 1st at 10:30 am.  Meet at the scenic Jericho Sailing Centre at 9:30am to register.  Soup will be served post-race.  This is Vancouver's favourite event, a one of a kind, 9.5km XC race across mudpits, sand, field and trail. 

Sunday, Dec 2 will see the Stanley Park Road Ride kick off at 8:30am.  It's early, but we'll go for brunch at Frenchie's after!  Meet here for race start.  The race will have two cohorts - one that starts with Race Director Eric Cessford leading out the festivities with Ivan Basso, the rest of team Liquigas and all others not into hardcore racing at 8:30.  The second cohort at 8:34 is a hammerfest, show no mercy free for all; back by unpopular demand.  The race will see 3.5 laps of Stanley Park, culminating at the Lion-statue as the Stanley Park route enters the small bridge that crosses the Lions Gate Bridge.

Optional Pre-Weekend Scouting Report:
Tak Takeda, the current Yellow Jersey holder, will be going into the Gunner Shaw defending his first ever leader's jersey.  As Gunner Shaw is a points race based on one's finishing position, Tak finds himself directly competing for valuable middle of the pack points with Troy Barrie, Louise Oram, Chris MacDonald and the recently-seen-training Thomas '7min Beer Mile' Skinner.  These athletes, surfing the top of the Belle Curve are fighting for bigtime swing points as every position counts.  Trying to win via elite destiny, the gazelles of the VCC: the likes of Nathan Barrett, Thomas Nipen, Gilles and Nick Sunderland will try to gain as many points as possible and take an insurmountable lead from Gunner Shaw into the cycling race.  Indeed, we are pitting the fleet footed runners against the heavy-thighed crushers on the following day's bike ride.

While the reporters focus on the winners, the fans will focus on the characters.  Much interest is in Eric Cessford's first-ever-race-on-a-real-bike and the question remains: will his head-start at Stanley Park prove to be uncatchable?  The VCC is in the business of promoting the underdog and sending this fan-favourite out in front is smart money.  As well, we'd be amiss if we forgot to mention the three time VCC champ, the great Gregor Egan.  Much fear in the cycling world has trembled over his claims of 'best cycling shape ever' as he pushes strength and tan lines to new limits.  According to Endo Mondo, Egan has also been out on the running trail lately. Will this work on his form help him pace out a late attack?  Who will board that train once it gets going?  Will Eric Fung, Ross Richardsen, Chris Chong Ping or Julie Bertrand be game enough to run along?  Without off-the-couch running heroics Egan's inevitable cycling win in Stanley Park will only serve to fuel his legend but capture no silverware.  Will Elliot Holtham show up to win it all?  Does Davey Mitchell still exist?  Can Zach Garland fly back from Newfoundland to repeat his title? 

All these questions, questions that keep us up at night, will be answered this weekend.  The trails of Gunner Shaw are cold and daunting but the post-race soup of victory will have a taste of freedom beyond the confines of the box it came from.  The Stanley Park hill is a blunt weapon of exposure, take no negatatives into the dark room ahead,  only a vision of victory will find the power in one's legs. In the end, the one who drops the hammer last will capture the greatest of masterpieces on the road ahead.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

East beats West in annual Grey Cup Football Game

16 brave souls showed up in the rain for an epic showdown that saw the east triumphing over the west and winning the pick-up Grey Cup football game.  The dividing line was Hope, BC and eastern Canada (and one Australian) proved to have the best endurance, outskilled on paper the east hung in with some clutch QB'ing from Brennan Lowrie.  First downs were achieved through Anthony and Ben Percy solidly moving the sticks.  Jon Haley proved tricky on the runs and the famed Western Defence of Greg Davis, Wreck Cessford and Brian Poole couldn't be in enough places at one time.  A big hurl to Greg Egan put the icing on the cake.  One bright spot in the Western Line-up was the elusive Tak Takeda, Tak had 12 catches for 346 yards and 4TDs to lead his team and claim MVP honours in the 2012 Grey Cup pick-up showdown.

A co-sponsored VCC event last Saturday saw Nathan Barrett come second in the Tom Skinner organized Phantom race.  This race saw a number of VCC athletes compete including Louise Oram (3rd), Nick Sunderland, Gilles and Kathryn.

Next weekend sees the last two VCC events on the 2012 calendar:  Dec 1 is the Gunner Shaw X-Country race and Dec 2 is the Stanley Park road ride.
Race Director Eric Cessford presents Tak Takeda with the Yellow Jersey as Race Leader.  Jon Haley holds the shoe the didn't fit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New York City training ride renews VCC vigour

Select athletes from the Vancouver Cycle Series traveled to New York in an effort to petition for the unveiling of a VCC 2012 season.  Nathan Barrett, Tom Skinner and Troy Barrie were riding in support of the cause to finalize race plans for 2012.  The route was a 25km publicity circuit through areas such as Williamsburg, Dumbo, the Brooklyn Bridge and Red Hook among the hardest hit from Hurricane Sandy. The VCC trio did their best for the local community by supporting the local economy through purchases of hot chocolates, craft beer and expensive hostel stays.  Nathan Barret donated a pair of sweat pants and Tom Skinner took numerous photographs to document the recovery.

While accepting these ambassadors NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg defiantly stated that the VCC season would not be cancelled: "The VCC is too storied a campaign for any act of will to stop it's momentuous force. I support the work of the race organizers, the athletes who have trained, and the people of Vancouver. The show must go on."  In one last acceptance speech, while returning from the Brooklyn Bowl concert venue Bloomberg went on to state that: "No busy schedules, rainy day or low fitness level should ever amount to disempower Vancouver of its favourite race series."

With that, we announce the unveiling of the VCC 2012 season.

  1. Nov 17, 9:30am, Carnavon Park: Grey Cup Football Annual game: 10 pts for Game MVP, 5 pts for all members of the winning team. 2pts for losing team.
  2. Dec 1: Gunner Shaw Cross-country Running Race: 9.5km around Jericho Beach. 10 pts for first place decreasing by 1 thereafter.
  3. Dec 2: Stanley Park Road Ride: 20 points for 1st Place, descreasing by 2 thereafter.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

VCC salutes hidden Cycling Prowess!

The VCC salutes Martyn Ashton for coyly creating the video below.  He makes it appear that he wants us to focus on his flashy tricks.  But true 'performance-minded' athletes such as us here at the VCC are purely focusing on his cycling prowess.  Watch Martyn dance on his pedals at 1:27, show off his full power in the Wheel of Death at 2:39.  He even goes on in fine time-trial form at 4:25 - clearly demonstrating that he is a time-trialer to be reckoned with.  Congrats Martyn.  You've done the VCC proud.  Hiding your strengths until the final hill, when everyone thinks you're just out there for a double-back flip out on a golf course, that's when you'll let Performance reign and pull out the big gear.  We'll see you in Stanley Park.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Zach Garland Hammers to 2011 VCC Season Title at the Duathlon

The annual 'Troy's Duathlon' concluded a fabulous VCC season in epic form - costume clad racers finished off a great year on Halloween weekend with a Cycle-Orienteer-Cycle race that tested both the legs and the minds of Vancouver's top cyclists.

The stage victor was Thomas Nipen, back in 8th place after the first cycling stage he powered his way to a large lead through the Orienteering component and never looked back on the second cycling leg to win his first ever VCC stage race. Give him a map and the Norwegian orienteering hero simply cannot be beat.

For the title of 2011 VCC champion, all eyes were on Zach Garland as he secured enough overall points to wrap up his first VCC championship! Overall an incredible performance this year as the cheery Newfy 'Temple of Doom'd' himself into the hearts of all excitement-hungry Vancouver cycling fans.

All Zach required was a strong finish and although he was tested on the orienteering course he was able to deliver under the Halloween guise of a newfoundland seal clubber. His big chain rings powered him home for a 4th place finish with enough points to wrap up the 2011 VCC season title. All this while wearing bloody jeans,suspenders-on-plaid and carrying a modified, sawed-off golf club forming the traditional seal-clubbing hakapik.

Also contending for the title, a French Maid that looked disastrously similar to a certain Tom Skinner narrowly beat out the Greek combo of Plato and Aristotle of Adam Quiring and Jon Haley. Not only did their robes keep getting stuck in their gears but they were a little underdressed for the conditions and quickly discovered that Togas were better for philosophy and keg parties than early morning cycle races. Batman (Andrew Singh) ever-dangerous was an early favourite although he was Riddle'd by the orienteering course and finished beside a Pineapple (Julie Bertrand) running her second race of the day and clearly there solely for the moral support for second-place finisher Troy the cycling-super hero. Troy's costume included a cape, mask, mullet-wig and a two-foot long paper-mache teardrop helmet that in no way was able to help his aerodynamics. Brian Poole and Louise Oram also put in solid solo bids for victory but were hampered ultimately by a lack of costume inspiration.

Race Director Eric Cessford was present - although no one recognized him in his Russian Peasant woman costume that apparently was actually supposed to be Death. We were not the wiser although a little disapointed there was no post-race Borscht. In any case, his hallowed words did echo his morbid support for the successful VCC season that was. "On to 2012 race fans! More secret training, more sandbagging, more pain on the hills." Spring road trips on the radar include the Sunshine Coast, Pemberton-Lilloet-Hope as well as anything involving a circle tour of Gulf Islands. Stay in touch, stay in spandex.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Event of the Season this Sunday - The Duathlon

The final event of the season is to take place this Sunday at 1PM. We've saved the best for last. A Halloween-costumed themed 'Bike-Run-Bike' Duathlon that has always been our largest draw!

Meet at Blanca and 16th Ave. For a 1PM start! Start, transition zone and Finish will all be at this location. So you can bring your running shoes and leave them here to change into.

Some type of a costume is mandatory. Choose wisely. We advise that aerodynamics be considered! Mine. Is. Finished. (and looks pretty sharp!)

New for this year! Maps will be provided for the run portion and the run course will actually be a full-on Sprint course created by National O Athletes!! This course will be a mix of urban and of course the beautiful trails of Pacific Spirit Park.

The format for the Duathlon this year will be Bike-Run-Bike. The Bike loop will be the same for both bike portions! We will do the first bike leg together (it winds around beautiful Pac Spirit park) so that everyone knows where to go and then the second will be the important one to the finish! The bike to run transition zone is to be at Blanca and 16th and the run course this year is the Orienteering event that will see 3km of 'straight-line' distance. Your map-reading and intuitive sense of direction will be your greatest ally! The final Bike section will be around 10km as a sprint to the finish.

Because we expect a large turn-out for this event there will be hefty VCC points on the line. Expect the 2011 VCC champion to need to place near the top of the leaderboard in this event to claim the title. Thus, we are all still wickedly in the hunt for the Yellow Jersey. The chance to become champion in Vancouver's greatest cycling event is still yours to be had!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'Blue Sky' Triple Crown Decided by Sprint Finish!

A beautiful day on the roads began with blue skies, signifying the energy of the unknown. The race was up for grabs, with only the toughest able to take home the prize: A place in history as a finisher in the VCC's prestigious enduro event.

In the end, a clear winner, Zach Garland lived up to the intense pre-race pressure. An increase in intensity at Cypress's steepest section just beyond the first lookout and the day's winner was solo to the finish line. "This race confirms that my Gran Fondo win was no fluke. My sponsors stuck with me all year and it was good to get this one near the end of the season!" Garland said in a post-race statement.

But within sight of the winner, a new first for the VCC took place. For the first time ever in a Triple Crown a 'sprint-finish' was actually contested at the end providing a dramatic conclusion to the podium.

Seymour: Moderation was the key word for the first climb. In respect of the day's difficulty there was a seemingly cautious approach to the toughest climb of the day with Zack Garland and ChrisMacDonald separating themselves from the peleton only at the very end. Drama occurred as Tim Philpott, the day's Yellow Jersey 'wearer' had the yellow jersey fall out of his back pocket and get caught in his rear sprocket adding a few character stains to an already storied jersey.

Grouse: Early lead-outs destroyed the peleton on Grouse and a number of dynamic duos blew apart any semblance of a group ride. Garland led MacDonald up the hill, with Philpott putting the pressure on Barrie 50m back. Adam Quiring burst away from the peleton to bridge the summit with Ben Percy and Andrew Shing close on his heels.

Cypress: Troy Barrie, participating in his fifth VCC Triple Crown race set an extreme early lead-out pace. "I have so much respect for these mountains. I just wanted to keep these other guys honest. I was gonna blow up for sure, but ya gotta bleed for the Triple Crown!" The early lead-out pace struck pain in the peleton and casualties were quick. Quiring and Shing became unhinged from the train and moments later Philpott succumbed to the mountain and the pace. Then, just as Barrie was looking for more - instantly it was over - Garland was gone and the excitement came down to a race for second place between Barrie and MacDonald.

Thousands of fans crowding the finish line were not disappointed, in that lead-out for second place MacDonald was dropped twice by a surging Barrie, each time working his way back up to the back wheel! With the finish line in sight, a decisive maneuver, a burst of speed timed to perfection and MacDonald had secured second place.

Special congrats to Andrew Shing for toughing it out and completing his first attempt. He claims it was the toughest thing he's ever done. And he's a marathoner.... In any case, we saw him get some serious shakes at Grouse, so completing Cypress post-bonk is a serious feat. Adam Quiring used his fine Ironman form to complete his second attempt at the Trip with a 5th place finish. Tim Philpott wore the Yellow Jersey proudly, took the lead in the peleton often and put in a pretty solid ride for 4th.

A link to the elevation profile, distance, etc.. 130km (my battery died at 106km), 2263m total climbing. http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/55459168
Left to Right: Barrie (wearing garbage bag), Champ Garland, Previous Yellow Jersey Philpott, MacDonald, Quiring and Shing warming up at the lookout after completing the ride.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ElitePoint Issue 1: Adam Quiring

Every week, the ElitePoint Mag highlights one VCC Rider to describe their profile, their training and their determination to conquer and succeed. Issue #1 highlights Adam Quiring:

We missed the timely announcement. But it happened folks! The VCC took a giant step forward this summer when Adam Quiring completed the Penticton Ironman! This dream - initially sparked thru a visit to the 2010 Ironman as a spectator and a training ride on the bike course - became a reality at the end of August in a time of 12:37:57.

Albeit, true that he does admit that a main motivator to registering for the Ironman would ensure that he actually had to get into shape, Adam captured the essence of the 'off-the-couch' athlete coming out of retirement with a solid effort for the goal. "My entire plan was to only go training when I felt like it. It was a solid dedication but I kept all that training as a positive!"

This accomplishment gives hope to us all. If you distinguish yourself as either a 'used-to-be serious' or as one of the 'probably-could've-but-never-dids', then there is hope. AQ may have just laid out the path.

Today, Adam has the specific honour of being ElitePoint's celebratory first-issue as he has brought the most amount of people out to VCC events this season. Keith Mewis, Paul Carter have made strong debuts and the VCC has released an Orange-Alert warning for the upcoming appearance of Martin "10-speed" Bitter at the Triple Crown! Martin proudly leaves the Granny gears at home, rides his bike in running shoes without clips - and crushes all opponents as he goes. Those manly gears are about to get spun!

Most importantly, Adam's successful invitation towards the entire Queen's University Women's Cycling Team has made the VCC one of the best ways for female cyclists to comfortably get involved in the cycling circuit. We here at the VCC are quite grateful for the media and promotions!

Adam, as the initial cover story athlete, your ElitePoint ballpoint pen is in the mail. And fans, we should have the T-shirts available for sale soon...

Adam now sets his sights on his first completion of the Triple Crown. With Ironman training under his belt he may now have what it takes to put in a special attack on Cypress and make that day an October 23rd to remember!