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  13pts
      2. Will Harrington 11pts
      3. Troy Barrie 11pts
      4. Eric Cessford 6pts
      5. Greg Egan 5pts
      6. Peter Stevenson 4pts
      7. Nathan Barrett 3pts
      8. Christian Beaudrie 3pts
      9. Zack Garland 3pts
      10. Eric Fung 2pts
      11. Pam Yan 2pts
      12. Takuma Takeda 1pt
      13. Doug Egan 1pt
      14. Daisy Yee 1pt
      15. Aileen Tien 1pt
      16. 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. Zack Garland  18:53   15pts
      4. Takuma Takeda 19:00 13pts
      5. Eric Fung 19:19 12pts
      6. Julien Lamoureux  20:01 10pts
      7. Tom Skinner 20:28 9pts
      8. Nathan Barrett 20:29 8pts
      9. Greg Egan 20:30 7pts
      10. Troy Barrie 20:34 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
  10. Dec 3: Gunner Shaw X-Country

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:

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.
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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ITT Results!

Race organisers are a little flushed at the moment, but the following are the results of a great race out at UBC Tuesday night.

A spirited affair with a number of very close finishes! Congrats to Zach on his first VCC stage win (on his third visit). Zach also managed to set a new course record by 6 seconds over the previous 2008 record set by Barry Claman. Katherine Wilson with the fastest woman's time on her first time out!

Results (10.2km with the NW Marine Hill):
  1. Zach Garland 14:59 30pts
  2. Chris MacDonald 15:50 27pts
  3. Dave 'Atom Smasher' 16:10 25pts
  4. Tim Philpott 16:18 23pts
  5. Colin Campbell 16:21 22pts
  6. Elliot Holtham 16:22 20pts
  7. Keegan 17:01 19pts
  8. Keith Mewis 17:03 18pts
  9. Paul Carter 17:05 17pts
  10. Troy Barrie 17:41 16pts
  11. Eric Fung 18:05
  12. Adam Quiring 18:34
  13. Tak Takeda 18:40 (1:19 faster to 2008 result!)
  14. Rob Kehoe 18:50
  15. Katherine Wilson 19:03 11pts
  16. Paul Canin 19:19 10pts
  17. Megan Wolfe 19:40 9pts
  18. Ben Percy 19:51 8pts
  19. Heidi Manicke 19:52 7pts
  20. Jon Haley 19:54 6pts
  21. Kayla McIntyre 19:56 5pts
  22. Aggie 20:37 4pts
  23. Julie Bertrand 21:00 3pts
  24. Aileen Tien 21:45 2pts
  25. Nicole Burnham 21:50 1pt
  26. Ben Sammy 22:03
  27. Jesse Riesen 22:17

There was also a TTT. But I messed up the start times, and then the finish co-incided with a traffic jam, a rainstorm and darkness. But I think we still had a good time on that one...

For those interested: This same course distance was run in 2008. The year of the infamous Barrie/Barrett Cross-Canada ride and the Holtham/Mitchell/Egan commute everyday to work summer... Abbreviated results below:

1. Claman 15:05
2. Elliot Holtham 15:31

5. Troy Barrie 16:10

6. Davey Mitchell 16:35

9. Greg Egan 17:07

10. Curtis Mullen 17:12

12. ED 17:21

15. Eric Fung 17:45

21. Tak Takeda 19:59 *The only rider to have improved since 2008!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Next Race and Beach Campfire a Go for Tuesday Sept 27

Votes are in! The Vancouver Cycle Series brass has decided to go ahead with a scheduled date for the next race, Tuesday September 27.

More importantly, we guarantee that you'll have fun. We also guarantee that it will not Rain. No but seriously, it'll rain in the morning, but it totally won't in the evening. When we all wake up, we gotta know this and trust it, pack our bags, go to work, expect to race. It'll all work out. We promise.

Oh, did we mention the epic-'ness' of the NW Marine Drive hill? It's an experience you don't want to miss. Race organizers expected that everyone would be coming from downtown area and would have to ride up it regardless. So, we just put it in the race. People go to Ironman's for a reason?

The first race of the day will be the Individual Time Trial starting here, at Sasamat St along NW Marine Drive. Initial racers will leave at 5:45 and the last group of riders will leave by 6:15. Show up as early as possible within that range and we'll fit you into the schedule with 1 minute gaps.

If you can't make the ITT, feel free to join us at 6:50 here for the second race.

When all racers have completed the ITT. Times will be sorted and racers will be grouped with their closest competitors in the Team Time Trial. Using some math, slower teams will be sent out first with the intention that all teams will arrive at the finish line at the exact same time. First one across the line will be the winner. Thus, a race truly designed for victory to the rider who puts in the most effort.

After the race, weather depending but remember that conditions will improve all day, a beach fire will be set-up at Towers beach, trailhead here. Guitars, hot-dogs, roasted marshmellows. If you're driving, it's probably not a bad idea to park at the Rose Garden Parkade.

ITT course will be along Jericho beach, up NW Marine Drive and down along Marine to Kullahun Drive. 10.1km.

TTT course will be a loop and a bit around Pacific Spirit Park (NW Marine, 16th Ave, Camosun). 12.7km.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stanley Park Crit Proves Fierce

A total of 31 riders took on the fearsome Prospect Point climb over multiple laps creating an exciting start to the season!

Rob Warren rode away to a spectacular solo victory with a breakaway on lap 2at Stage 1 of the VCC's 2011 season. Warren's ferocious pace established an early pain train that stretched a long line of riders as they weaved along Stanley Park Drive. The pace was set high early and the first hill caused a major split in the peleton as a group of four riders escaped. Past VCC champ Elliot Holtham held on to an incredible pace set by Tim Philpott, Rob Warren and an unidentified rider.

Yes. We had no idea who he was.

A furious chase group was set up with Mike, Troy Barrie and a monster-effort from Keith Mewis flicking elbows and taking turns to bridge the gap. The chase group was eventually successful when a slowing of the pace allowed the breakaway group to get reeled in (we still don't know who that guy was!). Then, at the Harry Jerome statue disaster struck. A red pick-up caused a major disturbance conveniently timed by an explosion at the front and the peleton was blown to bits once again this time with Mewis and Mike cut-off, Rob Warren became the benefactor as he outpaced all rivals and was never seen again. Unlike the 'come-back king' of the statue, Mewis and Mike were unable to bridge the distance back to the leaders after this misfortune.

The chase group went back to work. This time long-time rivals Holtham and Barrie were once again ironically forced to work together to give chase and protect their own positions. Rookie Tim Philpott was also with the group and displayed an impressive amount of gumption taking major turns with this pack. Mysteriously, Chase 1 was caught by Chase 2 somewhere before the second hill climb. Sebastian and Haywood (judging by the name on his bike shorts) came completely out of the blue to rejoin the pack. Keegan was also able to rejoin with the chase group at this stage and made an attempt to attack and go clear amidst the confusion. But the pack, fooled earlier by Warren's antics, was wiser and responded to this EV attack in unison. Haywood attacked! But Barrie, fresh after riding behind Philpott for a lap was able to bring Haywood back.

The finishing sprint between the chase group, led into the final climb by Tim Philpott, was a sprint between Sebastian and Elliot Holtham for final spots on the podium.

In the Fun Race, Takuma Takeda proved the Vegas odds on him to win were true. Caught in No Man's land between the elites and the fun races Tak was left to cruise to victory ahead of a trio of XX's - Megan Wolfe, Kayla MacIntyre and Julie Bertrand rounded out the next spots.

Results - Pain Race
Rob Warren 20pts
Elliot Holtham 17
Sebastien 15
Tim Philpott 13
Troy Barrie 12
Keegan 10
Mike 9
Keith Mewis 8
Heidi Manicke 7
Vincent LaVallee 6
Nate Barrett 5
Adam Quiring 4
Thomas Nipen-Barrie 3
ED McCarthy In-attendance 2
John Markez In-attendance 2
'Haywood' DNF 1
Unidentified Man DNF 1
Red Backpack Guy DNF 1
Mike and Vincent's friend DNF 1

Results - Less-Pain Race
Tak Takeda 13
Megan Wolfe 11
Kayla MacIntyre 9
Julie Bertrand 7
Ben Percy 6
Viviane Dubois-Cote 4
Nicole Burnham 3
Ryan Kilpatrick 2
Molly Brewis 1
Aileen Tien Assistant Race Director 3
Cam Egan 0

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer is Gone. Good Riddance. Tonight's event is rain or shine.

I'm highly expecting sunshine tho...

Turn-out seems unusually high. We'll see y'all out tonight!

Stanley Park Race this Thursday!

Another season of racing is upon us!

The Vancouver Cycle Series proudly presents our 2011 Fall racing schedule. We would like to invite you all to our opening event which should feature a race that is suited for riders that have been doing this for awhile as well as riders just getting into it.

First Race: Thursday. Sept 15th - Stanley Park. Please meet here, at 6:20PM, at the corner of Stanley Park Drive and N Lagoon Dr. Race to start at 6:30.

See more of the schedule here:

There will be two races run concurrently! A 3.5 lap course for the elites (best suited for Cat 3,4) and a 2.5 lap course for beginners, commuters and people generally interested in cycling but that may not have raced too much. Just like looking good in spandex? This event is just for you! We do like to think of us being the bridge into racing for many riders in Vancouver that are curious about what it's all about.

We'll start the race riding out together until we get to the first hill where we'll use the 'hammer-drop' technique to split into the two groups. There are many climax references that could describe the first 10 seconds of the Prospect Point Hill climb - but I always like to leave the full description to one's imagination. Pain Ride and Fun Ride are decent descriptions of our two categories....

These races are just for kicks. Riding in groups and testing each other out a little bit in that fun type of way. No one here takes themselves too seriously - and intimidating is probably the furthest thing one should expect. Full Road Safety rules apply.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Former Vancouver Cycle Series Champion wins Vancouver Triathlon!

Only three years after winning his 2nd Vancouver Cycle Series title in 2008, Elliot Holtham is back on top of the podium - this time for winning the 2011 Vancouver Triathlon.

After a sluggish start in the water, Holtham shattered the bike course and cruised through the 10km run on route to victory. "This is one of the biggest," remarked a clearly emotional Holtham when asked during the post-race press conference where this win ranks in his career. "It's probably even bigger than my first VCC title, but you know, I'll never forget the first time I took down (Troy) Barrie. After being disqualified in 2005, and dropped by Barrie on the slopes of Cypress in 2006, I knew I needed to dedicate my life to training harder and well... here I am today."

Troy Barrie, VCC Co-founder and former champion, has been a long time nemesis of Holtham. While their quarrels (like the questionable DQ) have made headlines for a while, Barrie had nothing but praise for his former rival after the race. "This is a huge day for the Vancouver Cycle Series and I couldn't be prouder," commented Barrie. "This win will bring some publicity to the VCC and we will embrace it."

The victory caps 4 years of full-time training for Holtham since graduating from UBC in 2007. Rumors were swirling that Holtham was working on a PhD, but those were quickly put to rest when nothing materialized.

With only two days remaining until the start of the 2011 VCC, many questions remain unanswered. Will Holtham make his triumphant return? Will former champions Barrie or Egan return to past form? Will a newcomer steal the thunder? Find out Thursday at Stanley Park.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 VCC Season Unveiled

The 2011 VCC Season has been unveiled in a historic press Conference early this morning held at the Fraser Arms Hotel. Race Director Eric Cessford and Co-founder Greg Egan were on hand to make the grand announcement complete with race descriptions and dates.

Rumours were swirling about the whereabouts of star rider Troy Barrie who was unable to be contacted by the press. At press time it is unknown if the VCC Biological Passport team was able to locate him for his weekly test. "This is so like Troy Barrie," complained rider Eric Fung. "He's probably had at least a two week head start on all of us in this year's training! Now he misses this press conference? I bet he's doing repeats on Cypress!"

Greg Egan was able to reel in the media to ensure that the focus stayed on the VCC. This year there will be five races before the final. Each ride will give out a series of points based on finish. The best three out of five races will count towards a riders total points before the final race. And points in the final race will be increased to ensure that the final race will determine the champion.

The VCC will consist of the following races:

Sept 15 - Stanley Park Crit: There will be two races within this stage. An elite group will run 3.5 laps to a mountain finish atop Prospect Point. A second group will start at the same time but will only be required to race 2.5 laps. Both races will award the same amount of overall points - thus, the VCC will maintain it's efforts to be applicable to all racers. We actually are expecting a large number of racers to come out for both races. Elite riders and beginners alike will find a way to enjoy this ride!

Sept 27 - ITT and TTT (stages 2 and 3): A very exciting day of racing will begin with the hotly contested NW Marine Drive ITT. Starting from the Beach to Kullahun Drive. This short little blast has seen average speeds of 45kph after the hill climb (G.Egan 2008). Immediately after this race, your ITT times will be scaled up to a longer course. You will be put into a team of three with your closest finishers (1,2,3 then 4,5,6 then 7,8,9 etc...). This team of three will constitute your team in the TTT. However, your team's start time will be delayed in a scaled proportion to your average ITT time. This is an attempt to even out all racers. In this pursuit race it will be the first person across the line wins. So all riders will have an equal chance of winning!

Oct 15 - The Triple Crown: This is the pinnacle event of the VCC. Some may say the climax of our event and an apex on the Vancouver cycling season. This summit stage will feature hill climbs to the top of Seymour, the bottom of the gondola in Grouse and the summit of Cypress. It is very likely that many riders will be interested in doing the Triple Crown for their first time. Therefore, the pace of the ride will be geared to keep everyone together over the first two mountains and 'the race' will not start until the bottom of Cypress. Book off the entire day for this mountainous achievement.

Oct 29 - Troy's Duathlon: The annual Halloween costume ride is back. Traditionally, this race is run as a Bike-Run-Bike however this year we are going to embrace the fact that somebody inevitably will get lost on this course and maps will be provided. It could even turn out to be a Bike-Orienteer-Bike celebrating Nate and Troy's trip to the Yukon.

Nov 5 - The Final - Greg's Gruel: Greg's Gruel will be a points race with points atop 3 hills and the finish. The course is the traditional course beginning at UBC, down SW Marine, up Camosun, up 8th Ave Alma to Blanca, back down 4th, up NW Marine and then to UBC for a finish. Will Greg have something to celebrate on his birthday? Will he be in town on his birthday? Nobody knows!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tour de Coldstream Revived Again

After many years away the Tour de Coldstream organisers were able to return to their hometown in cycling fashion.

A devastating single-stage race took place in the midst of the Okanagan heat with hometown favourite Greg Egan establishing himself as the ultimate rider on the day. Egan initially dropped all opponents on the Rawlings Lake Hill however riders Tak Takeda and Eric Fung were able to reel him in with the rest of the 27 rider peleton in tow.

The decisive stroke came at the mountaintop finish atop Buchanan Hill as Egan powered away from the bunch in time to turn around and take photos.

The 2011 Tour de Coldstream champion is also the de facto 2010 VCC champ as the race was unable to be held last year due to squabbling teams, disorganisation from the sponsors and Race Director Eric Cessford's absence on a reconaissance mission to Europe. Greg Egan has now claimed his third VCC championship after back to back victories in '02, '03.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Race Director Eric Cessford Euro Reconaissance

Race Director Eric Cessford has returned from his wildly publicised and highly successful reconnaissance mission to Europe.

"I've come back from the heart of cycling and am ready to bring all I've learned to the 2011 VCC" Cessford stated. "I promise a very different race scene. This year could be the best ever for cycling in Vancouver."

Cessford spoke to the European Media at a press conference held last week at Rome's Coliseum. There was raucous applause after he announced the upcoming VCC Race Dates and the press conference was called short because riders and members of the public began storming the stage . The after-party was apparently unreal as Cessford was seen quickly boarding a train to Prague with members of an unidentified Italian Cycling team.

"This new VCC season will bring something for all types of riders. We will find a way to please both the top riders, as well as open our doors to new enthusiasts of the sport. I thank the European sport directors for their hospitality." Were Cessford's final statements as he shuffled out of his destroyed hotel room. "From what I

remember of this european experience, there is a huge opportunity to improve the Cycling Party scene in Vancouver. This is my 2011 goal."

And as tradition suits, Cess's return trip home saw him stop in with his good buddy, Lance Armstrong. "I always go for a ride with this incredible ambassador of the sport" Armstrong was quoted post-ride as he relaxed on his cooler. "We went for a 100mile ride and the guy still wanted more. Look at him on that bike. That's commitment!"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barrie Places Second at Tour de Ghana


With traditional Vancouver Cycle Series timing just around the corner the Vancouver cycling community was rocked by the re-emergence of one of it's best stars. For long in Vancouver, riders like Davey Mitchell and Elliot Holtham were enjoying cycling supremacy with their long-time rival Troy Barrie mysteriously absent from the scene following his inability to finish on the podium in the 2009 VCC standings.

But things have changed. Word out of Ghana is that Barrie is alive and training well. His second place finish in the big African event confirms that his form is returning for a run at the as-of-yet unscheduled 2010 VCC season.

Race Director Eric Cessford commented on the 2nd place finish. "This is great news for the VCC. We weren't sure if it was going to happen this year but the excitement generated by Barrie's finish will confirm we have the publicity to hold an event in 2010. Cycling fans get ready. The VCC will run this year!"

An announcement is expected in September that will call for an October start time to the classic race. Leaked stories have shown that the VCC will go back to its roots with a shortened schedule of all-inclusive races designed to entertain. Also, included in the report were drastic plans for the VCC to expand to a large, entry-fee and highly competitive race series in 2011.

Barrie's form looked to be peaking in Ghana. He narrowly missed first place in the event when he was being edged in the final sprint and had to slow down and come around the eventual winner Iyaad of Lebanon. "Iyaad has great speed, when I had to change direction it was too much for me to overcome. I have huge respect for my fellow riders in this fast-paced event. We did the whole 50km at such a fast pace, I really had my work cut out for me."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Performance. It's the Name of the Game.


Robin Moore has earned honourary VCC member status with the above video that entirely captures the essence of the sport we love.

Congratulations Robin. The cycling world is in respect.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Legendary Finish in Stanley Park

The bells have rung, the sun has gone down, the spectators have cleared away, the finish line equipment packed up to lie dormant until next year; the Gregor Robertson Cup has been passed on, the sweet champagne of success has been tasted, the sour grapes of loss choked down; the gruelling 2009 season of the Vancouver Cycle Series is finished, and an epic season it has been. In its new summer format the VCC, historically a series with races spaced by weeks, allowed only one rest day, pushing the muscular endurance of the riders to their limits. At the end of it all, despite the best efforts of two-time defending champion Elliot Holtham of Team t/0 and the heroic striving of Eric Fung, the early leader from Team Top Choice Pizza, Team Blood Transfusion's super-sophomore Curtis Mullen reigned supreme, garnering the nectar of the hallowed yellow jersey to go with the ambrosia of the accolades from the admiring crowds.

Pictured: the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.

The series came to a head in the traditional Stanley Park Road Race, an event often compared to the notorious Paris-Roubaix race for the challenges it offers to riders. Two and a half laps of Stanley Park, finishing on top of the Hill, were a daunting prospect for even the most seasoned veterans of the VCC, the creme de la creme of Vancouver's cyclists. With no sprint points and the Cup on the line, this race was to be all about the finish.

Fung set the early pace, surrounded by the giants of the peloton. Gregor Egan, as is his habit, began to set a punishing pace into the climb, and Mullen gradually took the lead, and broke the pack apart with a fast paced first climb up the Hill, in which he eventually pulled away, only to be caught on the treacherous descent of the Col du Stanley by the remaining pack. This elite group remained vigilant, as the combative Vince Lavallee made several testing attacks. Mullen once again broke away on the second climb of the Hill, joined only by Fung, exerting himself to the utmost in the defence of his jersey, as Blood Transfusion captain ED, leading the other riders, declined to chase his teammate. As Mullen and Fung slowed, ED attempted an attack from the front, dropping TCP captain Tron Barrie and Gregor Egan, and was joined by Mullen, but ED, clearly suffering from the absence of TOM, the Frank to his Andy (or is it the Andy to his Frank?) was pulled in by the peloton over the crest of the hill. This group once again chased down Mullen and a still attacking Lavallee.

Thus the race between the leaders came down to the final climb. As the riders jostled and played high strategy, however, the indefatigable Barrie, the veritable titan of the VCC, not only caught but blew by the lead group with a vicious attack. Displaying inexplicably Contadorian treachery to his team captain, Fung led the attack, pulling the group back to Barrie. On the climb, Lavallee attacked once more, bringing only Mullen, still fighting, with him. ED, displaying his customary lack of tactics, began his chase for third. As his group caught Lavallee, Holtham made his first big move of the race with a massive acceleration that left ED in the dust and caught Mullen. These two riders duked it out, with Mullen celebrating wildly and reportedly yelling "F*** yeah!" as he crossed the line in first. Holtham's teammate and t/0 co-captain Davey Mitchell brought his legendary sprint to bear to beat ED to the line for third. Lavallee held on for fifth, followed by Fung in yellow, Barrie, Egan, Tak Takeda, Tom Skinner (hampered by his lack of alcohol), Adam Quiring, Will, and Steve Mullen (the Romain to Curtis' Brice).

Interviewed after the race, Mullen was ecstatic. "The Team Blood Transfusion training program has worked wonders for my racing," he said, "particularly all the training camps in Mex - I mean, Italy. Because of the team's support, at the start of this race I knew that no one would have the juice to go with me." ED, thrilled with his teammate's victory, said "Finally, after all these years - a victory for Team Blood Transfusion! Perhaps this will finally put all those nasty rumours about us to rest. With Curtis, we simply saw a promising young rider last season, picked him up, and developed him through the year. What you see is the result of our superior, uh, training program."

Holtham, piqued at being nipped at the line, could not be reached by reporters as he pedaled away on what could only be a training ride immediately following the race. Barrie, reportedly, swore to isolate himself from teammates and competitors for a season and come back fitter than ever.

And that was that! Until next year... keep your wheels on the road.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Eric Fung 2nd in ITT, 5th in Pursuit: Takes the Yellow Jersey

With one last stage to go Eric Fung leads the way in the VCC! Curtis Mullen and Sean Mactavish have had dreams answered and training hours justified with statement victories in the first two stages.

Stages 1 and 2 of the 2009 Vancouver Cycle Series went off with a bang, even the experts could not predict what drama was to unfold. The race began with a 6.2km ITT won by Curtis Mullen averaging an impressive 45.1km/hr, Mullen had a large gap of 40 seconds over surprise 2nd place Eric Fung. Fung indeed came from nowhere, a summer of hidden training put him 1second faster than Top Choice Teammate Troy Barrie. Elliot Holtham, Greg Egan and Tom Skinner were all seconds behind.

Fung had a very impressive 2nd place in the ITT before holding his own in the pursuit giving him the points he needed to wear the Yellow Jersey in tuesday's final stage. He is pictured in white, racing Greg Egan (Blue) to the line narrowly ahead of Troy Barrie and Elliot Holtham (both red) in the pursuit stage.

Stage 2 adventurously went beyond familiar race designs with the intention of a pursuit stage. The new course was 14.5km and the riders' ITT finishing times were extrapolated to the larger stage. Riders were sent off on the pursuit in reverse finishing order with the time gaps proportional to their ITT finishing times. The design worked to perfection as a number of chase groups formed on the course as they chased down the stage leaders!

Seasoned VCC vet Davey Mitchell, lost time in the ITT after being blocked by emergency vehicles (investigation into TCP tactics pending) but it allowed him an earlier start time in the pursuit. Mitchell teamed up with Sean Mactavish and Brad Christie before eventually reeling in the escape groups of Brian Poole, Marcin Mirski and Takuma Takeda. In a group not far behind rode Adam Quiring and Art who were victims of the express train when they were caught by the peleton formed by the big boys of the ITT. Annual rivals Barrie and Holtham ironically were forced to be team mates putting individual glory aside to reel-in the riders far ahead. Together with Fung (who put a world of hurt on them for his pulls) the well-oiled machine quickly caught Egan and Skinner and with them aboard the train they continued north for a shot at victory. ITT champ Mullen was out of luck, his ITT time was so fast it set him too far back to catch his closest rivals all working as a team.

Yet in the end, the advantage held by Mitchell, Mactavish and Poole was too much to overcome for the enslaught of fury behind them. With Mitchell powerfully leading the fray in an effort to stay ahead, the lead group maintained their edge clear to the finish. In a spectacular move at the line, Sean Mactavish picked up his first stage win pulling around the workhorse for victory. A first VCC appearance and a first stage win to boot!

The final stage will take place on Tuesday, July 21st for 3 laps of Stanley Park. Meet at the North End of the Burrard Bridge at 7pm for another attack-filled hammerfest. The Yellow Jersey and the Gregor Robertson Cup on the line!