Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We've moved!

Our new site can be found at http://www.realitybikesracing.com There we hope to provide the up-to-date and dynamic content that draws us into other cycling sites in a way that will set us apart and keep you coming back for more.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Athens Twilight and Historic Roswell Criterium (April 25/26)

The spring cycling season in Georgia is punctuated by 2 cycling classics that draw a high-caliber field: Athens Twilight and the Historic Roswell Criterium. With the weather turning from unseasonably cool into almost a summer heat nobody wanted to miss the action. Athens Twilight ------------------------------
It all started with the Jittery Joes AM Greenway qualifiers. The brothers Eddie and Art Murray proved their mettle. Both of them qualified for the evening finals by finishing in the top 10 of a strong Cat4/5 field. The team looked to place more racers into the finals through the Cat3 race. Unfortunately, the large field focused on individual results created what most would agree was a nervous pack lacking team tactics. Michael Bowen finished well (8th) and Brannon Armtower fought through a true uphill mass sprint for a qualifying spot in 20th. The amateur finals took place in downtown Athens in the early evening on the same course the pros would race only a few hours later. The finals are composed of the top finishers from the qualifiers including 10 Cat4s, 10 Masters, 25 Cat3s, and 35 Pro1/2s. For the lower category qualifiers racing in the evening finals is a reward for a good morning finish and an experience to be "enjoyed". For the Pro1/2s and aspiring Cat3s it is an opportunity to shine on a large stage in an atmosphere unlike any other. Mike Burns cruised to a great 20th place, and Michael Bowen was caught out of position in the chaos of the final laps yet still finished on the lead lap. Reality Bike's own Artur Sagat raced in the main event, the Athens Twilight Criterium under the lights with capacity crowds. Historic Roswell Criterium ------------------------------
Most national level racers that were in town for Athens Twilight stayed to take on the Historic Roswell Criterium the following day. The Reality Bikes RV took its customary spot on the final turn, and the team setup the tents for all to enjoy the day's festivities. In the Cat3/4 race Reggie Pineda used his leadout strength to power through in 5th, while Brannon Amtower was shutdown in the sprint and finished 10th. Also cracking the top 25 was Allan Emmons (24th). Kyle Emerson finished the 4/5 race just off the leaders in 8th. Art and Eddie Murray put in another good performance in 12th and 17th. The Cat2/3 race was the target for the majority of the elite team. We had a solid representation, but could not put together anything as a team to setup our strongest racers. Pacesetter Steel put on a team clinic placing a rider to win out of a small break, and finish in the front of the sprint behind. Mike Burns pulled off the best finish for Reality Bikes with 13th, and Michael Bowen was the only other team member to finish the race of attrition in 39th.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

GC Gainesville Grand Prix, March 28th & 29th

Reality Bikes showed up in force to contest the Gainesville Omnium despite heavy thunderstorms that forced promoters to cancel the Saturday crit in favor of a Sunday afternoon circuit that would take place hours after the road race. ELITE ----------------- TT - A steady rain lightened as racers embarked on the out and back 7.8mi course that included several key rolling hills.  Adam Handler and Nathan Sibly of Aarons continued to enjoy good form finishing 1-2 and setting them up in good position for the overall.  Michael Bowen pulled out a great 5th place showing, and Brannon Amtower secured some points with 8th.  Eric Neely also finished well, just 7 seconds out of the points. RR - Sunday's weather was dry, but cold and windy.  The 4 lap, 68mi route had 3 KOMs on offer.  It promised to be a battle of Aarons vs Reality and Jittery Joes for securing overall honors.  The pace was kept fast as the teams marked each breakaway and kept it together so the contenders could grab KOM points.  Add the wind to the equation, and there was no break getting away today.  The team successfully led out Bowen and Brannon on the KOMs.  By the end of the day Bowen would have 5 points and Brannon 4 points.  On the run into the finish a rider flipped into a ditch disrupting the back half of the field.  It allowed Bowen and Brannon to get into position, but the rest of the Reality team was toast.  Brannon tried to start the sprint from a good position but got blocked out twice and settled for 5th while Bowen surged through to add another win to his resume.  Bowen now sat in 2nd overall behind Adam Handler of Aarons, and Brannon in 4th. Circut - Four hours later the ragged racers reported to the start line.  Several riders easily formed an escape as the teams with chances for the overall watched each other's main players.  By the end 9 racers would finish off the front.  Bowen took the field sprint, but Adam Handler marked him well and finished right behind to maintain his grip on the overall by 1 point.  Benjamin Bryant of Jittery Joes was in the break of the day and earned enough points thanks to the MAR and finishing 2nd to tie Bowen for 2nd overall and drop Brannon to 6th.  However, Bowen won the tie breaker by virtue of individual stage placings - a well deserved overall podium spot. MASTERS 35+/45+ -------------------------------- TT - In the Masters 35+ field Todd Muller had an uncharacteristicly off day but still ended up 4th, 5s off the podium.  Igor Rudalev of Myogenisis, and regular visitor to our Reality Bikes group rides, finished in 1st.  Reggie Pineda came in with a solid 6th place.  In the Masters 45+ field Tony Hergert finished 4th behind Ron Hill and Bill Causey, both of Security Bank. RR - The race had a similar feel to the Elite race where everyone marked each other and it stayed fast throughout.  Kirk Corsello of Aarons put on a show of strength taking the KOMs and the sprint finish.  Reality pulled off an amazing group finish of Todd Muller, Eric Anderson, and Mike Burns in 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively.  Mark Claar finished 5th in the 45+ group and Tony Hergert in 11th.  Todd was now in 3rd overall with Eric and Mike not far off thanks to their great finishes while Tony sat in 6th for the 45+ group. Circuit - It looked like it was a tough race for the masters field to round out the day.  The overall condenders ended up in the top 5, Todd came in 17th at the end of a difficult day.  He was just 2 points shy of holding off Igor for the final overall podium spot.  Eric Anderson, Duane Fossyl, and Mike Burns finished together in 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively earning Eric and Mike 5th and 6th overall.  Tony Hergert crossed the line 6th of the 45+ crowd.  His consistent finishes put him in 5th overall.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GC Union City, GA Mayor's Race - Omnium, March 21st & 22nd

TT - Brannon braved the cool morning air to open his legs up in the time trial & hopefully grab a few omnium points in the process.  The course was a difficult rolling out & back 10 mile challenge.  He came within 16 seconds of earning points which would prove critical later in the close final overall standings.

Crit - The warm afternoon welcomed the field to a well designed 6 turn oval shaped course.  It featured a turning climb through turns 4-6 into a final straight that is usually plagued by a crosswind.  Today, however, the wind would be a headwind down the back stretch & a tailwind to the finish.  Speed was kept high throughout the race as Patrick Allison (TNT Fireworks) & Sammy Flores (Birmingham Velo/Tria) did battle over MAR lap points.  Brannon & Steve stayed near the front most of the race.  Brannon read the field well going into the final lap & jumped into a great position as they entered the backstretch.  Coming out of the final turn he drove it to the line for 3rd behind Flores (Velo/Tria) & Cody Hall (VeloVoodoo).  This put Brannon back into the mix in 7th overall with only a few points separating him from a top 5.

RR - The cool morning air had everyone looking at each other to decide what to wear as it promised to warm up quickly & the race would be a long rolling 68 mile journey.  Eric joined Brannon & Steve, & had done the math to set our strategy for the day:  get Brannon KOM bonus points to move him into 5th, keep the contenders from taking them, & then set him up for the finish.  Of the contenders Adam Handler & Nathan Sibly of Aarons were only one point ahead of Brannon, Patrick Vrana (RBM) only a couple points behind, & several others in striking distance. Reality setup a 3 man train for the first KOM where Brannon edged out Patrick Allison (TNT) moving Brannon into 5th overall.  Eric & Steve worked to keep the many breaks within reach.  Steve launched for the second KOM to keep points from the challengers & was just beat on the line by Flores (Birmingham Velo/Tria).  From there it was a game of position with short break attempts going off on the run into the finish.  A small group hung off the front of the peleton containing the dangerous Aarons team in the finale.  Eric led the charge with Brannon in tow.  In the confusion of the final course turns & the catch of the break Brannon found himself behind a spent Aarons rider with 250m to go, & had to adjust his sprint while the field surged around on the right.  Steve drove through on the outside to a 9th place finish, Brannon recovered for 10th, & Eric finished 24th. Overall - Much of the hard work grabbing & protecting the 18 KOM points on offer during the road race was overshadowed by the large number of points available at the finish.  Adam Handler (Aarons) & Patrick Vrana (RBM) finished on the RR podium, & the KOM points that Flores (Velo/Tria) earned squeaked him past Brannon as well.  Matt Lipscomb, who won the TT, finished with just enough points to tie Brannon for 6th in the overall.  Steve's efforts to cover the KOMs & top 10 earned him 12th in the GC.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Regions Bank Race Weekend – March 7th & 8th, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prologue & Criterium

With the thick, cool morning fog making the roads wet we had to be more cautious railing the 12 corners of the 3.67km prologue. Prologue results put Michael in 3rd, Eric in 5th, Brannon in 9th, Rob in 15th & Reggie in 23rd.

The sun was out and shining for the afternoon criterium and it was nice and warm. A pleasant change from the previous weekend’s racing weather. The Albany crit course is always a favorite with its unique shape and having 8 corners. The plan was to keep Michael safe, protect or get MAR primes and lead Michael out for the win. It was a fast race and another team (Jittery Joes Devo) was working hard for their GC rider Mark Babcock. However, we rode together as team better than expected this early in the season by reading the race and each other perfectly. We just clicked. Everyone was in the right spot at the right moments and we kept the race mostly under our control eventually leading Michael out for the win. Michael was now in the overall lead and Eric was in 6th.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Road Race

The Albany road racecourse is a fast, flat course where wind is your worst enemy. Due to the flat and open terrain the wind is always the tail wind section always seems to be the shortest. With Michael in 1st place and Eric in 6th the plan was for both to do as little work as possible except for Michael getting at least one KOM bonus to further his time advantage. The team was to protect the other KOM’s and cover all breaks keeping Michael safe in the lead for the overall win. On lap two a breakaway got away and earned a 30 second gap to the main field. Rob managed to get in the break prior to the gap opening up too big and stayed in until about 10 miles from the finish. By this time the main field had lost several riders due to the fast pace.

Eric and Michael needed a pack finish so that everyone received the same time for the road race. This would secure their 1st and 6th positions in the overall. Organizing a chase was not easy with the lack of assistance from other riders and a rival team (with two riders in the breakaway) continually disrupting efforts to organize the chase. Having pulled the chase group for miles, Michael and Eric finally reeled in the break and the pack was back together for a group sprint finish.

- Click here for photos from the weeked -

Stage Results:

Michael 1st place

Eric 6th place

Reggie 15th place

Rob 21st place

Brannon 24th place

Thursday, March 5, 2009

TopView Classic – Feb 28th & Mar 1st

Saturday, February 28th
52 miles composed of 7 laps on a 7.2 mile circuit. Brannon, Michael, Brian, Rob, Reggie, and Steve lined up for the first official road race of the 2009 season. Fast form the start with about 30 other riders eager to open up the legs for the first race of the Georgia Cycling Granprix Series. Our first breakaway attempt by Steve was brought back and then Rob was able make a break stick with him and two other riders. Four other riders later joined the break. With rob solid in the break away the rest of the team put together a textbook lead out for the day’s designated sprinter (Michael). A great performance by the team lead to a 5th place finish for Rob in the break away and Michael winning the field sprint as planned and taking 8th place. Also, finishing in the top 20 were Brannon in 12th and Brian in 14th. Sunday, March 1st
A race to remember.
The weather was all but favorable with temperature starting at about 40 degrees and dropping all day and the cold rain eventually turning to a mixture of sleet & snow. The race was shortened to 22 miles, but did not make the race any easier. The short distance made the pace that much faster with attacks starting in the first mile. The race was a game of cat and mouse. The team did a great job of covering every break attempt and being aggressive with our own moves. In the first part of the last lap a small breakaway formed and Michael took that opportunity to setup for the win. The break stuck and only he and another rider were left going into the final hill. In the last 300 meters Micheal dropped the hammer and sprinted away for the win. Mike Burns finished 9th, Eric Neely finished 13th and Robert Conatser finished 15th.