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June 22, 2016

Slowly But Surely

Guest post by John Croom

It’s been awhile since my last update.  This season so far has be unreal. I have been spending time in SC, TX, and PA.

South Carolina

Well I have officially moved back to Rock Hill, SC where I will be working with sponsor Swim, Bike and Run as sales staff in the off-season and doing part time coaching with TotalCyclist in Charlotte. This opened the door for me to do a few crits before leaving for Frisco, TX. So May 6th (night before my graduation) I set out to one of the last stops of Speed Week and compete first in the 55 min CAT2/3 Crit, like any other 2/3 Crit I noticed early on everyone believe they were sprinter, they didn’t care if the team mate up the road could actually even win the race they just cared that they had a team mate up the road…makes you wonder if they have ever watched bike racing…anyways me being a solo participant I tried to hide follow what looked to be the serious moves but nothing stuck so I went straight to the back after 20 minutes and said to my self be patience and move up with 6 to go. Spartanburg was a very classic criterium, 4 corners with a slight rising finish. With 10 to go I saw one guy ride off and gain about 8 seconds the lap counters flipped as I began to move up another went and bridged with 7 to go, I kept telling my self “waiiiiit!” They held a smooth 8 second gap, I was sitting 5 wheels back and you tell the guys were a bit tuckered out with 3 to go I attacked an held about a 5 second gap all the way to the finish pulling in for 3rd. Might have waited a bit to long but that’s life. I would then jump into the Pro race with extreme tired legs and just hang in for the ride.

The next weekend was Charleston,

This is Regional Championships for SC and NC. I am still a category 2 and I felt that I needed to keep racing the 2/3’s and the P/1/2’s (double –up) if I ever want to get any better, plan was to win the 2/3’s and top 10 the P/1/2. Due to a small field the race was decided early on with a group of 4 which included my self we just kept the pace high and rolling which would go on to lap the “field” and take the win in final sprint in the 2/3’s. The heat was catching up with me, I forgot to drink enough GQ-6 and it hurt me eventually I started to feel super weak super fast and thought it was better just to call it half way through the P/1/2 race.

Texas

Texas went fairly well, making podium in every event  (Scratch, Points, 4k, and Miss-N-Out) slightly missing the top step because of a few mistakes.

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Driving the scratch race…

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The racing was all pretty tame for the most part everyone was watching Zak and I, If Zak moved the whole field moved. Zak just had the better tactics and sprint to nab me every time. Definitely learned a lot on this trip and learning a few tricks of my own.  All in all it was a great event, huge thanks to the Sandusky family for putting me up  (or should I say putting up with me) and taking way more than good care of me its great to know I can go out of the state hundreds of miles away and there is a family there to make me feel at home! Cycling Family is the best family!

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Pennsylvania

This time last year I was gritting my teeth just to hang on the fields out here in TTOWN, now I am actually apart of the mix. No out standing results yet a 6th place here and there on a Tuesday and finish in the pack on a Friday but now it’s just a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together! The racing out here is aggressive, first night here we averaged 31-32 mph for the whole 15k scratch. The miss-n-out’s have become just consistent head-butts and keeping position.  The fields here are HUGE 35-40 people coming to the line from all over the country ranging from Elite World Champions, Junior World Champions, to Master World Champion, Olympic medalist and future first time Olympians for Rio. The racing out here is very dicey but everyone is in control. Lots of aggression and BIGGGGG GEARS are being rolled some guys riding up to 108”-110” gears (56×14 or 53×13) I was on a 52×14 (100.2”) or a 51×14 in certain races.

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Italy, Next up

Next up on the calendar is Fiorenzuola 6 Day in Italy, I will be riding with 6 day legend Guy East. I am super excited for this opportunity because I will be racing against the guys who I looked up to since I have started my career. This will be 6 days of high paced Madison Racing with events ranging from the Chase to Time Trials to Straight up madison’s! Its going to be a great time!

I will be documenting the entire trip with a blog updating daily, So be on the look out! Should be some awesome stories!!!

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