2014 Road Season Wrap-Up
Victories, crashes, comebacks … and of course, a whole lot of taco-eating. It was an eventful first season for District Taco Cycling p/b BicycleSPACE.
What started as an idea between Osiris Hoil and Andrew Friend grew into a solid 20-member team. Cyclists joined because DT offered what they didn't find elsewhere: the assurance of never being left behind; an unshakable positive attitude; and the experience of having fun while taking racing seriously. As Andrew said, "Racing is competition, and you don't compete to lose."
DTC achieved great results this year: participation in 106 races with eight wins, 22 top fives, and 30 top tens. According to Strava, we collectively rode more than 46,000 miles. That's almost six times around the earth!
None of this would've been possible without the help of our sponsors, District Taco restaurants and BicycleSPACE. We also thank all the teams who organized races: National Capital Velo Club, Artemis Racing, Squadra Coppi and more.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON
Dominating Page County
Collin Chartier camped in a tent for Tour of Page County stage race (April 26-27). Evidently, he got great rest because he won the next morning's cat 4/5 road race! Then he cooled down with a six-mile trail run along the Shenandoah Mountains. On Sunday, he took 3rd in the time trial and 1st in the crit! But ranking #1 in general classification meant getting a target on his back. Other teams reeled in his attacks the next weekend at Poorhouse road race (May 3) ... but he still finished 5th!
Bunny hopping to podiums
Any bike racer will agree that executing a strategy is much easier said than done. But at Bunny Hop crit (May 4), DT got it done! In cat 5, Collin made a solo breakaway thanks to Adam Hoey's lead out. Collin took 1st, with the peloton 200 meters behind. In cat 4, Andrew and Osiris Hoil stuck to their plan and won 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Forcing his way to top 10
For Andrew, the Air Force Association Cycling Classic (June 8) was just nuts! He didn't have time to think from the start, and spent the entire race working his way to the front. People got dropped or pulled out during every lap. The course was one of the most technical of the year -- with a right-hand turn immediately following a left-hand turn. But Andrew loved pushing his technical skills and got a 7th place finish in cat 3/4.
Just getting through the Giro
Giro Di Coppi road race (July 12) was brutal for its long hills and scorching heat. Many (if not most) racers abandoned or got pulled out. Giro was Alex Molineux's first race. He hung with the front runners the entire time, watching as the group kept shrinking. With a 10th place finish, he got noticed by DT and joined the team!
Leonardtown: look out for tacks!
Many teams flatted or crashed at Leonardtown crit (June 1) because someone scattered tacks along the course, especially at the 120-degree corner)! But fortunately, Amy Ta and Lindsey Crifasi steered clear of it all in cat 4. They took turns pulling and worked with Artemis Racing to bridge Rock Creek Velo's breakaway. In the sprint finish, Amy took 1st and Lindsey 3rd!
Taking summer by surprise
No one really expected Amy to race again after she crashed at almost 40 mph on June 7, incurring a concussion and broken jaw/cheekbone. But she returned for Dawg Days of Summer (August 17), fiercely curious to see how she'd perform after two months of zero speed work. The race itself was precarious: women didn't hold their lines, one dropped her chain, and others overlapped wheels and crashed. Amy tried keeping her distance from the cat 4 women, and warned 4th place in the sprint finish.
This last crit of the season was also Osiris' first race back since breaking his collarbone at Leonardtown. During his breakaway in cat 3/4, he shouted to the other teams, "Let's work together! Steady!" But apparently no one wanted to pull. That meant -- you guessed it -- the group was caught. Later, two other men attacked. They created a gap so massive that it seemed like no one could bridge. But Osiris did ... and he won 2nd.
OUR BIGGEST LESSONS
- Be open-minded and flexible when planning race strategies. You can't always translate what you see on TV or read in books to your actual race. But it's better to have something than nothing. As Collin says, "Doesn't matter how strong you are. Can't win a bike race without strategy."
- Listen to your body. Top athletes must push, but pushing too far can land you in the hospital.
- Legs must be shaved!
OUR OFF-SEASON PLANS
Mud, dirt, barricades, rain and even snow! Can you say cyclocross?! That's the plan for Chris Zegal, Jordan Steelman, Alex and Lindsey.
Meanwhile, Andrew and Peter Herman will work toward a strong team showing in cat 3/4 next March. Sam Berkowitz is still on the mend from hip surgery and hopes to start training in winter. He'll be a cat 5 with Rudi Riet, who just got back on the bike after a nasty skiing accident.
Collin will race triathlons, cross country and swim. Joanna Gomez will do her second ironman in early September. Amy will concentrate on running and recruiting more women for DT.
And of course, we’ll eat tacos galore! Because that’s one of our favorite things about being on the team.
--Written by Amy Ta