NOTE: This article was posted on behalf of Rich Grella by Mike Minard
The phone rang during the evening of January 29, 2002. Robert Vogt Jr. was calling. While it’s always a pleasure to talk to Robert, this call was different. Robert was calling to deliver the chilling news about our friend, Donnie Vignon, and his sudden passing from a massive stroke. After a brief conversation regarding Donnie and his final arrangements, I hung up the phone to tell my family the sad news. With admiration and reverence, I told my young sons about this fine young man. Then I went to my downstairs office and cried.
It’s always a shock when a young person passes away, but this was different. This was Donnie, and he was only 28.
With the long winter slowly grinding to a finish, Stark Velo team members are preparing for the 2014 racing season. Recently, a team meeting was held at Gateway Conference and Event Center in Green, Ohio. ( Subway Headquarters ) This year’s race schedule and changes were discussed, and old friendships were renewed. New team mates and new sponsors were introduced. The new team kit design was previewed with much enthusiasm. Sizing and order placement is forthcoming.
Stark Velo appreciates all our sponsors and their desire to support local, grassroots bicycle racing. Several loyal sponsors return, while others join our team for the first time. We look forward to representing all theirs brands throughout the year.
I had the luxury of staying in the Denver and Colorado Springs area for a few days after finishing up the USA Pro Challenge Race Experience. During that time I was able to spend some time with my wife who came out to join me for a few days, get some work done, and do a little more riding.
Stage 4 was the ride from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek. It was 103 miles of some fun ups-and-downs that included Bachelor Gulch. Unfortunately for me, I started the day with an upset stomach. I think I had a little too much Sriracha Sauce on my rice at breakfast and my stomach was not happy. This made for a tough day on the bike as I really couldn't eat at all during the ride or drink too much water. I was really happy for the day to be over and I was really hoping that I wasn't getting sick!
Race Information Where: Leadville, CO (2-mile High City) When: August 10th, 2013 Distance: 104 (every bit of 104 miles) Starting Elevation: 10,200' Total Climbing Elevation: 11,800' Racers: 1500+ (with a mass start) Starting Position: Red Corral (3rd from the front of the pack)
I was a bit nervous at the start of this race. I knew I had put in
the training time, but you just never know what is going to happen. My
legs felt a bit sorer than they had all week long which was very frustrating
and not how you want to feel before the start of the race. Still, you try to
put that out of your mind and focus on what you are about to embark on. The
start of this race is a mass start meaning that all 1500+ racers leave the start
line at the same time. Based on my qualifying time at the Wilmington Whiteface
100k race (5:19, but I was sick with a cold, fever, and hopped up on cold meds)
it placed me in the 3rd corral. This is obviously way better than being
placed in the last corral, the 8th corral, last year, however it also
means that I stand a much greater chance of getting into a crash due to
everyone behind me trying to race up to the front on the paved portion of the
race just prior to hitting the first dirt road. Prior to the first dirt
road the race typically hits 30+ mph, so you gotta hang on, keep your space,
and stay away from the idiots.
Today's post will be short. I have a big day tomorrow and it starts at 5:30 am so I need my sleep!
Today I left Aspen and headed up to Snowmass Village for the start of my week's experience.
It started with me dropping off my bike and handing it over to our mechanics. It's kind of nice that I won't have to clean and adjust my own bike this week. What a luxury!
After dropping off my bike I was given my hotel room key by the awesome CTS Staff (more on them in future posts) and I dropped off my bag.
I had about ninety minutes to kill before a planned group ride at around 1 pm. So I made my way around checking out Snowmass Village. This is a really cool place. I ended up finding a Starbucks where I could get some work done and take care of a few emails.
With 1 pm quickly approaching I got dressed to ride, grabbed my bike computer and headed over to the Team CTS Truck. Which, by the way, is parked behind BMC and next to Jellybelly. Awesome!