Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No cigar at Opus, for once

For the first time in '09 GrandStay Hotels missed out on victory. On a spirited night at Opus, Doug Swanson came oh so close but had to settle for 2nd by a mere point. Teammate Dave Schueller showed his rapidly developing speed with a sprint win and a tie for 3rd on the night. The team is building a commanding lead in the series long team points competition.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brabbit endures abysmal weather for Campus Crit win

Brabbit off the front, attacking a wet corner
GrandStay Hotels racer Jens Brabbit got his first win of the season at the Campus Criterium on Sunday. Thanks to truly horrendous conditions (low 40's, persistent rain), Brabbit and teammate Micah Moran were part of a small but select group of hardy racers who braved the technical, rain-slickened course around the U of MN campus. Brabbit took the win with a mid-race attack that he crafted into a solo effort all the way to the line while Moran was able to sprint for the final/3rd podium spot.

Moran sprinting for 3rd

Thanks to www.bikethrow.com and Andy Frye for the photos. For more Campus Crit photos and a write up of the action, go to http://www.bikethrow.com/i/2009/04/26/rainy-return-of-the-campus-criterium/

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swanson 6-peats at Ken Woods

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson won the Ken Woods Memorial Road Race for the 6th consecutive year and remained undefeated in '09 with his 4th win of the season. The team rode exceptionally well, controlling the front of the peleton for much of the race's 84 miles and bringing back attacks as necessary. Leading into the final 21-mile lap new teammember Jens Brabbit set a peleton-breaking tempo on the big climb and followed that effort with some stinging attacks of his own. Thanks to Brabbit's efforts, teammate Dan Casper was able to sneak away on a solo break and, with 7 miles remaining, was joined by Swanson and Mike Woell from Flanders. With Swanson driving the tempo, the three stayed away from the peleton by a comfortable margin and Swanson sprinted for the win by a comfortable margin. Casper managed 3rd. Ian Stanford worked tirelessly at the front all day and was still able to pull off 6th while Lance Buening also found the top ten. Up next...the Opus Crit and TNT Time Trial on Tuesday and then, next Saturday, the team hosts the Gluek Road Race--a Nature Valley Grand Prix qualifying race which promises a stacked field.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Team shows well at Opus again

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson let the suspense build for much of the second installment of the Opus Criterium Series on Tuesday evening. With only two of six points sprints remaining in the race, Swanson hadn't scored a point. Instead, he'd been letting his teammates take a crack at earning points of their own, which three of them...Micah Moran, Dan Swanson, and Matt Williams...did. But with the overall win on the line, Doug Swanson got greedy and took the last two sprints...the finale worth double...to take his third straight win of the '09 season in as many tries. Up next on Saturday, April 24th is the Ken Woods Road Race where Doug Swanson is the defending champion.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Swanson again at Durand

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson kept the Durand Road Race title in the family, taking the '09 victory with a dominant final sprint. Doug's brother and teammate Dan took the title in '08. Unusually beautiful weather brought out a peleton of over 70 riders from across the region. With numerous teams represented and a who's who of area talent, this looked to be a difficult race to control. However, GrandStay Hotels riders stayed vigilant at the front, worked to keep Swanson protected (when he wasn't testing the peleton with an occasional viscious attack), and in the race's decisive final lap, were able to exert an impressive degree of control. Particularly notable was Ian Stanford, who was a workhorse throughout the day and was still able to manage a scorching final leadout for Swanson, who obliged with a comfortable multi-bike length victory. Also notable was a resurgent Lance Beuning, who sacrificed himself at the front for much of the last lap and was still able to manage a competitive finish in a frenetic finale.

For video of Swanson's winning sprint go to the following link (teammate Steve Cragle's blog)http://docsadvice.blogspot.com/2009/04/durand.html

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's deja vu for Swanson at Opus Criterium

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson started '09 on the right foot, with a convincing win over a strong field at the first Opus Crit of the season. Moving the finish further down the hill didn't seem to blunt Swanson's devastating sprint. The team was well-represented on a night where the high average speed and host of new faces promised an intense '09 racing season to come.