Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stanford treads hallowed ground at Black Dog

Stanford blurring his surroundings

GrandStay Hotels racer Ian Stanford capped a remarkable weekend by posting a scintillating 13:54 on the Black Dog time trial course as part of the Charity TT. It is important to note that the race start was altered, making the course approximately 6 seconds longer than a normal Black Dog, meaning Stanford's effort was the equivalent of a 13:48, which would be the fastest time ever ridden at Black Dog, a course with a storied and lengthy history. Teammate Daniel Casper recorded a respectable 14:24 for 2nd and Jens Brabbit rolled 14:42 for 5th. With the NVGP qualifier Black Dog coming up this Wednesday, it will be interesting to see what kind of times Stanford and teammate Doug Swanson, who's recorded a 13:50 at Black Dog previously, can roll.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stanford takes Synergy with new course record

Stanford making the wind give in
photo courtesy of

GrandStay Hotels racer Ian Stanford continued to demonstrate that, over a longer time trial distance, he is without peer in the region. On a day where gale force winds made the race hazardous and temps in the high 30's made for discomfort, Stanford showed no ill effects, bettering his course record with a time of 55:04 for the 41.6 kilometers. Teammate Daniel Casper was the only rider within three minutes of Stanford with a 2nd place time of 56:39.

Casper grinding it out in the race's later stages
photo courtesy of

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Swanson, team obliterate Opus

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson led the charge of what may have been the most dominating display the team has ever put on at Opus. David Schueller winning the opening sprint on a long breakaway opened the door for Doug Swanson and Micah Moran to craft a three-man break of their own. With a GrandPerformance rider in tow, Moran and Swanson went 1-2 respectively in the next two sprints. As if that wasn't enough, Swanson forged on ahead, keeping a chasing peleton at bay for the rest of the day. Instead of riding defensively in the pack, GrandStay riders repeatedly attacked the peleton, with Jens Brabbit also garnering points. When it was all said and done, Swanson had a massive victory with 26 points while Moran took second with 10 points. In all, GrandStay Hotels took 44 of the 63 points on offer. Next week concludes the 6-week series, with GrandStay Hotels already a lock to take the team title.

Casper just short at TNT

GrandStay Hotels racer Daniel Casper rode a strong race at the season's first TNT time trial, but suffered narrow defeat at the hands of Gear West teammates Curt Wood and David Thompson, both of whom are noted time trialists. On an evening beset with torrential rain and howling crosswinds, Casper completed the 11+ mile course in 23:42, 10 seconds shy of Wood and just 1 second in arrears of Thompson. Casper will get numerous shots at redemption as the series is contested every other Tuesday throughout the summer.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Brabbit victorious over strong field at Sibley

GrandStay Hotels racer Jens Brabbit, crafty beyond his 21 years of age, inserted himself into a power-packed break of seven riders just a few miles into the 70-mile Sibley Road Race. While Brabbit played a major role in keeping the break clear of a star-studded peleton, he still had enough left to come first on the hilltop finish--arguably the biggest victory of a young career. While Brabbit toiled in the break, his teammates, trusting he was good for the victory, policed the peleton and shut down numerous attacks by dangerous riders of the likes of Selandar, Bergman, and Lemieux. Teammate Doug Swanson took the bunch sprint convincingly. In the Elite Masters/35+ race, Ray Coyle demonstrated a continuing return to winning form with a close 2nd while Steve Cragle surprised with heretofore undemonstrated climbing prowess for 4th. The team shifts gears away from road races in the coming weeks, looking instead to crits and time trials, especially the Black Dog TT on June 20th which is the second leg of the Nature Valley Grand Prix qualifier and promises to be a real barn-burner.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Casper takes first Black Dog TT of '09

GrandStay Hotels racer Daniel Casper won the first Black Dog Time Trial of the season with a solid early season mark of 14:25. Teammate Micah Moran continued to show good early season form with a 14:58 for 4th overall. The next Black Dog in two weeks will be a Nature Valley Grand Prix qualifier and promises to be a star-studded night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swanson, team back on top at Opus

GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson got things back on track at Opus with his 3rd win of the season against an impressive field. In fact, Swanson and five teammates pretty much dominated the night, taking 4 of the night's 6 sprints. Swanson won two sprints, including the finish for double points; while Lance Buening, who's really refound his legs, and Jens Brabbit, who's aggressive style continues to impress, each took a sprint as well. The tireless set-up work of Matt Williams and Andy Minier played a large part in the team's success on the night.

Casper opens TT season with a win

GrandStay Hotels racer Daniel Casper got the time trial season started on the right foot with a win at the first Withrow Ride and Glide TT of the year. On a blustery day, Casper stopped the clock at 28:56, a time within hailing distance of the record for the 13.4 mile, rolling-hilled course.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swanson scorches to Marty Road Race win

With a tailwind at his back in the finishing straight, GrandStay Hotels racer Doug Swanson put paid to his teammates hard work with a scorching sprint win at the Marty Road Race on Saturday. A stacked field of 50 riders showed up to contest not only the race, but also to score points towards a place in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, a professional stage race which comes to town in June and reserves a select 12 spots for local elite riders. With a relatively strong wind out of the west and a predominantly north-south race course, crosswinds were the order of the day. GrandStay Hotels spent a good deal of time on the front, using an eschelon-formation to protect one another and put pressure on the rest of the peleton. The peleton was up to the challenge and the team had to put everyone to the task of pulling back breaks and setting up Swanson for his victory. In addition to Swanson's win, teammates Jens Brabbit, Micah Moran and Dave Schueller took 8th, 10th, and 13th respectively. Together these places give the team 283 points towards the Nature Valley Grand Prix qualifying. Flanders rode a cagey race and is currently the top point getter with 318 while GrandPerformance sits 3rd with 155 point. The qualifying series travels next to the Black Dog Time Trial on May 20th, where no doubt Doug Swanson will be eyeing the 13:49 course record that he missed by just a second last year.