Saturday, November 19, 2011



Saturday, September 15, 2007


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Monday, July 23, 2007

Mid-July Round Up

Liam shows fine form at Floyd Bennett (photo: Andy Shen,

While the Category 3 trio of Connor Sallee, Graham Lang, and Lewis Almonte were doing nationals prep, CRCA JrDev was posting results all over the area. Here’s a recap:
Khary Ward sprinted to second place in the July 8th Prospect Park Category 4 Senior event. Unfortunately Ward had a massive spill while trying to duplicate his efforts a week later. We expect to see Khary back in action by August.
Liam Quigley is starting to warm up to mass start events after having beginning the season with a time trial focus. Riding in his Organic Athlete sub-team kit, Liam is now 7th overall after three consecutive top five placing in the Category 5 division at the Tuesday night Floyd Bennett Field series.
Pascual Caputy and Ian Harris tag-teamed the Senior Divisions at the Donovan Ruhlman Naugatuck Criterium in Connecticut, Sunday July 14th, with Pascual bringing home third in the 3/4 event and Ian sixth in the 4/5.
And Evan Cooper endured the phenomenally hard Park Ridge Classic in the Category 4 division, riding home with sixth place.

Spanning the Tri-State Area, and Winning Weeknight Races!

Evan Cooper took his second victory in the Category 4 race at Rockleigh on Thursday July 11th. Evan’s second victory came about exactly in the manner his first one did: attacking from a fatigued and diminished lead group with one lap remaining on the 1.2km course. Evan had plenty of time to raise his hands wide.
And Ian Harris “opened his account” at the Friday night Riverhead Series, on Long Island, posting his first career victory in the Senior Cat 4 event. Ian described the win this way: “ I was off the front by myself for five laps and coming into the last lap it looked like the field was going to catch me but just as I thought they were coming up I heard the sound of a crash behind me and suddenly my gap was reestablished and I came across the line all alone.” Sounds like one of those video games where you have one massive bomb per game you can throw when you run out of ammunition...Congratulations to Evan and Ian.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Junior Nats: Almonte 19th in the TT, Sallee Avoids Monster Crash in RR

Life in the fast lane: Connor Sallee tackles the National TT

Connor Sallee, Graham Lang, and Lewis Almonte all made the early registration cut off and the required Category Three ranking necessary to compete at National Championships this year. So the team was a bit lean in representation in the rolling hills of Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. Lewis Almonte blazed the funky out and back time trial course, held on the butt-end of a local highway, well out of the way of any possible walk-by spectating...and we wonder why cycling is a “fringe” sport in the US. But I digress. Lewis Almonte posted the fourth fastest time for most of the day, until one by one the favorites came in. Lew would eventually finish 19th, out of 157 starters, not bad for a bantam weight climber/sprinter from the Heights! Connor Sallee was 49th and Graham Lang 102nd.

Long morning shadows on the National Championship Circuit.

The road race was almost tragic for the team. The Junior 17-18 division had the unholy start time of 7:30AM and the rolling, technical circuit, was under fog in many parts. Less than five km into the 91km stage, on a 50mph descent, the peloton flew into an impenetrable bank of fog. Around twenty riders went down, two flew over a guardrail and sustained injuries requiring a helicopter evacuation. Only Connor Sallee was ahead of the crash. Lewis Almonte received the mother of all tire burns when the rider behind him plowed into his calf at high speed. Lewis didn’t go down but the burn was painful enough that he decided to withdraw and get the wound treated. Graham Lang managed to stay upright as well but was forced to wait for the crash to clear before emerging from the fog with a group of riders over a minute back on the remains of the field.
As loyal team director sportif, parents, and special guests bombed through the bucolic countryside of Western Pennsylvania trying to find an alternative route around the crash, and get to the feed zone, Connor Sallee soldiered on in the main group, his rations running low. The support crew did get to the feed in time to give now-dry Sallee a bottle in the final 15 kilometers of the race. On the final climb to the resort summit of Seven Springs Sallee buried himself, finishing 45th out of 70 remaining riders.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mixing with the Big Boys: JrDev at Lou Maltese

Graham Lang calm and collected at Maltese (photo: Andy Shen,

Not to be out done on their home turf by team Hot Tubes (North America’s big, bad Junior Squad of record for the past 10 years) CRCAJrDev fielded a team at the annual Lou Maltese Memorial Invitational. Lewis Almonte, Evan Cooper, Connor Sallee, Graham Lang and Pascual Caputy toed the start line with the greater New York area’s best amateurs. Seven laps of Central Park brought Jared Bunde (Mengoni) to the line first ahead of a large break. While CRCA JrDev did not make the split, they rode a strongly in their first ever high caliber Senior category 1-3 event. Connor Sallee delt with a tempest of elbows in the sprint finish run-in, crossing the line 32nd, 14th in the bunch.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fitchburg-Longsjo: Almonte Ready for Prime Time

Lewis Almonte's 8th place in the opening time trial put him in pole position for all four stages of the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic.

Lewis Almonte posted his best result in a national caliber event this pre-4th-of-July Weekend in Fitchburg, Ma. Lewis led CRCA JrDev's first full-fledged stage race campaign, taking 8th in the TT, and 10th oveall after four days of racing. Connor Sallee finished the weekend in 25th, while Graham Lang, Evan Cooper and Pascual Caputy finished respectably mid-field. Ian Harris was DNF after two stages, fighting the side effects of 10 days on antibiotics.
On day one Lewis bested national team standouts including Carter Jones, fresh from Europe, the bulk of the Hot Tubes formation. From there on the task was about limiting losses. Stage Two saw a field sprint with Connor and Lewis tucked in neatly in 13th and 14th at "same time" as stage winner Andrew Goessling (Tieni Duro) of California. Saturday's Wachusett Mountain Road Race was raced at Pro 1-2 speed as an early breakaway containing points leader Daiel Estevez (Hot Tubes) rode to a commanding lead. CRCA JrDev took command of the chase, with Pascual Caputy driving up the velocity on the climbs. The pack turned up the final climb with half its numbers. Lewis finished the day 16th place, 49 seconds behind stage winner Ben King (Hot Tubes). The team hit the final crit with tired legs and slack motivation. Nothing was sticking in the too-short 15 mile race, despite substantial efforts by Graham Lang and a herculean final lap lead out by Evan Cooper. Lewis crossed the line 21st, his 10th place on GC never in jeopardy.

"Dude, where's my team?" Evan brought the pack to the final corner in the crit, but his efforts were in vain due to a lack of follow up.

JrDev gets friendly with RiteAid pro Alejandro Borrajo

Graham, Stage 2

Look out Nats, Lewis has got his game face on...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cooper Rocks at Rockleigh

Evan in the hunt, Central Park, June 23. (photo copyright Andy Shen,

CRCA JrDev's Evan Cooper took the win at the Thursday night 3/4 race at Rockleigh, NJ on June 21st. Evan has been making steady progress in the nocturnal series and thanks to several top 5 finishes, completed the series in second overall. He will start July's round with an automatic upgrade to the A race. A Category Three upgrade should follow soon for Mr. Cooper.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Khary Ward, future crit king. (photo copyright Andy Shen,

Harlem....Okay, so nobody apart from Khary Ward contested the Harlem Skyscraper Classic. Despite it being a main event in NYC racing, the bulk of the team chose instead to travel north to the rolling macadam of Housatonic Hills. But first: Khary Ward's weekend...after recovering from abject dejection after his hard crash at Boundbrook, NJ, Khary rebounded on Saturday June 16 in Prospect park, capturing a fine second place in the Category Five event. Khary then put in an excellent showing at the 4/5 race at Harlem, finishing 21st and keeping body and soul upright, Khary continues to polish his criterium skills...

The bread in a podium sandwich: Almonte, Estevez, and Caputy (photo courtesey Stephen Sallee)

Housatonic...Pascual Caputy, Lewis Almonte, and Graham Lang put the junior division through its paces at Housatonic Hills, while Connor Sallee chose to suffer along in the Category Three event. Lewis and Pascual (riding his season debut after a spring knee injury) ambled away with Hot Tubes Danny Estevez. Pascual did the bulk of the pace setting on the climbs, fatiguing himself a bit too much to contest the finale. Estevez snuck off near the end, as Lewis struggled to keep pace. Again CRCA JrDev was the bread in a podium sandwich.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Balloon Festival!

If you had bling like this you'd be surly too...Evan Cooper, Filip Capala, and Ian Harris bemedaled at Balloon. Photo courtesy of Mr.Capala

Evan Cooper and Ian Harris were our lone reps in the junior division at the long and hilly 2007 Balloon Festival Road Race in Cambridge,NY, Saturday, June 9, while Connor Sallee and Lewis Almonte represented in the Category Three race. The 21 mile course takes in the most demanding parts of the season opener Battenkill-Roubaix, but without so much mud. In the Junor race the field came apart on the second of two ascents of the critical three-mile stair-stepped climb that determines this event. Under the pressure of 14-year-old climbing wunderkind Anders Newbury (New Hampshire Cycling Club), Filip Capala (Capala Bros.) and CRCA JrDev's Evan Cooper left the 30-strong field several minutes in arrears. Ian Harris launched a solo pursuit over the top of the climb and stayed away for fourth place. Up the road, Capala took the sprint for the win ahead of Newbury with Cooper pleading no contest. Due to age divisions, Evan and Ian took home the silver and bronze LAJORS medals in the 16-18 group. Lewis Almonte scored upgrade points and made a big impression with seventh place in the Cat Three event, while Connor Sallee rode to a sturdy mid-pack finish. Both 17-year-olds are on target to be Category Two by the end of the season.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Five races in five days, the countdown:

Ryan wins at Bethel! (Photo copyright Mr. Storm)

Lewis off the front with Nick Bax at Somerville (Photo copyright Marco Quesada /

Five races in five days, the countdown:
Friday: Night time in the burg of Manville, NJ. Ryan Storm hung on tight in the 3/4 race (the Madness at Manville) while the other JrDev members either sat out the race or sat in the World's Worst New Jersey traffic jam and did homework.
Saturday: Somerville, NJ: The US Bicycle Racing Hall of Fame Criterium. Ian Harris tries and fails to get away from a 30-strong field, a field sprint is contended. Naturally, this goes to Dan Sullivan, with Filip Capala second. Ian finishes 13th. The rest of the team sleeps late.
Sunday: Bound Brook, NJ: More Jrs turn up as Sommerville approaches, including Hot Tubes, the junior team to beat nationwide. Again, Ian Harris is either off the front or caboose. Today the strategy pays off. Ian attacks with two laps to go on the classic 1 mile crit course. He is pursuing Nicolai Masluk (3D racing) who has been off the front alone for 8 laps. Ian draws to 15 seconds behind Masluk, but cannot close. He finishes 2nd. Evan Cooper comes home in the field for 11th. Khary Ward took a bad fall in the one fairly technical chicane on the course and is now on the injured reserve list.
Monday, The Main Event: The Tour of Somerville. We have Ian, Ryan, Lewis, and Evan in the mix. 75 riders in the race, the largest junior field so far this year. Lewis gets into a nice looking move with two of the strongest juniors in the land: Carter Jones ( Colavita, just back from Europe) and Nick Bax (Hot Tubes). When this move is caught, Ryan and Ian take their chances. Nothing moves. A field sprint is inevitable. Lewis is 9th, but fails rolllout and is DQ'ed. Ryan is 15th, Evan 25th, Ian 35th. Lewis goes home and pulls a tooth off of his chainring.
Tueday: Bethel Summer Night Series: Ryan Storm victorious! Ryan pulls off his first win in a senior event in the Cat 3/4s. The words of the man himself:
It was a 29 lap race....primes every 5 laps starting 25 to go.....i took 3rd, 6th, 1st,15th....then won the overall in a field the bottom of the hill i said screw it....if i don't make a move now, i'll get blocked....even though my attck was early, i still won by almost 5 bike lengths!"
Congrats Ryan!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CanAm 2007 – The Team “Gels”

Third after the opening ITT, Connor Sallee longs for the gold medal...

The Can-Am U19 Challenge is a rare junior-only stage race. Held in the northeast corner of New Jersey, the field is generally large and far-flung, with riders trooping down from New England and up from the Southeast. This year’s 17-18 age group was dominated by Zack Allision, a 17-year old from the Washington DC based National Capital Velo Club, who pulled into the lead in the stage two criterium and then handily won the field sprint in the third stage circuit race.
CRCA JrDev’s Connor Sallee was on the podium from stage one, with a third place ride in the opening four-mile uphill time trial. The stage race overall was based on points, rather than time, and Connor’s position would be constantly under threat by a bevy of superior field sprinters, all of whom were in the middle of the top twenty, but still in the points. Strong rides in the TT by Lewis Almonte –in 9th- and Ian Harris –in 11th, provided some buffer for Connor, who’s dangermen were primarily Daniel Sullivan (Metra-Wendy’s) in 12th and Filip Capala (Capala Bros) in 10th. The team also had strong rides from Evan Cooper (15th) Graham Lang (17th) and Ryan Storm (20th). Neophytes Liam Quigley (27th) and Khary Ward (34th) rode very respectably in their first ever race against the clock.

Filip Capala (right) and Lewis Almonte (left) last year's stage two and three winners (respectively), get called to the line.

Going into the second stage criterium CRCA JrDev’s objective was to make the race as hard as possible for the resident sprinters in the field with the goal of popping Connor or Lewis off the front in the final laps. Unfortunately the already-too-short criterium was trimmed to a mere 20 miles due to a delay clearing an earlier accident off the course. Ian Harris, Ryan Storm, Graham Lang and Evan Cooper exchanged repeated attacks. There was a CRCA rider off the front for most of the race. Ian Harris had a perticularly remarkable ride, either sitting five seconds ahead of the field or in lantern rouge position. He was rewarded for his efforts with the race’s only merchandise prime.
Despite CRCA JrDev’s best efforts the race came down to a field sprint, captured by Daniel Sullivan. Connor moved into second on GC with a strong seventh place. Ryan, was 10th, Evan 13th and Lewis15th.

Cheese Grommit!! Graham grits his teeth and takes a flyer.

Sunday’s third stage circuit race was also dramatically shortened for the 17-18 year-old field, and again the “field softening” strategy did not have enough time to gain traction. Lewis Almonte won this stage last year, and we were hoping for a repeat, which didn’t happen. The team was impressive nonetheless. Ryan Storm opened up hostilities almost from the gun, and Ian Harris and Graham Lang provided worthy counter attacks. Ian found himself accompanied by Kyle Foley of ACT midway through the race and the two hammered out a fifteen second advantage, the largest lead of the day. Things fell apart for Ian after he made a successful bid for the stage’s only time-bonus prime, and lost Foley to a counter attack. Evan Cooper was in the process of bridging to the two and in a moment’s inattention Ian found himself on the deck as Evan joined up to bring Foley back. Remarkably it was the team’s only crash of the weekend.
With Foley back to the fold the race lost momentum as the riders seemed resigned to another field sprint. Connor, Lewis, Evan and Ryan were all prominent in the final kilometer but came into the last turn just a bit too far back to contest the win, finishing 7th, 9th, 10th, and 15th respectively.
Results-wise the weekend was successful, but more importantly each rider achieved specific process goals and overall the team took a huge step in learning to ride as a collective. This was the first weekend that the team dynamic was able to gel and a real effort was made to strategize as a squad.

Race Notes:
Liam Quigley had the unenviable task of riding his first stage race, time trial and criterium with a pinched nerve and a head cold. All the same Liam’s innate climbing ability shined through in the time trial, but the rest of the race was a study in hanging on as long as possible.

Khary Ward has all the makings of a criterium specialist, and none of the technique. Like Liam this weekend was also his first stage race, time trial and criterium. Khary’s improvement between Saturday and Sunday was substantial. Ward suffered at the back of the stage two criterium but hung on impressively for 3/4’s of the race, In stage three he finished with the field, a minor victory in and of itself. In the process Khary earned a bit of a reputation as the team wrecking-crew, all the while masterfully holding himself upright through a series of equipment-chewing misadventures. The tally so far: one rear-derailleur, a quick-release skewer and some spokes.

Mike Fraysee holds yet another future star in the start tent at the ITT.

The faces of CRCAJrDev at the rain-dampened CanAm circuit.

2007 CanAm U19 Challenge Final GC:
1. Zack Allison, NCVC Inova Health Systems
2. Daniel Sullivan, Team Metra/Wendy's/Ideal Tile
3. Filip Capala, Capala Brothers/Polska
4. Connor Sallee CRCAJrDev/Orbea
5. Nikolai Masluk 3D Racing Team/Tom's Atlantic Cyclery
12. Lewis Almonte, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
17. Evan Cooper, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
19. Ian Harris, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
21. Ryan Storm, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
22. Graham Lang, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
26. Liam Quigley, CRCAJrDev/Orbea
34. Khary Ward, CRCAJrDev/Orbea

Ryan Storm (rear) stays tenaciously glued to Filip Capala's wheel (front)...

CRCA got the ladies in the tent! Lewis, Nina Santiago, and Filip, warming-up.

Bear Mt. Juniors: Back with a Vengance

Lewis Almonte drives a train of pink Quebecois

Junior racing returned to Bear Mountain for the first time since 2001 this weekend with a 46-rider field that posted the fastest average speeds of any category save the Pro 1-2. With seven riders on the line, CRCA JrDev was instrumental in driving up that average speed as they battled with a strong contingent of Canadian riders, spearheaded by the pink-jerseyed Louis Garneau-Crocs formation. In the finale both teams were outfoxed by Quebecois rider Nicolas Lefrançois (CIBC/Wood Gundy), who slippped away on the last of three 14-mile laps to capture the win in a dramatic two-up sprint against breakaway companion Brett Jacoby (Gotham Cyclists).
Back in the greatly diminished field the sprint for third was taken by Metra-Wendy’s Daniel Sullivan, who is proving to be the sprinter-du-jour of 2007. CRCAJrDev rider Connor Sallee brought the team home with 9th place in the field, 11th overall. Evan Cooper was inches behind him in 14th, while Lewis Almonte took 17th and Graham Lang 22nd.
Farther afield:
Ryan Storm's Mother's Day obligations prevented him from contesting Bear Mountain, but the man from White Plains was at
the Somerset Circuit Time Trial where he finished third in a strong twenty-three rider junior field, behind Nickolai Masluk (3DRacing) and Brian Register (Liberty Cycle).

Monday, May 7, 2007

Up at Jiminy's Peak and Down at Colt's Neck

Mid-way through Colt's Neck Connor, Ryan (in need of a new jersey) and Lewis prepare to launch Graham...

with Graham ahead of the field with Filip Capala chasing an early two-up break...Connor (far left) sprints to 2nd in the field, 6th overall

CRCAJrDev's largest showing this season happened at Colt's Neck, NJ this Sunday, May 6th. With a team of five in a 20-odd strong junior field CRCAJrDev should have been able to control the field, but early inattentiveness allowed a two-man break to slip off the front. The guys went off in pursuit a little too late, but in the melée of repeat attacks, Graham Lang was able to escape with Filip Capala (Capala Bros.) and nearly brought the break back. Capala beat Graham to the line for 3rd while Connor Sallee was edged into 6th place bt field sprint winner Dan Sullivan (Metra-Ideal Tile). Still, with all 5 riders in the top ten overall it was not a bad showing.
Ryan had this to say at the end of the day: "It was great racing with the team today! We rode smart....controlled the pack when needed...and made the other guys hurt more than they thought they would have to...Great teamwork all around!! It was a pleasure, I look foward to an amazing season! I'm sure, with this group, we have the ability, and talent to achieve many, if not all our goals."

Saturday Lewis Almonte and Khary Ward took on Jiminy Peak where Lewis finished 11th and Khary 23rd. For Lewis it was a slightly disappointing result, last year he took 6th in this event with an equally competitive field. Khary, however, is making large improvments in his form. The 190pd Ward was not suited for this course, but managed to cut his loses finishing fourteen minutes down on the winner.
CRCAJrDev Director Sportif Craig Cook was too busy getting popped off the back of the Pro 1-2 race at Jiminy and thus unable to provide photo documentation of the day.

Colt's Neck Line-up: Ryan, Lewis, Evan, Connor and Graham. photos courtesy of S.Sallee

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Storm Warnings

Dateline Floyd Bennett Field: Ryan Storm took 4th in the Season Opener Floyd Bennett Senior 3/4 race flying the CRCAJrDev colors this Tuesday. Ryan also sent in this missive from last weekend's Binghamton LAJORS :
"Jr-15-18...I took off right as the first [1.6 mile] lap was coming to an end, and gained 15 seconds on the field. After that however, there was a pursuing group not far behind and after riding 3 laps solo I rode the rest of the race with them.
We dropped a few of these kids along the way....By the last 4 laps it was just three of us.
As the final lap approached one kid attacked and another countered, my legs just wouldnt go, so i waited for one of them to bonk....thank god one did because i was able to take 2nd in the uphill sprint. Finishing 2nd overall!!
Pretty good race....Fast, moderatly tough circuit. 51 degrees, cloudy in the morning, and 60 degrees w/sunny skies by the end of the race."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

JrDev has Senior Moments at Sturbridge & Palmer

L to R: Breakfast in America with Joao, Amaury, Lewis and Ian

Looking for experience in large, surly fields and longish distances a smattering of CRCA JrDev riders headed north this weekend to Massachusetts for the Sturbridge and Palmer Road Races. There were no junior fields, so Lewis Almonte and Ian Harris got to "ride up". JrDev graduate Amaury Arias (CRCA/Sakonnet) and sponsorship director Joao Corriea (Bicycling magazine as well as loyal DS Craig Cook rounded out the convoy. Joao was fresh with tales to tell from getting hosed at the Tour of Virginia, but was riding well all the same.
Sturbridge was a bust. Lewis hit the deck on the first lap of the 3/4 event. Ian didn't fall but fishtailed off the road trying to avoid the same pile up. Ian waited for Lewis but Lewis was down for the count. Ian eventually pressed on but the effort cooked him and he called it a day.
With Lewis all bruised up we decided that the Pro 1-3 might be a better option for the lad in Sunday's Palmer Library Road Race. The 70-odd mile road race was the longest event this 17 year-old has competed in. Twirling his junior cluster Lewis finished the race in the main field, 16 seconds behind Sebastian Potok of team Northeastern Hardware. Ian, meanwhile, stuck to the 3/4 event where he rode admirably, losing contact with the pack on the last of three 19 mile laps, and finishing nine minutes down.

Nothing says "Pro" like matching orange Crocs.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mr. Storm Is Back...

Ryan Storm (pictured above at Can-Am 2006) is back from a winter of ski racing in the Colorado Rockies and set to attack the tarmac. Storm gathered some excellent results for CRCA JrDev in 2006, and we are all eager to see what he can put out for 2007.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

CRCA Jr. Dev at Battenkill-Roubaix 2007

Khary and Liam
Khary Ward and Liam Quigley line up for one of those "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" races.

The 2007 episode of Battenkill-Roubaix was contested by a 25-strong junior field. Several prominent east coast kids were present: Bethel series leader Bob German of CCNS and Ryan Barlow of ACT, as well as CRCA JrDev's grizzled veteran Lewis Almonte, and Ian "Embedded Journalist" Harris . Rounding off the team were road racing newbies Khary Ward, Liam Quigley and Evan Cooper. CRCAJrDev's 2006 Battenkill victor Pascual Caputi has been on the bench all season with knee problems and the remainder of the category three squad -Connor Sallee and Graham Lang- was absent for SAT prep .
The action was schizophrenic in a way unique to junior racing; the field would be blown apart on the climbs as the stronger more experienced riders pushed the pace, and then come to crawl on the flats, allowing for a general regrouping. Indeed the junior field, embarrassingly, had the slowest overall time of any field on the course, including the Category Five Masters 45+, and the Category Four Women. Evan Cooper reported "we were going, like, 15 miles an hour at some points".
"I got dropped five times and got back on five times," said a satisfied Ian Harris when it was all over.
The yo-yo effect was too much for Liam and Khary who had never experienced a course like Battenkill, either in training or racing (see their reports below). Liam and Khary wrote their own solo epics, finishing many minutes down.
At the head of the race a twelve-rider group stayed together until the final climb where Ian Harris was the last to get popped. Harris finished tenth, 44 seconds behind eventual winner Bob German.
On the final downhill run-in to the town of Salem Almonte put in a last minute attack, splitting the remaining group of nine; but the move was too little too late. Evan Cooper covered the pursuit as the two Colavita riders in the split chased Almonte down, resulting in all nine riders coming to the line together. Almonte couldn't recover in time to launch a proper sprint and finished fifth, with Cooper just behind him.
Director Sportif Craig Cook was pleased with their performance until he saw their final overall speed. "These are guys who could be top ten in the Category Three field which rode the circuit 28 minutes faster!" Cook said. "I think there was a lot of negative racing in between the climbs. We had three riders in the lead group, we should not have let that happen. In general I expect more proactive racing from the guys."
Still, with 5th, 6th and 10th places at the end of the day and all five riders finishing, it was not a bad showing for one of the hardest circuits in the New York area.

Lewis and Evan respond to pressure from CBRC's Mackenzie Wilsey as the field passes through Cambridge.

"For me this was not so much a race as it was a test of just how long it takes you to finish a 55 mile course after 4 hours of sleep and 2 weeks off the bike. A few sections of the road early on were full of holes - these areas were easy to identify from afar by the water bottles strewn across the course. I stopped seeing other riders . The only way I knew I was in a race was from the tossed water bottles and gel packs on the road every few hundred feet."- Liam Quigley

"CRCA Junior Development Team Director and Coach Craig Cook told me before the race that “ the first ten miles or so will be warm up miles, they have to be idiots to be riding hard” After like 3 miles riders were already pushing the pace on the first real climbs and I wasn't physiologically prepared for these efforts. I thought to myself what did I get myself into. At mile 7 I felt as though I completed a Cat.5 prospect Park race. After the first couple long steep climbs I was really feeling it , was tired and thought ohh I've been riding for a long time this race must be over soon. I look at my odometer and it says 24 miles, not even half way, I wanted to cry and call my Mommy to come pick me up!

The last 20 miles or so I worked with a Coltavita Sutter Home junior named Chris and we diligently worked hard together trying to finish this race. Looking up the road seeing what’s coming next we were literally swearing at some of the climbs. Its better to suffer with someone else(laugh). This was by far the most pain and suffering I've ever experienced in 4 hours. After the race my teammate on Team Organic Athlete, based on his Computer, said that we've completed a little over 4,700 feet of climbing. That’s a colossal figure for me given that I've never did even a quarter of that figure before, even during my most intense training. Although at times I felt that I was going to pass out on some climbs or roll over and die I am glad I did this race. As a matter of fact when I was gasping for breath on the 1 miles climb going like 2-4 mph I saw a couple of riders walking their bikes up the hill. I've only seen that on TV on Paris-Roubaix. All in all "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger“. I did this race for the experience, now I know what real competition is. I don't know how to thank Craig Cook enough for this type of exposure.
" - Khary Ward

Liam Ian...and Mud.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Delivering Far and Wide...

The CRCA JrDev squad divided and conquered this weekend, with representatives at events spanning the region and everyone bringing back results...below is the tally:

CRCA JrDev graduate and team Sakonnet superclimber Amaury Arias (right) congratulates "Booya" Lewis Almonte - Prospect Part 4-1-07.
Photo © Marco Quesada /

Graham Lang aims for the overall series victory at Bethel next week.
© Andy Shen/

GRAHAM LANG: 1st at BETHEL, CT - Lang took top Junior honors at Bethel Connecticut this Sunday in the combined Junior-Masters event, with a fine assist from teammate Connor Sallee who captured a mid-race prime. Here's how Sallee described the action:
"I got on the back of a three-man chain of Bethel riders doing a leadout, but I went wide and got the prime by a bike's length. After the race, I reminded the main official of my prime. The usually cold and silent official made off with a jovial comment, "Yes, you sure did win. Pretty impressive for a junior to beat all these guys with the huge gears!" That was pretty nice....anyway, I found myself back in the pack when the second bell rang, and a lot of people were off the front at that time so we didn't go for the second one. Eventually, in the last five laps of the race, I was glued to the wheel of another junior also in contention. Graham and his main competition of the day (Bob German) made their way up to my wheel, unintentionally together. Graham and Bob fought hard to get my wheel but with half a lap to go Graham eventually got on and we went like two demons up the right side on the gutter, and Graham got the win. It worked out great."
Graham Lang is now in second place in the overall points for the series.

This is the face of suffering? Khary Ward warms-up before the Kirkwood Road Race.

KHARY WARD: 4th at KIRKWOOD, PA - Ward made a heroic effort on a circuit not at all suited to his talents, and he got results: third in the 17-18 year-old age group, fourth in the combined 14-18 scratch. Here's the race in his words:
"The course was like nothing I ever experienced in NYC or 9W. It was really not in my favor. I am a big dude around 200Lbs and its really hard for me to keep up with a 120-135lb juniors on 6 tough climbs. I never suffered on a bicycle like this before. Besides the 6 or so River Road like climbs on this route there was a sweet 40mph+ descent and a sharp uphill right turn immediately after it, nirvana. There were some attacks but they all failed. All in all the experience was good. I got into my first breakaway for more than a minute and I actually pulled the entire field on the flats for like 2 miles until the barrage of steep hills came one after another and I was barely able to get on the back . I shouldn't have pulled, trying to push the pace for no reason, waste of energy. I should have recovered instead (lesson learned).
I got mad complements on the kit though, looks even better now that I got white bar tape!
Sorry I couldn't bring one home for the team but when the course description said rolling I thought "ahh pshh!", Central Park is rolling! But CP is pan-cake flat compared to this."

Evan Cooper (right), showing excellent sprinting form.
© Andy Shen/

EVAN COOPER: 3rd at CRCA "C" RACE, CENTRAL PARK, NYC - Evan Cooper finally shed his goalie's mask and padding now that the high school hockey season is over, and he's come out to Central Park to play. Look for Evan to move up rapidly now that he's actually riding his bike. Evan was 3rd in the four lap- 24 mile "C" race on Saturday, March 31st, missing the win by a little more than a bike length.

Lewis Almonte on the prowl (2nd from left) Photo © Marco Quesada /

LEWIS ALMONTE: 3rd at the SPRING SERIES 3/4 RACE, PROSPECT PARK, BROOKLYN, Sunday April 1, and 7th at CRCA "A" RACE, CENTRAL PARK, NYC - Almonte is honing his field sprint and seniors best watch out..."Booya Lew" navigated a hair-raising finale in Central Park on Saturday as ace sprinter Anthony Lowe had an accidental 100 meter clip-out in the CRCA "A" race, throwing the field sprint into momentary disarray. Almonte came up the inside for seventh place. He repeated this show of velocity in Brooklyn the next day, taking third in a hotly contested lunge to the line at Prospect Park. Do I see an eventual run of one-two trade-offs between Almonte and his older brother Euri Madera (Empire Hotels-CRCA) this season? Madera garnered two 3rd places himself this weekend, in the CRCA "A" race and Prospect Park 1-2-3 event.

IAN HARRIS: Took the weekend off to celebrate his admission into every single college and university he applied to... most likely destination: Brown.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Near Miss at Bethel for Graham Lang

CRCA JrDev's Graham Lang almost snagged the team's first win of the season this past weekend at the CDP Gold Race in Bethel, Connecticut. The Junior event in this early-season series ran in conjunction with the Masters and a combined field sprint decided the outcome. Graham thought he had the win but Bob German of CCNS/Pedal Power was lost in the chaos of the dual-category field sprint.
"I was feeling strong," Graham explained, " with a lap to go it got a bit sketchy so I cut to the outside for the sprint and hammered it up the hill. I was in the front 10 [of the] combined [field]...I thought I won the JR's but the camera showed some kid that nobody thought was a jr, was on the far outside about a bike length ahead of me."
Lang does not consider field sprinting his strong suite, so the result was particularly satisfying.

Bethel CDP Gold Race, Sunday, March 25, 2007
1. Bob German, CCNS/Pedal Power
2. Graham Lang, CRCA JrDev
3. Kyle Foley, ACT
4. Filip Capala, Capala Brothers/Polska
5. Ryan Barlow, ACT

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Pre-Season Fund Raiser: James Startt Photo Auction

Lance Armstrong at the top of the Champs Elysées, Tour de France, 1995

James Startt, Bicycling Magazine's European Correspondent and a veteran photographer of the continental racing scene, has donated a selection of his most iconic photos, to be sold at auction to benefit the CRCA Junior Development Program. Startt is most famous for his Nike campaign shot of a post-brain-surgery Lance Armstrong, as well as the cover of Armstrong's autobiography "It's Not About the Bike". Most recently Startt shot the Look pedal systems campaign "Thanks To Those Who Continue the Legend", featuring Robbie McEwen and Thor Hushovd.
The photos above and below will go up for auction on March 17th. Check back soon for the link. They were part of an exhibition supporting the launch of Startt's book "Tour de France / Tour de Force" in 2000. And comprise a broad survey of Startt's work from the early 1990s. The photos are 30x40cm framed, museum quality archival C-Prints and are numbered in a limited print run. Stay tuned for auction details.

Stephen Roche and fans, Tour de France, 1991

Jan Ullrich, Tour de France, 1996

Johan Museeuw, Paris-Roubaix, 1996

Bjarne Riis, Tour de France, 1996
all photos © James Startt

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Lesson # 1: Squirrel Avoidance

Liam Quigley's knee and hospital bracelet. Courtesy of Liam. Do I see an art project in the works?

The 2007 season is opening in fits and starts for CRCA JrDev. Two of our neophyte crew made their debut this Sunday at the New York City Spring Series and it wasn't pretty. Liam Quigley and Khary Ward were riding midway down the category five field on their last lap when the directionally challenged gentleman in front of Liam (hereafter known as "The Squirrel" ) decided that the small divot in the road ahead of him was too large to ride his $2000 wheelset over, choosing instead to take the long way around. The resulting circumnavigation took out innocent Liam's front wheel and sent our man to the ground. Khary, sitting tightly behind Liam was the next to fall, followed by three other riders. Liam hit his head hard enough to warrant an ambulance ride to St. Vincents. Khary was bruised but otherwise unfazed. The Squirrel unrepentantly soldiered on.
It was Liam's first race ever. Upon returning from the hospital Liam went straight to wrenching his battered bike back into shape, and is by all accounts looking for redemption next week.
In other news Ian Harris rode solidly in the category four event, taking a brief flyer with Metro-Sanchez strongman Scot Willingham and generally behaving aggressively at the front of the bunch. Despite his efforts the race came down to a field sprint and Ian has not quite mastered the art of the elbow, finishing strongly, but out of the "money".
The remainder of the team slept in, laid low, and went to SAT prep classes.
In more other news loyal Director Sportif Craig Cook got dragged around Central Park by his fingernails in a large and unwieldy breakaway for the better part of five laps in the 1-3 race. Ah, training.

Notes: Spellcheck breaks Scot Willingham's surname into the words "Willing" and "Ham", if anyone is interested.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Caribbean Training Camp? Ha!

Ian Harris, guest star J. Gabriel Lloyd and Liam Quigley brave 9DUB and beyond.

Off-season Wrecking Crew at the muffin stop. That's Liam travelling incognito. Thanks to JG Lloyd for the pic.

No fancy-ass Belize stage races or Mallorca training junkets for CRCA Jr-Dev. This weekend the bulk of the team put in over seven hours in the salty run-off of suburban NJ/NY and Central Park. We discovered that Pascual Caputi and Evan Cooper do not actually need to train in order to ride fast. And we discovered that Connor Sallee does. The final revelation of the weekend happened at the Piermont muffin shop after extensive use of the hills behind Nyack College: muffins are good.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Amaury's Big Adventure

CRCA JrDev graduate Amaury Arias (far right) chows down with his new team and some local ladies, at the Sakonnet/CRCA Florida training camp. photo ©: Basil Moutsopoulos

Amaury Arias (left) and Lewis Almonte at the start of the Nancy Morganstern Memorial, Sept. 10 2006 photo ©: Marco Quesada,

CRCA JrDev graduate Amaury Arias will ride for the U-25 team Sakonnet/CRCA in 2007. Amaury, who just received his category three license at the end of 2006, was admittedly a long shot for the squad, which competes nationwide at the elite level. Sakonnet director Basil Moutsopoulos recruited Amaury on the strength of his climbing ability and all around dedication. Anyone who has struggled to keep up with Amaury on an incline would concur with the words of his new director.
"He's a good kid, "Moutsopoulos told me after a week-long Florida training camp in early January, "he's talented, he had no problems sitting on the bike for the 6 plus hours each day... and he was cracking me up as well which was great."
We look forward to watching Amaury progress throughout the 2007 season. This coach particularly longs to see the day when Amaury will put a $@#*&& second waterbottle cage on his @#$@* bicycle!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Specialized in the house...

The CRCA JrDev. Category 3 squad will be sporting dry goods from Specialized this upcoming season. Many thanks to Troy and David at Specialized for an amazing assist with helmets, shoes and glasses. Pascual Caputi, what with his fetish for white shoes, is particularly ecstatic.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bravo Orbea (x5)!

(Orca...whale, get it?)

Sponsorship Director Joao Correia reached into his magic hat and pulled out 5
Orbea Orca's for exclusive use by the CRCA Jr Development "A" team this season. We love Orbea for a number of reasons, not the least because they have been extraordinarily generous to us. Orbea's are beautiful, handmade bikes that go rather well with our kit (think stylish blue accents) but most importantly the company itself is a worker-owned cooperative. Our relationship with Orbea allows CRCA Junior Development to pursue our goal of developing a stable of bikes for distribution to incoming development riders. At the end of the season the old bikes will be given to new riders while the "A" squad will receive a fresh crop. Major props to Tony Karklins at Orbea, Joao Correia and the Bicycling Magazine crew for setting this up.
(Update: it has since come to my attention -courtesy of one of the juniors who actually notices these subtle branding nuances- that the bikes Orbea is providing us with are Opals not Orcas. Oops. The whales stay.)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Introducing: Liam Quigley

Liam's brainchild: The Laguardia Cycling Association.

Liam Quigley has never ridden in a bike race, but this 16-year-old Laguardia High School junior has already done more for the sport of cycling than many of us older, jaded riders can boast. Liam started a fledgling high school cycling club that now comprises over 30 members. The Laguardia Cycling Association serves as an entrée to the sport for Liam's colleagues. Liam and co-president Ming Lin started the club in the fall of 2005 with a fun ride entitled "The Tour de IHOP." That year 10 students showed up. This year the Tour de IHOP was 24 strong.
The LAGCA has bucked cycling's typical gender bias, the majority of its members are women. Liam steadfastly denies that his charisma has anything to do with this.
Look for Liam on the starting line this season at CRCA club races and area senior events in Organic Athlete team kit. Organic Athlete Director Sportif Jack Baranski -- a graduate of Laguardia High himself -- has generously taken on Liam and fellow neophyte junior Khary Ward of Brooklyn. Liam and Khary will be racing in the blue and white of the CRCA Junior Development squad in all area USCF open Junior Events.