Friday, March 8, 2019

Race Report #1

March1st, 2019
SoCal DEVO Team
Race Report

Picking up after a stellar year in 2018, the SoCal DEVO team is back to our winning ways.
Our first event of 2019 kicked off with the team at Lake Perris for the first round of the Southern California High school MTB League. The team has been training very hard to come into the season strong and ready. Lake Perris is not your typical MTB course, it is wide open and not very technical. Which creates the most anaerobic course of the year. If your not fit at Lake Perris, you cant hide. Well the SoCal DEVO Team was fit and ready for action.
Our youngest new rider is Micah Sanchez. Micah is racing his first year in the High school league as a Freshman. After being sick all week, Micah put forth a huge effort and took a well deserved 4th place podium spot.
Next up on the day was our JV rider Jason Ganske. Jason finished  his final round of chemo therapy in the off season and has been training hard for 2019. Jason is an amazing young man and a hard charger. He managed a 17th place in the largest field of the day. Definitely on his way to full recovery!
One of our fastest up and comers is JV racer Adin Pappel. Adin has been absolutely on fire in the off season. Adin scored a great start and took second place in JV with his eyes set on the top spot!
Next up to bat was our Lady JV racer Lauren Lopez. Before each of the races, I like to sit with the racers and go over strategy and race possibilities. With Lauren the strategy was clear, stay in the top 3 and hold back until the right time to attack. Lauren applied the strategy and around the second lap decided it was time to go. She took off and never looked back. Lauren took a convincing win and set the bar for the year!
Now on to our varsity racers. Varsity is so close to elite level pro fields that the excitement is off the hook! These racers could drop into any World Cup level event and compete.
The next group were our Varsity ladies. This year we are blessed to have some of the top female athletes on the West Coast. All our Varsity ladies are seniors have been in the league since freshmen. We have 4 ladies competing in Varsity this year. Marie Bemis, Madysen Rails, Haley Barrick, and Alyssa Barrick. This year we trained very hard in the off season and prepped for the podium! For Lake Perris the strategy was to keep in the top 8 and not let anyone get away for the first couple laps. Then in the last lap go for broke and wind up for the win. I was very surprised after the first lap when all 4 ladies came around together in a group of 6. I was completely ecstatic and yelling for them to put the hammer down. Little change of strategy! Around the 2nd lap the group had whittled to 5. All 4 of our ladies were right there. By the end of the race Marjie Bemis sprinted for the win with Madysen Rails in 3rd, Hayley Barrick in 4th, and Alyssa Barrick rounding out the podium in 5th. I couldn’t believe how amazing these ladies raced. What a great start to the season!
The final race of the day was by the Varsity Boys. Our Varsity boys this year are all coming up from the JV field. All successful young racers. But JV is a tough group of elite young men. I was fully expecting our DEVO racers to pop top 20 finishes. But in typical hardcore fashion they all surprised me. Our Varsity Boys consist of Ryan Landis, Ethan Sanchez, and Hunter Zubick. All fast but unproven in the fastest category in the league. The strategy was simple, Give me 2:30 in the beginning of the race and move up in the pack as high as you can before the dirt climb. The reason they had to do this was because they were all starting in the back of the pack. The way Back! Once the race began, all the racers did exactly as predicted and went for the front of the pack. I was amazed at how fast and determined they moved to the front. By the time they came through on the first lap all 3 riders were in the top 15. When they came around the second lap they had all maintained top 13 spots. By the end of the race the young DEVO racers finished amazingly close. Ryan Landis landed in 8th spot, Ethan Sanchez ended up in 10th, and Hunter Zubick held on for 12th. All three higher than expected and ready for the more technically suited courses to come.
The SoCal DEVO team did an amazing job at the Lake Perris round of the SoCal High School League. Great indications of things to come!

Up next was the first round of the California State Series at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA. It was a tough weekend, the weather was rainy and cold! But in typical DEVO Fashion we excelled.
First up was our 17-18 year old Cat 1 Ladies. Madysen Rails took the top spot on the podium with Hayley Barrick in 2nd, Alyssa Barrick in 3rd, and Lauren Lopez rounded out the podium in 4th. It was a clean sweep of the podium for the DEVO ladies.
Marjie Bemis took 2nd place honors in the 19-39 year old cat 1 category. She battled with the current National Champ and almost took the win. Next time!
In one of the largest categories on the day, the hotly contested 17-18 Cat 1 Boys. Adin Pappel took 3rd followed closely by Hunter Zubick in 4th, and Ryan Landis in 10th.
Jason Ganske really stepped up and took a 3rd place on the podium in the 17-18 Cat 2 boys. Jason is going to be a force!

Following up the great day of XC racing was another great day of Enduro racing. The 2nd round of the SoCal Enduro series was under way.
Lauren Lopez raced in the Pro Women’s category and placed 6th in a top women’s field.
Jason Ganske Took 18th place in the biggest field of the day.
Ryan Landis took the top spot on the podium and won the Junior expert Category! This was one of the fastest categories on the day, the times rivaled the Pro’s Ryan Landis’s overall time would have put him 6th in the Pro Men’s field! Great Job!

We’d like to give a huge shout out to our partners and sponsors.

Thanks to Ellsworth Bikes for the sweet rides! The Ellsworth Enlightenment hardtail is the weapon of choice for the DEVO team’s XC endeavors. Lite, Nimble, and super fast! The Rogue 60 is our choice for Enduro, Pedals great and descends even better!

Thanks to kenda tires for putting us on the best tires around. For theses races the DEVO team uses the Booster up front and the Saber in the rear. A formidable combination, ready to rock! For Enduro we are using the Hellcat’s upfront and the Helldiver in the rear. Loving the new tires!

PhysioPhyx supplements are the fuel of choice for on and off the bike. New for 2019 the DEVO team Has found a great nutrition source for top level performance! Not only does it taste good, it works! It has been an eye opening experience working with the PhysioPhyx product.

ESI Grips have been the real deal grip choice since the start of the SoCal DEVO team. Super lite, dependable, and always ready to help handle the courses! Gary and Maria have always taken care of us and we love the product and support.

Canari Cyclewear provides the best cycling clothing. Made and designed in the USA. The SoCal DEVO team is excited to wear the best in 2019.

GUP tire sealant is the backup the SoCal DEVO team needs to finish the races. You can’t win if you can finish!

Special shout out to Rudy Project. Rudy Project has been our eye and helmet sponsor for the last couple of years. During that time we’ve come to know what quality really is. Our Racemaster and Windmax helmets are lite, durable, and very breathable. Our Tralyx eyewear is the top of the line protection and provide crisp clear Vision. Not only does the Rudy Project gear give us the performance advantage, the gear looks amazing!

The SoCal DEVO team has a big block of racing coming up and we look forward to performing at our best! Thank you to all of our sponsors and partners for the support and expertise. Because of you we are able to perform at our top level!

Coach J

Wednesday, January 30, 2019