Team Gates Carbon Drive scored a hat trick last weekend, taking wins in two singlespeed races and the 35+ Open category on Sunday.
Picture by Jim Heuck
Saturday’s race in Westminster, Colorado, offered up off-camber grass sections requiring big power, big stair run-ups and plenty of technical sections. Jesse Swift and Garrett Davis powered to the holeshot and quickly gapped the field, but Carlos Casali went down in a crash. Jesse and Garrett worked well together, while Mitch Westall showed team strength working for Carlos to bring him back towards the front so he could gain maximum points towards the Boulder Cup Series.
Mitch Westall of Team Gates Carbon Drive. Picture by Jim Heuck
In the end it was a Team Gates Carbon Drive sweep of the podium, with Jesse Swift, Mitch Westall and Carlos Casali taking the honors! And with Garrett Davis, Derek Strong and Taylor Jung wrapping up 5th through 7th places, the team dominated once again.
Jesse Swift was anxious to get back to the racing on Sunday, and was up early for the 35+ Open race, squaring off against all those guys that use multiple gears. But it only took a few laps before he was alone at the front with one of the categories toughest racers Tim Faia. It was a very tactical final couple laps, as the two pushed each other to the limit, forcing a trip by Jesse which he had to fight back from. On the final lap Jesse was able to take the lead by bunnyhopping a single barrier, and had to fight hard the rest of the lap to keep Tim behind him and secure the win!
Jesse Swift leading through the barriers
In the single speed race later that day, Carlos Casali and myself represented the team. While Carlos took the lead right from the first couple laps, my lingering cold “forced” me to join the Team Gates Carbon Drive cheering squad, as they represented one of our fine sponsors; Oskar Blues Brewery. I almost felt guilty with the hard work that Carlos was putting in, but it was all worth it as he held off a hard-charging field on a fun course to take the win as the skies went dark for the evening. Three wins for the team over the weekend!
Carlos Casali racing to the Win!
With SSCXWC 2011 wrapped up, Team Gates Carbon Drive is on form and continuing to build and focus on the Colorado State Championships in a few weeks!
Arthur den Haan from the Dutch city of Gouda (where the so-named cheese comes from) sent us a nice note recently about how riding his new bike with Gates Carbon Drive has improved his health and fitness. Arthur says he rides more because he no longer has to maintain a chain. Here is Arthur in his own words:
“My health has substantially improved since I got a Gates Carbon Drive bike. The reason is that I no longer fear the rain because it might cause corrosion on my chain and lead to extra maintenance (as it did on my chain-equipped bike). I went up from about 1,500 miles to 4,000 miles a year. My blood pressure went down, I lost weight, gained physical condition and had a marvelous time along the way! This may sound exaggerated, but the fact of the matter is that a trouble- and maintenance-free piece of equipment really can tip the balance.”
Arthur, 54, owned a previous mountain bike but spent too much time cleaning his chain. “I meticulously cleaned my chain every 4 or 5 rides with a toothbrush and kerosene, flushing and re-greasing it afterwards.” When he learned about Carbon Drive, Arthur decided to get his “once-in-a-lifetime dream bike,” a custom titanium 29er from Dutch brand Van Nicholas. He outfitted it with Carbon Drive, a Rohloff geared hub, carbon Lefty fork, and a loop bar for comfort and “more positions for your hands.” Arthur has ridden more than 3,000 kms since getting his Van Nicholas in June, and he can be seen frequently pedaling through the farmlands and pastures surrounding Gouda, a picturesque city founded in 1272.
And for you foodies and cheese-hounds, Arthur says the mass-produced factory Gouda that is sold around the world doesn’t compare to the flavorful handmade variety from his region. “The explanation for the rich quality of proper Gouda cheese is that the cows feast on some of the best grass in the country, hence their milk is superb,” he says. If you ever get to Gouda, pick up a wax-covered wheel of cheese at the farmers market and look for Arthur riding through the farmlands and fields.
After a day of beautiful weather for Saturday’s qualifiers the San Francisco skies poured down steady rain on Sunday to make for a sloppy championship race in Golden Gate Park. San Francisco did a fantastic job of hosting Singlespeed Cyclocross Worlds, and Team Gates Carbon Drive looks forward to participating again next year. As of this posting it appeared Santa Cruz had made the strongest bid to hold SSCXWC2012. Who knows? Maybe Colorado can mount a bid to host the event in Denver and Boulder in a future year. Below are some shots of the action from Sunday and a few more images from Saturday’s qualifiers.
Cristina Begy looked fabulous in her yellow feather vest, as many competitors donned costumes that became mud-encrusted through the race
Jesse Swift was all business for Team Gates
Jesse launched his bike through the water pit
Cristina lines up for the women's race
Pete Thompson flew in from Michigan for the race
Selene Yeager, the Fit Chick columnist for Bicycling Mag, rode a belt drive Raleigh, one of the many non-Gates riders running Carbon Drive
Mitch Westall, the top finisher for Gates, slogs up one of the many muddy climbs on the course
Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive, with Pete Thompson, Taylor Jung, Jesse Swift and Taylor Nye after the race
Taylor Jung demonstrating proper mounting and dismounting form during Saturday's qualifiers
Taylor Jung and Mitch Westall buddy up during one of the mandatory photo ops on Saturday
Organizers had not posted results when this blog post went live, so check http://www.sscxwc2011.com/ in the coming days to see how Gates and other competitors fared.
Taylor Jung runs the grueling 'Lyon Stairs,' which brought riders to the verge of puking
Team Gates Carbon Drive flew to San Francisco this weekend for Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. Qualifiers took place on Saturday and required riders to complete various tasks, or “Feats of Strength,” from a hill sprint to a dollar bill grab to a beach run. Everyone who finished in the top half of the qualifying events gets to race in the championships on Sunday. Below are some shots of the action and scene in SF, where belt drives were featured on many bikes in addition to the Gates squad’s. Taylor Jung, Taylor Nye, Pete Thompson, Mitch Westall, Jesse Swift and Cristina Begy made it to SF for the weekend of fun, which featured members of River City Bicycles’ belt drive team as well.
Jesse Swift in a moment of calm reflection with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
The beach run
Mykyta Yurtyn, the Mad Ukrainian, turned up to represent on his bellt drive Raleigh for the Troupe team
Ryan Weaver of River City Bicycles bringing sexy back to cycling during the mandatory photo shoot
Taylor Jung charges the California Street hill
Mitch Westall with his Raleigh during one of the many mandatory photo stops
The new Spot "Mod Disc" made its debut at SSCXWC and turned some heads
The Mod Disc features Spot's new disc-ready carbon fiber fork
Kathleen McMahon showed up with her belt drive Baron
Troy Evans on his belted Boo
Bike Rumor has just posted a nice writeup with lots of great closeup photos of the Metropolitan, a belt drive commuter bike from German brand Tout Terrain. Check it out here. The Metropolitan features an integrated rack, Rohloff hub, dynamo hub lights for safety on the city streets, and it is built to last. Tout Terrain has two more belted models coming, the Chiyoda (pictured below) and the Amber Road. Tout Terrains can be purchased in North America through Peter White Cycles.