June 25, 2008


New Team To Focus On Athlete Development and Camaraderie

SUNNYVALE, CA (June 25, 2008) – Sterling Sports Group announced it’s intention to join the Northern California race team community with the formation of a 2008 Cyclocross Team. The team will support three to five riders in both Bay Area and Sacramento chapters in each of the following categories: Men’s, Women’s B and C, Masters A and B’s, and juniors. Interested riders should submit a team application between June 25th and August 1st. Preference will be given to those athletes who most ably demonstrate the balance between competition, camaraderie, and fun in their approach and attitude. Applications and program descriptions are available on the company website www.sterlingwins.com. Final rosters and clothing orders will be set by August 15th and racing will commence in early October. If there is sufficient interest and sponsorship the team will also support Men’s and Women’s Elite A teams.

A longstanding supporter of local cycling teams through it’s Team Coaching Programs, Sterling Sports Group President Matt McNamara noted that forming a Sterling branded team was the next logical step in the evolution of the company. “We are a performance coaching company, so we couldn’t think of a better way to showcase our programs and athletes than by racing the ultra-competitive, ultra-fun Northern California ‘cross circuit as a team.” To that end all members receive a personalized coaching program built to their schedule and goals (a $600 value). In addition team members will enjoy great support, regular training rides, and substantive pro-deals including:

- Team Training Camp – All team riders are invited to our 2 day training camp in mid-September. The camp includes baseline performance testing, group rides, position assessment, and training program orientations.
- Weekly Training Rides – starting in September we’ll be hosting weekly training and technique rides for the team in both Sunnyvale and Sacramento. Rides will be primarily held in and around Fremont-Older Park and Stevens Canyon in Cupertino on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. Sacramento rides will be hosted by regional Sterling Sports Group coach Matt Idler.
- Leopard Bikes – Team members will have preferred pricing on the new Leopard Cyclocross Bike, a full carbon race bike that sets a new standard in both performance and weight.
- Ritchey Components – As a Northern California team Ritchey was a natural choice. Team bikes will have Ritchey spec bar, stem, cranks, and seat posts.
- Additional sponsors pending.

Cost for the program is $300, including a team jersey, coaching program, baseline testing & bike fit, training camps/rides, race support, and access to pro deals on team bikes and equipment.

Sterling Sports Group (www.sterlingwins.com) is the result of over 20 years of passion for the sport of cycling. Launched in late 2003, Sterling Sports is a growing company focused on creating a seamless interface between athlete and coach, technology and personal attention. They can be reached at 408.891.3462 or info@sterlingwins.com

June 24, 2008

Track Racing Is Fun

The American Velodrome Challenge fired off this past weekend at Hellyer Park. It was my first 'big time' track race since, probably, 1990! There were Olympicans, future Olympians, Pro Roadies, and a slew of just plain 'ol fast guys & gals. I raced a couple of 'Elite' events - keirin (well 2 rounds of it anyway) and the 60 lap points race (if you call desperately hanging on racing), but I was mostly there to do the masters events. There were five of them - miss-n-out, scratch race, keirin, sprints, and points race. My goal going in was to make the podium in all the events. A lofty goal perhaps given my lack of both track racing in the past 18 years and my lack of racing at all this season, but my goal still the same. Fortunately, on friday, the elite keirin served as a good warm up for the two masters races that night - miss-n-out and scratch race. The elite keirin was a lesson....big, aggressive, fast guys, that do this often are way faster than me! Wow, they really can jump and just plain haul it for the lap and a half...

Luckily redemption lay in the miss-n-out. Thirty one riders were in the field, making for a 28 lap race. The first laps were a bit sketchy - riders pushing and shoving to get into a better position mid-pack. Why all the pushing for a safe mid-pack position I can't say...but you could feel the inevitable was coming - and sure enough about 10 laps in some guys tangled and went down - I heard the noise on my lower left and just turned right, aiming for the top of the track and hoped for safety. I got through ok, others didn't. After a 10minute rolling wait we re-started and the real fun began. I found it pretty easy to duck, dodge and weave to stay out of trouble and before I knew it we were down to 6 riders. I was sitting in the sprinters lane with a rider above and just ahead - I was last wheel. No place to go but backwards and over the top - so I did. Hard punch to the line and over the top and off the front a bit...safe. The next two laps were easy and I was in the final three. Neutral lap and then BOOM - Larry Nolan fires off a solid attack, matched by Dirk Copeland, while I just watched them ride away - a bit too tired from the push to make the top five.

Scratch race - safer and still fast it's a blur til the last lap....following wheels, riding hard, and watching the top 7 start to sprint. Feel pretty good, then I spot a hole..shoot forward between two riders and nab a 5th! Nice - two masters events, two podiums!

Sprints - why do i fancy myself a track sprinter? Turning a 12. 6 isn't fast (11.69 - that's fast, and was the top masters time). I pretty much sucked - didn't win a race at all...but somehow managed to get 6th. Not a podium, but 'dern close! i turned a 12.33 in the elite qualifier for just a small bit of redemption.

Masters Keirin - another chance to learn how to do this race...learned a lot too! My group had fast guys, including Larry Nolan. I got a great start and settled into the 2nd position behind Larry - it was like a free ride to the finals...just stay on his wheel and try to follow when he hit the gas. We were probably 15m clear of the next rider, and I was through to the final. Of course the lessons continued in the final..I didn't get Larry's wheel and took too much air on my way to a somewhat ok 5th. 4 races, 3 podiums.

Points Race - Here is a piece of advice for aspiring trackies - when a National Champion attacks and is followed by a former World Champion - go with them! That group went away and stayed away for the majority of the points...blasted! No points, no podium, no cash. "luckily" the elite points race was immediately after the masters points race...so I got to do 100 laps of points racing in one stop! Unluckily the elites were MUCH faster than the masters...like 3 or 4 mph average (which means something at 31 - 38mph). Just to stay on the lead lap was an accomplishment and I was pretty happy to survive. I rode a 50x14 (94inches) which was too big for masters, but ok for elite. With better prep, more rest between events, and a stronger mental game I know I can run with those guys - great motivation for Masters Nats in September!

keep an eye out for the upcoming Sterling Track Day - we'll take ya'll down and show you the ropes at Hellyer...because
Track racing is fun!

June 18, 2008

Coastal Classic - Day 3

The third day of the "classic" was, perhaps, the easiest 110+ mile days I've done. It's not that it was 'easy' - it's just that it was beautiful and the hardest day was behind us. After a 'meat-fest' at the local chop house in Grover Beach on Saturday night we started off early and rested (sleep was not a problem!). The route was gloriously flat for the first 35-40 miles or so and then we hit this awesome little climb. I felt good, so John and I sped away and just had a good time climbing. From there we rolled into LomPoc (Lom Poke for those that don't know) and had a leisurely recovery stop. Then off to Solvang via a sweet little road that was almost dead to traffic, but full of twists and turns and climbs. Once in Solvang we stopped for a simple, yet delicious, turkey sandwhich and pastry. While eating it was observed that the next part of the ride was 'an oven!' Certainly and understatment as we rode single file on a speed-crazed highway - totally sketchy! Fortunately we pulled off onto our last climb of the day - a very sweet little jaunt that climbed up to a harley-watering hole. From the top of the pass it was a sweet shot down to Santa Barbara and the beach at Goleta! Margaritas, appetizers, and stories filled the afternoon before our sprint drive back home - with requisite stop at In-N-Out Burger, a first for John! Great ride, great group - can't wait to do it again!


Finally, after nearly four weeks of finger crossing, pleas for help, repeated formal requests with blogger, and a couple of voodoo ceremonies - the BLOG has returned!!! How long we stay up is a real question for debate, but for now I'll try to get back on track with postings and updates. Feel free to drop me a line if you've got a question, suggestion, or comment for Sterling Sports Group