Friday, May 30, 2008

Austin Oliver "Burns" The Tour of Atlanta

"To defeat those armies, we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses, provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose."
General William Tecumseh Sherman

Austin Oliver raced a very successful 2008 Tour of Atlanta. He raced all five days completing the stage race. Austin competed not only in the Juniors (hes 15) but also in the Cat 4/5.

Austin punching it on the time trial. He made a strong showing finishing in the top 20 averaging over 25 mph. This was his first time trial!

Austin impresses me the most with how serious he is about his sport. He was prepared and organized going in to the Tour of Atlanta. Above he is warming up getting that heart rate up and the blood flowing.

Austin was proactive in the race. If its not happening you make it happen. He was a one man show against the Frazier Cycling Team from Georgia. Austin finished 3rd in the Junior Crit.

In the stage featuring a 50 mile road race, Austin stayed with the lead pack of 4/5’s until ~ 2miles to go he, he came in with the second group still finishing 24th. He beat all the juniors except one. Most of the Frazier boys got dropped on first lap.

"I think tactically he learned a lot and feels like he got a tremendous fitness effect."

Tom Oliver

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tour of Atlanta

Cullman's own Austin Oliver heads to the Tour of Atlanta today. He did his final preparations this week in preparations to compete in the junior division. The stage race will run Thursday through Monday.
Austin dialed in his position on a time trial bike, to hopefully help him in the TT part of the stage race. There will be a couple of road races and criteriums included in the five day event.
We will all be watching for results on the internet as Cullman's Boy Wonder takes on the Tour of Atlanta.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Team MedPlan

Riding under the sponsorship and direction of Kelly Bownes, Team MedPlan cycling team was formed in 2008. Not only a super team of women's cycling but a great group of women. Team MedPlan has a very active roster for the 2008 season which includes 15 riders on the racing team, 10 Cat 4 developmental riders and 5 club members.

They can be seen out training and racing in the best looking kits around. I think it really shows Kelly's attention to detail which is exemplified in her success in and out of the peloton. Imagine forming a cycling team and making it all work. That's the magic. Its not only the support and logistics, but also the underwriting of it all. Kelly has done so much to promote cycling in Alabama and the Southeast. There is a huge need for more people to get involved in supporting cycling.

This past February the team held its training camp in North Georgia with 100 percent participation. The MedPlan girls have been a major factor in the southeast women's racing series this spring, all the way from the Sumatanga training races to the very elite Athens Twilight Criterium. The team will be racing most weekends this season in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi. Expect to see them on the Podium!

The "Diesel" taking a pull with Amy Gravlee in tow.

Team MedPlan doing it again at the Chattanooga Criterium.

This is my favorite, worthy of the Daily Distraction Page of Pez Cycling News.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Anniston Criterium


I love this photo because it shows how fast these guys are going at it. 40mph to be exact. The above photo shows Rahsaan Bahati of the Rock Racing Team leading a lap of the criterium.

I have a couple of blog entries in the "can" right now but I really wanted to go ahead and post something about the Sunny King Criterium. This was my first trip to the race and I was very impressed. There was a stellar pro field and all the amateur races were stacked also.

Austin Oliver, Cullmans Boy Wonder kept his streak alive with a great performance in the junior race. He made the podium with riders from Atlanta and Nashville etc., ever proving he is ever the real deal.

The women's race was very heated with a huge crash that took out several Team MedPlan racers and a few surviving. I spoke to Amy Gravlee Saturday night after the men's pro race and she obviously was a little dissappointed. Her limp gave away alot and the road rash had to be painful. Seems a junior female took out alot of the combined field of 3/4 women and Amy got tangled up in the chaos.

Brian Toone is amazing. I have never met Brian but I know one thing he is an incredible racer. It takes so much just to hang with speed the pros do. There was a very impressive collection of pro racers in the 70 lap event, most of who had just competed in the Athens Twilight Criterium. Brian who rides for the Tria Market Cycling Team was a major player in the race. He made several tactical moves which were very impressive since he had no team support. Here is a very weak photo which I made in the dark of Brian Toone on a solo break.

In this photo he is trying to bridge the gap back to the 10 riders that had made a break from the main field. The main point is that he was a player in the race.

"Country Al" and "Big Larry" made a cigar smoking appearance. They were at Talladega for some motorcycle racing. Al needed to be out there in the bicycle race, I think it had to be eating on him to see the action. I am sure he will be back.


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