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Powered by Jimmie Johnson Foundation

TotalCyclist MTB team powered by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. What does that mean, powered by Jimmie Johnson Foundation ? In essence we are advocates, partners and ambassadors for the foundation. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation (JJF) focuses on providing funding for K-12 public education. To date the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $7.7 million to various organizations. This ties directly to one of the core principals of our team: Teaching. Everyone on the team has benefited from the generosity of others who were willing to share time and information; we are committed to exactly the same. We strive to share our expertise and experience (good and bad!) to anyone who seeks it. Additionally we all actively support local skills clinics and strive to assist anyone new to the sport as well as encourage children to take up cycling. As part of our efforts to assist JJF, a substantial portion of all sponsorship funds raised by the team are contributed to the Foundation.

As an athlete Jimmie has seen the benefits in the race car of performing endurance sports and cycling off the track. Only seems natural he would encourage others to do the same, which led to the creation of the JJF Wellness Challenge. In its current format the challenge consists of three events: 5k run, and two sprint triathlons with the proceeds from the events going to further benefit public schools. More local races, supporting local schools add in a dose of competition and a healthy purse! Everyone wins! With the 5k completed, we are rapidly coming up on the second event- Jimmie Johnson Foundation Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon on Aug. 11th, 2015. Just five days away! Before you starting thinking of reasons not to enter......No excuses! There is a spot for everyone! You can register to race here. If your not quite up to doing the whole race there is a relay class. Or if it's a recovery week, sign up to volunteer ! Don't live in the area? Jimmie will send a jet to pick you up!!  (Not true... but he might with the right donation.)  All kidding aside, if you can't get to the event you can always donate directly to the foundation or buy some gear to support JJF. If you really can't make it and none of that was enough to entice you..... this is my final offer.... buy a raffle ticket to win JJ's Chevy! (Unlike the jet transportation this is true) Only 4848 tickets available! Great odds! And if you win... they will pay the taxes! How sweet is that? I read most of the fine print (okay skimmed) and surprisingly employees of the other Home Improvement company are eligible. (Really should address that next time) Unfortunately it is limited to residents of the USA. So to all my Canadian relatives, you are out of luck.....or buy a ticket in my name and we will work something out. I promise! See you at the race!

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USA Cycling MTB Marathon Nationals

A few members of the team headed to Columbus County GA for the 2015 USA Cycling MTB Marathon National Championships. The course was 60 miles and ~2600' of climbing in the Wildwood Park trail system near Augusta GA. Below are some results for the team along with some action and podium shots from Mike Tam who was 4th in XC Men 30-34 and Laura Maddy who was 3rd in XC Women 45-49! Great job team and thank you to all our sponsors and your support! See you at the trails soon!


Bonnie Kleffman - 8th XC Women Pro
Laura Maddy - 3rd XC Women 45-49
Mike Tam - 4th XC Men 30-34
Terry Slifer - 7th XC Men 45-49
Michael Shafer - 10th XC Men 45-49
Jim Heckman - 14th XC Men 45-49


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bonnie
Schafer 2
Nationals full size


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FatTire 40 and New Friends in the Desert

A weekend work trip with the mountain bike in tow turns to a last minute decision to race the FatTire 40 miler in AZ. A nice flight into Goodyear, AZ on Thursday evening ended with an awesome group night ride around the hills of Goodyear with 21 riders lit up like a string of white Christmas lights. Yes 21 riders with lights, it was so cool! Also, it was nice to meet some really awesome local riders who showed us some sweet singletrack and a nice western diamondback rattler. During the ride I heard a fella mention his buddy was taking it easy on the hills because he was racing Saturday…hmmm…. “A race” I say to myself. After the ride I get the details on the “FatTire 40” in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Fountain Hills, AZ.

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Friday starts with a drive up to McDowell and some race course recon. First impression is that it’s like riding on marbles. Tiny loose gravel covers every turn and lots of flat, windy singletrack mixed with steep rocky climbs and bombing downhills. The 2.0 ThunderBurt on the rear left over from winter short track is certainly a poor choice but the decision is made to register and give it a go on Saturday. With temps in the mid 70’s and sunshine forecast, what could be better?

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Saturday comes and after the standard prerace breakfast of oatmeal with PB and honey I scramble to get to the line early, with 70 plus racers in my class I’m thinking a front row spot is a must.

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8:20 a.m. arrives and the race goes off right on time. After a 300-yard sprint up the gravel road to the singletrack I enter in second place. Feeling good at this point it’s time to settle in and click some miles off. It’s only a matter of minutes before the leader is getting away on the flat singletrack and I feel the guys behind me trying to pass. Get passed on the flat singletrack? Never, I tell myself, so I try to pick up the pace only to overshoot a couple of corners and end up making my own lines thru the desert and saguaro. I lose a few spots with the off trail excursions and hoping I haven’t punctured a tire I end up sliding back to around 10th place, barely able to keep the lead group in sight. It’s obvious I’m struggling on the flats so I hang on a few more miles until we reach the fire road that leads us up to backside of the mountain. I give it all on the road to catch back up to the second group and settle back in around 7th place with the top 3 still in occasionally in view. Back in the singletrack, I’m hanging on again trying not to lose spots, overshoot another corner with an exit over the bars, break the Garmin mount and luckily I see my Garmin on the ground with half of the barfly still attached. I throw it in my jersey and with a quick bike check I’m on my way. Trying to count the riders that passed I guess I’m in about 13th place. Now I find myself in that place where the lead group has gone and no one is in sight behind, let the mind games begin. I try to push the pace but feel like I’m going nowhere and it starts to feel more like a solo cruise than a race. I feel the top 10 I was hoping for slipping away. I know the course is 40 miles with 3100’ + ascent but with my Garmin in my jersey I have no idea how long I’ve been riding or what is left elevation wise. Finally the course turns upward and after a couple 100% efforts I start seeing some riders scattered in the distance. They get closer with every climb and finally I have a carrot. One by one I recognize the jerseys I had become so familiar with on the fire road. I see these guys who were so much faster on the flats really working hard on the hills and I try and make a point as I pass with a 110% effort to get a gap each time, and it works to get solidly in the top 10. Course flattens out again and here they come, damn, how can they be so fast on the flats I ask myself. I get passed by 1 guy and see a couple more a few yards back. With around 5 miles to go based on the signs, the course turns up again. I’m feeling good attacking the hills and building a gap behind me. I catch a familiar jersey up the last singletrack hill leading to the gravel road climb back to the finish. I sit in and wait to make a move hoping I’ve saved more than him. 50 yards to the line I go and end up a few seconds ahead and finish 8th. It was a hard ride mentally and I’m happy with the results. Time to head back to Goodyear and meet some locals for another group ride. After 10 miles at the FINS trails we end up at an awesome pump track in town. Some hot laps around the track and the day is done. I’m smoked but wouldn’t change a thing except maybe my back tire!!

Kelly Hudson

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Heading South to Santos Race report

6 Hours of Santos: Race Report – Bonnie Kleffman

This weekend several of my TotalCyclist MTB teammates and I trekked down to the Santos trail system in Ocala, FL for the 6 Hours of Santos. I had been there two years ago for the SERC opener in 2013, so I knew that the course was demanding, punchy and fast. Laura and I drove down on Friday and met the guys for a preride. Shafer already had his RV set up trailside next to Niner Mike and the BikeSource/Faster Moustache crew, so the combined pit world was already full of friendly faces. I was surprised to learn that the course was to run in the opposite direction from the last time I was there. Kevin, Shafer and Jim were ready to ride, so Laura and I got on our bikes quickly and followed them into the trail. I was glad to zoom along behind them and watch their lines. The beginning of the course featured two elevated bridges and plenty of punchy, twisty rock sections. The middle was all flow and power. It was flat and sandy with just enough dirt in the corners to create tiny berms. This rolled on for a few miles until a sharp left took us into the other side of the Vortex, where punchy rock sections and bermed wooden structures rounded out the 8 mile loop.  I remember thinking to myself that this course would require my full attention. Plenty of opportunity for carnage to bike and body.

Race morning brought warm temps with the promise of Florida sunshine, and we all told ourselves through our race jitters that it would be a fun day no matter what happened. (Always a comforting sentiment to hide the butterflies.) It is tradition for this race to begin with a LeMans start, and this year was no exception. Since running in bike shoes and a backpack is awkward at best, I adjusted my expectations and tried to stay calm at the start. I entered the singletrack somewhere in the middle of a long train of riders, most of whom were well behaved as we struggled to sort out the pecking order. By the end of the first lap I was feeling great, and was pushing darn close to my xc pace. Lap two brought more of the same. I was glad to have brought the Air9 as the predictability of the hardtail made me comfortable navigating jagged rocks on narrow trail. The hammer came down every time I hit the flat middle, time trialing it PainCave style with constant circles and pressure on the legs.

I heard someone say that the winning women from the previous year got 6 laps in, so I was loosely shooting for that, knowing that as an endurance newbie, I might have to adjust my expectations mid race. I caught up to my friend and competitor Kym Flynn on lap three, but lost her again when I had to get more fluids in the pit. After lap 4, my mind was going to the darker, tired place where brains go when the race is about 60% over. I remembered that (best pit crew ever) Niner Mike said he had some Dr. Pepper in the pit. He was ON IT and hooked me up! A few minutes later, what I thought was a calorie deficiency subsided and I was feeling human again. As I was approaching one of the ‘wall ride’ wooden structures toward the end of that lap, I came upon my friend Jana, who was riding strong as ever. She confirmed that in order for our final lap to count, we had to cross the finish line before the 6 hour clock ran out. I did some quick calculation and figured that if I hurried, I could finish my current (6th) lap and get another in if I pushed. Talk about adjusting expectations! I was now on a MISSION! With no time to stop for additional Dr. Pepper, I hammered through the pits at the end of lap six and heard Jordan shouting, “Get one more good one in!” After the mandatory dismount through the start/finish, I figured I had 48 minutes to get it done. I had this. One man passed me like his wheels were on fire, and I knew he was going for the same thing. Dang. Was my timing correct? I could not hold his pace, so I held my own, and kept pushing. Somewhere I found the energy in the fifth hour to spin through the final rocks, but in the end I managed with 4 minutes to spare. I buried myself on that last lap, and it was my third fastest of the day. This earned me third place, just a few minutes behind Kym Flynn with Amy Horstmeyer finishing first. I was proud to share the podium with these fast ladies, and was glad that my last lap was among my best. Endurance racing is as much about will and mental strength as it is about riding. This is confirmed for me at every race, and I have been surprised at what my legs can sustain when my mind wills it to be.

It was a great weekend for the TotalCyclist team overall, with plenty of podium finishes and strong riding by all who entered. Kelly and Kevin were 1 and 2 on the SS podium, Shafer was 2nd on the box in the 45+, with Jim not far behind in 10th. They had an enormous field of strong men! Last but certainly not least, my awesome coach Laura was 4th of the 17 women in our field. Sweet!!

I would like to thank my friend (Niner) Mike Stanley for helping me, the TC Team and all of the Charlotte crew in the pit. We couldn’t have done it without you!  Also, to my teammate Shafer for cooking dinner for the team on Friday night. Dude, you can cook! A fun weekend with friends and teammates is the best, and, well, so is Florida in February. We will be back next year!

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Winter short Track Race 1 Report

The Winter short track series take place every year and are a great series to have some fun and test your early season fitness on the bike. This is a 5 race series that takes place at Renaissance park in Charlotte NC. Its a fun and fast 3/4 mile circuit with banked turns and a good gravel road climb out. Turnout is always very high for the event and it's put on by Neal Boyd and his group at Charlotte Sports Timing. The races are divided into age groups and classes ranging from beginner classes all the way up to expert. The Team had a great start to the Charlotte Winter Short Track series with both Chris Wieczorek and Bonnie Kleffman taking the wins in the expert men and womens classes.  Kelly Hudson in Super sport men and Dave Williams and Patrick McFeeley in Masters men also all earned podium spots!

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Chis had this to say about his big win.

"My race went well considering I was sick most of the week. I was feeling really wiped by Thursday/Friday when I finally got back on the bike and was worried about being able to hit it hard. I did a few efforts on Thursday/Friday and felt really bad and taxed, dizzy, etc....so I basically rested and kept hydrated with Nuun and home made juices the rest of the week. I did a typical warm up but didn't do any sprinting. I decided to just sit in and match any reasonable moves and try to stay conservative, I was worried I'd fall flat at any time. Once the race got going I was happy to find out that most attacks from the other riders were not too bad and my engine was rested enough to hold a strong steady pace. I didn't put in any big moves I just rode a bit harder near the end. Luckily that was enough to take the win!"

The rest of the team also had some great results for early in the season, and just goes to show that Winter Training at TotalCyclist can pay off!

Chris Wieczorek 1st Expert Men
Bonnie Kleffman 1st Expert Women
Kelly Hudson 3rd Super Sport Men
Terry Slifer 4th Super Sport Men
Dave Williams 2nd Masters Men
Patrick McFeeley 3rd Masters Men
Kevin Brown 6th SingleSpeed
Mike Tam 6th Sport 19-39
Brian Hester 10th Sport 40+
Jim Heckman 12th Sport 40+

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Great job everyone and thanks to our sponsors for all your great support!!

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Rumble and some Tumbles in the Jungle!

The Rumble in the Concrete Jungle is a one-of-a-kind event held at the USNWC in Charlotte NC featuring several disciplines of bicycle racing, each taking place in and around the drained whitewater channels of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river.A few of the team members participated in both the downhill event as well as the short-track race.

First we want to wish a speedy recovery to everyone that was injured in the event including team member Kelly Hudson who all had some pretty bad crashes during the event. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys, heal up fast and see you back on the trails soon!

In the downhill open race team member Josh Strang took home a solid 3rd place result, with Kelly Hudson in 34th and Mike Tam in 46th in a tightly packed field of riders with tenths of seconds separating competitors.

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In the short track event held after the downhill competition, team member Chris Wieczorek took home the win with fellow teammate Josh Strang in 3rd! Fellow team member Mike Tam also finished with a solid 10th place finish. Fellow teammate Kelly Hudson along with several riders had some pretty bad crashes during the event and did not finish. Speedy recovery guys!

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Chris had this to say about his race. "My race went well and stayed out of trouble. Mike Tam offered to lead out the start and separate it out so I could stay safe. That caused Andrew Raab and I to get away really quickly. We basically worked with each other the entire race, he was super strong on the flat course and put some big power down on the gravel. He tried to drop me a few times but I was able to stay on his wheel without going maximum. With one to go I was able to make a winning move strait up the concrete wall to get by him and pull a gap. I drilled it all out for the next half a lap to stay away...felt pretty good."



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Where did December go?

It always seems like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flies by! The TotalCyclistMTB team has been busy hitting the trails when the weather and time allows and TotalCyclist #Paincave to get some indoor sessions in as well. So lets recap some of the happenings from the past few weeks.

Back on December 7th team member Kelly Hudson ventured down to Harbison State Forest in Columbia, SC for the annual Rudolph's Rampage Mountain Bike race. Kelly came home with a 2nd place finish in the CAT 1 division with a very strong effort!! Congrats K-Bone....Digging!!



On December 13th & 14th team member Mike Tam competed in the North Carolina Cyclocross events held in Hendersonville, NC. Mike competed in the Mens CX4/5 division which had over 40 entries for day 1 and over 35 for day 2. In a strong field Mike was able to bring home a very solid 12th pace finish for day one and stepped it up to 8th on day 2. Congrats Mike!

As for the rest of the team we have been getting in some good team rides and long base building sessions! And when the weather is not on our side we are hitting the roads & #paincave and getting some work in! If you haven't had the pleasure of joining an indoor session at TotalCyclist you owe it to your self to give it a rip! It might make you Fast.......



So on behalf of all the TotalCyclistMTB team we want to wish you a Happy Holidays and see you on the trails soon!!

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chad@totalcyclist.com

Mid Season Recap: Terry "Slip" Slifer

Been Awhile since I posted a bike related blog...or any for that matter.  This season I made a decision to focus on Mountain Bike racing vs road racing.  There were a few reasons why i chose to do this but mostly I just enjoy riding in the woods more.  Surprisingly, I find XC Mountain bike racing more demanding.  There is less strategy in XC Mountain biking than road racing but a bigger demand on fitness, strength and endurance.  In Road racing the fastest doesn't  always win...team tactics..drafting..etc tend to "level the playing field".  Conversely in XC Mtn Bike racing the fittest fastest usually wins. 

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Winter Short Track: Race Results and Series Recap

Five races down and 6 weekends later, the Winter Short track series has come to an end but not without some awesome results! Through rain, snow and sunshine our athletes did some serious work at Renaissance Park! 

While the TotalCyclist Mountain Bike team was down to only four riders this weekend, we still had a strong showing by all of our athletes at the final race of the series. It was a perfect sunny day with slight breeze.

Results:
Expert Men:
#4 Chris Wieczorek

Sport Men 19-39
#6 Gordon White

Sport Men 40+
#2 Terry Slifer
#4 Chad Andrews 

Beginner Men:
#1 Jack Sullivan

Expert Women:
#2 Bonnie Kleffman

Sport Women: 
#1 Sam Bendt
#3 Ann Groninger
#6 April Wells
#8 Stephanie Bush

Beginner Women:
#8 Danielle Suprick

Now for the OVERALL Results from the entire series:

The TotalCyclist Mountain Bike Team had a strong showing  the entire series but came in 2nd overall with 1622 points, just 27 points behind the Giordana Cycling team. We are definitely proud of the team! 

Individual Overall Standings:
Pro riders for TotalCyclist MTB team, Chris Wieczorek and Bonnie Kleffman both stole the top seeds for the Expert class! Way to go TeamJJF! Laura Maddy and Jana morries also took top 10 standings for the Expert Women! 

 

Our Clients Joe Hathcock and Jamie Turski (TotalCyclistMTB team) both took top 15 seeds for the Super Sport men.

 

The Sport Men 40+ Group had a stropng showing by all of our clients! We had 4 riders, 3 on the TotalCyclist MTB team, take top 10 seeds! 

#2, Kelly Hudson // #3 Terry Slifer // #9 Chad Andrews //#10 Chad Hollingsworth 
Other Clients in the overall standings: Julius Ulanday, Brian Hester, Jim Heckman, Terry Gleason, Ricky Priory, and Phillip Craver. 


Josh Strang came in 12th overall for the Sport 19-39 class after only racing once! 


Two of our own, Jack Sullivan (#1) and Pat McFeeley (#8) also took top 10 standings for the Beginner Men 40+ in the series. And Jon Carmack took 12th for the Beginner Men 30-39 class! 

Our Sport Women also had a strong showing throughout the entire series with 5 top 20 placings! 
Miss Sam Bendt swept the overall for the Sport women with 1st followed by April wells in 3rd, Ann Groninger in 5th, Stephanie Bush in 10th, and Casey Bailey in 15th!


Our Beginner Women, Daniel Suprick, Christy Blakely, and Silvia Brust also raced throughout the series!


Our last client to mention is Ty Gibbs! He had a great showing this series and ended up 3rd overall! 

 


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TotalCyclist MTB Team Finishes Strong Overall at Winter Short Track

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The TC MTB team finished up the series this past weekend with some excellent overall results for the series. The team ended up in second place for the team competition, and the top podium spots in the Elite Men's and Women's categories belonged to our TC athletes. Congratulations to Chris Wieczorek and Bonnie Kleffman, who were awarded the top honors. In the Sport Men's 40+ category, Kelly Hudson and Terry Slifer held the 2nd and 3rd place podium positions for the overall series. Their field was consistently stacked, and these guys were excellent competitors, often working together to secure their places. Chad Andrews placed 9th overall in the same category. Congratulations to all teammates who raced in the series! The points were close, we raced hard, and had a whole lot of fun racing and riding with friends!

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