Panaracer Race Evo2 Tires

The VuMedi Elite Cycling Team primarily consists of experienced cyclists around their early twenties that attend college or are just out of college. With that said, we all know how tough times can be when you are new to the “real world”. You don’t have your parents there to take care of you, or to pay for necessary items that are crucial to being a cyclist such as tires. When you have a sponsor that is willing to provide tires for the year, it makes a world of a difference when we don’t have to worry about buying new tires every few month.

I have been racing for nearly ten years and have been through countless tires, from many brands. When it comes to performance, Panaracer is the top choice. Last march our team went to Chico Stage Race in Northern California. The second day of racing was a 90 mile road race through what is known as the Paskenta Hills. For those of you who don’t know the course, there is approximately seven miles of gravel that you have to ride through by the time you finish the race. While others were getting flats in the gravel on other tires, I was able to ride past them without puncturing my Panaracer Race Type A EVO2 tires, proving how strong they are. While racing Criteriums last year, I would take a corner at full speed and occasionally my rear wheel would slip out from underneath me, catch and slow me down and mess up my rhythm. This year, I have not had that problem, my Panaracer tires have the grip necessary to carry me around turns at maximum speed.

Type A EVO2 tires are a great choice for elite cyclists and they are fantastic for anyone who rides a road bike. Panaracer tires are strong enough for any riding you are going to do, whether it’s a long ride across the country or a ride to the supermarket. When it comes to a tire that is fast enough for the racers out there, there is only one choice: Panaracer. If you need a tire that can handle GranFondos with the fastest retired professional cyclists in the world, there is only one choice: Panaracer. When you need to get to and from the supermarket, there is only one choice: Panaracer. When it comes to an elite cycling team that fills the gap between the junior ranks and the professionals, there is only one choice: Panaracer. Thank you to Panaracer for supporting cycling by making the best tires for all cyclists.

Christopher LaBerge

Burlingame Criterium Race Report

Aj, David, Alexander, Adam, Greg, Chris, and I drove down to beautiful downtown Burlingame for some premier series crit action. I was the sprinter for the day so my job was to conserve energy but be cautious of dangerous moves at the same time. All the local norcal teams had good representation for the most part, except Marc-pro, curiously. Mike’s Bikes had a strong team on the day so we knew they were going to try and control the race. Nevertheless, we raced attentively, following the early moves to ensure we didn’t miss out on “the move.”

About halfway into the race a hay bale fell into the course. I don’t know if a rider hit it or if it just tipped over, but it ended up taking out several guys including my leadout, Aj. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to continue. After noodling around neutralized for 5 laps the officials restarted the race. The 15 minute break allowed the team to refuel with some Hammer Heed and refocus on what was going to be a nervous finish.

Mike’s Bikes took control and didn’t let anything get even 5 seconds on the pack. With about 4 laps to go Mike’s had their entire team on the front. With such a tight, technical course it was hard for any team disrupt their organization. Plus, people were happy to follow behind their leadout until the last minute. With 2 laps to go I was with Greg but we were too far back. I knew I had to make a big effort to get into position. On the final lap Mikes was leading it on the inside of the 180 hairpin. I sprinted down the outside, out of the draft. I moved up about 10 positions and had good speed going through the turn. I moved up a couple more spots through the chicane and down the short back straight, but couldn’t quite make it to the inside of the Mikes train. My Neilpryde BURAsl never faltered, however, and helped propel me to 4th and a place on the podium. I was very happy to make the podium, but hopefully Davis 4th of July Criterium will bring the win!

- Garrett

The Bump Red Kite Circuit Race Report

A 7.5 mile course which we would complete 4 times.  This course features parts of the Wente Road Race course, and finishes on the short steep rise on Cross Rd.

On the line was teammate Kenny Strickland and I accompanied by 15 other racers in the 1/2 field.
The race started out with a roll out to the course, and by the time we were given the “ok” to race, it was game on.  There was a slight crosswind coming from the right, so once the pace had started to pick up, I had moved up the left side of the pack with Kenny’s help who was riding his Neilpryde Alize which cut through the wind easily.  It did not take too long whatsoever in order for the attacks to start flying.  With Mike’s Bike’s, Sierra Nevada, Fresh Air, and Reactor all having multiple men in the field, there was plenty of tactics that were going to be thrown down in today’s race.
Attacks had started to fly in the beginning of lap 1, and I had Specialized Junior, Jason Saltzman marked.  It was a game of cat-and-mouse for almost the entirely of the first lap, attacks would go, I would counter or try to get off the front with some, and nothing survived.
On the second lap, a break of 5 had gotten away: Craig Fellers (Mike’s Bike’s), Rainier Schaefer (Mike’s Bike’s), Jason Saltzman (Specialized), Cameron Hoffman (Team Endurance 360), and Kevin Leong (Fresh Air).  The pack did not seem interested in bringing them back.
Before hitting the finish line on Cross rd to begin the 3rd lap, I took a sip of my Hammer Heed, and proceeded to attack on the hill, surging over and gapping from the field for the longer ascent up before hitting the descent.  As the gap from myself to the pack was building, my first attempt would prove futile as I would get caught a few minutes later on the descent.  As I’m caught, I stay neatly tucked in the pack for the rest of the lap and stay protected.
Andrew climbing in the livermore heat

Andrew climbing in the livermore heat

As the gap from the break to us began to grow, at the right turn directly before we see the finish line to start our last lap, the moto tells the pack that the break of 4 now has 55 seconds on us.  With only 7.5 miles to go, the gap seems uncertain if it’s able to be closed.  This time we hit the steep rise again, and I surge at the front and push the pace over the riser onto the next ascent, bringing with me David Grundman (Sierra Nevada) who commands on the downhill, while I stay protected on his wheel.
David and I work and the gap between us and the pack grows, however the break in front of us is still out of eyesight.  David would be more inclined to take his turn on the front on the downhills and flatter sections, while I would pull us up the inclines. Not until we hit Patterson Pass Rd for the final time is when we saw the break of 4 in the distance.  We could see the two MIke’s Bike’s racers attacking and counterattacking the group, trying to get one of their riders away to take the win.
David and I approach the break on the false flat before the turn onto Cross Rd, and we catch them.  As we sit on the group, I know I don’t want the race to be taken down to a sprint finish, and attack 150m before the right turn onto Cross Rd.  As I attack, going into that turn I had a slight gap for the sprint, however as we hit the riser I was passed by Craig, Jason, and Cameron for the the finish, but was able to hold off a 4th place.
- Andrew
some skinny mofos

some skinny mofos

Mt Hamilton Race Report

The course: Up Mt. Hamilton, down the other side into Livermore to finish on Mines Rd.
Among the 34 racers on the start field, I was accompanied by teammates Keith Wong, Gregory White, Luciano Sponza, Justin Traud, and Adam O’Camb.
The beginning of the race started off with the rolling promenade to the base of the climb, and that’s when the fun really started.  Positioning was key with the start of the climb: start too far back and you’ll waste energy crawling your way back up the field, however you don’t want to be the one pacing the field up the climb.  From the get-go, riders were surging and a couple early moves had went.  First, a Marc-Pro rider had gone off the front.  The pack had let him go, but gradually the pace was getting picked up on the early slopes of the Mountain, however my Neilpryde Bura SL road bike let me have the perfect ride up in order to stay with the lead group.
The climb is much easier now that the road is paved

The climb is much easier now that the road is paved

Once we all hit the descent into Grant Ranch on the lower slopes, I had moved back in the field, and was now just staying sheltered while we went through the few fast, technical turns.  Moving up was teammates Keith Wong, and Gregory White who were rolling along smoothly on their Panaracer Type A tires.
After the group had finished with the descent into Grant Ranch, we’d moved on from the lower slopes of Hamilton and now were tackling the main challenge, the rest of the climb up.  Kirk Carlsen had started to put the pressure on the pack, following with Max Jenkins and a few other riders.  This small group had gone, and that caused Mike’s Bike’s to put the pressure on the break and they went to the front and pulled the pack up the climb.  Mike’s Bike’s was setting an impressively fast pace up the climb, and as more and more riders were falling off, Keith Wong and I were moving farther and farther up holding onto the blistering pace.
Kirk Carlsen took the KOM while two Marc-Pro riders, and Matt Rodriguez from DBC were trailing right behind him.  Cresting the top of the climb was teammate Keith Wong and I, Art Rand (Marc-Pro), and Chris Riekert, Roman Kilun, Colin Daw (all Mike’s Bike’s).  As we bomb the decent, eventually Art Rand and I lose Contact with the group and are now on our own.  As we get farther down the descent, a 3rd rider had joined us, and the 3 of us were taking pulls once we hit the flat section.
We hit the feed zone, I grabbed a bottle of water with some Hammer Nutrition Fizz in it, and soon enough it goes back to just Art Rand, and I, however not for long, as a few riders from Marc-Pro, and a couple different teams had joined us.  By this time, there was already a 3:30+ minute gap from us to the “Kirk and Max group,” however before we hit the descent into Livermore, we came upon Teammate Keith Wong!  He latches onto our group and starts to work.
Coming upon one of the final risers before the descent, Keith, Art, and I had managed to get away from the rest of the riders, we were out of sight, and now it was down to us three.  Keith and I had done a few attacks/counterattacks and were unsuccessful at dislodging Art.
The 1km marker approaches and we’re all looking at each other to see who will make the first move.  Art and Keith ride side-by-side, while I stay locked on Art’s wheel. With 200m to go the sprint starts.  Art initiates the sprint, and I follow while Keith is right on his side.  As Art pulls away from Keith and I, I start to close the small gap to Art, and attempt to come around Art, but wasn’t able to.
Following behind, Greg launches himself into 12th place, winning the sprint from his small group.
- Andrew

Folsom Classic Criterium Race Report

Aj, Chris, Trevor, and I braved the brutal memorial day weekend traffic and headed over to Folsom for a fast paced, non-technical crit.. Before the start of the race we saw that Marc-pro Strava had a stacked line-up. All three of their sprinters were in attendance plus a bonus three riders. The plan for the day was for Aj to get me into position if the race came down to a bunch sprint, which was likely to happen with Marc-pro controlling the race.

Break attempts came from the gun, but nothing too serious solidified until the second half of the 60 minute race. Nonetheless, I found myself off the front with Chuck Hutcheson of Marc-pro about 15 minutes into the race. We worked together for a couple laps and in the process I was able to snag a $20 prime. This was my first hot race of the season so the effort had taken a toll on me. I integrated back into the field and quickly downed half a bottle of Hammer Heed to stave off dehydration. For the remainder of the race Trevor and Chris raced aggressively to be in any break with strong Marc-pro presence, while I tried to stay as protected as possible.

With 3 laps to go Marc-pro had their whole squad on the front to bring back one last remaining break and prevent any late attacks. Everything was back together with 2 to go. Aj and I were together in the front 15 riders ready to make our move. On the last lap Marc-pro was down to four riders on the front but dropping speed. Aj drilled it for 400 meters on the long D-curve on the back side of the course and dropped me off right into the Marc-pro train. I was now sitting about 4th wheel leaning against Willie Myers, who had spilled coffee all over his jersey just prior to the start. I was one wheel too far back, however, and going through the corner my wheel let a sizable gap open up between himself and Matt Chatlaong. My Neilpryde BURAsl accelerated unwaveringly out of the final corner as I put everything I had into the final 200 meters. I passed James Laberge of Mike Bikes and one more Marc-pro rider. I was closing fast on Matt, but the line came too soon for me to close his sizable initial gap out of the corner.

Garrett mixing it up in the sprint

Garrett mixing it up in the sprint

Our team is racing stronger and more cohesively as the season progresses, and I am confident that a few victories will come in the near future.

- Garrett

Berkeley Hills Race Report

The Parcours: 90 miles over almost 5 laps.  Each lap offers up a mix of flats, a few short kickers, a twisty false flat, and a set of three 2-6 minute climbs (the three bears—Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear).

The Field: 40-50 men lined up in the P/1/2 race with Andrew Biscardi, Justin Traud, Luciano Sponza, Greg White, and myself flying the colors for VuMedi Elite Cycling Team.
The Race: The first lap started with the usual attacks: some testing moves from the big teams and hopeful flyers from solo riders.  The team took turns covering dangerous moves, but nothing gained a significant advantage.  My legs weren’t enjoying the accelerations over the three bears climbs, so at the start of the second lap I put in an acceleration on one of the flat, wide roads.  Rather than a sharp attack out of the saddle, I opted for a hard seated acceleration so as not to elicit an immediate response.  The trick worked and with the help of brand new, fast-rolling Panaracer Race Type A tires I quickly opened up a 10 second advantage.  Dialing back the pressure, I was happy to see Kurt Wolfgang (Squadra SF) bridging up followed closely by Adam Switters (Mike’s Bikes) and Nate Freed (Marc Pro-Strava).  Once they made contact, I figured we had quorum and correct team representation to drive the break.
For the next lap and a half, Wolfgang, Switters, and I rotated smoothly to push out the advantage to a maximum of three minutes while Freed opted for a free ride
berkeley hills
The third time up Mama Bear Switters dropped his chain (intentionally?) and came flying by a few seconds later while everyone else eased up to wait.  His attack dropped Woflgang from the group while Freed and I started to chase.  With a Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes hand-up from AJ to help stay hydrated and powerful, I plotted to attack Freed on Papa Bear and bridge up to Switters.
There would be no need, however!  A group of five caught us just then: Chris Harland-Dunaway and Justin Rossi (Marc Pro-Strava), Craig Fellers (Mike’s Bikes), Roger Arnell (Threshold Sports), and teammate Andrew Biscardi floating up the hills and over the chip seal on his Neilpryde Bura SL.  Fellers (surprisingly) took up the job of reeling in his teammate, Switters; in the process, Freed was dropped (Karma?)—killing two birds with the proverbial zero stones for VuMedi.
The group (now 7) rolled somewhat cooperatively for the fourth lap where an attack by HD on Mama Bear dropped Switters.  More aggression slowly narrowed it down to just HD, Rossi, Fellers, Arnell, and myself at the start of the final lap.  HD attacked and got a gap with Fellers.  I expected the TMB-MPS feud to mean little cooperation since Rossi could easily counterattack when the pair came back, but HD and Fellers actually started working together.  Rossi, Arnell, and myself cooperated in the chase, but no one was going all-in to pull it back.  Eventually, Rossi attacked and bridged up to the leading duo.  Knowing it would be a tall order to pull back such a strong time trialist, I measured my efforts as Arnell and I worked together.
The final time up Mama and Papa Bear to the finish, I emptied the tank to distance Arnell and finish 4th.  Andrew was passed by a few riders but held off the main field to finish 13th—no doubt just the first of many great results for such a young rider!—while Greg came in 14th followed by Justin and Luciano in the main field.
-Keith
Read on to find out what the race was like from young gun Andrew Biscardi’s perspective:
Berkeley Hills Road Race has always been a favorite of mine: the location, the time of year it takes place, and just how hard the race proves to be.  I’ve never raced Berkeley in the P/1/2 Category, but last year I took 6th place in the Cat 3 field, so I was confident going into the race.  Lining up with the rest of the VuMedi guys, I knew we could do some damage today.We were off, and ready to take on the 90 mile day in front of us. Once the pack got onto the main road, we were rolling at a decent pace, everyone was just warming up. Early on, some attacks started to go, and this caused the pack to speed up, as they weren’t letting anything go just yet.  After a flurry of attacks, finally a break got away including teammate Keith Wong, a Marc-Pro rider, and a Mike’s Bike’s rider.  I started to move up a little bit, realizing that we were still on lap 1 of 5, so just to conserve energy and sip-away on my Hammer Heed and keep hydrated.

The 2nd lap rolls around, my legs are open, and I’m constantly working on moving up through the field to get more near the front of the peloton in case more attacks go.  I was riding behind Justin Rossi from Marc-Pro, and there was an attack from the front, so he followed and I followed on his wheel. The moment I stood up on my bike, my Bura SL frame reacted promptly and gave me that acceleration I needed in order to react to this type of attack.   Once we got the gap, there was 4 of us: Myself, Justin Rossi, Craig Fellers from Mike’s Bike’s, and Roger Arnell from Pinnacle.  Everyone but Roger had a teammate in the break already.  We were all working together, not too sure how far the break up the road was, just that it was out of sight.  Eventually, after about a lap, maybe 2 laps, we caught the initial break and it was now the 7 of us.  2 teammates from the 3 teams, and the racer from Pinnacle.

At first, the 7 of us were working together pretty well, I needed to skip a pull or two in order to recover, but not too much later, attacks started flying from Marc-Pro.  Justin would attack, we would pull him back, then Chris would go.  The series of attacks eventually dislodged myself and a Mike’s Bike’s rider.  As it became the 2 of us, it was apparent that he wasn’t going to work with me, as whenever I would pull off, he would just attack me, and I would try to chase back on.  So, after that happened a few times, I decided to stay in the front and pull, so that I wouldn’t have to react to his attacking.

The pack was still pretty far behind, and a moto had told us that a break of 2 were bridging up; once they caught, I realized that the break was Roman Kilun, and Max Jenkins.  Roman and Max rolled through with some momentum, and we had caught on, and I was just doing my hardest to hang onto their pace.  I hung onto them for a bit, and when we were on the last lap, I popped and fell off their pace.My only goal now was just to get to the finish still in front of the pack, and salvage whatever place I could get.  I took a bite from my Oatmeal Apple Hammer Bar, a sip of some water, and a sip of my other bottle that had my Heed on it, put my head down, and gave the last lap everything I had.

A few more riders had jumped across the gap, and I went down a few more places, but I managed 13th place in the end, after being in my first p/1/2 breakaway ever, and managing my first top 15 in the new category was thrilling!!

Keith went on to grab 4th place, staying with the lead group, showing them what he was made of!  Great job to all the guys from VuMedi today, defending the break, and giving it our all!!

-Andrew