Wednesday, July 15, 2015

C*R*U*S*H*ing it in Utah

After a flat and cracked rim ended Josh's first attempt at the Crusher in the Tushar race last July, he returned to Beaver, Utah with the simple goal of just finishing the 69-mile, 10k of climbing, mixed road and gravel race. Celebrating its fifth year, the race has gained serious recognition as a super-challenging test of a riders' fitness and skills, and leaves the choice of their weapon to all participants, allowing road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes on the course, each offering a certain advantage or disadvantage throughout the course as it traverses the Tushar Mountains and finishes at the Eagle Point Ski Resort just above 10,400 feet.

All smiles after a long, hard day.
The action heated up after 10 miles of false flat, and social grinding ended with the start of an hour-plus dirt climb. The field exploded quickly and Josh set a steady pace, just off the back of a leading group of 10 riders, including last year's runner-up Jamie Driscoll and professional WorldTour rider Danny Pate of Team Sky. After a short, high-alpine flat section and first feed zone, the course plummeted down five miles of loose, pea sized gravel road. Josh keep things fast and loose and used every inch of his Clement USH and MSO rubber to stay upright in the switchbacks. He was able to catch a few riders and pass two race favorites who had flatted, fellow Utahans Jonathan Page and Alex Grant, to create a solid chase group of six that worked together for the 10-mile loop. It was every man for himself once they hit the dirt again and started climbing the sage. At three hours in, Josh started to feel the burn a bit and had to dial the race pace back to something more sustainable, knowing that the Col d'Crush was up next: 2,300 feet of vert in five miles averaging eight percent with numerous surges to 20+ percent full of loose gravel. Fortunately a tailwind emerged, a solid line was burned in from racers coming down earlier in the day and a pop-up feed zone filled with Coke revitalized racers at the KOM summit.

But the pain didn't stop there, as Josh and the rest of the racers faced another 1,000 feet of climbing over 15 rolling miles of dirt all above 9,000 feet, with a final mile, 10-percent grade finish. Josh fought off cramps in both legs throughout the rest of the race and managed to fend off a rapidly closing Allen Krughoff to finish 16th on the day, and just under five hours. Driscoll once again was runner up, this time to another local Utah pro, Robbie Squire of the Hincapie Racing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

EVOL Women Getting Comfy on the Podium

EVOL Racing is back in action after a mid-season break in racing. Our women’s team continues their streak of podiums with Beth’s stellar second place GC at the Boulder Stage Race and Kate Powlison’s sprint for third at the Colorado State Crit Champs.

Boulder Stage Race

In its first year, the Boulder Stage Race drew a wide assortment of racers to test their legs with some of the most challenging racing of the year. Christa and Beth started off the stage race with solid results in the time trial from Lyons to Boulder. This set the duo up for an aggressive circuit race that included our team’s favorite dirt climb on Crane Hollow Drive. Unfortunately, Christa was caught up in a crash on the last lap that took her out of contention for the stage but Beth crossed the line in 3rd and took time out of the GC contenders in front of her. The final and most difficult stage was an uphill road race that saw 4,100 feet of elevation gain in just 21 miles. As EVOL’s designated team climber, Beth crushed up this massive climb, finishing the stage in 4th and again pushing her way up the GC standings. After three intense days of racing, Beth took home 2nd place for EVOL in the overall standings and Christa fought back from the time lost in the crash for 9th overall GC. Well done Christa and Beth!

Colorado State Crit Championships

EVOL Women’s Racing came to the Colorado State Crit Championships ready to do some damage with well-orchestrated team tactics. The course was flat, fast, and full of sweeping corners and perfect for Christa, EVOL’s team sprinter. Kate and Kristen worked to control the field throughout the race and brought back attacks and breakaways to ensure a field sprint. Unfortunately, Christa’s luck turned upside down and she flatted out of the race with just a few laps to go. Kate quickly jumped into action, knowing she was EVOL’s next hope for the sprint finish. After a fast final lap, Kate attacked early on the uphill finish and was just nabbed at the line by two of Colorado’s best sprinters. While disappointed that Christa didn’t get her chance at the line, Kate’s versatility and quick thinking kept EVOL on the podium and kept the moment rolling as we head into the final few races of the year!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The EVOL racing team dishes about their biking love affair on the Goodbelly blog

Kate, Christa, Melissa and Josh chimed in on the Goodbelly blog last week, offering up their perspectives on what got them into cycling. Check out the post here and learn more about what makes Goodbelly so special...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gotta get that gear!

To celebrate National Bike Month, we've teamed up with​ & Panache Cyclewear Co.​ to offer up a great deal. Purchase anything from the Panache online store and receive 10% off, with 1% of all sales going directly to People for Bikes. There's no better time to upgrade your closet with some style and our friends at Panache have dreamed up some of the sweetest designs. Toss your old shredded chamois for a good cause!

Use code "evol_love" at checkout.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

EVOL Women Go 2, 4, 6 at Koppenberg!

The Koppenberg Road Race in Boulder, Colorado proved to be another exciting and challenging day of racing for the EVOL Women’s Team. As one of our favorite races of the season, we came into the race ready to throw down team tactics and shake things up on the dirt roads. EVOL’s riders have a history of success at Koppenberg with 4 wins in the past 6 years, so the pressure was on.

With a couple late additions to the race, including two United Healthcare Pro Cycling racers, Cari Higgins and Coryn Rivera, our team tactics shifted. We knew with these heavy hitters in the field, we’d need to guard them carefully and go with any attempts to break the field.

After a few uneventful laps of small attacks that didn’t stick, UHC’s Coryn Rivera and EVOL’s Kate Powlison and Beth Fisk created a gap on the field coming up the short dirt climb. With the huge firepower of this threesome, the break was quickly out of reach of the main field. Beth worked hard for Kate and helped establish a huge gap that would stick for the rest of the race. Coryn eventually broke free from Kate and soloed in for the win. Kate rode through shortly after with a hard fought and impressive 2nd place.

Back in the main field, Margell, Melissa, Kristen, and Beth (once reabsorbed) worked to control the field until they were sure Kate was safely out of reach. Then the EVOL team worked to break things up once again. Kristen and UHC’s Cari Higgins attacked on the dirt climb and managed to stay away through the finish. Cari’s powerful sprint secured her 3rd place while Kristen came across in 4th. Beth finished off the day with her own sprint to the line and took 6th after a long day of working for the team.

All together, the day was a huge success as EVOL went up against some of the best professional women in the U.S. We’re excited to have had such a stellar start to the season and we’re looking forward to all the upcoming racing. Next up is the Superior Morgul Omnium with another stacked Colorado women’s field.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

EVOL Women's Boulder Roubaix

EVOL Women’s Racing brought their A-Game to the highly anticipated Boulder Roubaix road race and landed two podium finishes this weekend. The race paid homage to Europe’s spring classics with challenging dirt road sections and sharp, steep climbs. The EVOL women thrive on tough courses and Roubaix wast their first chance racing together in these conditions for 2015.

The day started with fierce tactical racing including several attacks by the EVOL women that successfully broke up the main pack in the first of three laps. Sprinter Christa Ghent went on a solo break early in the race and held over a minute lead on the main pack for nearly an entire lap of the 18-mile course. The field was forced to combine efforts to bring Ghent back, setting up a prime opportunity for another EVOL launch.

Kate Powlison was the first to jump, taking two competitors and EVOL teammate Kristen Legan with her. The group of four quickly got to work and put some distance between the break and the main group.

Despite an emergency detour and five-minute pause in racing for the break and main field - due to a structure fire on the course – the break maintained their lead and headed into the last lap ready to fight it out to the finish.

Powlison and Legan worked to drop the other two riders but were unsuccessful leading into the final three miles. A well-timed jump from Lucy Conklin of Rally Sport Cycling Team threw the EVOL women into chase mode. Despite their strong efforts, Powlison and Legan couldn’t pull Conklin back before the finish and they came across in 2nd and 3rd place.

Meanwhile, in the main group, EVOL continued to dominate the attacks and control of the peloton. All five of our racers placed in the top 10 with some stellar sprint finishes to wrap things up. Beth Fisk finished an impressive 5th place, Christa Ghent sprinted for 7th, and Margell Abel rounded things off in 10th.

EVOL’s success at Boulder Roubaix was wholly due to the selfless teamwork from each member of our team. Thanks for the cheers and support out on course and special thanks the Ghents for working the feed hill.

We'd also like to say a big Thank You to DBC events and the CU Cycling Team for putting on a fantastic race and offering up equal prize money for men and women. We love supporting races that support women's cycling like this! THANK YOU!

Now that the 2015 season is well underway, the EVOL Women’s Team will be out racing most weekends throughout the season. Stay tuned for more race updates, results, and recaps!