Apr 15, 2014

Three for 3 at Sea Otter

Sea Otter Classic Circuit Race womens' sprint, 2014. Photo Credit: Garrett Lau
 TWENTY16 scored a total of 5 podium finishes in 3 races at the Sea Otter Classic.  It felt so good to stand on the podium 3 times for my team, especially after sitting on the sidelines following my concussion in late-March.  The final race took place on the legendary Laguna Seca raceway.  What a treat to race on a race track!  The course was fast, challenging, and fun to ride on.  I chose to race with ZIPP 404's on my Felt bike.

TWENTY16 made the race hard and aggressive, yet again.  My teammates and I launched attacks, and drove the pace hard on the sections of racecourse that hurt the most.  
Credit: Will Matthews. http://www.wilmatthewsphoto.com
Several of my teammates and I initiated small breakaways.  At the end of the race, Alison Tetrick launched a superb attack and got away on her own.  I followed the first wheel to chase her.

There were about 5 riders in that little split.  Coming to the finish line, I was sitting second wheel, behind my teammate Alison, who our competitors had caught me up to.  I yelled at her to keep driving to the pace, to bring me to the finish line, with the other riders on my wheel. 

Canadian Criterium Champion and sprint specialist, Leah Kirchmann of Optum launched her sprint with 200m to go.  I followed hard, and didn't manage to pass her front wheel by the time we reached the finish line.  A second place finish thanks to great teamwork to finish off the Sea Otter Classic was awesome.  Alison and I celebrated by eating our Kiku Apples on the podium.  Woo hooo!

#SweetKiku Lex Albrecht and Alison Tetrick enjoying Kiku apples together on the podium at Sea Otter Classic!
 Next race : Winston Salem Classic (UCI 1.2) in Winston, North Carolina.

Apr 11, 2014

Victory +1, at Sea Otter Classic

After an aggressive raceday of textbook teamwork, TWENTY16 stands atop of the podium at Sea Otter Classic (Laguna Seca Speedway, Monterey California).  Alison Tetrick took the victory in a solo breakaway  I stood beside her, taking a silver medal for the team winning the bunch sprint.

The race started off with strong attacks from our riders, Mary Maroon launched a particularly spectacular move off the front of the peloton, and made our opponents work hard to bring her back.  After successive attacks and counter-attacks, Dotsie (silver medalist at the Olympics, ladies and gents!) got away for a good part of the race! 

Only after the other teams managed to bring her back with 1 lap to go, did we start launching attacks again.  Alison got off the front at the top of a tough climb, and many riders were so far into the pain cave that they didn't notice.  On the twisty, rolling course, Alison was soon out of sight (and out of mind)

Coming into the grueling finishing climb, my teammates Sofia, Kristin, and Amber kept me at the front.  Amber led the pack with me on her Wwheel for the last 2 kilometers.  With 150m to the uphill finishline, I jumped off of her wheel, drilling it to the line.  Nobody ever came around.

Result: 2 more podiums for TWENTY16 - and another victory!  WOOT WOOT!

Apr 10, 2014

On the Podium at Sea Otter Classic 2014

Team TWENTY16 podiumed on the first day of the Sea Otter Classic at the Laguna Seca Speedway in Monterey, CA.

Two days after arriving in California for a hard 6-week block of racing and training, I crashed 15 minutes into stage 2 of the San Dimas Stage Race, suffering a minor concussion.  I pulled out of the race immediately, and stayed on the sidelines of the following stage race, Redlands Bicycle Classic.  It was hard to sit out.  I spent my time colouring pictures, sleeping, and chilling poolside.  Gradually, I reincorporated riding back into my days, slowly but surely.  If there were any minor symptoms, I pulled back immediately, and let myself rest.  I really appreciate the patience and support from my teammates and TWENTY16's management. 

The Sea Otter Classic is my first race back in action with TWENTY16 and I was thrilled to represent our colours on the podium at the first day of this huge cycling event.

Check out this video!

Mar 26, 2014

Special Edition LEX ALBRECHT Watch

I've worked together closely with Modify Watches to create 2 special edition pieces.  They will be produced and available for purchase...pending on the success of their Kickstarter Campaign (To get one of these special edition pieces, pledge $45 here: http://modifywatches.com/kickstarter)

DESIGN 1: COEUR. JAMBES. ESPRIT.  My most motivational and powerful message.  Often times I tape a message to my bars: COEUR JAMBES ESPRIT.  In French it means, "Heart. Legs. Soul."  Every athlete knows that it's absolutely essential for these 3 elements to work together in harmony.

On the hardest days of training or in the final kilometers of a grueling stage race, sometimes a reminder helps keep all three in line... Looking at the message, I remind myself: "I have the strongest heart, the strongest legs, and the strongest spirit." then, I CRANK OUT THE WATTS.
Modify Watches: Special Edition LEX ALBRECHT design. "COEUR. JAMBES. ESPRIT.". (Heart. Legs. Soul.)  Why is the message on a SLANT!?  The message is written on an angle so that it's easy to read at a glace when my hands are on my ZIPP handlebars.  This is the coolest watch - ever.
You have to believe your heart is strong, you can't let your legs "feel tired", and your spirit must be positive and energetic.

DESIGN 2: Chic, classy, and FUN!

This watch is a fun, and chic look that totally flies for wearing "off-of-the-bike".  The tiny bike sprockets pattern that I came up with is cool, fun, and subtly "bikey".  It ties in a passion for cycling, without being gaudy.  I made a neutral colour face that will fit perfectly with any Modify Watch strap colours. I can't wait to wear this one. 
Modify Watches - LEX ALBRECHT Special Edition white model.  Subtle, chic, and fun!
Modify Watches is a California based company that produces fun watches with interchangeable straps and faces.  I have a whole collection of them!
Tons of Modify Watches straps and faces.  They're all interchangeable!

This combo fits well with off-the-bike wear
Modify Watches look cool all of the time...!

Mar 11, 2014

Tour de Murrieta

Murietta Stage Race began with an all-out 4 mile time trial, and a spicy finish. The spice : at 1-mile-to-go, the road transformed into a sandy path littered with rocks. During camp we worked on dialing in our positions on Felt DA time trial bikes. My position was getting close to perfection, and I was eager to try it out in a race situation. Allie Dragoo finished in 2nd place, and I used my Quarq powermeter gauge my effort, scoring my first podium finish of the season for TWENTY16 in 3rd position. TWENTY16 would go into the next two stages with great cards to play. 4 of us were in the top 10.

Lex Albrecht at Tour de Murrieta time trial.  Photo Credit: Rob Baine
Stage two was a speedy criterium. Our goal was to take over the GC (general classifcation) and get a stage win with our superstar sprinter, Mary Maroon. Some riders were given the task of covering attacks, others to protect teammates who were saving their matches for the final sprint. Mary overcame unforeseen trouble in the final corner coming into the sprint-finish. Like a champ, Mary kept cool, adapted, and sprinted to a podium finish. Thanks to the help from my teammates during the race, my legs were fresh enough to punch into 4th position, earning enough points to take over the GC for TWENTY16.

The final day of Murietta Stage Race was where the « double BANG » came in; the circuit race. (A circuit race is a cross between a criterium and a road race. Laps are longer than a criterium, in this case 3 miles each. We went around 13 times). By this time I was representing TWENTY16 in the leader's jersey. TWENTY16 set the pace controlling the front of the peloton. My job was to keep the overall general classification, and TWENTY16 wanted to win a stage.

Some riders were given the task of pulling back riders who had broken away from the pack. Katie Donovan, TWENTY16's climber showed just how well she can lay down power on the flats, pulling dangerous riders back in. Others had to jump on moves that we didn't mind allowing leave the peloton.
Photo Credit: Brian Hodes, Velo Images.
Coming into the final lap, I called out to my teammates to help pick up the pace. I wanted them to bring me to the line at top-speed, and launch me to score enough points to comfortably win the overall classification. I sprinted hard and threw my hands up with a WHOOOP to celebrate TWENTY16's first stage race victory of 2014. BANG #1. The peloton flew by me. There was one lap left. I pedaled my FELT hard back into the peloton, and slowly worked my way back up to the front. I only had 3 miles left to recharge my batteries and do the same thing over again. I appologized to my teammates. No time for polite chit-chat in the pack though. Team leader Amber was confident that I had it in me to repeat the sprint, and win for real. We did repeat what I had « practiced » on the penultimate lap, winning not only the stage, but the overall at Murreita Stage Race. BANG #2. (Phewf!)

TWENTY16 won the final stage, the overall general classification, and the team classification at Tour de Murrieta!
Photo Credit: Danny Munson
It feels great to be a part of TWENTY16's first stage race victory of 2014. I am so excited about the chemistry of our team and the exceptional mix of talent on the roster. This is going to be a special year, I just know it.
SRAM: "Relentless since 1987" ...just like me! ;)

Team Camp and Racing. Like a Good Shot of Espresso and Fine Caviar.

Team camp and racing. They're kind of like a good shot of espresso and fine caviar. They're so great alone, but they don't typically go together. My first block as a new member of TWENTY16 Pro Cycling included both team camp and racing.

I'm going to reconsider pairing exquisite seafood with top notch espresso, because racing during training camp was a fine idea. It allowed TWENTY16 riders to get to know eachother, learn how to cohesively capitalize on each racer's strengths in a fast paced, dynamic race environment.

Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Arizona kicked off the block (Allie Dragoo's overview of Valley of the Sun HERE), followed by 2 solid weeks of training and sponsor activities. TWENTY16 finished it off with nothing short of a double BANG! At Murrieta Stage Race in California.