We had a ton of fun racing @ the Tyler Stage Race !

Kara won her Jr Girls division….she was the only girls entrant w/ 3 Jr Boys.

She was guaranteed to win, but she HAD to finish all 3 races, the Road Race, Time Trial & Criterium, in order to do so !

(Lest one think that’s easy, consider that a minor mechanical on any stage can prevent one from finishing further stages. This DID happen to big sister Kaylee…)

Kara lines up for start of Junior Road Race - 18 miles, one lap of Lake Tyler.

Kara lines up for start of Junior Road Race – 18 miles, one lap of Lake Tyler.

 

Kara listens intently to the race official give course directions.

Kara listens intently to the race official give course directions.

Connor raced Cat 4, in the mens division.

Last year, he won the Junior division at the Tyler Road Race.  This year, it was time to reach higher.

30 men, including 2 Juniors, Connor, and friend Josh from Shreveport, battled for 3 long 18 mile laps of Lake Tyler, for a total of 52 miles.

Despite suffering a broken rear wheel spoke on lap 1, Connor paced himself within the Peleton – the mass of riders travelling together, and they stayed together until the last 400 meters, then the sprint began, and when some racers who sprinted early began to falter, Connor saw his chance & sprinted past them for the win, by a bike length or two over the next rider.

Next came the Time Trial, a 5.8 mile ‘race of Truth’ – the so called ‘race of Truth’ as it’s just a man on his machine against the wind & terrain, which was over a hilly winding course shaded by the blooming East Texas Forest.

The Time Trial start has the racers lining up to begin at 30 second intervals

The Time Trial start has the racers lining up to begin at 30 second intervals

For the Time Trial, the racers were treated to an elevated start ramp, just like the pros.  Very nice touch on the part of the Cyberknife of Texas – Tyler Stage Race /  Tyler Bicycle Club organizers !

The elevated podium start ramp was a rare treat - and a bit scary for some who didn't expect to start at such an altitude !

The elevated podium start ramp was a rare treat – and a bit scary for some who didn’t expect to start at such an altitude !

Connor focuses & prays for strength as he awaits his turn on the start ramp...

Connor focuses & prays for strength as he awaits his turn on the start ramp…

The ramp helped with the uphill start, and Connor was pleased with his time, a 13:09, which equates to a 24.5 mph average speed.

Plenty fast considering two factors:

A) The course was quite hilly,  by no means flat, as time trials typically are.

B) Connor was his regular Giant TCR race bike with aero bars, NOT an aero Time Trial Bike, like 85 % of the other racers

This time was good for 9th place in the Time trial, which diluted his 1st place finish in the Road Race.

Those two events made for a tiring Saturday, but the Crit would have to wait for Sunday.

On Sunday, the Criterium – really more of a circuit race due to the 1.5 mile length & hilly terrain – on the beautiful Tyler Junior College campus.

Connor rode his Origin8 Adrenaline Crit bike, using his dad’s excellent Mavic Elite wheelset / GP 4000 race tires, and rode as hard as he could, completing the 45 minute , 13 lap high speed tour of the campus & surrounding streets.

3 riders formed a breakaway group that stayed out front & Connor was in the thick of the chase pack – and they strained hard as the finish sprint came down & his finish was 7th overall, 4th in the chase pack.

The times are totaled, and you guessed it, the one with the lowest time is the winner !

His places were: 1st in Road Race, 9th in Time Trial, 7th in Criterium:

So, his GC – General Classification was 6th of 30.

Not bad for a young racer only 17 years of age, against many seasoned racers.  This was a group of guys who are serious about racing bikes & do it very well !

Some of you might be wondering what happened to Kaylee ?  Well, she sure started the Womens Cat 4 race, but due to a mechanical mishap, caused by a minor crash, she was unable to continue the last two stages !

Kaylee lines up with the Cat 4 women to road race

Kaylee lines up with the Cat 4 women to road race

Every race field is filled with familiar faces & some new ones never before seen !

Every race field is filled with familiar faces & some new ones never before seen !

Despite this her attitude was great !  She took comfort knowing that as the Scripture states in Romans : ‘God causes All Things to work together for Good, to those who love Him….”

And that, of course, includes unexpected crashes & mechanicals at bike races !

Congratulations Connor & Kara, for a hard fought 3 races each.

And to Kaylee for endeavoring to do so !

Many thanks to all the Tyler Bicycle Club volunteers & sponsors who put on the race !

We also thank the LORD who gave us 2 days of beautiful weather in & amongst His beauty to enjoy this invigorating & challenging sport.

“Let everything that has breath Praise The LORD !”

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