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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Jun 23, 2009
May/June TCB Recap—As the Head Spins

It's been a while since I've hit the magical blog button or drank from the wonderfully refreshing waters of the soothing blog pond. So the time has come, once again, for me to add a little something to the TCB storytelling mix. Things can get pretty busy in this neck of the woods. Heads spin and then sometimes the blogs don't get written, which is a shame because there's always a ton of stuff going on around here. Some of it's even borderline interesting. Here's the abbreviated version—a good portion of what's gone down over the last few weeks in the TCB world:

  • TCB rider Steel Joe Iannarelli finished 3rd at a regional NorCal crit just recently, keeping the team's sting of solid finishes rolling. Joe's a fast kid and we're very pleased to have him flying the TCB colors.
  • TCB Triathlete Linsey Corbin had a great race at the
  • TCB triathlete Bryan Rhodes paid us a visit here in NorCal to shoot an interview at the office and to race the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon (one of the coolest Triathlons on the planet) where he finished 7th while his buddy Graham O'Grady ended up third—both Graham & Bryan flew the TCB colors at Escape. Thanks fellas!
  • And as a warm-up before race day, Bryan & Clif's own Eric Walle took an unpleasant amount of pleasure in riding me into the ground in the East Bay Hills. That part was the low point of the week for me. But it was nice to see Bryan & Eric so pleased with themselves.
  • At the Tour de Nez bike race up in Tahoe Clif & Luna riders were all over the place. Jonathan Baker of the Clif-sponsored Natural Grocers squad rode an impressive race at the Truckee Crit to finish 2nd; while Amber Rais notched another win for Clif-sponsored Team TIBCO and Luna Pro Team rider Katerina Nash finished a very strong, well-earned 3rd. Team TIBCO had just returned from Minnesota fresh off of winning the Overall Team Title at the NVGP stage race. The Reno crit on Day 2 saw Steven Reaney, riding for Clif-sponsored California Giant Berry Farms, put in a great effort to finish 2nd right behind the race leader. And in the women's race, this time around Amber had to settle for 2nd as a super solid attack on the hill gave Katerina the gap she needed to take the win in Reno. Turns out Katerina's just as fast on the pavement as she is on the dirt. Day 3 at the Northstar Circuit saw Jesse Moore of Cal Giant win on a very challenging course—at altitude no less; while Amber and Katerina animated the women's pro race with Amber back on the top step of the podium (and winning the overall, while Katerina finished in 3rd). It was a fine few days of racing at Nez.
  • While Clif & Luna sponsored cyclists were racing hard in the Sierras, Luna Pro triathlete Tyler Stewart was leaving a major mark on Ironman Coeur d'Alene where she set a new bike course record on her way to the win in northern Idaho.
  • On the dirt, Team Clif MTBer Troy Wells (AKA Trois Biscotti) nabbed another top-10 with an 8th at the Pro XC Short Track in Colorado. Then he headed off to the Giro di Jersey for a 5-day stage race where, just the other day, he finished 4th in the road race after making it into the winning break. Apparently a mechanical ended his hopes of winning the stage. Troy had to opt out of the sprint and walk across the line. That had to hurt—but if anyone can bounce back quickly from race day disappointment it's Trois. And 4th in a road race ain't too shabby. Check out a number of delightful Trois Biscotti interviews on the Cyclingdirt site.

On the international stage:

  • TCB triathlete Chris McCormack keeps on winning things—the Challenge France tri (where he smashed the course record), the Ironman European Championships in Frankfurt Germany, and odds are a couple games of bocce ball, some lawn darts, and probably a round or two of Connect Four just for good measure.
  • Team Garmin-Slipstream guys are out there going strong too. Tyler Farrar won the prologue (the 1st time-trial stage) at the Delta Tour of Zeeland in Holland—then the team worked hard to thwart all of the competition's moves over the next two stages so that Tyler won the whole dang thing. The team's also been active at the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse—where Christian Vande Velde is back in the mix recovering from his Giro tumble and getting the legs ready for the Tour de France.
  • And as if all of the above weren't enough, back here in the states PROMAN Women's Cycling Team rider Shelly Olds claimed the NVGP Sprint Jersey in Minnesota a week ago then made the trip to the Nevada City Classic on Sunday where she soloed across the line for a glorious victory in front of a large & enthusiastic crowd—with Brooke Miller of TIBCO and Luna's Katerina sprinting for 2nd & 3rd.

Wow, that's a lot of recapping. And it doesn't even include TCB Cycling rider JD's stories about his racing adventures in Belgium. JD won the Pacific Grove Criterium—then, as his star ascended, Capo used his image in their banner ads on Pez Cycling News (might have to hit refresh a couple times). So, flush with both glory & fame JD flew off to Gent for some Belgium-style race miles, bowls of tasty frites, and no doubt many worthy stories to tell. Speaking of worthy stories, we've got a good one to tell about some very impressive customer service efforts from a couple fellows at SRAM. Thanks to the guys at SRAM, JD's still racing in Belgium. More to come on that one in a separate blog...

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