Happy New Year!
We would like to share the 2012 SoCalCycling.com Calendar that features the SoCalCycling.com Elite Team. Download the 5.5″ x 11″ calendar and print it directly from your printer for a handy date reference to use throughout the year. Enjoy! Download Calendar >
By Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com
Rudy Project is probably best known for making sport and recreational optics. In addition, Rudy Project has been making helmets for the past few years including their latest road helmet – Sterling.
The Sterling helmet has a very distinctive European look for styling. If you want to look like Team Liquigas-Cannondale, then Rudy Project has the helmet for you.
The Sterling fits really well and is one of the more comfortable helmets I have tried considering they only make a small/medium and large. This is achieved by a retention dial system RSR7 on the back, which is very easy to adjust. The Sterling helmet is very light, weighing in at just 349 grams for a small/medium. The Sterling has 18 vents to keep your head cool and uses a plastic skeleton for extra structural reinforcement. It also includes a dock to store your eyewear. This comes in handy if you are riding in the evening or the rain.
The padding that comes with the helmet includes two sets of padding, including a webbing mesh that keeps the bugs and other debris out. After wearing the mesh webbing for most of the season I haven’t even noticed it other than I haven’t had any bugs fly in my helmet. The helmet straps are very soft and don’t rough the face up. The Sterling also has padding on the strap under the chin where the strap buckle is located for more comfort.
Luckily, I haven’t had to use the helmet in a mishap. However, it’s comforting to know that it passes many different certifications.
If you are looking for a comfortable, stylish helmet that is lightweight, the Sterling can be found at your local Rudy Project dealer or e-rudy.com.
By Michael Smith Larsen, SoCalCycling.com Team
6/27/11 – Now it is almost 2 months since the Dana Point Grand Prix, so maybe it is time to write a little more in my diary. The race didn’t go as I hoped, a big break went up the road and I hesitated too long which ended up in missing the opportunity for a good result. 18th was far good enough.
Well, that result was the start of a very hard and strong training plan for May which should culminate in a good form for all the exciting races I had planned for June.
Focused training began with my new training partner, Rocky Bower, who became my host family from the beginning of May. We did many hours in the saddle, with a lot of special interval training and a strict diet. It was a hard period, but despite the hard training I constantly found myself improving and the results were still coming with a 3rd place at the Barrio Logan Gran Prix and 4th in Ontario.
In the meantime, I also had the pleasure to experience some real American culture, I went with Rocky to a Dodgers game on VIP tickets, buffet and a very good time.
In the end of May, a whole month of exciting races began with 2 NRC Crits in New Jersey. One ended up with bruises and a smashed carbon rear wheel and the next with some NRC points after a 14th place at the Base Camp International.
The big race though, was the Philadelphia International Classic with the Danish National Team in the beginning of June. It is a hard race over more than 160 miles and 10 times up the “Manyunk Wall”. My prior goal was to finish, which I did, but in the end I was a bit disappointed with a 37th place.
A good week in Philadelphia led to the next 2 races, the NRC Crit Series, Air Force Classic in Washington DC. The first was a killer, 100 degrees and was extremely humid. I did 5 miles and simply couldn’t breathe or anything else that could help me stay in the group.
The next day wasn’t much different, but on pure will I ended up 10th after fighting my way to the front chasing a full strong team from United Healthcare taking the first 3 places! A good result and some prize money which was much needed in a poor Danish cyclists pocket.
After Washington DC, the next adventure was in Milwaukee, participating in the Tour of America’s Dairyland over 10 days. Places like 7, 8, 10, 13 and 15 is so far what I have obtained.
After that it is on the plane back to LA and then a deserved vacation in Hawaii where my older brother and family have decided to have their summer vacation. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family again. It has almost been 5 months since I saw them the last time and I feel it now and then. Although I really feel adapted to staying here, I have made a lot of friends which makes it’s a lot easier to stay so many miles away from home for so long.
I hope to stay and race until the middle of August, so you will probably here from me again.
It is hard to believe the cycling season has reached “Mid Season” already, but we must have as the “Mid Season Criterium” in Ontario was held this past weekend. The SoCalCycling.com Team rode a strong race, with representation in the major moves and breakaways. The race ultimately came down to a field sprint with Lee Muse (Cash Call Mortgage) taking the win in a close finish. SoCalCycling,com’s Michael Smith Larsen just missed the podium with a 4th place finish (photo left).
Shawn VanGassen raced the grueling Death Valley Road Stage Race which covered just 55 miles over two days, but had 13,400’ of climbing. Shawn rode strong with a 5th on Stage 1, 3rd in Stage 2 and was 4th overall.
The Team will have a break from racing this weekend and will get to enjoy watching the Amgen Tour of California as it heads to Southern California. On Saturday, Stage 7 starts in our hometown of Claremont and ends with a challenging mountain top finish on Mt. Baldy. If you’d like to see what is in store for the riders, you can watch the video we recently shot of Michael climbing up the steep Mt. Baldy switchbacks.
This will be a great day to come out and watch some of the worlds best professional cyclists in the largest cycling event in America. We hope to see you on the climb!
The SoCalCycling.com Team landed on the podium again at the Barrio Logan Grand Prix in downtown San Diego. The Barrio Logan Grand Prix course is known for it’s technical figure eight layout, which when combined with fast speeds makes it very difficult for many riders to finish.
The SoCalCycling.com Team all rode strong to finish, with Michael Smith Larsen placing 3rd after a very fast race in the Pro 1/2 field.
All podium finishers were rewarded with fresh tortillas, in addition to prizes, as a reflection of the local flavor of the Barrio!
SoCalCycling.com Team rider Michael Smith Larsen climbs the final ascent up Mt. Baldy up the steep switchbacks. After the climb, Michael also gives his thoughts on the climb and how he thinks Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California will play out for the riders. A must see for cycling fans & riders!
Intro by Michael: 0 - 00:18 secs
Climb up Switchbacks: 00:19 secs - 22:30 min
Interview with Michael after Climb: 22:30 - 24:06
Visit SoCalCycling.com for coverage of the Amgen Tour of California.
Congrats to the SoCalCycling.com Team.com on a great ride at the San Luis Rey Road Race! David Robertson WON the Pro 1/2 race after teammate Shawn VanGassen’s early break was caught!
Lucas Binder of the SKLZ – Pista Palace Team wrote a nice race report that was featured on SoCalCycling.com.
By Michael Smith Larsen, SoCalCycling.com Team
The SoCalCycling.com Team has been fortunate to have Michael Smith Larsen riding for the Team this season. Michael, who is from Denmark, has competed in more than 20 professional Six Day races in Europe. He is a former Danish Champion, has medaled at European Championships in the Madison and has ridden for multiple UCI Continental team in Denmark. We are excited that Michael is riding for the SoCalCycling.com Team and racing in SoCal with us this year!
Now I have been in California for more than 2 months and have already done a lot of good bike races.
The first race I did was the Imperial Valley Classic and it started good with a second place.
In the Callville Bay Classic, I almost felt at home in Denmark again in the very cold and rainy second stage. I think I had an advantage though and finished in 5th, which was okay.
A second place in Ontario I got on another rainy day. I don’t know why the little amount of rainy days always have to be on a race day? : )
The last month has been with races on the highest level. I did both the San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Classic Stage Race. They were both hard races, but felt good in San Dimas. I had a little bad luck in the crit and was caught behind a crash close to the finish which ruined my chances for mixing it up in the sprint. I had hoped for top form the next week at Redlands, but suffered the first days with a upset stomach, which made the second stage of 120 miles in 90 degrees a living hell.I got through it, but it was not much more fun the next day at the Crit. The speed was incredibly fast and starting in the back made it a race of just surviving.
On the last stage (Sunset Road Race), I felt much better. The course was awesome, very hard and reminded me of hard European races. I finished in the second group, which was fine for me, since climbing that much isn’t my favorite. Denmark is flat you know. ;-)
After these races, I needed a “vacation” and was invited for an event on Trinidad in the Caribbean. It had one night with a criterium and two days of track racing, on a grass track though. It was quite an experience, but fun!
I met some other Danish riders that were invited to the race. It was nice to meet local guys and speak Danish every day again. : )
Now we are on again. The hard training has started and we did the Old Pueblo Grand Prix in Tucson. I finished in fifth place in a well contested race, which I am satisfied with after not feeling on top the last weeks.
So far, I love staying here in California for the races and hope to stay the rest of the season. You will hear more from me when I have done races such as the Dana Point Grand Prix and other good races that you have over here.
Michael Smith Larsen
The SoCalCycling.com Team’s recent photo shoot produced some fantastic photos that will be used on the Team’s web site, promotional materials and for sponsors.
The shoot was held in the beautiful Claremont Colleges and Bonelli Park.