Why Do We Race? Because. It’s. Really. Damn. Fun.


Bike racing in Middle Earth.



Fuel to keep us going. Top fuel too, none of that 87 octane stuff.




Hidden Heroes: the staff who are up at all hours making our job easier.


Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Heidi Franz was back in California this past week – racing at the Chico Stage Race and then taking part in another training camp as the #RallyCats honed their preparation for the big goals of 2018. She filed this report on her way back to Seattle:


I’m writing this little race report a bit differently this time, and a bit late from Chico, California while we finish up a post-race team camp. The legs…they are tired! If you followed along with the race on social media you probably saw some pretty pictures of a few very epic stage wins by the Rally Cats, three to be exact. In short, we held the race lead with Summer Moak for two stages, lost it in the time trial, and fired off everything we had to make up 15 seconds for Sara Bergen in the criterium. It was an all-in, 100% team effort with everyone shelling themselves for the cause. Though we couldn’t make up the time to take the overall, we still had teammates Sara Bergen and Summer Moak take 2nd and 3rd in the general classification, respectively. Shamelessly borrowing these stats from Rally Cycling’s report, I’ll brag that between the seven of us racing, we accounted for 16 top-ten finishes and eight podiums. All said and done, it was a pretty successful weekend and the North American women’s peloton knows that the Rally Cats have shown up strong and stoked to take on the year. Races like this and Valley of the Sun are just the appetizers for the main course of the season to come.


This past week of racing and camp was all-hands-on-deck to run the first big team showing of the season. With usual suspects Zach, Zane, and Kelly, we also had Ina Yoko-Teutenberg joining the Rally Cycling crew as a new women’s director for a few races this year. We also had our team nutritionist, Dana Lis, come and work with each of us to figure out what in the world we should be eating for the four days of racing and beyond. Her expertise, “science in spandex” fueling tricks, and motherly encouragement basically kept us upright and on our bikes.


For those of you who don’t know of Ina, her palmarès include over 200 wins in her 12-year career and two trips to the Olympics. I really could – and should – go on and on, about how amazing she is, but to keep this report semi-short, you just need to know that we are incredibly lucky to have her with us. And that she is my new favorite German.


I had never been to Chico before, and what I didn’t expect was the feeling that I was riding on some European country roads (and yes, I have ridden a bike on European country roads). Flat farm land and pastures everywhere brought all kinds of wind conditions and some potential Strade Bianche-like weather, especially with the eight miles of gravel we’d race during Stage 2. Imagine that.


Throughout the race and especially in the last couple of days of this team camp, Ina absolutely schooled us (simultaneously destroyed and educated us) on how to work with cross, head, and tail winds, and how to improve our sprinting- her specialty. After a debrief of some drills, she would attack and out-sprint us as naturally as breathing. I can’t wait to keep learning from her.


With the race plus a team camp, fueling and recovery became super important for us. While putting out so much work over 10 days, staying healthy can be a big challenge if you don’t have a system figured out, and that’s exactly what Dana was brought in to help us with. If we’re not on bikes, we’re either eating, sleeping, stretching, making more food, vegged out reading a book, or just watching The West Wing mindlessly if you were like me this week. During this race I very quickly realized that I would probably spend more time making and eating food than actually racing my bike. I’m also starting to think that something’s wrong with me because I can’t jump on the nap train, and I’ll stay up past 10pm- mostly because I just won’t be able to fall asleep any earlier.  Solution: Just pedal harder?  I suppose…..


At this point in my life, every day that I sit on a bike I learn something new, so I’ll finish with a lesson I learned this week.


It’s a big shocker: Mistakes!  They. Will. Happen.


And as the “greenest” and newest bike racer on the team, I will inevitably make a mistake every now and then. Chalk it up to inexperience, bad judgement, or just not being aware; at some point I might cost the team a result, cause a crash, or make my teammate’s jobs harder.


During the race, I made a silly mistake.


I’m lucky to have such genuinely good human beings for teammates who don’t hesitate to make it a learning opportunity for me, but also bring it to my attention in a way that benefits the team as a whole. As someone who habitually carries around my own backpack of pressure, any mistake that I make is followed by some self-deprecation. Being able to come away from that with a lighter backpack this week was a real testament to the people on this team and the respect in it.


Because why do we race in the first place? It’s just really damn fun. And it always should be.

Thorsten Askervold Race Report from Chico Stage Race


The team rolling in the hills of Nor Cal during team camp



What happens when your team mate gets a flat on the way back from the stage……..Team Work Of Course! Check out the video on @taskervold on IG. #squadgoals


Thorsten Askervold is a Tête de la Course Cycling coached U23 rider racing for the domestic elite Team California. Along with Logan Owen and Heidi Franz, Thorsten will be posting about life on the road racing bikes. Here is his first post from last weekend’s Chico Stage Race. Enjoy.

The Chico Stage Race was the first race for “Team California” and I. If you have not heard of the team already it’s based out of Northern California hence the name. We are a development team racing under the guidance of AJ Kennedy, Freddie Rodriguez and Kirk Carlsen. Our Main sponsors are Storck, FSA/Vision and Gu Energy Labs. 2018 is my 2nd year with the team although the team went through a huge transformation going into this season. A very cool thing about our team is the diversity of our team. We have 2 Mexican riders, a kiwi, a rider from Hong Kong and others scattered all over the US.


Going into the stage race I wasn’t sure how we were going to ride as a team since we’ve only ridden once together at team camp back in February. Day one was the thunder hill circuit race. Our team objective was to get my teammate Cooper and I in a winning position for the end. However near the end a break ended up getting away and we had Cooper in it and he sprinted for 5th. A good result, but we were hungry for more.


Going into the 2nd day I knew this was a perfect course for he and I. It was a 90 mile road race with a 4 mile gravel section and a small hill during and after it that we had to do 2 times. We had a plan going into the race and we stuck with it. I was really excited the way our team rode. We entered the gravel section as a team first on the last time through. I was feeling very optimistic with a couple teammates in front of me and Cooper right behind me. About halfway through the gravel Cooper had gotten a flat so it was up to me to finish it off. Patience was my enemy though and I decided to make an attack on the gravel hill (about 5-6 miles from the finish). I thought that this could succeed because I saw everyone was hurting and no teams were organized and I had good legs. However I ended up getting caught right before the next hill exiting the gravel section and that is when Team Rally decided to attack and that was the end of my race. It was the difference between me sitting in on the final little hill and making the front group. But my lesson was learned.


On the last day patience was our enemy again during the final stage (the crit). We made too many moves to be fresh at the end. But with about 2 Laps to go we had Gera up in a break, but the gap closing very quickly as Team Elevate took control of the race. 1 lap to go I had Cooper in front of me but he got moved off his line and lost some speed which left it up to just me. I had to gain a couple more positions to be where I wanted and got there and then the sprinting started –  going into the final corner we caught the breakaway. We were going a lot faster then the guys we caught and they were all spread out through the corner and I got caught behind them as I took the outside line when I should have gone to the inside – missing out on a potentially very good result.


This was our first race as a team and we made mistakes. But our team has a lot of potential and we learned from those mistakes. Main lesson being patience and how big of a difference it makes in this sport.


Next race for our team is Tour of Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic.


Thanks for reading.


Logan Owen – GP Larciano

logan italy

Yeah, that was a rough one….

Everyone was talking about the Strada Bianche from this past weekend – as they should. That was one hell of a bike race.


There was another bike race in Italy last weekend as well – the GP Larciano – held the day after Strada. This is a little late in appearing due to some travel delays following the race but here is Logan Owen’s report from Larciano:

On Sunday we had GP Larciano on tap. Many of the riders that raced an epic Strada Bianche were racing Larciano because it was really close to the finish of Strada.


As we rolled up to the start of the race it reminded me of many of the U23 Italian races I had taken part in in the past. From the presentation stage to the announcer – everything was very similar to my last few years of racing in Italy.


The plan for the day was for our climbers Dani Moreno, Daniel Martinez and Julian Cardona to wait for the 4th of 4 times up the 11km climb to follow moves or attack themselves. The team also gave me the green light to try and make it over the climb and be there for the sprint. After the 2nd time over the climb I realized I wasn’t going to have the legs and did everything I could to help all the climbers by positioning them into the climb. 


Martinez ended up finishing 25th. He was one of the strongest on the climb and was able to split it to just 8 riders but everyone looked at each other and a few other groups were able to get back on. I ended up being dropped the 3rd time up but kept smashing on with a big groupetto so we could finish the race. We ended up finishing 10 minutes behind the winner, Matej Mahoric. I can say that it was a rough one.


I am now in Girona for a few days with some of the guys for a mini-camp before I head back to Belgium.


I hope everyone enjoyed reading – thanks!



Thanks to Logan for the report. And – congratulations to his wife Chloe who absolutely smashed it at track worlds last week!

Logan Owen Reports from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad


The Pink Armada with Logan sitting second wheel



The 2018 Spring Classics season has finally arrived!

The opening events of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne took place this past weekend in Belgium and Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Logan Owen was there racing. Logan was originally supposed to make his European racing debut with his EF Education First team at KBK on Sunday but that changed when he was told last Tuesday that he would be racing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad instead.  Historically Omloop HNB has been harder then KBK, That definitely would be the case this year as it would cover the same roads and cobbled climbs of the old Tour of Flanders in the closing kilometers.

As his coach I was a little nervous. Logan was just getting over a cold and missed a scheduled session behind the motor to help get him back to race speed after the racing break he had following Tour Down Under. Now he was racing one day earlier in a harder race. Logan took it all in stride though and was pretty psyched to get a shot at Omloop HNB.

Below is his race report filed just after the race. Enjoy.


On Saturday I raced my first Spring Classic as a pro and probably my biggest race to date. I was a little nervous as to how hard the race would be since I’ve heard from many former pros that the classics are always full gas from start to finish.


Saturday morning we all got on the bus and prepared for war.


We played some old school rock to get pumped and ready for the race as a lot of the guys on the team were a bit older than me (so – a lot of the same music you heard in my car traveling with me to all of those races as a junior? 😉 – Joe)


As we walked off the bus to head to the sign-in in the center of the Ghent Velodrome there were tons of fans asking for autographs and pictures. In between trying to grab my bike and getting to the sign-in I had to sign around 30 autographs which was something I haven’t had to do on a large scale like this. I was blown away by how many fans showed up and how big the whole race seemed. After sign-in we did our final radio checks and headed to the start.


The temperature was just above freezing and everyone was completely bundled up. My job for the race was to make sure Sep and the other couple of guys going for the finish were taken care of all day and to make sure they were in the front at kilometer 115. If I made it past that I was to position them for the bottom of the Kokerelle, which was a new climb to the race and where fireworks were expected to go off.


Everything went according to plan and I was able to help put them in the front for both of those sections. It wasn’t easy as I spent a lot of energy closing gaps and keeping Sep out of the wind earlier in the race.


I basically treated those two points as my finish line and gave everything to make sure we were in the front for the key points in the race. After that I held on to the back of the bunch for a couple more kilometers before getting dropped with a big group.


Before the race started I told myself that no matter what I was going to finish the race. Many guys in the group that I was in got in their respective vans and team cars but I slugged on with 7 other guys to the finish. Although I finished they put me down as a DNF for some reason even though I wasn’t outside time cut but I was able to complete all the goals the team and I set out for myself before the race.


Sep really rewarded all of our hard work with a podium finish.


For my first classic in the World Tour I couldn’t have asked for a much better start.


Thanks for reading!





Logan races again next week at the GP Industria & Artigianato in Larciano, Italy.

You Are Part of the Problem


Really? You’re the “shortcut”? Guess what? There are no shortcuts. You are however part of the problem. The problem of telling people that there are shortcuts in the first place.


That image of “Shortcut to fast” flashed up on the heading of the website of a prominent coaching company that I went to today.

I want to state that I have a lot of respect for the individuals behind this company and have attended seminars that they have presented. Just because I respect someone though doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they say. And it doesn’t mean that I am going to buy what they are trying to sell. And it doesn’t mean that I am not going to call them out on something that, well, quite honestly pissed me off.

I just couldn’t move beyond this statement of “shortcut to fast”. I couldn’t move beyond it and I couldn’t let it go. Because it’s bullshit.

There are no shortcuts.

Let me repeat that.


There are no “hacks”, there are no “magic pills” or “seven minute wonder workouts” and there sure as hell are no “shortcuts”.

There is however the understanding that real achievement requires effort, it requires hard work, it requires accepting hard as normal, it requires attention to detail.

But most people don’t want to hear those things. They want to hear that there are “shortcuts”.

And that ultimately is the problem.

And if you are trying to sell “shortcuts” then you are part of the problem too.

“Fitness is strength and conditioning, but also strength of character. Cheating and shortcuts produce visible insecurity. Genuine accomplishment looks and feels different. It cannot be faked.” – Mark Twight

“It’s a fucking bike race so we’re bringing it” – Heidi Franz reports from VOS

"...it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it."   - photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

“…it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.” – photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)


Recovery Starts Immediately - so EAT UP!  -photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Recovery Starts Immediately – so EAT UP!
-photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Bike Racing is Hard....

Bike Racing is Hard….

Tête de la Course athlete Heidi Franz opened her 2018 race account in Arizona this past weekend at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Here is her race report:


Valley of the Sun 2018 Race Report

For the first time, I wasn’t starting my road season with a of couple relaxed Collegiate road weekends with friends, or the classic Tour De Dung road races out in Sequim, WA. In the words of Rally Sport Director Zach Bell, we were now “100% Pro”, through and through, and that’s just how this season would start.

Sara Bergen, Gillian Ellsay, Summer Moak and I were sent to The Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Three of us had never done it before, just as three of us had never raced together as teammates. The purpose was to set a precedent for the rest of the season in terms of communication, coming up with a plan, and sticking to it. Using the weekend to get our race legs back on and get back into the road mindset allowed us to ease into the season with low pressure. But of course, when we line up at the start to race, it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.

Stage one is a time trial, basically a flat 14 mile out-and-back. We set warm-up camp in our sweet VIP parking near some desert brush and Porta-Johns, and began the day. Gillian would go off first, Sara second, myself third, and Summer fourth. As the Phoenix/Scottsdale resident, Summer knew this race well. There was little wind to speak of, so it made for a less than complicated effort.

There were reports of Sara Bergen rocket-shipping herself around the course, absolutely steamrolling the competition and landing securely in 2nd, 13 seconds behind Leah Thomas. I…went a little slower, but that’s fine. Always critical at first, I had to remember that it was my third TT ever on an actual TT bike. So, I was content . Summer put down an absolutely amazing personal best time, putting her in 5th. Gillian put out a super strong showing in 10th. With me in 13th, the whole team was starting in the top 15 in GC. We could start to scheme our cards for the road race the next day.

Tibco missed out on the top 6 in the TT, so we expected a fireworks show from them to get something up the road. What we didn’t really expect (or count) was that 10 women would all go on the attack from that team. 10!!! We had planned for Gillian and I to cover moves early on that could be dangerous, but that meant following anything that had UHC and Tibco in it. Needless to say, we were busy! No breaks were sticking, and the pace was incredibly high. With one men’s field passing us left and right (literally) and our peloton catching some straggling men on the last lap, the finish was decided in a decent manner of chaos. We were setting up for a bunch sprint, and Sara and Summer were to follow wheels and help each other position in the last km. If Gillian and I had anything left, we would try to help. Little did we know, those weren’t just dudes up the road, but a break from our peloton. Lauren Hall ended up taking the win for UHC and Allison Jackson in 2nd for Tibco. Far enough down on GC, they didn’t change the top 15 very much. Sara was still solidly in 2nd. So, how to make up 13 seconds in a criterium….? Hmmm.

Spitting fire and getting Sara in a break was the goal for the crit. If not, set up Summer for the bunch sprint. The course was fast, 8 corners. Being the first crit of the season, I was pretty nervous, but just focusing on the plan would keep me from overthinking anything. The first half was great. We were riding safe, always towards the front and choosing our responses carefully, letting Tibco flyers go up the road if they wanted just to come back a couple laps later. We learned to save our matches for the really dangerous moves. Unfortunately, a serious crash 15 minutes in with a young 2020 rider neutralized the race for about 15 minutes. Starting us with 25 minutes to go, there was little time to get going. Each of us tried to move up and reshuffle the field with attacks and get Sara in position to take off. However, she was too marked to get away. Suddenly 4 then 2 laps to go, it was a rush to move Summer as far up as we could. Sara was in a decent spot and there was little more Gillian and I could do with such little time.
Stopping the clock at 35 minutes… Kendall Ryan took the win for Tibco in the sprint.

Overall, we came away feeling good. We raced well as a team for the first time, communicated well and knew when and where we needed it better. We raced hard and held our own, being a small squad of four against the powers-in-numbers. With a 2nd, top 15 for everyone, and Best Young Rider, we are happy and ready to do it again.

All our best goes to Zoe Ta-Perez’s recovery! Glad to hear she will be okay.


Thanks for reading!


– Heidi




Later this month I will be traveling to Salt Lake City to give a one day seminar on supplemental strength work for the endurance athlete at The Sect. Paul Roberts from The Sect will be assisting. We will cover theory, methods, practical applications and technique. The main focus will be on supplemental strength for cycling but many of the concepts are transferable to other endurance sports.


The Strength to Endure Seminar will take place on Saturday, February 17 and begin at 10 am. Registration is $100 for members of The Sect and $125 for non-members. Attendance is limited to 20 people and spots are already filling up so if you are interested I highly recommend you act fast. Email Paul Roberts at Paul@thesectfitness.com to get registered. If you have questions you can also email me at Joe@tdlccycling.com .



Heidi Franz Reports From Rally Team Camp

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride


Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Heidi Franz is racing for the Rally Cycling Women’s Professional Cycling Team in 2018. She is currently attending team camp in Southern California and sent in this report and awesome photos. Enjoy!


Team Camp Report
January 26, 2018


It might officially be the end of day six at Rally Cycling team camp, but for me it’s going on day 24 of rolling on the roads of Ventura County in the sunshine. Sorry PNW folk, I made it one sentence before rubbing it in.


Rally Cycling was kind enough to put up myself and three of my teammates, Gillian Ellsay, Sara Bergen, and Abby Mickey, in a house in Oxnard before our team camp began on January 21st.

Eat, ride, sleep, and repeat was our mantra for the build up to camp, with some intermittent game nights with some of the Rally men’s team. To be honest it was quite heavenly, getting to spend the day climbing my pick of any canyon along the Pacific Coast Highway, and make my way back to the beach along “The Flats of Despair”-not so heavenly. The teammates eventually started rolling in and schedules got dialed, and before we knew it the whole team was dressed in kit outside Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas, waiting to be introduced to sponsors and VIPs as Rally Cycling for 2018. Then the party really got started.


The first couple days of camp have all the glamor. Our media guys were leap frogging back and forth, getting every possible action shot with every possible angle. Our superb soigneur Kelly is busy preparing an amazing lunch for us when we get back, and Zane our wonderful mechanic is ready for anything we throw at him. Even a fender. (Because of course I brought my fender to California.) For us riders it’s just a fun time to get to know each other while we suffer up some canyons. Not everyone is present at camp (Kelly Caitlin and Allison Beveridge at their track World Cups/camps respectively, Emma White preparing for Cyclocross World Championships… I am happy to keep bragging about how awesome my teammates are) but the first couple days are nice for getting a sense for where people are in their training, as we do long steady tempo and go our own pace up the climbs.


On our third day, director extraordinaire Zach Bell put together some breakaway/chase drills, controlling and pacing the gap between a small break and then attempting a catch. Sometimes it’s not just about catching the break, but controlling the leash and playing the gap to your advantage. The infamous “Camp Champs” loop in Malibu is where this all plays out. It’s about 10 miles long, along the ridge where the top of Westlake meets Mulholland, around to the top of Encinal and back to Mulholland- if you’re familiar with the area. On our second go around, myself and breakaway buddy K. Maine (aka Peanut) successfully held off a raging chase group of Sara Bergen (Iceberg), Sara Poidevin (Tiny Dancer), and Gillian (you guessed it, Gilligan) for 1.5 laps of Camp Champs- 1,500ft of climbing in 45 minutes over 15 miles. It was a solid day.


At this point, we are 17 hours into the week. We hear there is money on the line at the top of a canyon tomorrow, and our legs are getting tired. However, we are busy editing team photo projects and watching lots of Netflix, so hopefully we’ll be well rested for the onslaught ahead of us.


Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along @rallycycling for all the fun.
Sending sunshine wherever you are,



rallycats 2

RallyCats Roll


So many bikes.....

So many bikes…..


Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll


Another Canyon.....

Another Canyon…..


PCH Rally Cats

PCH Rally Cats



Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 6



Most Combative Rider on Stage 6! photo pulled from @RideArgyle IG feed

Logan Owen made his World Tour debut this week at The Tour Down Under in Australia. Logan made the most out of his first stage race as a World Tour rider by getting into the breakaway on the last stage, a 90km circuit race in Adelaide. He was named the stage’s Most Combative Rider. Here is Logan’s recap of the stage:


We had a 90km Circuit race on tap for today. The plan for the day was to get Will in the break and for me to help Mitch and Scully in the sprint. Will gave it everything in the first few laps to get into the break but it just didn’t work out. I started to follow moves and accidentally ended up in a move that got a decent gap. That group broke apart leaving an Astana rider [Truls Korsaeth] and me off the front. A guy from Trek [Laurent Didier] then came across. Both of them stopped working so I attacked and just went solo. Eventually a Dimension Data rider [Ben O’Connor] came up to me. He was going full gas to get the time bonus on the line with 7 laps to go. I told him that I wouldn’t work with him until after the sprint because it didn’t benefit me or the team to waste my energy and help him get time bonuses to move ahead of our GC leader. Either way he was going to get enough to leap frog Canty in the GC so I didn’t even bother sprinting. Once he got his bonus seconds we began to work together going flat out. Eventually with about 4 laps to go I attacked because I figured this would be my best chance at winning the stage. Eventually I got caught with a little over 2 laps to go (8km) and then just hung on for dear life.


In the end I got the Most Combative award and a trip to the podium. I was really happy with this because it was a cool way to cap off a great week of racing with the EF-Drapac p/b Cannondale boys. I learned quite a bit this week including that WT racing is very controlled and can be really easy until it gets ridiculously hard at the end of the stages. All in all it was a great week of racing for the whole team!


Thanks for reading.


– Logan


Logan is now headed to Girona for team camp. Check in next week as Logan will be filing a couple of posts from camp.

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 5 – Willunga



Logan Owen is making his World Tour Debut with his new team EF Education First at The Tour Down Under. He has been sending in updates on his race. Here is his recap of Stage 5 – the penultimate stage that finished on Willunga Hill:


We had the iconic Willunga Hill on tap today. This stage usually decides the GC for the race. Our goal was to put our two GC guys in the front going into the final time up Willunga Hill and try for the stage win. We looked after our GC riders really well all stage long, kept them out of the wind, kept them hydrated and everything. The whole team made it over the first of two climbs up Willunga. We were able to keep or GC riders near the front and protected coming up towards the crosswind section that goes for about 5km into the base of Willunga. Will and I moved Simon and Brendan up to the front before we made the left to the crosswind section. We hit the cross wind section with the four of us on the front and we slammed the race into the gutter. Will, Simon and I did some pretty long pulls going flat hoping to put the other GC contenders on the back foot. We were able to do some damage to what was left of the bunch and we were able to drop Brendan off at the base of the climb fairly fresh. At the end of the day he just didn’t have the legs to go with the attack that Richie Porte put in on the climb but we couldn’t have raced a better race as a team. Hats off to Richie on his stage win. Everyone knew when and where he was going to attack and he was still able to get the win.


The Tour finishes tomorrow with a 90 km circuit race which will most likely end in a bunch sprint.


Thanks for reading.


– Logan