With crit season in full swing, HBSC riders turned in some impressive performances in July. Agnes Sauvage took 2nd in the ladies Cat 3 race at the Joe Matava crit in Burien, while Ross Davis and Megan Fay finished 5th in their respective races. Agnes moved to the top step of the podium a week later at Redmond Derby Days, winning the ladies Cat 3 race in thrilling fashion. On the men's side, Leigh Thurgood turned himself inside out for an entire lap to lead out PB Thiffault, who was able to sprint to 2nd in the Cat 3 race. Colin McKenna and Ross Davis represented in the Cat 4 race, finishing 7th and 8th.
Colin McKenna provided most of the excitement at the Georgetown crit, racing to 4th in the Cat 4 race, then returning later in the afternoon to finish 3rd in the Masters race.
With crit season in sight, June kicked off with the final stage race of the season, the Capital Stage Race in Olympia. On a bright, clear morning, HBSC riders ate up the short, fast TT, with Leigh Thurgood and Alec Osenbach finishing less than a second apart in 4th and 5th in the Cat 4 race, PB Thiffault 5th in the Cat 3's, and Stephanie Sipes, Mallory Travis, and Ana Popp taking 5th, 6th, and 7th in the Cat 4 ladies' race. HBSC women also dominated the afternoon crit, with Ana and Mallory controlling the race and springing Stephanie for a decisive win. Pack finishes were the norm for the road races on Sunday, but several HBSC riders spent time off the front.
A week later, the Ballard crit kicked off summer in Seattle. Megan Fay had a great race to finish 5th in the Cat 4 ladies field, and Leigh Thurgood rode strong in his first race as a Cat 3. But it was Sean McGraw that provided the highlight for the weekend, spending much of the Cat 4 race chasing a 2-man break that ultimately stayed away. Sean poured out the watts, lap after lap, but ultimately succumbed to the massive chasing peleton.
The final road race of the year was the state championship in Bellingham. The hilly course and uphill finish let to lots of splits, and several HBSC riders turned in great performances. In the men's cat 3 race, PB Thiffault finished 5th behind a successful break, while Leigh Thurgood was a few seconds back in 10th. Sean McGraw played the Cat 4 race to perfection, hiding in wheels while teammates drove the peleton, before turning on the power on the final climb to claim 4th. Mallory Travis stayed with the leaders in her first Cat 3 race, finishing 7th ahead of Alicia King in 10th.
HBSC riders wrapped up June with the Tacoma Twilight crit. PJ Bauser and Neal Joslyn fought through the stacked Cat 1/2 field to finish 9th and 10th, while PB Thiffault and Leigh Thurgood claimed 10th and 11th in the Cat 3 race. Ross Davis labored to chase down a break in the Cat 4 field and still managed to finish 6th.
The month of May began with the Tour de Bloom Omnium in Wenatchee, and HBSC was well represented among the field. The weekend of racing began with a 4.2 mile hill climb from the outskirts of Wenatchee to Mission Ridge ski resort - a pain-inducing 1600ft ascent. There was much suffering, but the ladies dominated the Cat 4 race with Mallory Travis in 2nd and Stephanie Sipes and Molly Blust close behind in 4th and 5th. John Clouse and Alec Osenbach took 5th and 8th in the Cat 4 field and Neal Joslyn finished a solid 24th in his first race as a Cat 2. The second stage, the downtown crit, was later that afternoon, and featured a number of wise riders who opted to forgo the hill climb in favor of fresh legs for the crit. None was fresher than Sean McGraw, who won the Cat 4 race ahead of teammate Leigh Thurgood, as HBSC completely controlled proceedings. Almost as good was Stephanie Sipes' 2nd place finish in the women's Cat 4 crit, where Ana Maria Popp and Mallory Travis controlled the race and sprung their teammate for the finish. Lucas Weyand also finished in impressive fashion, taking 5th in the super fast Cat 3 race. The omnium concluded with a long and difficult road race, punctuated by strong winds and heavy rain and hail in the afternoon races. The Cat 4 ladies again dominated their field with Mallory Travis taking the win a bike length in front of domestique-for-the-weekend teammate Ana Maria Popp. The podium earned Mallory 2nd place in the GC. On the men's side, PB Thiffault survived the wretched conditions to finish 6th in the Cat 3 race, while Sean McGraw, Alec Osenbach, and Leigh Thurgood managed to stick with the chase group and finish 7th, 9th, and 10th.
The Vance Creek road race filled the weekend between stage races, and HBSC stacked the field and got results. In the men's Cat 4 race, Alec Osenbach, Nate Hoe, and Misha Terentjev drove the peleton the whole race before unleashing Leigh Thurgood for the sprint, which he won handily. PJ Bauser managed to pick his way through the army of HSP riders to finish 6th in the Pro/1/2 race, and Ana Maria Popp finished 3rd in the Cat 4 women's race.
Following Ravensdale was the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race. The largely forgettable weekend was higlighted by Colin McKenna's win in the Cat 4 crit and John Clouse's 6th place GC finish in the Master's field. With no races scheduled for the last weekend in May, racers were afforded some much needed rest in advance of the final stage race of the year and the beginning of crit season.
The flat and fast Vance Creek road race kicked off a fantastic month of racing for HBSC riders. The standout performance from Vance Creek came from John Clouse, who made the 3-man break early in the Master's race and managed to finish 2nd overall amid treacherous conditions. Newly upgraded Alec Osenbach was the top HBSC rider in the packed Cat 4 field, and HBSC coach Carson Miller threw down in the Pro/1/2 race by riding off the front of the race early on and crossing the finish line more than 2 minutes ahead of the field.
The second week of April saw some HBSC riders invade the eastern half of the state while the rest of the team stayed local to ride hills at the Longbranch road race. Neal Joslyn followed up his March win with another, this time coming out on top of the Cat 3 field at Ronde Van Palouse. Molly Blust was also among the HBSC riders to race at Ronde, finishing 3rd in the Cat 4 women's field. Meanwhile, Lucas Weyand was the top HBSC performer at Longbranch, unleashing a devastating sprint from 250m to win the Cat 3 race. PB Thiffault followed closely in 5th. Mallory Travis raced herself onto the podium in the Cat 4 women's race, overcoming a brief meeting with the pavement to finish 2nd.
The end of April brought the first stage race of the year in the 3-day Tour of Walla Walla. After some top-notch caravanning, a parallel parking lesson from Lucas Weyand, and several exciting mechanical mishaps, HBSC riders awoke at the crack of the dawn to race the 9-mile time trial. Refusing the wind-cheating equipment used by much of the field, Leigh Thurgood pedaled victory in the Cat 4 field, followed by Sean McGraw in 2nd and John Clouse in 4th. Though the crit and road race proved more challenging for the stacked HBSC Cat 4 squad, the team was able to get John into the final group in the road race, propelling him to 2nd in the final GC. Woohoo!
April ended with a double weekend; the Olympic View road race on Saturday and the Volunteer Park criterium on Sunday. Agnes Sauvage and Alicia King highlighted an otherwise lackluster day at Olympic View, finishing 2nd and 3rd in the women's 1/2/3 race. The next day, however, HBSC riders rocked the show at Volunteer Park. Lucas Weyand warmed up his legs in the junior's race, then powered through a virtual wall of Audi riders to win the Cat 3 race. Leigh Thurgood also showed good form in the first crit of the year, finishing 5th in the Cat 4 field. Alicia King continued the momentum on the ladies' side by taking the last step on the podium in the Cat 3 women's race.
The Icebreaker TT opened the 2014 bike racing season, and as expected, the long winter miles put in by HBSC riders paid dividends immediately. In the Cat 4 Men's race, Sean McGraw and Leigh Thurgood were the top placing HBSC riders, finishing 3rd and 5th in the crowded field. Peter Super and John Clouse also had good showings, finishing 3rd and 4th in their respective Master's fields. The newly formed women's team was even more impressive, with Kristen Walker finishing 2nd in the Cat 3 race, followed closely by Alicia King in 4th and Lizzy Peterson in 8th. In the Cat 4 Women's race, Megan Fisher led the group of 4 HBSC riders.
The 2014 road season opened the second week of March with the Mason Lake and Tour de Dung series' kicking off under threatening skies. The HBSC team was well represented, with 16 riders in blue taking the start at the first Tour de Dung race. Again, the ladies showed their strength, with Mallory Travis unleashing a massive sprint to finish 2nd, just a few bike lengths ahead of Ana-Maria Popp in 4th. On the Men's side, Sean McGraw animated the Cat 4 race with a long stint off the front, but as the wind came up Sean was caught and Steven Glasgow emerged as the top HBSC rider, finishing 6th in the field sprint.
The first Mason Lake race was highlighted by PJ Bauser's 6th place finish in the Men's Pro/1/2 race, and incredible feat given PJ's lack of teammates in the star-studded field. PJ followed up the next week at Sequim, making every selection and finishing 5th. In the Men's Cat 4 races, Sean McGraw and Leigh Thurgood kept the HBSC blue visible at the front of the pack. At Mason, Sean finishing 6th ahead of Leigh who fell victim to mechanical woes. All was made right the next weekend though, as Leigh won the field sprint in impressive fashion to take 2nd overall.
The first overall win for HBSC came, unsurprisingly, from the women's side as Ana-Maria Popp smashed the field in the Cat 4 race at the final Mason Lake race. Elizabeth Adams was not far behind in 3rd. Alicia King also helped continue the ladies' strong start to the season with a 2nd place finish in the Cat 3 race.
March ended with the first hilly race, Independence Valley, in Rochester, WA. New HBSC rider Neal Joslyn, an import from Idaho, flexed his muscles by winning the sprint ahead of the shattered Cat 3 field to take the win. Leigh Thurgood continued his run of strong finishes by making the final selection and crossing the line in 6th. Ana-Maria Popp further solidified her status as a favorite in the Cat 4 women's field with a 5th place finish.