Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Race Report & Pics: FSC #1 2015 Tallahassee

It's finally here! Been a long, hot Summer of hard work, training and a little fun to boot, but ready or not, the 2015 FSC is here!

Lots of changes went down over the Summer. We added some friends to the group, some guys still race, others just love cycling, but we're all friends so we still ride together as Eclipse Racing no matter what colors we wear on race day. Which leads me to yours truly, Eric G, and Boyco joining up with some of our old friends on Mack Cycle's new MTB team.
The old gang, and a few more, all together
The toughest part of the kickoff weekend is the long drive from South Florida to the State Capital in Tallahassee. We changed it up from our usual routine and actually left on Friday afternoon and it really paid off. Instead of arriving tired on Saturday mid day, we had a relaxing morning and hit the trails for some comfortable shakedown laps. This course is a nice mix of climbing and descents. After an opening double track climb, racers are kicked down the Cadillac section that's pretty much wide open bench cut single track, with some bumps and roots to keep your brakes from getting too bored. Throw in a few A & B lines and it's definitely a section to make some passes. Later on Walley World kicks the racers over a perfectly groomed double to hit a nice wooden wall that usually draws a crowd, encouraging the racers to "Get some wood!!"
Walley World
Race day weather was perfect and the races went off quickly. With so many of us in attendance, we'll pick a few random results to talk about. Vic started in his Elite class, a combined class of all Expert 19-49 races. While they'd also be scored in their respective classes, this is where you can find the fastest racers in Florida. After lap one he was mixed in with about the Top 11 riders which then started separating out. After three laps he was battling with another racer between 7th and 8th place. He managed to pull away from his chaser to end up in 7th on the day, and 4th in class, landing him in the always impressive 40-49 podium! The story of the day was Bob McCarty, who popped his chain coming out of the gate, Fixed it in a few minutes, and chased back to finish 5th on the day in the Elite division. No less impressive was Bob's teammate, Doug DeWeese, who took his first overall Elite victory on this day!

Boyco set off in the XC2 19-29, 18 deep which includes contains some of the fastest junior racers in the state. Looks can certainly be deceiving with these kids! After the shuffle of the start, Boyco had just missed the lead group escape and was part of the a chase group. By lap two it was down to a trio and it became a strategy game. Evenly matched through most of the trail, Boyco snuck away with a small gap on the last twisty section to charge to the finish line ahead of the others for 8th place.

As for me, well it started well at least. My XC2 30-39 class was a bit smaller than usual with only 9 racers. I stuck to the group early and tried not to do anything silly. I made a move to get into the Cadillac section first from the group I was with and it worked, so that was fun, but after that I got swarmed on a climb and got sent to the rear. I held everyone close for the better part of 2 laps until my old back issues kicked in and I fell off the pace. Kept it upright the rest of the way, didn't finish last and well, had some fun. The form isn't bad, but I can't shake this injury.

As of this writing, FSC #2 in Jacksonville already passed and was a muddy mess! Elite winner on the day was Bob McCarty with our Vic Nelson grabbing 7th overall again in Elite and 3rd in class! FSC #3 is coming THIS weekend and we'll be at the always awesome Alafia River State Park for that one! Stay tuned for more pics and reports! Enjoy some of the pics below and thanks for following along!


Great kickoff to the 2015 FSC. Mostly ITT, Kids, and White wave pics here. Don't forget to like our page on the way out!
Posted by Mack Cycle Mountain Bike Team on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Adventures, New Friends and New Kits!

Not a lot of writing this Summer because of, well, a lot of riding! It's a long one so I'll get right to it!

Last update I had Sea Otter coming up and it wound up being such an amazing adventure. Monster Energy hooked it up with 4 days accommodations in Monterrey, Ca just minutes from the Laguna Seca event location. The even itself is bigger than anything I could have imagined, estimating over 65,000 people in attendance over four days. Hundreds of Industry brands were on site bringing the latest & greatest of cycling products. Racing action was on for four days in everything from Road racing, 'Cross, Downhill and XC. The Pro races were absolutely amazing to see up close. The event has become big enough to bring the best of the UCI Professionals and we were treated with top international racers like Nino Schurter in action! I was provided with a sweet S-Works Epic to use for the trip which was perfect for the race course. I spent the better part of two days with a Monster Energy film crew and MotoCross/MTB Legend Johnny O'Mara exploring the filming, exploring the race loop and learning some skills from Johnny. Having never ridden out West, the terrain was quite different and Johnny definitely provided some useful tips. When race day came I managed to suffer like a dog for the early parts as the weather took an unexpected drop in temperature. Half way through I found my legs and had a better time out of it. Ultimately I kept it upright and had a blast in the beautiful race loop. Check out some pics below from my trip.

Had an amazing trip to Sea Otter 2015! Thanks to Muscle Monster & Greg Sellers for the amazing experience!
Posted by Eclipse Racing Team on Saturday, May 2, 2015

The muddy result of Big Frog
Before the night sets on the Renegade Run
Boyco has had his own busy Summer as well. When XC season ends, he likes to take his rides the endurance and Adventure route. His search of Epic rides has taken him to the muddy mess of the Big Frog 65, a 65 mile XC race in the mountains of Tennessee, to the more spiritually pure Renegade Run, a 90 mile NIGHT ride through the Ocala National Forest back in Florida. More of a Gravel Grinder than an XC event. The Summer isn't done yet as next up he continues to the leg ripping Oraam! With over 10k feet of climbing in the mountains of North Carolina, the ride has become a yearly challenge for him. The war stories when he returns are always special so looking forward to his report.

This Summer brought some changes to the team as well. Our good friend Norris has left us for the great state of North Carolina. He'll always be a part of the team, but we'll miss him and his constant shenanigans on the bike. We continue with great support from F2 Performance Labs, ESI Grips, Cytomax, Magura, & Rudy Project., but after three great seasons with Bike Tech, we've stepped away as we've taken a bit of a change in direction with the team. We can't thank them enough for all their support along the way. Happy to report that Alex has reignited his passion for riding after a tough personal year, and we've included some new (old) friends from other teams to join us as well. While they'll fly their sponsor colors on race weekend, they're Eclipse Racing when it comes to race day fun and support.

Speaking of the team, new kits arrived just in time for our new member Victor to take it out to the famous BC Bike Race, a 7 day stage race in the wilderness of BC! He's sponsored by Mack Cycles in Miami, Florida, but you need a lot of kits for 7 days so he managed to fly Eclipse colors a few times. He rode consistent the whole event, faced a bit of a challenge with a crash mid way through, but charged back to finish 19th in class!

As the Summer ends, the focus will turn to the FSC/CC season which begins in September. We'll write up more of our new members as the season kicks off. Keep coming back for more pics and stories from the season!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Endurance and the Otter

This weekend we enjoyed the Markham 100k, quite possibly the last race of the year before the killer South Florida heat arrives. Boyco's been prepping for quite the endurance run in the next few weeks, he teamed up with his sister for this one. With the Hammerhead 50, Big Frog 65 and Marathon Nationals all lined up starting next weekend, it gave him the opportunity to take some long runs, then have her take a lap to give him a break. Meanwhile I changed my plans for this event. Just over three weeks ago I was given the amazing news I'd won a trip to Monterey, California for the Sea Otter classic thanks to a Monster Energy contest! My preparation has shifted back to XC since then, so I treated this like a hard training ride/race check and called it a day at the half way point.

Results aren't posted yet but we had good times all around. We're all tuned up for the weeks to come. Stay tuned for our next few reports!! Enjoy some pics from the Markham 100

Great event as usual by the Markham crew! Tag yourself if you're in there and like our page if you haven't already!!
Posted by Eclipse Racing Team on Monday, April 13, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 US Cup ProXCT #2 - Fontana LIVE!

Race #2 is streaming live shortly! Huge turnout in the top US Series. Live coverage starts at 2pm EST. Watch the USA Cycling feed here!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring is coming...

Spring is just around the corner, which mean slow times for us, so here's the mish-mash of events coming up in the next few months!! Florida's Endurance events are already ramping up. The 12 Hours of Santos kicked it off last month and events will be in full swing in April with South Florida's Markham 100 followed by the well known Hammerhead 100 in Ocala. Many South Florida racers are taking it to the road after that to Tennessee for the NUE Cohutta 100 and even the USA Cycling Marathon MTB Nationals in Georgia. The event doesn't make it this far South normally so there's plenty of excitement coming out of Florida for it.

The 4G Wristband collection
For the types that prefer the adventure, plenty of Gravel Grinders are popping up. The 2nd installment of the Great Gator Gravel Grinder (The 4G) just passed and brought out a great turnout. Part Gravel Grinder, part scavenger hunt, riders are able to select from two distances and must collect wristbands along the way for a chance at the podium. While not an official race, there's prizes for the Top 3 finishers to successfully find all the wristbands on the course. Organizer Gary Mendenhall and his team do a great job of marking unique and often hidden trails all over South Florida near the Everglades, creating a truly unique event. Added this year was a Scavenger Hunt band, with a riddle for a clue and a small marker to mark its location. I was lucky enough to grab it this year and came away with a set of tires. It was a consolation prize for me as I just missed the podium, coming 4th place for the 2nd year in a row. Still a great event and looking forward to the 2016 4G! Check out some pics of the action below.

May  brings us the 6th Annual Fakawi 50, or the Largest MTB Group ride in Florida. A little further north in Weston, Florida, the route typically hits the levees and hidden roads on the edge of the Everglades. Those that live in the area know that it's typically in the middle of rainy season, which usually makes it quite the muddy mess! Its remote locations lends to its name, as in "Where the Fakawi?" This will be my first time tackling the event so looking forward to it!

As for us, we'll be going through some changes for 2015. After three great years, we part way with Bike Tech as a title sponsor. They helped us step up our game and we truly appreciate everything we accomplished together. Our own Eric Norris is turning a new chapter of life and moving to North Carolina, and while he won't be with us, he'll always be part of the team. Our co-founder Alex Serrano is taking a step back from racing this year as well. Boyco and I will carry on and we'll add a couple of more friends to the team, but we'll be taking this as a step back to enjoy the more social aspects of riding. We'll still be at select races and events and posting pics and stories though so keep following along with us! We continue with great sponsors in F2 Performance Labs, ESI Grips, Cytomax, Rudy Project, and Magura. A few of us have even picked up support from clothing brand Twin Six! We're waiting on our new Eclipse kits to arrive, but will be rocking the T6 Metal kit in the near future until then.

Stay tuned and follow along. Cycling is in our blood and we're going to keep sharing our adventures with our friends!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Coconut Cup Series is complete!

Congratulations to Mike Boyco who finished the season strong with a victory and 2nd place in the last two rounds of the Coconut Cup. The results bumped him to 3rd overall in class for the 2014-2015 series! Stay tuned for his tales of the end of the season!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!!!

Sending a Happy New Year to all our friends out there! Winter break was great and gave us a solid training block to prepare for the finish of the Coconut Cup Series. Eric G & Boyco will kick it off this weekend at CC#4 at Amelia while Eric N is focusing on the longer Markam 360 and Amelia 369 6-Hour events. Stay tuned for more stories in 2015!