March 1/03 8:47 am - Erker Second in California, Het Volk Update
Posted by Editor on 03/1/03
Erker Second at Vuelta a Valencia - California
Courtesy Schroeder Iron Cycling
You have to practice like you play, and if Schroeder's early season is any indication of what's to come from this new squad, it's looking like these boys got game.
Taking on a rolling twelve mile (20K) TT course in Southern California's Vuelta a Valencia, on an out and back course with a cross-headwind on the return, Schroeder Iron dominated the top spots on Friday (February 28th). Aaron Olson, fresh from his Valley of the Sun overall victory was first, with Jacob Erker, known more for his climbing prowess than his Time Trial, coming in second. Jason Bausch, who's been fighting a touch of illness lately, hung tough enough for fourth; followed by Pete Knudsen, leaner and meaner than he was last season right behind him for fifth. Climbing specialist Adam Livingston was eighth.
The big story of the day, though, is Jacob Erker, blazing into second only a three tenths of a second behind the teams designated TT hitter, Aaron Olson. Erker and team boss Frank Schroeder were up until the wee hours assembling his time trial bike: the first Erker has ever ridden in a race. His strong finish came despite the fact that he rode his time trial on heavy training wheels. "I should have thrown my bike!" said Jake. "It's so cool. the way everyone is finishing so close in time trials is really building a sense of confidence in all of us as a team."
With the whole squad riding so strong, spirits are high. Says Aaron Olson "These early season victories are the best thing for everybody. Every bike race, even a local one, is hard to win, and the fact that we're riding so well is doing a lot for everyone's morale heading into the season. You have to start somewhere, and when you're having this much fun, everything else just falls into place."
"There's a great spirit on this team." agrees Erker. "Everyone knows their job, and is ready to work hard for each other. When you're riding with guys you like and respect this much, it makes it easy to give everything." Fourth place finisher Jason Bausch echoes those sentiments. "I'm feeling really positive for the big races to come. With everyone gelling so well and so quickly, we're really going to be able to have a strong focus on winning races."
The Vuelta a Valencia continues tomorrow with a 72 mile road race over rolling terrain on a 24 mile loop, with approximately 900 feet of climbing per lap, and ends Sunday with the Wells Fargo/Valencia Circuit Race, on a 1 mile, four corner course.
Stage 1 ITT
1 Aaron Olson
2 Jacob Erker
4 Jason Bausch
5 Pete Knudsen
8 Adam Livingston
Omloop Het Volk Update
With a little less than 80 kilometres to go, there are three riders off the front in this first of the major Spring Classics. Jacky Durand (FDJ), Tony Bracke (Landbouwkrediet) and Kristof Trouve (Palmans) attacked 14 kilometres into the 200 kilometre race. Christophe Agnolutto (Ag2r) was with them to begin with, but has since dropped back to the peloton. The gap reached a maximum of nearly 9 minutes, but it now down to three and a half, as the peloton picks up speed. We expect to know the winner by approximately 11:00 am EST.