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Monthly Archives: July 2013

This past weekend, most of the American contingent on the Bean Team made our way to High Point, NC, for the USPRO Crit Nationals. We had me, Brad Huff, Jeremy “J-Pow” Powers, Fast Freddie, Sean Mazich, Shaggy (Alex) Hagman and Emerson Oronte.

Ben Wolfe  (USA)

Ben Wolfe (USA)

The plan leading into the race was to bring Brad, Freddie and Sean to the closing laps as fresh as possible. Alex, Emerson, Jeremy and I were riding to represent in the moves and keep it together so the A-sprint team could do what they do best.

The race started with attacks from the other teams as we covered and made sure we rolled with everything. About seven laps in, a fairly large group of six guys rolled during a lull in the race and Sean was on point and able to get in the move. The rest of the field, including us, seemed content to let that work. Within two laps the gap was up to 30 seconds. Attacks from the now non-content field started coming in fast and often. The rest of the Bean Team was there to cover everything and within five laps the main of the breakaway group was back with one rider staying off the front.

With over an hour of racing left, we were confident that a single rider could not hold off the entire field of top American racers. During the next 30 minutes of racing, the gap grew to one minute and the field had some attacks, but nothing big.

Then with 12 laps of racing to go, the teams started to line up to bring back the solo rider and set up their sprint aces. We lined up second behind the United HealthCare team. This is always the part of the races that get crazy, hectic, fast and every other adjective between. Our plan was to come over the top of the field with five laps to go and be able to set up our sprinters. When the time arrived, Jeremy, Alex and I led the charge to come around the UHC team and take over the front. We picked the backside of the course on the little rise to lay down the power and take over. Success!

We got over the top and only momentarily paused for the rest of the guys to get up to us and then we started laying down the horsepower. We held control until three laps to go when heading into the first corner on the course, UHC came underneath me and I got pushed wide and had to hit my brakes so that I wouldn’t go into the barriers. We had lost our spot on the front but that was okay as long as we kept Freddie, Huff and Sean close to the front so that they could surf the other trains to stay in position.

With two laps to go, I pulled off to watch the finish as my job was done. Going in to the last lap Brad was perfectly positioned, but around the last two corners the (eventual winners) Optum-KBS shot the fast line on the corner and got the gap. Brad used his experience and sprint skill to get back up and put out a great sprint to finish, just off the podium in fifth place. We rode as a team and I enjoyed every second of this race.

Next up is the Tour of Elk Grove in Illinois!

– Ben Wolfe

Serghei Tvetcov won two stages on his way to the overall victory.

Serghei Tvetcov won two stages on his way to the overall victory.

Serghei Tvetcov and his Jelly Belly p/b Kenda teammates put together six stellar days of racing to earn Tvetcov the overall victory at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Ore.

Tvetcov, who won two stages and placed third in another, called the win the biggest of his career.

“It was a great win for me and the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda team.  I thank all my teammates and sponsors. We’re ready to do it again in Utah and Colorad,” he said.

Tvetcov was backed by teammates Freddie Rodriguez, Emerson Oronte, Alex Hagman, Ian Burnett, Ricardo Van der Velde, Nic Hamilton and Morgan Schmitt.

“It was an outstanding performance by the whole team,” said team director Danny Van Haute. “It was a long time coming for this organization to win the GC at an NRC race. I’m very excited for the future.”

Jelly Belly p/b Kenda riders made it a group effort.

Jelly Belly p/b Kenda riders made it a group effort.

Recently crowned U.S. Pro National Road Race Champion Freddie Rodriguez of Berkeley, Calif., will return to the Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen for the third consecutive year. The non-competitive run, walk and cycling event benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing will take place Oct. 12 and 13 in Lewiston, Maine.

Rodriguez, 39, rides for Jelly Belly presented by Kenda Cycling Team and is a four-time national champion. He founded the Fast Freddie Foundation which inspires and provides young people with the tools to achieve personal successes by utilizing life skills learned through cycling. The foundation encourages a commitment to education and a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. He also founded the Fast Freddie Gran Fondo which supports cycling-based youth mentorship programs throughout the world. This year’s event will take place August 17 in Berkeley and Oakland Hills, Calif.

Rodriguez takes an active role during Challenge weekend, joining actor and event namesake Patrick Dempsey in the sponsor dinner, private ride, press conference and Champions for Hope celebration. He rides with Dempsey on the 50-mile route, stopping at rest areas along the way to meet and greet fellow participants.

He was instrumental in bringing the Bike-a-palooza program to the Auburn-Lewiston YMCA in 2012. The program kicked off Challenge weekend by providing free Specialized bicycle helmets to over 40 youngsters, who were treated to a bicycle safety, handling and maintenance course.

The Dempsey Challenge offers a 5K and 10K run/walk on October 12 and cycling routes of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles on October 13. All events will begin and end at Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The weekend will include a family friendly Festival in the Park which plays host to a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, vendor fair and live entertainment. Runners and walkers will enjoy the 5 & 10K Café and cyclists are invited to take part in a participant lobster bake the following day. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk highlights the weekend festivities.

Participants are encouraged to create or join teams through the Dempsey Challenge website to build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts. For more information, including participant, volunteer and fundraising information, log on to

For more information on the Fast Freddie Foundation and the Fast Freddie Gran Fondo, please visit and