GA Cycling Gran Prix RR & TT Review (and race bikes!!!)

This is the fourth year I've done at least some of the GA Cycling Gran Prix races - this year the road race and time trial. It's a great event, and we're lucky to have a 5 day (almost) stage race in Georgia. It has six total races, and they have changed slightly through the years. This year:

Wed - Road Atlanta Evening Circuit/Crit
Thurs - Gwinnett Arena Evening Crit
Fri - Oxford Road Race
Sat AM - Time Trial
Sat PM - Circuit Race
Sun - Circuit Race

I've only done the entire race once, and it was a great, difficult, tiring, rewarding experience. I intend to do the entire thing again at some point. I remember being really tired of bars and gels by the end.

These races are quite well run. The courses are well marked - two turn signs for every turn, 3KM, 2KM, 1KM, 200m, 100m, 50m signs as well. It really helps when the course is marked like that, and makes the racing more pleasurable. Registration was a breeze. I have a feeling that was due to many of the racers using the same numbers/chips day after day, but I appreciate it nonetheless. The porta potties were clean, and there was even a portable hand washing station. The Cat 3 race started about 20mins late. Kinda annoying, but not unusual.

Oh so fancy.

Oh so fancy.

Really liked having the 200/100m to go signs.

Really liked having the 200/100m to go signs.

Where everything is decided.

Where everything is decided.

Registration - fast, easy.

Registration - fast, easy.

Medical tent.

Medical tent.

I watched the end of the Cat 4/5 race, and it was quite chaotic. One racer had attacked, and a tow truck was slowly moving through the start/finish line. He had to attack around it for the win. Then the tow truck stopped over the finish line, along with another car ahead of it, so instead of having the full road at 200m to go, the charging peloton had only the left lane at the finish line. It was crazy! I can't believe there were no crashes.

The cat 3 race was good. I thought the pace was relatively tame, despite some attacks. The peloton probably only dropped 4 or so racers. Heading into the final KM I was working to lead one of my teammates to the front of the peloton and hold him there. At about 600m to go, apparently a racer moved up on his own and was trying to take a wheel, and with all the banging around he caused a crash. Unfortunately my teammate was tangled up in it. I was gassed, and could only hold onto 12th off the back of the front group.

The TT had a Merckx advantage option - if you raced with non-aero gear, you received a minute off your time. The course was only 7miles long, so around a 15min effort. My teammates and I spent lots of time discussing which to do, and figured that if aero gear gives you a 2mph advantage, then it's a wash. I was def going to use aero gear, because my main goal was a final test/tune up for the State Championship TT and TTT the next weekend.

The TT course was well marked, and everything went off without a hitch. Races are so complicated to pull off, I think when things simply go without any issues, it's quite a success!

And with that, RACE BIKES!!!!!

Hai ur bikes look fast, mine is too, want to race?

Hai ur bikes look fast, mine is too, want to race?

The Venge is still SO HOTTT.

The Venge is still SO HOTTT.

I like the orange rear triangle paint job.

I like the orange rear triangle paint job.

I've always liked the S-Works crankset.

I've always liked the S-Works crankset.

Just a couple race bikes, hanging out.

Just a couple race bikes, hanging out.

This Prima Tappa racers has his kit on point - computer, handlebar tape, wheels.

This Prima Tappa racers has his kit on point - computer, handlebar tape, wheels.

eTap. Uuuuuugh I can't wait till I can race on eTap .....

eTap. Uuuuuugh I can't wait till I can race on eTap .....

More eTap.

More eTap.

FLUO.

FLUO.

GIANT IS SO BIG.

GIANT IS SO BIG.

I like the classic SRAM Red with the SRAM aero chainring.

I like the classic SRAM Red with the SRAM aero chainring.

CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5.

CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5 CER S5.

"I let my legs do the talking bro."

"I let my legs do the talking bro."

I like Focus bikes - clean, perky geometry, like a classic road bike.

I like Focus bikes - clean, perky geometry, like a classic road bike.

New Lizard Skins CAMO.

New Lizard Skins CAMO.

Yours truly.

Yours truly.

Two tone Specialized logo.

Two tone Specialized logo.

Looks like a downtube cable is not in use - maybe switched to electronic shifting?

Looks like a downtube cable is not in use - maybe switched to electronic shifting?

Love aero handlebars. Looks like eagle wings.

Love aero handlebars. Looks like eagle wings.

One of my teammates must've left some bottles.

One of my teammates must've left some bottles.

Women's peloton.

Women's peloton.

Love a well marked course.

Love a well marked course.

TT course in the morning - again, well marked.

TT course in the morning - again, well marked.

Never seen this cervelo before - I like!

Never seen this cervelo before - I like!

Hard to believe that thick headtube is UCI legal, but I believe I saw a UCI badge on the bike.

Hard to believe that thick headtube is UCI legal, but I believe I saw a UCI badge on the bike.

"SPACESHIP COMING THROUGH MOVE MOVE MOVE"

"SPACESHIP COMING THROUGH MOVE MOVE MOVE"

Classic frame, man.

Classic frame, man.

I like the SRAM/Shimano mashup on the crankset.

I like the SRAM/Shimano mashup on the crankset.

Never heard of COBRA. Apparently it's a bike builder in Florida, but I can't remember where.

Never heard of COBRA. Apparently it's a bike builder in Florida, but I can't remember where.

Aero brakes.

Aero brakes.

"Eddy Merckx is arguably the best bike racer who's ever lived"

"Eddy Merckx is arguably the best bike racer who's ever lived"

"Let's go ahead and fast forward this part of the race." Lots of Florida racers at the GA Cycling Gran Prix.

"Let's go ahead and fast forward this part of the race." Lots of Florida racers at the GA Cycling Gran Prix.

Soft place in my heart for well spec'd alu bikes.

Soft place in my heart for well spec'd alu bikes.

THE GRAPHICS ON THIS CHAINRING ARE BETTER THAN YOURS.

THE GRAPHICS ON THIS CHAINRING ARE BETTER THAN YOURS.

P/1/2 at the TT finish. Sprint!

P/1/2 at the TT finish. Sprint!

P/1/2 at the TT finish. "My effort is finished."

P/1/2 at the TT finish. "My effort is finished."

P/1/2 at the TT finish.

P/1/2 at the TT finish.

P/1/2 at the TT finish.

P/1/2 at the TT finish.

Cool through the end.

Cool through the end.

P/1/2 at the TT finish. THE LINE.

P/1/2 at the TT finish. THE LINE.

TT bike lunge.

TT bike lunge.

TT position on a road bike + one minute bonus = best of both worlds.

TT position on a road bike + one minute bonus = best of both worlds.

HEAD DOWN GO GO GO!!!

HEAD DOWN GO GO GO!!!

Low n aero finish.

Low n aero finish.

Chillers. Racer.

Chillers. Racer.

So close. Flex on that bike!

So close. Flex on that bike!

Ending an effort a bike length from the line.

Ending an effort a bike length from the line.

Stopping the Garmin at the start/finish banner and not the line. DON'T STOP IT YET THAT'S NOT THE LINE!!!!

Stopping the Garmin at the start/finish banner and not the line. DON'T STOP IT YET THAT'S NOT THE LINE!!!!

Cool and collected at the line.

Cool and collected at the line.