San Manuel and September notes

I want to congratulate everyone for a very fun, exciting and rewarding weekend.  Despite very early mornings, we had great attendance for a rare weekend of road racing; Saturday’s epic Race Against Time time trial event and Sunday’s new criterium- La Clasica San Manuel.  Seeing the El Grupo vans caravan to a bike race was a welcome return and coach Ignacio and I are extremely proud of everyone’s efforts.

The Race Against Time event is a serious time trial.  The picturesque course is predominantly downhill at the start before turning along the San Pedro river valley, where athletes would double back at the Pima County Line.  Climbing back to San Manuel provides all athletes with challenging terrain and proper pacing strategies come into play.

This was the very first race for many Team El Grupo members, but even the more experienced athletes would be challenged by not only the tough course but the rising heat.  Here is a look at the results;

Sunday’s new criterium around San Manuel High School did not disappoint.  Joey Iuliano and his UofA cycling team can be really proud of their efforts to bring a good, safe and fun course to competitors.  A pentagram shape with some elevation gain through the start finish up to turn two meant no picnic for typical crit riders.  Turn 3, 4 and 5 were thrilling high speed affairs to test bike handling skills.

We had big numerical advantage in the junior boys race, but with very capable opponents toeing the line, we’d have to have a solid plan to get the results we wanted.  I was extremely impressed with how accepting and how well all team members executed their assigned roles.  Yes, we’d sweep the podium but it took the entire team and their willingness to sacrifice to ensure of our success.

Our junior girls would compete against older competition to create a larger field of athletes and I was really proud to see how hard our young women raced.  I was even more proud that all the athletes were unanimous to stay and cheer for all the junior boys that would double up to race the 3-4 race later in the afternoon instead of returning home.

The boys would not disappoint and with the addition of Grupito Coach Max Bevier we’d compete against the adults with aplomb.  Max and Thomas in particular were instrumental in helping to slow the field so that Axel up in the break could stretch out a winning margin.  Once that margin was relatively safe, Axel would drop his breakmate for a fine solo win.

Myles would jump up yet another category to the 1-2 race and place a very credible 4th place.  His impressive time Saturday leaves no doubt Myles is one of the very best juniors in the country and it’s exciting to see how his future racing unfolds.  Race results to follow

Can you believe it’s now only two weeks before the first NICA race?  We are really looking forward to this important race series.  With the race season imminent we’ll remind everyone that practices will happen rain or shine.

Here’s our practice schedule for the next couple of weeks;






We now need you to be at the clubhouse at no later than 4:15 am.


We need to be leaving at 4;30 am.


Remember to have a change of clothes and some food.


We had an incredible day today and we thank you all for your punctuality at such an early time in the day.

Final notes for Saturdays race

Meeting at 4:45 am.


Leaving at 5am.


Please have a change of clothes for after the race.


Bring plenty of post race snacks. You will be hungry.


Ensure that you have a picture of your license.


Ensure that you have signed your contract and have it with you if you have not already.


First rider is off at 7am.


We should be done at 9am.


We should be back to the clubhouse no later than 11am.

We are one week away from some exciting and challenging road racing in San Manuel, organized by our friends at the UofA cycling team!  Saturday is a challenging 30km time trial; a race solo against the clock, while Sunday is a criterium; a 1 mile circuit around San Manuel High School that is raced in… Read more »


The Fun is just about to start.  Congratulations everyone for making it through the toughest part of the season. The base season before the fall racing season is the hardest part of the year. It is super hot, but we still need to put some time in. I appreciate everyone who did their best to have… Read more »

Looking ahead at the season to come

This is still the calm before the storm. We have a solid fall racing campain before us and we are just about to be in over our heads. So stay calm, get school under control, find your rythm within your daily flow and be prepared for the fun to come.   To help get everyone… Read more »


I hope everyone has been enjoying this record breaking monsoon season.  What a beautiful landscape we can ride to these days, with the mountains around Tucson being particularly green this year. Thanks to everyone for signing up in the Pitzone for the NICA events this year.  We will continue to honor the El Grupo tradition… Read more »

NICA name plates deadline today!

I hope and trust everyone is enjoying getting back to school.  Afternoon practices have been well attended and we continue to encourage increased attendance and most importantly consistency as we look forward to NICA which is fast approaching 6 weeks away! We’ve been seeing issues in dealing with the heat of the afternoon so please… Read more »