Apr 28, 2012


The Dalton State Cycling team ended its road season this past weekend in Brevard, NC. 

The Brevard weekend found Nolan Wehr and Ethan Williams in attendance as the Zehr's were not able to race. Wehr and Williams entered the weekend excited and ready to race. Williams raced one of his best TT's of the season and placed 3rd against strong competition on a very challenging, long and hilly course. Wehr also faced the same dreaded course placing an eternal 2nd against his determined competitor. The road race and the criterium were not as successful as injuries and a long-season took its toll. Overall the weekend was great racing fun and beautifully challenging.

The season as a whole was a dramatic success. The team was able not only able to have very fine results but was also has able to foster the growth of its riders.

Ethan “Blackhawk” Williams was a new rider and racing member for this season. Starting from scratch he gained fitness and experience at a remarkable pace. Blackhawk won the early season “D's” races with bold ease allowing a quick upgrade into the “C” category. He convincingly won the conference category D overall. He was also able to secure a top half finish in category “C” after upgrading during the season.

Ethan “Uno” Zehr furthered his racing credentials with ferocious competition for the B conference overall win. Uno's season was one of great results with a slew of top 5's and many top 3 finishes. Although UNO was unable to compete the final weekend he still held enough of an advantage to win 3rd overall in the B category.

 (Photo: Tom Reed)
 Julian “Big Diesel” Zehr joined his fellow compatriots halfway through the season due an early season injury. Once the diesel got started he was hard to slow down. Initially Big D helped Blackhawk in the “C” field but soon upgraded to “B's” to help UNO for the conference win. Big D was still able to gain enough points to finish in the top half of the B field. Big D worked hard to help bring the win for UNO and at the same time having great results for himself in the Time Trials. 

 (Photo: Tom Reed)
Nolan “Godfather” Wehr gained much needed guidance from his fellow teammates and learned how to be a better racer and overall bike rider. He started the season in the “C” field still learning the trade and had some decent results. Halfway through the season he joined UNO in the “B” field to gain more experience and help his teammate during the race. Wehr placed in the top ten of the “C” field and in the top half of the “B” field. 

 (Photo: Tom Reed)
The team also includes those who don't race. The team coach Leon Storm was always available to help with specific exercise drills, motor-pacing, and guidance. He put in his time and expertise for us, asking little in return. The faculty adviser Dr. Gonzalez helped us host a first-class race and was a staunch advocate for our success. And of course, all the parents – who likely barely understood this whole bike “thing” but were critical every pedal of the way.

The conference cumulative points results from the season:

Team Division II

Ethan Zehr:
3rd B

Julian Zehr:
31/66 - C
23/54 - B

Ethan Williams:
1/22 - D
24/66 - C

Nolan Wehr:
7/66 - C
17/54 - D

Apr 16, 2012

Clash at Clemson

Clemson weekend was a mixture of the highest delights and crumbling frustrations. The team was fully complimented by all members this weekend – Ethan Zehr, Julian Zehr, Ethan Williams, and Nolan Wehr.

When Saturday dawned early for the time trial it was all out war. Ethan Zehr, Julian, and Nolan all rode the “B” TT. The course graded downhill until the turnaround four miles later, then came the gradual climb back up to the finish. The rollers of the course were unforgiving as it tested and taxed the strongest riders. The TT win stayed elusive as again, the rider from King College took first, relegating Julian, Wehr, and Ethan to second through fourth respectively. Ethan Williams brought out the power and rode a strong TT finishing easily in the top five, although official results are not yet available.

After a brief respite from the TT the “B” racers lined up for their 40 mile road race. We conspired with our pals, Samuel Douglas and Dylan DeGraw from Furman University to help Ethan Zehr in his quest for the “B” conference win. The race started out easily enough with Dalton and Furman in complete control of the peloton. Half way through the race the attacks began and never ceased. The team rode hard to keep the peloton together for the sprint finish. As the finish drew near fatigued riders were shelled out the back. The sprint finish was a flurry of movement as Ethan sliced across the line in 6th.

In the “C” road race Ethan Williams lined up ready for a 20 mile race. Despite great conditioning and form in the recent weeks an old injury flared up to crimp his race before he had a chance to assert his strength. Williams never stopped and rode across the line finishing what he started and with his usual confidence and uplifting attitude.

Sunday brought Furman and Dalton State back together to tag-team the criterium race. The conference rival of Ethan, Drew - Georgia Southern, rode well and tested the team with repetitive attacks. After the previous days work in the road race tired legs could be felt all around. Keeping focused Ethan kept a good position in the final laps and finished 3rd in the sprint.

Williams choose not to risk further injury in the crit race and we look forward to watching his dominance next weekend.

The entire weekend demonstrated what a team is and how great teamwork can pull through on the most challenging courses and demanding competition. Whatever the team may have wanted in results we never lacked in trying our best collectively and unselfishly to reach our goals.

Apr 3, 2012

Battle in Dawg Country - Athens, GA.

The Dalton State Cyling Team went to to Athens, GA this past weekend for the Battle in Dawg Country. The team was represented this weekend by Ethan Zehr, Julian Zehr and Nolan Wehr.

The racing started promptly for Julian early Saturday morning with the "C" circuit race. If there is an award for most aggressive riding it would unquestionably go to Julian who averaged nearly an attack every lap. His attacks shed riders out the back but the strong guys would just not let Julian escape. The field finished in a sprint with Julian picking up a solid 4th.

The "B" circuit race was up next. Ethan Zehr and Nolan Wehr were expecting to ride as a duo but were happily joined by Julian, who after finishing his race upgraded to a "B" rider. The "B" race started fast and stayed fast. Julian and Wehr fought to keep the field in check and chase down any attempts at a breakaway. The hard work paid off as no breakaways were able to keep away. The final lap proved difficult and dangerous. The final turn had a crash in which Julian was slightly involved, cutting off part of another riders helmet with his spokes. Ethan was well ahead of the crash and finished safe.

The Time Trial featured the same box-style course as the circuit race. The 2.5 mile TT was a punishing all out effort for the riders. Julian found a smooth groove in the course and rode a very strong and smart TT placing 2nd. The TT was one of the most competitive of the year with the difference between 2nd and 7th being a mere TWO seconds.

Sunday brought the team to a new course for the final circuit race. The team worked well together and despite it's small size worked to control the peloton during the race. Julian dominated the front keeping everything in control for Ethan. Wehr worked to bring back a breakaway attempt by Ethan's nearest rival in the overall points competition. The fast and competitive race went well for the team. Julian picked up a preme lap for points and Ethan came across the line placing fourth.

The late season battle for conference points in the "B" category is becoming very competitive. After this weekend Ethan is down a handful of points to his nearest competitor. However the whole team is confident and serious about bringing the "B" win for Ethan and the team. Racing continues at Clemson in two weeks where the team will be in better form and ready for battle.