Race Diary: Kevin Monahan of Team 7-Up / Nutra-Fig

By: TrueSport.com
Posted: Mar 22, 2002

My United flight into Chicago was delayed by an hour and a half. Not so bad in and of itself but I`ll miss my connecting flight into Hartford. So instead of getting home at 8:30pm I`ll be in at midnight. On my flight out we were also delayed in Denver. That turned into a 17-hour day of travel. Not such a perfect start to the second National Racing Calendar event of the year. Not to mention my luggage was missing until the Sunday just after the Visalia Criterium. Marking the second time in three flights out to the west coast this year that my luggage has been lost. Such is life as a domestic professional cyclist. So far 7UP/ Nutra-Fig has raced NCR events in Merced, Visalia and Redlands. We had a really good start to the year with six podium appearances and one stage win at the Redlands Classic. We also had the sprint leader`s jersey for two days in Redlands. Going into Redlands the team also had another first, our Canadian rider Charles Dione was leading the NRC. For the most part our team is almost the same as last year with seven returning members. Last year by July the team had started riding really well. We had a few glitches like at San Francisco where we rode really poorly. But coming into this season all the guys on the team were really excited about the upcoming season and we were all very motivated. It`s been a good showing and we`ve been getting better every race. On the organization side of things we`ve had a little bit of change, but as they say sometimes a bit of a change is a good thing. 7UP is still the title sponsor, we lost our co-sponsor from last year but signed up Nutra-Fig as our new co-sponsor. Nutra-Fig is an unbelievably supportive sponsor. Not only do they provide co-sponsor financial support but the sponsorship package includes Cheetah energy bar`s, which is Nutra-Fig`s organic fig based energy bar and a training camp based at Nutra-Fig`s ranch in Fresno California. Fresno, from what I saw of it, is probably one of the best places for training. While it takes a little bit to get out of town it`s well worth the trip. Cannondale is one of our main backers this season. They are providing frames, both road and time trial, and clothing. I`ve got to hand it to them we got all the bikes and clothing before camp and everything looks great! It`s really nice stuff that I`ve never had the pleasure of using before. Ritchey is back again this year in addition to providing bars, stems and seatposts they`ve rolled out cranks, new tires and wheels. Other sponsors include Time shoes, pedals, forks and bar tape, Bell helmets, Smith glasses, backpacks and casual wear, Blackburn cages, seat bags, pumps and trainers, Serfas seats, Heflinger casual shoes, THF Reality and Wobble-naught custom bike fitting systems. I think that covers it. As far as race reporting goes, sadly I can tell you exactly what happened in every race because I was at the back watching it all. I`ve had a few snags to start off the season with like flats and sickness. Some sort of virus thing that`s nagging me and just won`t quit. I`m home while Sea Otter rages on and all I can do is get the results online and talk to the guys to see how the races went. Yesterday, team 7UP blew the opening TT but we had three guys in a six man break that stayed away most of the second stage`s Canary Row Criterium. We wound up with our new recruit Greg Henderson second in a field sprint and four in the top ten. Four in the top ten might look really great but in actuality it means that teammates didn`t lay it down for other teammates and we lost. I`m back home for four weeks until I head down to Florida, North Carolina and Georgia in April for the big crits. Some time to regroup, train hard and hopefully make it down to NYC for some Spring Series Races in Central Park.