I was fortunate to get the opportunity to serve as the men's and women's cycling director for the US Armed Forces Cycling Team at the World Military Games in South Korea over the last 2 weeks, and the experience was amazing. News outlets have reported different numbers, but its safe to say there were over 7,000 athletes from 100 countries competing in 25 different disciplines, the event was massive by any measure. Below are recaps of the cycling events that were pushed out day of on social media, and a short photo journal of some of the highlights of the trip.
Men's and Women's Time Trial:
The course for both races was a 2 lap out and back on rolling terrain and with a lot of open exposure to the wind. Melissa Talent and Shannon Gaffney placed a solid 6th and 7th respectively in the 9 deep women's TT chasing the extremely strong Russian and Brazil contingents who dominated all the of the women's cycling events. Stefan Zavislan had a breakthrough performance finishing a strong 12th out of 26th in the men's TT, just :15 out of the top ten, with Ian Holt placing 20th.
Women's Road Race Recap:
Melissa Tallent, Shannon Gaffney and Gabriella Allong all raced great today in the 2nd ever Women's Military World Cycling Champs. Brazil and Russia dominated the race with each putting 2 riders in the winning 4 rider break that went from the gun. Melissa, Shannon & Gabby all rode strong in the main field with Shannon picking up 11th in the finale with a great lead out from Melissa and the team placing 4th in team standings. Awesome to help support the squad and hope the experience inspires them and other women to continue to work hard with an eye on future CISMs!
Men's Road Race Recap:
Results never tell the whole story in bike racing, its a cruel sport at times with huge efforts often going unrewarded. On paper our best result was 45th and we were 9th in the team comp, but Ian Holt, Dwayne Farr, Stefan Zavislan, Alex Driscoll, Jose Solis, Michael Gallagher, Sean Cahill and Jay ShalekBriski raced fantastic today against a top notch field. Our play was getting into moves which we executed extremely well with representation in every major break. Ian Holt worked to get in the most promising move of the day with 8 riders staying away for about 25k only getting caught with 2k to go. Without a strong sprinter, we didn't have many other options for a major placing and rolled in with the field or close behind. Jay ended up in a crash mid race which diminished our strength but soldiered on to the finish. Tough day but everyone left everything out there, learned from the experience and they are hungry for more.
Click or hover over the pics below for a little more insight into the trip.