March 24th 2019, Sunday – Holland TX Classic RECON DAY REPORT/RESULTS

March 24, 2019 launched our new challenging gravel and road 22 mile circuit starting in Holland, Texas. Gravel sections were fast and smooth. We had approximately 40 recon starters with a mix of road and gravel bikes. With 51% gravel and 49% road and a solid southern wind, this wasn’t your typical Sunday in the South. The speeds were high as expected topping out at 35mph at times and averaging just over 20mph.

An early breakaway was initiated by Dennis Lastochkin (Night Owls Racing) going south on sector #3 with his teammate Jake Boone (Night Owls Racing) making the bridge. Alex Rodriguez (ATC Racing) also made the bridge with his teammate & race promoter Joel Rierson (ATC Racing) in tow. Gregg Ueckert (CCR Roofing) was connected with Dan Piercy (Velo Roussillon Racing). By the end of sector 3, this 6 man breakaway was well established. It consisted of 2 gravel bikes (Dennis & Dan) and 4 road bikes (Jake, Joel, Alex and Gregg). 

This group rotated away and out of sight. Joel was put into difficulty early on after a couple hard efforts by the Night Owls duo, but his teammate helped in picking him up. Gregg suffered a front punture on his tubeless road tire and attempted to fix it at the end of first lap. The fix didn’t hold and Gregg was out. Down to 5 in the breakaway. The group continued intact until Alex suffered a puncture in the S turns on sector 3 on the 2nd lap. 

Down to 4, the next move came with Dennis attacking on sector 4 and his teammate Jake followed in pursuit. Then with a fast southern tail wind and a tight left bend, Dan almost overshot the corner and had to brake hard to regain control. Joel reconnected here with Dan. The two Night Owls hammered into the wind at the end of sector 4. Rolling back onto sector 5, the gap was about 1 minute.  And finally Dan suffered a rear puncture on his back tire. Joel was stuck solo and gave a chase unknowingly that this was going to be a solo 50km effort.

As the race promoter, on limited sleep from the night before, Joel knew that if he could  survive that he would be on the podium. Drink enough Nuun, enjoy his Clif Blocs, turn over the pedals and focus on not hitting any big rocks. First place was a bouquet of tulips, 2nd place a tower of Stroopwafels and 3rd place was Gouda cheese.  As the promoter, these were the items that he asked him mom to purchase at Costco and Trader Joe’s. What was on his mind? Joel responded: “I was risking it going on tubes, but I wanted the full speed advantage of deep dish carbon wheels and a road bike. So we chatted at Mellow Johnny’s and agreed that 2nd best to tubeless would be to go with latex tubes and Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tires with a double Vectran belt. I was still nervous so I floated on the gravel sections and picked the best lines that I could. There were 21 sectors of gravel over 68 miles, so I was only totally relaxed 49% of the time while on the road.” 

Jake and Dennis kept their 1-2 status, Joel held in no man’s land to secure some cheese for 3rd place. Dan rolled in next. And even after a bloody crash on the first lap of sector 3, Stefan Hardie (ATC Racing) finished in 5th place.


1Jake Boone (NIGHT OWLS RACING) road3:20:19
2Dennis Lastochkin (NIGHT OWLS RACING) gravel3:20:20
3Joel Rierson (ATC RACING) road3:26:32
4Dan Piercy (VELO ROUSSION RACING) gravel
5Stefan Hardie (ATC RACING) road

Check out the Velo Fest 360 Facebook page and April 6th Holland Classic event info for comments on bike setup, tires and more.

Holland TX Classic Podium Etiquette – COVID-19 EDIT

OK so you made the podium at the Holland TX Classic, the same guidelines shall apply at recon day or the official race day. We had our official race jury round up the top tips, so that the event photo looks so pro even Dylan Groenewegen or Tom Dumoulin will be proud.

  1. GOLD, SILVER & BRONZE. Podium is top 3 only places.
  2. BRAND LOYALTY. Wear your team kit. We’ll be efficient and speedy for awards. Clean podium shoes or race shoes are best.
  3. CLEAN UP. Wear your trucker hat, align your sunglasses, zip up that jersey. Wash your face, hands and legs. Swap out for clean bibs and long sleeve jersey if you can. NO jeans, shorts, jean shorts or tights* (unless it’s winter edition – then leg warners or team tights).
  4. DOGS, CATS AND BABIES ALLOWED. Only for the winner. No nieces or nephews. And you can only pick one of the following under 20lbs: a dog, baby or cat. No fat cats, sorry. We’re not letting you highjack the podium.
  5. NICE & EVEN. Winner’s hands up, 2nd and 3rd one hand on behind the back (but not touching) back of winner and outer hand up. Smiles are encouraged – under your masks. It’s OK if didn’t win and don’t want to smile, afterall you just got a proper beat down at the Holland TX Classic. Yeah we’re gonna mask up for podium as is the Covid-19 fashion.
  6. NO PODIUM BIKES. It’s just not going to be tolerated here.
  7. DON’T MAKE OUT WITH THE PODIUM GIRL. (podium grid models have fallen out of fashion, goodbye 80’s) Lily has a mini army of followers on Instagram, so behave or her fans will unleash on your social media and sponsors. Covid-19 says what? yeah not happening. The proper number of cheek kisses is 3 in the Netherlands.
  8. NO HYDRATION PACKS shall be worn on the podium. Sorry CamelBak.
  9. NO HELMETS shall be worn on the podium.
  10. SKINNY LENS, PHOTOSHOP WORK MAY BE NECESSARY. If you’re carrying some extra winter timber but still crushed it; we’ll consider enhancing your podium photo, since it’s still early season. The 2018 Poteet Strawberry King has been known to put on some extra timber in winter and he’s going really well right now.

April 6th 2019, Saturday – Holland TX Classic OFFICIAL RACE & RIDE DAY!

April 6th 2019 will be the big launch for our new challenging gravel and road 22 mile circuit starting in Holland, Texas. Gravel sections are fast and smooth, so skinny gravel or road bikes are acceptable. Course will be marked but riders are expected to self-maintain their own tires, tubes and equipment.

Location: Holland High School, 100 Rose St, Holland, TX 76534
Course Map: Holland TX Classic on Strava Courses
Entry Fee: $5 (18+under) $20 (non-elite) $25 (elite)

OPEN MEN/WOMEN: 12:00pm HIGH NOON – 66 miles (3 laps)
CASH PRIZES: $300 1st place, $150 2nd place, $75 3rd place
Equal pay-out for men and women provided minimium field of 25 riders per category is achieved. Payout will be adjusted at promotor’s discretion if field limits are not met for either open men or open women. 

AGE GRADED 40+ MEN: 12:07pm – 66 miles (3 laps)
AWARDS: 3 places each for men (field minium of 5)
This is a unique race, since this is a rare age graded only start to allow the old guys to duke it out under their own crusty steam without getting buried too hard by the young guns.

2 LAP HEROS WOMEN: 12:15pm – 44 miles (2 laps)
AWARDS: 3 places each for women (field minium of 5)
We’re looking forward to seeing the best of the ladies battle it out for the gravel podium. Tulips, stroopwafels and Gouda to the top 3.

2 LAP HEROS MEN: 12:15pm – 44 miles (2 laps)
Pre-registered riders will receive a Holland Classic commerative patch.
Let’s get physical but we understand that you might want to knock out a good 44 miles and bounce. This is where the real fun and banter takes place.

1 LAP HEROS: 12:15pm – 22 miles (1 lap)
Pre-registered riders will receive a Holland Classic commerative patch.
We welcome all, and if you’ve got one lap in you, then please join us! 

Continue reading “April 6th 2019, Saturday – Holland TX Classic OFFICIAL RACE & RIDE DAY!”

2020 Holland TX Classic – Course Details

The 22.75 mile loop is a mixed surfaces course with road and fast gravel sectors. The course loops back onto itself through the Holland High School parking lot. This tight 180 is intended to slow speeds down and allow safe feed zone grabs. A fence line will allow mussett bags and bottles to be attached and grabbed on the go. There will also be a neutral Nuun feedzone station to fill up water bottles. For the July edition, putting coolers on the ground with your bottles inside on ice is the best strategy.

Bathrooms and registration will be located in the High School cafetorium.

Soigneur sleep in? We will provide rubber bands for the Nuun Hydration feedzone fence.

Sector # 1 – 1.9km to 3.7km
Sector # 2 – 4.5km to 5.0km (this sector got paved summer 2019)
Sector # 3 – 6.6km to 12.3km
Sector # 4 – 14.3km to 18.2km (big dog chase, he’s really fast)
Sector # 5 – 21.3km to 25.6km
Sector # 6 – reverse of Sector #2 31.7km to 32.2km
Sector # 7 – reverse of Sector #1 33.0km to 34.8km
36.6km – END ONE LAP plus feedzone u-turn 200m

STRAVA Holland TX Classic – 1 lap 22.75mi
STRAVA Holland TX Classic – 2 laps 45.74mi
STRAVA Holland TX Classic – 3 laps 68.63mi

GARMIN CONNECT Holland TX Classic – 3 laps 68.63mi

Advanced Cue sheet for 1-2-3 laps on Google Sheets

Holland High School is our gracious host. Please be kind and leave this facility clean and tidy.