Monthly Archives: June 2012

ARGYLE ARMADA, Mark Johnson, June 28, 2012

Argyle Armada Author to Speak at Portland Cycling Shop on Eve of Tour de France 2012

Mark Johnson provides a behind the scenes look at America’s top cycling team, Garmin-Cervelo, on Thursday, June 28 at CycleMania.

Portland, ME — June 26, 2012 — Mark Johnson, author of the new book Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life delivers will speak on the eve of the 2012 Tour de France at CycleMania at 59 Federal Street in Portland, Maine on Thursday, June 28 at 6:30 PM. Argyle Armada provides an unprecedented look inside the sport and lifestyle of professional cycling.

Embedded with Team Garmin-Cervélo, aka “Argyle Armada,” for its 2011 season, writer-photographer Mark Johnson brilliantly chronicles the team’s most intimate personal dramas and public celebrations. From winter training camp on the cobbled lanes of medieval Girona, Spain, to hard-earned stage victories in July’s Tour de France, to flesh-shredding crashes at the Vuelta a España in September, Argyle Armada brings the life and work of a pro cycling team into focus through incisive writing and spectacular color photographs. The book is now available in bookstores and bike shops and online.

“We are excited to have Mark present to the Portland Velo Club and other interested cyclists,” said David Brink, co-owner of CycleMania. “Mark is just back from the Giro d’Italia, the Italian version of the Tour de France, where he witnesses Garmin-Baracuda racer Ryder Hesjedal win. He is promising an updated inside look at the team with photography and stories not featured in the book. All are welcome to attend.”

More than a book about racing, Argyle Armada is a portrait of life as a member of a pro cycling team during a time of painful transition for the sport. Johnson unveils the dramatic forces that Garmin-Cervélo must navigate as team founder Jonathan Vaughters tries to push forward his vision of a reformed sport. Along the way, countless difficult decisions must be made to keep the team competitive in the chase for ProTour points, money, respect, and fame.

With all-access insight and spectacular color images, Argyle Armada is a backstage pass to the world of professional cycling. RSVP at

Mark Johnson has covered cycling as a writer and photographer for national and international publications since the 1980s. His work has been published in cycling magazines including VeloNews in the United States, Cycling Weekly in the UK, Velo in France, and Ride Cycling Review in Australia as well as general-interest publications including the Wall Street Journal and the San Diego Union-Tribune. A Category II road cyclist, Mark has also bicycled across the United States twice and completed an Ironman® triathlon. He has a PhD in English literature from Boston University and has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the Slipstream Sports cycling team since 2007. His other passion is surfing, which he does frequently from his home in Del Mar, California.

VeloPress publishes books for cyclists, triathletes, and runners on training, nutrition, and the histories and personalities of endurance sports. VeloPress is a division of Competitor Group, which publishes Velo, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, and Competitor magazines and produces the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, TriRock triathlon series, and the Muddy Buddy adventure race series.

Event Reimbursement 2012

Thanks to the generous commitment of sponsors – OA Centers for OrthopaedicsMechanical ServicesIDEXX LabsCycleManiaAthlete’s TouchCoffee by Design and VONT – and a growing membership nearing 150, we are pleased to introduce a new PVC member benefit for 2012 – Race & Ride Reimbursements as outlined below.

Purpose:To encourage PVC club member participation in races and rides and to maximize both club and sponsor exposure.$5,000 available for distribution throughout the 2012 seasono   Early season: April –June ($1,800 available)o   Summer season: July-September ($1,800 available)o   Fall season: October-December ($1,400)

Members earn a point for each race or qualifying ride

Races include road races, time trials, triathlons, cyclocross, MTB eventso   Qualifying rides include:BCM Maine Women’s Ride (June 3), Trek Across Maine (June 15-17), BCM Maine Bike Rally (July 6-8), BCM Lobster Ride & Roll (July 21), Bike MS: Great Maine Getaway (Aug 4-5), Dempsey Challenge (Oct. 13-14), others?

  • 1-Point earned for each race and ride day when wearing PVC kit. Wearing the PVC clothing is required for reimbursement
  • Proof of payment and participation (honor system)
  • Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 20-days of the end of each season period as defined above. Documentation submitted to designated administrator.   Periodic reminders will be sent out via list serve and Facebook
  • Program administrator will tally all points at end of each submission period, and distribute reimbursements on a prorated basis
  • Total race reimbursement not to exceed $10 per race/ride day.   Excess reimbursement funds will be rolled over to the next season period
  • The OA-CycleMania Masters program maintains a separate race reimbursement program and schedule.
  • Masters may not submit to both PVC and Masters for the same race

CLICK HERE to access the reimbursement form. Please email completed form to:

Argyle Armada Presentation – June 28, 2012; 6:30pm

Where: Cyclemania, 59 Federal Street, Portland

When: June 28, 2012 – 6:30 pm

What: Argyle Armanda by author, Mark Johnson

Join Portland Velo Club, CycleMania and Argyle Armada author, Mark Johnson for a slideshow of spectacular photographs taken during his season embedded with Team Garmin-Cervelo, explaining the relevance of the photos to the riders, the team, sponsors, and the team’s season. Some of the photos will appear in the book Argyle Armada, but many will be fascinating outtakes. Mark will take questions from the audience and then autograph books.

RSVP on our Facebook Page HERE



Purgatory Road Race – Race Report – June 10, 2012

By Hank Pfeifle

Sunday Ron Bourgoin and I traveled to Sutton, MA for the 3rd edition of the Purgatory road race. Actually, we traveled down on Saturday due to the 8:00am 45+ start and stayed at the La Quinta hotel in Auburn where, it turns out, there was plenty more adventure than can be dished out at any ol’ road race.  Yes. Our friendly Ron was the first one to breakfast and started chatting it up with the lovely night clerk, breakfast preparer AND dispenser of hotel comings & goings. Yes indeedy. Come to find out, a post wedding party got way out of control with drinking, cavorting (“They brought in hookers from New York!”), noise (”All kinds of complaint calls!”), until finely at 3:00am she had to call the cops (!!). All this debauchery in our hallway and just a few doors down. But with the air con blasting and us hunkered under our comforters because it was -5F in the room, we did not hear a thing.  Which was ok because we awoke to crystal clear skies with fresh legs and clear enthusiasm for the task ahead.

The task was 5 times around an 11 mile course that features a two-tiered 1K climb to the finish. The climb is tough but not overly severe. It’s a climb where the punishing effects are cumulative rather than acute. So the rule (OA/Cyclemania rule anyway) is no free rides up the hill in order to up the cumulative ante. After the start-finish line there is a rolling section, then the course plunges down a closed road winding road through the Purgatory state park (47 mph top speed but easy descent as the corners are smooth and even), then it’s flat-ish as the course works its way over to the finishing climb. Many would agree that this is one of the most fun courses we ride all year. The roads are smooth, the scenery and countryside is lovely, and the course has many just flat out fun sections. One is urged to give it a try should you have the opportunity.

With about 70 starters one can use the excuse that it is hard to keep track of everybody. After the 2nd lap and on the rolling section, Thomas Francis scooted away when the group paused after a roller. A few others drifted over and rolled around a corner. As is often the case, this happened in an innocent area where all in the group figured we’d catch the 5 escapees on the downhill. As you are probably correctly projecting now to the finish, the escape succeeded and the group was left fighting for scraps. It’s always good practice to try and win SOMETHING, scraps included, so we kept the pressure on up the hills and managed to whittle the final chase group to about 30 (lots of good riders out there). Ron and I hit the final climb in great position. I hit the last hill in a bigger gear than the other 4 times as I wanted to open up a big gap. It worked! But a couple guys caught me toward the top and this one guy (Patrick Ruane) rode a monster gear past me and crushed all of us and just missed bridging to the winning break. It was amazing. Ron also rode the last hill very well and secured a good placing. Here are the results:

Check out the Pro/1-2 race result. Great job by Joe Reis as this was a flat out speed-fest from the gun. Note the high dropout rate. Note the guy who won – full time pro from New Zealand who won the pro 2011 Battenkill. Dan Vaillancourt rode well, too.

Looks like Joe Lynch in the 3s tangled with a bunch of tough hombres.