Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 Results are Posted

This year marked the 15th running of the Cone-Azalia Classic and brought with it another extraordinarily hard race.  Whether it's the golf ball size rocks or the cutting crosswinds this event never fails to impress and we want to once again thank all of our participants.  This really is a race for the racers and we truly appreciate you taking the time come out.  Overall results are up on USA Cycling along with age group results below.  Mark your calendars for next year's race on Saturday, April 8th.  We'll be doing a whole new course starting and ending at Original Gravity Brewing Co!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Registration is Live!

Registration is now open at

This year we've changed the format of the race to offer two distances - a 54 mile starting at 10:00AM and a 27 mile starting at 1:00PM.  Also new this year - USA Cycling licenses are optional.  If you have a USA Cycling license you get a call-up based on your license category.  If not, you're free to race with the open waves/age groups.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Thank you - for 14 years of suffering.

I wanted to post a thank you to all of the racers, officials, and volunteers who helped to make the Cone-Azalia Classic what it is.  The cold winds and relentless rain made 2015 one of the most memorable and difficult races in memory.  Early in the week, it seemed like we might actually have a nice day - Sunny and 75F - something that almost seemed unusual for the Cone-Azalia Classic.  But then, on Saturday night, the weather turned and we got dumped on in a way much more fitting with the 14 year prior history of the race. During my 8 laps - the chalky white mud of the road plastered my eves shut, the rain wasted no time in soaking through my jersey, and the wind cut through my numb fingers. Still, at least I had my bike and the heat associated with the 300+ Watts I was pumping into the pedals. Our officials and volunteers are the real heroes of the day. The men and women manning the corners and intersections - standing still in that cold horizontal rain. We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you all for coming out and sharing the glory and the misery of this day. I hope to see you all again next year and we'll have to wait see what year 15 has in store for us.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bring out the fat tires!

Bike racers of Michigan, you are about to experience the most difficult road race in the region.  Last year, it was the wind.  The year before that, the water bottles.  This year, it's the gravel.  Do not underestimate the gravel!

There's no shame in bringing the CX bike or the MTB bike this year.  It's loose out there and the bigger tires may actually be faster.  Make your selection and suit up.  We'll see you Sunday.

Doesn't it look so peaceful and innocent???  DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE GRAVEL!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Course Preview

Cone-Azalia is one of those races that always spawns pages and pages of discussion on tire selection and gear ratios.  If you've never done it before, the best thing to do is simply come to Milan and pre-ride the course.  It's worth it to know what you're facing out there.  If that's not an option - I will do my best to explain the conditions here.  As the race is in late May this year, the Monroe County Road Commission has made some road "improvements."  The good news is there aren't many potholes to worry about (it's almost all dirt) the bad news is we have a lot of fresh gravel on the course.  Cone is intended to be a spring classic done on road bikes with slick tires.  While you're welcome to try (I am), I've received a lot of email from racers incredulous about the "golf-ball sized" or "razor sharp" gravel.  This is a race which will be won by the person who's bike continues to have two rolling tires after XX miles.  Keep that in mind while preparing your steed.  Many people are opting for CX bikes with file treads this year.  If you choose to bring a CX bike, you will not be alone.  Now, let's do a short walkthrough on the course...

Parking - Corrigan Propane on Cone Road, just off of US 23.  We also have limited parking at the Milan Township Hall just down the road, but most people will want to park at Corrigan.  It's closer to the course, we'll have registration here, and the all essential porta-potties. Be aware that if you Google Corrgian Propane in Milan, MI - Google will lie to you.  If you prefer to use Apple Maps - Apple Maps will tell you to fly to Italy.  To get to the race, go to US23 and look for Exit 22 "Cone Rd Azalia."  It's right there - we'll be waiting.

Starting Line - Cone Rd and Azalia Rd.  Have you ever wondered where the name of this race came from?  I was at first confused because the course we've done the past few years has never gone by Azalia.  It never made a whole lot of sense to me, but for 2015 - you're in for a treat.  We weren't able to use the 2014 course due to a conflict with Milan High School and the Township.  Instead of canceling the race, we decided to bring it home.  Cone-Azalia is back to Cone-Azalia.  Welcome!

Road Conditions - These are dirt roads and they're highly variable.  Some parts are a-ok for road slicks and other parts like this one - may not be.  There is fresh gravel all the way down Bunce Road, on Oelke near the railroad tracks, and on Azalia past the railroad tracks - shoulda got a picture of those!  There's a definite trade to be made between a road bike and a CX bike this year.  Choose wisely based on how much you're willing to risk a flat.  

Golf-ball sized gravel, huh? - Yes, that's how I'd describe it.  It sucks and it's loose in some spots.  Be careful.  We have volunteers sweeping the turns and what we can of the roadway, but we can't clean the entire course.  The best thing is to be prepared.  

Finish Line - I know the map shows start and finish at Cone and Azalia Roads, but we're actually going to setup the finish line at Azalia and Church Street - in Azalia.  This is it.  It's paved, but it's narrow.  You sprint to this sign.  Don't worry about the field finish because there's no way it's sticking together out there...  

Final Thoughts - I really want to thank the racers and volunteers who continue to make this race what it is.  Cone-Azalia is a different kind of animal.  I love Cone and think it's really something special in the Michigan race calendar.  I hope you enjoy this year's event and I'll see you all out there.  HE