Monday, August 29, 2011

Green Bay

It's pretty funny that I was wearing my new #7 Steelers jersey the night before the race. In the morning without even thinking I was racing in 'Green Bay' home of the Packers, I almost just put the jersey on and wore it to the race. Then Claire and WORS Co. thought it would be funny to give me my prize money in a Packers Super Bowl Champ envelope....I really wish I would have gone with the Steelers jersey on the podium! Dang. The Steelers and Big Ben looked exceptionally sharp in the first half of the pre-season game against Atlanta. Keep your eyes on Antonio Brown....he might be the Steelers star of the future and he can dance!

The race was good, I almost went with the Elite 9.9, but so glad I chose the Top Fuel 9.9. it's got to be the best all around bike for the midwest! I had a hard week of training to get back into the game after some much deserved time off after O2S. The motivation to train was high, but the fatigue from training hard had me a little sleepy on the start line w. not so much motivation. Cole had more motivation to win on his home course and that was apparent when he was out of site after the first singletrack. Nobody would/could chase and I knew my chance at the WORS overall was slim to over unless I got a win. I started the chase, but not crazy hard. Went into the first singletrack not over my head and found a good rhythm. Came out of each singletrack with a 10ft gap between each guy behind me. It only takes so long before the elastic snaps as the chasing guys continue to close those gaps. I was feeling better and better and eventually caught Cole. We all came together and it slowed, but Cole realized everyone was at the limit. He went again and I was the only one who could follow. We were gone shortly after and it was a 2 man race. He tried to drop me the entire 2nd lap. I tried to drop him the entire 3rd lap, but the course was not selective enough. It came down to a sprint and if it weren't for his speed suit I would have beat him...who wears a skinsuit to a WORS race anyway??? I did race with one new secret weapon, but I guess they weren't as aero as a skinsuit, but they sure did feel awesome on my feet! They are my new shoes for this cross season, but I wanted to test them out before the first cross race of the year. Custom moldable shoes...thanks Shimano!

We finished up a good day with a commute on the new Cronus to the Sheboygan Highland House where tons of cyclists converged via bike for a Fat Tire beer party and dinner. We even got to hang a little bit with the team EXPO juniors from IL who stopped for some post race grub!

More hard training on tap w/ a possible trip to Copper country for the best mtb trails around over Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011


This morning I woke to a gaggle of geese flying south. Cool temperatures and to the excitement of my first ride on the new cross bike! We even saw some leaves changing colors on the drive home from Marquette. Which means cross season is here! I can count the workouts remaining before the first cross race. The tires are stretched the gluing will commence soon.

The start of a new cross season also means the start of some new relations. After 3 good seasons riding Blue cross bikes I am moving forward to continue my great relationship with Trek Bicycles. As soon as Trek came out with the Cronus last year I was pumped. Unfortunately last year by the time the bikes were available I was already committed to Blue. Well this year TREK is in 100% in and I already have two identical Cronus CX Ultimates built and ready to rock. With the help of my friends at Shimano and some brand new Dura Ace 7900 parts these bikes are going to kick ass!

Another new sponsor who is on board with 100% support this year will be HED wheels. During my trip to Tucson last winter I had the chance to test out a few wheels on the road. A couple of months ago HED called me(which rarely happens in the sponsorship world) and offered full support in the wheel category. I am currently dialed with 2 sets of HED Stinger 5 carbon wheels for the fast and dry racing. Even more exciting is the opportunity to ride the Ardennes SL aluminum wheels when it gets a little nasty. The confidence from having a solid aluminum, consistent feeling braking will be huge. They even hooked my up with some Ardennes SL clinchers for training!

Last year I struggled in Euroland with my brakes/pads/wheels in the mud so I will be testing out a few different brake options along with the Ardennes wheels and I should be a lot more confident.

Enough with the BLOG...time to go ride!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Number One

Ore To Shore! Another awesome weekend in Marquette is in the books. Triple Crown #1 was this past weekend and somehow I managed another win making it three in a row with last years FatTire40 and Iceman wins. More Rocks and more Bike Furniture! Grand total is now 10!

I'm still blown away because If I did the math I bet all 10 wins would have a total victory margin of less than 1:00. This race was no different coming across the line with maybe a bike length over a hard charging Cole House.

The race played out way different than in the past. Cole went hard up the luge climb. Lead group of 30. I went hard over the power lines. Lead group of 15. Tristan went hard before the Misery Hill. Lead Group of 15. I went hard up and after misery Hill followed by Tristan going hard. Lead group 13. WOW. 30 miles into a pretty hard race and the lead group still contains 10 guys that have the ability to win. I went through a wide array of emotions during the race. After misery hill we hit the long pavement section it was time to start making things happen. First things first though...a fresh bottle of water and a package of the Margarita flavored Clif Blok's. The new bridge shortened the race a little, but it was still a big enough climb to start launching some attacks and softening legs. Simonson, Tristan and I started things out by attacking on the pavement, but with such a big group nothing happened with 20 miles to go.

I went pretty good in the lead from approx 17 - 15 miles to go in some of the tighter fast two track. Simonson kept the pace high, but seemed to be struggling in the high speed corners. Mike Phillips finally blew the race apart. He never really pedaled faster, but he started ripping the corners. I went across the gap and Mike and I started riding away! I thought just maybe that was going to be the move! Tristan closed it in no time w/ Cole and Nathan and we were 5 strong w/ 8 or 9 miles to go.

Tristan launched the first serious attack and started to ride away. Mikey P took a nasty crash at the bottom of a descent. I was content to let Cole and Nathan do the work, but Derek Graham was catching back on. Cole finally decided to close the gap and did so pretty quickly which was enough to make sure Derek never made contact.

(photo from Marquette Mining Journal)

Now we were 4 strong w/ one of the best sprinters in the country....not good odds for winning and 1st place - 4th place $$$ is a big drop. I took the lead again down the big sand pit in hopes to put some time on somebody and maybe make it a group of 3. It didn't happen and I wasn't about to crush the woodchip climb, because every year we crush the woodchip climb and nothing really happens. Tristan passed me on the climb and pedaled hard over the top but Cole was glued to his wheel and nothing really happened. It was looking better and better for Cole and he was the guy to beat for sure. We hit the final singletrack and nothing happened. 2.5 miles to go mostly pavement with one flat woodchip section a 1/2 mile long in the middle. Tristan was at the front followed by NG and Cole. I was sitting in 4th waiting for something.

Last year I was in the same situation...I waited and I was 6th out of 6. Not good. This year I wasn't going to do the same thing and I told Andrea that before the start. I would attack and either win or lose trying. Tristan pulled off the front and I wanted to go as soon as the pace slowed w/ 1.25 miles to go, but there was nowhere to go. Tristan drifted back and jumped in line in front of me to get on Cole's wheel. As soon as the line to the right was opened I launched my suicide attack. The legs weren't happy. I saw Nathan jump at the front, but then hesitate. I had my gap. I hit the pavement with about a 50 meter gap and 3/4 of a mile to go. I thought they were going to completely sit up, but then Cole started going. He was like a freight train bearing

down on me. The gap was closing fast. I didn't want to crash on the paved corners and I'm sure Cole was taking better lines and risks and closed 10 meters in each corner. With one corner to go I was still scared and Cole was still coming fast. My HR was at 193 and I couldn't pedal any
harder even though I tried. I have been passed in the final 20 meters on more than one occasion at O2S and I thought it was going to happen again. I grit my teeth and pedaled 10 more times to win my 4th Hard Rock at the Ore To Shore! My bike was flawless and thanks to Demo Ken from Trek I had the fastest tires out there!

In the end it was the strongest 3 riders to cross the line first. I have a feeling Cole, Tristan and Nathan are going to be very motivated to beat me in 1 month.

Even cooler than my victory was hearing about Andrea's win just after I crossed the line! Andrea did her first race of the year on her brand new Top Fuel w/ the new 10spd XTR and won the Soft Rock by just over 1:00. She said the bike was flawless(that always good to hear as a mechanic). Trek Top Fuel also won the womens Hard Rock!!! Hmmmm do I see a pattern!

The best part of the weekend though is not even the racing any more. Its hanging out with friends. Dinner with Jamie, Tristan and Ellie Friday night and post race Pizza and Pasta on Lk Superior Saturday afternoon. Watching all the junior mtb campers pick up there awards and listening to their war stories. Dinner w/ the Adventure 212 crew after the awards Saturday night. Breakfast Sunday morning at the local cafe w/ our friend Bruce and reading the local paper, and of course following Mike Anderson down the Blue trail doing some of the most fun mtb riding you can do at Mqt Mountain. After close to 2 hours in the saddle Andrea, Mike and I couldn't resist to go out and do one more loop!

A huge thanks to all my family and sponsors who make it possible. Gear Grinder, Trek, Shimano, Hyundai and all the others who helped along the way. A special thanks to SKJ & Chase Sova for the water during the race and to Karl Hendrickse for lots of help leading up to to the race.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


I didn't win the battle of Cam-Rock, but I'm ready to do battle for the big Rock next weekend!

Looks like T and I were pretty relaxed on the start line!

The Battle of Cam-Rock was actually a really cool race. I was ready to go to battle. Then the shock of chasing Shriver up the first climb hit me. I looked down to see HR 160, but it felt like a max effort. Ewww I needed a better warm up. I suffered for the first 10 minutes until the body got going. The pace settled after NG was off the front. I was content to recover a bit and get to know the course. Starting lap 2 it started to rain and it got slippery fast. I stopped going up a climb to take my glasses off and was gapped by about 3 seconds. No big deal....I come into the next singletrack section to see Mike P splayed across the trail. I checked up on the brakes and probably crashed identical to what Mike had just done. Tristan was gone. Mike got up and started going again as I was untangling my mess. My hammy cramped and I smashed my left ankle on something when I crashed...which then caused my left achilles to start cramping. I started going again....caught Mike P and went by him to start the chase. I put in a big effort and was closing on T the entire race. I think I scared him by the finish when the gap was getting close to 10 seconds! But it wasn't enough...another 2nd place. It's looking like T will be the first to get 4 WORS win.

After the race I hooked up with Shriver. It was cool to hang with him and get the insiders scoop on what goes down on Team Radio Shack during the tour. I also made it out to dinner with Pete and Meredith from Athens Bicycle. Everyone was in town for Trek World and it was pretty cool to hang with friends in Madison after the race. Monday morning I was off to the Madison airport to pick up some more friends who own a shop in SLO, CA. Then I hit the big show. Again it was great to see all my friends at TREK. After walking around the show a bit I cruised over to headquarters to hang with my buddy Demo Ken and score some new 2012 Bontrager rubber. The perfect new tread pattern for O2S! I hooked up with the Athens Bicycle crew one more time for a really fun spin on some '012 Fuel EX's....those things are so fun so ride. You can on anything and not even worry about it with the new DRCV technology in the front fork.

I also squared away all the final sponsorhip details for the upcoming cross season. I now have everything ready to build up 2 brand new TREK Cronus CX's. I can't wait to start training on the cross bike. First things first though...O2S in 4 days!