Monday, October 31, 2011

La la la la la

Halloween Cross is always a good time!  Thanks to my SIL Elicia I was able to pull off a last minute costume.

I've been training pretty hard for Iceman...I was pretty tired and Shriver was crushing it all day at the race.
He jumped me on every section of the course where I was strong to take away all my advantages.

Experience paid off though....I lost a sprint to Marko in this race last I knew exactly where to start the sprint.

Good times and a great battle!  

Sunday was a day of spectating for me....Zonhoven Superprestige, then I dressed up as a Belgian Superfan for the WCA, then I watched to Steelers take it to the Pat's!  Day 1 of resting up for Iceman was a success!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Local Scene

Two new CX venues this weekend for me in WI.  Both of them were pretty top notch!  I'm pretty happy to see that the WI cyclocross race courses are much improved over the courses from 4 and 5 years ago!

Day 1 was at Doyne Park in Milwaukee...and any time there are giant cupcakes on the line you know I'll be brining my A game!

that's a scary foursome...wouldn't want to run into them on a golf course

Day 2 was in Sun Prairie at Sheehan Park, just down the road from the USGP course.  I think this new place would actually be a better course than Angell Park Speedway.  
photo @ djonnymac
There were fast sections, technical sections, climbs, descents, barriers and one super steep run/ride up.  It has it all.  I thought it flowed really really good and we even got a little rain half way through to make things helps when you have great legs too.  I felt 5 times as good on Sunday as I did at Doyne park on Saturday.

Tim @ CX the Domes
A big thanks to my buddy Tim for helping out so much this cross season!  He races in the morning and then waits around all day and helps out whenever he can...its awesome!

I feel a little bad for missing the big WORS banquet, but I just couldn't justify the 6 hours of drive time to get to Stevens Point and back after racing in Milwaukee Saturday and then Sun Prairie Sunday.  It would have been good to hang with everyone for one last time this year.  I wonder what 2nd place overall prize was???  

I'm off to Eagle River for the last of the Iceman preparation now!  Can't wait, haven't been up there in a while.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Windy City Cross

Last weekend I didn't have much of a game plan.  For a very short time I tossed around the idea of going to Granogue for the UCI races in Delaware.  When that plan didn't pan out I wasn't sore sure if I'd even race at all.  I did have some local options though with Bardger Prairie Cross in WI and Psycho Cross in IL.  I opened up google maps and when I realized it was a shorter drive to go to Chicago and race I decided I better head south of the border and check it out.

photo credit: Amy Dykema
The Windy City lived up to its name.....the course was laid out on a driving range of a golf course, which was pretty nice as far as lack of bumps.  There wasn't a whole lot of elevation change except for the flyover, but it was frickin windy.  The HED Stinger 5's sliced through the wind and were so easy to accelerate with even the slightest help from mother nature.

I opted to test out the Typhoons both front and rear on the course as it was more like a grass crit with fast turns and lots of drafting sections in the wind.  I had been using the FMB Grippos on the front end of the bike all season.  They are a little wider and knobbier and give me a lot more confidence cornering.  I hadn't really felt there was a good course for the Typhoons in the front yet, and I really wanted to test the glue job.

The race started and I was staged 30th out of 30 based on my registration time!  I was good with this because UCI points start over tomorrow and I'll be moving I'll need the practice.  I was pumped when I was 8th wheel out of the first 2 turns.  4 more corners and I wasn't so pumped....I'm not sure what happened , but I crashed hard!  My chain was off in the front and the back, both levers were in, and both shoulders and my thigh were in I'm lucky I didn't brake my bike or my body.  Now I was in last place again and every body else pretty much had a huge head start.  

I rode to the pits changed bikes and then started to chase.  A lap later and the leaders were only 4 corners ahead of me.  Another lap and I was there and started to pull away.  I put it into hurt yourself mode for the next few laps and took home the W.  I did get to practice a couple bike swaps and get in a little skills work with Tim who has been helping me in the pits this year.

Sunday I headed out for a good session of intervals with Bill Street.  Then I chilled all day...pretty nice to be home on a Sunday and watch some football.  Best part of the weekend was finding out 2 of the athletes I am coaching also scored big W's in there respective races!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ft. & Back

How to kick your ass in 5 days???  Hop in a van drive for two days straight.  Race two USGP's and start driving home immediately after the second race.  Finish it off with a 17 hour pull and you'll accomplish your mission of total destruction!

It started off Thursday morning.  The goal was actually not to destroy ourselves, but I knew it was going to be tough.  We left the driveway at about 10am.  Stopped in Des Moines, IA 7 hours later for a nice spin and a stop for dinner and some halloween shopping!  Another 3 hours in the car until 10:30 pm put us in Lincoln NE.  

Friday morning was when the pain started to set day not bad...two days starting to push the limit.  6 or 7 hours from Lincoln to DIA where we picked up Tristan and then drive up to Ft. Collins.  Checked into the Comfort Inn suites and immediately left to ride the course.  First impressions were, "I wish I had my Top Fuel!"  Little did I know the course would change drastically along with the weather.  It was 70 and sunny.  After the pre-ride we went out for 45 more minutes of riding and try to loosen the legs from the drive.  After the ride we watched the Brewers for 5 minutes and then headed to the numbers presentation.  After that it was to Carrabas for some pasta.  Home by 10:30 made for a long action packed day.

I was motivated to race, but Saturday morning I was blown out....the morning coffee wasn't doing the trick.  Good thing I had until 4:00pm until we raced.  We killed a little time at Safeway across the street getting some groceries and I did a little work on the laptop for Momentum Endurance.

We headed to the race course around 1:00 and it was nasty...completely different from the pre-ride.  I swapped to the HED Ardennes wheel with the Rhyno's.  I still love it that when the conditions get nasty I have full confidence in swapping the the aluminum rims with the positive braking action!  They said go and I was off the pavement in about 10th position and immediately started going backwards.  Uh-oh.  Each wheel that was good that went by me I thought lets go, but I couldn't and proceeded to go backwards to about 35th position.  20 minutes into the race something clicked and I could go the drive finally shot out of the legs or the body cleared itself after not going hard for a while since Wednesday.  Anyway I could go again and started moving forward fast.  My A bike was awesome, but something was a little off on the B bike.  With three to go I decided to stay on my A bike when I was working back towards the top 20.  2 to go and I was near top 15, but then I flatted.  1/2 lap until I could pit again back to the B bike.  I think the A just had less tire pressure and thats why it felt better.  Finished 19th.  Not really what I wanted.

We were the last ones to leave the parking lot with a complete mess on our hands.  We were back to the hotel at 6:30 and by the time we showered and finished cleaning the bikes we were heading out to find a laundromat at 8:30 at night.  Unfortunately there was no way we were going to make it to Trav and Chloe's wedding.  We hit up Big City Burritos and enjoyed dinner in the warmth of the laundromat.  Back to the hotel by 10:00.

Day 2 was going to be better.  We started off by watching the first round of the Superprestige on the laptop.     We packed up the van and headed over to the course at about 1:00 again.  This time the course was fast and dry and the mud from yesterday had smoothed out most of the bumps from Friday.  The race started and I was inside the top 10 of the pavement, but this time I stayed there!  I was feeling good and riding behind Ben Berden and Tristan.  After the 2nd time through the pits on lap 1 I smashed a pothole and my bars made a horrible noise as they rotated down.  It was so much that I couldn't ride good anymore.  I lost contact with the lead group in the corners.  The second group w/ Tim Johnson caught me as we were approaching the pits.  I had to get off the bike with the bars pointing down.  I swapped bikes and lost the 2nd group when I pitted.  Back on the B bike that still wasn't feeling good.  A lap later and I had to switch back onto the A bike after my awesome pit crew made the changes!  Once on the A bike I started killing it....went from about 20th place to 13th.  I was closing down on guys in front of me and doing lap times as fast as the top 10.  Bad luck early on in a fast race is hard to overcome.  Happy though that I felt strong and was racing good.

Sunday night after the races we stopped by my Uncle Steve's house in Potter NE for a short visit.  We made it a little further and then had to stop for the night.  That left us about 17 hours of drive time on Monday...ouch.  I arrived home to a nice new present from my sponsors J-Tree...check it out!

Thursday, October 06, 2011


I-80 here we come!  It's time to hit the open highway and head west!  It was pretty darn nice that the first cross race of my season was only 75 miles away from home.  Now it's time to load up the Gear Grinder 15 passenger van with wheels, water, food, bikes, etc, and head to Ft. Collins.  I just got an e-mail from USGP to attend the numbers presentation Friday night!  That means I'm in the top would be really sweet to have a front row call up at one of these races!

I finished off last weekend with my second victory at the River Hill Park Cross in Kewaskum...again super awesome that the race was less than 30 miles from home.  Major props to the guys who put on the race too...they had a pretty small area to work with, but they managed to put together the best cross course on the WCA circuit!  I felt great and the course was pretty tough which allowed me to have a pretty big gap at the end of the race.

ICEMAN Update - We are getting closer...coming up on 4 weeks to go.  Do you have a plan of attack?  I do...check it out...Momentum Endurance 4 week "get fast" Training Plan...Buy it today and have your best Iceman result ever!

PS - pretty pumped on post race party for Trav & Chloe!  Congrats a little early!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Style - Points

Staying home and crossing things up this weekend!  Day One:  Friday night Cyclocross Clinic w/ Crank Daddy's Bike Shop, My Wife Inc, and the WCA Cross Series Kisckoff party.  It was a perfect turn out.  Barriers, Training, Racing, Run Ups, Shouldering and even a small relay race that ended with a 2 up sprint in a tie!  Thanks to all those who came out to the clinic!

air time: not so critical for cross, but fun!

Next on tap was WCA #1...Cross the Domes in of the best cross courses I have done in WI.  Lots of transitions, pedaling sections, corners where it paid to be smooth, a forced run up, and a set of barriers.  Shriver didn't make it easy for me to get my first win of the season and take home the big prize!  I was too hungry after the race and didn't even get to take a photo of the GIANT cupcake before it was down the hatch. Check out the style points!  I'm not talking about the new Trek Cronus, w/ Shimano Dura Ace, and HED wheels, and I'm not talking about the Oakley Radars or Bell Volt Eyeballs Helmet.  I'm talking about hitting the skateboard ramps at the Domes during the warm up...Shriver was afraid...couldn't let him beat me after he was too scared to clear the gap.

Today I'm at it again at the new race course in Kewaskum.  First off I better check out the cross race in Kalmthout Belgium on the internet!  Also checking out the results from Gloucester....wondering if I should have made the trip to try for more UCI points???  I'm slipping further and further back the grid, but sticking with the theory of if your going good you're going good.