Saturday, December 22, 2012

NCCX, ATHENS, & ESSEN

Last week was the NCCX in Hendersonville.  The last race of 2012.  I finished up with a Win on saturday and second spot on the podium on Sunday.  The results were good, the feelings honestly were not.  Saturday early in the race I got a good gap.  On a normal or good weekend I feel I should have been able to hold that gap until the end of the race, but it came down to a last lap attack...a little close for comfort.

Sunday same thing.  An early gap, the group of three caught me a lap later and then I made 2 mistakes in the mud and Kerry Werner from BMC was gone.  Again on a good weekend I feel I should have been able to close the gap and race for the win, but not this Sunday.  A little disspointed with the form, but happy with the points and the results.





After the race I spent a few days at mom and dads house to try to recoup.  It was pretty darn relaxing.  By Wednesday I was feeling better and headed out for an amazing gravel road ride w/ the crew from Athens Bicycle.  Unfortunately I woke up Thursday morning with a bit of a head cold and it has only gotten worse.  During the drive home I went through a box of Kleenex and a bottle of hand sanitizer.  I think my body was fighting this beast off before I even left for Portland...I finally lost.  Time to rest up.  3 weeks and 2 races to go.

This morning I am feeling a little better, but probably only because I just watched one of the best CX races of my life.  Its the start of the Christmas period in Belgium.  Tomorrow is a World Cup in Namur.  The 26th is the World Cup in Zolder and somewhere else they'll squeuze in Diegem, Baal, and Loenhout along with some others.  Check out www.cyclingfans.com for the daily listings and links to watch the races live.  I think they are usually on around 8:00am central time.  If you missed today you should at least check out the last lap and the sprint finish.

http://www.sporza.be/permalink/1.1510258


Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2,700 miles

2,700 miles.  That's the distance from Portland, OR to Hendersonville, NC.  Part of me thinks I did it the easy way by flying half of that distance back to WI, but the other part of me that just spent 2 full days in the car driving from Sheboygan to Hendersonville via Athens, OH doesn't quite agree!  Travel is travel though and you've got to get to the races somehow.

Last year the trip out to Bend was miserable.  This year things were about as smooth as can be.  We arrived in Bend after a 15 hour travel day on Planes(obvious), Trains(Denver Airport) and Automobiles(rental car form Portland to Bend).

Thanks to my friends at Clif Bar we were set up with some host housing.  I'm never sure about host housing and usually prefer just to be on my own in a hotel, but this time around we hit the jackpot.  Many of you probably don't remember the name Kirt Voreis, but I do.  Kirt was the man on the downhill circuit back in the day racing for teams like Santa Cruz, Yeti, and Specialized Mountain Dew.  He now lives in Bend and was gracious enough to let me crash at his house for 3 days.



It was pretty sweet to hang out there and share war stories of the olden days of Norba and the traveling circus.  Kirt and his wife Lindsey are still involved in the industry and are still living the dream.  Check out his website and if you get a chance to hit up a stop on his ALLRIDE Tour you should take advantage.  I think he could teach you a thing or two in the skills department!

The racing itself was not so hot.  I had a horrible start on day 1 and fought back for a few UCI points and finished 14th.  Not what I was hoping for after all the hard training after Jingle Cross.  The next day I was determined to get a better start and I did...only to fade away after 3 laps of racing.  I finished 18th after a flat tire on the last lap.  Really dissaapointing way to end the USGP for me.

Looking back I think I trained too hard too close to the race.  I was mentally focused on completing a training block that was similar to the block I did before the Iceman and Cincy weekend, but this time around it was too much.  Hopefully the hard work pays dividends later in the year.

Now I am sitting at the Red Rood Inn in Hendersonville, NC.  I still feel overextended, but it is what it is and its time to go and race!  Andrea and I made the drive to Athens, OH on Thursday.  She stayed to ride with the gang and hang out with Dad, while my Mom and I drove down to NC.  Race time in 4 hours...wish me luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 down - 3 to go

Jingle Cross is always a tough tough weekend.  This year was no different, but it did help that we had amazing weather.  Hopefully its never like that again....

After Iceman/Cincinnati & Louisville weekends I wasn't exactly sure where I would be.  You can't get in a ton of training with all the time spent driving in the car and recovery has to become more important.  So I showed up Friday night feeling pretty good.


The race started and I could tell maybe I was a little too fresh...in fact maybe I was a little stale.  I watched as the lead group rode away during the first 1/4 of a lap and there was nothing I could do.  Before the finish of Lap 1 Tim Johnson had crashed out.  Half way through Lap 2 I found myself riding Mt. Krumpet and riding through the group of 6th - 10th who were off their bikes and running.  I descended Mt. Krumpet at mock speed to find myself in no mans land.  The lead group was long gone and nobody was behind me.  I made the decision that chasing hard would not be in my best interest for energy reserves that needed to be saved for Sundays C1 race.  I rode conservatively the rest of the lap and then Cody Kaiser latched on to my wheel.  Same thing though next time up the climb...he was running and I was riding and putting 10 second into him per lap.  We continued this pattern until the end of the race when Alan Krughoff started catching back and we had to push the pace a little more...I finished 5th



Saturday was a little bit of a deeper field with a few guys who couldn't make the Friday night race in attendance.  I had a great jump off the line, but again the first 1/4 lap saw me getting gapped off the lead group and riding in a spot where I was not really happy.  I did most of the race in 10th position and towards the end was able to catch and drop Candelario, Shriver, and Krughoff.  I finished 7th



Sunday was the big race, with the big points, and the big money.  I did a much better warm up on my new Saris trainer, but was feeling the fatigue of the previous 2 days.  With a little Shot of caffeine I was on the start line for the 7th time in just over a 2 week time frame.  This time I had the mental strength I needed to fight.  My Trek Cronus was rocking...its amazing how much better a bike can feel when you are confident.  I was crushing the hard climb up Mt. Krumpit and bombing the downhills.  After a Lap I was with the lead group and the sat up into the wind...so I took my chances and went to the front.  Maybe not the smartest move to pull into the wind, but hey - you gotta give it a go if you get the opportunity.  Timmy J attacked me in the muddy section before the fly-over and Mt. Krumpit.  I was hurting a little from pulling into the wind.  I drifted from 2nd position to 7th up the climb so I could stay within myself.  The gaps opened on the descent on the chase was on.  Tristan did the majority of the hard work with Driscoll sitting on his wheel.  Next time up the climb I just latched onto the lead group again.  I pretty much did the same multiple laps and was just dangling off the group.  I suffered but was rewarded with another top 5 finish and some valueable UCI points.



Now its break time.  A little rest a little recovery and then Portalnd, North Carolina, and Chicago.  Thanks for reading and a huge thanks to all who kicked off the holiday season in style at Jingle Cross!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 10's

red shoes rule!
Another weekend of racing in the books!  This time it was the big one.  The preview of the Louisville UCI World Championship race course.  The 3rd stop of the USGP.  I've always had a good time going down to Louisville and racing and this was no exception.

After a hard week of training in Athens at mom and dad's house I was back on the road again.  I Friday afternoon just in time to get in a good preview of the course.  After a nice dinner and some Graeters Ice Cream it was back to the hotel for a long night of no sleep.  Not sure what the deal was...but maybe I was just pumped to race...or too much Ice Cream.

Day 1 was a world of pain.  I dangled off the back of the lead group for way too long.  I was suffering, I wasn't comfortable at all, my HR was pegged, I couldn't see straight, my legs burned....yeah it was one of those races, but somehow after a mediocre start in about 15th after the first sandpit I moved up throughout the race and finished with a strong attack on Allen Krughoff from Boulder to finish 8th.

Day 2 was totally opposite.  I felt great, MY HR was mcuh lower, I was recovering, I felt smooth in the technical stuff, but I finished 9th.  At one point I actually bridged across to the lead group and was more than comfortable sitting there, but then I slight slip on an uphill off camber and I hooked my bars on the fence and came to a stop.  I went from a pretty comfy spot in the top 6 guys to chasing back on to the group of 5th - 12th.  The last three laps I was still pretty good with the main moves being made in the long uphill sand pit.  I ended up passing Summerhill with 1/4 lap to go in the sand and then sprinting with Zach for 8th.  Zach was first on the pavement and first across the line so I finished 9th.  For the legs and the feelings I had I felt I let an opportunity slip away.  More motivation for this weekend at Jingle Cross!

video




  Time to go rake some leaves!  Before Iceman we scraped, sanded and painted our garage and I went pretty good!  So I'm thinking working around the house good for the form....Andrea might like this new training plan!

with the #1 superfan

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

all you can handle

Back at it again in a major way.  This years prep for Iceman included a much needed 2 weeks at home after a crazy 2.5 months of racing every weekend except one(Hawaii).  The part that I didn't really plan on was a major home improvement project.  I think I spent 5 or 6 days outside in the cold scraping, sanding, and prepping our garage to get painted.  I kind of thought it was like Rocky training to fight the Russian...

The 2 weeks at home was really huge though...lots of training and more importantly lots of rest.  I left home on Thursday with the crew from Trek to head to Iceman.  We arrived just in time for an awesome dinner with the Buermans and the Masseys at Traviso's.  Friday was the standard pre-ride from Williamsburg Rd w/ Trav & Chloe.

Race day was also pretty much standard operating procedure.  It started with a fresh layer of snow on the ground.  A good breakfast at the Grand Traverse and a long wait for the 2:30 start time.


The race itself was great.  I felt awesome and prepared about as good as possible.  I had a good start.  I was never in trouble.  My bike was perfect.  - TREK Elite 9.9 w/ 26" wheels.  2.0 XR2 tire in the front and 2.2 XR1 in the rear.  Full confidence in the sand and the mud!  Old school!



Game on started really late this year in the race.  Kabush made the first hard move and Troy Wells was quick to close it down.  The group of 10 or 11 was starting to shatter on the last few rollers of the Vasa trail.  With less than 2k to go I was starting to hurt a little and didn't have the punch to battle for the last singletrack section.  I went into the woods in 4th wheel.  Coming out of the singletrack Mike A pedaled .001 seconds too early and slipped just a little in the mud.  I went around him and crushed it up the final IceBreaker climb to close the gap.  Unfortunately that didn't leave much for a kick in the final 300 meters.  It was really a race to the last left hand turn because after that there was no passing.  I tried, but I think my brain was experiencing some major oxygen deficit and I just couldn't get around Sam & Geoff.  All and all pretty happy with another Iceman podium!

post race interview w/ Michigan Youth Cycling
Things changed up a little when after the race we hit the road for Cincinnati.  Usually its a relaxing evening with friends, but this year I had to make it for some valueable C1 points.  My dad and I drove to Ann Arbor Saturday night and then another 4 hours Sunday morning to Harbin Park.

Before I knew it I was lined up again but this time on skinny tires.  I knew I felt great as soon as I started to pedal around with Tristan during warm up.  I was a little bummed to get #9 thinking I would be on the 2nd row, but luckily someone wasn't present and I got a front row spot.  I took full advantage of the front row and easily sat 2nd wheel the entire first lap.  I went to the front a few times and was racing really strong as the lead group was dwindling from 10 or 11 guys to 7.  Then I crashed...pretty hard too, on a pavement crossing that was more like ice from the mud that was being dragged across.  My shoe buckle broke and I thought I was done for...I could hardly pull up on the pedals, but I had to close the gap and get back in contact with that lead group.  1/2 lap later I made contact and on the start finish stretch I was able to somewhat fix the buckle.  I went right back to 2nd or 3rd wheel as I didn't want to get spit out the back when things started lighting up.  Then with 4 to go Zach took a pretty good spill and I was gapped off again.  I closed the gap again, but right as I made contact the fireworkds started and I had to sit on Berden's wheel as he let the top 3 ride away.  I think we were both hurting.  Zach eventaully caught us with 2 to go and with 1 to go they opened up a small gap that turned to 5 seconds by the end of the lap.  I sat up in the final straight to finish 6th.

Now I'm in Athens OH healing up from my crash at Mom and Dad's house and getting ready for the USGP in Louisville this weekend.  Huge thanks to everyone who has played a part.

Monday, October 22, 2012

From Hawaii to Hypothermia and back

Saturday morning Farmers Market followed by a 2.5 hour jam session on the bike.  Saturday 2:30 PM driving 2.5 hours to Stevens Point to the WORS banquet.  Back home at 1am.  Up at 7am and driving again to Sun Prairie for a Cyclocross clinic and a race.  Back home 12 hours later.  Funny how that is my relaxing weekend at home.  Racing, not sleeping enough and in the car 9+ hours.

I guess the previous 2 months were pretty chaotic if that seems like a chill relaxing at home weekend.  I'm not complaining though...I was having a blast!  The day after Gloucester I was flying home and the next morning I was up at 4am driving back to the MKE airport and headed towards Hawaii!  A nice break after the first 1/3 of the crosss season.

I hadn't seen my brother in 3+ years and he lives in Waikiki.  After some serious airplane time we arrived at went to the sweetest hole in the wall cabana style restaurant.  I had to go for some sushi right away and it didn't dissapoint.  For the next 4 days Andrea and I hung out with my parents and my brother and his wife hitting up lots of good restaurants, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and for some real excitement we even got to interact with the Hawaii 5.0.


My parents left on Saturday and then Andrea and I went to the North Shore to explore a different part of the island for another 2 days.  Another hike, some shrimp trucks, a guided mtb tour(4 miles in 4 hours...ouch) and some surf spectating.  It all went pretty fast though and before I knew it we were on our way back home.

2 days later I had to make the mental switch from beach bum to USGP pro CX racer.  If you saw the results  you know I didn't make the switch.  I did everything possible to try to be prepared, but there is no way that after 8 days off the bike and a red-eye home from Hawaii that you can be ready to race a USGP.  I struggled bad on the first day.  The second day felt pretty similar until I had 2 laps under my belt.  Then I started going again.

The break hurt me for Ft. Collins, but I think it will be a good things in the last part of the season.  I came home from CO with motivation.  The weather in Sheboygan was crap.  I rode 3.5 hours Wed and then another 3.5 Thursday in 45 degrees and rain, my hands froze, my feet hurt and I knew I wasn't in Hawaii anymore.

Yesterday's race was pretty darn nice.  A perfect fall day and my first CX victory of the year.  My legs are coming back around and after another 10 days at home I should be ready for the next big push.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New England Cross

Just home from a successful trip to the East Coast.  I was born in Boston so its always cool to go back and check it out a bit.  Gloucester has to be one of the best longest running cross races in the US and I was happy to go out and do battle this year.

With the extra support from all my great sponsors I was able to travel to this race like a true pro.  My bikes and gear was loaded up Wed and my new mechanic Krazy Karl (also our mechanic for two 24 hour natinoal championship mtb victories) made the long drive out.  He picked me up Friday at the Boston airport and an hour later we were checking into the Inn Magnolia right on the Ocean.  Total New England style complete with a Dunkin Donuts right across the street.

It was so nice to be able to cruise to the airport, go through check in, and cruise off the plane without worrying about checked luggage our bikes.  This time I really lucked out.  I feel very fortunate, but I also feel like a lot of hard work has been done the last few years and it is rewarding to get the first class treatment.  At the race we were styling underneath a 8' x 8' Bontrager pop up tent and the bikes were shining after every lap thanks to Pro Gold Blast Off degreaser and lube.

We found a pretty cool restaraunt to calorie load in the night before the race.  The Cape Anne Brewery makes a mean burger!

Saturday I finished 9th another solid day for a C1 race.  After Madison I had a cold and was lucky to kick it quickly enough to come back and race fast.  I had a great start which helped a ton, but the lack of riding while fighting the cold had my legs not quite as sharp as the week prior.  One of these races I'll have great legs and a great start!

Day 2 was the first test in the mud.  My biggest problem was my brake pads.  One bike was great, the other not so great.  I started on the bike that was not so great and I lost a lot of time on the first 1.5 laps before I made it through the pits.  Good news though is once I got going I made up some serious ground.  From the 30's up to a 14th place finish.  Karl and I made some good progress working together and I know my fitness is there.

http://www.cyclingdirt.org/coverage/249763-2012-Gran-Prix-of-Gloucester/video/657090-Elite-Men-Gran-Prix-Gloucester-Day-2

Time for a break after 8 weekends in a row of racing...

Monday, September 24, 2012

good start - bad start

Cross season is here.  In one of the cyclingdirt interviews Tim Johnson mentioned how this is like the Christmas time in Belgium....a few less races, but way more travel.  It hurts more to travel that far and race 4 or 5 times in just a weeks time.


So after the 6 hour drive home from Chequamegon I basically had Monday to unpack, do laundry, repack, and switch from MTB season to cross season.  Thats a tough 24 hours in itself...add onto that the trip Vegas and back and it left me feeling a litte tattered heading into the first big weekend of racing at the USGP.

Everyone on the start line was in the same boat though so when they said go all those thoughts disappeared and we were back at it again.  It was fast and furious racing...even more so than Vegas with the dry hard ground and multiple corners there was no room for mistakes.

I had a good jump off of the line, but lost 10 spots around the first 5 corners.  That is not what I wanted....I was able to finish the race strong with a 9th place, but didn't give myself a chance to race with the top guys.

Same things Sunday so I am leaving the weekend with mixed emotions.  Fitness is good, fight is good, just not on the first half lap.  I think I'll get there with a little better prep, some more time on the bike, and some more skinny tire races under the belt.  Next up a trip to the East Coast!  Last time I did this race it was  2005 and it was rad!

http://www.cyclocrossvideos.com/cyclocross_DVDs_previews/DVD_2005-10-29-M-W_Elite_Men_and_Women_preview.html

I just remember watching Anne Knapp crying at the finish because her hands were so cold - Tristan and I both thought...can't be that bad - an hour later we were naked in the back of a mini-van uncontrollably shivering and in a world of pain!  Tristan has video - he would be cool if he could find it and post it up...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Culture Shock

Yep it was pure Culture Shock.  From flannels & Packers attire in Sheboygan to mini skirts & black leather.  45 degree ride Tuesday morning before the flight to 97 degrees plus temps.  Fat tires to skinny tires,  Limo's, Bright Lights, Big City...VEGAS!

I truly enjoyed it this time around, although its not my style at all.  I arrive to Vegas w/ a Limo waiting outside the airport and I thought to myself c'mon....but hey when in Vegas!

I arrived to the hotel and lugged the bike box past about 700 slot machines, I inhaled at least 4 or 5 cigarettes and made it to the room at about 7:00pm local time.  I was ready for bed because it was really 9:00pm back home.

I still had 2 hours till race time then next night so I decided to take a walk down the strip to acclimate to the new time zone.  I ran into Chloe randomly on the street corner and she was doing the same thing.  Late night dinner trying to adjust to this new time zone.  I hooked up with the Buermans and had a pretty tasty Burger and then went back to the hotel and crashed.

Wed morning I had to get out of the hotel room so I took a ride over to check out the course.  Broken glass lined the streets of the city that was just waking up from another big party.  It was a little scketchy riding my brand new Dura Ace tubulars down the gutters of Vegas, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I pedaled around for 1:30 and got in a few laps on the course.  Standard Vegas race course - thick power sapping grass.

I made it back to the hotel just in time to go for a 3 hour hike down to the Sands Expo Center and check out the big Interbike show.  It was pretty sweet to see all sorts of old friends who I haven't seen in a really long time.  I also got to meet many of my sponsors in person for the first time.  After 2 hours at the show I was smashed and had to go back to the hotel.

Then it was go time.  I wasn't nervous, I felt good and I had a pretty good go.  15th place.  I missed one split that I would have liked to make, but I kep fighting and caught a lot of guys who fell out of that lead group.  I'm leaving satisfied, but more motivated knowing I can do better.


Watch more video of 2012 CrossVegas Cyclocross on cyclingdirt.org


After a late night breakfast for dinner w/ my SIL Elicia it was back to Cicrus Cicus at 2:00am and boxing up my bike I was finally in bed at 3:00am.  3.5 hours later I was up and at 'em and waiting for my limo...thats right this time it was an Escalade!

Monday, September 17, 2012

10-30-40

This past weekend was the 30th Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 and it was my 10th attempt.  In 2003 I finished 3rd...this past weekend I finished 3rd.  Does that mean in 10 years I haven't improved at all?!?!

I don't think so...The competition is getting much tougher and the race course somehow gets easier and easier every year.  This year was no exception.  In my opinion we raced easier than last year, yet still broke the course record by 20 or 30 seconds.

My race left me with mixed emotions, but the reality of it was it was a great weekend.  It's hard to be the 3 time defending champion and be happy with a 3rd place.  I wanted to win, but my mental desire wasn't strong enough with my head in the clouds during the race dreaming of cross season.

I really thought our huge leading group would separate at Martels Pothole and it started to snap, but when we came to Boedecker Rd it neutralized and we proceeded to race pretty slow for the next 20 minutes or so.  So slow that I found myself riding in 10th place and even drifting as far as 10 ft off the back of the group.  I wasn't in it mentally.  Mike Anderson came back to chat with me a little, but it didn't wake me up...as the group made the right turn to Firetower I was in shock that I was so out of it I didn't even realize where we were on the race course.  Going up Firetower in 10th is not smart racing.  I started passing guys, first Mike Phillips, then Mike Olheiser after he opened the gap, but the gap was open.



In the past it would come back together on the descent, but this year it didn't.  I was starting to panic a little, but when we caught McCartney at the bottom I thought he was the ticket back to the lead 4 on the Birkie.  We got to within 10 seconds, but then Busche and Mike A started to check out.  Now we were a group of 5(Cole, Corey S, Me, McCartney, & Phillips) chasing 2.  I thought we would catch them going down Telemark Rd for sure and I was still trying to be patient.  Cole Flatted, Jason disappeared in a huge puddle, and Corey was hurting...Our group of 5 just went down to Phillips and I in a 1 mile time frame...2 on 2 and we didn't stand a chance.


I had to switch gears and start racing to salvage a podium.  Mission accomplished!  In my 10 years of Cheq I have been on the podium 7 times.  1 4th, and 1 7th (sprinting for 1st), I had one mechanical battling for 3rd and ended up stuck on the side of the trail and limping in for 17th.  Not bad!


This weekend more than anything I was proud of Andrea.  She has been shooting for a top 10 at Chequamegon for years and finally nailed it....10th place.  She attacked a girl on the last climb and beat her by 9 seconds!

Also proud of some of my Momentum Endurance Athletes.  Corey Stelljes 5th overall, Brett Poulton 2nd in the Short and Fat,Bob Clark 30 positions and 4 minutes faster than previous best,  Bill Street 75 positions better than previous best, Anthony Ferrara 10 minutes faster than previous best, Mike Carney 20 minutes faster than previous best, Greg Molnar on pace for PR before flatting.  All in all it was a great weekend.

Now its time to switch gears and get ready for cross season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Doubling UP

It was a good opportunity to not race this weekend...I ended up on 2 start lines.  How could I pass up on a chance to head back up to the UP??  Something about racing up there just makes you feel good.  Its like the old days of racing....The other day my dad called me up and reminded me it has been 19 years since my very first race:  The Garland Hammer!  I finished 11th place in the Beginner 18 & under category.  Dad was 4th 35-44(I'm almost in that age group now)!

Garland Hammer Sept 6th 1993

Why I love racing in the UP.  It was 55 and raining when we got to the start line Friday night.  We were almost the only ones in the parking lot.  We wanted to pre-ride.  The course wasn't marked at all.  We pedaled around in the rain for 30 minutes...on the start of the short race course instead of the finish of the long course....oops.  We picked up our race numbers at the warming shed of the ski trails and then the smell hit me....homemade soup after a cold rainy bike ride in the fall....you can't beat it.  Two types of soup,  fresh homemade wood-fired bread, and it was free!  The soup was delicious and it was on par w/ some of the best soup I have ever had.  It made the trip to the UP totally worth it...


testing the new Bontrager CXC clothing in the rain!


The race was in Munising another plus.  A place we have never been.  They have a pretty awesome lake shore w/ tons of waterfalls and rock formations.
Oscor does Munising Falls
Picture Rocks - Miners Castle

The race itself was tough.  A super easy course that allowed for lots of drafting broken up by two 10-15 minute sections of singletrack in the middle.  I jammed the 2nd section of singletrack after a little adrenalin rush from a mid race crash.  I opened up some daylight, but when the singletrack ended on a 1 mile stretch of pancake flat railroad bed there was no way I was holding off the other 3 riders with 10 miles to go.

The last puddle with 50 meters to go...

It came down to a 4 man sprint.  It was probably the most hectic sprint I have been in....huge puddles easily taller than your front wheel on loamy ground with one line.  Cole hit the first puddle after all 4 of us almost went down.  I'm pretty sure the tidal wave almost took me out and the water covered his top tube.  I thought I was good with 50 meters to go when I was forced through the last puddle on the right again after all 4 of us almost crashed.  Its tough to win a sprint when your front wheel is under water with 50m to go....Mike Anderson took the win after hitting the right line through the water.  I was 3rd.

The Rock Garden @ Amy Dykema
I was a little dissapointed so I had to go do it again on Sunday.  This time I felt much better and got the W!  I was aggresive right from the start and lead up the first 2 steep climbs.  Cole blasted by on the 3rd and the lead group of 5 was formed.  Mike P was the first to go starting lap 2.  Mid way through Lap 2 Cole was gone after Shriver started pushing the pace.  Nathan G led for the first few minutes of Lap 3 until he crashed and then it was down to me and Shriver.  I pushed the pace a little starting the final lap, got a gap, and never looked back.  It felt good to wrap up my 4th overall WORS title with a WIN.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

'Trackin'

I learned a new term from a good friend who I raced back in the day in MI...Trackin'....its like skillz on a bike, but its Trackin'...If you can't track in a straight line or around a corner you can't win a bike race....
Copper Harbor Trails- at the end of the world - peace and quiet - awesome trails -
in the middle of my chaotic storm of racing

Lately there has been a lot of trackin' going on....not only on the bike, but off the bike too.  You gotta have skillz to balance it all out.  WORS racing and calculating series points.  Building bikes and gluing tires. USGP cancelled, USGP back on, plane tickets and hotels for Vegas, Gloucester, and many more...its been a little crazy...I have raced the last 4 weekends in a row and most likely will race another 5 weekend before a Hawaiian vacation...don't worry though...I fly out to Hawaii the day after I fly home from Gloucester and when I get home a day later I'll fly to the USGP in Ft. Collins.  I love it....this is what all the hard work is all about...traveling all over the place and doing what I do...racing bikes.

We'll start off w/ Green Bay WORS...I really didn't want to race.  I was tired from Ore To Shore & Subaru Cup, but I thought it might be my last opportunity to get an 8th race in for the WORS series.  The race was very similar to last year and ended in a sprint finish with the same results.  Cole House just beating me at the line.  I'm hoping a 2nd place is good enough for my 4th WORS title..you never know till the last race
though...



After 3 hard weekends in a row Labor Day vacation couldn't have come at a better time.  Thursday after Andrea finished work we drove up for an awesome long weekend in Eagle River.  It was time for some much needed R & R, but the trails in Copper Harbor were just too tempting to pass up on Sunday.  With perfect weather we loaded up and drove in further north to pin on some more race numbers and ride some of the best trails in the WORLD.  Even Oscor had a blast at the Bell's Beer post race party!

We were back home Monday evening and it was back to the grind getting caught on coaching and trying to figure out if the USGP will really happen.  Today it was announced that Trek Bicycles is now the title sponsors and Clif Bar has stepped up to make it happen!  My sponsors rule.  I'm hoping to pay them back with some good results this year!!!  Gear Grinder/RACC has also stepped up huge to help me out w/ a travel budget that will allow my to fly to some of the races that are too far away and have a mechanic drive out in the van w/ my bikes and equipment.  This will be huge!



I have booked tickets and hotels for Gloucester, Ft. Collins, and Vegas....Yesterday I was out riding the cross bikes for the first time in the park across the street from my house.  I have them both dialed and they are feeling great.  It's going to be a good year....

All this going on and I haven't even mentioned Chequamegon....oh yeah..thats happening in less than. 10 days.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cup

Usually when I'm writing about the Cup its Lord Stanley's...but this time its Don Edberg's!

After Ore To Shore & Trek World I didn't really feel like making the drive over to Mt. Morris for a pre-ride.  I needed to stay home and get as much rest as possible.  So I went with the...its just like any other WORS race approach.  No pre-ride, show up the day of the race, and then let 'er rip.

It seemed to work pretty good.  When I arrived and went to pick up my number "21" I was hopeful that was my call up spot.  I thought a top 10 was easily doable with a good ride.  Unfortunately I got called up a little further back than that....it was just enough back that I was on the brakes hard multiple times in the lead out and then again heading into the first singletrack.  4 minutes into the race I was already 45+ seconds behind the leaders.  Luckily my legs & lungs showed up for the challenge.  After lap 1 I was 18th.  After Lap 2 I was 11th battling with 10, 11, and 12.

I was climbing good, the Top Fuel was eating up the descents and the rocks...I felt like I was going so much faster than anyone on a hardtail on the flat pedaling rocky portions of the race course.


The last lap I was battling for 10th, but didn't have quite enough in the tank.  I was able to climb up to Sam Schultz, but didn't have it to go by him.  Maybe I was saving something for Sunday!  Finished 11th and was pretty happy.

I drove home after some pizza at Christiano's in Wautoma and the mandotory ice cream from the Milty Wilty.  Slept in my own bed and then woke up Sunday morning and did it all over again.

This time I was a little more motivated knowing I was going to have a 2nd row start spot based on Saturdays XC finish.  I opted to ride the Elite 9.9 for the Short Track and I felt good on the warm up.  The big question with a right hand corner 100 feet after the start was line up on the right or the left.  When I saw the Star N Stripes of Todd Wells right in the middle I knew that was my wheel.  I just missed out too...missed out on the big crash that is...not sure exactly what happened but out of the corner of my eye I saw Finsty leaning on JHK who was leaning on the dude that I just managed to get my elbow in front of...I felt the dude land on my back wheel and when I looked up it was 6 guys and a huge gap.  I knew I had to get there and fast...I buried myself in the next 500meters to close the gap to Tristans wheel.

I made it though and then pretty much was secured a solid ride.  I was a little uncomfy on the hardtail with a few flat bumpy pedaling sections.  Not sure if I should have gone with the Fuel.  Half way through the race I found my self riding away from Tristan and another guy and solid in 6th position.  I was closing the gap to D. Zandstra who had won the day before.  I made contact with 2 to go and we were less than 5 seconds from 3rd and 4th, but I just couldn't find that extra .09%  Finished a solid 6th and was pretty happy to walk away from the weekend with 2 good results and two 1st place scores in the WORS overall.

Next up is Suamico this weekend...it feel likes its been 3 weeks since I have been out on a training ride with all the racing, recovering and traveling...excited to try to bring it up another notch in the next month before cross starts.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rockin'

It's been non-stop and it looks like its going to be that way for a while!!!!  Most important thing though is that I'm having fun and feeling good.

Its been a while since I have updated my blog.  I was training really hard leading up to Ore To Shore and I even stepped over the line for a little bit and had to back it down because I though I was getting sick.  Luckily a few extra days of rest and I fought it off and had a good day at the first Triple Crown of the year.

Andrea and I stuck to tradition and drove up to Marquette w/ the Hyundai loaded down.  2 people - 4 bikes and lots of gear!  We arrived and did the standard pre-ride w/ Tristan and Mike Anderson, back for 10 miles and then flipped it for 10 miles and pre-viewed the finish.  We ate at the Pasta Shoppe and stayed at the MQT Motor Lodge.  Its all so familiar and we do it the same every year...it just makes it easier and it seems to work for good race results.

Andrea had the best race of her life finishing in 7th just 35 seconds away from a top 5!  She had been training super hard and I am really really happy her bike stayed together and there were no mishaps racing with the guys.

Getting ready to put the pressure on over the top of Misery Hill!

I finsihed 2nd.  What I really didn't want was a sprint finish like last year.  What I got was a sprint finish...but this time Cole won.  I spent most of the race trying to drop him.  I attacked multiple times, had the pressure on a lot, but nobody wanted to try to go with me...they just wanted to chase me down.  Tristan and I had a gap after the power line climbs, but it was a little to early.  It was enough to whittle the lead group down to 7 instead of the 15 - 25 we had the previous year so that was good, but again not enough.  Cole raced the smartest race and it paid off in the end.
Cole was going so fast he had to counter steer in the final turn!

After the race it was the standard post race pizza, the awards ceremony and another trip to the Pasta Shoppe!  We were so lucky to have perfect weather all weekend.  We finished the weekend off w/ an awesome trail ride at Mqt Mountain.  The new trails there are awesome!  Gotta check it out if you are every in Marquette.  After the trail ride it was another 3 hours on the bike!  This time it was skinny tires!  Not too skinny though...yep cross season is officially here.  I hosted two cross clinics for the KMK bike club.  It was pretty awesome.  Tons of interest in the UP for cross.  The first clinic was 6 or 7 girls.  Perfect numbers to get lots of 1 on 1 attention.  Then the next clinic was 7 or 8 guys.  We worked on barriers, shouldering the bike, cornering....and of course sand!
Momentum Endurance Cross 101
The fun didn't stop there though.  Sunday night we arrived home at 9pm and spent quite some time upacking and then bright and early Monday morning I was off to Trek World!  I picked up my friend Pete from Athens Bicycle at the Madison airport and then we rolled to Trek HQ for demo days.  I was crushed when I was told there will be no Top Fuel for 2013, but the good news is I did get out on the new Superfly and it truly is 'Superfly'.  After testing multiple bikes it was back to Madison to check out the big show.  Hang with old friends, meet Bo Jackson, and just be pumped to be associated with a great company like Trek.  I finally made it home by midnight.  I'm smashed!

Hanging w/ Joe D...old Belgium cross buddy now turned Super Climber

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FOR SALE

Hey Everyone,

Cross season is just around the corner...look what I just found!  The trusty Blue Norcross SL in  a 56cm frame.  An oldie but a goody.  With all new cables and housing, and a new chain, this rig is race ready.  Complete with Shimano Dura Ace 7800 (46tooth DA cross specific big ring) & Easton Carbon Post and  Easton Carbon Bar you can't go wrong.  $1500 and its yours.  Wheels not included, but I do have some for sale...just ask tubulars and clinchers.  I have more pictures too if you want them...Just shoot me an e-mail brimatter@hotmail.com