Monday, June 30, 2008

Fauxdium

Well another race weekend is in the books, and now I'm ready for a weekend of un-training and mental recharageation. This week we had the Tour de Grandview on tap. This year it fell on the next weekend post "The Tour", just as it did last year, and I was hoping for a little better outcome. Last year I was still cracked from the week before and ended up puking all over myself, and barely hanging on to the back of the field both days.

It started off with a nice 4 corner flat course where I found myself in a decent sized break that took a lap. Roadhouse controlled it pretty well once we took the lap and I was in the hurt box again and couldn't really contest for the "W" I did end up in 4th, and got to stand on the ground next to the real podium riders, what an honor... I did get a nice little bouquet of flowers though, I was trying to find a hunny-baby to give them to, but the pickens were slim. I did however scope out some potential on Sunday, but I had already given my flowers to Kim and Pam's Grandma who let us invade her house for the weekend.

Sunday's course is one of the tougher crit courses around, 1 mile or so with a bitch of a big ring climb that serves as the launch pad for the days many attacks. I managed to get a call up to the start line, so I had no excuses not to go with some attacks early. I got off in a nice group with plenty of HP early in the race. It was me, Paul Martin, Bennett van der GetKrunkten, and some other bro. I thought they might let it roll (especially with the ever-powerful Alderfer Bergen squad represented), but no dice. We came back and I tried to keep my head up for the right split, but it didn't come until about 1:10 minutes in, and I missed it. I was super bummed, because I felt like I had good legs, just couldn't cover all of em'. 12 dudes ended up going up the road, and I sprinted to an amazing 16th place... not what I was looking for, but hey, I didn't puke on myself either.

Enough about bike racin', I want to tell you about my plans for this weekend. I will be relaxing on a lake with a whole crew of my friends from high school, who I really don't get to see but a few times a year. We always clear our schedules for this weekend though, and it never disappoints. Now having said that, I want to show you a couple pictures that not many people get to lay eyes on. This is what happens when you "go to sleep" before you're supposed to at The Lake.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.





ha-ha... laugh it up.

Pray for my mullet. I'll need all the Moo-lay power I can muster for the NRC crit in Louisville next weekend.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Little Fried

So "The Tour" wrapped up yesterday evening with a circuit race in the rain with some crazy winds and wet hairpin corners at the bottom of the main descent. We were supposed to do 10 laps of the finishing circuit, but they cut it to 4 once we got into town since the weather was deteriorating quickly. There was a gnarly, steep, brick climb on one side of the lap, and the other half was mostly twisty and downhill. It was a really cool loop, and made for an interesting way to sort out the GC a bit at the end of the week. I paced myself on the climb and bombed the downhill to move up, and ended up 11th on the last stage and 22nd for the overall for the week.

After the race, I was ready to get away from the race scene and back to real life. We brought RJ back to Bloomington and went out to catch up with some of the guys who were in town for the Bloomington Crit. While we were out, I got talked into racing again on Sunday at the McCormicks Creek road race. I really wasn't feeling it, and hardly had anything left in my legs, so I decided to lay low for the first 9 of the 11 laps of the 5 mile circuit. With 2 laps to go, a group of 2 got off with Charlie Crouse from Dogfish and one of the Zipp Factory guys who rides like 50 minute 40K time trials. They got a 20-30 second gap and the field seemed really unmotivated to bring them back, so I jumped across to them on the climb with a lap and a half to go. From there our gap grew and it was down to us 3. Charlie asked how I was feeling and I told him I wasn't sure, but he lead it to the final corner for me anyway. We all jumped hard and it was a drag race to the line. I got the Zipp guy by about half a bike for my first "W" of 2008. It took a bit of time to get it, but it feels nice none the less.

As I sit here typing this, I am seriously cracked, I need recovery badly. I'll be taking a couple days off and maybe playing some golf. Since John took the time to show me how to set up some new graphs on CyclingPeaks, I'll now be working on getting my TSB back in check, because it's getting pretty far into the red.

Now that I'm finally home, I'll put up a few pictures from the week.

Chris and Aaron Pre-Race


John on one of our off-road recovery spins


Pre-Riding the crit course


John unsuccessfully trying to make his leg look large...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tour of Ohio Stage 4

Today was another crit, actually it was the same course as last years Worthington stage of "The Tour". There was an early break that I missed, and so I spent a good deal of the race stuck between the break and the main field, trying to motivate people to work and pull smoothly. We didn't really make up any time on the 8 man break, but we held them at the same gap for pretty much the whole time we were chasing. Our chase group came back after about an hour, and the field was finally motivated to get the group back together and we caught the break with 6 to go. I was pretty spent from my efforts earlier in the day, but I tried to fight for the front to salvage a result. I put in a good effort to get to the front, but had nothing left to go when the Inferno train hit it with one corner to go. Inferno went 1-2, and I got pipped by a nice little group as I was running out of gas and ended up in 10th. No real result to speak of, but I did feel better about the way I rode, actually putting my nose in the wind and doing some work to get a shot at a result. The real tragedy from the day was that John lost the sprinters jersey, but may get a crack at it one last time in today's finishing circuits.

One more chance to pick up a W. I'll be racing today with a heavy heart, with my beloved Bloomington Crit taking place without me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hard Men, Hard Climbs, and Hard Crashes

Before I dig into the race updates, I want to tell you about a hard man named Chris Chartier. Last night Chris had Isaac throw some new bar tape on his bike and for some reason once we started racing, Chris' bike would hardly shift. He was basically stuck in his 15 tooth cog in the back He was rocking a 2 speed for the day, 53X15 and 39X15. For most mortals this would be an insurmountable task, given the days parcours. Hard Men like Chris don't give an F about gears. Chris pounded the 15 tooth over the tough climbs and rolled it at the front almost every time I looked up. He put in a pretty big effort on the day, but was a super impressive teammate today.

As far a race reports go, I was supposed to be our "GC" guy for the week and the team did a great job working for me, I just dropped the ball hard. I had a bad day at the absolute worst time. I don't normally cramp and didn't think they would be an issue, but I locked up on the 2nd to last climb and got popped off the back of the dwindled peleton. It was pretty embarrassing to suck with all eyes on me and the help of my teammates at my disposal. Isaac put in a great ride and finished in the front group and made all of the important splits to keep himself as our highest GC rider, but the problem is that he has to leave the "Tour" on Friday to go home for his sisters wedding. So now with no GC hopes, we turn into "Stage Hunters", hoping to get some street cred for our efforts.

Today was another pretty tough little stage, with a very nice steep little kick to the finish, perfect for a little faux sprinter such as myself. There were 4 pretty tough climbs, that I felt better on than yesterday, but still no legs for the long break. Isaac had a nice turn off the front for about an hour, but then came back and some others moves went away for a bit. John Meyers was off the front for a good bit, and according to our calculations, should be in the green jersey tomorrow... yeah, like green sprinters jersey. Lucky for us, it all came back together and I got a crack at the hill with no one off the front. The run into the climb was super sketchy and there was some serious fighting going on at the front. This fighting lead to a pretty bad wreck about 6 or 7 wheels back, just inside a mile to go. All our guys go through it ok, but some of my friends on other teams took some pretty bad spills, hopefully they're all ok. Back to the sprint. So we hit the hill and I went hard. I passed some dudes, but not all of them. 2 guys were out of my reach, but still a bit of consolation after yesterdays poor showing. I still really want to win a stage, but I'll take a podium for tonight. The next two courses suit me pretty well, so hopefully I've got something up my sleeve in the next two days.

Since I forgot the appropriate cord to upload any photos, I will leave you with a stolen picture from Cyclingnews of me hiding behind John in the closing laps of the first crit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yeah, About That...

Sorry for having a sucky blog. I've been kind of mad about the way last weekend went, so the last thing I felt like doing was putting up an update. Now I'm in Ohio, with some motivation to blog as well as race my bike hard. Tour of Ohio started tonight, so Chris, Aaron, Isaac, Ren Jay, and Johnny Meyers made our was to Columbus and set up our home base for the week. Tonight was a crit in Mount Vernon. Pretty good group of guys and a nice technical course with a bit of a hill just after the start/finish. I pulled a really amateur move before the race started and fell for the whole "everyone take a lap thing"... except I was stupid and took a whole lap and ended up at the very back. With such a technical course, moving up that far was a bit of a task. I smashed myself for about 10 min to finally get to the front, and that's when lots off gaps started opening up and people started popping, so I spent the next bit jumping across from group to group, wasting lots of energy. I felt good, but I just felt like all of my good efforts were being wasted just getting to where the actual racing was going on. During all of this, 4 dudes got away so we were sprinting for 5th place. I ended up 9th, kind of lame, but I'm ok with that. Tomorrow is the big GC day anyway. side note, the course was so short/ field was big enough that massive groups of riders were getting pulled because they were about to get lapped. Someone said maybe only 30 or 40 guys actually didn't get pulled. Tour of Ohio also seems to be organized much better this year, we even have 2 Shimano neutral support vehicles. I'll try to get some pictures up from the week to keep the blogs lameness to a minimum.

John Meyers just busted out an original Gameboy from his bag... its so ON!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Couple Photos


Telling the story to Versus for Cyclism Sundays...


Top 3 crit riders in the whole galaxy... sanctioned by ABR



Some bro's

OK that is all. I just had to deal with a real D-bag at work. Whatever, I'll let out my frustration on Wednesday Worlds tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Previous Life



Since I normally take the Monday after a race weekend completely off the bike, today I had a little throw back to my life before I became a cyclist. Most of you know, but I'm sure some of you don't, I used to play golf at Appalachian State, in Boone, NC. (Yeah the school that knocked off Michigan, at Michigan in football this season.) Golf was my thing, like 6-8 hours a day of practicing and playing, but after a while I got a little burnt out and decided to put the clubs up and transfer back closer to home, to IU. Now that I'm kind of serious about this whole cycling thing I don't really play much, mostly because I suck now and it isn't much fun to suck at something. Every once in a while I'll convince myself that I enjoy golf and want to head out and play for "fun".



My brother was also a good player and played for IU for a while, before he decided to hang it up as well. Today we both went out to the course where we used to spend our summers and tried to play for "fun." The novelty of just being outside and enjoying the nice day quickly wore off and we were back to critiquing every shot and swing, trying to get back to where we used to be... not happening. We got some good laughs at each others shots, but I guess we can't expect much when we play only a handful of times a year.



Who knows how long it will take for me to re-convince myself that I can play just for fun, but I'm sure it will be sometime again this summer, maybe I'll have better luck... whenever that may be.






video


I have a race report to do from this weekend, but I'm hoping some pictures will turn up. I'll just make it a brief one for now.

Winfield Twilight Crit- ABD seriously outnumbered us and were throwing plenty of guys off the front. I killed myself trying to get into the move, and it never went. I was toast by the end of the race and didn't have the legs to position myself for the sprint. 20th Place, Mike rolled in nicely with a 5th place.

ABR Crit "Nats"- Pretty simple 4 corner course, and I was thinking it might stay together, however, one of the first few moves I went with got away. It was a group of 9, with Me and Mike, Rob and Ryan White, Derek Laan, and some other guys. Alderfer Bergen and ABD were the only teams with 2 in the move. We eventually took a lap and then we had too keep an eye on the boys from the break. ABD sent their guys to the front, and we put our guys on the front and we kept the pace sufficient in order to keep things under control. It was a really long drag race sprint and Ryan White lead it out and brother Rob took home the sprint, followed by Derek, Me, and Mike. It would have been nice to pick up the win, but it was also nice to see the team work well together and actually race like a team. I think everyone was pretty ok with the way it turned out.

This weekend we have the HUGE money Tour De Winghaven in St. Louis. I'm hoping for good legs and full pockets.

Thanks for reading.