Friday, April 17, 2009

Down With Disease

So I'll give you a break from my lame race reports to bring you news of my sub par health. The week after Hillsboro (last week), I set out on a training block to try to prepare for Joe Martin at the start of May. I did some intervals with some bad power numbers, but didn't think too much of it. I took a couple more recovery days and the numbers for my workouts kept getting worse. It would be one thing if I had been training hard, but I'd just come off a nice block of rest and my body shouldn't have been acting tired. Anyway, fast forward to Saturday where I was supposed to do the Nashiville 90 with John Meyers on TT bikes. Yes, I understood this was going to be a serious suffer fest, but I wasn't quite prepared to suffer like this. Long story short, TT'd with John for a bit, sat on after I couldn't do that, died just trying to sit on, then called Lauren to pick me up in Nashville after 60 miles. I could barely ride at 200 watts to try to make it to Nashville in a timely manner.

I went home and slept, didn't ride Sunday and decided to go to the doctor on Monday. The Dr. ordered some tests (7 Vials of blood worth!) and I got the results on Wednesday that I have Mono. I had been trying to convince myself that it couldn't possibly be mono. Welp, wrong. Dr. says 2 weeks of stright up resting and no cycling.

Well, 2 weeks off puts me right around the end of April, and wicked close to Joe Martin on the 7th of May. So I've already written off Tour of Hermann this weekend, Brown County next weekend, Warsaw after that and finally my first real goal for the season, the Joe Martin Stage Race. Shit. I really would have liked to do those races so I can have some race fitness for later, but I guess I'll just be fresh to def for Fitchburg, Toona and the end of the season crits. And on this news, we just got our new, fresh, white, kits and other clothing. So I don't get to try out the new threads forever either. But I'm gonna try to look at the positive... or something like that.

See you on the road around April 29th or so. I'll be the guy riding 11 mph.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hillsboro Report

So it's over and I don't really know what to think about it. The field was 120 strong and even let in a few more than the field limit because some big names rolled up, un-prereg'd, so they kinda had to. Anyway, my goal was to try not to pull the normal Ryan move and freak out about everything that got 5 feet off the front... at least until half way through the 90 miles. It was a nice day with a little bit of wind, that turned into a decent amount of wind after a few laps. I rode up front so I could keep my eye on the experienced guys and make sure they didn't get too far without me. I ended up spending about 4 hours within a few feet of Steve Tilford (last year's Hillsboro winner, bad ass, and winner of the 1921 Inter-Galactic MTB Championships). Since I had no idea how this race was going to shake out, I figured he was probably one of smarter bike racers out there to shadow.

After a 2 pretty easy laps, the wind started to pick up and so did the racing. Attack were going and a few small groups were coming and going from the front. Towards the end of lap 3 a small group was just up the road and we were letting them kinda dangle before the catch. We'll Chad B. towed another guy across the relatively small gap and no one at the front really batted an eye. Turns out we should have, because the group of six stuck it. It got quite a bit faster on the last lap and the field that was 125, was down to about 50 and scattered all over road. The rubber band was thoroughly stretched in the front, but we couldn't seem to get another group to break off and catch the 6 just up the road. I did accomplish something I've never done before though, I rode in a break with Tilford and didn't get yelled at. Baby steps.

I need some media to spice up this race report, so here is the cut from the last lap. Nothing impressive, but you can see from the spikes that we tried to get something goin'

With about 5 miles to go, the field gave up and we started cruising in to fight for the scraps. Just about then, Greg was finally rested from his long chase back from a flat and took a flyer. Some posers tried to get across to him, but they undoubtedly had no idea how strong Greg is on his own and soon returned to the field. So he ended up being between the break and field in 7th, which was a tiny bit of consolation for the squad. As we came into town, I got up front and mixed it up in the sprint, but the legs were too tired to pop off a good one. I followed some wheels to end up 14th on the day. I feel stronger than I've ever been, but I just need to have the confidence to race like it. Looking forward to this race again next year. Also props to the promoter/organizers for running a tight ship for the most part and being speedy with the results

Friday, April 3, 2009

On the Eve of (Hillsboro-) Roubaix

Yes, tomorrow is the midwest's own version of a spring classic. A little town in Illinois will be hosting the annual throwdown featuring (hopefully) some crosswinds, bad roads and a few "hellingen." No, it isn't really that similar to the real thing, but we'll play the hand we were dealt here in our region. The combination of this race as well as The Ronde this weekend, I'm all jacked up (off Mountin Dew). Tonight I'll be meeting up with Gregg Van Christiaan and Danny De Caampbell to head to Hillsboro, we'll be getting a bit of a late start, but it will be nice to get an hour back once we cross the IN/IL border. The legs are good and my mind is clear. Hopefully I can play the race properly and come back with a nice result in hand.

Also, I feel like I should update you on my DG's. My Delta Gamma women did their coach proud this week in ITT's. We put three girls in the top 15, with one of them being a rookie in 10th place. They've all been sticking to the plan and working hard, so it's nice to see them starting to come around a get their speed up. The race is April 24th, so it's almost time to be sharpening them up for an attempt to repeat our success from last year.

This is just gonna be a short update, but I want to leave you with a couple links to some good Flanders previews:

Pez Does Flanders: Day Zero

Pez Previews: De Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Obviously if you're a Pez reader, you've probably already seen those, but if not I think you'll enjoy 'em.