Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Indiana and Ohio State Crit Championships

Last weekend were both states crit champs and with Indiana's being the Bloomington Crit, I obviously decided to stick around and race in front of the friends and fam. Since there was good money on Saturday in Ohio, I was the only one from my team in attendance. It's been a while since I raced solo, but with they type of number Nuvo brought to the race, I quickly remembered that you've got to go with everything, because when you miss one, it's sure to be the one that sticks. No more than 10 laps into the race I found myself standing in the pits after my first real crash of the year. I was pulling through at the front and the guy on the front didn't see me coming through and swung over and put the rear half of his bike in my front wheel. The end result was a Zipp rim that was completely separated from the Zipp hub that was still in the dropouts, not to mention I went sliding down the road for a bit. I marched to the pits pretty pissed off, got my wheel changed and realized my front derailleur was all messed up so it wouldnt go into the big ring. I was running out of time, so we half fixed it and I got back in. After some attacking and some chasing it became apparent that nothing was getting away and I went to sit and wait for the sprint. In the mean time my bike started dropping the chain regularly and got to practice shifting my bike back into the big ring via yanking the cable at the downtube. The sprint came, I didn't get in the right spot and ended up 4th. Nuvo rode well for Hubbell and he took the win and all the local street cred that comes with it.

Post race I went home and took the dreaded post crash shower. It sucked, but I got all Tube-Gauzed up and headed out to catch up with all the people that were in town for the occasion. Minus the wreck, it was a pretty good time.

Sunday was The Ohio State Crit Champs in Miamisburg Ohio. We had a all our guys in attendance, plus a few of the local team members and even the title sponsor. It turns out that the team really didn't need me much the day before and went 1,2,4 and 10 on the day. Kenda and Roadhouse didn't want to see that happen again, so we figured we would have a good fight on our hands. We raced aggressively to try to get a break up the road with the numbers in our favor, but it wasnt to be. The race was only 70 minutes and we couldn't seem to tire out the guys who were gluing it all together. So it was gonna be a field sprint whether we liked it or not. Kenda got their leadout together and was doing there thing for the last few laps and we didn't really get organized as a team, as a result they were on the front with 2 corners to go and their man on the front laid it down, taking some of their guys down and causing a bunch of us to have to stop in the corner. I was sitting 5th wheel and wasn't one of the lucky ones. John Puffer and Kirk Albers from Roadhouse got through cleanly or at least clean enough to go 1-2 and Chris and Jeremy from our team managed to find their was through it from farther back and take 4th and 5th. Not really what we were looking for, but I think it is an issue we could hav avoided if we had gotten organized and gotten to the front. It's a learning experience for us as a team, but it's just never fun when you don't execute. I think our leadout/communication skills will improve once we get more races together as a team.

Photo By Jeffrey Jakucyk

This weekend is my homie Chris' wedding on Saturday and then we're heading up to the Chicago Crit on Sunday. I would love to get a nice chunk of that 25k they're giving away up there. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tour De Champaign-Day 2

After a nice morning lounging around the Swartzendruber residence, watching the tour, eating our nice spread prepared by Mark's wife/podium girl, we headed to the course early in the afternoon to put out the vibe and start with the pre-race rituals. The field was roughly the same size as the day before, but with some Nuvo guys added to the mix, as well as Brad Huff and Bryce Mead from Jelly Belly. They were on their way to Stupidweek and decided to drop in.

The course was a pretty wide open, four-corner layout with little need for braking. Just as the day before, everyone wanted to be in the break and so it took a good while to get the move established. Lots of appropriately equipped groups got off the front and had reasonable gaps, but they kept coming back. Finally we got a group of three off with Vince in it, so the rest of us were on patrol at the front. Not long after, Chris slipped into an intermediate break. Things were looking good for us and the field was starting to realize the groups were gone, so we all settled into a rhythm of eating up the remaining laps. With 3 to go they threw a $200 preme at us and Randall Coxworth grabbed me and said, "follow me". Randall is a good sprinter, masters national RR champ and former midwest stud that was staying at Drubers with us. He lead it out for me, but he was a little tired from winning the masters race earlier and pulled off a bit sooner than I had hoped. I hit the wind too early and couldn't hold on for the big bucks. I tried to take my gap from the preme sprint and keep going, but the field wasn't having it. So I was reabsorbed with 2 to go and was feeling the effort and couldn't really participate in the bunch gallop. The boys up the road ended up in 3rd and 4th. Those are pretty respectable results, but we continue to get close but not quite on the top step.

This weekend is the Bloomington Crit, not exactly an opportunity to pad my pockets with money, but local street cred' is up for grabs. It'll be great to do my local race for the first time in a couple years and catch up with some good people.

See ya out there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tour De Champaign

Sorry I never finished my updating from Fitchburg, it really wasn't all that eventful. The road race was hard and the crit was kinda hard and I finished in the overall, 70th or something like that. Not necessarily something to put on the top of the resume, but I think it's going to be really good for my fitness. After a 6AM flight and a 175 dollar charge to fly my bike, I made it back to my own bed for the first time in 3 weeks. I put another medium-hard week of training in this week so that I could get a nice big block including F-burg. The legs aren't so snappy, but with a little recovery I should be in good shape.

Now I'm hanging out at Mark Swartzendruber's house in Champaign, IL for the weekend for two new races on the calendar, with some pretty healthy purses too. Yesterday was the first of two crits and our team brought four guys out to try to get some results. The pre-reg wasn't very big, so we thought there field might not be too tough and we could put 4 in the top 5 (just kidding). Turns out Texas Roadhouse had the same idea. On top of 6 or 7 Roadhouse, there were a few ABD guys and that Webcor guy from Dairyland. I think his name is Ryan Parnes, butt hhe's really strong and I believe may have won a race or two up there. Aaaanyway, the racing was pretty aggressive because everyone was looking for the break to go early, but everyone wanted to be in it. Lots of promising moves went and came back until a big group of 10 or so got away, and a few others even bridged up later. The break was huge and the field pretty much shut down. We had me and Vince in the move, TRH had 3 guys including Puffer, Parnes made it, Jeff Schroetlin from ABD was there, so it had some pretty good horse power. There were a few late race attacks that were aimed at splitting the break up, but nothing worked until we got the bell. A guy from IS Corp attacked through the start/finish and it was basically full gas from there. That caused a split of 6 of us and Vince was there too. Coming through the last corner, Puffer tried to take a line that wasn't really there and pretty much t-boned Ryan Parnes and took out Vince in the process. I had my back wheel locked up and was in full Tokyo Drift to avoid the bike and bodies that were flying. Schroetlin and I had to pretty much start our sprint from a stop and I ended up second and Jeff was third. The IS Corp guy got through the corner without any real obstruction and took the win. Chris and Derek took 2nd and 3rd in the field sprint, but it sure would have been nice to keep Vince upright and have another guy in the top 5, but as they say, that's bike racing. I think everyone is feeling pretty good for today, so hopefully we can get off this damn 2nd place streak the team is on.

Check ya later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fitchburg TT and Circuit Race

Sorry for the delay in updates from Fitchburg, it's been raining everyday out here, so most of our would be down time has turned into bike cleaning and clothes cleaning and shoe drying time.

So let's back up a few days. Greg and I got out here on Tuesday night, to our host Steve Roszko's house. Wednesday we rode the TT course 3 times in the rain to try to get a feel for it. Thursday was the TT, a 9 mile out and back with some pretty good rollers. For those of you Bloomington peeps, very similar to the Forrest TT, only bigger rollers. Anyway, I rode hard, but just couldn't really ever get my effort level down. I was always going too hard or too easy trying to recover from my going too hard. My time wasn't very good, but I didn't have too high of expectations either. I'm just happy to be out here racing in the big races again.

Yesterday was a 75 mile circuit race on a 3 mile loop. The loop had a pretty steep climb that took about 1 min or so to get over. So we did the climb 25 times and it definitely took its toll on the field. The race was all about positioning, because after the climb the course continued on a false flat for another mile or so. That's where all the carnage happened. People would open gaps and if you were too far back, that was it.

170 people started the race, and I think something like 70-80 finished in the lead group. People started getting dropped pretty early and I was still hanging around in the front group late in the race. Colavita came to the front with 4 to go to help Bissel chase the break and that's when I really started to feel the burn. I got dumped off the back with a lap and a half to go and rode in with some of the other groups that were scattered all over the road. I finished a half lap down, but wasn't sure where that put me because there were people everywhere, some 2 and 3 laps down. I'm sure getting results sorted out was a nightmare. It really sucks to come unglued from the field so late in the race, but I really had nothing left in my legs. Oh, I almost forgot. I crashed again! Some fools stacked it up right in front of me at the base of the climb on the second lap. So I'm watching the field ride away from me on the climb as I'm sitting there kicking at my pedal thinking this might be the end of my race. Luckily I got back on after a few minutes of sprinting. I was definitely breathing through my eyes after that one though.

So that's about all that's been going on our here bike racing wise. Steve has been an awesome host and his kids have been pretty hilarious. His 2.5 year old son Broadie told me he was going to pee on me and his almost 6 year old son Oscar stuffed a giant meat ball in his mouth and insisted on showing me his progress after every chew. His kids are great, but like Steve said it would be, staying with them is definitely good birth control.

110 mile RR starts in about 1.5 hours. This update brought to you from my mobile telephone... This time I wasn't driving though.