Monday, April 14, 2014

Redlands

I guess it's better late then never. It has been over almost exactly a week now but I finally have time sit and write a few things. And even say that there is plenty of other things I could be doing. Like analyzing weekend power files, writing programs and putting together new baby things. I guess Monday will be busy.


Riding the rollers on Monday at work. 


Pinning up numbers for the first big race of the year

I flew out of Boulder late Tuesday night after working and having dinner with my wife and father in law as they were visiting Boulder. Tuesday afternoon I did get to do a nice staff ride with Frank and my roomate Tucker. It was nice to get one last one in before heading to the race and back to Indy afterwards. I arrived to the airport with plenty of time and even more time as my late flight was delayed. New arrival into Ontario was 11:15 pm. By the time I got the host house and in bed I had a solid 10 hours to sleep, eat and get ready for stage 1.


Team director Frey all smiles the first day. He wasn't that happy at midnight picking me up from the airport. Nobody would have been. 

I went into stage 1 just wanting to get some racing in and feel it out. It was a fairly technical with a short punchy climb and a downhill with a few corners. Luckily the roads were relatively wide and the spitting rain never came pouring down long. Luckily things settled down a bit after the neutral start and a break went up the road. Pretty much just went around in circles from there. I felt surprisingly good for being my first race in over a month. Our new team member Brecht felt really good as well and got a solid top 10.


Our European contingent. Matt on the left, Brecht on the right. 

The second day was the time trial up at Big Bear. There were rumors swirling that this might be cancelled because of snow up there and on the pass driving up. Luck enough for us the weather turned out to be quite spectacular. My race went exactly like last year. I had practically the same power, same time and same equipment.


The drive up to Big Bear.


I rode in the front with Max on the way down. I sat in the back on the way up and felt horrible on the drive up and for about an hour afterwards. It was way more miserable then the TT.

The third day was the long Beaumont Road Race Stage. On tap was 120 miles. The plan for me was just to wait till the last lap and make the front group, but I'd decided to help my teammates early and cover moves. I got up there with Ryan and started going for the move. It took a while but I went hard in the beginning of the third lap and got a group going. It was a little big and some were sitting on and some would skip turns. Very incohesive. We still managed to get up to 5 minutes, but by the last lap everyone dicked around enough for us to get caught 7km from the finish. Brecht finished off strong again with another top 10.


Morning ride before the criterium. I was a little disappointed in Matt. He seems to have lost his Euro flair as he wasn't wearing leg warmers. Last year he wore them when it was 75, this morning it was maybe 60. 


Come to sunny and warm southern California they say. I think I wore long sleeves every day but the last. At least it was mostly dry. 

The fourth day and my least favorite was the criterium. After spending a lot of energy in the break the day before and the racing adding up I was a bit worried about how I would feel. Luckily it was the best I've felt in a criterium in a while. It might have been a little easier as Max got in the break early and we could just sit back and roll it. The break actually stayed away and Max finished 5th.

Sunday brought the famous Sunset Road Race. It is one of the if not the toughest circuits in the US. The race starts with two short crit laps which have points on the line each lap then KOM points with time bonuses the first time up the climb on the circuit. The race of course started fast and by the first time over the KOM the race was split into many groups. Through the feed zone it did settle down, but the field continued to whittle down as normal each lap. By halfway through there may have been 60 riders left (half). We still had three with Matt, Cortlan and myself.


They had a good live stream of the race and Maddy was watching. Glad I got out front so she could see that I was actually racing. 


Hoping a group would come across and help out a bit. 

A break eventually went but the pace never let up and the 4 guys didn't get much time. They were caught with 2.5 circuits remaining. Once they were caught I ended up getting off the front. I was hoping for a group to come up to me. I went down the hill and made it over the KOM alone with 1 guy chasing. Unfortunately he and I didn't have much of gap and it came back just before the feedzone. I recovered on the downhill to make it over in the group the last time and to the closing circuits. I wasn't able to do much the rest of the race. Every since I did Redlands the first time in 2005 I wanted to be able to get through and race this race. I never got back until last year and flatted out but it felt good to be there this year.

Our host house was pretty amazing and made us some great dinners. They were also out at the races cheering us on. Nothing better then steak tacos after a hard week of racing. 

That night we went to hotel airport as most of us had early flights. We hung out for a while at the hotel bar that night and had a good time. Some of us also had some giant pieces of cake. Mine was carrot so it's ok it was healthy! 

Now am back home in Indy waiting on the arrival of Carolyn Rose. Should only be a few weeks. I'll be racing this Friday in Winston Salem as long as we don't have an early arrival

Breeze On

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Redlands

Redlands starts tomorrow!

Things are a little different this year. Last year I had left a two week long training camp and showed up to Redlands a few days early. This year I will be showing up a few hours before. Last year I did a pre race ride on the Sunset Course. This year my pre race ride was our lunch ride at work. Although I do have to say the ride was pretty awesome and we even stopped for lunch afterwards! Last year we picked up Erik Hamilton to guess ride for us. This year he is our mechanic. Last year it was 4 stages this year it is 5. My mind is blown!

I can't wait to meet my new teammates for the first time at the breakfast table tomorrow or even not until the pre race meeting an hour before the start. Luckily with our new Youtube page I know what they look and sound like.














Our unofficial team photo last year on the Sunset course. 

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In the break at Redlands my first year as a pro

I can't believe with how long I've been racing that I've only done Redlands twice. I did it my first year as a pro and last year. I'm really looking forward to the Sunset Loop Road race this year. It is one of the better race course of the year. Hopefully the training and living at altitude has helped.

You can watch Saturdays criterium and the finish of the Sunset Loop this weekend on Velonews. >>

Frank has seemed to be worried that I haven't done any races this year before. He must have forgot I did the Carter Lake Road Race on February 23rd. Also every ride I do is like a race just as Tucker. Wish us luck.

Breeze On

Monday, March 31, 2014

Work. On a Weekend!?!

Well I did get a team camp this year. This past weekend we had a special camp for FasCat Athletes only. We did threshold test, bike fits, had presentations, power analysis, and of course some fantastic riding.

Friday we did a ride in the early afternoon. The first two hours were easy and relatively flat. Some had just flew in and did a threshold test so it was a nice way to ease into it. Then for the few brave souls who wanted me more, we did more. We headed straight up Old Stage over to Lefthand and back up and over Lee Hill. This third hour wasn't so nice and the campers got an appetizer of climbing. Everyone seemed to stretch the legs out a bit.











Rolling the Flats outside of Boulder


















Coach Tucker and I excited after the first days ride. 














Dinner the first night at 4580 next to FasCat. Steak and Frites. So Euro!

Saturday we headed out as a group back to Lefthand Canyon. This time we headed all the way up the nearly 4,000 foot climb to Ward. Clothes were stripped off immediately at the bottom. Then they were immediately put back on at the top as the temperature was a good 20 degrees colder and the wind was blowing. But the ride from there is almost all downhill back to Lyons. Once in Lyons we had Cokes and treats as we regrouped. Then we headed back to FasCat the long way. It was nearly a 4 hour adventure. Some even didn't get enough and rode out to Sunshine and did 4 more miles of climb.















On the Peak to Peak Highway above Ward. Yeah it's a little colder and winder up there this time of year.

Sunday we rolled easy for a good 20 mile warm up before tackling one of Boulders most famous climbs, Flagstaff. Everyone put what they had left into the climb and emptied the tank. There are some extremely fast FasCat athletes. I took a bit of short cut so I could meet them on the climb and snap some pictures so they could remember the moment. Most of them even had energy to smile!













My coworkers and I on Flagstaff. Matti is missing as he had to go find an athlete who missed the turn off and did SuperFlag.

I can't believe I get paid to do this.

Breeze On