Friday, June 26, 2009

Game On!

Racing again this weekend. Once again I will be spending the weekend with Chad as we head east one state to Ohio for a weekend of racing with some of the other fellas. We will be racing Hyde Park Blast in Cincinnati and Tour of Grandview in Columbus. Both days should be good old hot and fast American criterium racing, the perfect final prep before the 50th Fitchburg Longsjo Classic.

Training has been going really well lately and I've finally started to feel like I did before the accident. I've also been able to finally come to terms with the heat and feel much better riding in it then I did two weeks ago. I felt pretty comfortable doing some time trial efforts yesterday in the 90 degree heat.

Well starting tomorrow the next 8 days should be and will be exciting and busy. Two races this weekend, pick up my dad from the airport on Monday, drive to Fitchburg on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the racing begins again on Thursday with a new TT. I'm a bit bummed that this year we will not be making the final acent up Mt. Wachusett due to some construction as it is the only 'uphill' finish all year.

Easy riding in the morning tomorrow then it's off to Ohio with Chad. I'll keep you all posted. More frequent updates, pictures, and maybe a video or two to follow over the next week.

Breeze On

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tour De Mt. Pleasant

Day 2 Road Race

The race today had us taking to the streets of Isabella County in central Michigan for a 105 mile road race. Anyone familiar with the area knows that there isn't much in the way of elevation gain or really anything other then flat farm fields and nice straight roads.

The plan was simple for Kenda, and that was to be in the break and try not to be out numbered by any other team. With other teams having as much as 8 the 3 of us knew that it was going to be tough. The first sprint of the day came up early, very early within the first 3 miles. I absolutely forgot all about it and couldn't figure out why everyone was sprinting so hard.

A mile later a few attacks started and by mile 10 I found myself off the front with Greg from the Panther team and soon enough Ben had came across. Greg and I just hit it and opened up a good gap for the break of 6. Two more riders did come up in the next 5 miles and one was Dan from Panthers and that was soon. From there it was Greg Christian and Dan Campbell (Panthers) Tom Burke, Brett Stewart, and myself doing the work as Ben, Mark and Graham sat on. We basically had two on two and with Ben sitting on with the others guys I figured this was a good situation and I would roll with it even though the others were just sitting on.

It took a while for the gap to snap wide open, but it eventual did and the 5 us just continued to work and stroll through Isabella county doing some excellent echelon on the open roads. Around 60-70 miles into the race a couple of others started to miss pulls and sit a little longer. Eventually once again it turned into Greg and myself doing much of the work, but also Tom doing a good amount. Once Dan started to sit a bit more I started to get a bit worried, but with Ben sitting on I figured we were good to go.

20 miles out from the finish Dan took a couple of digs and we got on it quickly. Then he did more of an attack and got clear for a mile or two. Once that was brought back Greg attack and that was brought back. Then I decided to go on the offense and counter, but that to was brought back. A quick sit up and soon Greg was back off with Mark and Graham in tow.

Unfortinelty Ben at this time was getting a few cramps. I tried chasing and got some help from Ben, Tom, and Brett, but we weren't closing fast enough or at all. I took some harder pulls and found myself going at it alone till Dan would come back with the others in tow, until the third time. I got a gap he came across and then it was just him and I chasing the other 3. I just didn't have the horsepower I normal have at this time and couldn't do enough to close the gap. We were within 10 seconds the last few km's but just didn't have enough at the end. Great job to Greg who rode like a hoss on the day.

Even though the day didn't finish off to well, Ben after finishing 6th on the day ended up taking the overall omnium at the Tour de Mt Pleasant and that is very nice cap to the weekend of racing. This was a great weekend of racing with a good amount of spectators and awesome support from the volunteers and the city itself. Hopefully it will continue next year and be even bigger.

Overall I was pretty happy with how I felt coming back after the injury lay off and really believe I'll be ready to go in couple of weeks at Fitchburg.

Breeze On

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tour De Mt. Pleasant

Day 1 Criterium

A new event this season to the Michigan circuit, and what wants to be on the national scene is the Tour de Mt Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant is home to the Central Michigan Chippewas and is in the middle of Michigan. All the local teams showed up with their 'A' rosters this includeds the Bissell team along with a few Regional Elite teams and of course yours truly Kenda Pro Cycling Team with Jim Baldesere, Ben Renkema and myself. We were a bit undermaned compared to the teams fully represented with 8, but we knew if we raced smart we strong enough to win.

Sixty or so guys took to the line under cloudy skies that soon cleared out and gave way to a beautiful sunny sky. The race from the get go was fast a furious, and from the very first few pulls on the bar I could feel a bit of pull on my shoulder. It took myself a few laps to get the feel of it and build some confidence as the race went on.

The Panther cycling team was very strong today and never let up sending one of there 8 guys up the road which attracted much attention from Bissell and Priority Health. Nobody on the day wanted anything to get to far up the road. The biggest and most worry some break of the day was the last solo rider of Greg a Panther rider taken off with 8 or so laps remaining in the race. He hung strong as a few riders from several teams took a pull to bring it closer and closer. It finally came back in the closing laps as Howard and another Panther rider took off on a lap and a half flyer.

Jim, Ben and myself had been riding together the last few laps close by and made our move heading into the last lap. I was the first to go and I caught up and passed the last two break away riders through corner 3 and into 4. At this point I had opened up a bit of gap which turned out ok as it put Paul Martin from the Panther team in the position to close it down while having Jim and Ben on his wheel. I swung off just before the 5th corner and Jim took it from there and dropped Ben off halfway through the finishing stretch. By then the field was lined way out and Ben just punched it and no one could get close to his wheel as he took the victory for Kenda.

Tomorrow is the road race and since we are no longer a tad under the radar it will be a bit tougher. We are up for the challenge and ready to go.

Breeze On

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Time to Racce

So I'm throwing myself back out there this weekend. I'm driving back up to the mother land for the Tour De Mount Pleasant. It looks like a really sweet event back in Michigan that is looking to be a top regional event. So myself and hopefully a few teammates will be there supporting the inaugural event and hopefully can come away with some stellar performances. So just an FYI for the field there will be no crashing aloud any where near me.

I've been back on the bike trying to find some fitness that I had before my accident and it seems to be taking it's sweet time. This should be the first real test considering I haven't done any thing that would cause me to pull on the bars hard i.e. climb hard out of saddle or sprinting. I have been able to get out and ride with my posse which has been helpful and they are always more then willing to attack me or make things harder on me. It didn't matter that I just broke my collorbone or that I just finished an interval they just saw those as opportunities to hit me while I was down. Thanks guys!

This past weekend I did a group ride in town that had options of a 11, 24, 42, or 65 mile routes. I have never seen so many riders at one ride around here. I believe anyone with a bike and a helmet in the area showed up. The best part of it was to see some younger guys, probably high school age, out on mountain bikes with flat pedals on the 45 mile route. I couldn't believe how far they were riding. I also some real youngings probably under 10 on the 24 mile route. It was pretty awesome to see people out enjoying themselves. Then there were some still riding after I completed the 65 and 42 mile routes! Talk about a long day for some.

So for my buddies back in Michigan I'm looking forward to getting back out there and seeing you guys. It should be a great weekend of racing. I haven't raced up there since last May and they always have a few really good races a year.

See you guys Saturday

Breeze On