Monday, April 27, 2009

Brown County Road Race

I did the Brown County Road Race again this year and had a blast again.

I want to start off by saying my dad is a tough man. He did the Willow Time Trial the day before, and not only did he average right around 40kph for the time trial, but he beat his best time there that he did 7 years ago at a spritely 45 years old by 7 seconds at 52. Then he hoped in the car and made the 5hr drive to Indy and started this race at 9am the follow day.

It's not an easy course, especially for someone coming from the farm fields of Michigan, actually it's not even an easy course for a Colombian mountain goat. However he went out there and gave it a shot while most would just decide it was to hard before even trying it.

The man early on going through the switchback. A face of determination, and it looks like he's not even breathing out of his mouth!

The man again, but this time after a few. Not alcoholic beverages, but laps.

My plan for the race was to just go hard and finish up a good hard week of training. It was going just like last year. After the first lap there were 8, the following lap down to six. At the top I started to just roll away as I wanted to keep the pace up and keep going hard. I sat up this time not wanted to ride alone that long. Two laps later I put in a really hard attack up the climb and we were down to 4. The following lap we were done to 3, myself, some guy Roth from Colorado, and Dan Campbell (who is riding very well).

The attack

Around the Switchback.

A few hundred meters to go till the top.

From that point forward I just wanted to keep going hard and not let up to get a good workout. I was just making sure we were still cranking on the rolling section on the the top. I was fine having company and they were riding very good. I figured we'd all go to the line together. Roth however decided to attack at the bottom the last time up, Dan followed, and I sat there doing god knows what. It's like I had a brain fart, or that I forgot we were racing. I finally got my ass in gear and got up right after the top. Then getting close to the finish Dan mentioned us doing a drag race next to each other to the finish, so I hopped up next to him, but Roth decided he didn't want to do that. My sprints not the best, but I figured if I could jump slighty before I could do ok, unfortunelty that turned out to be a 40 second sprint, which of course doesn't turn out to well for the guy on the front. You can't really see the finish till your on top of it, and I took a gamble thinking it was closer then it was and lost. Roth came in first and Dan was 2nd.

The trio climbing.

Still a good time was had by all, well maybe not. I bet the guys we lapped just before the finish were slightly happy in the fact that they weren't going to have to do another lap, yet still be in the top 10.

I must also pass some props to the juniors out there doing the race. I was watching my dad's race which was at the same time and one of the junior coaches was in the same spot watching. These kids, some as young as 10 were just giving there all to get there bikes over this mountain. It was really great to see them out there challenging themselves in hopes to make themselves better. That is all how I started. I never didn't do something because it was to hard (and some of my old results will show that!), but I believe that is what will make you better. KEEP IT UP!

One of the many juniors giving it a go. Sweet.

One last note on this one. One thing that suprised me is that I did suffer my first cramp ever. It wasn't on the 10th, 11th, or even 12th lap. No it was 4hrs later on probably my 30th trip to the basket of chips at the Mexian restaurant in my middle finger. It came from nowhere, and I was shocked, while the rest of the table found amuzement in my pain.

Breeze On

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tour of Battenkill

Ok it's been four days since, so time for an update. If you've been reading cyclingnews/velonews, or others blogs this race was as tough as anyone has said. Each lap consisted of a total of 100km's with 4500ft of climbing, and 25km of dirt roads. Saturday the "warm-up" race was 1 lap with an additional 30km in the beginning and Sunday was two full laps.

Saturday's game plan was quite simple, rest as much as possible, but don't miss any moves. The break of the day went rather early, in the first 20km and are man Ty had it covered. As a team we were out numbered in the break with other teams having 2 and BMC with 3 so we massed to the front quickly ready to bring it back and reshuffle, but thought about it and decided to let Ty show his stuff. Ty was having a great ride till he had a mechanical 35km from the finish, but never gave up as he spent the rest of the race chasing and fighting to stay ahead of the peleton that was do anything but charging 15 minutes behind.

So the rest of the team and myself were riding back in the group touring the country side of upstate New York. Everything was fine until it decided to rain. After getting time gaps of 7 to 9 to 15 minutes I knew the second feed zone just so happened to be at our hotel drive way and decided this would be a good place to call it a day. Apparently I wasn't the only one as at least half of the peloton pulled out as well. A few of the dudes decided to stick it out and represent.

Sunday was much better weather. The race started off fairly fast as the first sections of dirt were no more then 10km from the start. Again the break went early, only 2 riders this time, so no worries, well at least that is what you would think. We continued hard for a while and soon enough the pace settled down in the middle of the first loop. The last 30km of the loop is brutal. This part of the race contained the longer, tougher dirt road sections, many rollers, and good size stair stepper climb 10km out from the finish. The pace immediately picked up the first time through this section and 5km into it I get a flat. Chad without hesitation threw me his bike and I got on my way with help from Parrish. After 10km of chasing I finally made it back on and was safely in the group. Unfortunately though during the chase a rock came up and bent the front derailleur and I had some chain rubbage, but wasn't about to stop now. I rode it as it was over the climb before the finish and at the top switched back to my bike. Thanks for the ride Chad!

There was so much chaos in the second half of the race. Scottie punctured twice, once with Chad and Parrish, Swain, and Applegate all went back to bring them back up. Unfortunately after the second puncture of Scottie and Chad throwing me his bike there days were over early after some early mishaps.

The next lap started off very fast through some cross winds and the chase was on for the early break which was still out there. Eventually the team that was chasing decided to just throw a guy solo up the road to chase and the pace let up. Then another group of 3 rolled away as the peloton seemed content to sit and wait till the end. A couple of teams started to throw guys up on the front to bring back all the riders up the road. We caught the three before the final feedzone and 30km of hell before the finish.

As soon as we got through the feedzone the pace picked up. Then we hit a long gradual uphill dirt road section. The race began to string out and exploid as we were over 170km into it. As soon as we hit the section I flatted in the previous lap, I just so happened to flat again. I got a wheel change from the car thinking my day was over as what was left of the peloton was flying up the road and riders who were popping and got popped were trickling by.

I got some words of encouragement from the boys in the car and the team had sacrificed for me all day, (also my wife told me never to quit and I do what she says) so I just gave it all I had. I chased over the rolling dirt road section passing riders and not worrying about anything but the group up the road. I was able to get back to the caravan and jumped my way through the cars. As soon as I got pass the last car I saw the group was split so I just went right pass the second group to the first group. It all came back together before the final stair step climb.

In the beginning of the climb a few riders rolled away and I wasn't able to go with it. I was pretty burned from the chase so I had to settle with where I was. Coming into the final sprint I got on Tony Cruz's wheel and hung on for the first 100meters before I couldn't really keep on it anymore and hit the wind, and got passed in the last 20 meters by a couple of guys.

Not quite the result I or the team was looking for, but the team road in great support of each other. Everyone sacrificed themselves for the good of the team. I didn't really mention Bennet, but I should as he was always riding in the top 20 and right around me if I needed anything. We have an amazing group of guys.

Well I guess that's it for my boring race report. Next up is Brown County Road Race on Sunday, followed the following week with Sunny King, and then with Joe Martin.

Breeze On

Friday, April 17, 2009

battenkill update

Finally arrived at my uncle's house last night or rather early this morning as it was just after 4am. It was starting to hurt stopping fir gas and such and seeing the gps eta time extend to further into Friday. No worries as we got a halfway decent amount of rest up in the woods before driving the final 45 minutes.

The hotel we are staying at is some sort of church retreat/camp. It has it's ups and downs. Ups are it's quiet, excellent views, and we are spaced out in our rooms and there is a cafeteria. Downs are no tv, you have to constantly think about how your acting or what your saying (of course not a problem for me), and it has a cafeteria.

A couple of us scouted out the final 50km today and from what I saw it's going to be brutal. The dirt sections are long, but the gravel seems to be on the low side which is good. We didn't even do the socalled 18% dirt climb or the longest so plenty of action which on Sunday we will do twice. There is a sweet 5 minute dirt climb 10km out from the finish which should play a huge part into the finish.

Later in the evening we did a meet and great with the locals. The best part was meeting a youngster and when we asked if he was racing he said he was doing the cat 4 race. I thought he was like myself at Toons many moons ago looking like I was 12 in the cat 4 race, but only he was actual 12! Heck Scottie was 24 when he did his first cat4 race. Then we did the press conference that many must have not gotten the memo as only 1 lonely reporter was there. Heck the news crew that was there the prevouis two hours took off minutes before. It was odd.

FYI we are not spooky-kenda if you saw the press release on Velonews. Thats Is something completely different. Hopefully everyone will know who we are by the end of the weekend.

Phone blogging again. Your patients with my mistakes is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the support,
Breeze On

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Driving to Battenkill as I type. Well Todd is doing the driving. I'm taking care of the keeping legs propped up on cooler and of course blogging. Just about an hour ago we left the team wharehouse, aka Chad's garage, and loaded up car 1 with a bunch of goodies and are on our way. Kenda supplied us with some special kriterium tires in 25's for the race. Thanks KENDA!

So far the travel has gone quite well. In fact we stopped by Marco's and I was able to get photos for my racing license that chad has sent out threatning emails for since camp in February. Sorry about the delay, but my dog ate my picture paper.

Ok I think we are under 500 miles to go better get my first nap in or I'll run out of time before I get to my third.

Typed on phone (so more errors then the normal bunch)

Breeze On

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Update

Chad wanted an update. I told him I didn't have anything to update on. I still stand by that as well.

Only a few more days till Battenkill. I am more then ready, and am really excited about doing the race with the new team. After Battenkill will be one of the best races of the year, Brown County Road Race here in Indiana, followed by Sunny King (an NRC Crit) and I'll finish off the four week block of racing with Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas.

Breeeze On