Saturday, May 26, 2007

Super Triple Top Secret

So top secret that we had to leave the state: Ben showing some wrestling moves?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So Pro

Well, it is official. USA Cycling has granted me a Pro license=) It is pretty wild to think that 6 years ago I did my first race, a 10km sprint series race at Murphy doesn't seem that long ago!
Either way, now I can talk about how "pro" things are say stuff like "that is so Pro" =)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road Race?

All I can say about MNSCS #1 is that it felt more like a road race than a mountain bike race. I rode in the front pack of 8 riders for the entire race. Sometimes it was fast, most of the time it was like a tempo road ride. There were a few attempts by others to break away from the pack, but all were futile. I never even got the opportunity to be at the front to try to get away...I don't know that I could have anyway. With the course being single track except through the start/finish and only having about 10 feet of climbing per lap, separation and passing just didn't happen.

In the last few hundred meters, Paul, Chris and I had broken away a little...I think we were all in our biggest gears. Paul nipped Chris on the line and I took 3rd. Paul and Chris had the EXACT same time (to the tenth of a second) and I was .1 seconds back. Our bikes were all overlapping as we crossed the line...I have never experienced a finish like this in a mountain bike race. Ben finished strong in 7th place. He too rode with the lead pack the entire race.
I don't know what changed but this race had a much different dynamic than last year where Chris and I each rode home solo for second and third behind Doug.

I am neither happy nor disappointed with the result today. It is what it is, and it is not what it is not;)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not what keeps me coming back...

Last nights Buck Hill course/race was not what keeps me coming back to mountain bike races. Because of all the construction (snow making system) they had to send us the opposite way around the hill...the problem is that much of the course is sand, so when you switch directions, the climbs are all break-bump sandboxes which aren't that fun to ride on. I should have had the dual suspension for SURE!
Either way, I rode hard but within myself when Fisher went out fast. I had a few mishaps with the semi-slick tires on the sand but I recovered fine. On the second of four laps, I made the mistake of being 4th in the lead group (so about 3-5 seconds separated us all). Jeff, Sam and I got caught behind lap traffic (yes, lap traffic on our second lap=) that had let Fisher by, and he had 15 seconds immediately. We pulled him back with some hard work. The same thing happened on the 3rd lap to Sam and I except she let Sam by but not me. He had 10 seconds quickly, and I basically gave up. From there I pedalled hard between lapped riders and the I just waited patiently until they let me by. Sometimes the legs are there to do well, but it just doesn't come together...
Fisher ended up with the win and Jen won the womens, so the Velo Rochester group still finished well!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Video From the Race

Paul Hanson provides video coverage and commentary of the UCI race via a helmet cam on his blog:

SWEET! Thanks Paul.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A UCI filled Mother's Day

In they eyes of USA Cycling and the UCI, Cycings two top governing bodies for US riders, the Maplelag UCI Mtb Spring Opener was the most important race on my schedule for 2007. The race has Cat 2 status which means it is just below a national race on the importance scale. The main difference between this race and a normal MNSCS race is that Pros, SemiPros, Experts, etc. all race separately. Also the cash payout is higher=)
Jay, Jonelle, and the rest of the Maplelag crew always put on a top notch event and this was no exception. The course was in perfect condition and Jay had us doing 4 x 30 minute laps. The cool thing is that the Pro race on Saturday (won by Jeff Hall) was the same course so we could compare times.
The semipro field was the same size as the pro field, eight, and most of the top riders from the region were represented in one of the two races. 3 of the top WORS/National semi pro racers came over for the race: Mike Phillips, Chris Peariso, and Jesrin Geier.
From the gun, Mike took off like a wild man. He has been working over the SemiPro field at the national events, and I knew he would be a strong contender. Chris and I were actually last going into the single track. Experience told me to take my time and not blow up. Well, a few 44x11 efforts later, I was about 10 seconds in back of Mike. From then on, I just rode my own race. The course is EXTREMELY punch and tight. There are a few flat xc ski trails, but all the singletrack, 3/4 of the course, is up or down. I let things flow and caught Mike mid way through the lap. After going through the start finish, I took the lead and never looked back. Mike was there for a good while, but I was at/near my limit and with 3 laps I wanted to set a consistent pace.
By the time I entered my 3rd lap, I had over 2 minutes on the rest of the field. It is a good thing too because the 85 degree heat was taking its toll. I started cramping...I drank most of my bottle right away and rode the lap in damage control mode. Other people must have been hurting as well, because I ended up with 3.5 minutes on second place. Fisher rolled in with a strong 4th place. He was riding in 2nd place when he had an atomic bonk.
Another positive about the result was that my time would have put me 3rd in the men's pro race.
Jen Meyer ripped it up in the Expert Womens (there is no Semi-Pro for women). She had her game face on all day according to my wife. It is good to see her so strong and winning in the WOW jersey...for those who don't know, VeloRochester and WOW are brother/sister clubs.
Tegan had the best seat in the house and was laughing at dad while he suffered.
A camera man caught this oops...and SAVE of mine. A momentary lapse of concentration is all it takes. Thanks to Bruce from Skinnyski for most of these pics...he always does a great job of covering the local events=)
Fisher did it there right way. In 1.5 laps he went from 7th to 2nd. I want to say a special thanks to my Wife who took care of Tegan before and during my race when she should have been getting a Mother's Day pedicure. Without you sweetie, I wouldn't be racing!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Buck is Back

The Buck Hill series kicked off tonite and I think it gave everyone there including myself a good kick in the pants. I haven't been feeling well since the cold, wet, muddy race last Saturday so I wasn't expecting much.
The race started 15 minutes late, so we had a nice long time at the starting line to let the legs cool down...seriously though, it was fun to chat with everyone again (especially the dude that was riding what he claimed to be a 17 lb hardtail). From the gun, Fisher, Sam O, Paul and I took off. I though the pace was reasonable especially on the climbs. I didn't want to try any early attacks because, again, the legs just haven't been there this week.
On the second lap on the back side climb, I gave it a punch. Paul held on for about a minute according to him and from there I rode solo. They added some single track to the course which is much to my liking and I think it will help my race performance there this year. I was able to ride it home with almost a 1.5 minute gap...much more than I expected.
Chris ended up second and Jen Meyer won the womens, so that left Velo Rochester/WOW with a 1st and 2nd in the mens and 1st in the womens. Sweet!
After the race Tegan and I got to hang out and try a few of the kid bikes. He wants something carbon fiber but I was trying to convince him that wood would be a good way to start. You can tell by the look on his face that he wasn't to sure about that.

Maplelag is this weekend...hopefully it doesn't rain (it has every time I have raced there).

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Trail Benefit?

On Saturday, I headed up to Elk River for the Hillside Blast trail benefit race. This is the third time I have done this race, and I keep coming back because I love the trail. There isn't too much to say about how the race went, and I am not sure we "benefited"the trail by riding on it in the mud. I started pretty fast, had a 30 second gap on the field in the first 10 minutes of racing, and then it started raining.

The trail looked like this.

I had to make a decision to either quit or finish. Finishing meant wasting a $180 dollar pair of Stan's rotors and riding with no brakes (stan's rotors simply don't work int the wet and the special coating wears off). I hate quitting more than loosing money, so I finished...on semi-slick tires no less.
I will take the win, and the muddin' experience. I am not sure if I will replace the rotors...stainless may be the way to go.
Tegan was like "screw you guys, I am taking a nap."

Sunday, I headed to Rochester to attend my brother Brad's Eagle Scout award Ceremony. I am really proud of him. That makes 2 of us Eagle Scouts in one family=)

Ben doesn't update his blog, but he did the WORS Race on Sunday and finished 5th. Our next race together will be the Spring Cup. Velo Rochester will be out in full force at that race.