Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wisconsin World Championships

My main goals in Chequamegon, given the super scary mass start and pack/road style racing, are to keep rubber side down and to be in the front group coming out of the Rosies field (for those that haven't done the race it Rosies field is where the race goes from pavement to ski trail).
On the pavement lead out, there was a large LOUD crash right behind me...it actually hit my rear wheel. I was a couple feet from being hauled into it and when it happened, my heart almost stopped. I found out later it was two of my friends and really strong racers, Aric Harlan and Scotty KJ...I hope you guys are alright!
After that, there was a split in the field as the 4 wheeler lead-out dropped the hammer (twisted their wrist a little more=) and I was spun out in the lead group in my biggest gear...that means in the low 30mph range. We hit Rosies and I was in a long line but still in the front group. Then crap hit the fan for me....About a mile later, one of the Grandstay guys had a yard sale that saw him tossing the bike right in front of me. I hit his bike and went OTB landing on my head and neck. I got up, remounted but was still quite disoriented. The next 5 miles were all about collecting myself and making sure the damage wasn't severe. My back and right calf hurt but I definitely didn't need to stop.
The rest of the race was uneventful and I was riding at a tempo pace in the second group not under very much pressure. I was ok with this though because I has lost my impetus to go hard and was sore from the crash. I ended up just inside the top 20 and definitely didn't have the race I could have.
On a more awesome note, Jeff seems to be back in form. I raced him a couple times earlier this year and figured that he was only a couple weeks of training/rest away from being back at the top. It is too bad he couldn't hold Page off.
This morning, my neck is quite stiff, my calf has a new bulge from swelling, but my legs feel fine so I am going out on the roady for a nice fall ride...during Tegan's nap of course=)
St. Cloud next w/e will wrap up the season for me. I thought about pulling the plug, but it is such a fun course that I can't pass it up. Oh, and CX will be thrown in as time and body permit.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Mapleblog

Lame title I know, but I couldn't think of anything better tonite.
Labor Day weekend up at Maplelag for a stage race and MNSCS#9 has become a tradition in our family. Jen and Tegan get as excited for it as I do!
I took the day off on Friday so we could roll out early, avoid traffic, and have some R&R once we arrived. It worked out great because Jake took me on a lap that afternoon and showed me all the fast lines.
Saturday morning was the time trial w/ the additional carrot of $50 extra to anyone that could break 10 minutes and win. The course was 3 miles of up and down ski trail with several sections of singletrack. It included suicide hill of course. My winning time last year was several seconds over 10 minutes but I figured I could do a little better. I went out too hard and while 10 minutes doesn't sound like much, this race hurt more than any other during the weekend. I finished up with a time of 9:50...point something. TJ came across soon after with a time of 9:50...but a couple tenths of a second longer. I wasn't counting my chickens though because Doug hadn't come in and he was fresh off a win at the state road race. He pulled an even faster time so I had to settle for second in the middle of a rigid 29" Superfly sandwich.
The rigid 29" Superfly vs 26" Trek (I rode my rigid 9.9) continued in the STXC. I was going good and not struggling to hang w/ TJ and Doug when we broke away. I went to the front and started to push it...up the steep side of the bowl my bike stopped. My wife got a perfectly timed pic of it: I zoomed way in on the pic and it looks like my tire is in a rut the width of one tire. How it got there???? The bike was pointed forward...hmm. I am sure I couldn't do it again even if I tried. Anyway, I went airborne sideways, and I quickly remounted w/ about 10 PSI in my front tire (it burped). Soon after the chase group caught us. From then on, I couldn't use the legs that I had because I had to corner like I had never ridden a bike before. Oh well, I finished 4th unable to really sprint.
The XC is on one of the coolest courses in the midwest. It is 1420 feet of climbing per lap, 3 laps, and is all punchy climbing with the longest sustained vertical gain less than 100 feet. Combine that with temps near 90 and you are bound to hurt. Doug went out like a wild man and TJ and I followed. I shouldn't have followed immediately because I popped and started making dumb mistakes. I let SamO go and rode for a while with Eric O. Later in the lap, we caught Doug who did the same thing to himself that he did to me. After that lap, I went to the front and started to pull away from Eric. I came close to pulling back TJ and SamO by the end...45 seconds and 30 seconds respectively. I wish I had it to redo because there were two dumb crashes that were just due to being so cross-eyed. Those cost me some of the time I needed in the end.
After the race a bunch of us headed for a dip in the lake. Man, it felt SO good on the legs. Every race should end that way. Follow that with Steak for dinner and you have some happy mountain bikers.
In the Omnium I ended up second to TJ who won it for a second year. SamO had 3rd, but more importantly for him, he wrapped up the MNSCS title. Of course I wanted to win it, but I couldn't have lost it to a more stand-up hard working guy. Nice work Sam!
Another noteworthy performance was turned in by Jake Richards. The kid is a mad man on the single track and can clearly generate the watts too because he was Top 10 in the Expert Omnium..in his first set of expert races.
Skinnyski.com has a ton of pics and all the results.
I only have 2 races (other than cx) left on my schedule, Cheq and MNSCS#10 in St.Cloud.
Cheers and it was great to hang out w/ everyone who was up at Maplelag=)