Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jingle Cross

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I'm sitting here this morning with Mathgeek and Curly watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on tv. I've been trying to get a post done for Jingle Cross since last weekend but it was just not happening until today. With only 3 days at home between the USGP in Louisville and Jingle Cross nothing got done around the house. This week I paid the price for traveling so much and had to focus on family life. Good thing my coach had planned a mid season rest week.

What can I say about Jingle Cross that hasn't been said. 3 days of racing on craziest courses we do all year. The main feature is Mt. Krumpet, we go up it 2 different ways and of course, what goes up must come down. Then there is the part that I like, the technical turns through the barns. Overall the course is pretty balanced. The big difference this year was that for the 1st time the temperature was warm and there was no rain, snow, or mud.

Friday Day 1:

We got to the venue in plenty of time to set up our tents and pre-ride the course before race time. My race was one of the early races so darkness was not an issue. After a pretty easy training week I was a little worried I would be flat and that ended up being the case. After a good start it ended up with 3 of us in a battle for the win. I definitely had a advantage on the decent, my Garmin said I hit 28mph coming down. Unfortunately it could'nt overcome how slow I was running up the hill and I ended up 3rd.

Helen Wyman going up the ascent of Mt. Krumpet. We had to go up this both Friday and Sunday.
Saturday Day 2:
I'm still working on my new warm up routine and on this day it felt perfect. Got to the line and my legs felt great. I jumped into the lead from the start and got the King of the Mountain Prize for leading over the top of Mt. Krumpet on the first lap. Today we rode up the climb so I felt like I was on a good day. This is where the race went bad. The 35+ race started 1 minute before us and we were all ready going through the back end of the field. We hit the swiitchback downhill and some of the 35+ guys started crashing. I chose to go low and it was a huge mistake. One of the guys flipped over his bike and hit me on the way down. I went sailing over the bars catching my knee between the frame and the front wheel twisting my knee. On the way down I hit wooden post with my thigh, snapping it off at the ground. I wanted to get up, tried, but couldnt stand. Eventually my leg settled down unough to limp back to medical. The guys from the hospital cleaned up my wound and packed my knee in ice. I could only hope it settled down before Day 3.
Sunday Day 3:
After a night of ice and stretching I woke up feeling pretty good. Minimal swelling in the knee and leg. My warm up went well and I was ready to race. After another good start I got into the lead and began to strech it out to 15 seconds. Once again we had to run up Mt. Krumpet but this time we had to jump on the bike and ride the rest of the way to the top. After that there was the decent to the bottom. Unfortunately, the on the bike climbing and decent could not overcome my run/walk pace up the climb. Half way through the last lap I got caught and even though I felt like I could of put some time on the other rider through the technical section before the sprint, I really had no interest in battle that would ensue to do it. One hard crash was enough and it was going to take some agressive riding to make the pass. So it came down to a sprint and I just didn't have enough gas to get around him at the line.
Overall it was a good weekend. 3rd Friday, 2nd Sunday, and in contention for the win  both days. I feel like I had my best chance to win on saturday but that's racing. The weekend was a success for the whole TREK CXC gang as everybody had great rides.

Andrew had a few issues Friday night.
The winner of our 45+ race didnt show for the podium so Mike and I shared the top step. This guy is one of my favorite guys to race against. Great rider that impresses me everytime I see him. His son fast and heading to EuroCross camp soon. How he handles training and working with his son, and everything else insires me to do more with my boys.
Matt Shriver getting the holeshot in Sundays race.

Matt on the Log Roll. 6 wooden post less that a wheel lenght apart.

Mark racing the Elite race. We had to make sure he didn't score a UCI point or we was out for Masters Worlds. By far the most stressfull part of the weekend.

I saw this picture from a race in europe. They get them started young there.
Looks like it's back to training after todays Thanksgiving extravaganza. Time to start getting ready for the Final USGP weekend in Bend, OR.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Louisville USGP

Last weekend was the 5th and 6th race of the TREK USGP of Cyclocross series in Louisville KY. The regional part of the TREK CXC crew picked Joe and I up at the Independence store on Thursday and we headed off to Louisville. Friday we finished off the drive and got to the venue in plenty of time to set up our area and then pre-ride the course.

The course itself was much tougher than past races at this venue with more technical areas and long sand sections. Overall it was a pretty good course for me with a balance between the technical part on the hills and the long grassy straightaways. The real issue was going to be the long sand section and the 4 forced dismounts every lap.These are not your normal dismounts either. Just one set of barriers on the flat and then 1 set of railroad ties on a hillside and 1 set of rock barriers on the other. Then there are the stairs of the Green Monster flyover to contend with.

Saturdays race came and I made some changes to my warm up procedure before the race to see if it made a difference. With a 6th place I really cant tell if it helped or not. Sunday it was more of the same. I did get a good start and right away my teammate Mark got away with another rider and I was with another rider 5 seconds back. Half way through the 2nd lap I messed up in the long sand pit and lost a few seconds on the other rider, We got to the next road section and as the other rider went through the wind blew the metal fencing across the road blocking the course. At that point I had to sit there and wait for some spectators to run over and open up the course. By that time some chasing riders caught up to me and we were a group of riders fighting for 4th through 8th. The battle lasted the rest of the race and I was planning on attacking on the last lap. When we got to the place I wanted to attack I jumped, got a gap, and crashed on the up hill barrier section. With a half a lap to go the race was over and I ended up 8th.

Kind of a bummer. The results were not what I wanted but it was still a fun weekend. Hanging out with the TREK CXC crew is a good time and the weather was great.

Sundays chase group. fun to race with Tim and Mike again.

Jay, Mark, and Mark warming up. Mark had kind of a rough weekend but retained the Leaders jersey going into the final round.

It's true that Ryan Trebon is really tall but this picture makes his bike look like a kids bike.

Emily Batty came from Canada to race for TREK.

Matt Shriver on the Green Monster. Those steps are huge.
The TREK CXC compound. We had a great spot next to the flyover and really close to the pit.
Not much time to rest this week, store inventory on Wednesday and then Friday its off to the 3 days of Jingle Cross.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Colivita Cup / Zonhoven Superprestige Cross

Last weekend was a good one for cyclocross lovers. In the KC area we had the Colivita Cup/Boulevard Cup cross races and on the web was the Superprestige Zonhoven. My training plan had me racing the Colivita race on Saturday and training on Sunday. That worked out really well for me as I had a ton of stuff to get done around the house before the next round of race traveling begins. Since I'm such a slug in the morning I decide to race the masters race since it was the first race of the day. Best to get my butt moving early so I dont sit around drinking coffee all morning. I got to the venue and Britton and the rest of the Colivita/Volker crew set up a pretty fun course. Fast and flowy with a fair amount of climbing.

Once again the masters category was huge! The 40+ race went first and the 50+ 30 sec later. Steve from 360 took the hole shot and right away we ran into the rear end of the 40+ race. I put my old motocross skills to use and got through the lappers and into the lead by the end of the lap. From there on I tried to keep consistent laps and work on my cornering . Ended up winning the race and tried to get out of there quick. It never works, I just enjoy hanging out at the races and talking to everyone so it usually takes a while to leave. But I did get home early, by time to open race was starting I was home cleaning out the gutters and hanging Christmas lights. Got a lot done on a nice warm day.

Sunday we got up and had a nice breakfast of fruit and waffles and then settled down to watch the Superprestige race on the computer. If you missed it you missed a good one. The last lap had me holding my breath it was so exciting. I usually don't get that fired up watch a race on tv but the course was cool and the battle riveting. Below I have both video versions, the last lap and then the whole race.

This is the whole race
and this is the last lap version
Getting ready to hit the road again. The next round of the USGP series in Louisville this weekend and the following weekend is Jingle Cross. Louisville will be fun since we will be racing on the course that will be used for the Elite World Championships in February. Then theres Jingle Cross, 3 days of craziness that's all ways fun.