Sunday, September 24, 2006

CCCX #1 Prunedale Race Report

Anyone for some Zone 5 + training?

I rode my first Elite CX race today. The field was large and included non-other than Barry Wicks (Kona) , along with most of the fastest local Pro/A riders and quite a few "class of 05" B's, fun but FU#$%N hard. I managed to get in 4~ warmup laps before hand. The course was cool. To bad it wasn’t wet, or at least not so dusty. I’d say it’s one of the best courses I have ridden. It had it all. Fast up/ downhill sections broken up by some barriers/ log. Adding to that were 2 slippery chicanes running through different baseball diamonds, a big run up and some cool single track.

I tried my best to get a good start positon but still ended up in the 3rd row. It was a long drag up a false flat then dropped into a chicane and then into the dirt. There was a lot of crowding and some of the guys in front weren’t ready when the whistle went, so there was a bit of bobbling. By the time we hit the dirt it strung out and I can see I’m around 25th.

Well 25th was not where I wanted to be. I didn’t panic. I focused on finding my groove and being as smooth as possible. I was picking up positions here and there for a few laps and getting into a groove when, on a bumby downhill, my chain jammed up in my derailleur! I had to pull over and it took me way too long to fix it, a group of about 5 guys followed by 2 more go flying buy and I remounted and tried to pick it up easy and not sprint like crazy to catch up. I worked hard for for a few more laps and started to reel in some of the guys that passed me. I got 2-3 back and could see more riders up-ahead. I was working hard but ended up in a battle with some Joselyn’s guy. He would pass me here and there but I would take him back on the fast uphill/ downhill portions. Then with 3 laps to go. Barry, and Simon lap me on the run in to the finish. Well Objective #1 blown (not to go a lap down) so now I am in quite a chase/ battle. I don’t even care where my position was at this point. I just rode as smooth and fast as I could while focusing on finishing ahead of this other rider. I attacked the fast portions and on the run up I was passed by a few more guys on the lead lap. Dam! I drilled it after them and I managed to get a sizable gap on the rider chasing me. It was a good race but I was glad to get it over with. The first “real” CX race just seems to hurt the worst and now racing in the Elite class for an hour instead of 45 min does make a difference when your pegged at 180 bpm!

Well compared to last year I’m faster and more importantly, smoother and better with the transitions. This was my first race in the Elite field with paid pro’s and guys that have been at this for years. This is only my second year racing CX and I know I have a steep learning curve ahead of me but I feel up for it.

Next week is CCCX round #2 but I will be in Vegas for Inter bike and then Channing’s bachelor party! It’s going to be a long week. No riding and then after I get back, only a week till the Pilarcitos Series starts. I think I’ll bring my running shoes and hit the stairwells or something, I’ll figure something out……..

Cyclocross rules.


The Big Leauges. CX Style.

Ready to roll!

I rode my first Elite CX race Today. The field was large and included Non-other than Barry Wicks (Kona) , along with most of the fastest local A riders and quite a few "class of 05" B's, fun but FU#$%N hard. Race report to follow.....

Prunedale was the location.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Photo's from the Giro

Jason Potts snapped some cool pic's here are a few:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Carerra de San Rafael

Date: 9/9/06
Course: .9 mile, 4 corner, downtown Criterium with a small hill.
Category: Master 35+ 1/2/3
Teammates: Channing
Field: 51+
Placing: 32nd

Photo links:

This was a race originally run for the pro’s only. It’s been gone for a while but it came back last year. The race now has limited categories. Master 35 1/2/3 being one of them, there was no Elite 3. I was looking forward to doing a Master 1/2/3 race without first racing an Elite 3 race. With the Giro behind me and Cyclocross coming on the horizon, this would be my last Crit of the season. Entered in the race were a bunch of heavy-hitters. Spine, Safeway and Morgan Stanley were real close for the NCNCA overall point’s series and AMD had more then a few guys to upset the mix. I knew this would probley be the hardest race I have done in a while~ if ever…..

I was there early and got a good look at he setup. It was real nice. It’s a downtown Crit (my favorite) with very smooth pavement overall, a cool course. I got a solid warm-up and some stretching. I felt pretty good but had a bit more nervous energy than in the Giro, just a few days ago. I had wanted to get a front row start but ended up in the 3rd row.

At the start guys in front bogged in the pedals and I got shafted into 30th+, not to worry though, I made up a few spots after a couple laps. I found my groove and the inside line was working really well for me, especially on the short uphill. I was doing pretty well and I made a point to stay up at the sharp end of the race. About 20 minutes into it, a good size break was getting some distance. In the 3’s I wouldn’t have been to concerned but in Masters 1/2/3 breaks can and will stay away on occasion. I was in the front of the main group and I had the crazy idea that I was going to bridge the gap to the break. I ran up the inside of the short hill and attacked up over the top and down the long decent. I realized that when I got on to the finish straight and hadn’t caught on, I was in trouble. I chased back up the short hill and the break was slowing and the main pack gaining. I sat up and hoped I could recover and jump on to the fast moving train. I saw Channing go by and was worried I might not latch on. I got a bit of luck as the group freewheeled a bit and I got on, YA! Oh that was close.

From there I just tried to move up. We got the 9 laps to go card and the laps went by real fast, (1 min, lap times? and 26+mph avg) It was all strung out single file mostly from there on out. I clawed my way back up somewhat and on the last lap gunned it through the finish line and up the hill. On the decent it was way strung out and I only moved up a little. I had a good sprint in the end. I was, at this point, just happy to finish. What a cool experience. Good vibe, fast racing, fun course. Not to mention following Larry Nolan’s wheel around. Good stuff….I will do this race again next year.

I might do the Mt Tam HC…might not. The road season is over for me but the racing will be heating up as Cyclocross is upon us! Time to drag out the running shoes....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Giro Di San Francisco

Date: 9/4/05
Course: 1 mile+ Criterium course with a “dogleg” and small hill.
Category: Elite 3
Teammates: Channing, Jeff, Steve,
Field: 90
Placing: 24th

Ahh… the Giro, This was the third time in 4 years for me. Once as a 5, then 4, now 3. This race means a lot to me. It’s my hometown event. With Channing in such good form the smart money really was on him. I knew that in the grand scheme of things my form wouldn’t be as good as it could have been, due to me taking a 5+ week break after the 4th of July Crit in Davis.

I raced a few weeks ago at Suisun in support of Channing (he won) and I finished in 14th. I figured I would try to do the same thing here at the Giro. I planned to stay at the front, in the wind if necessary, to string things out and stay away from the squirrels.

Although my race wasn’t until 2:10 I was there early in the morning and got to watch Eric nearly win the Masters 4/5 and Scott and Tim finish in the top 10 in the 4/5’s. Some good showings for the team already had me pretty fired up and looking forward to getting on with it.

I lined up dead center and on the front line. Excellent! I looked back and saw a big field, not to worry though, because when you’re in a Crit and doing well, your only racing the top 20. We take off quickly and I got a great start. Foot right in, turning over the pedals, changing gears and I was 3rd wheel into the first turn. Really right where I wanted to be. I kept up the pace and stayed in the top 7-10 for quite awhile. I felt good and even though I was in the wind here and there I was paying close attention to where Jeff, Steve and Channing were. Jeff, Raymond and Channing were right up there as well and I thought, “ things look good”. At one point going up the small hill, I heard a crash and had a sinking feeling one of our boys was in the carnage (I found out later is was Steve) he managed to bunny hop over some jerky and continue on. For only racing a few times this year, he always pulls a rabbit out of his hat. After the crash and taking a free lap he was able to get back into the race and finish in the pack, “awesome” best describes it.

So we’re on lap 7 to go and I feel like I need to sit in a lap and take a breather. Now the plan goes all to hell. I got swarmed on the main straight and went from 15 to 35 in a split second. The swarming was now in full effect and I was put on the defensive. I had to sprint all over the place to move up 5- 10 places only to loose it again with the swarming. No teams were taking charge at the front and I was in a rip current of fools trying to get free and back into the top 15.

Now we are 3 laps to go and I know I’m in danger of being out of the top 10 as I was way to far back. I could see Channing and Jeff up ahead and basically sprinted out the last 2 laps until the final time up the hill and my legs shut down. It was like someone pulled my plug and I could only watch as the field strung out down the hill for the final time. About half way down the hill the power came back on and I did the best I could to move up and get into sprint position. We came off the final turn and I had a decent sprint and powered to the line passing a lot of guys. I had been in 40th place onto the finish straight and sprinted my way into 24th. Ouch! With a terrible top speed of only 35mph. Bummer…

I felt much better after finding out Channing finished 5th. I know I’m getting stronger every week and the 54T chain ring was feeling really good. My avg Hr was lower than last year with a bit faster avg speed (26+ mph) I was caught out in a bad moment and these things happen.

The Team had a really good weekend and I want to say you guy’s rock! If the late season run we have been having is any indicator for next year, we will have a very good team next year.

Thanks to all who showed up and gave support and/ or helped Steve out with the Accelerade booth. When I am having a “good” race I can hear and see you guys on the sidelines yelling and it does really make a difference. Thank you all!

Well…… this last Sat was the San Rafael Carreara Crit. I only did the Masters 35+ 1/2/3. Stay tuned for the next episode…

Nick Hanni Fusion Sport VP Director of Men’s Cycling