Monday, October 30, 2006

Beer Please

Whitehill School Cyclocross in Fairfax Race Report:

I'm not too sure where I finished, 12th maybe it didn't really matter to me. I left before the results were up. There were only 15 of us in the Elite race. I rode out and didn't feel to hot. I barely did anything this week training wise, as it was a rest week really. I just wanted to be there and support the local thing ya know. All the $$ went to the music and sports programs.

This was a fun course. I started ok but on the 3rd lap? I started to get a bit tired and washed the front out in the baseball diamond. A few guys got past me and I lost a bit of momentum but was unhurt. I knew I wasn't going to well so I decided to clean up on the DFL beer $ primes and gave up a few spots. Shit I cleared $13 ! Abborica got a few shots of me collecting the dough! Even pulled a hat trick w/ 3 ones.... LOL

It was fun even though my back was killing me in the last 2 laps, then Josh and Simon caught me and put me out of my misery a lap down, oh well, I rode the hour w/o any training this week sans a couple 30 min easy spins on the rollers, then rode home (back to the city) which was kinda nice even with my spare wheels strapped to my back! It made for a 4 hour training day. Shitty race but great training. Sunday I did a sweet 3.5 hour road ride at 126 avg HR with a smidgin of threshold work around pardise with one of my teammates James and Phil from Lombardi's, we were moving around paridise w/ a 33-48 kph avg. paceline. I had some heavy legs and took some long pulls but the cardio felt good. The rest week was good and hopfully I can start to step it up in the coming weeks. We'll see.

Up next: Maybe Granite Beach (in Sac.) on Sat./ for sure Pilarcitos #3 at McLaren Park on Sunday, again a hometurf race and a new venue. Should be very interesting especially if the weather gets a bit fall-like for real. I heard there might be a rather long run-up. Lets hope so.

Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pilarcitos BASP #2 at the stick

Date: 10/22/06
Course: Fairly flat, 3 / double barrier sections, some sand and a good amount of pavement.
Category: Elite A / 1 Hour
Field: 49
Teammate: None
Place: 22nd

I went into this race hoping to do better than the last 2 events. I had a good idea what the course would be like and it was more or less how I had hoped it would be. It was similar to the 2nd round last year, which ran us down the main pavement, onto a straight for the finish and into a tight hairpin. The dirt portions were much less bumpy than I remembered and to make things fun they threw in a very technical sandy right/ left that went into a short but steep run up.

I made sure to post up at the start and get a good starting spot, which I managed to do (2nd row about in the middle) the whistle blows and we’re off. I am not sure where my head was at, but it took me a few try’s to get into the pedal and I slipped back a lot farther than I wanted to. Oh well, I focused on being smooth and trying to find my groove and ratchet the efforts up lap by lap. After the first lap I came around and my Dad counted me in 20th. O.k. not to bad. I was determined to stick to the plan of: 1. No crashing, 2. Not go a lap down. The top 3 who lapped me at Hellyer were in attendance and if I could stay on the lead lap regardless of placing, that alone would be a solid improvement.

So around the 3rd lap I start to get passed by some guys, Mack fly's by, and I tried to latch on but I felt like crap. I proceeded to trudge along but I couldn’t really wind it up. I was finally starting to find my lines around the course but I didn’t feel like I was able to open it up at all. A few more laps go by and a few more guys go by. Here and there others were dropping there chains and I just maintained the best pace I could manage and hoped that that old blocked up feeling would dissipate and the light switch would flip to “on”. I continue to catch and pass a few guys and visa versa. At this point I didn’t care what place I was in. I could see a group of guys up ahead and I was slowly reeling them in. I finally catch up to Aaron B. He and I start picking it up a little. Excellent! I was happy to actually race with someone instead of doing laps solo.

Somewhere along the way we caught Jim, I think he dropped his chain and the 3 of us rode together for a bit. Something again happened to Jim, dropped chain? and it was just Aaron and I trading pulls from there. I was looking to see if we were in danger of being lapped and it seemed like we might make it with 4 laps to go. I did however notice that Jesse was closing on us and I knew from the past CCCX final last year that unless Aaron and I stepped it up he would catch us. Well, on the back section on the last barrier Jesse throws down a smart run-pass and gets in front of us both. I was behind Aaron and had hoped he would latch on to Jesse but I think we both were a bit hammered and he got away going into the last lap. One final look around and I could not see any sign of the leaders and it seemed as if we might indeed stay on the lead lap! Aaron got a small gap on me coming off the dirt onto the pavement for the last time and I chased to get back on his wheel. I was fired up at the thought of a sprint finish in a CX race! I got close enough to finish in the same time but I couldn’t come around him as I almost threw up once across the finish line! Well that hasn’t happened in a while…

Sweet, no crashing, and no going down a lap. It was a hard fought 22nd (gasp) place and I enjoyed racing with Aaron, Jim, and Jesse. It made the event feel like a race instead of a TT. Did I mention it was hot! The water feed from my Dad really helped, and the cheers and jeers from the peanut gallery was awesome, thanks!

Well.. up next, the new race in Fairfax and if things work out I’ll roll down to Surf City as well.

Oh, and if you didn’t know….Cross rules


Friday, October 20, 2006

Pilarcitos Round #2

Well this weekend is round 2 at the "Stick" It's my backyard so to speak and should be a good time. I got 3rd in the B's here last year and while I don't expect a repeat performance I will be still ride as hard as possible!

I liked the sand, it's hard and requires a lot of power. I am up to 45 min runs now and I finally feel recovered from Vegas. Ya it took 2 weeks to get over the madness! Big ring workouts on the road bike are feeling good and I can see some good improvements coming, maybe not this weekend but a few weeks, hopefully in full swing for the GGP round and the Pilarcitos Final/districts...

Stay tuned for race report!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New catagory and a steep learning curve

Race Report: Pilarcitos Super Prestige #1

Date: 10/8/06
Course: Fairly flat, very bumpy with 3 / triple barrier sections, one with a short uphill run after with 1 full lap on the velodrome, did I mention BUMPY.
Category: Elite A / 1 Hour
Field: 36 finishers/ 40+ starters
Teammate: None
Place: 26th

Well this was my second “A” race and it wasn’t any easier than the first. I was lucky to get in some quality training late this week and I felt ok, not great, going into this weekend. Vegas really took a lot out of me the previous week. I got to Hellyer around 10:20 and had to park in another zip code. Bummer. I ran quick down to reg and found Steve. He had a sweet spot next to reg with the Acclerade booth. I went back to the car and loaded up my stuff and schlepped it down to the tent.

I setup my trainer, spun and watched the Masters A for about 20 min. and stretched. Then warmed up on the course for another 20 min. I wish I had got there a bit sooner but I was working on last minute adjustments to the bike and ran a little behind. Not much time to think and we are called to line up. I had a third row start and hoped for a clean jump.

The whistle blows and we’re off. I get crowded from both sides and can’t move so I wait for the holes to open and move up. Things start stringing out but not to fast. I had hopes of holding on and moving up. I was fired up to get onto the velodrome on the first lap. We couldn’t pre-ride the velodrome earlier and I have never ridden on one. Well, I was lucky not to wad it up on the exit, as it was a really sharp turn off the track back onto the pavement and I locked it up a little into the turn getting a little close to the fence! Phew! Won’t do that again….

Beginning the second lap, my Dad told me I was in 17th. Cool the top 20. I was content to keep a high pace and above all ride smooth. Before the pavement leading into the velodrome there was a tricky downhill rutted out turn. I came over the top, around and down, bam! I hit a rock right in the middle of the rut and it plowed my front wheel sideways and me over the bars. OTB! After a 9.5 summersault dismount I remounted and took off after the group of guys that were on my ass, now sprinting away…

Well another objective blown (no crashing), and in a grand fashion too. I knew at this point that I had to just run the fastest pace I could without falling and just finish the race. I figured if I could get in a groove maybe I might pick up a spot or 2. Halfway into it, I was starting to really feel the heat and I was having to pick my battles. It had to be around 80 and dusty as hell. Luckily, my Dad was there and assisting with the water feed. I would drink a bit and dump a big squirt over my back. Quite refreshing!

As the laps winded down, I was feeling a little better and tried to pick up the tempo. With 4 laps to go I was thinking I might not go a lap down this time. Well, lap 3 ok, lap 2, shit….. Mark Noble laps me with 1.5 to go, then one to go, Mike Hernandez gets me. Shortly after, coming up on the pavement section before the velodrome, John Funke gets me… Ugh. Well at least it was 1.5 laps to go instead of 3 to go (ala~ CCCX #1) so an improvement but still a lap down. I think at this point, even with a better start I am a little short on the form, so I have a bit of work to do. Riding smooth and remounting with as few steps possible has been the goal in these early races. I know that if I can be fluid, the speed will come. I am behind where I should be and I’m confident I will improve, it’s just a questions of how long will it take?

After getting such great placing's last year in the B's, it is a little hard right now but I still would rather be racing with the A’s. The venue was good sans the uber bumpy-ness. The velodrome was too cool. I really enjoyed that part.

Special thanks to Dad for the water. That really helped me out. Steve the Acclerade booth was a hit and a great place to post up. It was great to see and talk to all the usual suspects that make cross so cool…I’ll lick my wounds, get in some decent training and come back a little stronger.

I’m up for the challenge…………

Monday, October 02, 2006

Interbike 2007

Bright lights, shiny bikes.

A few picture from Vegas.
Bianchi's bike line for 2007 is strong and went over well with the dealers. Felice Gemondi was signing autographs. Super Mario, Magnus and Thor Hushovd stopped by to look at the bikes. This was my first Interbike but not my first trade show. It was a long tough week but cool....

The ELITE ad campain guys were out and obout walking around looking silly.