Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nevada City

Props to the old team today at Nevada City. The race started very aggressive on the parade lap with riders leaning into me to get my spot behind the motor (really guys?!?!?). Not too big of a deal though. I still hit the bottom of the climb on the first live lap in really good position. However I figured people would be firing off right away and I didn't want to put too many accelerations in my legs too soon in the race, so I figured it would be best not to go for broke in the first few laps. That ended up to not be a wise thought. Sue to a little sag climbing, I found myself 40 or so deep on lap 3. That meant I was slamming on the brakes as we were going through the corners 4-5 wide. Again, not smart. It quickly became obvious that I needed to get up as quickly as possible. So I hit the climbs pretty hard to make up lost ground. Unfortunately, people were already getting blown off and that meant jumping a lot of gaps solo. Eventually I made it into the lead group of about 25 riders, but the effort it took to get up there was weighing heavily. I tried to settle into a rhythm but I still felt like I was losing a lot of momentum at the bottom of the climb sitting at the back of the group. So I tried again to move up, and I did. But that dug me even further into the red. About half way through my legs gave out. I stopped at the top of the hill and asked around for some beer, but nobody had any. As disappointing as I was to not get a beer hand-up, I just stopped and collected my composure. Eventually the group that I tried so hard NOT to be in strolled up the hill and I felt silly not getting back into the race. So I rolled down the hill with them and told myself that people will crack and that the race isn't over. Several laps later, the lead group of 7 riders lapped us and continued through the pack. I was feeling quite well and figured now would be a good time to see if I could get away from the chase group. It worked and I thought that I may be in good position for 8th place. So I rode the last 10 laps in a "pseudo no mans land." Since I could not work with the guys that lapped us, all I could do was follow. I rolled in in front of the chase group, expecting to be places in the top 10 or so. However after waiting for what seemed like an eternity for results, I learned that there were 17 people that lapped the field, but only 7 continued on. So instead of 8th, I ended up 19th. Oh well. It was fun, fast, and an amazing experience.

P.S. I need somebody to write my name in chalk ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tour de Nez

This years TdN had been a bit odd. My family planned a big trip out here and I even was able to get my little brother Matt racing on our squad for the race. But as many of you know, I came down with a bad case of Strep Throat after Philly. To complicate things, it was initially mis-diagnosed and I had to change up my antibiotics mid cycle. So here I am with all my family with my brother racing with me, and all I should really do is soft pedal. Not exactly what I had in mind when we planned this family vacation. But enough with the bitching!

Tahoe is absolutely beautiful right now. There is still a lot of snow on the peaks and we are in a pimp cabin right off the lake. So despite the lack of results from racing, life is good.

Nap 30 for the Dukester

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TdN preview

The Wall

Photo courtesy of Anthony

Quick summary of my race.

1. Goal was to try and make the break at all cost. Thought the break would go away on lap two or three (of ten) but ended up going away on lap one.

2. Got the team bottles and food

3. Traded pulls with HTC since we didn't have a guy in the break either.

4. Attacked up the Manayunk wall in an attempt to bridge up at all cost.

5. Bridge did not work, but there are a lot of pictures of me floating around and it looks like I may have done something cool.

6. Gave my team bottles again. This time went up Strawberry hill with a jersey full of water. OUCH!!!!!

7. Pulled the pin in time to see Cody finish 18th. Good timing!

Back from Philly

Photo courtesy of Brian at

I have been back from Philly for almost a week now. This has given me time to give y'all a well thought out set of random and obscure thoughts by yours truely.

1. I love bike racing. Philly is one of those bike races that have given me a new prospective on racing. Trading pulls with HTC, Liquigas, and BMC really showed me just how professional bike racers can be. For instance, there was a sense of mutual respect for all riders in the peleton. No crazy maneuvers 10 miles into the 156 mile race to move up from 35th to 32nd. Seemed like if you rode smooth and wanted into the group, there was courtesy from all riders. This was nice. It was also nice to be going 30+ MPH around tight corners and still feel very safe inches away from other riders. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.... This is the way racing SHOULD be.

2. My team is awesome! Admittedly, funds are tight. Other teams showed up with buses, masseuses, mechanics, tailors and we showed up in... well, anything we could scrounge together... But as a team, we worked really well together and was able to give Cody enough support to place 18th. The moment I saw him cross the line, I had this overwhelming sense of accomplishment. "We did it." Despite being underdogs, we were able to beat teams that literally have 10 times our budget or even more like Kelly, United Healthcare, and Fly V.

3. Lets keep this train going! Due to our success at Philly, our team was able to find a few more bucks and we added a couple races to our schedule. After Cascade we will have Tour of Utah and US Pro Road Race in Greenville. My excitement for Greenville is off the charts!!!! (Any Greenville 3M'ers reading this let me know... especially you Ade!)

4. Our sponsors are great! Without them, we could not go on. So please, go buy a Leopard bicycle and a team kit. Eat some Wonderful Pistachios while training for that century ride or Masters championship. Refuel yourself with TwinLab Endurance fuel. Suppliment your lost vitamins with TwinLabs multi-vitamins. Upgrade your lame bottom bracket to a Hawk Racing bottom bracket. While you are at it, buy yourself a pair of Smith sunglasses. You will look great, feel great, and give our sponsors a reason to keep supporting the cause.

5. Strep Throat sucks! I got back from Philly Monday and due to a multitude of conditions, got sick last week and will be on antibiotics for the remainder of the week. ARGGG!!!!!