Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Whitey-Seatttle-Whitey-Vegas-Seattle-Hood River-Seattle-Whitey (in 8 days!)

Sweet pic from Craig Prather at Great Northern Cycles, your source for Hammer, Ibis, Specialized, and great coffee in downtown Whitefish.

Lots of miles, lots of racing. Cross Vegas was the biggest race I've ever done and super cool to be a part of. Here's a brief recap. Too many miles for full report.

Cross Vegas was the cap to my mini UCI early cross season. Both Starcrossed and Rad GP were sweet category 2 events, but this was the real thing. I was looking at the start list the other day, and realized just about all the 105 people in front of me were full time riders. The start was very slow at the back, I lost at least two minutes by the time I really got riding. The course was very hard, fast and not tech-e at all. I still had some mud tires on from last weekend which were not ideal for the grass. I had also been on my feet all day at the show so I was feeling pretty beat. But seeing Bandito, Matty, Andy Schultz and the rest of the fellas each lap, I couldn't give up. I made it until two laps to go, with the hunger of the wolf for next year. Last years winner, Jaime Driscoll, rode solo for 2/3 of the race only to be nipped at the line by Starcrossed/ Rad GP/ French Champ Francis Mourey. It was a true international event, the dogs caught the hare with 200m to go! No gifts from the euros at Cross Vegas!

Road Nomad

Monday, September 20, 2010

CX, hotter than...ICE?

I know I haven't contributed much to the blog these days, but it's been even longer since I've slipped around in a good ole muddy cross race. Come to think of it, it's been like four years!

Needless to say, the butterflies were flying around my stomach like crazy before Saturday night's Starcrossed race. I hadn't don a bike race of any kind in about six weeks, I was jumping in with some serious heavy hitters on an incredibly slippery track. When the gun went off, I began a rapid, yet very brief round of maneuvering through the pack with ease. I was passing riders left and right, including a world cup winner who had crashed.

My super powers lasted about 1/2 of a lap, gravity reaffirmed itself, and I was on my back, sliding through the mud in front of thousands of fans. Not a huge deal, but as I went to hop on Doug's bike (I always like racing on Douggie's bikes, not sure why), the bars and shifter were all crooked. A brief tweak got me going again, albeit a little sideways. Saturday's course was way too slippery, fast and technical for the working man, super powers were needed equip. I was pulled with 17 minutes to go for 34th place.

The champion of France however, could have been sipping a Bordeaux as he waited for the finishing stretch to show "The Treefarm" how to execute a world class sprint.

Sunday I felt a little better, and was more at ease in the daytime at a super cool Rad Racing GP (first time presented by Hammer Nutrition!!!) It's never easy starting in last, but I always try to remember that at one time, every pro started towards the back. The track was quite fun with several off camber, rooty, greasy corners and two long sand crossings. I was moving through the ranks until the last fifteen minutes when I believe I was carrying around 8 pounds of excess mud. Apparently all elite racers have two bikes except me, oh wait I have zero :( So I wound up 25th, which was a pb for me (Pippo's best). I'm super pumped for cross, especially the THUNDER!!!! Here's a vid of the start, you can see my big butt sliding around the corner near the end of the peloton.

Let the Thunder Roll!