Monthly Archives: April 2007

Iowa City/Bites/More

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Just got back from the Iowa City Road Race and Criterium. It’s nearly 2 am. I’ve been tick bit, bee stung and feral cat mauled since my last update. Actually, most of that stuff happened in the last two days. I have only raced one day(Sea Otter) since Redlands. That has to be an all time record low number of race days in the month of April. I’m going to make this short, since it’s so late and I haven’t downloaded any pictures. This is only for the early Monday morning crowd.

Saturday was good. A 65 miles road race in the Mennonite area Southwest of Iowa City. It was a 13 mile loop, beautiful, rolling hills and pretty breezy. And the wind was the key. 4 of us from the HRRC/Trek Team started the race. The 2nd lap, we put it in the gutter and there was only 8 riders left. The 4 of us all made the split. It got back together 13 miles later and we did it again and then there were just 6 left, all 4 of us. Two Grand Performance riders from Minneapolis. Anyway, Bill Stolte, Brian Jensen and myself ended riding the last lap together. Shad had the worst duty of riding in with the Grand Performance duo we had shelled. I was completely seized up and sat on the last while. My punishment for that was having to win. I was morally against it, but rationalized it intellectually because I had to suffer the most to get to the finish line. That really doesn’t have anything to do with who should win, but it was the best I could come up with at the time.

Sunday was the Old Capitol Criterium in downtown Iowa City. Super 1 km course. One downhill and a big ring climb with lots of corners. It was super windy and 92 degrees, which made it pretty difficult. I was somewhat “recovered” from the efforts the day before and felt better today. But that didn’t really matter because we had already won before the race started. There was nothing that anyone was going to be able to do to stop Brian from getting away and lapping the field. 100 times out of 100 that was going to happen. And it did. But, Brian had to do abunch of work obviously. He got around in about 30 laps and then things began to heat up for 2nd. The field was pretty pitiful from the heat and efforts. Eventually, with about 7 laps to go I got away in a group of 5, with Brian being the engine. He gave me a good leadout to the last corner and I won the sprint for 2nd, with Jeremy Sartain, Grand Performance, getting the last podium slot.

Both the races were good courses for us and the results showed. Mark and the gang from Iowa City put on 2 super fun, high quality races. Thanks.

Now it just two weeks until the next objective, Joe Martin Stage Race NRC. I can’t say that I’m so thrilled with the season since Redlands. I was bitten by a feral cat on Friday. Long story, I had her kittens that turned out to be too young to feed themselves, so I decided to go catch her. I put on a Carhart jacket and welding gloves, but that wasn’t enough. She bit through the gloves and into my hand. I didn’t think it was a big deal until I got home and looked it up on the internet. Cat bites and scatches aren’t good, but especially are very bad if you don’t have a spleen. Which I don’t (ruptured falling from a tree when I was 6). So, I went to emergency med and got my 3rd round of antibiotics in a month. 10 days of Augmentin. That is nearly 2/3 of the month of April taking antibiotics. That can’t be good, unless your Todd Wells.

When I was on the Specialized MTB Team with Todd, he took antibiotics like most people take vitamines. Didn’t seem to slow him down too much. Anyway, I hate antibiotics and they slow me down alot. At least mentally.

I always used to answer the ? what is the hardest thing about being a Professional bike racer with – racing when you not going good or sick. I have to stick with that. It sucks. There has to be something about the sport that isn’t great. Small price to pay.

Iowa City Road Race Official Results

Sr. Men Pro/1/2

1 Stephen Tilford 47 TOPEKA KS Heartland Road Racing Club
2 Brian Jensen 31 LAWRENCE KS Heartland Road Racing Club
3 William Stolte 37 TOPEKA KS Heartland Road Racing Club
4 Peter Hanna 34 ST. LOUIS PARK MN Bianchi/Grand Performance
5 Eric Marcotte 27 MINNEAPOLIS MN Bianchi/Grand Performance
6 Shadd Smith 36 OVERLAND PARK KS MRRC
7 Brian Eppen Iowa City IA Iowa City Cycling Club
8 Chris Spence 41 OMAHA NE Team Kaos Cycling
9 Cody McCullough 37 SIOUX CITY IA Poweraide/Independent
10 Jeremy Sartain 33 ST PAUL MN Bianchi/Grand Performance

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Sea Otter NRC/Etc.

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I have been eating antibiotics and coughing my lungs up for the last two weeks, so I decided to get on the plane and fly out to Sea Otter. I had planned on doing both the MTB UCI race on Sunday and Road NRC race on Saturday, but decided to leave my MTB bike home. I was pretty apprehensive, waking up at 5 am Friday, about the decision of even going.

The California Giant Strawberry guru, Anthony, set Brian Jensen, Catherine Walberg and myself up with the most awesome host housing possible. Tom and Wendy Duffy from Carmel Valley. A “ranchette” according to Tom. What qualified it as a ranchette was a corral with a donkey as I saw it. It did have a small outbuilding. But, in the outbuilding was a full on bike shop. Like, a couple repair stands and metal cabinets with replacement cables, spokes, etc. A super setup. Thanks Anthony. Thanks Duffy’s. They had a friend from Incline Village, Rob Holman, staying in their guest house. He was doing the MTB events. In between he was flying his jet up and down the west coast doing business.

Anyway, waking up Saturday morning, it was forecast for cold and rain. Rob was flying down to San Diego for the day. It took every bike racing gene in my body to convince me not to get on that jet and have a life experience. But, I have way too many of those genes and it’s hard to pass up a possible epic race.

We got over to the Laguna Seca about 12 for a 1pm start. Got dressed and oiled up. It was 48 degrees and raining hard. They had called the women’s event midrace, but were still swearing we were starting on time. Even though it was raining super hard with a bunch of gravel washing all over the course. Mainly on the climb and corkscrew descent.

Anyway, they did a good job cleaning the course and getting everything back in order. The race started an hour and a half late. Everyone was pretty cold and unmotivated by 2:30.

The race went about as I expected. Sucessfull Living had their full squad there, which seemed like about 20 guys (probably realistically 10). Healthnet had 5 or 6, same with Jelly Belly and Sierra Nevada. Brian and I stayed near the front most of the first half of the race. The descent was wet and fast. The field got way strung out every lap with a bunch of riders getting spit out the back. Two riders, Dan Ramsey (Sucessful Living) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (California Giant Strawberries-Specialized) got away early and the field kept getting smaller and smaller. 31 laps up a fairly good climb with a hard 100 meters of 25 mph cross wind at the top. With about 12 laps to go, people started racing for real. It split a couple times and, finally, Brian got into the “winning” move.

Dan Ramsey rode the whole day off the front and soloed away for the win. Sucessful Living did a good job of frustrating the remainder of the field with 4 guys in the top 10. Brian outsprinted Frank Pipp and 5 others for 2nd. He was the strongest guy in the race from my observation. But, that doesn’t always do it in bike racing.

I ended up in a group trying to catch a group going for 8th, but we finished 30 seconds back. I was 23th I think. Only about 30 guys finished out of 150 starters. Pretty hard race. Pretty good weekend for us.

Bill Stolte called and said he’d won both races in Oklahoma over the weekend. Pretty good riders there with the Mercy guys and Brice Jones from Jelly Belly. He’d been riding good in training, but winning both days there was super. Adam was 3rd and 6th too. Good spreading out abit I guess.

Still coughing stuff out of my lungs. Good to get back to Kansas and the allergies and smoke. Should do wonders.

Below are a couple photos from the weekend. Donkey pictures coming.

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Spring Illness, Brad Huff, stupidity

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I had planned on staying out in California for the Indio and Ojai Criteriums. I felt pretty good after the Redlands Stage. I met up with a friend Tom Schuler (ex-7-11 Pro Rider/Pro National Road Champ., manager Team Timex and Colovita Men and Women’s Pro Teams) on Monday and Tuesday. He was getting in a serious stack of miles riding from Manhattan Beach in LA to San Diego and back a couple time. I had nearly a 100 miles on Tuesday, but when I got back to San Diego, my throat was killing me. Next thing I know, I’m blowing brown and green gunk out. I hung low until Friday, hoping that I could get it under control.

Laying low, I saw that Brad Huff got 3rd in the World Track Championships. I knew he was pretty fast, but that was really a good result. He said that he did the whole thing with a bad cold. So, Friday, I went ahead and paid $55 to enter Indio the next afternoon. I woke up Saturday morning, barely able to breath, so I jumped in the car and did a 24 hour all nighter back to Kansas. (Huff, you owe me $55 for giving the impression that riding sick was going to work out.)

I got back to central Kansas early Sunday morning, after 1650 miles of driving and stopped by the start of the Bazaar Road Race. It’s the first real road race of the season. It is the site of the first bicycle race I ever entered. Back then it was called Cassidy Road Race. I was an intermidiate, 14 years old. The wind was only blowing 15-20, so it was pretty calm by Bazaar standards. My team had 3 guys there and they did the normal gutter riding after the turn around and finished 1-2-3 which was expected. Adam Mills won his first road event of the season, he’d won the last cross race of the season in January. Bill and Shad got 2nd and 3rd.

My brother, Kris, shelled the Master’s and did his normal time trial thing for the majority of the race. He’s won Bazaar lots of times, both in the Elite 1-2 Race and Master’s. Catherine Walberg, from Topeka, won the women’s race by a mile also.

It was a good day because of the light winds and the lack of smoke. Normally, the hillsides are all burning and the air is pretty bad. Sunday, they were only burning on the East side of the road and the wind was blowing from the West. I’ll post some burning photos below, it is crazy.

So now, I’m taking antibiotics and hoping to come around for Sea Otter in two weeks. I’m planning on doing the road and MTB events there on the weekend. It sure is a drag being sick when it’s so nice out.