Monthly Archives: July 2007

1st NRC Superweek Update

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I’m still up in Milwaukee doing Superweek. It is 17 days long. The middle 8 days, which was 4 road races and 4 criteriums, was a separate race series for National Racing Calender points(and the biggest prize list). Since there were only 3 of us here, Brian Jensen, Bill Stolte and myself, we decided to concentrate on it.

Brian started out super on his own, finishing 3rd in Alpine Valley to Karl Menzies, while Bill and I were racing Elite Nationals in PA. Getting back on Tuesday, he won the Whitnall Park Road and had a good lead in the series. Anyway, he made the breaks in the next two criteriums and had an insurmountable lead after a stellar 2nd place finish in Holly Hill. He didn’t even need to start the final criterium because of his point lead.

So, Brian and Bill went back to the blast furnace of Kansas and I’m still up here for the duration. Yesterday, I had a good shot at winning in Sheboygan in the rain, but got jammed up by a out-of-control Kayle LeoGrande the last two corners and finished 6th. I haven’t finished out of the “money” the whole series yet, but it is super fast/hard racing for the effort. I still can’t get a handle on my form. Some days it seems OK, but then the next I’m bad. I guess the season long from over with Cyclo-X coming up quicker than you think!

Pictures-Stack of New Trek Bikes. Brian in leaders/winners jersey.
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1st Team Win!!! Superweek-Whitnall Park Road Race

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The Whitnall Park Road Race is really more of a circuit/criterium, than a road race. It is a good course, but alittle sketchy, with a big ring climb to the finish. I won the race last year with Brian finishing 2nd, so it was a course good for us for sure.

It was raining in the morning and we didn’t get a chance to ride, so Bill and I got out of the car abit stiff from the drive back from Pennsylvania.

Arriving at the venue, there were about a 100 guys from Rock Racing PRO Team in the parking lot. There were actually only 11 or 12, but it seemed like a hundred.

The women’s raced finished and Kelly Benjamin threw herself on the ground doing a bike throw at the line. It was probably pretty embarrassing for her, but she is a super bike handler and things like that happen to everyone. She still finished 2nd and is way ahead in the overall series points with 2 wins and 2nd’s.

Our race started out pretty slow and kind of stayed that way the whole day. Rock Racing didn’t seem too interested in racing aggressively and they dictated the pace pretty much. I only felt good on the hill, so tried to stay out of the wind as much as possible. Brian was riding patiently after finishing 3rd in Alpine Valley yesterday to Carl Menzies.

Finally with less than 10 miles to go, Brian got into a move with a couple Rock Racing guys, a couple Austrialians, and a german. We went to the front immediately, but realized after a lap that the field had no interest in chasing them down.

Brian rode a great race and won convincingly. It’s nice to repeat a win in big races. I got 5th in the field sprint. I went around the last corner up the hill about 9 guys back and the 2nd non Rock Racing rider. I didn’t pass anyone except guys that were peeling off from the leadout.

Anyway, I’m skipping the Proving Grounds Road Race this afternoon and racing Thursday in Shorewood. I have no aspirations for any overall place, so I have to figure out how to use these races to get out of this funk I’ve been in for awhile. We’ll see how that goes.

Elite Nationals Seven Springs, PA

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Friday started a long stint away from home. Got in the car early morning to go to Superweek and race in Beverly Friday night. We planned the time right, but hit Chicago traffic and got to the race later than I’ve ever arrived at a race (after the posted start time). Needless to say, we got no warm up and started dead last. I missed the 16 guys that lapped the field. Felt better at the end and ended up getting the next place, 17th. I’m still riding subpar, so I was hoping that it would help out for Monday in Seven Springs.

Saturday morning I put together my new trick Trek Madone. It is super light and super stiff. Then jumped into the van and drove out to Pennsylvania in the afternoon. I had plane tickets, but figured it was easier to drive the 550 miles. Bill Stolte and myself were the sole representatives for our team. Sunday we went over to ride the 28 mile course and ended up riding an hour and a half in downpouring rain. Great for the legs. The course was extremely hard. Hardly a inch of flats. I knew it wasn’t going to go to good for the home team.

Monday it was dry. The race started and a 100 meters into it I somehow made a rash decision and ended up off the front with two other guys. It was pretty much downhill for the first 4 miles and we had 40 seconds by the first climb. I just started pulling up the climb and found myself alone. I was in a bad situation, I knew it, but hoped over the long 4 mile climb that was coming up the field would split. I rode over the next climb and 12 or so good riders bridged up. It was too early and it all came back together soon.

Anyway, to make a long story short, guys kept getting shelled until on the last lap there were only 30 or so left out of the 175 starters. I was already starting to cramp and knew the 4 mile climb would be a big problem. I hit it pretty hard on the 1 km climb preceding the long climb and split the group down to 6. Paul Martin, Ned (Overend) and a few others. But not far enough gone to make it over the long climb. I got shelled on the long climb. Mainly I shelled myself. Kind of part of my new, “give up before it gets hard” deal I have going. 16 guys rode up the climb together and I ended up eventually in a small group behind them. We pretty much quit racing and more guys kept catching on until it was pretty much everyone else left in the race. On the 10 mile stair step climb back to Seven Springs, I felt alittle better and had the cramps under control. I ended up riding up to a guy that attacked the group and John Hunt bridged up. We sat on until a km to go and they completely fell apart. I felt alittle bad jumping John for 16th. Not sure what I was thinking at the time. Anyway, that was my result. Bill ended up 25th, which wasn’t a stellar result for him either.

It was good seeing Ned again. And Wayne Stetina. I knew Ned was going to have a good race. The race was made for him. He spent alot of energy making sure he was in every move and blew at the end and finished 11th. A little more road savy and he could of won. Wayne was only trying to finish in the top 50 (his own personal reasons) and finished 36th, so he seemed alright with he day.

The way I’ve been going this spring until now, it was pretty frustrating riding on a course with a field with the ability I had. I’m at about 50% always, which makes racing way less interesting and completely unrewarding, even when I have an OK result. Hopefully, I’ll snap out of this funk soon.

I’m back in Chicago racing up in Milwaukee this evening. Looks like some rain. That should be interesting.

Pictures-Ned and me (Wayne in the background). My new Trek and Ned’s Specialized. Start of Elite Nationals.
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Post Nature Valley

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Hi. Haven’t had a ton of time to update this, but here’s a short version. Since Nature Valley, I spent two weeks up in Cable Wisconsin, hanging in the woods, doing some construction fun stuff, getting a VO2 max/stress test done, etc. Went back to Kansas for a week and then drove up Friday to Chicago for the first day of Superweek. Did the Beverly Race and jumped into the van and drove out to Elite Road Nationals in Seven Springs PA. Below are some photos of life up North. Bromont’s (my dog) 4th B-Day, Gary(Mr. Chequamegon Fat Tire) Crandall and me, favorite coffee shop photo and gang from the coffeeshop in the 4th of July Parade doing Austin Powers dance. Enjoy. Jumping back into the van right after the race tomorrow to get back to Superweek in Milwaukee in time for the Whitnall Park Road Race on Tuesday afternoon.
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