Monthly Archives: August 2007

Criterium Nationals Weekend

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OK. I’ve been feeling like shit for awhile. Since Redlands actually. That was back in March. So finally, I went to an infectious disease doctor in Wichita, Dr. Keck Hartman. The guy is what doctors are supposed to be like. It was a revelation. He spent a couple hours with me and thought that the first thing I should do is get a CAT Scan on my sinuses. I did that last week and the radiologist’s report came back with some problems. Things that explain a lot of my problems. I need to see a ENT specialist now to see how to “fix” it.

So, I wasn’t that thrilled to be going up to Downer’s Grove kind of up in the air with the same “fitness” I’ve had for awhile. But, you can’t win races without entering races.

Saturday night is the 50km PRO-Am Criterium. A lot of the time, it is the hardest race of the weekend. The forecast was for rain the whole weekend. And it did. Rain. The whole weekend. Day and night. Except for the last half hour of the race Saturday night.

I started in the front and had no problems the first half the race. It was pretty wet, but my tires seemed to be good, even though I was riding a new (new to me) rear tire. After about half the race, I started feeling my rear wheel slip on a couple of the corners, a few times. That is obviously not good. I pretty much lost my bike handling confidence towards the end. For a couple reasons. Rear tire was bad and a lot of guys were falling.

A break got away with 6 guys with about 10 laps to go. Colivita went to the front and did the chase. Their main mistake is they eased up when they had a chance to swallow them up before the last lap. The break got reorganized and we ended up just sprinting into them . I was in just OK position the last half lap and didn’t want to have an “issue” with the ground on the last two corners, so I went around them kind of tentitively and ended up 11th, 6th in the field sprint.

So, that night, first thing I did was put a brand new Vittoria CX on the rear and took some sandpaper and roughed it up. Tire pressure and selection is key to going fast in the rain.

Sunday morning came up way too quickly. The Elite Nationals is late morning. It’s kind of a catch 22 for me, but that is the race I “can” race. I’ve done the race the last 4 years. I’ve never been to excited about the prospect. I’m not sure why. This year it was worse than the past. I usually have no problem motivating for wet criteriums, but I did Sunday. I only rode a couple miles and then sat around until the start.

I was called up to the line since I got 2nd last year and am also officially the oldest guy in the race. It was raining and kept raining harder and harder. I felt pretty good compared to the 100 plus degrees I’d been riding in recently. Anyway, I thought I’d try to win the mid race $500 prime to check out cornering etc. But, Frank Dierking, A & F, took off 3 laps before 25 laps. I took off to bridge up and after a half a lap, this VMG “kid” came by and pulled the rest of the way up. We got caught pretty quickly. Long story short, I came out of the last corner 1st with a good gap, the announcer is saying I’ve won it and then at the line, the VMG “kid” flew by. I didn’t know if I’d won and was pissed I sat up the last few meters.

So, I sat back and did nothing for the rest of the race. A couple super dangerous breaks went away, with Paul Martin(Texas Roadhouse), Elite National Road Champion, driving one and then Carl Bodine (5 Star Fish), Elite National Time Trial Champion, driving the other. But, fortunately for me, it was all back together for the end.

With a half a lap to go at the top of the hill, Kirk Albers, Texas Roundhouse, jumped away and got 50 meters or so. I was 10 or so back and was keeping my eye on the gap. I screwed up and jumped too late for the 2nd to last corner. I didn’t get by the front of the field with enough time to set up properly. I went into the corner at the wrong angle, in the rain, which isn’t a good thing. I keep drifting wider and wider until I knew I was going into the curb. I somehow managed to stay upright, but lost all my momentum, still in the 11 in the back. Needless to say, I was fairly lucky only 3 guys went by me before the last corner. I was attached to the back of the slowing, Kirk Albers train coming out of the last corner, but finished 4th, only passing Kirk, who had been going full out for the last 1/2 lap. There were multiple crashes behind us, in the 2nd to last corner, that I screwed up, and the final corner.

So, I pretty much lost the race on my own. I wasn’t too upset. The VMG “kid” Daniel Holloway (VMG Racing), rode an almost perfect race. He really did. He made 2 out of 3 breaks that had a chance to win. He won the mid race prime and won the race. You can’t ride a much better race than that when you’re there on your own. He is going to be a very good criterium rider in the future. Josh Carter was 2nd and should be/ was disappointed. He came up on Kirk in the last corner and probably would of won if he could of kept his speed through the last corner.

Now it’s been a couple days. I wasn’t riding good enough to dominate that race in the rain, but had the necessary skills to win. But, that isn’t how it went. Maybe next year I can race in the afternoon in the “real” race. A lot more of them fell the last few laps than the Elite guys. It was carnage, so I’m sure I would of hit the ground. Maybe that is the bright side.

Pictures-Podium shot. Last corner, me just tagging on the back. Coming out way back. Then the carnage behind me photos.
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Downer’s Grove Criterium Nationals Quick

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Just got back. Here are some photos. Text later. Could of gone better!
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Pro Am Results 2007 50km

1 Ken Hanson (USA) BMC 1.08.19
2 Dominque Rollin (Can) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra
3 Darren Lill (USA) Navigators
4 William Frischkorn (USA) Team Slipstream
5 Brad Huff (USA) Team Slipstream
6 Charles Dionne (USA) Colavita Sutter Home
7 Emile Abraham (USA) Priority Health/Bissell
8 Alejandro Borrajo (Arg) Rite Aid Pro Cycling Team
9 Chad Hartley (USA) BMC
10 Daniel Schmatz (USA) BMC
11 Steve Tilford (USA) HRRC/Trek Stores
12 Mark Hekman (USA) A&F Pro Development
13 Adam Myerson (USA) Nerac Pro Cycling
14 Ben Rady (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra
15 Keith Norris (USA) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork

Elite Criterium Nationals 2007

1 Daniel Holloway (VMG Racing) 1.53.56
2 Josh Carter (ABD Cycling Team)
3 Tom Soladay (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
4 Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek Stores)
5 Kirk Albers (Texas Roadhouse)
6 Marco Aledia (A&F Pro Development)
7 Derek Goerke (Team Einsteins Cycing)
8 Kiel Reijnen (Hagens Berman, LLP)
9 Karl Bordine (5 Star Fish)
10 Mat Ankney (Mercy Elite Cycling Team)
11 Devon Vigus (California Giant Berry Farms)
12 Antony Galvan (NOW/MS SOCIETY)
13 Eisinger John (Tokyo Joe’s)
14 Robert White (PCW Cycling)
15 Robert Campbell (TeamBobs-Bicycles.com)

Tour of KC Final

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This says it all. This was a hour after the race at 5pm. Things could of been worse. It could of been 100% humidity instead of 90%. It was stupid hot in the shade before the race. It was really stupid hot during the race.

It was a 75 minute plus 5 lap “event”. I figured that it would be best to race offensively. Especially in the heat. But, offensive racing takes power. And there wasn’t much power to be found in most guys legs at the above mentioned temperatures.

Brian had the overall all but locked up. Only Dewey could catch him mathematically. So, he only had to watch one guy and the rest of us could “race”. We did that for the first 40 minutes or so. When there was a lull, Stephan Roth took off and managed to time trialed the remaining 45 minutes off the front. It was a good effort. We kind of lost motivation, but got reinvigorated the last 3 laps or so. Bill took it for a couple laps and then Adam the last lap and a half.

Shad won the field sprint for 2nd, beating out Josh Carter and Derek Goerke pretty handily. Stpehan won by about 50 meters still. Brian was 5th and I was 8th. It sometimes better not to be ball hogs and win everything. Not that it was going to happen today.

Anyway, Brian won the Tour of Kansas City Overall GC. Shad Smith moved up to 3rd overall with the 2nd place finish today.

It’s supposed to be the same heat the next few days. It’s not very conducive for training obviously. Criterium Nationals is next Sunday up in Downer’s Grove. I can only hope it’s a record high for Chicago since I’m so trained for it now.

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Tour of Kansas City-Stage 2

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Today made the heat last night seem tame. Actually, after the fact, it wasn’t as bad as it could of been looking at the numbers. Somewhere between 102-106 depending on who you believe. It was hot anyway you look at it.

The race today was a little under a 3 mile circuit that has a couple big hills in it. It’s a great course really. We planned to try to get as many of us up the road semi-early before/when everyone else fell apart. I got away early and then was joined by Bill a lap later. 2 our of 5 was good. The next lap, Nolan Froese, junior, fell in the U turn and split us up abit. Nolan was riding great the whole weekend and has matured a ton as a rider. Brian said on the radio that he was coming up. He was alone then, but by the time he got up to us they were a lot of guys including the bleeding Nolan. People kept coming up until there was a big group of 15 or so.

By then everyone was really hot. I got away a few times, Bill rode a couple laps alone, but about half way through it split up pretty good. I got away with Alex Welch from Mercy and then Brian bridged up on the hill. He pulled the better portion of a half a lap, but we got caught by the remainder of the victims. I sat up immediately on the next corner and Brian road way for good. Alex Welch put it the best. “He’s gonna win anyway, we should just let him go.” And that is what they did.

The next lap got a little more animated. I ended up in a 4 rider group of a couple Big Shark guys, Mark Southard, Jeff Hartman, plus Alex Welch. We were all falling apart and Brian was riding 20 seconds or so a lap faster. I fell apart faster than the others. Within one lap I went from feeling pretty good to losing everything I drank (plus some) everytime I tried to drink. It got ugly quick. I sat up with 4 laps to go. Rode another lap as slow as I could go so I didn’t seize up when I stopped and called it a day.

I have some issues going right now, but I do know that I don’t deal with heat like I used to. I’m not sure what is up with that, but it’s a fact.

Anyway, Brian went on to win for the second day in a row by nearly 3 minutes. Bill dragged in around 12th or so. It was a tough guys race. There was no faking it here.

Tomorrow is another criterium. 75 minutes. Should be just as painful as the previous two days I imagine. Maybe not. There is always something to look forward to.

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Tour of Kansas City-Stage 1

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It has been a hundred thousand degrees in Kansas the past week. I was juggling between going up to Elk Grove of staying local and doing the Tour of Kansas City. Elk Grove was going to be abit anticlimatical since I couldn’t ride for the “real” money, it switching to a PRO only race. Anyway, I was dreading the weekend because of the heat.

And now, after the first stage, a night time criterium in downtown Kansas City , Kansas, I had good reason to dread it. It was a hundred million, gazillion degrees. Even at 9pm. The heat index was way over 100. Anyway, 80 guys lined up for the start, which is good for the race. I think adding another race, making it a 3 race weekend is good. I felt pretty good for the first 30 minutes and really bad the last 40 minutes. I’m not sure how many guys finished, but there are varying guesses from 25 to 35. So, it was hard. Good course though, with a couple big ring climbs per 1 mile lap.

We had the race under control until the end when Brian got into a 5 man group. That wasn’t the “plan”, but in bike racing, plans are ever changing. He did what he’s been doing most the rest of the season and won. Not convincingly, inches, but a good win none the less. It’s scored on points, not time, so nothing is set in stone.

Tomorrow’s racing is scheduled at 2:30. Forecast temperatures around 103. Heat index 115 or so. Should be a really enjoyable afternoon if tonight was any indication.

Superweek Wrap-Back in Kansas

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OK. Finally over. Back in Topeka. I didn’t ride four 4 days. I did run 3 miles and I can barely walk today. Stage racing at Superweek gets to be alittle like Goundhog’s Day (the movie). Day after day (actually, Night after night) of the same schedule. Wake up. Eat. Ride an hour or so. Eat. Nap. Drive to Race. Race. Eat. Drive back. Eat and stress about not sleeping until 2 am. This might be the only place on the planet that you can race 17 days straight. Mainly at dusk. This year the weather was kind. Recently, it’s been in the 90 with super high humidity. This year was quite abit cooler. Which made many of the races quite abit easier. Which is still hard. The best thing about Superweek is that it is free-for-all racing. There is very little that the field can do to contain the eventually breakaways. And the strong guys make the breaks more often than others.

I didn’t keep count, but I think I raced around 11 of the races. I had to miss 3 because of Elite Nationals. I never planned to do so many days, but when Brian got into a winning position, I felt that I should start any race he was going to race. And, then, I stayed the last week and did the rest. Hoping to get out of this thing I’ve got going. It didn’t seem to work, but I didn’t get worse.

Anyway, the season is just half over with cross going until December, so…….. it’s not over until it’s over. I thought of a bunch of stuff I should post, but it slips my mind right now. Something to do with too many miles driving or something if I were to guess.

Going to Jefferson City, MO for the Missouri State Criterium Championships Sunday. Wonder is Huff is going to show? (The way he’s been feeling, he might only lap us once if he came.)

Then either Elk Grove, Tour of KC or Ore to Shore MTB race in Michigan. Criterium Nationals the next weekend after that in Downer’s Grove, then Labor Day in St. Louis. Eventually, I’ll have to get going good.