Monthly Archives: October 2007

USA Criterium Finals, Interbike-Las Vegas

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I didn’t recover too much over night from the cross race. I was coughing a bunch of unsightly stuff out of my lungs and was feeling generally crummy. I went out for a ride after hanging at the bike show for a few hours. I can’t get too far at the show without running into someone I haven’t seen for a long time, so there is a
lot of standing around. I should of just spent the afternoon with Trudi and our friend Maureen, from Austin, at the Bellagio. Maureen got a poolside cabana and they spent the afternoon hanging by the pool drinking umbrella drinks.

Early evening, I rode over to the race with Catherine Walberg for the women’s race at 6 pm. It was a parking lot criterium. Lined with snow fencing. But, it wasn’t a horrible course. It could of been a lot more dangerous. The women’s race finished in the light. A field sprint contolled by The Cheerwine Team.

The industry race was next at 8pm. I was checking the course out when those guys were warming up and it was pretty cool. A bunch of guys I’ve raced with over the year’s, plus some guys that are still racing. Steve Hegg, Thurlow Rogers, Mark McCormick, Steve Bauer, Mario Cipollini. A weird mixture of superstarts past and present. Anyway, that race looked crazy fast. It was so cool that Bauer and Chipo were taking it seriously. But, in the end, crashes occurred and it got a bit out of control.

The PRO race was sponsored by Rock and Republic Jeans, the sponsor of Rock Racing. It was perfect for Vegas. Lots of glitz and girls, and hype.

I’d met some guys at the show from GoPro cameras that had a small video camera on display. I got a couple to mount on my bars and seatpost to film the race. I’m not sure if the lighting was up to par, but if so, it is going to be great. I’m planning on filming all my races soon and post them here.

Anyway, the race finally started sometime around 10pm. It was 60 lap on a 1km course. I got a good start and just hung around the top 15 most of the race. I think that it was nearly always the same guys there. It must of been hard to move up with the longest straight being 150 meters.

It was pretty easy racing with all the corners. I wasn’t even coming close to having to breath hard enough to get to the sore throat feeling from the night before.

With about 20 laps to go, I found myself off the front with Brad Huff and a Toshiba guy. I didn’t think that it was the right move, but wasn’t sure. Brad was doing most of all the work, with the Toshiba guy sitting on. We kind of finally got into a weird rotation, but that was short lived with the corners/primes. We got down to less than 10 laps to go, but by the the Kelley Benefit Team had got to the front for their new lead out style-take control 15 km to go. It looked like the Toshiba guy was going to pip Brad for a prime right before we were getting caught, so I jumped from behind and found myself off the front by myself. I rode another couple laps, winning some money, but I knew that it wasn’t going to last.

I sat up and got behind the leadout. Kirk Obee tried his hand at a solo move, but got caught and quit. I recovered pretty quickly and thought I had a good move in me to risk it and take it all, but that didn’t materialize. I was planning on jumping with half a lap to go it a corner and try to hold it to the line. But, entering the last lap, I was probably a couple guys too far back and ran into a pile of riders laying in the first corner. Race over for me. It was pretty anticlimatic for me. And the spectators I supposed. Two guys coming across the line, then 3 or 4 more, then the remains. The crash pretty much disrupted the sprint and broke up the field.

I didn’t get cut up at all and didn’t ruin much equipment, so that was a positive side.

The race was a great idea. I think the industry needs events at the show. And it is way more fun racing in front of your peers.

I was riding back to the hotel on the strip at 12:30am and it seemed so surreal. Time gets away in Vegas, especially when you’re racing to nearly midnight.

Pictures-Umbrella girls, race start (notice cameras on bike) and overview of race with The Madalay Bay in the background. Cipo before he fell.
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Mercy Hospital Celebrity Classic-Ft. Smith, AR

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Catherine, Trudi and I flew directly back to Kansas City and made a bee line down to Ft. Smith Arkansas for the last 2 races of the week. Hector and the guys/gals from the Mercy Hospital of Ft. Smith have been promoting this weekend for a long time. And they have it down. Good prize money, fun course and free food. What else does a cyclist need. It’s kind of a finish to the end of the summer road/criterium season in the Midwest.

Below is what Stefan Rothe wrote for Cyclingnews.com. He had a firsthand view of most of the action and sumed it up pretty well.

“At the end of a long season, many racers made their way to the last race of the year in the region: The Celebrity Classic Criteriums held in beautiful Van Buren, Arkansas.

The Men Pro/1/2 race on Saturday through Downtown historic Van Buren saw a big group of a dozen riders escaping the field about halfway through the 75minute criterium. Having four riders in that move, the local Mercy Cycling Team pb Zero Mountain took control in the break and their rider Stefan Rothe followed through when attacking with 5 laps remaining. Only Carlos Vargas (Team Hotel San Jose) and Brian Jensen (HRRC/Trek) were able to close in on the Mercy rider. The trio stayed clear until the finish and Colombian Vargas outsprinted Jensen and Rothe for the win and a nice $1000 prize. The podium was a very international one, with Colombia (Vargas) taking the top spot, followed by Denmark (previous year’s winner Jensen) in second, and Germany (Rothe) in third.

In the Women’s Open competition, Kansas-based rider Catherine Walberg (Mesa Cycles) took the win after outsprinting her break-away companions Michelle Jensen (Mercy Cycling Team) and Shannon Koch (Compliance Depot).

Sunday’s Men Pro/1/2 race was held on the identical course like the previous day and it was only a matter of time when a break-away would roll of the front. After a number of furious attacks from Team Hotel San Jose, Mercy Cycling and mountain bike legend Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek) the field finally let a group of 10 riders roll off the front. At this point it was clear that the winner would be one of those riders in the break. Last year’s double-winner Brian Jensen (HRRC/Trek) was again on fire, even two flat tires couldn’t stop him form attacking the break with 15 minutes to go and soloing to another win. Chad Cagle of the local Mercy Cycling Team pb Zero Mountain took the sprint of the remaining 9 riders ahead of Adam Myerson (NERAC Pro Cycling) who missed out on the break-away the previous day.

Catherine Walberg (Mesa Cycles) repeated her win from the previous day when she shot to the finish line with 3 bike length ahead of Shannon Koch (Compliance Depot) and Michelle Jensen (Mercy Cycling Team).”

Cross Nationals Course

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I didn’t race this weekend. Seems kind of weird. Decided maybe I should train some more before I make which seems like another foray into the cyclo-x scene. But, I haven’t done very much cyclo-x bike riding since my bike is still disassembled in my bike bag in my garage.

But, I did go over to Kansas City this morning and meet up with Bill Marshall and the other cross guys to help dial in the Nationals course.

I soon realized that I didn’t have much experience designing courses. We rode around the park for an hour or so and I was trying to prioritize what is the most important features. And, in the United States, I think one of the most important parts is being spectator friendly. If I’m watching a cross race, I want to see as much of the action as possible first hand. I thought the race in Las Vegas was kind of a drag riding, but it was a blast watching. I think the races in Portland and Providence were pretty spectator friendly. A cloverleaf designed course with the riders passing the central point multiple times a lap. With the UCI rules mandating a 3 km course, the laps get pretty long, time wise, and spectators watching can tend to loose track of the race.

Hopefully, if anything, this course will be spectator friendly. And, be fun to race. And challenging. Bill is drawing up a map from the GPS and is posting it at the KCX Nationals website this week.

Thinking of heading over to Cincinnati next weekend for the two UCI races. Til then…

UCI C2-Cincinnati

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Short post from Cincinnati. The course was good. Lots of U-turns and switchbacks. Some open riding and a sand section. Barry Wicks won. Danish Champion 2nd. Brent Prenslow 3rd, Brandon Dwight 4th, ect. I was 8th. Got an OK start and then moved up to 3rd toward the end of the first lap. A guy ran into me from behind and I backpedaled and dropped my chain. It got stuck between the “big(44)” ring and the crank arm. I had to sit there a while and yank it out. By the time I got going, I was back in the late 20’s. Made up a ton of places the next lap, but it got slower. Ended up riding around in a group of 3 with Tristan Schoutan and Ryan Leach going for 7th. Got mixed up with Tristan right at the of the last lap and ended up 8th. I felt like I could of been riding at the front, but you know how that goes. Anyway, I kind of get a do over tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have better results.

UCI Points

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Just got back from another trip to the East coast. I have UCI points in Cyclo-X from 5 events now. All finishes in the top ten. But, at the end of the top ten. I think I have a total of 13 points so far this season. That is close to equal of something like a 3rd place finish in any C2 race. It is pitifull really. I’ve been making a bunch of mistakes in the races and having a little bad luck. But, that isn’t much of an excuse to consistently have a mediocre result. Mediocre results usually come consistently when that is the results you should receive. I’ll post more about the races and add some photos later.

Cyclo-X Weekend, Topeka Capitol Cross-Boulevard Nationals Course Preview

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I decided to stay home this weekend and race locally instead of doing the long haul to Louiville for the USGP weekend. I’m flying to New Zealand this Thursday for The Tour of Southland. I thought I had travelled enough for a while. Also, there were two cyclo-x races here locally that I felt obligated to do.

One, the Capitol Cross, in Topeka, promoted by a friend, and cyclo-x nut, Jeff Unruh. Then Sunday, The Boulevard Cup, a pre race of the Nationals course in Kansas City, sponsored by my favorite beer company.

Anyway, it is always fun to race locally. I don’t get much of a chance to do it. Usually only early season on the road. The race on Saturday in Topeka was great. It was held at the new Sports Park that used to be the Old State Hospital (insane asylum). We’ve been using it for a few years for cross practice, so it’s was pretty familiar.

Nothing much to report racewise. I got away with my friend and team mate, Bill Stolte and we road the whole race together off the front. Bill was about 5 races behind me, which means he’d ridden his cross bike in one race, so he was abit rusty. And, of course, sore for the Sunday race.

The race today was super.  It was a preview race of “Nationals Course” in Kansas City.  It finely turned fall here in Kansas. Meaning cold morning and nice days. It took awhile for the day to hit the forecasted 60 degree temperatures. Lots of participates, which is a good sign. I think there were something like 240 entries, which is huge for a cyclo-x in the midwest.

It is so fun watching the other catagories race, I usually end up standing around for way too long before I race. Watching the women’s race was good. They started with the Master’s, so there were a ton of riders on the course at the same time. Sydney Brown , Catherine Walberg, and Jennifer Tilley rode the whole race together and were separated be a couple seconds at the end. They finished in that order with Catherine and Sydney trading places from the day before.

My race went pretty good. Bill started pretty fast and road hard the first half a lap. I took over from there and ended up trading Shad Smith (team mate) for Bill and we rode the rest of the race together. I used the race to “practice” some stuff that I was having trouble with. Like, which brake to pull when. And dismouting and mounting smoother. I think I got better at both, but I need to ask Shad. Bill and Adam Mills rode together in 3rd and 4th, so it was a sweep of the first 4 places by riders of my road team.

I’m going to try to get a couple long rides in the next couple days and then get on a plane for the 30+ hour ordeal to the Southern Hemisphere. Brian Jensen, team mate, is going with me, so it should be a little more interesting this year. I have done this race for the last 3 years. I seem to gain a ton of form that lasts nearly until Cyclo-X Nationals in December. Hopefully, it will work the same this season.

Full results for both races at localcycling.com. Pictures to come.