Monthly Archives: May 2010

Short Joe Martin Report

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TT is done. It was hot. Upper 80’s. Windy. Tailwind most the way. That didn’t help me. I thought I warmed up good. Rode an hour this morning and twice up the climb before the start. But, no. I never really got going very fast and then fell apart anyway. Michael Creed (Team Type 1) took the 30 seconds he started behind me out after about a mile and a half. I tried to match his pace, but completely lost it somewhere the last 500 meters. He took at least 20 more seconds out of me then. I rode around 9:23 I think. Slower than last year. I couldn’t of done it much worse. Whatever. ( I think I still would of won the women’s race, as if that something to brag about. )

Word (Twitter) has it that Andrew Talansky,(California Giant Strawberries), won the stage. That would be pretty impressive. I don’t want to start a bad rumor here, but when we left the TT, after the women’s finish, Andrew and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) hadn’t been located by USADA for dope control. Since there was no cell service in Devil’s Den State Park, I have no idea how they would be contacted. At that point, there is virtually no way that they were going to be able to report within the hour time limit. Hopefully that works out well for both of them.

I guess by Andrew’s comment below, it was all fine. It seems that he was at the top of the course and they were looking for him still at the bottom.

More later.

Sent by iPhone

Joe Martin NRC Stage One

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Like I said below, I sucked. I knew I sucked. At least there were 55 guys behind me. Still, pitiful. But, I’m not riding that badly. At least I hope not. We’ll see in the next couple days I guess. Or maybe not. Kind of depends how the racing goes. Andrew Talansky went real fast. There is a pretty high chance that the race tomorrow might be interesting. I think that the Cal-Giant guys only have 5 guys on their team here. Including him. I’m pretty sure that isn’t enough to contain the field on this 110 mile stage tomorrow. It is only supposed to be in the upper 60’s, but the wind isn’t going to be calm. Maybe the 5 years of field sprinting on Dickson St. is over. Hopefully. The finish is pretty hard tomorrow. A left, right combination and then uphill for a km to the finish. There are usually pretty good time gaps inserted even though it’s a field sprint.

I got the video camera delivered to the hotel tonight. I’m charging it right now on my computer, but I’m not sure I’m going to have it figured out for the stage tomorrow. I couldn’t find a 16gb micrsd card that would do the whole 4 hours on HD. So, I’m going to use a 8gb card and turn it on and off. Hopefully by the criterium on Sunday I’ll have it figured out.

It’s good to see that Ben Day seems to have recovered nicely from his tapeworm experience. Finishing 2nd, it is a pretty good progression from his Gila ride. I guess we’re lucky it’s not next week already. If he improves the next three days as he has the last three days, it could be ugly by the weekend.

Okay, until tomorrow.

Check out the statement after C. in the race bible about not having to wear helmets while riding trainers. Wow - Brain surgery.

I told Amanda (Miller) this. She had her helmet hanging on her bars. She decided that maybe it would be better not to take any chances and put it on.

The photo below is of Jeff Bradley riding a trainer in Arkansas. I would have bet a million dollars that photo would never exist.

Here is Jeff on a trainer at nearly 90 degrees before the 1-2 race. Jeff came out of stage race retirement here at Joe Martin in 2010. The last stage race Jeff rode was the 1987 Tour de France. Pretty similar events.

Joe Martin Stage 2

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Not much to report right now. The race was 110 miles with a big climb 25 miles from the finish. I guess the wind was the main factor today. Mainly tailwind for the first 50 miles and then pretty much headwind the last 60 or so. Blowing 25 mph or so. Our average speed was close to 30 mph for the first hour and a half. But, it wasn’t hard. Going through the first feed zone, a huge group formed off the front. Probably something like 30 plus guys. Cal-Giant had Sid Taberly in the move, but that wasn’t good for them, so they put their remaining 3 guys on the front to rotate. I thought it was a lost cause. Mainly because it was only 3 guys and that it was a 25mph headwind. But, the front group didn’t have the right mix either. After about an hour, close to the bottom of the climb, we were catching the “break”. Then the break split up. In the meantime, Fly V Australia started rotating some riders into the chase. We caught a group of 20 plus guys, but a big group, maybe 10+ guys were still away at 2 minutes at the top of the climb. The climb was virtually straight headwind so it was very easy to sit in.

There was a ton of stuff on the road and lots of flats. I flatted with about a km to go to the top of the climb. I got a pretty slow wheel change from SRAM. I knew it was going to be impossible to catch on without motor pacing. It was downhill into a strong headwind. The cars were so spread out. It was wrong. Finally, I got behind a COM car (ie. officials) and they brought me back up to the back of the caravan. But, the caravan was still way spread out. Riders were dropping back to get bottles and the cars weren’t staying tight. When they got bottles, they then would hold onto them at 50mph and blow by me. It wasn’t like they were holding on for a couple seconds. It was for like 30 seconds. If there aren’t any penalties, then there is something wrong. I saw a moto official writing down numbers when I was riding by myself. It wouldn’t normally matter much to me, but they were screwing up the caravan enough I didn’t have anyone to motor pace off of. I finally got back on. It was the by far the hardest part of the race for me. By miles.

Anyway, having no race radios screwed the information the field got up. And, the break rode smart. They were up 2 minutes. The chase got the gap down to 43 seconds with 20 km to go, but then the break ramped up the speed. We never slowed down, but they put more time on us. Fly V, United Healthcare and Cal-Giant all had riders rotating and there was no way we were going to catch the front group. I thought it was amazing with 10 km to go, all these teams started getting in line for the finish. We were sprinting for 10-15th place. That isn’t a place really. They should of been at the front chasing if they wanted to get a result. I don’t really know who was up front, so it is kind hard second guessing tactics. About 2 km out, there was the normal pileup. The hard uphill finish wasn’t so hard because of the headwind. I was in pretty good position, top ten, and kind of just stayed there until the last corner. I was just making sure there wasn’t any gaps opening up. Historically, the officials insert lots of time gaps at this finish. There is rumors that the break finished around 30 seconds ahead, but that isn’t set in stone. I think they had more personally. The results are going to take a long while I’d bet. Trying to figure out the riders involved in the crash isn’t going to be an easy task.

So, I don’t know who won. I hear it was a Fly V guy. I’m not sure why they were pulling, but maybe they didn’t want the time gaps big so they have more options the next couple days. I also don’t know who is winning the race. Tomorrow the course is much harder. I’m going to have to see the results before trying to guess how it might play out. I felt pretty great today, but that isn’t saying anything. Headwind climbing, anyone can feel good. You would have had to be riding pretty badly or have some pretty bad luck to not finish in the field today. Sorry I don’ have anything of substance here. But, with a tailwind/headwind race, it usually makes it more neutral. At least it wasn’t a field sprint. Finally.

I didn’t get the camera working. It looked like it might rain some, so I didn’t mess with it. And, I’m not sure how to adhere it to my bars. I don’t want to put it on my helmet. I might mess with it some tomorrow morning if I have time. I have to go glue a couple tires on now. It seems like I’m running out of time and I’m not really doing anything at all except riding 4 hours. Kind of weird how extra time disappears during stage races.

I drank a glass of this stuff after dinner for some reason. It didn't taste that bad. I was apprehensive because of the vegetables on the front with the lemon/lime flavor. It just seemed wrong. I did need to wash it down with the liquid in the bottle behind.

Joe Martin NRC – Stage 3

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Today was a 95 mile road race. 3 loops of 25 miles or so, plus 10 miles out to the circuit and 10 back. After checking out the results, it seemed like it was going to be the normal controlled race. And it was. The first 15 miles or so it was attack after attack until a group got formed off the front. Jamis put all their guys up on the front since they were leading. The front group had a lot of guys and were going pretty good. We were moving along quickly and they had over 3 minutes on us after one large lap. It was obvious that Jamis wasn’t going to be able to keep that pace up for another 3 hours. Pretty soon, Team Type 1 joined in at the front.

On the 2nd big loop, we were swinging out around a car and the guy behind me didn’t swing quick enough and his front wheel went into my rear derailleur. He made some derogatory remark. The weird thing is that if it had been anyone other than me most likely, he would of fallen. As soon as I heard the contact, I leaned my bike back the other direction, even though I was off balance. He was the one not paying attention. Whatever. I came out of it worse than he. I couldn’t get into my 11 because my derailleur hanger was bent pretty bad.

A little while later I noticed that I couldn’t get into a 12 anymore either. So, at the 2nd field zone where it was going slow, I pulled over and got off to straighten the hanger. It pretty much fell off in my hands. I’d pulled off to the left to stop, so I walked across the road to the right to try to get a bike from SRAM. The SRAM guy saw me last minute and hit his brakes. Then the Jamis Team car ran into him from behind.

So, after getting the bike off the roof, measuring my seat, putting on Shimano pedals, I was standing around for about 5 minutes. Maybe more. So, I asked them if they were going to pace me back up. They said no, but kind of changed their minds when they came by. But, it didn’t work out. It is not like they didn’t try. It turned into a crazy hard interval session in a 11 in the back. I realized when we got to the hill and all the feed vehicles were coming down that it was going to be a lost cause. I was toast and really far behind. With nearly 40 miles to go. I rode up to the top of the hill and then turned around and rode the 15 miles back to the finish line.

I felt pretty good all day. Again, not that I had a chance to really feel bad. Unless you count the 15 minutes I sat behind the SRAM car at 45+ mph. It was a nice ride back. This is the 2nd time I’ve ridden a SRAM support bike the last year. They have the levers mounted real low on the bars. Like guys used to ride them in the 70’s. And with all the measuring, the seat was a cm low. Not that I’m complaining. I don’t really know what they could do differently following a road race neutral. There are so many different types of pedals out there. It makes it nearly impossible to get a bike change and have an ability to catch back on.

So, riding back, I thought, “man, why didn’t I just hold onto the car?” Shit. I was so far back, there was no way I was going to get back to the field motor pacing on that terrain. Unless it was someone that knew how to do it very well and they were deticated to getting me back. Which wasn’t the case here. It just didn’t cross my mind. I haven’t ever held onto a car in a car. I take that back. I did once during the Coor’s Classic when I was riding for La Vie Claire. Paul Koechli told me to hold on after I flatted to get me back up to a group so I could help in a long, long chase of a break. I didn’t like it then.

But, I don’t know. Somehow it seems okay now. Just getting back up to where I would of been. But, if I hadn’t gotten back on before the climb, it might of been all for not anyway. I guess it doesn’t matter. Other than I was really looking forward to riding the criterium tomorrow. It is a very hard course that they made harder by adding some more corners. Plus, there is a high chance of rain tomorrow afternoon. Not that I want to ride a sketchy criterium in the rain, but I would like to ride a sketchy criterium in the rain right about now.

So, I get to watch a sketchy criterium tomorrow. Did I mention Jonathan Cantwell, Fly V won today out of a field spring once again. It was sketchy in it’s own right. There was alot of leaning and coasting going on the last 50 meters. Seemed like the United Healthcare and Type 1 guys didn’t really get the sprint because they were too busy trying not to crash. Okay. I’m bummed, but that is bike racing I guess.

Giro – Fighting for position

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Cadel is winning the Giro now. Probably a bit too early. I hear there were a ton of crashes. BMC lost one rider and two more are beat up.

I started thinking about it and I think that many of those crashes can be attributed to the new team tactic of riding in “formation” when the team is just in the field, not leading.

These guys feel obligated not to loose their team mates wheel. So everyone is fighting for position all the time when it really isn’t necessary.

I’m not sure where/when this “tactic” was concieved. But, it doesn’t make any sense. It takes a thousand times more energy to try to stay on just one riders wheel than to float in the field. All these teams trying to stay in line just makes everyone more nervous and increases the danger factor immensely.

Okay. Joe Martin criterium is in an hour. No rain. They added 4 corners. So it’s now 12 per lap. Talk about a problem moving up in the field. It is going to carnage today. Lots of guys aren’t going to finish.

Brent Bookwater in the points jersey getting interviews before the start.

Joe Martin NRC

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Back late last night. I’ll get to the post soon. Raining here. Supposed to all week. Ordered skylights for the roof project. Have a bit of plastic to adhere today before it gets crazy tonight. Thunderstorms and “tornadoes” predicted. I’m not sure how they predict that, but I guess it is just like all weather. The conditions are the same that have been observed before, so it is a high percentage. I know it is raining now though, so off to get wet.