Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tour of Lawrence – KU Campus Circuit Race

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It’s 2:30 am and I’m still going. I think when you do a super hard effort, late in the day, it is pretty hard for your metabolism to slow down enough to sleep. At least that is my experience.

Anyway, yesterday was the circuit race on the KU campus at the Tour of Lawrence. The race is only 56 miles, but it is a really hard course. Throw in triple digit temperatures at the start and it makes for pretty tough racin’ conditions. The race went alright for me, not so great for the TradeWind Team. I finally felt okay in hot conditions. I don’t have any idea what was different yesterday than the prior week. I didn’t feel stellar, but okay is enough right now, baby steps.

There were about 60 + guys lining up for the Pro 1/2 race. Not a huge field, but enough good guys to make for a very interesting race, from my perspective. The course is around 4 miles and is more like a criterium than a road race. Lots of fast, technical corners at the bottom of descents. I had a 51 mph max speed yesterday, which is pretty quick considering how short the descents are.

Everyone was worried about the heat. I think the saving grace of the day was that a thin cloud cover rolled in just about when the race started, so the sun wasn’t just blaring down on us. The first lap was the fastest lap. Lots of attacks and animation. Our plan was to try to get Brian into a small break. It was obvious that after a break formed, there would be no one left to chase. The course is too technical and over half the field is getting the slinky effect, so they are going so much harder than the front that they would be toast in an hour.

I got into a break of 4 somewhere on the 3rd lap out of 14. We had the proper mix with Nick Coil from Mercy, Matt Ankeny, Tulsa Tough, Chris Winn, Horizon/Panache and me. No one was drilling it. I was just out there so Brian could sit for the first 7 laps. Eventually, most of the good riders in the race blew the field apart. Sean Sullivan and Joseph, Elbowz, Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, Josh Yaton, another Horizon guy, Colton Jarisch, Mercy and Brian came up to us after about an hour.

I tried to stay aggressive, riding a lap off the front with Nick and then another one with Sean Sullivan. I felt just good enough that I could go steady hard, but not at fast race form.

I was taking bottles whenever I could. Trudi had all the bottles packed on ice, so they were great. One of the Horizon guys, Chris I think, kept attacking when I was taking bottles, which seemed kind of cheesy.

It was obvious, at least to me, that Joseph was going the best. I was trying to mark Sean, but that didn’t really work. Eventutally, with 3 laps to go, Sean disappeared up the road alone. We all messed around until the last lap. Brad Huff was doing his normal Brad Huff strange moves. Strange enough that they are very unexpected. He would attack going downhill into a corner, uphill spinning 150 rpm’s, anywhere. He got a gap with a little less than half a lap to go and then Brian bridged across to him on the next to the last climb. I just sat up then. I thought it was done. Brian would pull Brad to the finish and that would be the podium. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the best we could hope for.

Little did I know that Joseph was just playing around. He caught the Brian and Brad, right before the final climb up to the finish. Actually nearly the whole break regrouped, minus Nick and me. Joseph then dispatched of them quickly for a 1-2 finish for Elbowz. I’m not really sure how the rest played out, but Brian ended up 6th. I kind of wish I wouldn’t have sat up now, but I was starting to cramp and didn’t really want to destroy my legs to finish 5 or 6th. As it turned out, I could have realistically been going for 3rd. There is no way I could have stayed with Joseph on the last steep pitch up to the finish.

The rumor has it that Joseph has a guest ride on the Bissell Pro Team for Utah and the Tour of Colorado. All I can say is, it is about time. The guy has been riding great, on & off, mainly on, for the past two seasons. He deserves to be participating in some of these Pro only invitational races. Too bad they are both at altitude, but you can’t be choosy in these situations.

Anyway, like I said, I felt better. My shoulder was torqued after the race, but that is business as usual now. We’ll see how it goes later today for the criterium downtown. It isn’t until 5:30 again, so it is going to be hot at the start and hopefully cool off a little during the race.

This race is a blast. Super good courses, good prize money and not dominated by any one group of riders. Just bike racing. I’ve been painting all mornings and after the races. We’re getting new carpet on Monday morning in a couple rooms, plus the hallway, so it is always best to paint when it doesn’t matter if you splatter a bunch. It wasn’t the best timing, but I don’t seem to be too much worse for wear because of the extra work.

It’s too bad Tony Martin flatted yesterday. I would have liked to see his time. He is going to be hard to beat at the Olympic games I believe. My stage pick at the Tour is Peter Sagan today, since the finish is uphill for 2 km. I don’t care that Cav has lost all those kilos of baby fat, he still isn’t going to like to sprint uphill. I hope he proves me wrong.

If you click any of the photos twice, actually once, then wait and then click again, they enlarge.

This was the finish of the day. Catherine just didn’t quit get by Emile Flanigan at the line. Luckily there is a redo today on Mass. St.

Tour of Lawrence – KU Campus Circuit Race Results

The Walberg’s car in my driveway before heading to the race. Quite a mixture of bikes.

Repinning numbers, what a hassle.

We use Cadillac Escalades to move hay bales around here in Kansas.

Tour of Lawrence Criterium Later

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I had a long day today. Again. It is now nearly 4 am and I am pretty beat. The criterium went better for me today, result-wise. I was 3rd and first rider from Kansas, so Kansas State Criterium Champion. I’ve been pulling carpet and carpet pad up for the last few hours, so don’t really have enough energy or time to go over the race. I’ll do it later this morning. I hope the carpet guys don’t make a huge racket when they get here at 8 am, that’s all I have to say.

The living room and dining room are pretty spotless right now. The white areas are where I sealed the floor where our old dog Andie had some issues towards the end of her life.

Final Results-Tour of Lawrence Downtown Criterium

Pro/1/2 75 Starters

Place Bib Name, Cat, Age, Team, City, State

1 1 Brad Huff,1,33,Jelly Belly P/B Kenda Springfield,MO
2 81 Bryan Duvall,2,40,Unattached Tulsa,OK
3 43 Steve Tilford,1,52,Tradewind Energy Cycling Team Topeka,KS
4 50 Josh Yeaton,1,23,Unattached Boulder,CO
5 15 Ryan Gabriel,2,27,Tulsa Wheelmen Tulsa,OK
6 63 Lance Sulzen,2,37,Groove Subaru Cycling Team Littleton,CO
7 16 Michael Giem,2,32,Ronin Racing Colorado Springs,CO
8 2 Mathew Ankney,1,38,Tulsa Tough/Tulsa Wheelmen Tulsa,OK
9 21 Colton Jarisch,1,25,Mercy Cycling Team Austin,TX
10 20 Zach Allison,1,23,Mercy Elite Cycling Team Ft Collins,CO
11 48 Chris Winn,1,28,Horizon Organic / Panache Elite Cycling Lake
12 39 Shadd Smith,1,42,Mercy Elite Cycling Team Overland Park,KS
13 38 Lawrence Simonson,2,32,Walt’s Bike Shop Columbia,MO
14 66 David Carpenter,2,22,rasmussen bike shop Norwalk,IA
15 47 Daniel Williams,2,20,Korte Hammer Down Racing Murphysboro,IL
16 37 Connor Simmons,2,21,Horizon Organic / Panache Elite Cycling
17 56 Joseph Schmalz,1,22,KCCX/Verge Presented by Challenge Tires
18 57 Tyler Jewell,1,25,Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team Austin,TX
19 52 Jay Shalekbriski,1,24,US Military Cycling Enid,OK
20 59 Josh J Estes,1,22,Tyson Racing Fayetteville,AR
21 8 Chad Briggs,2,37,Korter Hammer Down Racing Murphysboro,IL
22 71 Britton Kusiak,2,27,Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee Kansas City,
23 28 Nicholas Coil,1,29,Mercy Elite Cycling Team Prairie Village,
24 6 Jay Blankenship,1,36,Tulsa Tough/Tulsa Wheelmen Bel Aire,KS
25 76 Robert Sheffield,2,33,NCUC/united Healthcare Kansas City,mo

Tour of Lawrence Criterium

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I’d hoped that these carpet guys would let me sleep, but no go there. So web post and Tour de France now.

The race yesterday was pretty interesting. It was a good mix of free-for-all bike racing and team racing, since there were only 75 riders, with no one team, other than Mercy, having more than 5 guys.

The course is nearly a figure 8 right in downtown Lawrence, with a slight rise going away from the finish line and a slight downhill to the finish. The wind was from the south pretty strong, so it was a headwind sprint.

The race was pretty quick right from the start. The field was very strong and motivated, which for me, makes for fun criterium racing. There were lots of little splits and it seemed like it was going to be a field sprint early. It was super hard riding off the front and pretty easy sitting in the field, which has field sprint written all over it.

But, with about 40 minutes to go, a group of around 8 guys rolled away. We, TradeWind Energy, had Brian Jensen in the move. On paper, it looked okay for him considering the mix. But pretty quickly, Joseph Schmaltz bridged up to the front, then a couple laps later, his team mate, Sean Sullivan flew across the gap in about 1/3 a lap. It was super impressive.

At that point, it wasn’t looking good. Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, missed the move and was a little stressed, then started doing his normal crazy attacks. Towards the end of the race, two things happened. Brad and a few guys got sort of organized and started taking time out of the break. At the same time, Stefan Roth and Brian somehow got off the front of the break, thus destroying the unity of the other riders. We caught the remainder of the break with maybe 7 laps to go. We went to the front and to slow the field. Luckily, a Mercy rider, I think Dylan Jones, bridged up to the front 2. That was good for us. The rest of the Mercy guys swarmed the front.

It was so close for the last 3 laps. The break was just hanging less than 10 seconds off the front. It was kind of strange trying to stay at the front of the field, hoping to slow it down, when setting up for a field sprint. With about 3 laps to go, there was a huge crash on the backstretch. I think Sean Sullivan fell there and that most likely changed the end of the race a lot.

With one to go, Brian and Co. had only 7 seconds. We never got going crazy hard, not much organization for any leadout. I was in pretty good position, somewhere in the top ten with 1/2 a lap to go. I was trying to get onto Brad Huff’s wheel, when I saw Bryan Duvall, Soundpony, do his normal long sprint. He got a huge gap and blew by the break with 4 corners to go. Josh Yeaton had one of his guys from Horizon doing a leadout, but they weren’t going fast enough. Brad shouted a couple times and then took matters into his own hands. He jumped the Horizon guys before the 2nd to last corner. I was on him, but when he went over the top of the Horizon guys, I was dislodged a bit. I was nearly back into the last corner, but on a much different angle than Brad. I lost Brad right out of the corner and knew it was going to be a ways to the finish, it being headwind. But, we had a big gap on the rest of the field. Brad caught Bryan right before the line, going way faster. I didn’t get by Bryan before the finish, but ended up 3rd.

If I would have played the finish just a little different, I would have finished 2nd. It is pretty unrealistic thinking there would have been any way I would have beaten Brad there. He is much faster than me and wasn’t in the wind anywhere nearly long enough to not have enough juice to get to the finish.

We, the TradeWind Team rode great. Mainly because Brian was so strong. He did the same thing last year at this race, never missing a move and riding off the front all day. It made it much easier for me just to hang and be rested for the end. The race was designated the State Criterium Championships, so being the first Kansas finisher, I was 1st.

I really like the Tour of Lawrence. I like the technical aspects of the courses and the composition of the the fields. Lots of small team with good aggressive riding. It is exactly what a big regional race is all about. Good venues, good prize money and enthusiastic spectators. Plus, it’s only a stone’s throw from my house.

I have no idea what the deal was this weekend compared to last. I felt 1000X better. I wasn’t going 100 %, but not 50 either. I was pretty good on Saturday and good again on Sunday. I didn’t do anything other than ride slow in the heat of the day all week. It always amazes me how these things happen. It seems like I’ll never figure it out. But, it makes the sport interesting.

I didn’t get by Bryan at the line. Brad won convincingly.

Photo by Mike Yoder Lawrence Journal-World

The strong guys, Brian and Stefan, made the race interesting to the very end.

It is always super exciting racing on Mass. Street in downtown Lawrence.

Running into the KU basketball coach, Bill Self was great. The other rider, a junior, Nick Torraca, from Grapevine Texas, was staying with him. Nick’s mom and Bill’s wife are good friends. Nick had an awesome weekend and is heading up to Canada to do the Tour de l’Abitibi in a couple weeks. I told him I rode that race in 1978. Crazy.

Catherine won the women’s race, sprinting from the front, to make up for the photo finish on Saturday.

Brad and I after the race. Brad is from Springfield Missouri and it’s always great when he’s around to spice up the races. He makes them pretty interesting. He gave me an after race drink from Gatorade. It was pretty good, nearly better than chocolate milk.

Shad Smith and I on the podium for the State Criterium title. Shad and I have been racing together for ages, on the same team and sometimes not. He is getting better every year in all aspects of cycling, which shows he’s a student of
the sport.

Brian and I after the race. Brian is, at this very moment, on a plane heading back to Denmark for a couple weeks. He has been doing this for the past couple years, visiting his mom and family when it’s hot in July.

These carpet guys are pretty quick.

Pretty quick max speed considering.

“Dude, You’re just Gnarly.”

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I saw a few guys walking around at the criterium Sunday in Lawrence with broken collarbones. I’m always interested listening to the story about exactly what happened, from the rider’s perspective, how they perceived the wreck occurred and how they thought they could have avoided it. It is sort of weird, but all they guys I talked to, it was their first broken collarbones and they didn’t seem too bummed out about it. I like that – “Just a part of racing and I’ll move on.”

Anyway, I was talking to this one guy and he asked me how my shoulder was doing. He looked at it and say something like how gnarly it looked. I told him his collarbone might not heal all that perfectly either. I was talking about some of my thoughts about surgery or not surgery. I did agree with him that it didn’t look that aesthetically great and maybe, if anything, surgery might help with that. He said something like, “Dude, You’re just gnarly anyway, don’t worry about your shoulder.” It wasn’t exactly it, but that was pretty close. He was a super nice guy and seemed to mean it in a complimentary way, but it was going through my mind while riding yesterday what he actually meant.

When he said it, I thought that I am pretty scarred and broken up in general, so if I was only fixing this one drooping shoulder for aesthetics, it would be like putting a bandage on a sucking chest wound. But, thinking about it, I doubt this guy has any idea about how many broken collarbones, legs, etc. I’ve had through the years.

So, I’m not actually sure what he meant. Now I’m thinking of just gnarly in general. I’m not sure what that means, but I know he meant it nicely.

Anyway, I looked up the definition of gnarly and saw a million different definitions. Not until I got to the did I find a few that I hope he meant.

I don’t really think that much about describing myself. I’d hate to have to do a questionnaire that you have to come up with adjectives that you think describe your personality. But, if I would, I know I never would have used the word gnarly. But, after talking to this guy, I like it; so, maybe I would now. The after race interactions are sometimes just as memorable as the in race experiences. The sport is very cool.

USADA Investigation according to Velonews – Irrelevant at Tour

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This was the title of an “article” Velonews threw out there yesterday – Analysis: Armstrong investigation is ‘irrelevant’ for many at the Tour de France. Here is the link.

The article goes on to interview only two guys, Team Sky manager David Brailsford and Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters. Brailsford is quoted as saying something about it being in the past and Jonathan is quoted as saying, “I don’t think it’s relevant at all. Zero relevance. It’s irrelevant to this Tour de France.”

What I’m wondering is why they included the word analysis in the title. This doesn’t involve that the least bit. I’m not even sure why they wrote the article. It is complete bullshit and a waste of energy. It like someone came up with an idea; “Let’s take a couple quotes from two team managers and apply the answers to the whole Tour de France.”

Plus, I have no idea why the managers replied in the way they did. Why can’t these guys say something that is believable and honest. Something like, “Cycling have processes to deal with accusations like these. I think we should let those processes to deal with the issue.” Or, “I have no personal knowledge of the allegations against Lance and Bruyneel, so I don’t have anything to say.” Maybe Jonathan couldn’t honestly say that, but you know what I mean.

I wonder if Jonathan thinks that the Radio Shack team, the team who is currently protecting the yellow jersey, not having it’s team director, Johan Bruyneel at the race, is irrelavent to “this Tour de France?” The manager who has “led” 9 Tour de France Champions? I’d hope not. And I assume Brailsford knows that Johan Bruyneel is the current team director of the Radio Shack team. Not just in the past, but currently.

I know that Velonews has to write something about the sport. Maybe, in the future, they could write something that might be news worthy and not something just made up for some unknown reason.

Jonathan on the cover of Velonews with all the other clean riders.

Maybe David and Jonathan have already read Johan’s book, so they don’t need him around at the Tour.

4th of July Drove To Wisconsin

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Last night at 1 am I was swimming, under a full moon, in my favorite lake on the planet. That involved getting in my van and driving the 650 miles up to Cable Wisconsin. The van was jammed with 8 bikes. Bill, Catherine, Trudi and I all brought both our MTB bikes and road bikes. Plus, I threw in another road frame for a guy in Minneapolis that is looking for a fixie for his son.

I sort of planned this for a little while. Bromont hasn’t been up to his favorite place in the world for a long time and it was supposed to be over 102 in Kansas all the way through the weekend. Dennis warned me that it is supposed to be over 90 degree here under Saturday, so I threw a window AC in the van. It was a savior last night. It isn’t that hot, but it is super muggy. Catherine actually got cold sleeping, which is great considering.

There is a great 4th of July parade in Cable at 11 am. I’ve been to it twice before and it is super entertaining. A few years ago, the young guys from the Brick House Coffeeshop did a Austin Power’s dance. It was amazing. I’m not much normally into watching parades, but this one is so unique and has a flavor of its own, I can hardly wait.

Then probably a long MTB ride. I’ve been really interested if I can ride a MTB with my shoulder. I know now that it doesn’t work the least bit for swimming.

Okay, I can’t spend all day on the computer when I’m up in the North Woods. I hope everyone has a good 4th today and enjoys the mid week day off.

This is as close as I can get to a 4th of July picture. This is from Byerly’s in Minneapolis.

Bromont’s position the whole 10 hours.

The window unit.

The van in front of the Kansas garage.

The downstairs of the Kansas garage is now full of bikes too.