Monthly Archives: June 2016

Where is Jonathan Vaughters?

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It is sort of strange thinking about not hearing from Jonathan Vaughters, what seems like, ages. When I start to think about it, it seems like he sort of fell off the face of the Earth right after Tom Danielson was found to be positive last year.   Jonathan used twitter to announce that the Cannondale Team would continue, even though Jonathan had sworn that if one of his guys tested positive that the team would disband.   And he sort of has faded away since then.

Maybe I just haven’t been following the Cannondale team enough.  Has Jonathan been as active on social media as always?  I don’t really use Twitter, so maybe he is a tweeting fiend.   I know Velonews did an article on the 2016 Cannondale Team a couple weeks ago, but that is normal media.  Jonathan usually creates his own media.

I have to give praise to Jonathan for ejecting Ryder and replacing him with Lawson Craddock. Lawson is the real deal and is going to be great cyclist.   Lawson was picked to do the Tour for Cannondale, which is just going to give him more experience to use in the future years.

And what is going on with Andrew Talansky?   As if not enough controversy already surrounds the guy, someone decides that he is going to skip the Tour to ride the Vuelta.  Let’s back up a bit.

Andrew won the US time trial Nationals last year.  Then he beat Taylor Phinney in a 24 minute time trial at the Tour of California a month ago, finishing 2nd to Rohan Dennis.  But, Andrew decides to skip the US Professional Time Trial Championships the following week.  This pretty much removed his name from making the Olympic team, I’d think.  So he goes and rides, and is 2nd with one stage to go.  The last day is a mess and he drops to 5th overall.

Then it is announced that he would skip the Tour de France to ride the Tour of Spain because he wasn’t prepared because of a “personal issue”.  Seems like he was pretty prepared to me.

If Andrew would have ridden the US Time Trial Championships, and done as well as the week before in California, I would have to assume he would have been in the running to get one of the two Olympic spots available.  Then he would have gone to the Tour de Suisse, did what he did and ride the Tour.  But no, he skips the TT Natz, and then skips the Tour, to prepare for the Vuelta. Seems pretty screwball.

In previous years, Jonathan would have been all over explaining what was up.  But with this media blackout deal, silence.

Cannondale just got a new sponsor.  Well, not exactly new, but they are merging with the Drapac organization.  It might just be happenstance, but he seems to have narrowed his search for cycling sponsors to already existing cycling teams.

I’m not sure whether I like the new quite Jonathan better than the outspoken media Jonathan. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Honestly, I miss he throwing things out there.

Jonathan on twitter.

Jonathan on twitter.

The new Cannondale jerseys.

The new Cannondale jerseys.

Johan and Lance don't have any love for Jonathan's "new" team.

Johan and Lance don’t have any love for Jonathan’s “new” team.

 

Louisville National Championships

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I’m been in Louisville for one day and two nights now.  I like Louisville.  I won a couple Master’s World Cyclocross Championships here and even back when I was a junior, racing went well here.

I first came to Louisville when I was 18.  There was a Junior Olympic Development race here. The race went from Frankfurt Kentucky to Louisville, point to point.  Tell me you could hold that event now.  I very much doubt it without a huge budget.   The 2nd day of the race was at Cherokee Park, where they are holding the National Road Races.

I didn’t do Cherokee Park that weekend.  I was 3rd on Saturday, called my brother to tell him only to find out there was a criterium in Lincoln Nebraska that paid $200 to win.  I’d driven all night on Friday in a MG Midget to get to the race on Saturday morning, then jumped back into the MG and drove back to Kansas, slept a couple hours and then won the race up in Nebraska for the cash.  I could have probably lived off that $200 for a couple months back then.

The first time I raced in Cherokee back was when I was a 2nd year Senior, or Elite rider.  I’d driven to the race with Harvey Heim and we were staying at host housing near the Park.  I was in a break with a bunch of good guys.  I think Wayne Stetina was there, plus his younger brother Joel.  I didn’t really know the rest of the group.

Anyway, the race finished on the climb and I came from behind and thought I was going to win, but was passed by this guy that had sat on most of the race, who wasn’t on my radar. I was stoked to get 2nd.  I went back to the host house to clean up.  Some guy comes by to see the woman who owned it and asked me if I raced.  I said yes.  He asked what category.  I told him Pro 1/2.  I told him I got 2nd.  He proceeds to say he won.  It was Hugh Walton, gazillion time Canadian National Track Champion, who later on, was my team mate for many years.

Anyway, Louisville has been good to me racing.

Last night, Stacie had a party at her house for a bunch of juniors.  Like nearly 100 of them.  It was an idea to get the local juniors to mingle with national caliber juniors.  It was great.  I’m not sure who got invited, but there was the LUX Development Team, Hot tubes, a bunch of junior women, plus the Papa John’s local kids, etc.  It was super successful.

My first observation is that they can really eat.  Like enormous amounts of food.  I had told Stacie that a couple days earlier, so she planned accordingly, but just barely.  It was like locusts came, devoured, then left.

My 2nd observation is that they are really just kids.  They were playing tennis, shooting baskets, swimming, doing stuff that kids would do before the National Championships, but you’d be hard pressed to find Elite riders doing.  It was refreshing.

Did I say how much they ate?  It was incredible.  Anyway, Stacie did an incredible job putting this together.  I know these teams are on a super tight budget and feeding them has to be a hassle. So many guys consuming so much food.

I’d ridden 4 hours before the party, not as super slow as I’d hoped.  I didn’t feel that bad.  Not awful, as I had expected.  I probably was mediocre, which is okay.  I have two days to try to get a little better.  I’ve been taking antibiotics for my tooth and they seem to be working, I hope.  It feels much better, but it’s not perfect.  Usually when I take antibiotics, I’m shit.  Not so yet here.

The Elite Road Race is at…….7am.  Man, USAC is really putting a spotlight on that event.  I’ve done a ton of National Championships and the only guys racing at 7 am, historically has been juniors or really old master’s.  Guess they equate the Elite me to those guys here in Louisville.  I guess I didn’t need to do all that heat training for this event.

I got an email from USAC that said that they had changed the course and that they were letting in all riders that are on the waitlist of all events.  I’m not sure if this only applied to Elites, or there were other categories that closed.

This morning I’m riding over to Cherokee Park, then probably heading over to the new criterium course.  A lot of town riding, but I’m resting now.    Okay, seems like a weekend, but it is only Wednesday.  I get mixed up a lot nowadays with that.

Tucker was getting a lot of attention.

Tucker was getting a lot of attention.

Trudi and Roy catching up.

Trudi and Roy catching up.

Roy and I.

Roy and I.

This is Alex McCormick, Frank McCormick's son.  He has good genes so should go far in the sport.

This is Alex McCormick, Frank McCormick’s son. He has good genes so should go far in the sport.

A small road over by Westport, near the river.  Pretty incredible riding around here.

A small road over by Westport, near the river. Pretty incredible riding around here.

 

 

 

 

Long Travel Day

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I thought I had a long day driving to Louisville, then going to the airport to get Trudi.  But Trudi had a super long day.

She got up early in Geneva Switzerland to catch the shuttle to the airport.  That went pretty well, but after that, not so good.  The flight back to DC was good, but she was pretty much strip searched coming back into the US.

See had a few hour layover that turned into half a day.  Her flight from Dulles to Louisville was changed from 5 to 9, and eventually left around 10 I think.  I picked her up at the Louisville airport around 12:30 am.

I was pretty good until the 20 mile drive back to Karl and Stacie’s.  Then I sort of ran out of juice.

I got an email for Tara at USA Cycling that said they are changing the criterium course and are “hopeful” that they will expand the field limits for the criterium.  “But, no promises as of yet.”

That is a good thing, trying to accommodate the masses.  But really, it seems like they might have had this down less than a week before the event.

Stacie is having a huge party tonight for a bunch of riders.  Something to do with the Louisville Sports Commission, I think.  Roy Knickman and his super junior team, Lux Development Team, is coming.  It will be nice seeing him.  I really don’t see him much at all now, just at the Nosco ride in LA in the fall. His son, Bo, is killing it this year.  It should be fun watching him race firsthand.

It is supposed to be hot-ish in Louisville today. Close to 90.  Then cool off for a couple days, then back up to 90 for the road race on Friday.

I’m pretty sure that I can’t get much better than I am, other than getting used to the heat.  So I’m going to go out and ride a few hours during the heat of the day this afternoon, then call it done and rest.

Made an Apple appointment to fix my phone, again.  I can’t say this “new phone” has worked out all that good this time.  After I broke the screen, it has sort of gone downhill.

Okay, that is about it for now.

FullSizeRender

 

Heading East / Criterium Nationals Course Change

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I got off to a late start this morning. Trudi is flying back from Geneva Switzerland to Louisville today. She arrives at seven. I was considering leaving tomorrow and having Stacie pick her up tonight. But after yesterday’s hot ride, I figured I needed a day off. 

Yesterday, five of us rode over to Lawrence on gravel. It was in the lower 90s and super humid. One of those days it’s almost impossible not to melt. I felt way better than I did last Monday doing the same ride, but it takes it out of you.

So I decided this morning to pack up and get moving. Tucker saw me packing and got all stressed out. By the time I had most of our stuff in the van, Tucker was nearly in a frenzy.

Right when I was ready to leave this morning, my neighbor, who is 90, came and told me she couldn’t open her garage door to  move her car.  I didn’t really have the time to fix it, but I went over and gave it a try. It wasn’t that hard of a fix, it only took me 20 minutes. 20 minutes that I didn’t really have.

It’s close to nine hours to Louisville from Topeka.  And I only have 8 1/2 to get there. Another snafu on the drive, was after I started there was a cat in the van. Fran, decided she wanted to go on the trip. I was only half a mile from home when I realized she was there.

I received a few emails yesterday about the Citerium National’s course in Louisville. Guys were saying it was super dangerous. I’ve even been offered other rider’s slots. I don’t think that’s how works. Anyway, today they changed the course. I think they didn’t want to repeat the crashfest at  Masters nationals.

Here’s the official announcement – 

Due to the overwhelming interest and the number of participants entered in the criterium (crit) component of USA Cycling’s 2016 Road National Championship, the original crit course in Norton Commons cannot safely handle the number of riders in several age groups. The new crit course will be located in Shawnee Park, one of Louisville’s signature Olmsted Parks. The wide roadways inside the Shawnee Park and bordering the park will provide a safe and challenging national championship course.

I posted this from my phone, while driving, so forgive the horrible errors. 
  
Kind of a mess. A couple set screws were loose, so a pulley spun. 

  
Fran nearly took a road trip. 

  
Catherine melted yesterday. Here she is sitting on the floor of a Quicktrip in Lawrence.

  
Tucker’s driving position. 

Wanderings

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I’ve been doing some stuff I haven’t done in quite a while.  Not Earth shattering things, just little things, things I’ve not thought of doing or have don’t do anymore.

One is walking barefoot.  I had meaning to walk barefoot more.  When I was a kid, I pretty much never wore shoes in the summer.  Sometimes when we were going somewhere I needed shoes, it took me a long time just finding them.

Anyway, I quit going barefoot when I started racing bikes seriously.  I didn’t want to cut up my feet so I couldn’t compete.  Now I think I need to reconnect to the ground some.  I read somewhere that Sven Tuft runs barefoot on trails during the season.  That in itself was enough to give me the go ahead to do it.

So, yesterday, walking Tucker at the Park, I took off my shoes and did the whole walk barefoot. It wasn’t as foreign as it was to Richard Gere in the park scene of Pretty Woman, but it was a challenge.  The park is riddled with mole trails, so the ground is pretty lumpy.  It is going to take a couple weeks before I can walk comfortable I think.

I also went swimming.  After Rich from BMC left, I went for another hour ride, since it was so hot out and I’m trying to get used to the heat.  Then the Walberg’s, Bill and I went swimming at the Topeka Country Club.  I used to swim there when I was a kid.

The pool has been rebuilt since the last time I swam there, but some of it is the same.  When I was there, they have two diving boards, a 1 meter, then a 3 meter.  They took the higher dive down, probably because of legal concerns, which sucks.  I haven’t tried to dive in a real long time.

When I was a kid I could do a front and back flip by the time I was 4 or 5.  I wasn’t the prettiest diver, but could manage to do the maneuvers.   Yesterday, I did a couple flips.  I finally did a few front 1 1/2’s.  It wasn’t pretty, but I could in head first without belly flopping.  It is weird thinking I was doing the same flips 50 years later from the same diving board.

I started taking antibiotics yesterday.  I had a root canal done a week ago and was trying to avoid them.  But as my dentist says, the mouth isn’t the cleanest place in the world.  I’ve only take 3 know and it already feels better.  We’ll see how I feel riding now.  Usually antibiotics destroy me, but I’m going to stay cautiously optimistic.    I know that isn’t going to change it, but I can’t be worrying about it now.

I registered for the Elite National Road Race next Friday in Louisville.  The criterium was closed.  Shit.  I was put on a waitlist.  One I can’t seem to find anywhere on the USAC website.  Seems like there is a better way for registration than a first come first serve deal for Nationals.  I don’t really see why the field limit is 100 riders either.  At Joe Martin or Northstar, etc. the criteriums at those stage races are way, way more.  Seems like a more reasonable number would be 150. Last time I checked, I was ranked in the top 10 in the country in Cat 1 criterium rankings.  But it seems, the USAC website is down this morning.  Pretty bad day for that since it is the last day you can register for Nationals.  Seems to me there should be some qualification guidelines instead of just the first guys to register.  The professional criterium allows all professionals, but any elite riders on a USAC registered elite team.  Crazy random rules.

Trudi is at the Swiss National Road Championships today, then she is flying back from France tomorrow.  Her ticket is to Louisville, since she was supposed to work the Nationals next week with the BMC development team.  That isn’t happening since nearly all the American guys on the team aren’t going.  But, she still gets 12 days back here in the US, so she is taking the flight.

Okay, we’re riding gravel today at 11.  It is supposed to be steamy hot.  Not so crazy hot, lower 90’s, but super humid.  I can’t say I am getting used to it yet.  Maybe I’ll feel better today.

Bill, Catherine and Rich after the ride yesterday.

Bill, Catherine and Rich after the ride yesterday.

No many people swimming last night. Diving boards way back.

No many people swimming last night. Diving boards way back.

We had dinner at the Walberg's last night. It was nice sitting outside, although a bit hot.

We had dinner at the Walberg’s last night. It was nice sitting outside, although a bit hot.

Tucker likes their backyard. It is pretty expansive.

Tucker likes their backyard. It is pretty expansive.

My feet are a little white from no sun. That is going to change.

My feet are a little white from no sun. That is going to change.

Program from today's Swiss National Road Championships.

Program from today’s Swiss National Road Championships.

Tucker doesn't like the heat much yet either.

Tucker doesn’t like the heat much yet either.