Archive for November, 2010

Ft. Collins USGP

Posted: 17 November 2010 in Uncategorized
So after focusing so much on Nationals and working a boat load right now, I managed to somehow forget to register for the USGP.  Found this out the morning I was supposed to fly out to the race.  Last minute I managed to beg the organizer to let me race and they did.  Luckily…  Only with one hitch (or a few I would find).  It will cost you 20 bucks extra a day, plus you have to start dead LAST!  Oh, really?  Bummer…
 
So I started last row, although did get my choice of side of the course…
 
Day 1:
 
Snow in the morning turned to mud by the afternoon, reminded me of the last time I was in Colorado…  It was going to be a rough day.  Luckily I had Bob help me out in the pits (thanks Bob!)  But I was ready for the challenge.  Off the start, I may have gotten by 10 guys off the bat, another 15 when there was a pile up just after the first turn.  Then managed to slowly work my way back up during the entire race.  It was cool to be able to see Kabush roll it so well on the front.  Much deserved win for him today as he is a God in Canadian Cycling and my Technical cycling hero.  Manged to work my way up to 18th today, but couldn’t manage any more.  Felt good after the race, but tomorrow would be a very different day…
 
Day 2:  Again started at the back, they were really punishing me this time around…  Got an ok start after not being able to clip in right away.  Worked my way up to about 30th, then I managed to get a flat tire along with a broken spoke.  Not sure what it was that I hit, but whatever it was was big.  Rolled to the pits after being passed by the same guys I just passed.  Proceeded to change a bike followed by a very soon after crash into the course marking tape.  Managed to get super muddy, and tangled in the tape.  As I said about DSJ in Toronto, decided to make out with the course tape.  By this point I was well back again, and the motivation to keep it rolling was almost entirely lost.  I did what I could to try and keep from being lapped, but it was a rough day out there and TJ was rolling Super strong, so the day ended early for me.  But better hopes for Portland…
 
Until Nextime… BC Cup Finals, and BC Provincials… Can I secure the Western Canadian Cyclocross Crown?  We’ll see…
 
Schooler out!
So I love when it comes time to another big event that i’ve been focusing on because it gives me the extra motivation that is hard pressed to find EVERY weekend that I race throughout the summer.  It’s a time to reduce the hours, and really get some much needed rest, and to see the true peak happen.  We were lucky enough to have Dan Rees and his family host myself and Garrett for the weekend.  Thanks again Dan!
 
Nationals Course Preview:
 
So the organizer did a pretty cool job of previewing the course online an showed it off with a short video.  Needless to say, the video didn’t do this venue justice.  The course was SOOOO cool.  Boat loads of vertical changes in it, lots of power climbs which are VERY common in cross racing, lots of turney sections, and even some open power sections, although not too long on this course.  Perfect for a rider like myself (or any MTBer to be honest…)  But I loved it!  It was a true CROSS course.  Started off with a really neat road start that winded up a narrow section of trail/road, and then straight into some cool turns and right over the barriers.  These barriers were definitely ridable, but at the speed we were going into these it would have been super dangerous to ride them.  I know 2 guys who managed to hit dirt on these over the weekend and they both weren’t pretty.  I’d be surprised if there wasn’t any broken bones from them…  Right out into one of the muddier sections of the course with some technical 180’s on the side of the hill and right into a good punchy climb.  Then the rest of the course was just a repeat of this really, very technical, lots of off cambre turns which cross is known for and a super cool uphill road finish. 
 
Race:
 
So I knew that when I get a good start, I typically have a good race.  So I told myself i’d go for the wholeshot and see how it played out.  Sure enough, whole shot was taken by the blocky and I did everything I could to put the hurt on early and show guys that I wasn’t here to just mess around.  After a one lap preview, and another half lap because no one came around me yet, I managed to burn off everyone but Mike Garrigan and Chris Sheppard.  So I did what I could to keep these two under wraps.  After a couple laps they started to play a bit of games and were bumping into eachother, so I took it as a sign to attack.  Threw down another hot lap in the attempts to put them in the hurt box, but all it did was tire me out really.  Soon after (about half wa through) Shep attacked up a climb and I couldn’t answer.  The gap just grew steadily…  Then Mike put in a big dig to come around me and he went on to roll it with Shep for the finish.  They were really starting to play games close to the end, Mike wanting it to come to a sprint and Shep trying everything he could to shake Mike, but luck would be on Sheps side with Mike rolling a tubular on the last lap.  I saw this and turned myself inside out to try and catch him, but was pretty wrecked by this time.  Rolled it in for 3rd.  Cool course though, look forward to next years course!
 
Nationals Revenge:
 
So Not as many guys showed up to this one, but minus Sheppard the key guys were still there and the U23’s were also thrown into the mix which would prove to be the biggest challenge…  I got off to a decent start again, but rolled it behind Mike for the first half lap before we both let up a bit to see if anyone else wanted to race with us that day.  Of course, Derrick SJ wanted to giver a go, so he came around and put in a pretty good dig for about a lap and a half before I found my prime opportunity to get things rolling.  One of the tight turns that DSJ was having issues with on the back side of the course he took a bit wide, and I figured with the rest of the guys letting DSJ do the work, and me trying to put in some good time to them, it should work out well for me if I could get around him and put some time into them.  So I did, and it worked…  At least for a while it did.  I put my head down and did everything I could to stay away.  I think I had about 20 seconds early in the race and by the last couple laps they had brought be back to within about 5 or so.  Not much time to play with over one hour, but I kept the pressure on and after a misshap in the chase on the last lap, I managed to stay away to take the Revenge win.  Great job to Garrett as well for rounding out the podium! 
 
A wicked weekend for Team H&R BLOCK and a great kick start to the 2011 road season!