Archive for December, 2014

I headed down to Freiburg on the weekend with Emily to meet up with the team and I would attend the last EKZ Cross Tour C1 UCI Race in Eschenbach and Emily was off to a super secret not so secret underground cross race in Freiburg known as the FUQRS.  She had fun, but I guess it was a bit muddy.

In Switzerland, I was super stoked because for the first time since the last time I got to spend time with Mike Kluge 8 years ago in Aigle, he came to the race with us, and I got to soak up some of that years of cross knowledge and experience.  Good thing I did too because the course was a bit of a douzie!  The majority of the course was what I would consider standard Euro style racing with some deep sticky mud sections interspersed with some fast on the pavement sections and gravel sections with quite a few bridges and flyovers going over streams and pedestrian walkways.  Then half way through the lap you went up a MASSIVE road climb, then shot straight down an obscene off cambre steep grassy (which turned to slick mud) hill, and straight back into the forest for a couple birmed corners before coming back out onto the standard Euro flat part.  A few photos below:

I couldn’t find any photos with me in them, I seemed to be the grey man last weekend…  Photos taken from the EKZ Cross Tour website.

Right off the gun I had a really great start from what I normally end up having, given that the start straight was VERY short, and there was a bad crash on one side which I was able to avoid, I managed to hold my position really well and the first couple corners came up super quick.  For the first couple laps I was riding with one of our strong U23 riders Lukas, so we were really able to push each other for the first few laps until the pace I was setting came too much for him, or I think I just rode the technical bits a bit better, and I lost him in the race-fog.  I was riding really well for the first 4 or 5 laps and then I got a bit too confident I think and took a really bad line into the off-cambre downhill and crashed even before it got really knarly.  I had major help from Mike Kluge when pre-riding the course ahead of time, so he gave some really great advice on how to ride it properly.  The most important thing to do was use NO brakes.  Which is kinda scary when you see the photos above, but it’s true and the laps I was the most cautious were the ones I ended up crashing on.  Towards the end with all the crashes and everything, I ended up loosing a bit of time in the lap times, but pulled it home for my best result of the series in 21st.  Not a bad race in such a strong international field and given how many of the guys who race in Switzerland are all World Cup racing MTB Pros.

Mad props and thanks to Mike Kluge for all the advice.

Next up:  Namur World Cup and the Kerstperiode in Belgium!

Because the Milton Keynes World Cup wasn’t running a U23 and Junior race, the team decided last week was a great time to head to some warmer weather, so we flew out for over a week to Mallorca.  It’s at times like this that I feel like a full fledged pro.  I’ve had some motivational troubles at home in the last while, so it was really great to get out of the house and get back to putting some good miles on the bike.

Typical small town in Mallorca

Typical small town in Mallorca

The weather was really nice when we first got there, but quickly turned to raining and about 15 deg’s.  I got a pretty good week of riding in with the crew and banged out some pretty hard core intervals with Felix.  It was really cool not only to get some good riding in, but to be out of the house and off grid with no internet, no phone, and only focusing on cycling, eating, and sleeping.

The team in serious training mode.

The team in serious training mode.

Once we arrived back home, it was straight into a double header of Deutschland Cup races.  First one was in Queidersbach near where Felix lives, so it was kinda like a home race for him.  Very MTB’y course with some good elevation gain (for a cx course, wich is still not a lot) and some good slick corners, plus a really cool massive fly over.  The organizers did a pretty good job of running this one as they are hoping to get the German National champs in the near future.

Saint Salvador, view from the top

Saint Salvador, view from the top

Once again, because I have so few Deutschland Cup points, I was basically starting on the back row.  Lucky for me, it was a really physically demanding course and I was ready for the challenge.  I worked my way up as much as I could, and was running very similar lap times to the leaders after I finally worked my way through the riffraff.  With maybe 3 laps to go I hit one of the downhill sections which were super choppy, and ended up feeling my bars slip a bit down which left me a bit awkward on the bike for the last few laps but because I was SO close to the podium at this race, I decided not to pit and instead do EVERYTHING in my power to try and chase the podium.  I came within almost 10 seconds on the last lap, but it wasn’t meant to be, I had to settle for 4th.  It wasn’t all that bad though, Felix took home the win on Saturday and Sunday!

Rollin out!

Rollin out!

Sunday was another DL Cup race in Bensheim and the course was very typical CX with lots of off cambre, barriers, and lots of short up and downs.  I finally got a better call up which put me on the second row, but I still had a really bad start, so I ended up in the usual position of chasing through guys I am normally a bit faster than.  I really just started getting warmed up in this one and after about 3 laps, when running the fairly tall barriers, I clipped my foot on the last one, it spun me around, and I landed with a smack right on the back of my head, hitting my helmet hard on the ground and breaking it.  I decided to finish the race would have been a bad idea at the time, so I called it quits, and DNF’d.  It’s rare that I walk away from races without giving it EVERYTHING I have to finish, but after hitting your head, there are some pretty important steps that need to happen in my opinion.  One of them being to take it easy and ensure that you don’t have a concussion.  Regardless, it’s never good to finish a race when you don’t know how bad a head injury is, always best to air on the side of caution.

Felix and I at the house.

Felix and I at the house.

Next up, The Last EKZ Tour race in Switzerland this weekend in Eschenbach!

Wick Werks Chainrings!

Posted: 12 December 2014 in Uncategorized

I am super stoked to be announcing that I am currently sponsored by the latest and greatest chainrings in cyclocross, Wick Werks Chainrings!

https://wickwerks.com/

WickWerks Chainrings for Sram Exogram Crankset, I run a 34/44.

WickWerks Chainrings for Sram Exogram Crankset, I run a 34/44.

I got in touch with these guys just before Nationals and they sent me out some rings right away!  I am really stoked to work with tech savy guys who are so keen on cycling and cyclocross, these guys fit right into the mix!  They are one of VERY few companies who are currently making after market chain rings for all the latest and greatest crankset bolt pattern designs like the Shimano 4 bolt and the Sram Exogram rings (which I’m running this year).  Their website is so detailed, you won’t even need to phone them up, because all the information is right there!  Very happy with their performance so far, and looking forward to the notoriously muddy race conditions during the Kerstperiode in Belgium this Christmas!

WickWerks chainrings on my Focus CX Team Mares CX Frame

WickWerks chainrings on my Focus CX Team Mares CX Frame