Monday, May 31, 2010

Burlington RR and Snake Alley Criterium

Left on Thursday for Cedar Rapids with Bethany, stayed with my parents. Got up on Friday and headed down towards Burlington for the Memorial Day Weekend Races, with the first race an 80 mile road race from Burlington-Wapello-Mediapolis-Burlington. Bethany and I stopped by Halls on the way so I could see the guys and true up a wheel. After this, we stopped in Iowa City at Geoffs Bike and Ski and I picked up my new frame from Specialized. A 2009 Tarmac SL2, which I am eager to get on and riding. Ended up down in Burlington quite early and found a nice coffee shop where I was able to watch the Giro d'Italia coverage, have some coffee and watch Bethany study for her ACSM test.

Got registered and pinned all 5 numbers on the jersey and bike, tires aired up, shoes on, helments/bottles ready....ok time to line up. A few big names were present, AeroCat and Texas Roadhouse Cycling, Ukranian National Champion, Trek-Tradewinds, Panther, Verizon U25 and Nick Frey (Jamis, Des Moines).

Race started out chill for 2 miles or so, then right away Matt Brandt of Mesa and an ISCorp rider took off for a long day off the front. Many numerous attempts to bridge were all a failure all the way to Wapello. At this point, an Aerocat rider, Verizon U25 and the Ukranian National Road champ jumped and must have made the bridge. Texas Roadhouse road tempo all the way to the finish line, and we never caught the group. Aerocat won the race, I came across in 40th, but if you saw the finish, I was probably 1/2 wheel out of 20th haha. Felt pretty good during the race, have never had to fight for position for the last 15 miles or so as I did. It was fun, and I could get used to it! 80 miles in 3 hours, 25mph average.

Stayed with Garrett McAllister, Sarge and the Team Wisconsin boys Saturday night, and had a great dinner and chat!

Saturday was the Snake! Got up to a great pancake breakfast at Garretts, and then headed to Burlington. Hung out and watched a few races on the Snake and hung out in the coffee shop. Got the number all pinned and lined up for the start. Same big names as before but with the addition of Brad Huff of Jelly Belly as well. Race started off super fast and I was fortunate to not hit a huge speed crunch on the Snake. Made it up without getting off and got into a group. My legs were pretty roughed up from an easy road race the day before though(great :/) Just couldn't feel the rhythm on the climb and after 10 laps or so, our group was pulled. Kinda dissapointed, as I have had amazing sucess here in the past, 2 wins in past two years (Cat 4 and Cat 3). Shows how much harder it is to do well in these races. The Ukranian National Road Champ won the race solo after riding away from everyone.

Was fun, but wished for better success. Now just a rest day and building up for the rest of the season.

Friday, May 21, 2010


So I graduate from Luther College in 2 days. The last has been full of finals and department dinners to help us celebrate. It is starting to sink in....I can't believe 4 years has come and gone so fast. But now moving onto another chapter of my life in Cedar Falls at UNI. Will be moving down to CF on Sunday or Monday and hope to get the personal training job at Snap Fitness shortly after.

Next weekend is also the first time I will line up as a Cat 1,2 for Memorial Day weekend races. I will only be competing in the Burlington Road Race and Snake Alley Criterium, as my sister graduates from high school on Sunday. I am starting to get quite nervous, as I don't know what to expect. I am starting in the first row for Snake Alley, but it is already mental challenging to know I have to work as hard as I can just to hold that position for the race. Don't have huge goals of getting a high place, but just don't want to get lapped or pulled if possible. I have had success in the past (2 years, 2 wins) but it is going to be completely different ball game this year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Joe Martin Recap

Not being able to race the final 2 days of Joe Martin was a thorn in the side. I sat in the wheel truck the third day and watched the entire race. This was probably a bad idea as I wanted to be out there so bad. Duey put in a nice attack with about 4k's to go, but with a downhill finish and sprinters licking their lips, it was pulled back within 1k to go. The crit on Sunday was a 12 corner crit with ups and downs. The field was cut in half almost immediately....from what I noticed while riding my trainer on turn 3. By the end, only about 12 guys were left to fight for victory. Duey ended up 5th on GC at the end of the week. Paul, Jeff, Duey and I loaded up and were on the road back home to Des Moines. Stopped for Arby's and a couple drinks for Jeff and Duey :) on the way home.
Got to Lou's about 11:30 and watch Liege Bastogne Liege before heading to bed. Woke up early on Monday morning, to a nice breakfast put on by Lou, with bagels, fruit and NUTELLA! Good coffee as well. After this, Paul, Jeff and I dropped of the trailer and headed to Iowa City. I stopped by Geoffs to drop of the frame and see what could be done. Looks like I will have a new frame on the way, hopefully will arive shortly. Going to be a 2009 SL2, so a step up from the Tarmac Pro. Will definetly be putting this one on my parents homeowners insurance!

Bad luck seems to be running with the Decorah boys this spring. Sarge broke his frame in Arizona, Karl broke his at Iowa City weekend and I broke mine. A couple wheels have also been trashed by our group too. And then just today while on my ride, I flatted and when I tried to fix the flat, the valve on my replacment tube went to shit, about 20 miles from home. Had to call for a ride. This bad luck is really starting to affect my psyche and wallet haha.

I am officially done with class at Luther College. Finals on Monday and Tuesday and then I will be graduating next Sunday. It doesn't feel weird yet because I am going back to school at UNI next year for graduate school, but will be different being away from Decorah. Bethany will be at UNI as well and her parents live in Cedar Falls, so I am going from one family to another and I am excited!!! Will post more as Memorial Day weekend races get closer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Joe Martin Stage 2: Down and Out

Got up this morning and had my breakfast, legs were feeling amazing, and I was ready to roll. Race didn't start til 12:30, so all of us just hung out this morning, had some good coffee and TV. Have been working on my senior paper presentation in free time.

Got down to Fayetteville and a Wal-Mart parking lot at around 11:30, numbers were already pinned up and bikes ready to go so we hung out and waited to roll out. Started at 12:30 with a group of 100 guys. Winds were out of NW at around 14mph, so it was gonna be a quick first 50 miles. Stayed towards the front of the rolling enclosure (Local Police/Sherriff keep whole road open for us). Now the SHIT HITS THE FAN....

About 25 miles into the race, after a fast downhill on flat roads, two guys touch handlebars and the domino effect starts. About 25 guys went down along with myself and Lou. When I got up, my rear wheel was not functioning and I had to get a spare. By the time this happened, I was chasing with one other guy, we picked up Lou up the road and another couple guys. After about 1 hour of chasing, we made it back to the peloton....Good? So I thought. After a few miles we hit this steep pitch of road where the feed zone was. This hill was a little to difficult to run a feed zone on if you ask me, guys are lunging and trying to get over the hill with the group and try to get fluids/food at the same time. I found myself gapped a little bit and got in a group to get back, but when I tried to organize a chase, the guys wouldn't help. We lost sight of the peloton, and after about 5 more miles....a motoref comes and tells us we went the wrong way? I never saw corner marshals anywhere. When we backtracked, these corner marshals suddenly appeared out of no-where to point us in the right direction. Nice job nutjobs....hicks...failures.

After this I was just so pissed, that our group called it quits. We had 50 miles to ride, not having reached the headwind sections and 10 mile climb of Mt. Gaylor yet. No chance to make the time cut, so my first Joe Martin experience was cut way short. My legs are good right now, and I wish bad luck wouldn't always happen to me.....always seems to.

Lou and I rode with the lead wheel truck to the finish. To make matters worse, I couldn't find my rear wheel in the truck and still can't so I have no idea where it is.... It mustn't have been too bad after the crash and someone else must have it on their bike as a spare as well...Hope we get it back. It is actually Jeff Bradleys nice carbon tubular...

So overall, one of the those days I need to forget, but can't, and was one of the worst I have experienced on a bike in terms of depressing and bad luck. I have a bruised ego and to make matters worse.... a jammed left thumb and a bruised sternum.....

Tomorrow, Lou and I are gonna head out when the peloton rolls, and hit up 3 hours or so of riding and a coffee shop or two.

Sorry for the painful post, hopefully my season can get better....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Devils Den TT- Joe Martin Stage Race

Got up this morning and had a good breakfast in the room, oatmeal, raisins and a banana. Met the guys downstairs and we went out and rode for about 45 min, stopping at a Starbucks and getting some good joe!

Left for Devils Den State Park, and amazed when I got down south of Fayetteville. Some big hills down here, (I have never seen Rockies up close). Driving down into the valley was like swirling around in a toilet. Got to the bottom and got unpacked. Punk Rock Cycling was nice enough to lend us their trailer for the week!

Helmet and bike put together, it was time to get numbers pinned and relax for the next 1.5 hours. My scheduled time off of the start ramp was 4:22. Started warming up around 1:30 and got a good warm up in = climbing back out of Devils Den == 10 min climb, warmed up for about 45 minutes with a nice 5 min piece to open the legs up the climb. Legs were feeling good.

Pulled up to the start line a little late (30 sec to spare) and got ready to go, took a deep breath and was off. Started out fairly fast and then hit the climb. This climb was flattish for .8 miles and then kicks up for the next 2 miles. Found a decent rhythm with a slight tail/cross wind and already saw the heartrate going above 185 and feeling ok. 30 sec man was up the road the whole day and by the end I had almost caught 1 min man. Coming to the line the lungs and legs were burning, and started to close my eyes towards the end fending off the visual pain of going up and up. Finished with a time of 10:29 which was good for 61 place out of 106 starters. The ride data :
2.5 miles
Avg. HR 191
Max HR 197

Rode back to the bottom and then spun around for another 15 min to rest the legs. Changed and back to Bentonville. Duey ended up 3rd, 5 seconds in the rears of Bill Gault of Tulsa Tough and Joe Schmalz of Mercy Cycling Team. Great place for tomorrow as for the first time in 3 years, Duey gets to be on the offensive, and takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders to set tempo. Will try to keep him fueled and in position. Paul/Lou and Jeff Bradley are with and boy what a group to learn stuff from, I am still trying to absorb tactics and stratagies. This race is won on time bonuses at the finish. Hope luck is on our side tomorrow!

Bentonville, AR

So the drive down was a little longer than we had expected yesterday. Made a couple stops, one to eat in Bethany, MO. Reminded me of Bethany :) Go figure....

Then we stopped at a small hicktown around 6 and rode for 45min to try and loosen the legs up. Then in Joplin for dinner at Olive Garden. First time I have ever gone to an Olive Garden and didn't get pasta. Lou and I got a chicken dish with a citrus sauce with asparagus on the side broccoli. Have to say it was amazing. Also was weird as we walked in and saw Steve Tilford and his gang on the way to Joe Martin as well, talked with them for a bit about the course/doping. Really funny guy!

Got to Bentonville (Home of Walmart) and this was evident right away. We stopped at what we believe is the first Walmart in America and are staying at an extended stay on Walton Ave. No doubt named after Sam Walton, who began the franchise.

Overall a good experience so far, and will update after TT today, but I forgot my no pics! DOH!

Monday, May 3, 2010

La Crosse Criterium

The past week as seen the highest volume of work so far this week, and some good speed work in the legs. Over 15 hours on the bike with a 90 mile stroke and some fast work.

Sunday was the LaCrosse Fitness Festival Criterium in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. This course is right downtown on a 4 corner rectangle that is extremely flat and fast. 80 starters took to the line in the Cat 1,2 race. Duey and myself representing the Mercy-Specialized boys, Jeff Bradley in his VeloSport gear and Jerome in the All9 kit. Pace started very fast, and wouldn't really let up most of the day. A break of 10 got up the road with all major teams, I was just a bit to far back when the acceleration came...almost got it. My whole goal for the race was to try and stick to no-less than 10-15 wheels back in the group. Jeff Bradley rode for 7-11 in Europe and the Tour de France and always knows where to be, this was my spot for pack positioning. It took some mental and physical work to stay up in the front, but it worked and I am feeling better fighting for wheels and open spaces!

At the end of the race, I made it to the line and finished in 30th place. Not bad, and went much better than Old Cap. Legs are coming along good and ready to kick ass this week in Arkansas for Joe Martin Stage Race.

Mercy-Specialized and VeloSport are combining to bring a winning team to Fayetteville, AR. Paul Deninger, Lou Waugamon, Jeff Bradley, Duey Dickey and myself will try to bring home the yellow jersey at the end of the week.
5 days with more climbing than I have ever done in my life. A tough day 2 with a 110 mile stage with a 10mile climb at about 60 miles in. Will have to make sure I eat and drink my fill during the stage and work on pack positioning to conserve energy.

Will be taking some pictures and updating daily! Stay tuned!