Monday, February 28, 2011

Callville Bay Classic 2011

This weekend a few swamis attended the Callville bay classic in Lake Mead, NV. The weather report showed rain on sat and sunday so yet another epic race was in store for us, we just had no idea how epic.

The first stage was a short RR coming in at just under 50 miles, team Exergy sent a guy in the breakaway and kept the race under control there where without a doubt hard moments. I tried to get in or make a few moves early on, but this was all chased down. near the end of the race the wind or the weak before had worn on my legs a little to much and I finished right behind the pack.

The next stage was the TT, slightly uphill for 4 or so miles the TT was actually not much of a deciding factor in the race. I felt fairly good for the TT in the
morning, but my result turned out average. It was pretty interesting that the tailwind was so strong it took nearly twice as long to come down the gentile incline than to go up it. The rain had not come yet but it was due that night, and was to continue through the next day.

The next stage was another RR, this one was a decent length just over 80 miles. I woke up the morning of however starting to feel the onset of a cold, sniffles and a little tickle in the throat was not a good sign when the day consisted of riding in the rain and cold for 80 miles. The whole race our worst suspicions where confirmed it rained 80% of the time, and was not ecatly the warmest race in the world. that night it snowed in las vegas, at this point I'm fairly certain that the snow is following me around, look just because I miss winter in Chester doesn't mean I want to race in it every weekend.

The next day was the Crit, kind of an interesting course the crit was held through the parking lots of the Callville bay marina and was by far one of the highest speed crits I have done. throughout the race I put in attacks to try and escape the clutches of the speeding group, but the all proved futile, as the group stayed together in the end.

A pretty successful week of racing although struggling with a little sickness and cold weather where not pleasant. I was happy with the weekend and now must recover and get ready to do it all again in 2 days.

A massive thanks to the Shackleys for putting up with our crap over the weekend! you guys are awesome!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3 Days 3 Breaks 2 sore legs

The past three days my teammate Matt Shackley and I did a mini stage race of our own from individual races in the southern central part of California. From valley of the sun stage race a week ago until redlands bicycle classic at the end of march we will be competing in a stage race every weekend, for some we will have as little a 2 days rest between them. This weekend however went a little something like this:

UCLA Road Race: The UCLA rr course was not exactly suited for me, with about 8-9,000 feet of climbing per lap and me not exactly being a climber it made all the sense in the world to go do it. the first lap was relatively easy Matt and I where sitting around the front waiting for the decisive move, on the first lap teammate Lars Finanger decided that he was going to make the move. After the climb lars was a wee bit tired, being a big boy as well climbing not a strong suit he hung out keeping pace on the climbs to finnish the race. on the second lap there was a break away with a lot of good contenders in it, this was the move that I decided to get in! there where 6 of us for a little while but for me the climb proved to be a little too much, I went back to the
peleton, but the race was not yet over. I started to unhitch at the top of the climb, a long way into the pain cave from the breakaway I thought I might not catch back on, but about half a lap later I was back. When I got back to the group the impetuous had disappeared from the group, however I was not going to let that happen. I started to work at the front and the rest got the idea that this race was not over. Matt, Chris Burnham and I did a lot of work at the front to bring that group closer while Pascal Bonaventure and Orion Berryman sat in. On lap 3 it started snowing, second race in my career that has been in a snow storm, and they where both in Southern California go figure. This lap we did alot of work to bring the field back to contention again, right at the top of the climb I began to unhitch again however this chase back to the group was a bit easier. When I got back to the group I had decided at this point or maybe a few laps ago that I was not going to climb myself back into this race, and was now working. After doing a good amount of work up the climb on the 4th lap, this time the hill proved to be too much, I did what I could now it was up to the others, wreaked from doing a bunch of work and getting in the early break and a little cold I pulled out of the race. the group that was left was very small on the 5th and final lap and the finishing order ended up being,
Orion 6th, Pascal 9th, Chris 10th, Matt 12th and Lars 13th

Pine Flat Road Race: After UCLA Matt and I continued on to go the next few races in the Fresno area, next on the agenda was pine flat. The race started out real relaxed and slow, well we can't have that now can we? this is a bike race, rolling down the downhill in the beginning a group of 7 of us rolled off the front. When we saw that we had a gap we started to push the pace a bit more and grow our advantage, after 25 miles our advantage was near the 2 min mark and we decided to do a bit of weeding out. After a few attacks up one of the climbs we brought the group down to the 5 strongest guys and decided to roll with that. After the decent and a bit of flat the race official told us that the group was only 1:20 back so we had to push yet a little harder. At about mile 50 right before the climb, the attacks started to come out of the breakaway group, I was able to follow some, but when we got to the base of the climb that was it for me. I rolled in at about 15th position and matt rolled in slightly after me, It was yet another good day in the break.

Dinuba Crit: This being the first crit back from my broken collarbone I was a bit apprehensive about taking the starting line, however once I did the racing gears kicked in and there was no problem. Yet again in the first portion of the race I found myself in another break away, after a little bit however the accumulation of the weekend had proven too much to stay with the two others, and I slipped back to a group of 3. I was able to stay with them halfway through the race and then my legs could not handle the accelerations that where put forth by these guys. I was on my own doing work for a few laps then I decided that I need that little bit of a break from the wind so I waited for the group to catch me so I could find a few people to work with. When I got back to the group Matt was on the front covering moves and willing to do work, so I told him to attack. He put in a good few accelerations and when that didn't work, we needed an alternative. We both went to the front and put the hammer down to get a smaller group off the front, when we had 3 guys to do turns it was gold, unfortunately Matt slipped back to the group after a few laps. The rest of the race I was in a group of 3 working pul for pull trying to limit our losses, with the first 4 spots up the road we where going for 5th. Blake Anton put in the attack for 5th, doing a bunch of work to chase him back I ended up 7th, after all a very solid week of racing.

The true heros of the week where however our hosts in Fresno, Byron and Cindy Beagles. they cooked us a lot of food and gave us a place to sleep, and so much more! couldn't have done it without you guys. Thanks a Million!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valley Of the Sun

Valley is usually one of those races early on in the year that is good for me, however this year it did not go so well for me. Recovering from my broken collarbone this was my first race on the year and I had the goal not to crash in it, I did not meet this goal. I had a ok TT, but returning from my injury it took me a while to get back into the whole suffer mindset. The secondstage was the road race this unfortunately was the day that I crashed, making sure I fell on the right side so I didn't break the collarbone again, I came out with a few scratches, but my bike was a little less fortunate. A bent derailleur hanger made it quite hard to chase back to the group, also the fact they where going quite hard in head and cross winds didn't help.

The weekend however was not a
total loss, kudos Lars Finanger who won the cat 2 field with a strong TT performance and awareness to make the break in the road race. Well done mate!

Moving on there is lots of racing on the plate, this weekend we will be attending the UCLA road race in Pearblossom CA, then heading up to do two races on sunday and monday in Fresno CA. For the next 6 weekends in a row me and teammate Matt Shackley will be attending stage races, which will be quite the adventure. Lots of racing to come so please keep checking back for updates and race reports.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Long Training, and fun in the sun in San Diego

San Diego has been quite fun over the last few weeks, lots of sun and good training. the past few weeks i have been fortunate enough to get some of the hours necessary in preparation for the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Phoenix Arizona, this upcoming weekend. I have been looking forward to this race for many of reasons, this will be my first race back after my collarbone, which is reason enough. I have lots of good memories at this race for the past few years and can't wait to go back and make some more!

This last weekend Swami's cycling team participated in the Boulevard RR and Red Trolley Crit, races that I also have memories at, however many of them not so fond. This year the weather seemed to cooperate a bit and it was quite pleasant at both of these races. The Swami's racing team did reasonably well at both the races this weekend, although lacking in the results a little bit. I feel as tho these first races of the year are critical of getting the sea legs under us and also giving a good gauge of the fitness compared to the competition, the results will come after the fitness and comfort is regained. It was a pleasure helping the boys out this weekend, and hope to be joining you guys on the bike soon. Good Job!