Saturday, March 29, 2008

San Dimas Sketch Race

A quick race update for ya:
Teddy King is holding the Sprint and KOM leader's jerseys heading into the final day here at the San Dimas Stage Race. There are no KOM points available so Teddy will just need to finish to retain that. The sprint competition however is very much still up for grabs and will require some aggressive (and fast) riding from Teddy aka iamtedking aka Iphone 4.
After a "sub-par" TT in which he was holding back vomit for most of it, Kiwi Jeremy Vennell is sitting 7th on GC in his second ever race on U.S. soil.
My personal highlights include talking trash to Michael Creed before the uphill TT on Fri. (he was my 30s man and I just said "Sucks to be you today" as I rode by him in warmup) and then rightfully I got schooled by him by like 6s. The biggest highlight so far, however, was surviving the RR earlier today. Sketch-ball City!!! That course, though cool and challenging on paper, is not designed for 140 aggressive dudes desperately trying to get an early-season result. If you happened to race this course today or sometime in the past, please feel free to use this blog's comment section as your forum. Maybe my old age (big 3-0 this year) and/or my being on blood thinners is making me soft and pansy-like so I'd like to hear what others have to say.
At the finish of the 2nd lap of 12, somebody crashed in front of me and because he slid, I had time to slow down ALMOST quick enough to avoid him but instead ended up with my front wheel on his chest and my left foot on the far side of him. "You okay?" A nod. Okay, time to get my chain back on and catch back up to the peloton which is receding into the horizon. Luckily Burke and Graham saw my episode and waited to escort me back to the group nearly single-handedly. Having good teammates is such a treat! I caught back on with minimal effort after a mishap that should have cost me big-time energy that I would need later.
So yeah, Teddy got into the main break of the day w/ 2 others to gobble up those sprint and kom points. Burke put himself in a move with 4 others late in the race that wasn't caught until the final time up the hill (about 3k to go). Zwiza and I crested the hill together on the final lap in about 15th or so and he attempted to launch me to the solo win w/ about 1k to go but I had little left in the tank and could hardly come around him. So, it came down to a sprint finish w/ Omer, Jeremy, Burke, Zwiza and I finishing on same time w/ the winner.
Unfortunately, Morgan double flatted at the base of the climb w/ 2 to go and since he was sitting 2nd in the U25 competition, Teddy and Graham gave him their wheels in hopes that he could catch back on but it was just too fast at that point and thus those 3 missed the front group. Bike racing.
It's a hard crit tomorrow and I predict carnage. It's got a good little hill and descent in it and is a bit long (90 min.) for people to fake it with tired legs.
I also have to say that I've had some pretty awesome fan support during my first 2 races of the season. At the ToC, I had my mum, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, 5 cousins, and a Boulder bud come out to watch. And here at San Dimas, I have my dad and friend, same aunt and uncle, and 2 cousins out to watch. It's pretty cool. It's a bummer the other racers don't recognize this and just let me win. Maybe I'll make an announcement before the crit. Thanks for reading!
We're staying at an Extended Stay hotel for this race and we've got 3 dudes packed into each room. Here is a pic of our room less than 24 hours after Bissell infiltration. And yes ladies, Iphone-1 does frequent our room shirtless from time to time. How lucky am I???

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Breaking News!!

This just in:
I received my Frostbite TT medal in the mail today! Don't know what I'm referring to? Read my blog entry on the team site from 2 weeks ago. Recent exchange between my roommate/landlord/romantic-nonsexual life partner Betts:

Betts brings in the mail, hands me small package.
Me: hmmm, what's this? Oh! I'll bet this is my medal!!! You know, from that local TT that I placed 3rd in... [I open package] Yes!! Sweet!
Betts: Remember that time when you finished 4th in the National TT?


Thanks Mr. Haywood, for spending the time and $1.13 in postage to send me my prized medal.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Bright Side

What's the best part about crashing during an early spring local race???

It's usually cold enough that you're wearing lots of clothing (ie. protection) if you eat pavement.
So yeah, my crash-less streak (369 days for those of you counting) came to an end on Sat. during a local business park crit. I clipped a pedal going around a round-about because I was sick of the Pippster gapping me off every corner we went through. Kinda backfired. Little road rash, little collarbone scare but turned out fine, considering. And I clotted!!! Yay! Casualties included bib shorts, jersey, left glove, left knee warmer, and right arm warmer - not to mention scrapes on shoes, left pedal (duh), skewers and shifters. Sorry Mr. Olson. Pretty sure I was going to win that race, too. Hadn't decided how I was going to beat Frank Pipp, Pete Lopinto, Henk Vogels, and a few others to the line but I still had 6 miles to figure that out. I'm pretty sure it wasn't going to be by out-sprinting them though. :)
I decided to jump back on my steed on Sun. for another business park crit in boulder. It was just your run-of-the-mill local crit with 7 Toyota Uniteds, 2 Health Nets, 2 Slipstreams, 2 Team Type 1's, 2 THF Realty, a Jelly Belly, a slew of super strong amateurs....and don't forget the 2 Bissell riders! (Garrett and I) A little aside: not only was Toyota fielding an entire team with 2 team directors at this local college crit, they were also radioed up. I guess they really wanted that $200 first place prize. Sounds like someone is bitter... As you could probably guess, I didn't do all that well in this one either. My main objective was to make it really hard and get a good workout by attacking at every opportunity - which I did to my own peril. After my 3rd attack got reeled in, the break that stuck countered and I wasn't able to follow. A few minutes later my 5 or 6th attack resulted in a gap over the field along with Ben Day. We were making ground on the lead 5 (which he had 3 teammates in) when he attacked me after a pull into the wind and I had no response. I was little irked at this (mostly at myself for getting dropped) so I let the field catch me and made it my mission to help pull back the break so Garrett could contend for the sprint win. I rotated on the front with 3 other dudes for a few laps until it got to 4 laps to go. I then put in a really hard lap on the front, pulled the break to within 8s or so, and looked back to pull off and had 3 Toyota guys right behind me just smiling. It was clearly on me to bring it back at that point so I went all out for another lap but I made no dent in the advantage and so when I pulled off w/ 1 to go, the field was left to contend for 6th. Grrrr. I was really irritated w/ myself for a) getting dropped by Day during our bridge attempt, and b) not being able to pull back the break. BUT, looking at the bright side - I felt really strong again, I got a really good workout in, I'm not going to race w/ reckless abandon (r.e. like an idiot) in our team races coming up, and Toyota is not going to have a numbers advantage on us at the big races. Oh, and it's a LOCAL MARCH CRIT.
Got some pics here taken by Rebecca, who made it to her very first bicycle race on Sunday:
artsy photo of the start - look at that product placement!

Garrett and I posing with some goofball grinning in the background. However, turns out that goofball was the first amateur finisher on the day. Props Logan!

An early break containing Ben Day, Tommy D., me, Johnny Clarke? and Matt Cooke? who needs NRC classification?

closing on the lead break moments before I was discarded like a saturated kleenex.

Next up is San Dimas and Redlands. So get ready Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jim - we'll be infiltrating your home and fridge before you know it! And soon I'll be sporting my killer tan lines once again!
Oh and last week marked the 1 year anniversary of my being diagnosed w/ a DVT (blood clot in leg). I'm thankful to be 1) alive and 2) racing my bike. Both of which were in doubt at several different times in the previous 370 days.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sprinter time!

Sprinter: that time between winter and spring when you are just as likely to get 60 degrees and sunny as 5 in. of snow and freezing. coined by T-bird. Right now, it's the latter in Boulder.
So I did a local TT last week that you can read about on the Bissell Team site. It was an interesting day. This coming weekend, I'll take part in one or two local crits before shipping back to Cali for some more racing with the team. The local crits can be found here. Then it's the San Dimas Stage Race followed by Redlands. After that will be my first ever big, bad Tour de Georgia, followed by Gila. Should be a little knackered after that stretch of racing.
My fitness is still pretty good I think, despite taking a nice rest after the AToC and then getting a little tummy bug last week.
The Bissell Boys have been doing well in Cali this month (even without me?!?). BJM has scored a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the 4 races that I've seen results from. A good solid array, I'd say. Zwiza ran a good TT and Joao put out a good crit result this past weekend at the Sequoia Classic as well. And I hear that Teddy has been putting the hurt on the locals over in the Asheville area.
Now, I'm not to going to complain about the weather cuz I know it's been pretty rough for most everyone around the country this year but I found it amusing to get 3 forms of precip on my ride yesterday. It started once I got above 8000 ft when it started to snow on me. Then about an hour later following my descent back to the flats, I got the 30mph headwind hail, which was less than pleasant. Then I finishd off the ride with about 30min. of light rain. Ah, Colorado. Not known for its consistency. Don't want to get soft anyway, right?
Oh, and I broke down and got me one of them fancy computers that I can haul around on the road with my hipster self. Point being, no excuse not to keep this blog thingee frequently updated. All I'm saying is I'll try (I'm talking to you C.B.). Thanks for reading!

Today's pick-me-up: try not to smile when viewing this photo. Jake (2.5 yrs) and Aida (9 mos) get ready for a Ft. Collins 5k run this past weekend.