Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Individual & Team Time Trials
ITT--Mildly rolling 11 mile course near Gainesville, FL
Rolled out of the start gate at 10:17am on this very windy, blustery morning. Outbound leg was head/sidewind. My 30 second man was already a small dot in the distance. Kept power under max pain threshold. Gradually got 30 second man in my view, passed him, then hit the turnaround. Now wind is from the back/side. Flying. Power up. One-minute man in my sights. Lactate building in the legs. Starting to go blind from effort. Minute man so close. Pass the 1 1/2 minute man at the line. Almost catch the minute man, but not quite. Met my power output goals; best power ever in a TT. 5th place in pro/1/2 field of 35, although some highly dodgy accounting for categories put 2 collegiate riders who had ridden an hour earlier than us (with no wind) at the head of the pro/1/2 field, causing much annoyance from the other pro/1/2 riders. So I was 4 seconds off the real pace for pro/1/2, and 3rd on any normal basis of accounting.
TTT--16 mile rolling course
Looking for a second ride for the day, I hung around the registration table hoping to find a team needing a 4th rider for the team time trial. Finally met up with "Wheel & Sprocket" out of Wisconsin, led by the very able Andy Crater (who went on to win the pro/1/2 crit the next day), and joined by his younger teammates Cole House (who's going over to Belgium with the USAC U23 program) and Noah Netzler. However, I was the only one from our impromptu team with a tt bike. This put us at a considerable disadvantage to the other pro/1/2 teams. Results still haven't been posted, although I know we didn't win the TTT.
Got sick on the drive home. Still recovering. Should be ready for CVC.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The morning of Cherry Pie crit started with a very good warm-up. The day before (Apple Pie ) had been a distaster from lack of it. The juniors had a spot where we set up our trainers and all got warm before the 15-16 race.
At the start line the field was huge. There was about 40 or so riders who came out to do a 20 minute suffer fest. The sun was shining but the roads were still wet from the previous day and night of rain.
We had somewhat originated a small gameplan of being very aggressive considering the day before we got our butts handed to us by Davis Bike Club who rode a very offensive
race. So when the whistle blew, power-house Ben Barsi-Rhyne was off the front with a couple of other guys, and, of course, Taylor from Davis was there too.
The gap yo-yoed back and forth from like 5 seconds to out of sight. Taylor, as I mentioned, was in the break, which was like 8 guys, so Davis didn't have to work.
But as soon as the gap would start to balloon Alex Wick would try to bridge up. The
group would pull him back, then we would slow for a couple of corners until someone else would have a go.
This happened alot and we would get really close to it all coming back together. There was one really close bridge from Alex that everybody followed. We got close but then he eased up and I could see Ben on the front driving the break trying to
keep it away. I was thinking, " I need to get up there to keep him out of the wind so he can be fresh for the sprint".
The chase died and we started to drift back so I went up the right hand side with a
guy from Tiene Duro on my wheel. We instantly had a gap and I drilled it to get up to Ben. I knew I wouldn't get any help from Mr. Duro because he had a teammate in the break, so I put my head down and burried myself.
We made the junction almost a lap later with 1 to go. Two corners recovery, then to the front. I led up the finishing hill with Ben on my wheel.
Right at the turnaround I was passed by Taylor Kuphaldt. On the descent though, it turned into an attack. I covered it, and we went through turn 1 at almost 37 mph. On the back stretch Taylor saw he didn't have a gap so he started drifting back. I decided to keep the pace high and rode at the front.
After the backside Taylor launched another attack going through the last two hard corners. Tiene Duro covered it this time and I grabbed 4th wheel. When we slowed again, it was going up to the finish line. I came by everyone with Ben on my wheel and started the leadout.
I've had much faster and better leadouts but considering the time of year, it wasn't
With about a little under 200 meters to go, everyone came flying around me for the
sprint. I was totally wasted, so I crawled in at the back of the break for 10th. I
couldn't see who got the win but the announcer was yelling, "AMD Discovery really
knows how to pick them!" so I knew we got it.
Oh...and by the way,Ben gave me his primes AND the rest of his pie!
Friday, February 23, 2007
to the race course for a nice early start.
The junior race was the first race of the day at 8:00. When we got there it was
pouring, so we set up the awning that was in the back of the van to put our trainers
under. I met up with Ben, my new teamate on AMD Discovery Channel and he came to warm
up with Heath ( my Alta Alpina teamate ) and I. About halfway through our warmup we
were already wet from the wind and the leaks in the awning. The only good news was it
was somewhat warm out because, after all, it's California.
Junior roll-out, one lap of the course, then to the startline. When the whistle
went off it was a typical junior start, meaning the first three laps were the speed
of a Pro 1,2 race!
Coming out of the first corner there was an attack from Taylor and Alex, ( both
Davis Bike Club ),Ben and one rider from Team Swift. You would think that on the first lap of a 45 minute race the first break wouldn't hold, plus I had my teamate
in it, so I just sat and waited for the counter from Davis when it came back.
But they actually ended up staying away. By two laps they had 12 seconds. By the end of the fourth lap they were out of sight around the next corner. As soon as we couldn't see them anymore, Zack and Edon ( both Davis ) started taking turns attacking the group to try to bridge up to their teamates up the road in the break.
The chase group had been whittled down to a few guys, three of them being Davis riders. I knew I wouldn't get much help from the others in the group so I had to chase down the attacks myself. It's really hard to pull back a rider off the front, then have another one rocket away and have to do the same thing over again.
Back and forth they went over and over again, just wearing us down, while up ahead Ben was getting screwed. Davis was taking turns attacking Ben and the Swift rider. Ben told me after the race that after chasing down the attacks from Davis, the Team Swift guy attacked the group. Obviously after covering Taylor and Alex, he had nothing and so got dropped.
Dad yelled at me from the sidelines that Ben was off, so I pretty much finished myself by getting to the front and getting to Ben as fast as I could, so as to not have him out in the wind. We got up to him and , of course, there was a counter attack from Zack. Heath helped to bring him back, then Ben and I started rotating to
try and get the break back which was like 37 seconds or so.
Zack wasn't getting to the front to try and stall our work but he definately
made me work to grab Ben's wheel when he came around me. I would go to move in and get pushed back out. Everytime I finished at the front I would have to fight for that wheel. He really made me work for it.
After a couple of laps of that, ( we still weren't gaining ground on the break )
Zack put in a really hard attack. I was totally done and Ben had to pull it back. I tried to chase in the wind, so I thought I would wait for them to come around again then jump back on.
So 20 seconds later here comes Alex and Taylor working together perfectly and flying. Crap! All that wasted effort just so they could lap us.
When they came back around I got back on and pretty much sat the rest of the race.
Davis Bike Club had made a leadout train for 4th place and were all at the front so I just stayed at the back for the last couple of laps. I did try to bring Heath back up to Ben's wheel for the sprint when he got gapped but he couldn't stay and I was hurting all over, so I was just looking foreward to finishing.
After the last turn they started sprinting and I was popped. Ben killed them for fourth but you could tell they didn't care. They had got 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th.
It was fun but really friking hard. It really emphasized the importance of team work. Davis worked perfectly as a team and they scored the win. We were definately
out numbered and worked but it was a learning experience.
Did I mention it was raining the whole time?
Sunday, February 18, 2007
16th place, Pro/1/2
This is my first ever pro/1/2 road race. 85 miles on hilly terrain west of Orlando, FL.
Launched numerous attacks, but failed to make the winning break, probably because I knew none of the key players. Trying to make something out of nothing, I attacked the field hard in 4th of 5 laps, and after a few minutes was joined by Kyle Wamsley of Navigators. The two of us worked hard, and successfully bridged 2 minutes to the chase group (blowing through 2 other chase groups along the way), but couldn't quite make it across to lead group of 5 that was 50 seconds more up the road. Fried by an earlier 20 minute solo attack, the bridge, and repeated efforts to ditch the rest of the chase group of 11, I had zippo left for the sprint. Fitness was very strong. Looking forward to TT next Saturday in Tampa.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
First off, thanks to all the Masters on the team for putting this together for us and helping us get there. Without these guys...well without them I wouldn't be writing this, so thank you Wyatt, Larry, Mike , Dylan, Jeff and Rob. I hope the juniors appreciate all that you guys are doing for us.
I won't go into extreme detail about the whole camp but I will tell about the parts that really stuck out to me, or were really excititng.
Probably the most fun I had was riding, as well as just being with my new teamates and the Masters on the team. Trust me, riding with the pros and watching them work together, weather it's how smooth they rotate or the speeds they travel at, was something that you don't get to witness everday. It was quite an honor to be able to go to something like this.
But, being able to talk to the pros on a one to one level wasn't something we got to do. Conversing with my teamates on the other hand was something I did, and I really enjoyed just spending time with the guys.
OK, enough of that. The one memory that really stuck was first riding into the Disco team area. There were camera crew guys there, as well as reporters and regular civs just waiting around
for Ivan Basso to come out. The mechanics and all the bikes were out. The huge bus that stores
all the equipment was there with the monsterous Discovery on it. Davis got interviewed, a couple of us got asked where we were from, the camera guy was recording us ...it was great!
On top of all that, Johan came over, greeted us and thanked us for coming. I was like, "Dude"!
We should be thanking you"!
When the pros came out and we left for the ride, it got more hard than not, but Davis kept things entertaining for us. That guy has as much energy as Robin Williams. I am looking foreward to racing with him.
I really was impressed with the strength of Davis and Charlie. They were the only juniors to finish the first day which was 4.5 hours and Charlie didn't get dropped on that one climb the second day when all the other juniors did.
My best memory was on the second day when we got to talk to Kevin Livingstone for the whole ride. He talked to us about racing in Europe and what it's like to do the Tour. It was totally awesome that he was willing to ride and talk with us. I thought we were getting annoying with all the questions we were asking him but he took it all with ease.
All in all, the camp was really hard but totally awesome and we all learned alot. I won't be a junior next year but I hope they do it again for all the other aspiring juniors
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
M35- 1st- Chris Wire (Safeway), 2nd- Craig Roemer (AMD), 3rd- Nathan Parks (EMC)
7th- Dean LaBerge (AMD), 11th- yours truly (AMD)
M45- 1st- Joe Saunders (Spine), 5th- yours truly (AMD)
Sat. Feb. 10th- Apple Pie Criterium- two races in the rain on the 1996 Masters Nationals course
Jr 12-18- Ben Barsi-Rhyne (11th) and Micah Herman (15th, both AMD)
1/2/3/Pro- Ben Barsi-Rhyne (3rd) and Micah Herman (4th)
Sun. Feb. 11th- 32nd annual Cherry Pie Crit-
Jr 13-14 1st- James LaBerge (AMD), Chris LaBerge and Marcus Smith (both AMD)- pack
Jr 17-18 1st- Ben Barsi-Rhyne, and Micah Herman (pack- both AMD)
M35- 1st- Dean LaBerge, Kevin Metcalfe, Craig Roemer, Wyatt Weisel and yours truly (pack- all AMD)
1/2/Pro- Scott McKinley, Dean LaBerge, Kevin Metcalfe, Craig Roemer and yours truly (pack- all AMD)
Thursday, February 8, 2007
I received the amazing opportunity to join some of the masters and juniors on the team down in Solvang with the Pro's. It was a blast I was in complete awe of what was happening around me. When we first got to the pro's hotel we all were introduced to Johan Bruneel and some of the other guys hanging around the mechanics. This was a guy that I had only seen on television and I just didn't know what to say when he shook my hand. The second major shock came when Mike brought George Hincapie to the back of the group to meet some of the juniors. I almost fell of my bike right then and there, but luckily I got control of myself. I was thankful that I wasn't screaming like a school girl that just met one of the backstreet boys. Davis was motoring up the hills and even attacked the pros on a climb, but they didn't counter. He had a close call the second day when he almost put Ekimov into a ditch, but Ekimov only shook his head and smiled. We also had a lot of fun at dinner where the junior team really bonded and had some fun joking around. The fact that I rode with some of the best cyclists in the world still has not really set in. Thanks for the ride Mike, and also to Wyatt for setting the whole thing up. Oh yeah and Borat was a great idea Davis and Charlie.
Monday, February 5, 2007
The 5-week Early Bird Criterium Training Series started with teammates pouring lots of energy into teaching some 200 new riders how to race and ended with an AMD-Discovery Channel win in the 1/2/3/Pro race.
Weekly averages came in at 329 riders which reflects the popularity of this event and the appeal of its progressive curriculum. The high attendance also serves as a positive sign that riders are willing to use early season events to brush up and learn new skills. The 2200 meter wide course (with just three corners) tests the riders comfortableness in a large pack of riders traveling at a fast pace. Yes, there were a few crashes but there were also 1600 participants.
Fast forward to the 1/2/3/Pro race… we’ve got Ken Carpenter, Steve Casani, Dylan Casey, Dean LaBerge, Scott McKinley, Daniel Tisdell(15), Wyatt Weisel and me in this 100+ rider field. We’ve got your typical fast pace(26mph) and attempts to break away, but this one has field sprint written all over it. Ken hits the front before the 3rd corner (700 meters to go!) with Scott on his wheel followed by Dean. I had the pleasure of watching Ken ramp up the speed so much that he gapped the 5th rider in line… and then dropped Scott off with 200 meters to go who in turn took Dean to the line.
Final results: Dean LaBerge- 1st, Scott McKinley- 3rd
Thanks for reading. Larry