Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pace Bend / Walburg

So this past weekend was the annual "real" season opener here in Texas where all the "Big Guns" showed up. We had 140+ guys both days and it was definitively competitive. As for myself, I never finished better than 6th place in any of those two races in the past. So I only expected a "solid" result here...knowing that it is a bit too early for me to have the "Ace" in my jersey pocket...

Walburg was tough as always but probably one of the more "relaxed" editions in the P/1/2 race since I've done it. Except for, of course, the "Yellow-Line-(>bad German word<)" who used machine in order to move humans. With two riders from the Mexican Orven team up the road, the rest of the peloton watched each other and played games while the rest of the baby blue team chatted and wondered which of their 2 guys would take the win. My team did what we could and I gave it a shot a couple of times but no break I somewhat got in would go anywhere. The Green Team didn't fully utilize their dozen riders either so it ended up being a 1-2-3 for Mexico while the rest of us came in shattered groups of five riders after some good crosswind in the last 6 miles. Pace Bend...well, where should I start? The good stuff: A great course, one of the easiest 80mile road races you do all year, a lot of dynamics throughout the race but unfortunately (for me) it ended up in a field sprint and well, there's nothing I can do other than rolling in at 26thplace...The nature of the course, the large turnout (140 guys) and the way teams raced just made the race not hard enough to cause any splits or let breaks go up the road. I felt okay and my teammates did a good job jumping with stuff early on but nothing came together. The "Scheisse" hit the fan when the Women 4 race piled up in front of us when we were about to pass them and one lap later the race was stopped for 10minutes to take care of the carnage. After that - in cycling unique - "halftime" we resumed and with 3 laps to go I found myself in a move w/ Boyd + Jensen but we never got clear of the field. And well, I'm not strong enough to "just ride away" ;-) So it was an "extended" (3 guys 5 seconds of the front) field sprint with - of course - a HUGE pile-up, forcing multiple guys to ER visits, like my friend Adam Mills.

We rode that stretch to the finish 12 times at probably 35-38mph, and the last time close to 45mph (?). So whoever decided to put that finish down there should think twice the next time. Having crashes in 3 or more categories at the same finish straight is probably no coincidence. Talk about "the racers make the race fast" or "it's a risky sport" is B.S. IMO as the promoter of the race has ALWAYS and impact on the race course setup. You put it uphill - ok, people might drop a chain and fall over, but at least while going 0mph and not shooting fast-forward at 45mph slightly downhill.

"Chain ring Cut Award" goes to my wife Sheri who survived a nasty crash in the Women 1/2/3 race after getting kicked to the ground, and spending the rest of the afternoon at the ER.

40sec. Power Award goes to Phil Wikoff for bridging up to the leader in the final K and taking third.

"Tough Award" of the Day goes to my friend and co-worker Derick Williamson for finishing second in the Cat. 4/5 race while crashing over the finish line!

the "Yellow-Line-(>bad German word<)"

Travis, Briand, me, and Steve

a very peaceful setting before the P/1/2 roll-out

Adam, Allen, Corey - I hope to see you guys back on two wheels at Lago!

Friday, February 22, 2008

what 2 years can do...

April, 2006 --------------- February, 2008

Notice the guy on the far left in the left picture? Scott Nydam (Team Rio Grande). Pretty much unknown on national level back then when he won the Ft. Davis Hill Climb, got 2nd in the RR + Overall behind me in April '06. Now, look at the Tour of California Podium and you see him daily in the KOM jersey. Wow!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to decrease your drag in 2 days?

Well, thanks to my new job I got to be part of a Wind Tunnel Clinic we held the last few days at A&M in College Station for our clients from Source Endurance. Next to helping them to be more efficient when riding TT's or competing in the bike-part of triathlons we also did some interesting stuff regarding rolling resistance of some well-known road bike tires.

...Drew Hill dealing with "smoke"

...John Cobb is watching
which hands are mine?

...Teacher (right) and student (left)

..."Damiano" is hiding

..."Not having my afternoon tea w/ milk makes me sleepy"

...Brandon gave me a reality-check on my TOKEN's

...Drew getting creative

...watching tunnel testing is indeed very interesting

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ridin' in Arkansas

Just got back from 3 days of riding my bicicletta at the annual Mercy Team Training Camp. 3 days of 4hours/80+miles. The 500mile drive from ATX was not as bad as I thought it would be. Only the freezing temperatures of 30F Friday morning chilled me out a bit. Luckily there is Denny's just of I-540 with unlimited coffee and pancakes.

New teammate Bill Marshall (the head guy at KLM) hooked us up with some sweet helmets, tires, a 2-year-supply of GU's and some other goodies. His MVP status for the camp is non-negotiable. My new (old) teammate Mat Stephens is back on the equipo, too and I'll look forward to tackle the Texas scene with his help :-) My "main competition within the team" will be a 21 year-old kid from Tulsa who finally seems to become a grown man...:-)

Looks like we have a new soigneur, too. My back is already missing the "Thai Foot Massage"...

500miles and 31mpg later - Back in Texas now!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


So here are "las biciclettas" I will be spending most time on this year...

R4 - I call it "il blanco"

the Single Speed - "Free Spirit"

CSK - the Backup & Off-Season bike

FUJI - for Superdrome Action

Fun Bike - great for last-minute grocery store runs