Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quick 2008 Matrix Cup Recap

Good times at the track these past two days: Thanks to the Matrix Cycle Club, Drew Tucker, Paula and the Superdrome staff all competitors had some HUGE prize list to race for.

Teammates Bam-Bam, Mat S., and I did well in most of the races. I was able to win all endurance events (point-a-lap, points, miss'n out, another points race) and took both the sprinter (I don't know how that happened...) and endurance individual omniums. On top of that Bam-Bam, Geoff Godsey, Kevinn Matthews, and I won the team pursuit (well, there were only 4 teams but a win is a win). As a team, we won 5 out of the 7 events offered for Elite Men (Ryan Nelman won the Keirin and new-kid-on-the-block Austin Stewart the 8 lap Scratch).

I'm very pleased to have such great teammates this past 2 days as it would not have been possible to pull off the V's without Bam's hard pulls and Mat S.'s "off-the-gun" attacks :-)

A special "Thanks" goes to Kevinn (above) of Tulsa, Okl, who helped Bam, Godsey, and me to win the team pursuit with one of the fastest opening 500m of a 4K team pursuit I've ever done :-) He was so thrilled to wear the Mercy jersey!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ft. Davis "HammerFest"

Going into the 3rd TX stage-race of the year I knew it would be hard to repeat the GC win from '06 and '07 mainly because I was lacking one important thing: teammates! Well, I still didn't want to miss the the best and toughest stage-race of the year in Texas at 5000ft in Jeff Davis County, just 80miles north of the Mexican border.
After 440miles driving West and a short night I started Stage 1's TT at 8:01am at 39°. This time the wind blow from the North East, making it a tail/crosswind out and a head/crosswind back to town. I felt good, but not good enough to win. Ended up in 4th place. Wenger, Boyd, and Colavita took 1st through 3rd place. My time was two minutes faster this year comparing to '07 where I won the TT. Ouch!
Post-race quesadillas along with a good nap at the Prude Ranch got me ready for Stage 2, a 16mile "road race" up to the McDonald Observatory at 6800ft. We had tailwind all the way which made the race fast and for most part of the race we let Loren Dodson of Velossimo ride in front of the pack with the GC guys looking at each other and waiting for the final 1K 18% steep climb. Well, I don't like to wait until it gets hard and rather let the others get out of their closet and race instead. I quickly caught up to Dodson and we rode together 'til we hit the final 1K. I knew it would be hard to take the stage since I'm an okay-climber but like more the power-climbs instead of 1K at 18%. Alex and Travis came up to me and Alex took the win ahead of Travis and me just behind a few seconds. That got me in 2nd GC but Alex was untouchable today. Coming from Redlands he was def. the most complete rider.
Pre-Stage 3 saw a GC combination of Boyd, me, Travis, Wenger but at the end of the day that all got mixed up to due the fact that "early break" made it this time to the line w/ out getting caught. The largest gap was 7minutes at one point. I didn't hit the Panic Button since we always caught the leaders somehow before the end of the line. Not this time. I had 3 options: a) sit in and hide and wait for the finish b) attack the group trying to get away w/ a few other riders in an attempt to catch the leaders up the road c) ride at LT all the way to the finish in hope to minimize losses. Well, I chose option b) but other than shelling a couple of guys out the back it did not accomplish a lot. Nobody was willing to help bring them closer in "striking distance" - for different reasons. Jason Short (MSU) ended up winning the race and no, he didn't get lucky, he was the smartest that day and always has the legs, just finally could show it to the rest of us. The GC got shuffled quite a bit and I ended up 5th, so did Sheri in the Women's 1/2. Last year we each won our categories, this year both got 5th. Funny how that goes :-)

Check out this cool clip from the guys of Austin Bikes!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My college friend Carly Burres from Midwestern State University just won a first prize in Sports Writing at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference, held in College Station last week. Her article of my 2006/2007 Asia Trip got her the first place trophy - Go Carly!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Track, more track, and Mineral Wells

Friday afternoon I headed up to Frisco to hit the boards of the Superdrome for the first time in probably 6month. Oh, it was fun! Nothing better than pushing 94.6inch (yeah, I know it's a bit big) around the 250m track and working on some speed, sprints and some short VO2max efforts. Thanks to my teammate and 2004 Madison National Champ Mat Stephens I had someone to rely on when it got "hot" on the track...He won the "Fast-Twitch-Scratch" (8 laps), I got the Miss'n Out and the Points Race. Geoff Godsey of TxTough rode well and got 3rd in the omnium without having a teammate and having to chase us down all the time :-)

After a short night of sleep I headed back to the track Saturday morning to teach a Endurance Skills Clinic in conjunction with the ongoing clinics at the Superdrome organized by Paula Felix. We had about 16 riders, including 5(!) women and a 15-year-old junior. I think it went pretty well and hopefully my "students" will race smart the next time they hit the track. Next stop: Matrix Cup, April 19/20. You should come and check it out. Either as a rider or a spectator. Admission is FREE!

The next day (Sunday) I headed to Mineral Wells, knowing that it would be tough to repeat last year's win given the fact that we had about 35 guys in the P/1/2's and maybe a third was from THSJ...! Oh well, luckily I had Kolt and Mat there and was able to "relax" a bit once the break-0f-the-day rolled off the front. Every team had a guy in there (Kolt for us) but that didn't mean the race was calm - not at all! It was actually a pretty tough race, although I was able to take a "natural break" on Highway 4 and chased back on very easily. Once we hit Cherry Pie Hill (after getting caught by the Cat 5 field!) I went a bit harder and only Ian Dille followed me so we TT'd up to a group of 7 or 8 who were chasing the break. Once there, the tempo got slower again and more re-grouping occurred. Again, it was Mr. Dille and me who lid things up and finally Gaubert, Blee, Vargas, RWalker, Dille and me were racing for 5th place which I ended up taking. Houston Kid Travis B. smoked his break-away companions yet again and took the "V". That was a HARD 90miles. Definitely good training for this coming weekend's Ft. Davis Hammerfest. I "lost" only 1 Dollar due to the Entry Fee being $35 and my payout being $34 :-)