Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breathing thin Air @ Gila

After two weekends of successful Crit&Road racing in DFW I made the trip out to Tour of the Gila with my "pseudo-teammates" from Alabama of Team Tri-Star. Thanks to Slovakian Miro (and his Nissan Titan V8) the drive was not bad at all and we talked a lot about the "old times" in the Eastern Block and cycling of course.

Mike Olheiser is our GC man here as he finished 10th last year and usually does REALLY well in the NRC races across the country. He got some (Master) Rainbow Stripes on his jersey, too. Stage 1 to Mogollon wasn't so bad until we made the final right turn towards the climb. Thanks to some prominent riders in the field the pace was "on" and all I could do was delivering Mike to the wheels of the Mellow Johnny's guys before riding my own pace. Was fun, though and I was glad I had the 39x27 this time around. Congrats to other Texans John Coppin (2nd in the 2's) and "College" Korioth (3rd 40+) who had a good ride that day. Afterwards we had some pizza & meat lasagna at Silver City Brewery Co. Our waiters name was "Trainee" - poor girl!

Stage 2 did not had any steep climbs in the profile but the onces we did climb were ridden really fast courtesy of Horner & Armstrong. 10K after the start you're already at 7000ft going the first time over the Continental Divide - and you still had 120K to go. It got more "comfortable", though a little bit later and once the break of the day was gone we could take a little breather and just ride. The Valley along NM HW 35 is quite a scenery and I could actually enjoy it a little bit since we were going "tempo" rather than full on race mode at that point. The field was already down to 80 guys at that point, so we must have gone somewhat fast at least? Like last year, it came down to a field sprint but since the wind was not as bad on HW 180 a large group made it to the line together. Landis's group got caught with 1K to go and tried to stay safe behind the Colavita & OUCH trains. For me it was'nt a sprint, more like a drag to the line - in the gutter and just holding onto the wheels in front of me. Ended up 24th on the day and Mike made it also safely in the bunch of 80guys.

post-Stage 2 @ at Ft. Byard

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

The last two weekends of racing locally in DFW have been very good for the Team and I was able to score some points in the "winner, winner, chicken dinner" competition, too. If you don't know what that means, go check it out here.

Andy Hollinger's Ivan Mukasa and James Bailey Races were both awesome places to have bike races. Saturday's Circuit Race was okay as we got 4 guys in the Top 6 but we missed the win. Godsey, Surfer Nick and Crosby all rode super strong and it was nice to have such great teammates around for the "ride". Anything else than a win would have been a disappointment in Sunday's race at Texas Motor it was time to go hard or go home ;-) Wohlrabe of RBM and myself got off the front 2miles into the 80mile race and we never saw the field (or what was left) again. Him and I are similar racers when it comes to strength so we just did our two-man TT and rolled away. I was able to get away with 5miles to go and Crosby finished it in style by taking third. Good times!

The Matrix Crits were fine as always. We had a full squad and getting a win on one of the days was almost a must. No matter who'd do it. Chad won last year and he told me beforehand where to be in which corner if you wanna take it first to the line from a break. With 40min to go the "512-crew" of Wenger, Sol, I and Helmig were in a promising break and we got up to 40+ seconds. That was it. We started playing games with 2 laps to go and were going 12mph at one point on the bachstretch. DW put in a couple of furious attacks but everything came down to a sprint and I got into the 2-t0-go corner first and held that to the line.

Oh, by the way Jed Rogers, I'm not an Ape :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

3 feet!

Looks like the Texas cycling community can take a deep breath and look forward to some great changes in Texas legislature. The "Safe Passing" Bill 488 went through the TX Senate yesterday with 28-2 votes and only the House (and governor) can stop it from this point forward.

Read more on here. I'll have my measurement tape ready when I go out training now....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cool Bike Stuff Review # 2 - The "Cobras"

Thanks to some awesome people and a great organization I have the pleasure to be rolling around on some "Cobras" on Texas roads. Like many other wheelsets made out of the "black gold" these bad boys come from (far east) overseas and are done by Cobra Composites LTD.

The "Fifties" - or 50mm - version features a 2" deep tubular carbon rim, bladed Sapim spokes (24R/20F), Japanese industry bearings and nice stealth carbon look. Obviously, they roll very smooth and fast, are stiff and don't bounce in your frame's rear triangle, and weigh in at 1420grams (w/ out skewers, tires or cassette). Compare those to the Zipp's 404 MSRP and you looking on saving roughly 6 lincolns by going with the Cobras...

If that's not enough speed for you than you should take a look at the "Super Cobras" - the 85mm version of Cobra Composites' Carbon Wheels. They're perfect for TT's, Triathlons but also handle well in a criterium where a bullet-proof wheel can make the difference.The rims are a bit unique in the way the look: The latest "DAD" (Dynamic Air Displacement) design is set to displace air away from the rim and spoke bed in direct head winds or cross winds. Rims are composed of a 3K carbonweave for maximum strength and stealth looks. Lots of vertical and lateral stiffness is the result which helps in any race situation. Bladed Sapim spokes (24R/20F), and Japanese industry bearings come standard on this wheelset - just like the "Fifties". Without tires, cassette, and skewers they weight in at around ~1700grams.
In comparison, Zipp's new 808 are a few grams lighter and roll on ceramic bearings but you can save almost 1K by going with the "Super Cobras".

Friday, April 3, 2009


...I think that was the first time I ever won a field sprint...okay, it was only a training crit but nevertheless it was nice to win something while my dad was in town and watched the race.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Redlands vs. Stefan 1:0

Ah, California was fun but after being back in ATX I could tell I need a well-deserved break. Coming off a good ride at Fayetteville I was flying out to Redlands along with teammate Alex in hope of having "some legs" there. Well, I think I forgot them at home :-)

Thursday's uphill/flat prologue wasn't really my thing anyways but I had nothing in the tank. Even though the competition was pretty stiff this year here I expected a bit more.

Friday's road race was already a bit better, as we did 4x25mile loops on a flat/rolling course with some Texas-style winds. It was pretty epic. Rolling enclosure, echelons all over the place, riding on the shoulder, dodging parked cars on those shoulders, going 50+mph in the tailwind. The field shrunk from lap to lap with guys getting shelled in the x-winds. I was sitting fine in the field with 10miles to go but had to say good-bye the last time up the hill on the back side. I crossed the line together with 5 guys from Fly-V who rode at the front all day long. Weird.

We did a nice recovery ride Saturday morning with our host Mark around Yucaipa before getting ready for the crit. Due to some bike issues I was onboard a bright yellow MAVIC spare bike. That didn't get anywhere though, as I missed all the crashes but had only legs for 60minutes of the crit. Ouch!

Sunday's road race didn't look good on paper and from what I was told it was even worse in reality. The Sunset Loop course reminded me a bit on Tour de Delta at BC Superweek in Canada where you race through residential neighborhood all the time and the road goes up and down. Well, i called it a day/race after a handful laps and rode back down to watch some of my teammates compete in the local P/1/2 crit - that was far more exciting! Alex had a good day finishing in 40th place among a stellar group of guys.

Thanks to the NOW MS Society Team for getting us on board for this race and of course to Mark & Janet Smith who offered us some excellent host housing in Yucaipa.

Alex and Mark crusing through Yucaipa.