Monday, November 21, 2011

Tulsa & Ft. Worth Cyclocross Weekend

I went up to DFW last Friday for another fun weekend of CX racing. First, up on I-35 to OKC to pick up former MSU-teammate Greg and then we headed to Broken Arrow, OK for the Ruts 'N Guts Cross race. It's just South of Tulsa and held on a very cool course around a park/church. For the 60minutes we climbed nearly 1000ft - quite a bit for a CX race. It was good seeing some of my Tulsa Tough teammates and catch up. The prize $$$ for this race was big, all of the 20 guys who raced walked away with some change. Joe Schmalz rode away from everyone to claim the $1K first place prize. The never-tired-of-racing Steve Tilford ran 3rd and I was happy to crack the Top10 in 8th place. On-the-road teammate Mat Ankney had to ride really fast so I don't catch him :-)

Nice little video by the promoters of the Tulsa CX Race:

After a long day of racing and driving I made it for the 2nd day of racing in Ft. Worth at Trinity Park. The course was for sure not a "true" cyclocross-specific course but still we had to race our bikes pretty hard to finish where we finished...Paul Bonds was yet again on another level and after riding with him for 30minutes at the front he simply dropped me and I rode the last 3 or 4 laps alone to come in 2nd place. Ouch, that hurt! It's amazing to see guys like Bonds or Tilford kick some major butt and drop guys who are 10-20 years younger like flies.

The only real challenging part of Sunday's CX course in Ft. Worth:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tour de Gruene TT's

The last 2 years I missed out on Tour de Gruene because of trips to New Zealand for Tour of Southland and last year to India. So going back to New Braunfels this year was really good. A new ITT with an uphill finish on Canyon Lake Dam was very interesting, and made for a challenging TT. Ian Stanford from HED came down again and after a 3rd place last year he got his win this year with a 19second advantage over my ride for the 16mile TT. The traffic on the course, an awards-ceremony which took way too long (think 2hrs) and a lack of a (previously guaranteed) shuttle service back to the start left a few people unhappy that day - understandably. Luckily I had a ride with some friends but I felt bad for the folks who didn't had friends or family out there and had to ride 16miles back to S/F on their race wheels, when it was nearly dark and getting cold.

Sunday was the 2-person TT - something my athlete Wes Jerman and I have been focusing on. He's a good time trialist, won the Cat 3 State TT and final stage of Tulsa Tough this year. Our "combo" was definitely able to win but in a time trial everything must go right so you can come in first. Warm-up, nutrition, equipment, course, etc..But it all well and according to plan and we were on the right track the whole race. The only challenging part was the wind and slight rain on the back in coming towards Gruene and with the 1080/Super9 - combo I felt the crosswind a bit but we could still go full throttle down HW 306.

Out time just around 58:50 was not record-setting but still a good 2 1/2minutes ahead of second place (Pincus/ Bentley). Fun weekend down in New Braunfels. And I didn't even use the Wurstfest tickets I got from the race and found a week later in my bag. I wonder if they're valid next year?

photo: John Buntz

it was worth waiting close to 2hrs for awards...