Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thoroughly Thrashed....

...by Bike Rack. Those boys can climb! I decided, against better judgement, to take Rugg up on his offer to ride hills with them today instead of doing the Goon ride. I will say without a doubt that this ride did not disappoint. While the thrashing was taking place I must say I was really enjoying myself. It would've been so much harder to make myself hurt like that if I had of ridden by myself.
Seeing those guys do their thing was a serious reality check for me. I thought maybe if I threw in a little bit of hills the next couple weeks I could be competitive at Coppi and Lost River, but after seeing that gang attack those hills I might just be doing these hills so I can survive Coppi and Lost River. Anyway, I know where I'll be every Tuesday @ 6:15 pm when the weather is cooperating. I've just found my new favorite form of self-flagellation.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I'll start by saying I got 3rd in the 3/4 race. I HATE freakin' 3rd place. I know I should be happy I got third or finished "in the money" or that I didn't get caught behind that crash, and all things considered I am, but I'm really not because I really HATE 3rd place. I would probably have a different reaction if I lost because 2 guys broke away and I was left to win the field sprint, but I hate to lose when I'm right there up front at the end of the race and don't do what I have to do to get 1st place. HATE IT! And technically, if 2nd place is the first loser, then 3rd place is the 2nd loser, then that means I couldn't even win at losing!

On a more positive note, I loved doing Reston. The 3/4's got lucky because we didn't have to deal with a lick of rain. The last time I did this course was in 2007 as a Cat 5 and I came in 18th, so it was nice to come back to it. I didn't have a particular strategy going into this race either. I guess if you can call sitting in until the field sprint a strategy then I did have one. But I'm a better sprinter than anything else, so isn't this an appropriate strategy for me? Anyway's, having a strategy like that never makes for an interesting race report so I'll just skip to the end to say Win had a freakin' sweet leadout from his teammate and I should've went earlier than when I did. I didn't go as hard as I wanted through the last two turns because I had way too much air in the rear tire and those turns were giving me a little bit of trouble when I tried to power through them during the race. That gave Win and Greg all the meters they needed to stay ahead and come in 1st and 2nd respectively.

Later on, I attempted to do the 1/2/3 race. Attempted is the correct term because after about 14 laps, I was graciously pulled from the race. It was fast and it was furious. I just did not have enough left in the legs to hang on to the back of the train.

For the next couple weeks, the focus of my training will shift towards the hills. I refuse to be embarrassed at Coppi and Lost River by all the climbers out there like I was at the Tour of Washington Co.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I (heart) Washington County!

I can sum up this past weekend of racing with one word, "Painfest". At least for me it was. I picked a whooper of a first stage race. Feeling grossly under prepared, I showed up for the road race ready to have my butt handed to me on a silver platter by some of MABRA's finest climbers...and they did not hesitate to put me in my place. After the first lap around that course, I didn't think I would make it until the end. Fortunately I did, but losing so much time to the leader and knowing I can't time trial my GC hopes were quickly put to rest so I knew the rest of the weekend would be pure fun.

The time trial was my first. I don't really know what to say about it since I have nothing to compare it to. I know there was a super headwind at the turn around. I didn't catch anyone, but I didn't get caught either. Then came the crit. Finally an event I knew I had a chance in, at least for some stage glory. This crit was fun as well. I was pretty close to quitting within the first 5 or 6 laps, but finally the legs started to come around and I was able to get into my own zone. I knew if the race came down to it, I was feeling confident enough that I could win it in a field sprint. With 1 to go, there were two guys kind of off the front that I thought we would catch. We were doing pretty good at making up ground but coming into the last corner a bike rack guy clipped his pedal and everyone behind him had to slow down and scatter for different lines. Fortunately for me I was about 4 wheels back and was still able to maintain a good line through the turn. I started the sprint from pretty far out because I knew I could hold it but it wasn't enough to catch the guys up the rode so I ended up in 3rd.

Big congratulations to Mr. Rugg. I know he isn't my teammate and all but I was really rooting for him to take the overall win this weekend. As hard as he's been working, he deserved the result he got. Also, watching his teammate, Tim Brown, dominate in the crit was awesome. I must confess that at the beginning of the season I though the Bike Rack guys were just a bunch of squirrely dudes, but my view of their team and tactics has done a complete 180 as the seasons progressed. Keep up the hard work fellas!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cops can be funny too!

I came across this while reading the article at Velonews.com

Giove, also known as "The Missile," earned a total of 14 NORBA national downhill titles, 11 UCI World Cup victories, two overall World Cup titles and the world championship in 1994.
Apparently aware of Giove’s competitive background, DEA agent John Gilbride felt compelled to offer the observation that “drug trafficking can lead you downhill fast."

See people, even we have a sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back in the saddle

After taking a week off for vacation visiting the in-laws in the Bahamas, I am now back home and "back in the saddle". During that week away, my legs turned to mush and now I'm in panic mode because as of a minute ago I decided to sign up for the Tour of Washington Co. I guess no matter what my fitness level is, I have a strong desire to feed my hunger for competition.

This will be my first stage race. I cannot time trial. I never really cared much for the race of truth. I much rather prefer a race of lies if it keeps me from embarrassing myself. But I will say that I'm excited to see the guys who are really good at time trialing throw down. I admire the amount of mental toughness and focus and high threshold for pain it actually takes to succeed in something like a time trial.

See all you guys this weekend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ride Sally

I figured I would write this before I head off for a week long vacation to the Bahamas.

This weekend was Ride Sally Ride and it would be my second time in this race. Although you would never know it (which I will get to later). I raced in the 3 and 1/2/3 races. I was a little disappointed with the way the 3 race played out. I mean I felt great the whole time, but in the end I wasn't in the right place at the right time and for it I did not get a good result. Talking to Chuck afterwards made me feel a little worse but also motivated me a little bit more for the future. I practically live for the sprint. I race every race hoping it will come down to a sprint. When I imagine winning races in my head, it's never in a solo breakaway, it's always in a sprint. And not just a sprint with anyone but I want to be sprinting against the best and win. To see Stephen Wahl take the race, in seriously excellent fashion, and know I wasn't where I needed to be to give him a run for his money pretty much blew my whole race. I ended up somewhere in the top 10, although the officials or results won't reflect that because on the last lap of our race the finish line camera went out. The officials only scored the first 6 riders. It really wasn't a big deal to me because quite honestly, if I'm not in first then why put up a fuss. Also, last year when I did this race, in the opposite direction, they didn't even score me coming across the line. I would've been in 12th.

At the end of the day I had the 1/2/3 race. All I can really tell you about this one is that I had a really good time in this race. Even though this race was faster than the 3 race it felt a lot easier. I think the overall smoothness of the race made the pace easy to maintain. I also felt like I had an easier time moving around in the 1/2/3 than I did in the 3. I also enjoyed racing with the Artemis Elite guys. (GET ME IN BLUE!!!) DC Velo ended up lining up their train of guys for the final lap and it looked well oiled and solid. I was watching on Bryan Vaughn's video and its amazing how easy they seem to be able to find each other and get on their teammate's wheel. They ended up winning, but I really didn't care because I was happy I finished and that I felt pretty good during the race. The photo below is courtesy of Jim Wilson. SWEET!