Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mt. Hood is over... For me.

Since I last updated, we did a circuit race around about a 20 mile loop, half uphill, then half downhill. We did 4.5 laps, which meant 5 climbs and 4 descents. It started off pretty aggro, but the break went about 3/4 of the way up the first time, so we got to chill out over the top and the next couple laps as Bissell just rode the front setting tempo. The 4th time up I noticed I was slipping dangerously close to the back, and then it kicked up a little bit about 10k from the top and the next thing I knew I was in the caravan. I put on a little chase, and watched the Bob's guy in front of me hang on to a bottle from his car and get dragged away from me up the road. I rode an easy tempo for a while then picked it up to make sure I didn't get time cut.

The Time Trial the next day was by far the coolest TT course I've ever done. I didn't pre-ride it, and since a smoking fast TT would have kept me in last place GC, I decided to take it easy and still maintain my last place.

Yesterday was the Wy,East Road Race. It was 100 miles with like 39,000,000 ft of climbing. It started out so fast. For those of you who haven't been following the racing out here, Rory Sutherland from Health Net took the leaders jersey after the TT, so it was there responsibility to ride the front. I was hoping a break would go early and we could just chill out for a while but instead, groups of like 30-40 kept going away, and Health Net would string it out single file to bring the break back, but since they were so big it seemed like it took forever for them to come back, then another huge move would go and we'd get strung out again.

Meanwhile it's 90 degrees and we're going over roller after roller. I just kept telling myself to hang on over one more roller and then it would slow up, but it never did. Even through the feed zone it stayed single file, so of course I got caught out in the 3rd group on the road. I helped chase back to the 2nd group, but they were still chasing the first group and I came off just as the caught the 1st group. I chased as hard as I could through the caravan because I knew there was no riding the next 60 miles alone. I made it up to like the #2 car in the caravan, but then I blew up for real, and limped it for a few more miles in a little grupetto before I hopped in a car.

Now the race is over for me, the other guys get to do a 75 minute crit in downtown Hood River this afternoon. It's on a .4 mile course with a 180 degree corner, so it sounds interesting. I'll just be hanging out, getting ready to put my driving shoes on since I'm sure I'll be the one who gets to drive first.

That's all I've got right now, Hood River has been awesome, the courses have been really cool, but I can't say I've enjoyed racing on them that much! Hopefully I'll come out of this week with a little bit of form that I can use later this summer. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I kinda finished again today.

Today was the Mt. Tabor Criterium in Portland. The race was run on an extinct volcano just outside of downtown Portland. The course basically went up one side of the volcano, then wound around the other and back up. Not a flat meter of road, with a 90 degree turn that the group slowed and stopped in every lap, followed by a fast narrow descent, and 135 feet of elevation gain per lap.

I of course started in the back and tried to move up until we came to a dead stop in the corner at the top of the climb. The group strung out right out of the corner, so it was 53x11 the whole way down, with a tiny break at the bottom before the climb through the finish started. Then we repeated that again and again. Sometimes there was more of a break at the bottom, and other times it stayed single file up the climb.

In order to not get time cut you had to last at least 30 of the 90 minutes of the race. I lasted 60 before the kid in front of me let a gap open up and I couldn't close it, and that ended my race. As soon as you were off the back the group rode away sooooo fast it wasn't funny.

I'm not happy with the result, but I get to race again tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. 80 some miles on what looks to be a horrific circuit.

That's it for tonight. No new gossip. Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I finally finshed a race.

It's been a while since I've finished a race, but I did it tonight.

I'm currently in Hood River, OR, here for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic. Tonight was the 1.7 mile prologue in downtown Portland. It was an out and back on a basically straight road right along the Columbia River. I finished in 3.06, good enough for a hundred and somethingth place. The winning time was 2.45, so I was a good ways off, but on a brighter note, the winning women's time was 3.08, so I would have dominated that race.

Tomorrow is a 90 minute crit in Portland, then a couple climbing road races as well as a long hilly time trial and another crit on Sunday to end the week.

I haven't updated in a while because racing has sucked. I crashed out of Gila on the first day, so I did support the rest of the week. Last weekend was collegiate nationals, highlighted by the guys getting third in the Team Time Trial, and Katie Ronsse's 9th and 7th in the Road Race and Crit. My personal highlight for the weekend happened Friday afternoon after the TTT. Taylor Shelden and I were running our bikes over to Jose Supersteinez's house so the van could take them out here to Hood River. Someone turned out a few cars in front of Taylor who was driving Amy Secor's car in front of me. Taylor stopped, I stopped, but the genius behind me didn't. He rear-ended me, and pushed my car into Taylor in front of me.

My car got a little crunched on both ends, rear bumper, trunk lid, front bumper, grill, front right fender, and hood. Amy's car just got the rear bumper messed up. I've talked to a few insurance people already, so hopefully it'll all get cleared up soon.

I think that's all the news I have for right now. We have awesome host housing which is a huge relief since "Crazy Jack" in Silver City was interesting to say the least. I'll try to keep this updated with results while we're out here, but we'll see how the week goes on.

In other news, if any of you read the comments on this, you may have heard some more gossip, for those of you who don't...

- Supposebly, Contador crashed out Zabriskie at the Giro because he was upset about Slipstreams inclusion at the Tour de France.

- Colin Don has nightmares about waking up, looking in the mirror, and finding a that he has an unfashionable haircut.

- Team Jelly Belly is planning to bring up a new rider from their "farm team" (Waste Management), as soon as they are allowed to adjust their roster. There are rumblings around the rumor mill that the new rider may be none other than Boulder's own Keil Reijnen. But the question is, who will be replaced? Perhaps a rider who needs time for their skeleton to catch up to their musculature.

- Team Tecos, which recently won The Vuelta de Bisbee, and The Tour of the Gila is said to only show up at races stateside when they know that USADA will not be there. According to secret sources, USADA made a surprise appearance in Pinos Altos after the final stage of Gila. Keep your ears peeled for any news on that front.

- Ryan Hamity had a life-changing experience as a young child at the zoo. He witnessed a gorilla vomiting into it's own hand, and later devouring it's vomit completely. Ryan immediately got a bunch of piercings and is now only attracted to women over the age of 35.

I think I'm out of gossip, please leave any good juicy info in the comments section, or feel free to shoot me and email. If it's good, I'll definitely add it to the list.

Also, I started reading Under the Banner of Heaven. It's really good, pretty disturbing, but interesting. I kind of want to read The Book of Mormon now because it sounds hilarious.

That's all for now. Thanks for checking in.