Thursday, August 31, 2006

gopher510 (1:48:36 PM): update your blog you tool

guess I'm a bit overdue.

Its getting quiet around here. Earlier this week a bunch of guys escaped the clutches of Izegem. Tomorrow 2 more get out, and the rest of the crew besides myself and John are racing at a race in France. Just the two of us for the weekend, and even to the rest of the season its a minimal team.

GP tell was a slick race. Hills, mountains and hills on some rad twisty cart path roads. Unlike anything I've ever done before and super exciting to race in that kind of terrain. The prologue was my best results of the race. 7th place, and just a second or so off the podium, but the main thing was that i got to rip this sweet "video game" course. check out this pic, this was probably the widest part of the entire prologue course. So once again, no out of this world performances from me, but not horendous either. I think thats kinda indicative of my form right now. Still able to hit a good level, but a little tired and not as consistent. From here on out the formula is simple. maximize rest, keep the body tuned and focus when the race days come. I think 4 or so race days until worlds. then the TT and i'll find out about the road race soon.
Going to switzerland made me once again think, "why can't the national team be based somewhere else?" I think this area would do.

Lots of hard thinking on deciding which direction to head teamwise next year. Fortunate and lucky to be in my current situation though.

I thought I was in a good place concering my late arrival to school. Until now my advisor hadn't really expressed much concern about me being fashionably late, but all of a sudden its a last minute scramble to get things sorted out. can we please just do our job? also streaming out of the "brent bookwalter complaining network" is my current predicament of not having a place to live when i get back to school. my roomate jesse has been a total champ in the hunt for a decent place, but it seems the banner elk scene is not prime territory at the moment for a place to our liking. The specialized tt bike is just not doing me right so i'm doing my dangdest to get the Ridley over here. Wow, I almost forgot how nice those bikes were.

kieth jennings
mr. bolian. mvp for teamate and overall good guy. he broke is arm a week or so again. speedy recovery bolian!wish me luck. with.... everything. thanks for the comments. keep em rollin.

ciao for now.

Friday, August 18, 2006

both dishwashers are broke

Whew! back to blogging. The usual excuses for the recent lapse... France, no internet, hard racing. Since my last post, I've wrapped up Tour de Namur and a few 1 day races on the west coast of France. Just a quick summary since I'm not feelin a full race report.

Namur...Ok but not great. Body seemed to be a bit angery with me after removing those large chunks of skin in the days leading up. Had a couple decent days and a couple bad days. TT was dissapointing and by the last day I was feelin kinda whacked so Noel decided it was best I not start and save my mathces for the coming weeks. Props to Nick and Andy who both made it through the last day with strong rides.

Bretagne Races...First observe the pick to the left... me modeling our fashionable "team" casual gear in our plush accomidations. Different crowd in France and I have to say I wasn't feeling any love. Each of us did 3 of the 4 races over the 4 days and overall it went alright. The drive was absolutley bogus though! Its not often we have to travel 8 hours to a race in Europe, and i can't say i enjoyed any part of it. It was nice to check some new scenery though. Why can't the national team be based in an area like this??? The races were all circuit races and a few of them had a good bit of climbing. Day 1 I ended up 12th after picking my way through a pretty destroyed field. Day 2 Nick rocked out the field sprint for a bon 5th place. Day 3 we botched it big and missed the first group of 17, but did what we could to limit the damage as I snagged the field spring for 18th. Last day was tough. I think Nick was our top dog somewhere in the top 20.

So there's the rundown. I'm almost inside the "1 month to go" window till the end of the road season. Giddy up! Lots of laying low and a good bit of rest for another couple days, then its off to Switzerland for a 5 day stage race called GP Tell.

School starts in less then a week. oh wait, I won't be back there for over a month! I know, sounds a bit excessive, even by cycling standards but I'm hoping I can pull out one more semester of a late arrival and graduate in December. So far the teachers I've been able to get a hold of have been alright to work with so lets hope for more of that. Anyone back in MI should be sure to check out the Priority Health Rockford Criterium NEXT weekend. A big prize list, action packed course and a great crew of helpers putting the race together are sure to guarantee an awesome show.

Best of luck to my Priority Health boys and Clara along with her fellow Cheerwiners for this weekend at the U.S. crit championships!!!

ciao for now

Thursday, August 03, 2006

butt surfing

yesterday was rough. it looked like it was gonna be a rad race. cloudy skies, strong winds and a few solid climbs on the route were sure to make a selective race. unfortuantley, i didn't really get to give it a go. top 30 wheels, I make the first left hand turn into cross wind. Of course the field kinda panics and eveyone smashes their way to the gutter. They must have missed the memo that most bike races are in fact, not transparent and when you hit one, you bounce off eachother.

A pretty good pileup ensued. I went crashing down and even manged to hook my jersey on a riders bike who was still moving at a good speed. After dragging me across the ground for 20 meters or so he finally stopped and I calmly released myself from his bike as he flipped out yelling and jumping up and down like a circus monkey. i don't know what this dude was freakin about. yea, he was watching the race ride away but at least he had his skin, somthing i couldn't say for myself. After using a saftey pin to close the giant hole in my shorts, I got a new set of wheels and began to chase. At first i couldn't even see the last follow car for the race, but eventually I began to make up some ground and finally caught on to the last group on the road, seeing the field had already been shattered into bits. I just from group to group, and made some solid ground up but finally pulled the plug as i rode throught he feedzone and got the "cut it" sign from chris. ugh! damage? right side. butt cheek, skinless. arm, patchy skin loss. back, scrapped and bruised.

so that was that. Murphy and Sheldon ended up riding great, both making the front group of 12. Murph dieseled his way in for a sweet 5th place, Sheldon just out of the top 10. Awesome to see those guys put in a good ride, but also tough to watch as i was wishing i coulda been in there throwing down with them. I guess mass quantities of chamois cream do not make the shorts invincible.

More dissapointment this morning as Noel told us the teamd Did NOT get an invite to Tour de L'Avenir, also known as the Tour de France for young riders. stinger! i got my first taste of L'Avenir last year and its a bit dissapointing to think I won't get another shot at it this year. Why you ask? deponds who you talk to. mainly because the organizers can make whatever decision they want, but i can't help but think the recent crap with Floyd didn't play into their heads.

Still planning on Tour Namur starting saturday. 5 days, 6 stages of tough racing in the hills of belgium. Last year, i finished top 20 GC there so hopefully I can get recovered from this spill and put in a solid ride over the 5 days. monday has a TT, after a RR in the morning of course, but the TT will be cool. my first one flyin the stars and bars! I can pretty much guarantee i won't have internet access from saturday through tuesday or wed, but i'll keep my fingers crossed and roll out another update when i can.

down the street. wanna come visit?