Saturday, May 17, 2008

And another one

No crashing for us today. Whew! Team rode well, and Alex rode like an
alien to lock up the k.o.m. Jersey as long as he finishes tomorrow.
Fighting almost all day in the pack. Not to the death, but enough to
keep it stressful. We got franced on for an hour or so. Danillo
flatted with 15 km to go so I gave him my wheel. Good to work on that
caravan riding stuff. Double day tomorrow. I've never been a fan of
two road races in one day. You tell these dudes they only have to ride
for 100km at a time and its pretty wacky how fast they can go.
Tonight's hotel is a hit so far. Our rooms are big enough for me to
completley open my suitcase!!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Do you like baseball johny??

Kinda feels like I'm stepping up to the plate in the major leagues,
but have been playing more t-ball than hardball this season. Its
coming along though

Tour of picardie. Not my favorite part of france. Plenty of meat
wagons laying down the power here. Covered over 100 km in the first 2
hrs of racing.

Crashing sucks. Crashing because you hit a teamate who has also just
crashed is double whammy. I think I'm fine though. Guess that's what I
get for trying to help the boys mix it up in the sprint. Sketchy. Knee
is a little sore but other than that, just touched up the road rash
from romandie. Just building character, right?

Looking forward to the mitten next week. Check out...

Overcooked pasta. Mmhhhmmm

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

up to the date

Whoa, comments.  That deserves a bit of an update...

made it through Tour of Romandie.  Plenty of character building during over the week long race, but what an amazing event.   Scenery, competition, and the race in general were all top notch.  A few pics...

Hung out in Grenchen, Switzerland for a few days before the race.  I think this was the flattest road we rode the entire time i was there.  

As I mentioned before, race kicked off with a 2km prologue.  Take it from Nathan, you can in fact smash yourself from a 2km effort.  

Louder perfecting his prologue form on the trainer
Made it to foot of the Alps for the stage 3 tt.  
Amazing views on the big mountain day where we climbed almost 11,000 ft in just over 60 miles.  After full gas for the first couple hours of the race, I transformed into a grupetto superstar.   No easy way up a 20 km climb, but I limped my way to the finish and actually got to soak up some scenery.   

The rest of the epic terrain was taken in during transfers

After finishing up in Lausanne, I jumped in the car and headed to Luxembourg to meet up with my old homies on the national team.  Cool to kick it with them after missing much of last season.  They are tearing it up this year coming off some recent big results at Fleche du Sud.  Luxembourg was not a bad place to hang out.  Amazing weather and some really nice roads to ride.  
Also a few rare moments to relax and play tourist for an afternoon

The city of Viandan was probably one of the coolest euro cities I've checked out.  Check out our accommodations for the week!
Ok, just kidding, but we did take the time to check out this killer castle and force a little culture into our brains.  

Blast from the past, back to Izegem, Belgium for the moment and kicking it at the national team house.  Tour of Picardie is next weekend and then its back to the homeland for Tour de Leelanau.  More when I have it.

Giddy up

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yea, really

Tour of romandie this week. No small feat, but a great opportunity.
Last year at this time I was on my back dreaming of racing again so
I'm doing my best to soak it up and make the most of the leg crushing
that's being dished out. A brief recap so far...

Progue: a whoppin 2km and I think the shortest race I've ever done. It
still hurt a plenty but was good for opening the legs and getting
easing into the racing from all the pre race hype.

Stage 1: ouch and brrrrrrr. Rain off and on all day and temps
dropping to near freezing at one point in the stage. I learned right
away that there are few flat roads in swiss land, felt like we were
goin up or down all day. But mostly up. Carried a few 30 lb. Rain
soaked jackets for the big dogs on the team and did what I could to
help. Limped in with the grupetto.

Stage 2: super ouch. A bit more flattish meaning we were only
climbing for 5 or 10 km at a time. Went alright until abou 60 km to go
when the pace started to pick up. I got tangled in a wreck and did my
first real pavement surfing of the year. Chased my brains out in the
caravan for about 20km but never could latch onto the pack. Went into
tt mode to make the time cut and finished 13 min. Down shatered.
Luckily the body seems to check out ok so far. Soreness and scrapes.
Props to ian for making the early break and scoring the team some tv

About halfway through but the hardest is still to come. Ill be
accepting donations in the form of leg power for the rest of the week
so send it on over.

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