Sunday, August 31, 2008

Return from Swiss

I just got back from Switzerland where we had some hard racing. I will post more tomorrow with some awesome photos. I will also he hanging around Europe for a little longer and joining up with some more juniors in Italy next Monday.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Starting fast

Below are some pictures from our race Saturday(and the ones of me on Sunday) which was the biggest we have done so far. It Started out fast as there were 25 teams of 6 riders. We all started in the back but quickly were able to work our way to the front. Ty was in the early group off the front which stayed away most of the day. On the second lap I got one of my vertigo episodes and had to dropout.

The rest of the team rode great. Everyone was very active and rode well against the strong Belgians. In the end 7 Belgians got away and the rest of the Americans finished in the field just a few seconds behind. Even though the results did show their strength, anyone of the US boys could have finished in the group that was off the front.

Sunday I took part in another race because I didn’t get much of a race in on Saturday, so Ian Moir and Evan Huffman came along and helped me in a smaller race just south of Brugge. Just like any race in Belgium it started off fast. The field wasn’t very big so it was hard to stay out of the wind, but there were enough strong riders who wanted to go to the front and make it fast. Half way into the 80 km race things started to separate and I found myself in the front group. With 3 laps to go a group of 5 got away then another group of 5 including myself broke away. We came close to catching the leading 5 but never did. I jumped out of the second group of 5 with 2km to go because I don’t have a great sprint and was able to hold them off and took 6th.

Out next race is tomorrow then Thursday we leave for Switzerland for GP Ruebliland.


You can tell how hard the races are because the looks on our faces during and after the race.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crazy First Race

It all started as we were flying down a small back country road at 80 km/h and we saw another car coming straight on. Ben (our coach) swerved to the right to try and make some space so that we wouldn’t have to stop because the road was so narrow. Everything was good until we hit the ditch, it was so deep that the bottom of the van bottomed out and there was no way that we could drive it out. We quickly came to a stop and were leaning way to the right and I was sure that the van was going to tip. Ben tried to gun it but the van was stuck. We then climbed through the window to get out because the door was stuck shut.

After that we tried a lot of different things to get the van out such as; jumping on it, pushing it, and pulling it. When we realized that we were going to need some more horse power we called Els (the woman who runs the cycling house) she called up her neighbor how had a tractor and as fast as he could, drove it out to see if he could help. Meanwhile, we were all thinking about what we were going to do because we were going to miss the race.

Once the tractor arrived we thought we were saved, but the driver didn’t think it was possible for his vehicle to pull us out. Els then took out her phone and made a call to a local towing company who was soon on the way. The man arrived shortly there after and looked like he had seen problems like this a thousand a times before. To make the story short he winched the van out, and now it was time for us to decide if we still wanted to try and make it to the race.

Ben drove like crazy as we rushed to get to the race which started in only 30 minutes. We arrived and all jumped out of the car to get registered. When we went into the building where registration was held they had already taken it down, but when we told them that we were from the US and had the current national champion they opened it up again. But just because we registered didn’t mean we would make the race, we still had to; pin number, pump tire, get water, and get to the start. The race director thankfully delayed the start 5 minutes for us or none of us would have made it. And with out warm up the gun shot and we were off.

The race went well everyone was ridding strong and off the front at one point or another. Marshal flatted on the second lap and had to drop out, but other then that there were no problems. A group got away that none of us were in and stayed away, but Evan (current road national champion) finish 16th, I was 20th, and Max was 23rd. The rest of the racers came in behind and upright which is always good. Our next race is a big race tomorrow which should be very hard.

Stay tuned

Belgium summer in the fields of Flanders

While everyone in Bend enjoys the hot Central Oregon sun, I’m in Belgium riding my bike in the rain and gray skies of Western Flanders. The past two days while riding I’ve been wearing legwarmers, long fingered gloves and a jacket.

We have a strong team and everyone is getting along well. Yesterday we went on another epic Belgium ride however this time we got out of the flats and on a climb. We rode the Kemmelberg which is one of the most famous climbs in Belgium. Little did we realize that the climb wasn’t famous because of its rough cobble stones or its 20% grade but because what came after the climb, and that was the descent. On most of the other cobble stone climbs of the area the descents are paved and smooth, but not the Kemmelberg the downhill is just as hard as the up with its +20% grade and rough cobblestones.

After safely making it both up and down the Kemmelberg we made our way to Ieper to get some lunch. On our way there, we passed though cemeteries which were bedded with thousands of graves from WWI and the soldiers that fought there. In Ieper there was a huge arc which had the names of every allied soldier who died in the war. It was very powerful and humbling at the same time.

I will post again soon,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Long Time no Update.

Well I'm back in Bend shortly before heading back over the pond to Belgium and Switzerland. The past month has taken me on many adventures and brought me some great results.

It started with the Cascade Cycling Classic right here in Bend. It's a home town race so I wanted to have a good race. I had a good time trial which lead me to eventually finishing 3rd on GC.

After Cascade I was looking forward to having a little down time before putting in one last final push before nationals. However plans always change and I got a last minute invitation to the Tour de L'Abitabi in northern Quebec Canada. I couldn't turn down the offer and quickly packed and got on a plane heading east. I was a long trip as I few into Milwaukee where I met the team and the got in a car and continued to head NW for twenty hours to get to the Small French speaking town of Val d'Or. The Tour de L'Abitabi is the largest junior stage race in North America and if not one of the Biggest in the World. Here there was a very international field of riders coming from countries such as; France, Japan, New Zeeland, Kazakhstan, and many more. The races where fast and dangerous, with large crashes happening all the time. I made the whole length of the race unscathed. I had another good time trial here which carried me to a fourth place GC finish. It was by far my biggest ever result and the most fun race I have ever done.

The time trial was the highlight of the race for everyone as we started 800ft under ground in a gold mine. I was a race that I will always remember just because of its wildness and scale.

Another twenty hour drive the long flight back to Oregon gave me time to rest and recover before my next big adventure, Nationals. This year the national championships were held in Southern California. Four days after I returned from Quebec I was back in a car this time heading south. My first race was the time Trial which was a course that suited me very well. I finished second seven second behind Adam Leibovitz. The next race was the Crit in which I rode at the front a lot trying to help out my other teammates. Jacob had a supper strong ride and finished fifth after being off the front earlier solo.

Then Sunday brought the road race, it went by fast as groups would go up the road and then get brought back. Finally I was off the front and it just happened to be the one that would stay away. It started with just three of us then more people bridged up until we had a group of seven. In the final sprint I died and took sixth, not as good as I believed I could do but there is always next year.

I'm off the Europe next Monday; I will update my blog as much as possible.

Talk to you soon