Monday, December 14, 2009


Bissell completes 2010 roster with Britton, Boswell and Kline
By: Cycling NewsPublished: December 14, 17:21, Updated: December 14, 17:42
Bissell formed Belgian-style echelons in training

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US continental team settles on 13 riders

The Bissell Pro Cycling Team completed its 2010 roster today with the signings of Canadian Rob Britton and under-23 Americans Ian Boswell and Shane Kline. The three bring the team up to 13 riders for the coming season.

Britton, a native of Victoria, British Columbia caught the attention of team general manager, Glen Mitchell, at this year’s Mt. Hood Classic with a stage win and a fifth place finish overall. Director, Eric Wohlberg, who has been tracking Rob’s progression said, “Rob is a selfless, team-oriented rider who has the ability to win when the situation presents itself. Rob’s particular ability to TT and climb will add to our race day arsenal.”

Boswell had success in the junior ranks while riding for the US National Team and the Hot Tubes Development Team. He finished second overall at the Li├Ęge - La Gleize junior stage race in Belgium, but caught the eye of the team at the Nevada City Classic junior race.

Ben Jacques-Maynes recalled watching Boswell win. “I was impressed with how he rode away from a strong field and won. I was sitting on the side wondering who this guy was”, says Jacques-Maynes. “Then after such a display he jumped in the pro race and hung on the back of the express train which I thought was really impressive.”

Kline has a strong track background and finished third in the Madison at this year’s USA Cycling Elite Track Nationals. He also finished 10th at the 2009 Meijer Grand Cycling Classic.

2010 Bissell Pro Cycling Team: Ben Jacques-Maynes, Frank Pipp, Andy Jacques-Maynes, Cody O’Reilly, Daniel Holloway, David Williams, Ian Boswell, Jeremy Vennell, Kyle Wamsley, Paul Mach, Peter Latham, Rob Britton, and Shane Kline.

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Friday, October 30, 2009


Monday, September 28, 2009

Looking back at 2009

As I write this from the Boston/Logan airport on my way to Bermuda, my final race of the season, I have had time to think about all the great memories of places and people I have been fortunate to experience this year. My season began early with a trip in January to Chico with two of my Oregon buddies. Then I had no idea what the season would become or where it would take me.

In total I’ve spent less than a month at home since February, but have made friends and family elsewhere. My first two families showed me true southern hospitality. Both the Browns and Gabardi’s opened their homes and let me become part of their family, which made me feel at home in the south, a far different place than out west. After over a month with my confederate friends I crossed the Mason Dixon Line, as our team drove north to Boston. Now some people say stereotypes don’t exist however, the stereotypes are generally true and in New England people are just like I had heard. I was coming from the south where everyone was so friendly and relaxed to a place up north where the stress levels run high and people are more closed off. Everything around New England seemed so sophisticated and proper; everywhere I went was a promenade Ivey league school, far different from the south.

I didn’t spend much time in Boston because it was then time to fly across the ocean to my second country of Belgium to do what I love, and race my bike. After a week in Belgium at eh U23 National Team house five other national team members and I drove (we actually slept and chatted while the mechanic and director did the driving) across Europe to the Czech Republic for the famous Course de la Paix. It was the longest and most demanding race I had done to that point, but it helped me to build a foundation for the rest of my season. After a week in the beautiful Czech country side we made our way back to Belgium, followed by a trip to Germany the following weekend. This race in Germany proved to be my first strong race of the year, I took 9th in the opening time trial and then 4th on the final road stage. After a strong showing in Germany we went back to Belgium for our final race of the trip in the Flemish Ardennes. After what was a semi successful trip I returned to Boston for a week before heading to Nashville for the Junior Worlds Qualifiers. This would turn out to be my first true race with team Hot Tubes and since then I have never wised to be on any other team. Not only did we win in both the time trial and the road race, we had a great time doing it.

After almost five months away from home I returned at the beginning of June. Returning home was good mental refreshment and came at the perfect time. While I was home I took a little rest period and enjoyed fishing with my brother in his new boat. In mid June my father brother and I traveled to Nevada City for one of my favorite races ever. Little did I know that Lance Armstrong and his Astana teammates would be with him. After a good junior race in the morning I re-pinned my number and raced with the pros. Lance and his companions lapped me early on but I was able to attach onto the back once they caught me. For the next thirty-five I used the roar of the fans to keep me in contact with Armstrong. It didn’t mean much to me at the time but looking back it was one of my most memorable races of the year, and will probably be one for the grandkids.

With a refreshed head on my shoulders I flew back to Boston for the Fitchburg classic, a race that Hot Tubes has won for the past ten years. Being the teams home state race the expectations were high, but with the strength and cohesiveness of our team it didn’t cause any trouble. We won every stage as well as the overall, and with each stage win our team grew closer and closer. We began to know each other so well that in a pro crit the following weekend four of us lapped the field and then lead out Nathan for 5th in the field sprint. With the confidence and team work we had found it was time for our hardest domestic race of the season, the Tour of the Red River Gorge.

Arriving ready to race and with everyone healthy we went to battle. We all placed within the top twenty in the opening prologue which was so short that the most anyone lost was seven seconds. Stage one would be our first true test, however we aced it going 1,2,3 on the stage and wondering what happened to all the other contenders. The next few days proved no different as we move into 1-4 on the final classification and won every category except the K.O.M.

After my and the team’s performance at the Gorge, 5 out of our 6 man team was selected to the worlds team (4 for the US and 1 (Stuee) from Canada). Back to Boston it was and week with Gavin and his family before I would fly out to Moscow for the worlds. Because worlds were in Moscow I needed a Russian visa, which turned out to be a pain in the ass. I rushed to get all the papers sent away to Huston where the Russian consulate is located. I missed the initial flight with the team and stayed at Gavin’s house for another two days, while he and the other riders were preparing in Belgium. Gavin’s family allowed me place to call home, where I relaxed and trained in my final prep for worlds. Three hours before I left for my flight to Europe my passport containing my Russian visa finally came.

I was finally on a plane heading to Belgium and then the world championships, my year long goal. But before worlds we would be doing a stage race in the Belgian Ardennes, Liege la Gleize. I arrived in Belgium on Thursday afternoon and the race began Friday afternoon, so I didn’t have much time to adapt to the six hour time change. Despite the late arrival this race turned out to be one of my best results of the year. After our strong showing in the team time trial are entire team was looking good. The race being so close to worlds, a lot of riders were using it as a final prep, the teams included were the French national team, Swiss national team and riders from both the Belgian and Dutch world championship teams. After a cold, wet and hard final stage I found myself finishing 2nd on the general classification.

With a strong showing in Liege our team was ready for Moscow. The time trial was the first event and was a great way to start it off as Lawson took the silver medal only 2 seconds off the win. The road race was two days after and we were all looking forward to the hard and technical course. However once the race came things went downhill fast. Gavin was to be one of the two protected riders and was struggling with the polluted Moscow air and pulled out after several laps. That put all the pressure on Jacob’s shoulders to get us the good result. We were looking for. Jacob gave it his best effort but missed the winning move, however still finished 17th. Our time in Moscow was not the most enjoyable, most of our time was spent in the 27 story hotel and eating the awful cafeteria food that was provided. Many of us had stomach problem because of the food and were so excited to return to Belgium and good home cooked food.

Once back in Belgium it felt as if a weight had been lifted from all of our shoulders, not from pressure put on us to perform, but just being able to relax in a place we knew and could get comfortable. After a week in Belgium we had recovered from our Russian experience and were ready to race again. We went to the north of Belgium to compete in a one day classic and went 3rd, 7th, and 9th. It was a great performance from the whole team and showed that we were in a better state of mind than we were in Russia.

The following weekend it was for most of us our final race with the Junior National team as we will not be juniors next season. The race was Regio tour in Freiburg, Germany. It started off very promising with Jacob winning stage one. He kept the Jersey for two more days before losing it in a tough stage three. That same stage I did not finish because of some chronic knee pain. So my junior career ended there on the side of the road in Germany, not the best way to go out, but as a junior I have been very successful and accomplished almost every goal I have set out to do.

After Germany I returned to Bend, which seemed like a foreign place I’d been gone for so long. It was a refreshing visit home but it didn’t last for long as I then had to move down to Chico, Ca for college. I did do one last race with the team in Bermuda which was the perfect icing on the cake to the most fun and successful season I’ve had.

I’m finishing this blog from my couch in Chico and the season it truly over. I’ve already taken one week off and have two more until 2010 begins. Next year will bring big things as I make the step up to U23/pro.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me this season, I’ve had a lot of support which is much appreciated. Thank you all so much. And I’ll talk with you all in 2010.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bermuda Grand Prix

I have spent the last four days with my best of friends in one of the most relaxing places I have been all year. Team Hot Tubes and I went to the small tropical island of Bermuda to celebrate an amazing season and compete in one final race together. The trip was about racing then again not so much. The day before stage one we spent six hours on the white sand beaches and swimming in the 87 degree ocean water. We all got our fair share of sun, but Lawson and I got a little something extra, a burn. While it wasn’t the best for race preparation it was an awesome wrap up to the end of a long, hard and successful season.

I’ll be brief on the racing because in reality the whole time while we were racing we wished we were at the beach. Gavin raced well and was top 4 on every stage and finished 3rd overall while Stuee, I and Lawson finished 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. Nathan was down with a stomach bug the entire race but started every event like the champion he is.

My 2009 season has now come to an end. I’m back in Chico catching up with school and enjoying the same bed for a while. I’ll be taking some time off the bike before I begin my next adventure as racing with the next level up.

I will post a year review soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Home at last.

I didn’t finish the Regio Tour as my knee worsened over the course of the race. Jacob however finished 6th overall. After the conclusion of the final race we packed up the van and began the six hour drive back to Belgium. We returned to Belgium at 1 a.m. and then packed out bikes as we were to leave that morning at 5:45a.m. for the Brussels airport. We all made our flights, tired and all. I was really looking forward to coming home after, since January spending less than a month at there. However my time in Bend was short lived as it was now time to move down to Chico, Ca for college. But a few restful days in Bend was great. I’ll be spending the winter months is Chico which is a town I love almost as much as Bend. There is great riding and a good atmosphere for a relaxing social life.
I have only one more “big” race left on the calendar and that is the Tour of Bermuda at the end of September. It is more of a race for fun and to celebrate an awesome season on my hot tubes team. It truly has been my most successful season and the most fun as well.

The Boz

The photos are from the Hotel in Germany and Bear Hole an awesome swimming spot in

Friday, August 21, 2009

Regio Tour

The team is here in Freiburg Germany competing in the 25th annual Regio Tour, however this is the first year it’s a junior race. Two years ago this race was a Pro Tour race, but then changed to a u23 race after the race sponsors were fed up with doping problems.
Stage one was hot, 105 out on the road and after being in Belgium for a few weeks it felt even hotter. The stage began at 2:30, and as always, it started fast. For me it was the first ride of the week after some knee pains kept me off the bike after our race last Sunday in Belgium. I was aggressive early and after 15km escaped off the front with four other riders. Our time gap quickly increased to 1:35 over the pack and they rolled along in the blistering heat. After 20 more kilometers we hit the base of the days only climb, I was feeling alright and thought I might have a chance at going for the KOM. Once the acceleration began I realized that three days off the bike had not been the best thing for my quick accelerations but I did what I could to stay with the leaders. With 500 meter to go a rider began his sprint not knowing it was only a sign for 500 meters. The move was brought back and just then I looked over my back to see that a rider had come from the group and coming fast. The sprint went again but I didn’t have it and missed out on the points. Over the top of the climb another group came up to us and shortly after the pack. From there the race just cruised for a while, and then the winning move went. Jacob was the first to go, I gave it a go but it was brought back then Nathan got away and bridged across. Five kilometers later Lawson marked a move with ten more guys and chased hard but never caught the lead group. From there Gavin, Ryan and I rode in the pack and made sure if anything else go away that we were in it. Nothing did and we slowly, rolled to the finish. Meanwhile Rathe was the strongest man and won the race and took the yellow and green jersey. Nathan was 5th and Lawson 13th. We were also winning team GC, so it was an awesome day for everyone.

Stage two was time to defend the yellow. We have an amazing team here; everyone is super strong and willing to lay everything out on the line for everyone else, which in this situation makes riding at the front fun knowing that your work is for the betterment of the team. That being said we did just that, rode on the front most the day not letting anything dangerous get to far up the road and discouraging any of the other strong riders/teams from attacking. For how un-difficult the course was the race was one of the hardest I’ve done this year. We had a strong head wind the majority of the time and had to ride hard at times to bring breaks back. And with 15km remaining Gavin crashed and Jacob trashed his front wheel and was forced to stop and giving a wheel from Lawson, before we all helped him rejoin the pack. It was a hard day, but awesome to see how well we rode as a team and we are still winning team GC and Jacob still has yellow.

We you race as a team you win as a team

P.S. photos are from day before the race, we took a mid ride stop……… it was hot

Sunday, August 16, 2009


After four days at our 27 story hotel in Moscow Russia the individual time trial had come. The US had two competitors, Nathan Brown and Lawson Craddock, both men have podium at the international level this year, so we had high expectations for them. Lawson was the first to start the 13.5 km course in which they would complete two laps. Lawson posted the second fastest time check at the end of the first lap. After we did the calculations we knew it was going to be close, Lawson could go fast but just how fast we didn’t know. As he crossed the finish line we held our breath and stared at the big screen which displayed the finishing times. Lawson made up some time but came up just 2.22 seconds short of holding the number one spot in the finish house. Nathan started next and from the beginning was not on a good day, but time check one he lost 45 seconds to Lawson. Nathan finished 34th which is still not bad considering it was the world championships. Lawson rode and amazing race like he always does on the time trial bike and his second place time held up and he took silver. Lawson being seventeen has the sweet taste of success from this year but the drive to make up that 2.22 seconds for next year and take home the rainbow jersey.
The race was the next race on the schedule and a hard demanding course it was. Used as the Olympic road course in 1980 and again for the road world championships in 1989 when Lance Armstrong was a junior. Moscow is a relatively flat city so when I saw the course profile on line for the first time I thought that it must be wrong. However, during the excavation for the rowing events for the 80’ Olympics the dirt was piled up in one area creating a hill worthy of making into a road race course. The 13.5 km circuit consisted of five hard climbs each between 14-20%, they were short climbs but with a total of ten laps that’s 50 climbs. We had a plan for the race and were ready to race. All the bikes were clean and legs were oiled, and the race was about to begin. From the gun the race was on, as expected, and in classic USA form we started near the back. We all spent the first half lap moving up in the 165 rider field, consisting of 40 different countries.
The first few laps passed and I tried my best to do my job with was to patrol the front and make sure that no group with five or more riders got too far off the front. Then on lap six a large group of 8-13 riders escaped but Nathan was on top of it and represented us in the lead group. For the next two and half laps the pressure was off us at Nathans groups gap got up to 50 seconds. Then with a little over a lap to go Nathans group was caught and the race was all back together. Now the pressure was on Jacobs back to represent us in the final lap of the race. After Nathan came back I went straight to the front to make sure nothing else got away. Once I got there three riders had already got a gap, so I went to the front and drove the pack with all the energy I had left. I continued hammering up the first climb, but by half way I began to fade, and once I started to go back I went back and fast. By the top of the climb I had fallen of the back, but I had given what I had in hope that Jacob could finish it off. The three man group was soon caught but another larger group of 11 riders go away and we had no one. Jacob made a valiant effort to bridge across but was just out manned; it was too much to ask from one rider. The group of 11 stayed away and Jacob sprinted from the chasing pack and finished 17th. It was by far the most pain I and everyone else had ever endured while racing a bike. Afterwards we were all crushed.
We had hoped and had the power to do better, but bike racing is such, and we didn’t have the best of days. We are back in Belgium now, having never been happier to be here. Russia was a great experience, but I can live without the traffic, food and apartment buildings.


Thursday, August 6, 2009


I've spent the past three days in Moscow, Russia for the UCI Junior World Championships. Moscow is a crazy place, it appears that everything is an appartment building which rise up in every direction. Tomorrow is the time trial for Nathan and Lawson.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Liege La Glieze

The Day after I arrived in Belgium we had our first race, Liege la Glieze, a UCI 2.1 in the Belgian Ardennes. The goal of the race was to get in some more European racing before worlds and test out how our legs felt. Our team consisted of five riders, all of which are good friends and great bike racers.
Stage one was a 97km road race with two KOM’s (King of the Mountain Sprints), Nathan got off the front in a small group after 20km and managed to win the first KOM. By the time the second KOM rolled around Nathan was back in the pack and the group was all together. Coming into the final 10km of the race as one big peloton we tried to organize at eh front in order to set up a lead-out train for Gavin and Jacob. With 4km remaining Lawson hit the front and kept the pace high, after him I took over and brought the race within 2km’s of the finish. When I pulled off I realized that I was the last US rider at the front, so I eased up and then things got dicey. I dropped back into 10th wheel with Jacob and Gavin both right around me, but then things went south. Two French riders clipped bars and took each other out right in front of all of us. I was able to squeeze through but Gavin and Jacob were forced off the road and into a gravel driveway but made it back onto the road going into 700 meters to go. By then things at eh front had started to go fast and we did what we could to stay in the front. Gavin finished 11th, myself 21st and Jacob not too far behind me, Nathan and Lawson were both stuck behind the crash and just rolled in but got the same time do to the 3km rule.
Stage two A was a team time trial an event that we were sure we could and should win. For a TTT the course was rather hilly and the frequent changes in directions didn’t play into our favor as we hadn’t practiced this discipline before. We started of fast and were passing the kilometers quickly despite our inefficiency. However, once we hit 6km to go the eggs began to crack; Nathan was the first to fall off the surging pace, followed by Jacob 4kms after. I was forced to dig deep as we had only three riders left and the time for the team was taken from the time of the third rider. Lawson and Gavin did more than their share of the work to lead us over the final 2kms of the course and when we finished we had posted a new fastest time by 18 seconds. Nathan and Jacob rolled in soon after and both did an awesome job helping us post a fast time. Out time was fast but not fast enough, the French national team finished a few minutes after us and took 24 seconds out of us over the 12km course. They went on to win the stage and take the yellow jersey; Lawson however got the white jersey for the best young rider.
Stage two B was in the afternoon following the TTT. Nathan put himself in the early move and racked up some KOM points and became the virtual leader of that classification on the road. Heading towards the finishing 20km of the race Nathans group of 15 still lingered off the front by around a minute. Then a move came from the pack of another 10 riders trying to bridge across, I saw that none of the other Americans were in the move so I went and with one Italian rider rode to the group of 10 then up to Nathans group making it a lead group of 25. When I got to the lead group two riders had already escaped off the front and were gaining time, I tried various times to get away but the French team rode smart and followed my every move. Two more riders got away and the remainder of our group came in as a sprint. Lawson and Gavin finished a minute behind and another group of 25, Jacob abandoned the race after a bee sting in his foot, which was plaguing him all week.
Stage three was the final and queen stage, seven KOMs and the weather made it all the more epic. Off and on down pour rains with low fog made what I thought would be miserable into an awesome stage. Going into the stage Nathan had the KOM jersey, Lawson was second in the best young rider and I was fourth overall on GC, so the plan was to keep what we had and improve on the others. The stage was hard but everyone on our team is riding strong right now so nothing fazed us. Nathan acquired points on the first three KOMs solidifying his win of that classification, and the rider leading Lawson in the best young rider dropped out for some unknown reason, as well did the 3rd place French rider on GC. Going in the final 20 km again the race heated up. The yellow jersey crashed and the team in 2nd on GC went to the front and began to hammer. The yellow never caught back on and didn’t finish the race, so all of the sudden I found myself in 2nd in on GC. A group of 4 riders then went up the road with the new virtual leader, and I called upon Gavin and Lawson to help me bring it back. Both guys did an awesome job, but Lawson flatted in the last 10 km so Nathan helped him to chase back on all while Gavin was driving our group in pursuit of the 4 leaders. We never caught the leaders but remained close enough to retain my 2nd overall by 4 seconds, and thanks to Nathan Lawson won the white jersey by a mere 6 seconds.
It was a very successful race for the team 2 out of the 3 jerseys, 2nd on GC and both Gavin and Jacob have good legs and are ready for Moscow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back in Belgium

I arrived in Belgium early this morning for the second time this season and the fifth time in my life. As the plane was about to touch down I had a flash back to the first time I visited Belgium. When I first arrived as a sixteen year old two years ago, my eyes were as open as ever, even after the long overnight flight. Walking off the plane two years ago I felt like I had stepped into a new world. Everything appeared to be different; the buildings, cloths, and obviously the language. Now looking back I feel like I have come full circle and look at Belgium as a second home. I no longer notice the difference in these small details, but now look onto them as part of who I am.

It’s good to be back over here, and some of my best friends are here as well so I know it’s going to be a great trip. Tomorrow we start a stage race in liege, I’ll keep you posted.

It’s not such a big world after all

Monday, July 20, 2009

Red River George and Worlds

This past weekend team Hot Tubes and I traveled to western Kentucky for the UCI 2.1 stage race, The Tour of the Red River George. This year was the inaugural event; however there was a road race which took place there last year as the junior worlds qualifiers.
After along but enjoyable car drive from Mass to Lexington, KY we were ready to race. The opening stage was a 1 mile prologue on an out and back course in downtown Irvine, KY. Such a short event is not my forte, I finished 21st six seconds behind the stage winner Charlie Avis. Our however did good, putting three riders in the top ten. The afternoon of the prologue was the first true test with a 100km road race. The heat and humidity only added to the hard and hilly stage. After 30km had elapsed the racing started to pick up. I soon found myself off the front with a few other riders, and it wasn’t long before both Nathan and Anders were by my side. With three Hot Tubes riders out of the ten or so in the group we began to drive hard towards the finish. We worked hard and opened the gap to 1minute and 30 seconds before I almost lost it all. On a fast down hill road I miss lead the group off course. The riders at the back were able to turn around quickly and keep it; however some riders kept on riding in the wrong direction. I then made the turnaround and began to chase the group I was just leading. Thankfully I had two honorable teammates up front who waited for my return. Some riders never returned, thus our group was down to six, and going over the final KOM (king of the mountains) the group was minimized yet again. After the final climb with only 5km remaining Anders made a very tactically smart attack and quickly opened a big gap on our lead group. Soon after Nathan jumped and rode up to Anders, so I was the lone hot tubes rider with two of my teammates off the front. With 1.5km till the finish I knew that Anders and Nathan would stay away, so I then tried an attack of my own. I finally got a gap in the final 800 meters of the race and hot tubes went 1, 2, 3 on the stage and took 1, 2, 3 on overall classification.

The following day was the individual time trial, it went pretty straight forward. My teammate Lawson won, Nathan second, Gavin fourth, myself eighth, Anders ninth, and our Canadian teammate Stuee sixteenth. This moved our team into 1,2,3,4 on overall classification going into the queen stage.

Stage 4 was a long 120km road race with over 8,000 ft of climbing, a hard race that would separate the players from the pretenders. The first few climb were uneventful other than Lawson getting a flat, then Nathan having to stop and dislodge his jammed chain, but both Stuee and Gavin where there to help them back to the pack. Once the rejoined Gavin ran into a front flat so dropped back to get it fixed, but just as Gavin reintegrated into the pack a crash took him and a good percentage of other riders off the road. He just cruised in after that. Each time the road when up, riders went back, and going into the final 30km of the race the lead pack including four of us hot tubes riders was under twenty riders in total. The final two climbs where were the players came to play, Nathan in his yellow jersey went to the front of the pack and turned the screws. Riders quickly fell of his pace and by the time we summated the final climb the group was down to seven riders, but four of those hot tubes. Once on top the hill the course consisted of short but steep rollers. We weren’t on top for long before the attacks started. Most of them came from our team and after some hard efforts; Lawson and Jacob Rathe from Portland Oregon were off the front and free to fly. After some cat and mouse play, I jumped the group in pursuit of the leaders. When I was ¾ the way across and starting to fade, Nathan came up to me to give me some help. Together we caught the leaders and had 3 out of the 4 riders in the lead group. With 10km remaining we began to drive towards the finish. Theoretically we should have had an easy stage win, but Jacob is a very smart and very strong. I jumped the group with 500 meters to go but Jacob caught up with Nathan on his wheel. Nathan has a great sprint but the downhill sprint was too fast for Nathan to overcome on junior gears. Jacob took a very big stage win and moved into 5th overall. Nathan finished 2nd me 3rd and Lawson 4th.

The final stage of the Tour of the Red River George was a twilight crit in downtown Lexington. The goal was to stay safe and hold our GC placing. Both were accomplish and then added on by Gavin’s stage win. It was a great race for us as a team we won the overall plus 2-4, and the best young riders and the sprint jersey, but to show how well we rode as a team we won the team classification by over 16 minutes.

Because of how well we and I rode, I earned a spot on the world championship team. So next week I will fly back over to Belgium and then on to Moscow for the Junior world championships, which was my year long goal.

Thanks for reading and more posts soon.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Attleboro crit by Gavin

Today was the Attleboro Crit. Hot Tubes sent a full 7 man squad for this local Pro 1-2-3 Crit. The team used this race as a warm up for Red River Gorge UCI 2.1 Stage Race in KY next week. After about 10 laps into the 60 lap race Ian, Lawson, Stueee the Canadian, and myself found ourselves off the front alone. After settling into a team time trial for 15 or 20 laps we lapped the field. The rest of the team set tempo at the front of the pack keeping the race in control for the remaining laps, until we lead out Downtown who took the field sprint making it 1,2,3,4,5 for Hot Tubes. He claims he's the next Cav. Since I was the last leadout man I ended up taking the victory. My fourth crit win of the year, one of these days I'm gonna win a road race...

By far the best part of the day was capitalizing on the excess food after the race. We left the race with 2 large pizzas, 2 footlong subs, and close to 100 bagels. Hopefully that will be enough to fuel our team on our long drive to Lexington, KY tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fitchburg stages 1&2 By Anders

This post is by my teammate Anders Newbury

Fitchburg is the beginning of my second big block of races. Since getting back from World's Qualifiers in Tennessee, I hadn't done much racing other than some practice crits and time trials and the Housatonic Hills Pro/1/2 road race where I came in 7th.

When I arrived at Toby's house this past wednesday, it was cold and pouring rain. Conditions didn't change much by thursday morning's time trial, when I was awoken by the sound of pounding rain and deafening lightning strikes. The fact that I was comfortably lying on a mattress was made even better by the knowledge that my family was tenting in a campground and probably swimming by now.

The time trial was happily uneventful and I came in 4th place. Nate won with an average speed of over 29mph, and the team took 3rd, 9th, and 12th places. The next day's stage was a fast circuit race of 22 miles featuring a hard 5oo meter hill. Before the race, I was informed by certain doubters that a breakaway was impossible on this course and had never succeeded. Most of our team got front row call ups for the start of the race, so we began with good position. Nothing much happened early on other than a short-lived breakaway of 5 riders that I tagged along with. Then my teammate Ian Boswell attacked and was holding a slim lead over the field. When Nathan Wilson, who was sitting top ten after the time trial, went to bridge across I covered the move and soon found myself in a three man group just off the front.

We rode hard but the pack was strung out and doing about 40mph down the wide slightly downhill back stretch of the course. They brought the gap down to about 5 seconds, and it looked like our little adventure off the front was done. But we kept hammering and the next time I looked back the gap had shot back up again. Another rider had bridged across while we were close to the pack so now we had 4 riders. We drove the break hard until the finish. Boswell took the win and I came in with the same time at 4th place. The pack came in nearly a minute down. Ian had also taken some points sprints so he had captured the green jersey. Nate Brown kept his leader's jersey behind, and I moved up to 2nd place in the overall.

Afterwords, we came back to watch the pro race. The thunderclouds that had been looming all day finally rolled in and the race took place under a deluge. A breakaway including Vermont boy Will Duggan and Cyclo-cross champion Tim Johnson held off a hard chasing pack to the finish. The pain on their faces gave me a good idea of what to expect in a couple years.

With two out of four stages completed, our team is in good position to take the lead all the way through the final stage. I'm also considering sending my family some snorkels to help with the camping in the flood water.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nevada City

This past weekend my; father, brother and I took a road trip south to historic Nevada City in Northern California. Nevada City is the second oldest race in America and one of the hardest courses I’ve ever raced. This years race was only made harder buy the presences of; Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer, and Lance Armstrong. However, before I had to race with the big boys of the sport, I competed in the junior race, which turned out to be faster that I expected.

Nevada City is up in the foothills of the Sierras so, as you can imagine it’s hilly. The course has a zigzag climb up the back street of the old town, then a screaming straight descent down Main Street before a tight left hand off camber turn at the bottom. Racing this course is much like a set of twenty intervals, and you are maxed out on the climb but have just enough time on the downhill to recover and do it all over again.

The junior race commenced with around thirty riders from ages 10-18, so the difference of experience and strength was great. It didn’t take more than two laps for us older riders to get in a group of our own at the front. For several laps I went to the front and punched it up the climb but couldn’t get our group any smaller. After a few more laps I was able to get away on the downhill nonetheless, and with six laps to got I was off the front solo. I was able stay away for the remaining laps and win the junior race.

After the junior race it was time to start recovering for the day’s later race with
Armstrong and his friends. The time pasted quicker than I had thought and before I knew it I was back in my chamois heading down to the course. One the start line I waited as the three big names, along with other top riders were called to the start line.

When the gun was fired and the raced started was when it first hit me, I was racing with Lance. I worked hard to move forward in the pack, as did everyone else, but slowly moved into the top thirty. Not to long after the pace increased and riders began to drop, and before long I myself was in the red. By now; Lance, Levi, and Ben where off the front and quickly coming to lap me, as the three riders came past I jumped onto their wheel and hung on as long as I could. It turned out to be longer than I had expected, for seven laps I fought my body to hang with the leaders of the race, and having nearly 25,000 spectators cheering us on I was able to ride just that little bit harder. Riding at the fast pace with the leaders I was able to rejoin the main pack of fifteen riders, but as Lance passed the group he upped the tempo again and I was at my limit. I started to ride a pace that was comfortable and once I had recovered a bit started to ride faster.

I began catching riders one by one as the climb started to take a toll on everyone’s legs. And with three laps to go I looked back to see that Lance was gaining and about to come around me for a second time. I lifted my pace just a little to prolong the infinite catch, which didn’t take place till the following lap. He caught me at the top of the climb and again I jumped on his wheel. As we crested the top the paced slowed so I decided to give him some help. I went to the front and gave it all I had, and leading through the start/finish I heard one lap to go. The crowds were going wild. I lead him into the sharp left hand turn and accelerated up the climb knowing I only had one lap left. It was an awesome feeling leading the greatest Tour de France riders in history up the finial lap of his first victory since his seventh tour win.

Nevada City was a great week of racing, but its time again to go back east and win some races with the team. Monday I fly back to Boston where starting on Thursday Hot Tubes will defend a long winning streak at the Fitchburg Classic. Then we will travel to Kentucky to compete in a junior stage race, which will be the first UCI junior race help in the US.

Check back for more updates
Here is a link to a video of Lance, Levi, Ben and I:

Monday, June 8, 2009

At home

I’ve been back in Bend for a week for some much needed rest and recovery. Life on the road is awesome, but there comes a time when you just want to be at home, so that’s where I’m at. I have been very fortunate to have traveled and seen all the places I’ve seen. However, Bend is an awesome place and it’s often not till you are away for a long period of time that you realize just how beautiful it is.
It’s been great to see my family and friends again and for the first time in three months be able to put on a shirt that I haven’t worn for the past week.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on my time at home and how my racing and training is going.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back in the USA

I’m now back state side after some hard racing in Europe. This weekend our team will travel to Nashville Tennessee for the junior Worlds Championships Qualifiers. This will be my last week on the road for a while as I will finally be returning home for most of the month of June.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coming close, but not close enough

After a disappointing stage two, I came into stage three ready to race, as did our entire team. Almost from the gun we all took turns attacking and riding aggressive letting the other riders know that despite tradition Americans can do well in road races, and we are not just time trialist. The field was quick to chase our attacks down and nothing got away, and even with the hilly course that we had ahead the pack would stay for the most part together. With 25km remaining the yellow jersey attacked with two others and then proceeded to drop them and ride to a solo victory. Behind him two riders from Kazakhstan attacked with 15km remaining and one being caught with a few km’s after. There has a final steep climb in the final 10km which split our lead pack and I found myself in a group of 30 riders charging towards the finish. The under the 5km banner two riders attacked and I saw a chance so bridged up. Shortly after Charlie came across with two other riders and we began to drive it home. We worked well until 2km to go then riders started to fatigue and missing pulls, so it was then I decided that it was now or never. I attacked the group as I saw the main pack closing in a last chance effort to beat the pack to the finish. One other rider from the group was able to come across to me which helped to make the move stick. We came within 15 seconds of the yellow jersey, caught the remaining Kazakhstan rider on the line, however the other rider I was with piped me in the sprint by half a bike and I came across the line in 4th.

It was a good ride, but I realized unless you win you will never be satisfied.

I’m back in Belgium now and preparing for another stage race next weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I’m now in Frankfurt at 3etappen der Rad. It is a three day three stage race, which started with an 8km time trial. I had the chance to follow Austin in the team car before my own race, and scout the course that turned out to be very beneficial. In a matter of only 8km, the course had three 120 degree turns, one of which the follow car couldn’t make it through, Ben had to do the three point turnaround just to get the car around the tight turn. Other than the three hard turns the course was flat and straight as could be.

As I sat on the trainer warming up the air was hot and humid and I was beginning to sweat, but as the begin to look at the surrounding sky I saw that rain was inevitable. No less than 5 minutes later the rain came down hard, almost hail like drops. Then our mechanic placed wheel bags on my back as I continued my warm up. With ten minutes before my start I got to and put on my race wheels and rolled down to the staging area. All the while the rain was still pouring down and I was starting to get chilled, and not a minute later Anders finished and I saw his ripped up shorts. He crashed in the final 120 degree turn, because it was raining so hard he couldn’t see the cones. I then rode over the Ben in the team car and asked if it was still worth going for it, and he said “what do you have to lose”, so I remained chilled and road in the pouring rain back to the start area. As I was on the to starting block Ben called out on his megaphone which was placed on the front of the car, that riders were still posting fast times so I need to give it a go. As the clock hit 6:12 I was off. From there the race went well, the turns were wet but not extremely slick and my legs felt good so I powered my 52x 14 for most of the course. I finished with a time of 10’49” which slotted me into 9th place 14seconds behind the winning time. It was a good ride but the race is not over yet, we have two more road races each with lots of time bonuses out on route so I’ll need to be attentive and aggressive to improve on my position.

stage 2

Stage 2 stated great and ended with my head hung low. The first 40km of the race were flat and fast but nothing that hard. 20km into the race I braked hard and my front brake cable came loose so I had to drop back to the car to get it fixed. It wasn’t easy as I ride with one hand quizzing the brake calipers tight and used the other hand to tighten the bolt. After a few tries I got it the brake working properly again just in time for the first and hardest climb of the day.

Climb one was a 10km climb, however it was not as steep as anything we did in the Czech. Near the top things started to split apart, and giving the good legs that I had I found myself in the lead group of 8 summiting the top. From there things figuratively and literally went down hill, after a few minutes of descending we came to a steep downward pitch and a tight right hand turn. It only took one rider going to fast to over shoot the turn then try and come back on the road which took myself along with 3 other riders down. I landed hard but my bars took most of the fall, as I remounted my bike and began to ride I realized that the bike was not ride able . The bars were severely bent in and the derailleur was bent. As I sat on the side of the road I saw my race go out the window, but I still had some hope. As the next group of riders came by containing Andrew, Austin and Anders I tried to get there attention. Anders happen to see me and being on Hot Tubes and a good guy he pulled over and gave up his bike. With a bike that was several sizes too short I chased as hard as I could. As the chase went on I began to lose hope of catching back up.

After 15km of chasing a group containing Ryan caught me and we continued riding hard. On the final climb Ryan and I rode at the front and descended like made men and dropped the entire group and rolled into the finish 15 seconds ahead of the group we where in but over 3 minutes behind the winners.

Today was mentally hard, being high on GC and having good legs but having a crash take me out of it, made for some frustration. However, as Anders says “ if you can’t get hurt and lose it all it’s a game, not a sport”, tomorrow is another day and another chance to lay it all on the line.

p.s. in the crash I tore up my jersey, broke my helmet and lost my second pair of glasses on this trip, but escaped with minimal road rash.

Shit happens

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last three days of the peace race.

Friday morning started with a 14 km time trial. Traditionally the US national team has done well in this discipline however this TT in particular didn’t go well for any of us. I rode hard but haven’t put the time in on the time trial bike to go really fast in that position, but still it was good to get the first time trial out of the way. Andrew Barkers was the best American in 24th then Charlie Avis 5 seconds behind him then me 14 seconds behind Charlie’s time. The other three US riders rode the race easy to save energy for the afternoon stage.

That afternoon we had another road stage, a 98 km race but this time the course didn’t have as many hills. The race was again really fast but me legs felt good and had no problem staying at the front. I tried a few attacks but the Euros were quick to jump on my wheel. The stage ended in a field spring and everyone finished safely in the pack.

Saturday was the hardest yet most prodigious day on the bike this year. The race started with a 8km climb at 8-12%, however the hardest part was when we crested the summit and the road on top opened up the grass fields where the wind turned into a whipping cross wind. On top the riders that remained where slammed into the gutter by the riders at the front in an effort to drop as many people as possible. After 15km in the fierce wind we started a wicked descent, and reached a max speed of 93kmph. I had never been in such a large group going so fast, and the most astonishing thing was seeing big puffs of smoke rising up from all the riders braking. On a few of the tighter turns I grabbed so much brake that I was sure I was going to go over the bars, but that’s just part of junior racing in Europe, pushing yourself and your equipment to the limit. After the Smokey descent we started another 8km climb this time not as steep but still gaining over 400m. This time up the pack would start dwindling even more, but the top there were around 50riders and four of us Americans. Again on top we were welcomed by a strong crosswind and again we were slammed in the gutter. With 25km till the finish Russia with all 6 of their riders went to the front and put on the gas, coming into the final 5 km all four of us Americans were at the front and in good position. In the final sprint Jacob took 6th and America’s best ever result at the peace race, I finished 17th and god my own personal best. The other two Americans finished in our group, while Austin had a hard day and rolled across a few minutes behind, and Andrews crash on day two finally caught up with him and he did not finish the stage.

There were to be on easy rides to the finish on the final day either, with the general classification still close the day would turn out to be aggressive and another one in the pain cave. The course had one 3km climb at 13% and another more steady 6km climb at 6-8%. We did four laps on the course each pushing the body harder and harder. Every time up the short climb I fought with myself to summit with the leaders. The longer climb proved better for me and I was able to make it over, not easier but without grinding my teeth as hard. Coming into the final lap we again had four Americans in the main group, and after we all pushed ourselves about as hard as we could on the final km’s of the climb we made it over with the main bunch. In the final sprint there was a big crash with less than 1000meters so go, but again we all made it without falling.

In the final classification I finished 30th. It was the longest and hardest race I have ever done but I know that it will make me much stronger for the rest of the year. This weekend we are going east again this time to Frankfurt for a three stage stage race

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stages 1&2

The racing has been all I had expected, fast, hard, and chaotic. Stage one was a wet 3 lap95 km stage with one big climb every lap. The first time up the climb I thought I was going to be dropped, my legs were dead from all the travel and lack of time on the bike in the days prior. On the second lap however I along with everyone on the team felt better, we rode at the front not letting anything get too far up the road. The same was for the final lap and the group was all together going into the final 10km. With just under 10km to go a group of 6 got away containing no Americans. However, with 5km left Andrew gave a good dig at the front and almost bridged across but came up short and was swallowed up by the chasing pack in the final km. The group of six finished 23seconds off the front, but all the other Americans finish in the chasing group and upright.

Stage 2 brought better weather and another hard race. On the deciding 10km climb the field had a massive separation. Charlie made the lead group over the top and I was just behind. Austin, Ryan, Jacob, and Andrew (who suffered a hard crash in the first 6km and held on to the car but caught back up going 70kmph). I eventually made it to the lead group with the help of a draft off the team car. From there on Charlie and I took turns following attack which was hard being that Belgium had 5 riders and almost every other country had 3-4 riders. At 20km to go a group of six got off the front. We followed and attempted to bridge across however all were unsuccessful. Four more riders managed to bridge across to the leaders in the final km’s, and Charlie and I finished in the following pack. Jacob, Ryan, Austin and Andrew finished in the next group 2-3 minutes behind.

Tomorrow morning is the time trial and Charlie and I are both looking for a good ride to move us up in the results.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TT Course

Today we went out with the time trial bike to pre ride the course which is on the third morning of the race. It's a somewhat hilly 14km course. Teams are starting to roll onto town and the race will start tomorrow with a hilly 95km road race.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Czech Republic, The Peace Race

Today we made the long drive from Izegem, Belgium to a town 40km northwest of Prague, Czech Republic. It was stretched day in the car but the book I’m reading (angles and demons), the German countryside and the autobahn kept it interesting. While on the autobahn we drove around 80-85 mph, however we were often passed like we were standing still by cars traveling at well over 100mph. Once we entered Czech it was a clear difference for Western Europe, it’s not that it’s more rundown but at the same time it is. I believe it is just different due to the extended influence of communism for so long, it’s still a beautiful country and going to be a great place to race a bike.
The race we came for is “le course de la Paix” the peace race. It’s a race that started during the time of the Soviet Union as a way to give the eastern bloc countries a chance to race against the riders of the west. Although it’s the “peace race” there is not going to be much peaceful about it, it’s a five day six stage, stage race with most of the better riders from Europe. The race is also known as the hardest junior race in the world. No doubt it will be hard, but our team is strong, has good European experience and is ready to race.

Tomorrow we are going out to ride the TT bikes on the course and the race starts on Wednesday. I’ll post as often as I can with race reports and pictures.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

VeloNews story.

Velonews did an article on our race yesterday, here is the link.

Race 1 By Jacob Rathe

Interclub Hoboken

A typical race in Belgium. Crappy roads, small roads, narrow roads, road furniture, and lots of corners. And more crappy roads. With a total elevation gain of almost 300 feet in 116 kilometers, and over 30 90+ degree corners in 50k.

It has been by first race in over two weeks due to an ear infection, I wasn’t expecting much but needed a good race under me for next weeks Course de la Paix in the Czech Republic.

33 teams with a total of 196 riders lined up. We started in the city of Hoboken, did 2 50 kilometer loops, then finished with 2 circuits around the town.

A break of 3 got away 20 k into the race. They were joined not soon after by 4 more, including US rider Andrew barker. At the end of the first lap I made my way up to the break with 4 other riders. The break was now 12. Then more came up. Then it was 25, and was more of a selection rather than a breakaway.

My only teammate Andrew flatted on the second lap, and I was the only US rider there until another teammate Ryan Eastman came up with another 10 riders. At the same time 3 riders snuck off the front just as we got to the finishing circuits. They got out of sight and I spent a lap trying to bridge up with another Belgian but couldn’t make it before getting swallowed up by the lead pack.

The finishing circuit was somewhat ridiculous, several 90+ degree corners every k. Along with a cobble stone section that was scary to look at. From a big road, we turned onto a small road that turned to cobbles. 50 meters later it opened up into somewhat of a field of cobbles, with train tracks, and a sharp bend onto an uphill highway overpass. The train tracks weren’t even nice train tracks, rising above the cobbles. Worthy of a good bunny hop.

There was no organized chase, but rather a constant barrage of attacks. Eventually 5 more riders got away to the lead group that grew to 8. I tried but had no more bullets left. We got caught by another group on the last lap, containing another teammate Charlie Avis. I was destroyed, and he looked like he still had some hop in his legs so I told him I’d lead him out for the sprint. I led the last 1.5k through the town to get swarmed with 200 meters to go.

Charlie ended up in 17th, Ryan in 28th, me in 29th. Austin came in not soon after in 41st, and all other US riders in the top 100. We were 6th in team GC.

It wasn’t a great race for us, but not bad.

The Course de la Paix (Peace Race) starts on Wednesday. 5 days long. Lots of climbing. Nations cup- only national teams. But probably better suited to our strengths as a team.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Race dates

Here are the races and the dates of the races I will be doing.

Belgium Interclub Hoboken May 1st

Czech RepublicCourse de la Paix May 6th-10th

Germany 3-Etappen der Rad May 15th-17th

Belgium Vlaamse Ardennen May 22nd -24th

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back in Belgium

I’m back in Belgium at the U23 house in Izegem, Belgium for another chance at the European field. Things haven’t changed much over here, Belgium is still Belgium nothing glamorous but still famous in itself. We have a strong group of us riders; Jacob and Austin both from Portland, Oregon, Charlie and Ryan from California and Andrew from Colorado. Our first race is a hard interclub this Friday, but only made harder by the presents of my trade team, team Hot Tubes. They will be in Europe doing that race then a big junior stage race in France that Nathan won last year. During that same time the national team and I will be racing course de la paix (the peace race) in Czech Republic which is know as the hardest junior race in the world. it’s a 5 day 6 stage, stage race with almost every strong national team sending a team. I’m looking forward to the challenge and having a good team result do to the strong team we have.

We are off today to ride some of the famous tour of Flanders climbs. I’ll post again later


Team Camp is over

After an awesome week of; riding, ping pong, bowling, and rafting its time to pack my bags again for another road trip, this time to Boston. This camp has been one of the hardest and most fun weeks on the bike I’ve had this year. Our team is amazingly strong and incredibly fun, we have a total of seven riders and all are from different states and one in even from Canada.

North Georgia is home to some of the hardest riding anyone on our team has ever done. Everyday was around 70 miles with over 7,000 feet of climbing. Three times we climbed hog pen gap a hard climb used in the Tour of Georgia and once we did Brasstown Bald. Every climb is supper steep as well, most having grades from 15-25%.

The camp ended on Saturday and the drive back to the team house in Boston began. It was a long drive but I saw states and cities that I’d never seen before plus the others riders we good company. Now I’m off to Europe where I will be for a month traveling and racing with the national team. However Hot tubes will also be in Europe at the same time and we will even do a race together.

I have lots of good pictures I will try and post and I will take lots more in Europe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Team Camp By Lawson Craddock.

I'm here in Georgia with the Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team for our very first training camp. The riders that I am here with are Gavin Mannion from Massachutes, Nathan Brown from Tennessee, Ian Boswell from Oregon, Stuart Wight from Canada, Anders Newbury from Vermont, and Ben Gabardi from Mississippi. Yesterday, I flew into Charlotte, North Carolina to meet up with Toby for the three hour drive down to Tiger, Georgia. That night we received all of our new equipment including all of our clothing and our brand new Cervelo R3 SL's with Sram Red and Mavic Carbone SL's. We then proceeded to eat dinner before assembling our bikes. After everyone was finished putting the finishing touches on their bikes we played our luck in a game of Texas Hold 'Em. I ended up taking third and left the game without any money. Ian and Gavin went one, two respectively and split up the pot. Today, we woke up at around 9:00 for breakfast and a ride at 11:00. For the ride we did a 20 mile loop before riding about 40 miles out to a town called Helen for some sandwiches. We then rode about another five miles to a huge 10 mile mountain. The group whittled down to Anders, Nate, and I until about three miles into the climb. My legs then exploded and I was then passed by Stuart and Gavin. I then just tried to ride at a pace higher than four mph (seriously!). With about 3/4's mile of a straight wall Ian and I decided to call it quits and jump into the van. We then proceeded to turn around and drive until we found Ben to pick him up as well. After picking up Ben, we drove to the top of the mountain to find the rest of the team waiting up there. They then got into the van and we drove back to the house that we are staying at. We ended the day with around 75 miles and a little less than 4 hours. Tomorrow we plan on riding up the Brasstown Bald which should be oh so much fun! I'll keep y'all posted on how it goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

new bike, kits and the gulf coast

Last week my new team bike and our new team kits arrived. The new Cervelo R3 SL with Sram red is a big upgrade from the 20lbs steel bike I’ve been riding for the past few months. The new kits are also a bonus as always having to wash shorts to keep riding with clean bibs won’t be a problem any more.

I spent Easter weekend with Ben and his family at the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was a good mental vacation in between all of my traveling. We went deep sea fishing and were very successful and even had time for some good riding. However not everything at the coast was exciting, even today three years tafter he destruction of hurricane Katrina can be seen. I was amazed at the destruction it caused to the entire area, we saw houses that were flooded and left vacant as if the hurricane was only yesterday. As we walked around the beach and town Ben’s mother Ellen pointed out where things were before the hurricane and as I saw were there no longer. Although some people did come back and chose to rebuild, I question there decisions as another storm of Katrina’s force is bound to happen again.

Luckily there are no hurricanes in Oregon

Monday, April 6, 2009

Southern Cooking

Well ya’ll know that the food down in the south has its own style and flavors, which is more than tasty and usually fried. Fried chicken is a southern food found even in Oregon, but the fried catfish we had at “catfish haven” the other night was truly a southern specialty. A plate of French fries, fried cornbread and fried catfish is what I ordered and common mean down in this part of the country, but my favorite thing in the south has to be the sweet tea. The sweat tea is amazing, I’m not one for soda or sugary drinks but this is delicious, and what make a good sweet tea great is the ice. The smaller the ice cubes the better the sweet tea, I never thought ice could make such a difference but it does.
Staying in shape isn’t hard down here as Ben has been showing me some great rides but staying lean for the hills might catch up to me if I keep up with the southern ways.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tour of Tuscaloosa

The Tour of Tuscaloosa started Saturday after noon for Nathan and I with a junior criterium in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The junior field had some good riders but Nathan and I had not problem finishing 1-2. After our short junior race it was time to start thinking about the nights big event, a 50 minute pro ½ twilight criterium. I have watched twilight criterium before, however this was more than a twilight crit. The course was a long 1.2 mile loop that passed through downtown which was lit well, however the course then descended a steep hill to the river which lead to a series of dark streets that were not lighted. I’d ridden the course earlier in the junior race so I knew how to take all the turns, but on lap one of the pro ½ race I felt as I was on a course I’d never ridden.
Despite the dark streets as strong winds the race went on and turned out well for our team (Hot Tubes). Nathan got in an early group of the front which happened to hold off the chasing pack until the end. He was under geared in his small junior gears for the final sprint but still took 3rd. Ben and I both finished in the pack behind, and road in a supporting role of Nathan.
The road race the following morning started less than 11 hours after the finish of the twilight criterium, so we didn’t have much time to rest. We woke the next morning to cold humid air, we arrived at the start and were ready to race. Ben, Nathan and I covered every move for the first three laps thinking that something would stay away off the front. However nothing did and after 4 laps Ben called it quits and Nathan followed on lap 6. I managed to finish in the pack. It was a hard race and good training as well.
Now I’m at Ben’s house outside of Jackson Mississippi where I will be for a few weeks until our team training camp in Georgia April 18th .


From the Wild West to the Dirty South.

Training camp in Arizona finished last Sunday and it was time for the long haul from Phoenix back to the Browns’ house north of Memphis, Tennessee. Although most of the drive looked the same (dry desert or grass plains) we were kept entertained by the high winds that blew with such force that we saw numerous fifth wheelers tipped in their side. Thankfully Nathans dad (Mr. Brown) is an airplane pilot, so the strong winds didn’t faze him. As we got deeper into the South the more I could start to hear the accent and see the difference. In the South the people live with more tradition, which is far different from the West Coast and its progressiveness and modern way of life. It’s almost as the south is more relaxed than out west, people don’t worry as much about what car they drive or what street they live on, and surprising to me the people are much more friendly. On our rides the past few days I’ve noticed that every car that passes us the driver waves, we haven’t been honked at once. I’ve already become accustom to the friendliness out on the road by waving to every oncoming car.

The roads around here are also all in excellent condition, even the back roads that don’t have cars are smooth and newly paved.

This weekend I will travel further into the South and participate in a criterium and road race in Tuscaloosa Alabama, before I meet up with my other teammate Ben and stay with him in Jackson, Mississippi for a few weeks before team camp in Georgia.

So far at Nate’s I’ve drove a riding lawnmower and been bass fishing. I’ll post more after the race.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Mt. Lemmon

It’s by far the longest climb I’ve ever done, a 27 mile epic that took us from the desert floor through cool rock formations, then into alpine trees and finishing with snow. A.J. Myer and I rode the climb together at a steady but quick pace and summited in a little under two hours. After we summited it was time for the long fast downhill to the heat of the valley, which was so quick the we were catching and passing cars the entire way down. The other riders followed, however most found that 13.5 miles of climbing was enough and turned around at the half way point. Lemmon is not a climb I would want to do all the time, but I definetly want to come back again and see if I can climb it faster.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two hundreds

Tortilla flats was all it was made out to be. An easy ride for the first fifty but an all out race the last fifty. Not only did we ride one hundred miles it was also one hundred degrees out on the tarmac. The ride was beautiful winding through canyons which are rivaled only by the great Grand Canyon itself. When the riding got fast my legs felt good, in fact I set five new watt average bests on my 1,5,10,30 and 120 minute power records. However, the long day didn’t come without damage to the pack, three riders called it quits before the fifty mile mark and on the final climb things blew apart. It was another great day on the bike, but tomorrow will be another death ride up the slopes of Mt. Lemmon.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

climbing high

It was another hot and great day of riding in Arizona. Today was for the climbers with lots of three and four mile climbs and a hard ten miler which took us above the altitude where the famous saguaro cactus grows and where deep breathing is a common sound. The camp is run very professionally and every ride is followed by Jose the camp mechanic and his Sram neutral support car. However, the best part of the follow car is the water, on a day like today I drank 8 bottles of water and loaded up on sunscreen twice.
Tomorrow we have a century planned and by the sounds of the others who have been here before it may turn into a race over the last 20 miles. My legs have been feeling good up to this point, but tomorrow might be another story.


Monday, March 16, 2009


Arizona Camp

I’m now down under the hot sun of Arizona at a training camp in Scottsdale. The day before I left I did my first road race of the year outside of Olympia Washington, in the cold wet weather of the North West, and now I’m in Arizona riding with my biggest worry being trying not to get sunburned.

Today we did an awesome ride in the 85 degree heart, and yes I got sunburned. The week ahead is going to be full of long hard rides, which one of the days will be Mt. Lemmon, a two plus hour climb that reaches over 9,000. More post and pictures will come in the following days.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Miles in Chico

After three weeks of training in Chico I'm back in Bend for a two weeks before I'm off to somewhere else, but where I don’t know yet.
The riding in Chico was amazing, there are dead flat roads in the valley that you could ride forever and see few cars. However just east of Chico are the foothills of the Sierras' which offers all sorts of different and great climbing. We all know that riding in the hills is hard, but I never before realized that long flat rides can be just as hard. Riding on the flats you never get a chance to stop peddling, you are applying pressure to the peddles the entire ride and that starts to catch up with you after a few hours.
Here are some photos from a few of my rides.

Enjoy Ian