Monday, April 25, 2011

Focus Crit: Report

I apologize for not posting sooner. I should have posted on Saturday, for ever since I have been quite busy.

The temperature ranged from 84-88 degrees. I did Junior race after warmup up for quite a long time (bad idea). There were 9 juniors. Walter Lopez attacked on the second lap. Tulio chased with me on his wheel. We caught Walter and I kept going. We slowed a little bit and looked back to see the entire pack shredded. Jake was just hanging on. Don was OTB. Nick was dangling. Seeing the gap, I said "let's go!". Owen started to drill it, with only Tulio, Walter, and myself following. After a couple laps, our lead was massive, and carnage had ensued behind us. However, I was finding that I was running out of gas. My power decreased on my pulls. To my disgrace, I got popped, pretty bad. Jake caught me (Don had been riding his wheel for quite some time), and I tried to help him out. I blew up again and finished on my own. It was very bad.

My mom got some ice for me, and I did a better job of cooling myself in the Cat 3s. I put ice in my jersey pockets and poured ice water over myself. An Alaskan rider broke away early and stayed away. There was a large amount of WebOpFocus riders in the race. We all were wary of one of them breaking away, because the chase would never work without Focus. I had no strength to break away. I was just trying to hold a wheel; the wind was killing me. Lance Runyan from WebOp broke away and stayed away for second. Brian sprinted to 9th, and I limped in for 13th. The field started with 24 riders, and I was one of the last people to hang onto the pack. It was brutal.

I got in lovely heat acclimatization. I also feel assured that these flat crits will not define the racing season. One day, there will be a race with significant elevation. Hopefully all those big Cat 3s will show up when that day comes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I did the research: Liege Bastogne Liege

For this prediction, I researched like crazy. After making all the necessary database edits and team edits, I simulated Liege-Bastogne-Liege THREE times on Pro Cycling Manager 2008. I disqualified Valverde and Bettini, because they aren't racing anymore. Here is my estimation:

1. Gilbert
2. Rodriguez (although the computer thought that Frank Schleck would place second or win)
3. A. Schleck
4. Kroon
5. F. Schleck
6. Kolobnev
7. Fedrigo
8. Gesink
9. Albasini
10. Vinokourov

Let's see how this goes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Redemption, maybe? La Fleche Wallone

I think this race is easier predict because there aren't a lot of surprises- and by surprises, I mean the race not being decided by the Mur de Huy. It will come down to who can ride the fastest up the Mur. My rule of thumb is this: Spaniards are a good call. Cunego is punchy and always does well. Guys like Valverde, Di Luca, Rebellin- you know, dopers. Gilbert won't far as I'm telling you. I think the skinny guys will prevail over him- and by skinny, I mean skinnier.
So I pick Contador, because he's a brazen doper, and a really skinny dude.

1. Contador
2. S. Sanchez
3. J. Rodriguez
4. Gilbert
5. Gesink
6. F. Schleck
7. Taaramae
8. Anton
9. A. Schleck
10. Gerrans

Sunday, April 17, 2011


One: High elevation in Flagstaff for Regional Camp.
Two: Hot/Humid temperatures in Georgia for Natz.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amstel Gold?

I admit that my Paris-Roubaix prediction brought shame to my family. It was pretty bad, so I'm lacking confidence to prophesy the first of the Ardennes classics.

So here's what I'm thinking: Gilbert doesn't take it. A break containing a couple of dark horses sneaks away after the favorites (Gilbert, Cunego, Gesink, Di Luca, Ivanov, Chavenel, Cancellara, Schlecks) bash the pizza out of each other. I like Vasili Kiryienka; he is always attacking. I think Wegmann is a dark horse who has strong teammates. Finally, Rein Taaramae is underestimated and pretty good at climbing. Those three will get away and stay away.

1. Kiryienka
2. Wegmann
3. Taaramae
4. Gilbert
5. Anton
6. F. Schleck
7. Barredo
8. Hesjedal
9. Cunego
10. A. Schleck

Monday, April 11, 2011

AZ State Crit Champs: Report

Saturday, Juniors: I went to sleep, wondering how I beat Danny Eaton and Michael Dziedzic. It wasn't the best night ever; I sleepwalked/ran twice.

I am not exactly like that when I sleepwalk, though.
The time finally passed, and my mom and I were driving to the race (BTW, I couldn't have raced this weekend with out my mom taking me; thanks Mom!!!). The conditions were horrid. It was freezing. 41 degrees sounds warm to Michigan folk, but in Arizona it feels much much colder. It was raining as well. I talked to Jake, got the bib pinned, and got the warmup going.

The 15-18s had over 30 riders. Michael had DNS'd, leaving Danny as the man to beat. The race was somewhat selective, with a lot of fast kids getting dropped. Danny attacked with Owen early in the race; that was a scare. We pulled him back, and the next threatening move contained Danny, Taylor Skinner, and Nathan Franklin. I chased with Owen to close the gap, and in doing so, we shredded the field. There were only 7-10 riders when we caught the breakaway. Thankfully, Jake regained contact with the field. This was the final selection. 12 riders: Danny, Owen, Taylor, Nick, Connor, Don, Jake, Colton, Logan, Kenny, Jake, and I. There were 4 primes in the race. I won the 1st, D anny took the 2nd, and I won the last two. I was in the right position to take them , and it only took a small jump each time. I tried to keep on going and go OTF all the way, but the pack nailed me down every time.
On the last lap, Jake led me up to the front. We were sitting 1-2 with half a lap to go, when Danny leaned in for Jake's wheel. He then accelerated, with Own on his wheel. I was the first two react, which meant that I was pulling the entire field. I did not close down the gap. They had a 5 bikelength lead going through the last corner. Nick and Taylor both passed me, so I finished 5th, 4th in the 17-18s. Definitely a great race for me, as I won a Rudy Project helmet (worth a lot of $$$) a 15$ Subway card, and a massive bag of cycling apparel and hydration products. Pretty cool.

Sunday, Cat 3s: There were 31 starters in the Cat 3s. I had my teammate, Brian. The Big Dog was George Cyrus, and he didn't disappoint. He attacked AS I was attacking and gapped me big time. He went on a threatening breakaway that was eventually reeled in. I wasted myself early in the race and had very little energy left to get good position. I finished 17th, with Brian being set back by a crash to finish 11th. Not a very satisfying race for me.

The weekend was fantastic. Saturday's race was EPIC, and Sunday's was a good workout. As always, it was a learning experience, and I look forward to my next opportunity!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Paris-Roubaix Prediction

I am playing it conservative again.

1. Cancellara
2. Flecha
3. Boonen
4. Ballan
5. Luekemans
6. Nuyens
7. Hushovd
8. Hincapie
9. Chavenel
10. Gilbert

Edit: Nuyens isn't racing, but there's no turning back now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

State Crit Preview

It's party time.

The Course: A .8 mile circuit with a somewhat sustained climb. This course will likely be soaked at 8:30 am, when the 15-18 juniors go off. It will probably dry off for the Cat 3s on Sunday.

The 800 Pound Gorilla: Everyone knows it's Danny Eaton. He finished 4th at VOS and recently won the Pro 1/2/3 at Hungry Dog. He is a national caliber rider, and he will be marked like a national caliber rider.

Out to dethrone him: Michael Dziedzic is a Cat 2 as well. He finished 17th at TBC. He is just as competent as Danny, although Danny has gotten more attention recently.

Lurking in the Shadows: When Danny started racing juniors, he had nothing on Owen Graves. Owen knows what it takes to win, and he demonstrated his racing abilitiese by taking 6th in the Redlands Criterium (Cat 3).

Powerful Teams: Green Team's two man tandem of Taylor Skinner and Scott Ford will certainly make a splash in the 15-16s. Strada have a large number riders, including Danny. El Grupo has several riders who are more than capable of pulling off an upset.

Our Team: DNA has three riders: Goran, Jake, and myself.

Our Plan: Win the silly race.

Our Assets: Goran's eloquent vocabulary, my innate sense of sarcasm, and Jake's uncanny fetish for bananas.

Good luck to everyone racing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back to the Basics

Usually the Brumby's go up Usery Pass on Wednesdays, but today they didn't, and we missed the memo.
Pop and I hammered through Bush highway, and then we pushed it up Usery. Quite a fun, painful workout. I was able to get in 25 miles in by 6:30 am.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tour of Flanders Prediction

1. Cancellara
2. Ballan
5. Gilbert
7. O'Grady
8. Gusev
9. Hincapie
10. Haussler