Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
It was a journey, folks.
I guess I'll start off with Day 1:
I checked into Mountain View dorm at 11. Dad and Maria took me to Safeway for some bagels and bottled water. After eating lunch, I said goodbye to my family. My roommates were Beau Boggs (from Indiana), Donovan Caputo (El Grupo), and Logan Boyd (El Grupo). They were great to be around. I was already pretty good friends with Donovan, and Beau/Logan were uber cool.
I met up with pretty much everybody and got kitted up for a 2 hour ride. Flats dominated the ride (I was the second casualty out of four). I didn't enjoy the ride, feeling uncomfortably warm and sweaty. After the ride and before evening lectures, I had a lot of fun hanging out in Jake/Taylor's room, philosophizing with the gang. At lectures, I received info for Tour de L'Abiti, which is a Nation's Cup stage race for 17-18 age juniors (in Quebec). Six riders from our camp would be placed on team to compete in that. Panic set in when I started to think I was sick. My core body temperature just didn't seem right. I was about to go to bed and sleep my anxiety off when I realized that I didn't have contact solution. I asked just about everybody in the camp, and it turns out that everyone else had really good eyesight. Chris Aten saved my butt by driving over and delivering some solution. Thanks Chris!!! Everything resolved itself as I realized that I was not sick; my mind was just playing games.
I ate breakfast with the gang and prepped for our 9AM ride. We rode 2.5 hours easy, scouting out the Mars Hill time trial course. To be honest, I really just wanted to do the field test because I had already previewed it.
We ate lunch, and it was pretty fun. I didn't have much variety with the cafeteria food all week long, but that helped me.
Our afternoon ride was a skills workout. The group split up; my group included returning 17-18 campers. We practiced tight pacelines and then played bike soccer. Let it be known that Donovan Caputo is a man at bike soccer, as is Corey Steinbrecher (one of our staff).
We did an intense stretching session. Lots of groaning and agonized screaming (I thought Jake was going to pull his leg out). I had a nice afternoon, eating dinner and hanging with my cycling friends. Kathy Zawadski lectured us on cleaning up our diets nutritionally speaking. Barney gave us instructions for the 3 time trial repeats we would perform on Mars Hill, and we departed for bed. I was eager to get climbing.
Let's skip the small talk and get right to the TT. We did 3 time trials up Mars Hill. It starts off steep, gets incredibly steep, and flattens out for the last 30 seconds. I hit the steep part HARD and gave whatever I had left on the flat. I came in at 2:30 on the first one, which made me really happy. Last year, only two people went under 2:30. What a taxing interval it was. Everyone’s lungs burned ferociously. Nathan Franklin barfed.
My second interval was 2:37, and my lungs felt a lot better. I hit the last repeat with no regrets and finished in 2:35. It was tough for everybody. Ethan Fedor snapped his chain 10 feet away from the finish line. Nathan Franklin barfed on his leg. We rode home.
We did some cool skills drills in the afternoon. We practiced stuffing ourselves with waterbottles and learned how to pee on the bike. Very cool stuff.
The results came out at 7PM. I was sitting in 7th place overall. TJ Eisenhart destroyed it, and Danny Eaton was 2nd. Teal Buchi was 3rd (he is U23). Chris Putt from Utah was in 4th, Geoffrey Curran was in 5th (he is 15-16) and Owen Graves was 2 seconds ahead of me. Directly behind me were Marcus Smith, Erik Volotzky, and Michael Dziedzic. I was happy with the result, but I knew I needed to get myself ahead of Owen.
So I’m 5th place for 17-18s. I’m 2 seconds down on Owen, Marcus Smith is 8 seconds down on me, and the Snowbowl TT is looming above us. Snowbowl is a little under 3 miles and about 6%. I was wary about blowing up; I hit the wall on Snowbowl last year and finished WAAAAAAY back. When you blowup at 8,000 feet, there’s no recovery.
I didn’t start the time trial off that fast. I looked back to see Owen pulling back space on me. Oh pizza I thought. I accelerated and glanced far up the road for Marcus. There he was. I could see that he was suffering. I was suffering too, but I think he was really suffering. Owen wasn’t close to me anymore. I was going fast, and I liked it. I knew God was making me fast and giving me an opportunity. I caught Marcus with over a mile left. We pushed each other to the finish (not literally) catching Michael in the process. It was tough, but I enjoyed it. We all suffered. It was difficult to ride up to where everybody was recovering- very tiring. Nathan dry-heaved.
We played Garbage Ball in the afternoon. I didn’t do that well, but my team did well. The mentors (Ron, Jake, Connor, and Corey) played us and pretty much destroyed us. That’s okay though.
I got the results for the TT. I tied for 6th with Chris. I put some time into Owen, Marcus, and Erik, and moved into 4th for 17-18s. TJ and Danny were in a league of their own, but TJ pulled ahead again (let it be known that TJ is a little guy and Danny is a big guy).
5k Repeats. Three of them. Flat as all get out. Given that I was one of the smallest riders, I feared this. I could only lose 37 seconds to Marcus, 47 seconds to Erik, 71 seconds on Nathan, and 73 seconds to Owen. I was ready for the ride 35 minutes early. I sat down in the hall way and rose frequently to use the restroom. I asked the coaches for advice. Right before we departed, my dad called me. He told me he was proud of all I had done, he would pray for me, and he knew I would do my very best. I got the chills; I got this feeling that I could do it. I gave it all I had, finishing 14th on the day. Erik put a minute into me and moved up, but he was the only one. Somehow I held the rest off.
During my exit interview, Barney told me that I was “in” for the Abitibi team. Woah.
A dream come true? Not really. I never dreamed that big. I can only thank God for the opportunity. I have never had a race where everything lined up so perfectly, except for maybe the State TT.
This is all the report I can give. You can ask me about all the little details. I enjoyed myself so much. I made friends, and that was cool, considered just about everyone rejected me last year.
So for now the team looks like TJ, Danny, Erik, Chris, Owen, and myself. We go to Quebec in the middle of July. The next stop in between is Nationals. Thanks for checking in- God bless.
Friday, June 10, 2011
This week consisted of afternoon rides with my pop and Taylor Skinner. I scouted out the climbs and got a feel for them. With the exception of necessary bouts into Zone 3 in steep grades and crosswinds, I have taken it easy. Camp starts tomorrow, so this blog will not be updated for a while. You might see an occasional facebook update, but that's all. Cheers.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I know what my woes were at Regional Camp last year, and they are for the most part, a thing of the past. I look forward to growing as a cyclist and being competitive. Nationals will be a new experience for me, but I hope it will change me as a cyclist. I hope to go back into the Arizona racing scene with a new-found confidence. That's what I'm praying for, anyways.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The UCI has denied covering up that positive test by Lance Armstrong in the 2001 Tour de Suisse. So now, CBS definitely deserves to owe up to their mistake.
(striking the sarcasm):
So the UCI didn't do this because the UCI said it didn't do it. Okay. I think it's fascinating how people are considered to be telling the truth, simply because they say they are.