Monday, May 25, 2009

Dallas Crits

This past weekend was the Gary Glickman Memorial Crit and the GS Tenzing Crit up in Dallas, TX. They were both excellent races which provided a great warm-up for the State Championships on Monday. Because I am racing up in Tennessee next weekend for the Junior World Championship Qualifiers I decided to skip the State Championships so that I could rest up to be on peak form. The races went pretty good and I ended up with an 8th place finish at Glickman and a 6th place finish at the GS Tenzing crit.


The course was about a mile long with 5 or 6 corners. With about 500-750 meters to go we did a sharp U-Turn and started a steady climb towards the finish. I wasn't too active in the early parts of the race because I was saving my energy for the last thirty minutes of so. I followed a few attacks but never put too much effort into any of them. With about 25 minutes or so to go I started to be way more aggressive. With about five laps to go there was a group of about 8 up the road with a lot of the strong men in the race in it. That group had probably about 10-12 seconds. I put in a hard attack and bridged up to it later that lap. The group became extremely disorganized and we were soon caught. I then attacked and went with attacks constantly for the next three laps and with a little over a lap to go I found myself in a five or so man break. We were caught right at one to go, and the pack sat back up. I then put in an attack and got a gap that hovered around about 7 seconds for half a lap. David Wenger (Super Squadra) then attacked out of the pack. Dave quickly caught me and flew right by me to take the win. I was then caught by the pack and was able to jump in at the front for a good position for the field sprint. I ended up taking 7th in the sprint for 8th on the day.

GS Tenzing Crit

Sunday was the excellent crit put on by GS Tenzing. The course was about a mile long with the back part pretty much a straight line with a long sweeping turn the rest of the race. This race was also 90 minutes and it was sure to be extremely tough. I was planning on being way more aggressive as I wasn't racing the State Championships the next day like most people and didn't have to save any energy. About two or three laps in I put in an attack and got about a maximum gap of about 15 seconds but was shut down about a lap later by Texas Tough. I was pretty aggressive for the rest of the race, but I had missed a strong group that rolled off the front with about 30 minutes to go that had about 10-15 seconds on the pack. I then put in a hard attack to bridge up to them and caught the break about a half a lap later. Right when I bridged up, the break sat up which allowed us to get caught by the peleton. Mitch Comrado (Bike Barn) then put in an attack and brought Ian "Un-Dillestructable" Dille (Super Squadra) and Heath Blackgrove (Team Hotel San Jose) with him. Because I had just used a lot of energy to bridge up to the break I didn't have the energy to go with them. No one else reacted from the pack and the gap quickly swelled up to about 20 seconds. The rest of the race I tried extremely hard to try and bridge up to them, but every time I attacked the pack would chase me down and then sit up when I was caught. When the lap cards came out with 5 laps to go I realized I was fighting a losing battle and decided just to sit in and save it for the field sprint. I positioned myself in the top five for the last lap and was able to get 3rd in the field sprint for 6th on the day. The last twenty seconds of the race were spent at 39.3 mph with the last ten over 40 mph. My heart rate was racing at 205 bpm and my avg cadence for the last 20 seconds was 136 rpms. Easily the fastest sprint I've ever been in.

I am currently in Franklin, Tennessee for the Edgar Soto Memorial Classic which is serving as the Jr. World Championship Qualifiers. Their is an 18 km TT tomorrow, Saturday, and about a 75 mile road race on Sunday. I then go to Switzerland with the Junior National Team for the Tour de Pays du Vaud on June 6th to June 8th, and Trofeo Karlsberg on June 11th through June 14th.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Morbihan Wrap Up and the Houston Crits

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I've been pretty busy with school and haven't had that much free time. I'll start where I left off with the last two stages of Morbihan. The second stage was a TT where I ended up 21st out of the 150+ man field. I ended up being the second highest place 17 year old with the highest place 17 year old one place and one second ahead of me. The third stage didn't go so well for me. I was pretty active in the early parts of the race and paid the price for it going into the final circuits. On the first lap my legs gave away and I ended up pulling out early to help Gabriella feed the rest of the team. Gavin was our top finisher that day in 12th after fruitless attempts by the rest of the team to try and get away.

Crits in Houston
This past weekend marked the first time that I had raced in the US in about a month. The races planned for the weekend were the Houston Metro Crit put on by SWCC and the Houston Grand Crit in Downtown Houston put on by Bike Barn. Both races were awesome events that were held very professionaly. The Metro Crit was in a parking lot meaning that it would be extremely technical. At the very beginning of the race, one of Texas' top crit racers, Kevin Kremke (Bike Barn), took off. I immediately jumped on his wheel and the two of us got about a 15 second gap pretty quickly. Later on, Sol Frost (Austin Bikes) bridged up to us, but later that lap Kremke slid out on a turn with me on his wheel. I slammed on the breaks and T-boned right into him sending me flying over my handlebars and landed right on my knees and chest. It took a little while to shake it off, but I decided to get back into the race. The officials put me back into the group that Kremke was in which happened to be the lead group. It was an eight man group consisting of Kremke and Mitch Comrado (both Bike Barn) , Carlos Vargas (Team Hotel San Jose), Josh Carter (ABD Cycle Club), Tyler Stanfield, Hector Rangel, and Ricardo Tapear. Mitch rode away from everyone with about 30 minutes to go to take an easy win. Later on, Kremke, Rangel, and Stanfield broke away from the rest of us to finish in that order. With my "mad" sprinting skills I finished last out of my group to take 8th on the day. Sunday was the Houston Grand Crit. Being a much older race, a lot more people showed up to race. The course was fairly simple with only three turns in it. Early on in the race a break including recent winner of the Athens Twilight Criterium, Heath Blackgrove (Team Hotel San Jose), Kremke, Rangel, Frost, Thacker Reeves (Matrix RBM), Carter, Steven Wheeler, and Phil Wikoff (Super Squadra). Because of the extreme horsepower in the break and I think everyone was working pretty evenly the group got about a 15 second gap that would never be closed. Both Wikoff and Wheeler dropped out of the break and Travis Burandt (Team Hotel San Jose) bridged up to it. I tried a lot in the early parts of the race to try and bridge, but I couldn't make it all the way up. About 30-40 minutes in, I decided to go ahead and conserve my energy for the field sprint or maybe even a flyer on the last lap. With a little less then two laps to go there was a massive crash taking out about 3/4's of the field. Fortunately, I was pretty far up at the front and missed the crash by about 5 meters. This left about 20 or so riders left in the main field. A few more had bridged up by the finish to make the size of the field at about 30. Going into the last lap I found myself in good position on Texas Premier Cup Leader, Phil Wikoff. Knowing that he was an extremely successfully and powerful sprinter I decided to try and keep his wheel. With about 500 meters to go I was bumped off of his wheel and found myself on the outskirts of the pack. I found myself being sucked along the outside of the pack and with 200 meters to go the sprint started. I just put my head down and spun as fast as I could and miraculously took second in the field sprint for my second 8th finish of the weekend. This up and coming weekend I am planning on driving up to Dallas for the Gary Glickman Memorial Crit and the GS Tenzing Crit. Because I have the world championship qualifiers the next weekend in Tennessee I have decided to skip the Category Based State Championship Crit, so that I can rest up to be on peak form.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Trophee Centre-Morbihan Stage One

The stage definitely did go as well as I hoped. I started the race just covering a few moves, but mainly just tried to sit near the front as much as I could to conserve energy for the final 7 km circuits. An early brek went about 20 km into the 110 km race. About 50 km into the race I put in a hard attack to bridge up to a few guys off the front. I caught them pretty quickly, but the pack reeled us in shortly after. I continued to put in a hard pull and found myself with a gap on the pack. Quickly after, a Dutch and a French guy bridged up to me. The three of us worked well together and as we were entering the final circuits 35 km to go we finally made contact with the leaders with about a minute on the field. I stayed with the group until about 4 laps to go when I got a front flat. I quickly got another wheel, but by the time I had gotten back on the break was out of sight and there was no way for me to get back on. I chased for about another half a lap until I figured I was fighting an uphill battle and eased up to wait for the pack. The pack caught me about a little while later and I jumped into the top 20 or so. Since I had been chasing pretty hard for the last couple of kilometers I wasn't able to respond when the pack split with about 20 or so went up the road. A little while later I tried to bridge up to them, but I wasn't able to close the gap. I ended up placing around 60th at like 1:33 back. The group that I was with before I flatted ended up staying away at 36 seconds ahead of the second group that had Nate and Stuee in it. If I had stayed in that group I would of ended up in the top six and in the young riders jersey, which I'm pretty sure I could of as I was feeling incredibly strong at the moment. I was pretty mad about flatting, but hey, that's bike racing and I figured I might as well put in a good TT tomorrow then dwell on the past. The course tomrrow is 7 km and mostly flat execpt one semi-hard hill about half way in and the last 750 meters is a pretty big kicker. Hopefully I'll be able to recover well enough to put in a good time.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I’m currently sitting on the corner of some random road in Locmine, France trying to steal some internet due to the fact that there isn’t any at the hotel we are staying at. We arrived here a day later than planned because our van broke down about halfway here causing us to sit on the side of the road for about four hours until a tow truck came and rescued us. We were then brought to the closest town to find out that the van wouldn’t be able to be fixed until the day after. Due to Stuee’s ability to speak French we were able to rent a car for the remaining four hours. Toby decided to stop in Roen for the night because it took so long to get back on the road. We stayed the night at a pretty nice hotel where I slept on the rock hard floor due to the lack of beds to fit three people. We woke up pretty early the next morning to drive the remainder of the trip and we got here at around 1:30. After moving into our rooms we put on our clip-on time trial bars for an hour and a half ride. We ate dinner at around 7:30 where we met the race director. This morning we ate breakfast at around 9:00 and set out on our ride at around noon where we rode the 7 kilometer time trial course for Sunday morning. The course seems pretty challenging with two pretty big hills in it. We finished the ride at about an hour and a half and showered up for lunch at 1:30. Tonight we have the team presentation at around 8:00 which should be fun as we are coming back as the defending champions. Tomorrow is stage one at about 110 kilometers. I’m really feeling strong, so we’ll see how everything turns out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


After a few days staying here at the Hof ter Komman in Oudenaarde, we are planning to depart tomorrow for Brittany, France for the Trophee Centre-Morbihan. It's a UCI 2.1 stage race that brings in strong teams from all over the world. Nate Brown took home the win last year, so we are going into the race with targets over our backs. After our successful race on Sunday we took it somewhat easy on Monday for about an hour and a half semi-recovery ride before lounging around the hotel playing some basketball and occasionally some badminton. Today we woke up at the usual time of around 9 to eat a breakfast of champions of vanilla yogurt and corn flakes (yumm) before going on our different ways to ride. Stuart, Anders, and Gavin set out on a four hour ride with last year’s team member, Simon Lambert-Lemay. Nate and I chose to go our own way for a 2 and a half hour ride. We set out for the canal and traveled to what we thought was the end before turning off and somehow finding ourselves in Gent. When we found the town center we started to hunt for the closest frites place and upon arrival we left as soon as we stepped inside because Nate got the "eebie jeebies". After looking at a map, we decided to head over to Brakel, a town about ten kilometers outside of the town where the hotel is. We somehow got off course and found ourselves en route to Oudenaarde (our home town). We ended the ride at about 2:15 and waited around the house for the rest of the team to come home. When everyone had showered up we left the hotel to meet up with Cyclocross Pro, Jonathan Page, silver medalist at the 2007 Cyclocross World Championships, at an Italian restaurant in town. After dinner we got some Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream, which Anders was extremely excited about as Ben & Jerrys is made in his home town, before heading back home. Well, that’s it for now as I'm about to head off to bed. I'm not sure if I'll have internet at the hotel in France, but hopefully I do. If not I'll try and figure something out to keep everyone posted on how I do. Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Back in Belgium

I'm here back in Belgium, this time with the Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team. I arrived here yesterday after a 12 hour flight where I could only sleep about three hours. Despite lack of sleep, we woke up today ready for a kermesse in Vinkt. We completely dominated and took home first (Anders), second (Me), third (Nate), and sixth (Gavin). The course was about 8 kilometers long with completely flat on skinny roads in the middle of wide open farm fields. The race itself was 98 kilometers (13 laps) and had about 90 starters in it. About one kilometer into the race I put in an attack and stayed away for about a kilometer before a Belgian bridged up to me. We worked evenly until Nate bridged up to us going into the start/finish line that lap. The three of us worked steadily until Gavin and another Belgian bridged up to us about half way through that lap. This made it three Hot Tubers in a break of five with about a minute on an eight man group including Anders, and the pack over five minutes back with Stuee in it. Some would say that this was a near perfect situation. With about eight laps to go, the Anders group caught us and Anders went flying by us. I jumped on his wheel and we opened up about a 30 second lead. Nate bridged up to us about three laps later. We then proceeded to put in almost three minutes on the group of six behind us. We decided to let Anders take the win with myself over Nate. In the sprint behind us, Gavin took third in that group to take home sixth. By the end of the race I was pretty much cramping the entire time, but I wasn't really surprised as I had been in the lead group for all of the 100 kilometers of the race.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Here was my article for this month's article of The Racing Post:

One of the most important lesson’s that I learned while over in Europe was teamwork. At the U23 National Team house World Pursuit Chapion, Taylor Phinney, told me that “you may not notice it now, but when you get older the racing gets harder and longer.” It is extremely tough to perform well in races without having teammates. At the Ster van Zuid-Limburg, Adam (winner of the 5 kilometer prologue) would have lost the yellow jersey on stage one if Team USA hadn’t gone up to the front on the closing laps of the race to reel in the breakaways. Again on stage two. A group of two got away with two of the five 10 kilometer local laps left in the race. Team USA got to the front and brought the gap from about 45-60 seconds to eight seconds by the end, which allowed Adam to stay in the yellow jersey by a slender second. Unfortunately, the team was hurting too bad on the final stage and an early break, which got up to a two minute lead with about 40 kilometers to go, stayed away and finished 23 seconds up on the peleton. Without Team USA on the front during the three stages, Adam would have lost the yellow jersey long before he really did.
Before this year, I had raced for the Northwest Cycling Club for around six years. Northwest was an excellent team to grow up and mature in. The only thing was that we (the juniors) never really raced as a team. We would always just go out to these races and act like we knew what we were doing while having an awesome time. By the time I had moved up through the ranks and into the P-1/2’s I was at a huge disadvantage. I was a lone ranger in the middle of the 75+ person fields with multiple teams dominating the day with carefully thought out strategies and tactics. I was stuck in the middle of a war with only one pair of legs and a teenager’s brain to help me.
When I arrived in Belgium I was expecting to learn a lot, but I can’t describe the amount knowledge that I learned about teamwork. Phinney is not only an extremely strong cyclist, but an incredibly smart man. Loyal teammates are a necessity for a cyclist, and it’s next to impossible to be able to turn pro without them.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my view on teamwork. Later today, I am getting on a plane for Belgium where I will compete in a kermesse in Belgium and a stage race in France with my team, Hot Tubes.