Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I'm back here at the U23 National Team House for the next week or so until we leave for the Junior Road World Championships in Moscow, Russia. I finally had an uneventful trip on the way over here and after spinning the legs out today, I feel like I'm ready to compete with the best on August 7th (TT) and 9th (RR). The road race team consists of Jacob Rathe, Ryan Eastman, Gavin Mannion, Nathan Brown, Ian Boswell, and myself with Nathan and I doing the time trial. After doing a stage race in here in Belgium this weekend we will fly out to Moscow, and meet up with the women's team. I'll keep you updated on how everything turns out. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Red River Gorge and Worlds by Ian Boswell

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.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tour of the Red River Gorge Stages 1 & 2

Stage one and two are done with here at the Tour of the Red River Gorge and so far Hot Tubes has been extremely successful. Stage one was a 1 mile out and back time trial. Charlie Avis took the victory over Adam Leibovitz and Jacob Rathe. Nate was our top finisher in 4th with Gavin right behind him in 5th. I was able to take 7th on the stage and jump into the white young rider's jersey. Stueee took 11th, Boz was 21st, and Anders was just a few places behind him. We were way more dominant in the 99 km road race that afternoon to take 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. About thirty kilometers into the race Boz, Nate, and Anders got into a 12 man break that got about 30 seconds up the road. Jacob Rathe put in attack to try and bridge and brought along the yellow jersey, Charlie Avis. I jumped onto that group and we got about 10 seconds on the field. Because I had three teammates up the road I just pulled through that group to make sure that they wouldn't try and attack me. Although I wasn't putting big efforts pulling it was still one of the hardest breaks I had ever been in. Rathe was an absolute animal and was doing the majority of the work. The pack was completely strung out behind us and even though we were going all out we only had a maximum of about 10 seconds and were caught about 10 kilometers later. I was pretty tired after that and spent the rest of the race just sitting in the pack on covering attacks. Up in the break, Anders attacked without 5 km to go and got a small gap. Nate then bridged up to him and the both of them crossed the line to take 1-2 (Anders over Nate) about 15 seconds ahead of Boz who lead the rest of the group across the line. I finished with the pack about 1:45 behind along with Gavin and Stueee. Later today we have a 24 km TT. My start time is at 12:24

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Attleborro Crit by Gavin Mannion

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.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Teammate's Blog

Hey everyone! If you want to keep up with one of my teammates, Gavin Mannion, he just joined the blogging family. His URL is www.gavin-mannion.blogspot.com Tomorrow we leave for Kentucky for the UCI 2.1 Tour of the Red River Gorge. The winner of the overall gets an automatic spot for the Junior World Road Race Championships and the winner of the TT earns a spot on the TT team. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fitchburg Longsjo Classic

I'm here up in Massachusetts after completing the 50th edition of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic with the Hot Tubes Junior Development Team. The race is a four day four stage race which starts off with a 9 mile time trial. Stage two was 21 mile circuit race before the penultimate 44 mile road race the next day. The race ended with a 20 kilometer crit on Sunday. We dominated the entire race by winning every stage with a different rider and winning all of the jerseys, the overall and the points jersey. Nathan Brown took the time trial by 20 seconds over Charlie Avis and our own Gavin Mannion. Anders took 4th, Boz took 9th, Ben took 12th, and I got 36th. With all of my traveling delays (I ended up getting delayed a total of 26 hours and got to Boston about 10 hours before the race start) none of my baggage showed up including both of my bikes and my clothes. I ended up just riding one of the Sram neutral bikes that I got about 30 minutes before my start. Boz took the win on the stage two circuit race out of a four man break and took the green jersey for the day. Anders was also in the break and was able to take fourth on the day. I went on a last lap attack with Nate and worked really hard to get Nate a big gap. Going up the 500 meter finish line wall I blew up and was caught only by Gavin who won the field sprint. Nate took 5th on the day, Gavin got 6th, and I took home 7th. I won the road race out of an early breakaway with Nate and another rider, Nathan Wilson. Nate got to the front on the hardest climb on the first lap and hammered up it and only Wilson and I were able to stay with him. Gavin bridged up later that lap but had a mechanical and dropped out of the break. Nate and I attacked Wilson with about 3 km to go and were able to put in 40 seconds into him by the end. Boz was able to take 4th on the stage over Gavin and then Anders. This moved me up from 26th overall to 3rd. Right from the start of the crit I put in an all out attack and got a decent sized gap. I was caught the next lap right before a sprint. Right after the sprint I put in another attack and brought Charlie Avis with me. Anders bridged up about a lap later and the three of us got about a 15 second gap. I took all of the sprint out of the break and got enough points to take over the green jersey. With about four laps to go I saw Gavin trying to bridge up to us. I then dropped back to help Gavin bridge all the way up. We caught back up with about three laps remaining. Starting with one lap to go, Anders and I took turns attacking Charlie, but neither of us could get a gap. Gavin was able to take the sprint for our fourth victory of the weekend and I was able to 3rd on the day. Nate took the final overall and I was able to maintain my 3rd place and win the points jersey. Gavin took 4th overall, Anders got 6th, and Boz got 7th. Next Sunday we plan on driving down to Kentucky for the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Red River Gorge. The winner of that will automatically earn a spot on the World Championships team.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pays de Vaud (The Racing Post)

For The Racing Post this month I decided to right about my racing experience at the Tour du Pays de Vaud in Switzerland. I am currently in Massachusettes for the Fitchburg Longsjo Cycling Classic. I arrived here 20 hours after I was originally scheduled to due to delayed and missed flights. The racing kicks off tomorrow (July 2nd) with a 14 km time trial. Hopefully I'll be recovered from all of my traveling to put in a good time.

Pays du Vaud is a UCI Junior Class 2.1 four day race with five stages in Switzerland. It began with a three kilometer prologue starting pretty late at night by our Texas standards. USA completely dominated the stage by sweeping the podium with Nathan Brown taking the win over Adam Leibovitz and myself. We took every single jersey except one, Nathan in yellow (leader), Adam in green (points), and myself in the white (young rider).

Stage 2 the next day was the first mass start stage and was about 100 kilometers of rolling hills. The stage finished at the top of a four kilometer climb that was sure to split the pack by the top. The goal for the stage was to keep the yellow jersey in the team. Our job: make sure no break got too far up the road. By the time we reached the base of the climb, the peloton was together. Right at the bottom of the climb a Danish rider attacked and immediately opened up a 10 second gap. Nathan then put in an attack and brought with him along another Danish rider and a Dutch. The initial attack ended up staying away by about 15 seconds and Nathan was able to get fourth on the stage and USA kept the yellow by one second. The rest of the team rolled in and managed to remain within a minute of our leader.

Day three started with an 80 kilometer road race that was pancake flat for the first 75 kms and then climbed 600 meters in the last six kms. Our plan was to control the front with Adam, Jacob, Gavin, and me so that the race would be together at the base of the climb. Connor would then help Nathan as much as he could on the climb before pulling off and letting Nathan take over. Our plan worked flawlessly and Nathan grabbed third on the stage, but ended up losing the yellow by four seconds. The rest of the team took it easy up the mountain pass to save some energy for the time trial later that day.

After resting and refueling, USA challenged the eleven kilometer time trial that was completely flat for the first ten kilometers with a steep climb for the last km. I was able to take the win on the stage by four seconds over the Dutch National TT Champion and another 17 seconds to one of the Danish riders. Nathan put an extremely strong time trial to grab 5th on the stage and regain the yellow jersey by about 45 seconds. Once again, we were in the lead.

The next day was the last road race and final stage at 110 kilometers and climbing for a total of 1000 meters. It was by far the hardest stage of the race and by the time we reached the finish, the peleton was completely shattered. Early on in the race a break of about ten was attacked and got off the front. By about 30 kilometers into the stage the gap was almost three minutes with a rider in the break down in the GC by only 2:30. It was time to start chasing. I got to the front and over the next 25 kilometers and brought the gap down to 2:30. With about 50 kilometers to go, the rest of the team went up to the front and we brought the gap down to about a minute with 20 kilometers left in the race. Since the break was no longer a threat to take over the yellow, we let the Danish and the Dutch teams to get to the front to keep the break in check so that they wouldn't lose their podium spots. The break ended up staying away by about a minute with Christopher Jennings of South Africa taking the stage win. USA kept the yellow jersey and we took home the individual overall with Nathan and second place on Team Classification.

This win at Pays de Vaud gave USA Cycling Junior Developmental program extremely good hope for the rest of the season and junior cycling’s future. It has showed that USA is becoming extremely more competitive in not only time trials, but also road races and stage races abroad. Pays De Vaud, as a top ranking UCI Race was definitely a test of strength, endurance and teamwork. Racing in Europe with USA Cycling and my team Hot Tubes has taught me that when we race, we put our individual goals aside and ride our best for the team (something I’m still working on!).