Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bermuda Grand Prix

After an extremely successful year for the 2009 Hot Tubes Junior Development team Toby decided to fly Gavin, Boz, Nate, Stuee, and I over to Bermuda for the Bermuda Grand Prix as a last hurrah. The race started with a 50 km circuit race/crit on a 2km course in the middle of a forest. The race started off with a flurry of attacks by numerous riders. It wasn't until about five laps in until a group of about five got up the road including Gavin. Nate bridged up about a lap later and I soon followed him. Gavin then got away with four other riders right before Boz bridged up to us. The three of us just chilled in the group until Nate dropped out of the race due to a stomach bug. With about three laps to go I put in an attack and was caught with about one lap to go. I then sat in the group and was able to get 2nd in the sprint for 6th overall. Gavin was able to take 2nd and Boz grabbed 8th. The time trial the next morning was 7 miles out and back. It was absolutely pouring down rain and the course was extremely confusing. I ended up turning around too early and my time didn't count towards the results. Gavin was able to take 4th, Nate in 6th, Stueee in 11th, and Boz in 12th. That afternoon was an hour long crit on a 750 meter course with a steep 200 meter hill about half way through the lap. I was aggressive for the first half of the race and brought the race down to about seven of us. With one to go the group was still the same and I put in a hard attack up the climb to try and set up Gavin for the sprint and he was able to grab 3rd place while I came in in 4th, and Stueee in 5th and Gavin ended up 3rd overall.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chappell Hill

This past weekend was the Chappell Hill road race, an 86 mile race that has rolling hills almost the entire time. In the past, this has always been one of the hardest races of the year, but I've always had a good time at this amazing race put on by Northwest Cycling Club, one of the nation's top cycling clubs. Due to an early start at 7:30 and my parents volunteering at registration, I was unwillingly forced to wake up at 4:30 in the morning so that we could get there by 6:30. I then proceeded to fall asleep in the car, and when we got there my parents decided that they would let me rest for a couple more minutes while they were working. It wasn't until my dad yanked open the door at 7:13 and yelling at me to wake up or I would just go ahead and sleep through the race. Nonetheless, I was able to suit up, pin on my numbers, and get my bike ready in record time to get down to the start line with about five minutes to spare. The course goes out about 15 miles before we started on five 12 mile loops before heading back to town.All up until the start of the race it had been raining, so when we got out on the course the pavement was pretty slick. The race was pretty calm for about the first 30 miles, with Alan Ting and I shooting each other the "What Up?!" sign, until a group of five got up the road and quickly built up a lead of about two and a half minutes. For the next 20 miles or so there were a few attacks from the pack, but none were given any lee-way. With about a lap and a half to go a group of three got up the road and quickly got about 45 seconds. With one and a quarter lap to go, I put in an attack and brought Cody Foster with me. The both of us got a decent gap and we worked really well together until we caught the group of three ahead of us. We all then worked together and were able to bridge the rest of the gap to the five leaders with about half a lap to go. Once we caught the leaders the break became extremely disorganized with only about four of us actually working. When we got off of the laps there was an attack by one of the Mexicans that had come up to race. No one really wanted to chase him down, but with the many attacks from the group we caught him with about six miles to go. Immediately, his teammate countered that move and got a pretty big gap. He was dangling right off the front of the group and it wasn't until I put in an attack with about one kilometer to go that he was caught. I stayed away until about 500 meters to go, but I knew that I was going to die on the 150 meter wall with about 300 meters to go so I kept on the front. About half way up the hill the sprint started with one of the Mexicans taking the "win" with Steven "Underpants" Wheeler (Super Squadra) taking second place over Scott Henry (AT&T) and I was able to hold onto fifth place. After the race, both of the Mexicans were disqualified due to illegal feeding and littering, so this moved everyone up a place which put me in 4th. Next on the schedule is the Bermuda Gran Prix. I leave for Bermuda Thursday morning for racing on Saturday and Sunday. The races include a crit, a time trial, and a 75 mile road race on 2.5 mile circuits.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

GMSR Stage 3&4

I'm back from Vermont after an extremely successful race with the team. We came away from the Green Mountain Stage Race with three stage wins, the overall win, along with the points jersey. The road race didn't go as well as I hoped. After Stuee and Gavin rode their hearts out on the front for about 40 miles to bring back 4th place, Matteo Dal-Cin, who got a maximum gap of 6 minutes on the field. When it came to App Gap, I just didn't have the legs and cramped up with one and a half. I then preceded to nose-dive into the ditch and then lay there for about 10 minutes trying to work the cramps out. I ended up losing 8 minutes on the climb along with the yellow jersey. Nate put in a good ride up App Gap and took it over from me. For the 15 mile crit the next day, our plan was to keep the 20 second lead over second place, and also try and win the points jersey with either Nate or me. Right from the gun I was extremely active and attacked multiple times before the first prime with 15 of the 25 laps to go. I attacked right after the prime and immediately got about a 20 second gap with another rider. The two of us worked well together and I took the next two primes and hot spot sprints. Going into the sprint I was on the front, so I just decided to lead it out. I did just that and held him off for my first crit win this year. Next on the schedule for me is the Chappell Hill Road Race on Sunday put on by the team that I grew up with, NWCC.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

GMSR Stage 1 and 2

I ended up 4th yesterday in the TT, but Gavin won so it was all good. Stuee was 6th and Nate was 7th. It was pretty much 2 miles straight up at the beginning and I just wasn't feeling it. Today went a lot better for me. It was a 34 mile circuit race with 1 3/4 lap. After the first lap, Nate went on a solo attack and got about 30 seconds. On the KOM about half way through the lap I attacked and bridged up to him. We then put the hammer down and were able to open up a gap of 36 seconds by the end over a group of four including 2nd and 3rd place on GC and about another minute and a half on the pack. Nate took the win which put him into the points jersey and I was able to grab the yellow jersey. Unfortunately, Gavin went down in a 30 man pile-up and wasn't able to reconnect with the pack. Stueee was able to win the field sprint for 7th. Tomorrow is a 74 mile road race that finishes up App Gap, a 7 km climb which I've heard some pretty bad stuff about how hard it is.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Green Mountain Stage

Hey guys, I made it safely up to Vermont for the Green Mountain Stage Race (my first time traveling this year without any problems!). The race kicks off tomorrow with a six mile time trial. No one is allowed to use any equipment that wouldn't be allowed in a mass start event, so I'll just be using my straight up road bike. Stage two is a 34 mile circuit followed by a 74 road race that ends up the dreaded App Gap, a 6 mile wall from what I've heard. The race concludes with a 40 minute crit on Labor Day. I'll keep you posted on what goes on.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Sorry it took so long to get this up!
This year has been an incredible journey and I really couldn’t ask for more. I guess I can’t really say that winning the Silver Medal at the Junior World Time Trial Championships came as a surprise to me because going into the TT I knew I could pull out an excellent ride. The course suited me perfectly; it was on wide open highways that were some of the smoothest roads I’ve ever ridden on. I was on amazing form, due to my amazing coach, David Wenger, and persistent co-coach/my dad. I wasn’t wasting any energy at all due to our perfect soigneur, Simone Trafelet. My confidence was high was from winning the Pays de Vaud and the Tour of the Red River Gorge Time Trials, as well as the White Jersey at the stage race Liege-La Gleize the previous week. It also doesn’t hurt when you so many amazing followers back home and knowing that they will be proud of you no matter what happens!
The time trial was 26 kilometers (two laps of 13 km each) on wide open and smooth roads. It starts out on a gradual descent for about two kilometers before turning around and going back up the hill. When you crest the top of the hill it goes back down for about another two kilometers for turning back around. About half way up the hill you take a right turn and head down a straight road for about two kilometers before turning back around. You then take another right turn before you get to the main road and complete a small loop. You then come turn back onto the main road and have about 500 meters until the finish.
The plan for the time trial was not to go all out on the first lap because the gradual hills were extremely deceiving and if you went all out up them you could easily blow and lose huge chunks of time. For the first lap I went about 95% and came through the finish line the first time in second place, 12 seconds back on Australian’s Luke Durbridge. I then started to go harder and harder and by the time I had about five kilometers to go I was told I was about six seconds down. I put my head down and hammered all the way to the line (puking twice on the way) and came into the finish for the last time in second place, 2.22 seconds back on Durbridge. I nearly collapsed onto the ground after turning off the course and when my teammates came up to me saying that I was in second, I dropped my head feeling dejected. I didn’t think that I was going to stay up on the podium with about 20 of the big hitters left to finish. I then made my way over to the Hot Seats for the top three times. Simone met me over there with fresh and warm clothes along with recovery shakes and other drinks. I then watched in disbelief as one by one all of the rest of the riders came through and none of them were able to jump ahead of me in the standings. When the last rider had come through, all I could do was stand and stare at the scoreboard to see my name listed in second. It took me a while to believe that I had just gotten second place at the World Championships. My body was acting automatically as I was giving all my teammates and friends hugs while my mind was whirling at about a thousand miles an hour. This has got to be a dream! Ever since I was 11 years old and seeing my best friend, Alan Ting, wearing a mock rainbow jersey out at the track, I’ve been fantasizing about someday winning one, and it was hard to believe that I was only two seconds out of wearing one!
The podium is one experience I will never forget. I was called up onto the podium along with Denmark’s Lasse Hansen and Durbridge and awarded the silver medal by a high official of the UCI along from the strangely dressed podium girls. The three of us then gathered onto the top step for pictures before the playing of the Australian National Anthem. After the podium I reported to doping control and then headed back to the hotel.
Once again, there is no way I could have gotten through this year without the support from my amazing parents. I’ve also got to thank Dave Wenger of Durata Training for all of those hours spent fixing up my workouts for the week; Ben Sharp along with the USA Cycling Development Foundation for helping make this journey possible for not only me, but all of the other riders as well; my teachers at school for helping me get through the school year last year; Dave “Flash” Brown for making the run to McDonalds the day before the TT just so that I could get a break from the horrible Russian food at the hotel; and last but not least all of my wonderful friends and supporters back at home!

The next thing on my schedule is the Green Mountain Stage Race up in Vermont with Hot Tubes. It'll be the first time I'm doing this race, so I'm not really sure what to expect! I'll make sure I update my blog more than once a month next time!