Monday, April 27, 2015

Pontiac Lake Classic XC MTB

The feeling out process continues. This time at one of my favorite trails in the state. Pontiac Lake Rec Area. Lots of new faces, so I was not sure what to expect from my legs. I was rested, and feeling good, and ready to see what I was able to do, and what many of the others were able to do as well.

Like all the other races this year, the 40-49 expert field was the biggest and probably the strongest overall beside the elites. And so it begins.

We all take off and jockey for position before the single track. A huge conga line forms and we push the pace. I settle in around 6th. a good spot, but know I need to be attentive if any thing happens. We stick together for the first half of the lap. then in some traffic, Ed Seratt and a Felt racer get off the front. The guy on third wheel cant get around the traffic and the rest of us are stacked up as well. By the time we made it through we could no longer see the 2 leaders. I worked my way up to the 3rd spot in the chase group. And sit in for the rest of the lap.

On the 2nd and last lap, the chase group is still at least 8 strong. I decided to test some legs, try and chase down the leaders. I make an attack in the grass, and hold it until we hit the single track again. By the time we hit 2 mile hill, all that is left is Greg Giles and myself. This is good I thought, and figured the leaders can't be too much farther ahead. I pushed the pace about as hard as I could. At the half way point Greg said he would take a turn pulling. I must say, this is the strongest I have ever seen Greg ride. It was awesome. And I did everything I could to hang on.

The pace was still good and I was with Greg until the last few climbs. He opened up a small gap, and got just a hand full of seconds before the finish line. It was enough. Greg got a solid 3rd place, and I was really happy to come home in 4th. This is going be a tough year! But it may actually turn out to be one of the best...

Great Job to Bill Sloney on another W!

And to B-rad for sneaking out another W. this time with gears.

Finally, great job to the rest of the KLM crew. We had guys on the podium in almost every class! It great to see so many team mates sharing the same passion of having a good time, and challenging themselves to do better week after week at the races!

Fort Custer next...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yankee Springs TT

Not too much to report here. Other than what a great day hanging out with 700 friends, drinking beer in the warm sun, and riding my bike on some great single track.

Leading into the the race, I pushed to get as many hours as I could before closing out base 3. This left me tired and a bit flat, but it's what I expected. For as tired as I was, my first lap was respectable, and overall felt good for the entire race. So I think my fitness is still on track. I ended up 16th out of 60 guys in my class. Not the best, but not the worst either.

Congrats on Brad's dominating performance for the EESS class for the big W!

Bill Sloney for taking the win in Sport 45-49.

JTP for a solid top 5 in expert 40-49.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lowell 50 - Classic Gravel Road Race

The Lowell 50 is silently becoming one of the best races in the state if not the mid-west! with a beautiful start finish venue, some of the best dirt roads in the state, and an awesome race promoter, its not hard to see why. And each year since the race has started, the field has gotten better and deeper in both the 34 mile and the 57 miler. For the past few years, this race has been a must do and top priority for me. This year wasn't any different. But with the depth of the field, and moving into the always fast 40-44 age group, I knew this wasn't going to be easy and I would have my work cut out for myself.

The race started out with a neutral roll out this year. The KLM squad had a full armada in the race, and everyone was showing their best. This was a good sign as we could all try to work together throughout the race. As the roll out vehicle rolled to the side. JTP threw the first punch! This got the group going. Jim J, Tony B, JMAK, Shaun W, and myself all closed in near the front of the group. This start to break things up a bit already. As we approached the first big steep climb of the day. JTP threw his 2nd blow. I jumped on as did several others. By the time we cleared the top, the majority of the selection of who's who was already sorted out. JTP, JMAK, Jim J, Tony B, and myslef began to try and turn the screws and rotated through the pack to share the work.

We continued like this for the first half of the race. Then out of no where, Luke Mullis, and the Martin Brothers, along with a few others, came from behind with an attack up a slow grinder. The pace quickened, but was manageable. It was clear that these guys had been sitting in, and to my surprise, the group was still 10-15 guys strong.

The fresh guys began to play games a bit. Another big hill and then a hard attack. JTP jumped right on the wheel of the leaders. I slowly got popped at this point and fell off the back. Shaun, and Bryan Waldmen came to the rescue. Bryan told me to hop on his wheel. This helped me recover a bit. And on the next section, I turned on my diesel in the flats and motored all 3 of us back to the lead pack. This was it. The winner was going to come out of this group. There was no longer anyone in sight behind us as well.

As we hit the pavement again, we crossed the river and began climbing again. This time JTP and one of the young guys went off the front. No one chased. Tony and I settled in to see what would happen. The gap grew to at least 30 seconds. I thought they might actually have a chance to stay away. Finally one of the Martin brothers yelled out, to the rest of us, "we cant let them get away". Then they took up the chase. We were all back together again.

We rolled through the remain parts of the course with minimal accelerations. Then as the last few hills popped up. The attacks happened again. Every hill someone would go! I covered them and was still in the group. One by one, others were slowly getting dropped. On the last big hill the group was down to 8 riders. I was still hanging on. JTP was on the front! I just couldn't hold on any longer, and now I was popped. But I still had Bryan W, and another guy by my side. We closed the gaps before and we can do it again. I turned the diesels on one more time and pushed forward doing most of the work. I was OK with this as I was feeling good, and figured it was my chance to lose. We closed down the gap to about 10 seconds before the last turn. I now knew that the top 5 overall was settled, but there was still a chance to snag the last step of the 40-44 age group podium. I turned the screws one last time, and finished just a few feet ahead of the other guys that I had worked with. It was enough for 3rd in the age group, and still 7th overall for the race out 250+. Still very respectable!

My hat is off to JTP for fighting in the front the entire race and giving himself a chance to win all the way to the end.

Tony B and JMAK for hang in the front all day long and keeping the race real and high paced! You guys had some kick ass results!

Jim J and Shaun W. You put it all out there in the early part of the race, and helped the team overall, and still had solid results! Very Cool.

Yankee Springs! Next stop...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Barry Roubaix 2015 - New Direction

After a long winter, and some early aches and pains, and mental struggles through base, it is finally racing season! I have been overly excited waiting for Barry Roubaix to roll around, and be racing as part of KLM / Coldstone.

Going into the race, I wanted nothing more than to be apart of a winning team in the over team competition for this race and to do it with some of my closest cycling brothers and in a KLM kit. Well you boys came through and delivered for me!!! KLM / Coldstone Racing - 2015 Barry Roubaix Overall 34 mile Team Champions!

The entire team performed well and was well represented in almost every class! This is amazing to be apart of something with so many people that share the same passion, and excitement about training, racing, and just riding and having a good time as I do!

As my individual race. I stuck to my plan of staying with Simon Bailey, and working with team mate Todd Green the entire time. I felt great and was able to stick with the leaders the entire race. But in the last corner, I was taken out of the top 5 hunt by a falling rider in another class... total over the bars, on my head going around 20 MPH. This doesn't usually end well. I hurt my wrist pretty bad, and have since been slowly evaluating it and seeing if I avoided a breaking it. Time will tell...