Monday, May 22, 2006

Nite before the race. Hotel Sienna.

First pro race went ok. It was cool lining up against Travis Brown and Ned Overend, two of the sports ledgends. The start was fast as hell. Chopping away at mt bike cranks made me remember the meaning of the word "suffer" all over again. It was a good, familiar pain.

Speaking of Pain. The four cross race.... lot's of carnage.

A bunch of us set up shop on the hillside after our cross-country race to veiw the spectacle; that is downhill racing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Well, the Mt. Bike season is upon us. First race this week on the fat tires. It will be a regional Norba race in Anglefire NewMexico. It's a small ski resort in northern NM that is pretty empty in the summer. I've alway's liked this venue (there was a world cup race here last year) because it turns into bikeville for the weekend.

Took a big rest after Gila and started getting back to the trails of Boulder County on my Mt. bike. It's been a good reunion.
No more cars, or windy flat roads. Also gets me back in touch with a lot of old friends that I used to "high roll" with. This is Mike Hoaster and I leaving from Nederland park-n-ride in search of singletrack. The trails were good yesterday..... all clear and tacky, snow covered peaks and a cool breeze..... Heaven.

Monday, May 08, 2006

MISSION ACOMPLISHED!!!!! The 11 hour drive home will be much sweeter after the events on Sunday. Sunday was the "Gila Monster", the final day of our 5 day stage race. A long tough stage with a whopper of a finishing climb. The last 15 miles are brutal. Ryan Hamilton was our highest placed rider on GC (2nd) when the leader pulled out on Saturday. This made him the virtual leader, and changed our strategy completely. We planned and planned different senarios of attack, but we all had the sinking feeling we'd have to take control of the race on the final day and protect Hamilton.
Our second best placed rider Justin got the green light to attack and try and put pressure on the other teams. He was well marked and smartly sat in and saved his legs for the climb and protecting our leader.
Many stories will come yesterdays events, the one I like to tell is how our two lowest GC riders Kris Lathrop and Alex Lieber turned into "super domestiques" on the final day. With a 50 mile run into the start of the climb, it was key to keep the pace so high that no one would attack. Both of them absolutly flogged themselves for 50 miles while I sat barking orders and covering the hard attacks. It was a symphony of domination as we rumbled down the vally with no fewer than 3 teammates at all times on the front of the peleton. Alex and Kris burnt everylast match and looked like shit at the start of the climb. It was a perfect launching pad for Justin and Ryan who lit up the climb, finished 3rd & 2nd respectively, and of course, got the overall victory for the 3's field at the tour of the Gila. Pretty good company to be in. Jason Donald (pro stage 5 winner) and Tom Zirbel were the 05' & 04' TOG champs.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Thursdays climbing stage was tough, and most of us held our position on GC. Friday was the longest stage at 78 miles with 6000ft. of climbing. We worked well together as a team, broke away with a teammate (ryan hamilton) and he brought home the victory. Photo's on the way.
Ryan is in second place on GC 49 seconds behind the leader and we're gunning for the victory on the last stage on sunday. Also, Justin is in sixth just over 2 minutes out.

Brake pad melt-down from fridays decent through the Gila national forest. I was sprinting out of every corner to keep up with my teammate Cole, who decends like a rock. We hit the bottom of the climb with a gap and started to push it and further punish the field for decending like wimps. We had it widdled down to about a 30 riders before we let up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Warming up for the TT. The only action shots I got!!

Jones: 4th
Maka: 6th
Iles: 17th
Lathrop:52th *today the climbing starts* There are 80 something riders in our feild this year. I lot will change after todays mt. top finish.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Road trippin' on the lonely NM. It was like a road trip graveyard. We must have counted 25 crosses on the side of the road over 50 miles. Where are these people getting it wrong? Must be in the corners.

Southern NewMexico. The long switchback roads are the only way into the Gila national forest.
We got a view of some of the climbs we will be racing on.
The time trial starts today. I'll post some results tonight.

View from the Pinos Altos Cabins. Just what we need for the weeklong stay. Very nice owner and resonable.