Sunday, December 02, 2007
On my first warm-up lap on the course I was amazed at how much I actually liked the course. Now granted it is Waterford and there's only so much you can do, but I really thought Joe and the crew did a great job with what they had to work with. You'll always have the ridiculously bumpy infield and that horrible section after the long downhill by the guard rail, but considering all the elements at play I was pretty happy with how it all turned out.
At the starting line we got a call up based on the series points, which was great because I got to pick my spot right in the middle. Granted at this time there wasn't only one nice smooth path down the finish straight; rather there were 200 lines all crossing each other. I knew there were a few things I would need to do in order to be in contention after the first lap. The start is obviously crucial in any race. For this course, I wanted to be first on the first lap in four spots. The first left turn on grass, the first barrier set, the first tricky off-camber turn down the gully, and the first into the second set of barriers.
I took it out as hard as I could to make sure I wouldn't get into trouble with my first three goals, which in this case came fast and furious. After I had a good gap on the first run-up I put the hammer down in the only places I could, which were the straight sections of the course. Nobody was gaining huge time in the corners, but you could definitly lose huge time if you made a mistake. So I concentrated on working my rear off through all the power sections while recovering and taking it easy through the turns.
After the first lap I knew that if I let anybody catch me I was going to hear about it from Jeff. See, previously at the first Vet's park of this year, Cory and I took it out HARD on the first lap. I had a very small gap of around 5 seconds on him going into the finish line on the first lap and I figured I wasn't going to be able to hold onto that. I eased just a bit and let Cory catch on, only to be dragged around for the remainder of that race. I took 2nd to Cory that day and got a (good) earful from Jeff about that...so I wasn't going to let it happen again without a fight.
After I had my gap I just tried to control things as much as is possible in a 'cross race. This year there seem to be a lot of guys close together in the B-field. For one, Cory, who showed he has the power of somebody much older than him. Tony dropped me like a lead weight at Munson and can run through sand with motor legs. Patrick and Justin aren't easily out of sight and Roger has been known to throw it down as well. David also came on strong at Munson. With so many people to watch I just decided to take it into my own hands and make as many people chase as I could.
Man on my last lap all I could think about was not crashing and not breaking anything on my bike. Coming across the finish line I probably had the dumbest smile on my face but I didn't really care. Seeing Gordon at every finish line this year and the support he's thrown out has been great. It was a great feeling giving him a high five and then seeing Kristie, Shannon, and my inlaws (Mike and Karen). Mike even brough Tink (toy poodle) who was wrapped up in his coat to keep warm. Not what you expect to see at a cross race! (apparently Kona got a bit tired from the cold and had to go sleep in the grand prix...)
Next year will bring a whole new level of pain while racing for 60 minutes. As Jeff said, it's only a matter of time until the "new guard" starts to overtake the "old guard." Joel, Eric, Matt, and Andy all slugged it out this year with the big dogs. I guess I'll have to live up to the big boy knickers and step it up one more notch. I've never been more excited to step to the next level.
For now I'll be skate skiiing with Kristie and watching her coach the JV Alma girls bb team. I'm looking forward to a bit of time away from training. I hear ice cream and oreos calling in the distance.
Next year isn't far off and we're already planning for a BIGGER and BETTER Ithaca GP of 'cross for 2008! Stay tuned for updates...
Also I found all my old pics from when I used to race. I'll be occasionally posting up a few that I got scanned into my computer.
Thanks to Kristie, Matt Baroli (and Lisa), Jeff, Tom K, Matt Janko, and the team for a great season. Also thanks to all that came out to support our 'cx race. Good luck to all those heading out to Kansas. I believe the last time nat's was there they had a freak snow storm and sub-freezing weather. Again?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So why not? Well I'm sure there were a few objections to the Big Boy knickers today. I guess I don't really care about those nay sayers. They were warm, matched the kit pretty well, and were obviously attention-getting.
Anyway, back to racing. From the gun Cory jumped off the front. I figured we would be able to bring him back and after a lap we were all back together. Tony tried a brief jump heading south on the gravel and got a small gap. By this time Cory had a mechanical issue and it was down to a small group. (Please excuse any mis-writing here...it was cold and my memory seems to have a few gaps here and there) At one point with about 4 to go Tony jumped again on the gravel and was able to maintain a small gap over me for the remainder of that lap. For the next 2 laps that gap continued to grow and I was getting caught by David Morrissey.
David and I rode together for about a lap and a half. I figured I wasn't going to bring Tony in by myself and that wind was relentless today. I welcomed the draft. With the bell lap Tony was gone and I wasn't about to let David have third in a sprint. I attacked him in the sand (he ran, I rode) and maintained a small gap to the finish.
I have to be happy with 2nd today since I am still feeling the effects of the Iceman-crampeth race last Saturday. With two great weeks coming up here before the state championships I'll be able to recover and focus on what needs to happen to take down the state championship. Hopefully between Jeff and Joe we'll have a course BETTER THAN LAST YEAR with more laps and less back and forth on bumpy stupid grass.
The Big Boy is out.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. To start out the morning I managed to screw up my normal pre-Iceman food of pancakes. I figured the next best thing would be oatmeal. I messed that up too. How can you mess that up? Trust me you can. I managed to leave on time but with an uneasy feeling of things not quite going right for my return to the MAN of ICE race.
I loaded up the truck and headed out to Kalkaska to be greeted with the coldest Iceman I've ever raced. Come to think of it, there was even crusty snow (old) on the first single track. That marks the first time I've raced the Iceman with snow!
In the parking lot I unloaded the F3000 (sorry Giant, some old classics just don't go out of style...but their forks break). After my first spin to warm up I found that my front tire was punctured with a slow leak. A smooth change of the tube got me back into business, but with less than the perfect warmup. I managed to line up in the 2nd row a full 15 minutes prior to my 9:30 start time.
The gun went off and it was on. Full speed onto the first narrowing; we had a really nice group rolling right along. Then we hit the first singletrack section and things splintered.
The next half hour or so of racing kind of blurs together, but I remember putting in a monster pull on the dirt-paved road. Two other guys were with me and we managed to close a gap of about 10 seconds on the group of 5 in front of us. In that group were the likes of Tom and brother Torrence from Colorado (Pearl Izuimi). Dangling off the back of our new group by about 30 seconds was a U of M rider in my category. By the time we hit mile 17 I think I was in 4th or 5th place in my category.
After the hills by Williamsburg road was the first sign of difficulty. I started to get those light tingles in both of my lower quads. A quick shift took care of them...but with 10 miles to go it was a sure sign that things were going to get extremely difficult.
It really hit the fan with about 7 to go (I think...). The U of M rider caught me after the "wall" downhill and I was unable to raise the pace (due to the leg crampage getting into the painful to very painful range). Since the last 7 miles of the race have the steepest of the climbs in it I prepared for the worst and dropped it back to a comfortable pace. I figured we had done a lot of damage to those behind us, and if I maintained a moderate pace while trying to spin the cramps out I could still manage a place in the money (top 7).
Well let's just say things didn't go as planned. It all really came to a head on the LAST single track section (about a mile to go) after I had been passed by (seemingly) everyone and their brother. The cramps were bad but managable until we slowed and turned into the right-hand drop into single track. When I briefly stopped pedaling to make it around a turn both legs (quads, calves, and hamstrings) simultaneously siezed, forcing me off the bike completely. Talk about the absolute worst pain I've ever experienced on a bike...
With 1 km to go the last racer in my category to finish ahead of me would pass me. I was again on my bike at this point but with every pedal stroke I could feel the pain seeping back into my muscles. Finally over the bridge and across the finish line. Ouch.
The bottom line is that I had roughly 21 miles of the best MTB racing in my life followed by the absolute worst racing (and pain) on a bike in my life. I was very happy to be finished and greeted by Kristie, my dad, Shannon, and Patrick, but I was dissappointed by my last half hour of racing. End race time was 1:55.09. For someone who starts concentrating on 45 minute 'cx efforts in JULY that doesn't seem too terribly bad, but what is bad is that I was with the group that finished in 1:49 (for 5th place), meaning that in the last 7 miles of racing I lost 7 places and 6 minutes (ended up 12th). Not exactly what I had hoped for.
With all the negative things done with, I have to say the majority of racing was fun, which is exactly why I like racing. The cramps are something I can deal with by preparing for a 2 hour effort, but let's not joke anybody by thinking that I would ever give up a season of 'cx for one Iceman. I'll definitely SIGN UP IN THE LOTTERY to get into next year's event.
Some good news: Kona got her stitches out last week so she's all better and shopping like a little shopper. Kristie started her official coaching career (AHS JV girls basketball!!!!!), which will be an exciting experience for her!
Also, mad MAD props to Jeff Weinert who returned to the Iceman after 8 years to DOMINATE the single speed class with a win (1:42.36)!!! Maybe those naysayers commenting on tms should quiet down before they awake the little giant again...
2 races left (Munson cx and the state championships...) Then it is time to RELAX and skate ski with Kristie. That is if we get any snow...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Today's course was counterclockwise with lots of similar features from Saturday's event. Our field today was 20 strong with a new guy from Ohio (name?) and a bunch of U of M racers. From the gun we took things out quickly. Roger ended up spilling on the off camber, slippery section coming back from the tennis courts. Fortunately for me he stopped sliding in time for me to squeeze by on his right. I dropped a few gears and put it down for a bit. Tony was able to hang for a bit but eventually we (Ohio and myself) were able to gap him a bit.
Ohio and I rode around for the next 5 laps testing each other at various points. He was pretty strong on the flats but I was faster in the technical (running or barriers) sections. With two to go we were neck and neck through the trees on the corner of Dexter and Maple. He lead us down the hill towards the softball fields when I noticed him having chain difficulties. I figured it would be as good a time as any to put the hurt on, so I went as hard as I could and was able to hold the gap until the finish.
That officially marks the first time in my life I've crossed the line first in a 'cross race. It was a great feeling but with two races left (plus the Iceman) I am more focused now than ever.
Next up is the Iceman!
For those about to 'cross...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Today was a great day to race 'cross! Shannon came out to watch us run around Vet's park for 45 minutes. The race started FAST with Roger Bowswer going to the front quickly. Right before the long run up I came to the front to set the pace. The only follower was Cory Stang, who eventually proved faster up the run than me. We had 2 minutes on 3rd place today, which is a great indication that I'm ready to race tomorrow and at the Iceman a week from today.
Another post will follow sometime after tomorrow...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Man. Sunday felt like I was in a sauna for 45 minutes of sweating. Aside from the heat, it was an amazing day of racing!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
"Great job putting on the race last weekend! Man...that was cool. There's something to be said for a race that you can't stop talking about......The course was great, the band was rockin'....it was a great atmosphere. I think I sped up everytime I got close to the band and running the stairs. The band was SUH-WEET!I hope to do it again next year. Thanks again for putting this together!"
"Huge props JB for putting on what I though was the best race atmosphere I've EVER experienced at a 'cross event in Michigan in my 10+ years...Thanks again!!"
"Three words to describe the race in Ithica today: AWESOME, AWESOME and AWESOME. Everything from the course, the band and the weather were picture perfect."
"The LIVE band "nervz end" was rocking in the "amphitheater of Pain" right next to the course pounding out classics from Mettalica, Soundgarden,Creed, AC/DC , Pantera etc through out the race. I swear my heart rate would jump 10 beats every time I had to ride near that stage. AWESOME"
"I hope this race gets bigger in years to come. The band and overall atmosphere was pretty cool....what a cross race should be, I'll be back."
"Good job with the race today. It was a really fun course and everything went really smooth, except for me not winning the alpha q fork!! The band was really good also. I hope you can host the race again next year."
"The first race I will be doing is the Ithaca Grand Prix of cyclocross. This is a new event and I am looking forward to the race. Being that it is the first race of the year it is going to hurt. I know this, and every year I look forward to this pain. I forget how much it is going to hurt, but I will be quickly reminded once on the bike."
Thanks again to everybody who came out and supported the event!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
2007 Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross - Woodland Park
Wow! What a great day for an event. The weather, although a bit chilly at 7:00 a.m., was a perfect fall day. Saturday was equally as nice, although a bit colder during the course preparation time.
Matt Jankowiak, Jeff Weinert, Matt Baroli, my dad, and I went to Woodland Park at 3:00 on Saturday to start setting up the course. 5 hours later we put the finishing touches on everything and were off to a pasta buffet at my house. Deb, Shannon, my buddy Sam and girlfriend Maureen, and Kristie prepared a great dinner after a long day of course preparation. We were all pretty much exhausted and we had an early start today so it was a pretty short night with every bedroom in my house full (that's a first!).
This morning I drove out to the course with a truck load of registration and course fixing materials. Let's not forget the sweet prizes from our sponsors...those made the trip too. I also brought my bike, with hopes of racing in the Elite Men's race today. That would proove fruitless as I was pretty exhausted from the busy days prior.
My buddy Darin came over to the park as we were putting up the final signage on the course, setting up registration, and setting up the concession stand. Before I knew it the 10:00 race was upon us and the band (Nervz End) was setting up.
The start of the 10:00 race saw 8 "C-men" and one junior 10-14. Unfortunately, no B-women showed, so they missed out on some sweet prizes. The 10:00 race did 3 laps on the great course that we set up. As I expected the entire race blew apart very quickly. Results are at the bottom of this page.
By the time Nervz End was playing the atmosphere of the park started to increase, with the Elite's arriving and the 11:00's warming up. Again, the 11:00 start time came quicker than I expected. Down to the starting stretch I went with my checklist, prepared for our biggest fields of the day.
The Killer B's started fast and the race was dominated by Joe Slonecki and Cory Strange...two FAST racers! Leading the masters charge were the usual suspects...Mike Seaman, Matt Baroli, Joe Brown, and Andy Klumb. Anne Schwartz killed the Elite women's field, which was spread out over 3 laps!! Results are below...
The bottom line is that today was a great day of racing! 43 'cross die hards showed up to hone their skills pre-Davisburg. Wish we could have seen a few more but we'll get it next year. For those of you who missed it, with the band and the SWEET course it was an event to remember.
Special thanks to Robert Linden and Rick Plite for their help and support in this...and there's no chance in the world this could have been pulled off without Kristie's help and support either!
Hope to see you next year, but for now I'll see you next weekend.
1) Addison Evon
1) Marc Dettman
2) Mark Caffyn
3) Brian Jankowski
4) Greg Johnson
5) Curt Potocki
6) Dennis Bauer
7) Ben Miller
DNF) Dominic Wieczorek
1) Joe Slonecki
2) Cory Strange
3) Tedoro Ramos
4) Patrick Russell
5) Russ Greenwood
6) Matt LaVasseur
7) Tony Wieczorch
8) Jeff Zimmerman
9) Doug Gatto
10) Scott Chapin
DNF) Tom McArdle
1) Mike Seaman
2) Ray Auger
3) Bob Sisson
4) Adam Slough
5) Brian Mitchell
1) Andy Klumb
2) Matt Baroli
3) Joe Brown
4) Dennis Dodson
1) Anne Schwartz
2) Rachel Steele
3) Lisa Meils
4) Whitney Kroll
1) Mike Wissink
2) Jeff Weinert
3) Tim Sarri
4) Don Cameron
5) Rich Stark
6) Joel Budacki
7) Todd Frerichs
8) Matt Ashley
9) Eric Muehl
Again, thanks to everyone who came out and helped or raced in this event!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Things are all in order now for the race. Sponsor's products have arrived, the barriers are made, food and drink for the concession stand is waiting consumption. Our pre-registrations have even increased online! I suppose (hope!) when you offer the biggest cyclocross purse in Michigan other than the UCI races, people will come. Not to mention it will be great for racers to experience a new venue.
Let's hope we get some juniors to the race!! (None are pre-registered as of Sunday morning...) If you're reading this and planning on coming, bring a junior! Had the late great Dennis Cotcamp never brought me to the 1997 cyclocross state championships, I may never have known the sweetness that is 'cross. From there we went to nationals and the Chicago Supercup together. Find a spare bike that fits, or just have them ride a mountain bike. Just bring somebody new into the sport!!
Our volunteer staff is set. The official is set. The details are set. All that is left to do is race!
Hope to see you there...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Frame: Aluminum Compact Geometry, size XL
Fork: Easton EC90Rims: Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke Hubs: Hugi 240 Tires: Vittoria XG 34 front, Hutchinson rear
Brakes: Radius with Clark cartridge padsStem: Cannondale Fire 120 mm, 7 deg rise
Handlebar: Bontrager Race Lite VR, 46Seat: Selle San Marco Aspide, titanium
Seat Post: Cook Brothers
Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace 9 speed
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Daytona
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
Cables: Clark teflon coated
Grip Tape: Proflie Cork bringing back black splash
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Hope to see you there...
Monday, July 09, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Sunday marks my second attempt at winning the state road championships since my return to cycling. I'll see everyone there!
On the house note, Kristie is doing some sweet post move-in refinements. It looks great.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
As for cycling, I'll be racing on Monday in G.R. at the Gaslight criterium. That's about as far ahead as I've thought lately.
Oh yeah we just got some new $ for the cyclocross race...if you know of anybody who would like to help (physically or financially) please let me know!