Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congrats Dan Casper - Masters Nationals Runner-up

Congrats to Dan Casper finishing runner-up in the Masters National 40-44 Road Race.
Excerpt from USACycling.org:
"Just over 100 riders took to the line in the 40-44 men’s road race making it the largest field of the competition. Mid-way through the 10-lap affair four riders, Roger Aspholm (Haworth, N.J./Westwood Velo), Nico Toutenhoofd (Boulder, Colo./Excelsports.com), David Harward (South Jordan, Utah/Porcupine-Specialized Racing) and David Henderson (Columbia, Mo.) were able to gain time on the field. As the contest moved into the final laps, a small group of chasers formed including Craig Romer (St. Helena, Calif./Team Specialized Racing), Stephen Spanbauer (Louisville, Ky./Calistoga Racing), Stephen Ferretti (Crestline, Calif./Sho-air-Sonace) and Daniel Casper (Northfield, Minn./Grandstay Hotels). They began slowly closing the gap but were unable to catch the leaders until some confusion ensued with the front group missing the turn into the finish. Tootenhoofd and Harward were able to quickly get turned around, but the chase group was surging. In the kick to the line Romer, Casper and Ferretti grabbed the medals in one of the event’s most interesting finishes. An officials’ jury was quickly formed and after thorough investigation, the results were deemed to stand as each rider crossed the line."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Get well Erik Dahl

Erik Dahl looks like he might make it in this shot, but not quite. Broken Radius of the wrist. Lance lost quite a bit of skin too. Heal fast guys.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Win Feels Good - State Champion or NOT

I won my first crit in 8 years, and my first race of 2009, on Sunday at the MN State Criterium Championships in St. Cloud, MN. In fact, I'd be the 2009 MN State Masters 35+ Criterium Champion if I didn't live in Wisconsin. I knew it going in, so the victory is just as sweet.

Instead, the State Championship went to my breakaway partner, James Tainter (Silver Cycling). The two of us got away 5 laps into the race, when I countered an attack by Jay "Hollywood" Henderson. I didn't expect it to stick, but the strong wind was a factor. Our gap was small at first, but we kept our heads down, and slowly pulled away. At one point, it looked like we were going to lap the field, but it was not to be. Tainter is a National Champion on the track, and made for excellent company. Congratulations James.

Coincidentally, Scott Flanders managed to get in a 2-man breakaway with Silver Cyclist, Dave Pramann in the Masters 50+. Scott won the race, and took home his 1600th MN State Championship (embellishment).

The Ladies of Flanders dominated the Women's race, sweeping the podium (Moriarty 1st, Sone 2nd, Morse 3rd). Congrats, you gals earned it.

Jordan was also NOT MN State Champion, finishing 3rd overall in the Juniors, 1st 10-14. Alex Meyer attacked off the line, and only Colton Barrett and Jordan were able to reel him in. Everyone else in the race got lapped at least once by the leading trio. Colton took home the Junior State Championship, with Alex Meyer 2nd, Jordan 3rd. Nils Boberg was the official MN Juniors 10-14 State Criterium Champion. Congrats guys.

Jordan also did the Cat 3/4 race, and finished a respectable 9th.

Happy the race is over.

Friday, June 26, 2009

County Cycles TT

Heard about the County Cycles TT on Thursday, and made a quick decision to do it since the training plan called for intensity.

The course is identical to the "20K" loop of the Synergy TT. It measured 13.5 mi on the button. The starting order went Jordan, Me, Timmer, and Casper. Casper was riding his fixie, while the 3 of us were on gears.

Conditions were ideal. A light NW wind and warm, but not miserable. The event is pretty low key, no holder at the start, and no corner marshalls, but not really an issue as long as you know the course.

I had what I thought was a good start, making up some time on Jordan. Then, at about 4mi, Timmer catches me. Ouch. Wasn't counting on that. From there, I gave him a gap, and stole pace of him, as we chased after Jordan.

And a chase it was. Jordan was determined to stay away. For several miles, Timmer was several bike lengths behind Jordan, and I was the same behind Timmer. Jordan was able to hold Timmer off until just before the turn to the finish. He was still able to hold me off, as I was only able to make up 15 secs on him.

The results, as expected, showed a reverse of the start order for the 4 of us.

The $5 race entry include post race brats. Very nice.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our first born

Maren doesn't get much publicity compared to Jordan, but there is plenty of great things to share about her. First of all, she is one seriously smart and motivated person. She has an incredible circle of friends, and is very generous and open hearted.

She is also driving now, and has taken on the responsibility of a job at a local Hudson boutique.

Most of you know she enjoys running, but more recently, she has become an accomplished singer. She made the prestigious chamber choir at Hudson High School for next year, and also made the very select cast of the Beauty and the Beast School play.

I'm very proud of you Maren. Love, Dad.

Happy 19th

Today, Carla and I celebrate 19 years of marriage. I've got a sweet life with an incredible wife.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This is work?

Jordan's first real job ever is mowing lawns for his grandfather's real estate business. He appears to enjoy it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Basic Training

Is Painman slouching?
Jordan and I have been racing so much since the middle of April, training has taken a back seat. All we had time for was races and recovery rides. Taking this weekend off from racing was a welcome relief. We got some great long rides in with teammates and friends. Perfect timing for the build-up to Junior Nationals at the end of July.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just what the Doctor ordered

Took a vacation day Thursday in favor of a nice long ride in the hills of western Wisconsin with the Flanders crew. The sky opened up on us pretty good at the half way point, and soaked us to the bone (check out the dark sky behind us in the photo). Thankfully, it was warm, and it didn't last long.

Jordan treasured each climb, while I didn't. It's good medicine for me. I need to find my legs again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going through a bad patch

Like clock work, every year, June rolls around, and I have a bad patch. Black Dog #4 was a bust for me. 15:15, 25 secs slower than 2 weeks ago. The heat and humidity really got to me, plus a headwind on the return is always a killer. Time to regroup and rededicate for the 2nd half of the season.

Jordan rode a 15:25 on HED Demo wheels (Thanks Timmer and Dino), which he loved. HED Jet Disc rear and HED Jet 9 front. He said they accelerated quicker, and were very smooth compared to his usual setup. His slower time did not demonstrate their benefit, but he's convinced it was his legs, and not the wheels.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mow Forrest, Mow

Jordan doesn't ride just bikes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A chat with Dino

Bumped into Chris Edin, of HED Wheels, on our post Stillwater Crit ride. He filled us in on some of the new advancements and discoveries in aero wheel shapes. The guy really knows his stuff. No wonder Astana and Team Columbia rely on HED to go faster.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Double WI State Junior Criterium Champion

He's smiling sort of

Jordan wrapped up 2 more WI state championships. This time at the State Criterium in Ripon. He won the Juniors 10-14 solo, and then immediately followed it up with a strong 3rd place finish in the Juniors 15-18, 1st place WI Juniors 15-16. He now has 15 state championships between TT, Road, Crit, and CX.

The course featured 4 corners, with a small climb and descent on the back side, similar to Northfield. The younger juniors race was down to 4 riders after a couple laps, and Jordan was eventually able to get away solo for the win. Lionel Rocheleau finished 2nd, Pete Davis 3rd.

Jordan said the older juniors race was just as fast as the older juniors at the Quad Cities crits. There were a ton of IS-Corp racers, as well as a handful of Baraboo sharks. Darrell Kohli was there from MI too. Jordan has raced with most of these guys before, and knows who to watch. Jordan was always vigilant in the group, went hard at the right times, and ultimately made the final selection of 3. Sam Stone, Darrell Kohli, and Jordan had the last 3 laps to sort it out. Stone opened up the sprint on the back side as they came upon lapped traffic, and Kohli made it though, but not Jordan. Stone held on for the win, Kohli 2nd, and Jordan 3rd. Well done guys.

Sporting his spanking new Giro Havik Sunglasses. His Oakley Radars have been demoted.

Start of the Juniors 15-18

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Massacre #2 - 27.2mph ave

Photo courtesy of Frye

A great turnout for the 2nd edition of the State Fair Massacre. We were back on the original course, which was not nearly as tough as last weeks. I minded my P's and Q's this week, and rode a much more productive race. I spent a lot of time riding soft tempo at the front, while various teammates were in small groups just off the front. GP set up their train in the final 5 laps, with Doug and others licking their chops in tow. Timmer jumped around on the back stretch and got a gap, but Doug Swanson followed by Derek Goerke were able to get around him before the finish.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

WI State Junior Road Race Champion

2009 Wisconsin State Junior 15-16 Road Race Champion

Thompson Remo and Jordan at the top of the steep climb.

Cresting the climb

Jordan opted to race up in age with the Juniors 15-18 at the WI State Road Race in Spring Prairie. Only 10 starters, but a longer and harder race than the Juniors 10-14. 4x6.5mile laps on rolling terrain, with a Ramsey-like hill just before the finish.

Jordan knew who to watch, and the first lap was very tame, while Spencer Oswald (Baraboo Sharks) disappeared out of site solo off the front. On the 2nd lap, Sam Stone and Thompson Remo (Baraboo Sharks), Eric Dobberfuhl (Geargrinder), and Jordan separated from the rest in chase of Spencer. Tons of attacking eventually resulted in Thompson and Jordan getting away, while Stone marked Dobberfuhl. On the 3rd lap, Thompson and Jordan caught Oswald, forcing Jordan into a 2-on-1 situation. Those 3 stayed away, and battled it up the hill to the finish. Jordan was ready to go, but the 40K TT from the day before stole his snap, and he had to settle for a well earned 3rd place, 1st place 15-16.

I raced the Cat 1/2's with minimal expectations. Not the greatest way to start a race. The average speed for the 1st 4 laps was 26mph. I popped on the 4th lap, rode 2 more and called it a day. May have been a different story if I had fresh legs vs. doing a 40K TT the day before. I still had fun, plus it was sunny and dry.

Course Profile - Finish just after the top of the steep climb at the end

Saturday, June 06, 2009

St. Peter TT - Still Shiverin...

Photo courtesy of Seth Iverson

Photo courtesy of Seth Iverson

48deg, steady rain, and a brisk East wind made for a tough ride at the St. Peter TT. I don't know too many people that prefer a headwind on the return leg, but that's what we got.

Fastest Times:
1. Ian Stanford - 52:03
2. Lance Niles - 53:51
3. Brian Koeneman - 54:20
4. Jens Brabbit - 54:22
5. Dan Casper - 54:27
6. Gordy Paulson - 54:54
7. Gerry Finken - 54:56
8. Jim Cullen - 55:39
9. Jim Parker - 55:59
10. Jonathan Toftoy - 56:13
11. Dan Logan - 56:25
12. Mark Mlinar - 56:33
13. Tim Mulrooney - 56:35
14. Josh Roeser - 56:37

Jordan had a bit of a stomach ache, but still managed to break the magical hour barrier in his 1st true 40K, clocking a 58:20 to win the Cat 4's. Well done Jordan.

Friday, June 05, 2009

20 Years Ago Today

Fate brought Carla and I together. It was hospitality workers night at the swanky Pacific Club in the Lumber Exchange Building. Carla was managing a restaurant at the time, and showed up for the $1 domestics. I was a college senior on the prowl, and spotted her across the dance floor. I asked her to dance, we talked, and exchanged digits. Your basic fairytale stuff.

2 days later, I dropped in at the restaurant she managed in Hudson, WI. From there, it was a whirlwind of romance. Engaged 5mos. later, married after 1 year.

Lovin' every minute of it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Black Dog #3 - Sub 15min, then Sub 14min.

So cute, they bring a tear to my eye...

Finally, a calm night at Black Dog. The conditions helped me finally break the 15-min barrier solo, clocking a 14:50. Jordan got back on track to accomplishing the same, just missing it, with a new PR of 15:01. Carla also had a PR by over 20 seconds.

The cake frosting on the night was finally breaking the 14-min barrier on the tandem, with none other than Jordan. We clocked a 13:47. Dan Casper was our 30-second guy. I didn't think we would catch him, but Jordan thought differently. When he saw we closed on the way out, Jordan buried it on the way back, and we caught Dan with less than a mile to go. Dan still ripped a 14:21, which is amazing considering how hard he rode at the State Fair Crit just 1 day earlier. Below is a breakdown of my exploits on the Tandem with various partners over the years:

Stoker - Year - Time
Jordan Cullen - 2009 - 13:47
John Baker - 2006 - 14:00
Chad Macy - 2008 - 14:08
Dave Zimmerman - 2009 - 14:20
Linda Sone - 2009 - 14:28
Carla Cullen - 2008 - 16:04
Maren Cullen - 2008 - 16:08

Writing checks my body can't cash

Photo Courtesy of Emily

The Massacre on Machinery Hill was last night. Once again, my ego took over my body, I pushed too hard from the gun, red-lined, and blew. Sad part is I know what I'm doing wrong. I'm not concerned about my individual performance, but I feel like I'm letting my team down. I'll get it right next week.

The race also served as the final event in the Nature Valley Grand Prix Qualifier Series. Congrats and good luck next week fellas. We'll be there watching and cheering.