Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Opus Crit #3 - Line Painting Episode

Results Posted.

I officiated again at Opus. Beautiful day, calm, sunny, a slight chill in the air.

During the Cat 5 race, the craziest thing happened. A city truck painting lines came onto the course, painting the center lines, and dropping cones to block people from driving on the fresh paint. The truck came and went, in the middle of the race.

As you can imagine, the Cat 5's came upon the cones and fresh paint, and a little chaos ensued. Unfortunately, one rider got bumped and went down hard enough to warrant an ambulance ride. Bummer.

Junior Merrill Lutsky, of Silver Cycling, scored his first Cat 4 win! Lots of juniors in the Cat 5 race this week. Great to see!

Linda Sone, of Flanders, won the Women's 1/2/3, repeating her performance from last week. It is really great to see these large women's fields racing!

As usual, the Cat 1/2/3 men's race came down to the final sprint. Doug won the final sprint, with Colton Barrett just edging Derek Goerke for 2nd. Typically, if you win the final sprint, you win the race, but not this week. 19 year old Barrett scored enough points in the previous sprints to take the top podium step with 17 points. Swanson 2nd with 15 points, Goerke 3rd.

Jordan had a great day in the 1/2/3's. He scored a close 4th in one of the sprints, and made some strong efforts leading the field. Well done Jordan!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ken Woods Road Race Recap

Jordan leading the Cat 3's.
Photo credit:

Jimmer leading the 35+
Photo credit:

Results Posted

The weather usually plays a crucial role at Ken Woods, and this year was no exception. Heavy morning rain left and strong ESE winds, certainly not the worst conditions ever for the race. But, bad enough for many to opt out, making for small fields, and few places to hide.

I raced the Masters 35+ with MBRC teammates Bill Morice, Bruce MacGibbon, Jay Woller, and Skibby. Morice rolled off the front similar to Durand, but this time taking Mark Dykes (GSCA), Dan Schuller (GW), and Matt Muyers (Synergy) with him. They pulled away slowly, with GSCA and Flanders guarding the front of the group.

Brian Koeneman (W&S) pressed in the tailwind, but no one was willing to help. Eventually, Brett Whyte (RVCC) pitched in in the cross wind. The headwind on the climb kept things subdued there. By the time we reached the finish line, the break of 4 was well out of sight.

Koeneman went back on the offensive in the crosswind, with a couple attacks that guttered out the field, and blew it to pieces. Eventually, a group of 8 formed including Koeneman, Whyte, Binkowski (GSCA), MacGibbon, Woller, and myself (MBRC), Mlinar (GP), and Charlie Schad (Revolution).

Koeneman still did the lion's share of the work, but now had help. We dropped into a relatively smooth rotation, with most guys taking consistent pulls for the rest of the 2nd lap. We came upon Dykes, dropped from the break, at the end of the tailwind section on lap 2. Sadly, it wasn't his day.

With 3 MBRC teammate is the chase group, and 1 in the break, we could afford to keep at least one of us in reserve. Woller was our guy, and we kept him out of the rotation as much as possible. Being a stand-up guy, he still pulled through as necessary.

Towards the end of the 2nd lap, the break was 1min 45sec ahead. It was predictable that Koeneman would gutter us out again in the crosswind again on the last lap, and that he did. I got caught gapped on the initial attack, but caught back up after he sat up. I was not so fortunate on his second attack, gapped and dropped for good. Eventually, the MacGibbon was dropped too.

To my surprise, the chase group caught the break of 3 right at the base of the hill. Again, the wind neutralized the hill, and Koeneman was able to finish the day with a fine sprint to an impressive win. Binkowski 2nd, Muyers 3rd, Woller 4th, and Mlinar 5th. I rolled in 10th a couple minutes back.

Jordan raced Cat 3, and rode aggressive. He made the winning breakaway, and pulled his own with strongmen Jonathan Toftoy (Synergy), Taylor Olson (Synergy), and Garrett Ping (RVCC). Unfortunately, a couple guys in the final selection chose to sit on, and were able to capitalize on the others work. Toftoy attacked the group nearing the finish, and went on to win solo. The 2 sitter's-on went 2-3, and Jordan rolled in a disappointed 6th. However, another valuable learning experience for Jordan. He's got some ideas now on what to do differently next time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DA 7800 Crank Arm Fail

Broke off during my Opus Crit warm-up. Just standing up, pedaling after a stop sign. Barely kept it upright, thinking I had simply pulled out of my pedal. Jordan yells, "You busted your crank arm off!".

I've broke a lot of stuff, but this definitely tops it all.

Junior Road Nationals Registration is Open

Click here for the link.

Registration this year is through USA Cycling, which requires you to hold a valid USAC license with the category required to qualify for racing (minimum Cat 3 for Jr Men 15-18).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Maren's Junior Prom

Maren went with her boyfriend Charlie to Prom this year. Such a beautiful girl!

First Race of 2010 - Durand Road Race

I opted for the Masters 35+ this year. I've never finished with the main pack in the 1/2/3's in Durand in 6 tries, so it was an easy call. Good thing too, that race disintegrated on lap 2 of 5.

My intention was to take it easy, and conserve my matches. My Flanders teammate Bill Morice took off solo right away. Knowing 4 laps in that wind is an awfully tall order by yourself, the move was ignored. In fact, our 1st lap was more like an easy training ride. Jim Bell and myself took light pulls in the wind, an everyone seemed content. Pmax got GSCA motivated on the front for a few miles, but then they shut it down. We doddled enough where the entire 45+ field, split into 3 groups, each passed us.

On lap 2, Binkowski of GSCA put in a couple good digs, the second resulting in a small gap with Hanna, Snider, and Jim Bell. I missed the move, and dug deep in the tailwind leg to bring them back. That narrowed the group considerably, with Morice still up the road, and out of sight.

Snide and Dave Peterson attacked heading into the climbs on the westward stretch, and it took a bit of work by Jim Bell and myself to bring them back.

Entering Lap3, Mark Mlinar turned on the afterburners, and guttered the group. It was mayhem! I got caught back a bit, and had to battle my way all the way up to Jim Bell's wheel. I'm at my limit, and when I look back, no one is left. I yell up to Mark to move over so we can rotate, and thankfully he obliges. Unfortunately for me, it was too little too late. Even after sitting out a rotation, I pop. Damn. Missing the move sucks, but making the move and then popping sucks much worse!

I dropped back to what was left of our field, and started rotating with them. To make matters even more interesting, we were mixing with the 45+ group again. They were on their last lap, and we had 2 to go. Eventually, our group finds a rhythm, and we work to stay together. None of us had any delusions of catching the lead group.

Up front, the lead group gathered up Morice, and impressively, he stayed with them. Well done! In the end, MacGibbon attacked a couple times on the last lap, and Hanna was forced to go after him in the finish stretch with Mlinar in tow. The caught MacGibbon, with Mlinar coming around for the win. Hanna 2nd, MacGibbon 3rd. Jim Bell also made the front group, but his skipping gears kept him off the podium.

I expected our group to just roll in, but Mike Phillips had other ideas. He jumped away on the turn to the finish, and no one reacted. I waited patiently, now inspired to sprint it out. I sat 3rd wheel about 400m out when I jumped. Snide was on my wheel, and we easily caught Mike. I was able to hold on for the best of the rest prize. Small consolation after getting dropped from the winning break.

Jordan raced the 1/2/3's and found it as tough as I knew from first hand experience. Like most of the field, he got caught out by the gutterball on lap 2, and found himself looking for friends. He hooked up with other riders through the end of lap 4, and then did the last lap solo. The kid will not quit a race. Well done Jordan!

Results posted

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday Night Worlds #1

Carla and I officiated at the first MCF race of the season last night. Tuesday night racing on Yellow Circle Drive (OPUS complex in Mtka) has been a staple in the spring diet of MCF racers since well before I started racing in 1996. This was my first time officiating the race.

The beautiful weather brought out healthy numbers of racers and spectators. The Cat 4 and 5 men's fields were smaller than I expected. The Women's and Cat 1/2/3 Men fields were larger than I expected. We were able to keep the racing on schedule and give the first 3 races 9 laps each, and the final race was 18 laps.

There were several minor crashes during the races, as expected at the first race of the year, but everyone was able to ride away.

Since I'm usually racing in the 1/2/3's, this was my first opportunity in years, to watch the race. I can tell you the difference in speed between the 1/2/3 Men and other fields is very noticeable as a spectator.

Grandstay, Flanders, and GP all fielded good numbers in the 1/2/3 men. Jens Brabbit was the benefactor of the work of Grandstay, winning 3 sprints for a commanding win. Recent Cat 3 upgrade, Jonathan Toftoy, of Synergy, made an impressive move late in the race, staying away solo for several laps only to be caught on the last lap. His effort was still good enough for 2nd place. Dave Zimmermann of Flanders was able to take 2nd in the final sprint, which was good enough for 3rd place. Well done guys!

This was also Jordan's first Cat 1/2/3 race at Opus. He easily met his goal of staying up in the front of the race. He got in the sprint train several times, and did a good job of keying off his Flanders teammates. Very proud!

Next week, I'm racing!

Results Posted

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hilly Hundy

Saturday was a beautiful day for a long ride in the scenic St. Croix River Valley. 9 MBRC/Flanders team members opted in for a hilly century. (from L-R) Sample-Moore, Sone, Skibby, Myself, Pletcher, Jordan, Dahl, Froemming, and Gray. Parenteau joined us for a short bit too.

Over 6000 feet of climbing. The hills seemed endless...

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Good Friday

130 miles, 7.5 hours ride time. Now that is Good Friday!

Timmer hosted a 95 mile ride out of Spring Valley. I wanted more, so we drove to Spring Valley Thursday night, left a car there, and rode home. That gave us 35 bonus miles prior to the start of the ride to reach 130.

Great route by Timmer. I need to get over in that area more. The climbs are great. The crew was Timmer, Tainter, Hollywood, Toftoy, ScottyRob, Snide, Teresa, BrandonK, Jordan, and I.

The skies were clear until we got over to the Durand road race course. Right at the crest of the big climb, mother nature threw down one heck of a scary storm. Only lasted about 15 minutes, but left us all wet and chilled to the bone, with 40 miles to go. Lets just say the last 40 miles were all about mental fortitude.

Thanks for the awesome ride Timmer!