Todd Wells

I started racing mountain bikes in the fall of 1994. I won the collegiate National Championships in 1995 and 1996 for Fort Lewis College. In 1996 I also started racing with the Specialized Mountain Dew team and won the inaugural Semi Pro Norba National Series Title. In 1997 I turned Pro and raced the NORBA series, U-23 World Championships, and domestic World Cups until 98. I took a few years off cycling, finished college in Arizona and got a “real” job with IBM. I quickly realized racing bikes was more fun then working and started training again. I started racing again in the middle 2000 and joined the Mongoose Hyundai team at the end of year to race World Cups, NORBAs and cyclocross. In 2003 I switched to the GT team and have ridden for them until switching back to Specialized this year. Over the years I have won two cyclocross national titles, one mountain bike short track national title and been a member of two Olympic teams. I have won NORBAs, numerous UCI cyclocross races and stood on my first World Cup podium this year. I am looking forward to adding to my list of achievements over the next three years with the Specialized Factory Team.

Cyclocross National Championship

December 14, 2010

My season ended this weekend in Bend, OR with a National Championship Hat Trick. 2010 has been a dream season for me with wins in both the Cross Country and Short Track Mountain Bike National Championships but until this weekend my cyclocross campaign had left a little to be desired. I had been close to winning a few times this year during cross but hadn’t been able to put it together until this weekend.

I had planned to only race the first day of the USGP in Portland last weekend but after a bad first day I realized I needed some more racing and training at sea level. I decided at the last minute to stay in Bend all week rather then go back home to Durango between the two West Coast races.

The weather in Oregon was pretty good all week and even though there was some rain, it was much warmer then last year and I was able to ride outside everyday. When I arrived in Bend on Tuesday there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground and the course had only a single track mud trail through the snow. There were also some giant puddles on the track earlier in the week.

By the time Sunday rolled around the course had dried out quite a bit and the promoter pumped a good portion of the lakes/puddles out of the low-lying areas. The thin mud had turned thick though and the second half of the course was very slow and boggy.  There were a lot of exposed rocks and plenty of places to flat. The temperatures had also climbed into the mid-fifties, which is about thirty degrees warmer then it was last year.

I chose to ride the new Specialized Terra tubular tires since the course was so rough and they have an extra flat protector built in between the tread and the casing. I was bottoming out the tire at least five times per lap but paired with the bomber Zipp 303s I didn’t have any worries of flatting.

The race started fast and I managed to come out of the first corner in about tenth place. By midway through the first lap I had moved up to about sixth place and by the second lap I was off the front with Powers. People were crashing all over the course but I was riding smooth and keeping it upright. A few laps later Powers went into a corner to hot, laid it down and I had no where to go but over his bike. My foot got stuck in his front wheel and it took us a bit to get untangled. I finally got his wheel unclipped from my shoe and I was off on my own. Trebon had closed a bit though with five laps to go I had fifteen seconds on him.

I buried myself for the rest of the race and was able to keep the gap around ten seconds by taking some risks in the corners and giving it everything in the muddy bogs. I hit the finish straight with a good gap and was able to really enjoy my ride to the line. 

It was my third Cyclocross National title with my last one coming in 2005 that everyone had been reminding me was a long time ago.

Now I’m really going to enjoy my vacation.

Thanks for your support and making 2010 a great year…..

Jingle Cross CX Race Report:

November 30, 2010

This past weekend was the three-day UCI cyclocross race known as Jingle Cross. This was my forth year traveling to Iowa City for the event and it just gets better and better. The event consists of a C2 event under the lights on Friday night, a C2 Saturday afternoon and a C1 to close the weekend on Sunday. After my crash in Ft. Collins a few weeks ago I was worried I might have to miss it this year but luckily I healed up just in time.

I decided to spend Thanksgiving at home this year instead of in the hotel which meant not getting to Iowa until Friday afternoon and not having much time to check out the course before the race that night. Jingle Cross features a huge climb/descent called Mt. Krumpet and it probably one of the most technical features we see all year in U.S. cyclocross. The subfreezing temperatures turned the steep descent off Mt Krumpet into a solid sheet of shiny ice. I was still riding pretty tentative after my crash a few weeks ago and couldn’t convince myself to take many risks on the descent. I managed only sixth place on Friday night and although I was happy to be back on my bike and racing, I was disappointed in my lack of form and confidence.

Lucky for me I only had about eighteen hours to dwell on Friday night’s race before it was time to go again on Saturday. The course had thawed a bit by the afternoon and there were a few changes to the previous days track, namely a giant steep muddy run up. Saturday was much better for and midway though the race I found myself in a three-man group with Chris Jones and Trebon. Trebon was killing me on the run up each lap and I was spending the majority of the lap closing the gap he created on the run. With a lap and half to go Jones slid out and Trebon attacked for a final time on the run up. I rode in for second and though it wasn’t a win, it was much better then the previous day.

Sunday was the big race with C1 money, almost five times as much as a C2 and big points up for grabs it was the day everyone wanted to do well. I had a poor start and found myself outside of the top ten after just a few minutes of racing. I was able to claw my way back and made contact with my brother and Trebron about a third of the way through but Driscoll was off the front and clear by almost forty seconds. Trebron and I traded blows and I was opening small gaps on him in the technical sections. We were also starting to bring back Driscoll and by the end I rolled in solo for second about twenty seconds down. I usually die at the end of races but I was getting stronger and stronger which was encouraging after three days of racing.

Jingle Cross is my favorite CX event of the year, the course is awesome and very selective with its big climb, the people are awesome and the conditions are always challenging. It’s a good test a few weeks before Nationals of both form and skills. It is also the longest stage race I do all year with three days of racing in a row.

Next up is the USGP Final in Portland and then the National Championships in Bend.

Thanks for your support…..

Fort Collins USGP

November 16, 2010

The USGP series resumed this weekend with a first ever stop in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was also the first time this year we had wet and cold weather for a USGP race. The course was laid out on a freshly cut field with a gradually sloping hill, featured a fly over, barriers and quite a bit of climbing for a cyclocross race. A snowstorm on Thursday evening had melted and turned the course into slick mud for Saturday’s race.

I have been moving up the grid all season after a slow start and found myself with number six on the front row for the start. I managed to hold my position during the first lap and not make many mistakes. Halfway through the race Driscoll and Kabush had gap with Trebon, Johnson and myself chasing. I was gaining some time on Trebon in the corners and Johnson was starting to drift off the back of us with one lap to go. I crashed in a slick corner halfway through the last lap, lost contact with Trebon but was able to hold off Johnson for forth. Everyone crashed at least once on Saturday since we were racing in the slickest conditions of the year.

By Sunday, the course had started to dry out and the corners were getting somewhat tacky. Where you had to tripod around the day before, Sunday you could stay clipped in and even lean the bike a little. I had another decent start and found myself in a lead group with Johnson and Trebon early in the race. I decked it in a corner and Trebon slid out before the pit on the same lap giving Johnson a small gap and he was gone. I caught Trebon on the next lap and Powers joined me as well, we were able to drop Trebon shortly after.

Two thirds of the way through the race everything went wrong. I had been bunny hopping the barriers all race but had usually led into them. Powers hit them first on one lap and I had to alter my line because I was coming up on him too fast. I swung into the boggy center of the barriers instead of hugging the fencing where the ground was hard. I lost most of my speed between the first and second barrier but was committed and tried to muscle through it. I came up short and somehow managed to pile drive my left leg into the top of the barrier. I got up but couldn’t bend my leg and had to take a trip to the hospital in the ambulance. Turned out nothing was broken but I have a bad bruise and walking is pretty tough. I’m hoping I heal fast and will be back in time for Jingle Cross. Needless to say I was unable to finish the race and I think it’s the first cyclocross race I’ve ever had to pull out of.

Fort Collins put on a great event, the spectators were awesome and the course was really cool. I was looking forward to checking out the title sponsor, New Belgium Brewery facilities for the party on Sunday night but never made it so I’m hoping they have it again next year. 

Here is a link to my race ending crash: here

 

Thanks for your support. 

Iceman Cometh

November 8, 2010

I don’t think I’ve ever raced my mountain bike in November before this weekend. The Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike race in Traverse City, Michigan has been going on for twenty-one years and took place this past weekend. With a name like “Iceman” you never know what you’re going to get and this edition definitely lived up to its name.

For starters, forty five hundred people lined up this year to tackle the Iceman course, which is a twenty-eight mile point to point race on mostly flat, sandy double track trail. The amateurs go in the morning and the pros are in the afternoon. Friday afternoon saw the trail get a few inches of fresh snow and pre-riding was really slick and cold. By the time we raced on

Saturday afternoon the snow had stopped and most of the trail was hard packed sand. There were a few sections in the woods though where the dirt had turned to greasy mud.

Since the course is pretty flat and wide open there is a lot of drafting and quite a big group sticks together. This year saw a bunch of the BMC and Bissell road guys show up in addition to all the normal mountain bikers so at the halfway point in the race the lead group still had twenty to thirty guys in it. Luckily once we got to some of the muddy single-track sections the group got whittled down to about twelve and by the last mud section we were a group of five with four miles to go.

Brian Matter attacked with about three miles to go and everyone in the group looked at each other to chase. No one wanted to do the brunt of the work to bring him back and we ended up coming to the finish in a group of four, seventeen seconds behind Matter racing for second place. I won the sprint for second but wished I had the chance to sprint for the victory. It was my first time doing the Iceman race and I hope to come back and win it one day.

I’ll hang up the mountain bike for the rest of the season now and focus one hundred percent on cyclocross. Nationals are only five weeks away and next weekend I’ll be racing back in Colorado at the Fort Collins USGPs.

 

 

Thanks for your support.  

Colorado Cyclocross Classic/ Boulder Cup

November 2, 2010

My favorite weekend of cross racing happened this past weekend in Boulder, CO. Boulder has been hosting a double weekend of UCI racing for at least five years now and they always put on a great show.

Saturday was a C2 event held at the Boulder reservoir. The race was nearly canceled when a wildfire sparked up on Friday morning and many homes had to be evacuated. The reservoir is a staging area for the fire fighters but luckily the fire was put out quickly, the smoke dissipated and the race was great.

The reservoir course is known for all it’s sand and this year was no exception. There isn’t much elevation gain out there but the sand pits and pebbly turns make the course quite a challenge. I had a great start and found myself chasing Powers with TJ on my wheel by the end of the first lap. After sitting on my wheel for the first half of the race TJ jumped me but never made it across to Powers. I rolled in solo for third place and was looking forward to the big C1 on Sunday.

Sunday's C1 saw a new venue, The Flatiron’s Mall. When I think of a cyclocross race venue the mall doesn’t pop into my mind but leave to legendary race promoter Chris Grealish to make it great. Grealish puts on some the best races in the world and he turned the Flatiron Mall into a great cross-venue and huge expo area.

The course was set mostly on an off camber hill, which dropped from the mall parking lot down to the narrow park below. I think the only flat sections of the course were the pavement and everything else you were riding the edges of the tire. There were lots of tight turns, a few steep climbs and a set of bunny-hopable barriers.

I had a great start again and this time was chasing down Powers straight away. I caught him on the first lap and then he flatted halfway through the second lap, which left me off the front with TJ and Jaime Driscoll chasing about ten seconds back. I pulled the entire time since TJ wouldn’t work because his teammate was just behind. Three quarters of the way through the race TJ attacked and I couldn’t respond. I lost some steam towards the end and Driscoll caught me but I was able to hang on for second using the barriers to springboard me to the finish.

It was another great weekend of cross racing and it looks like the fitness is starting to come around. I switch gears this weekend and head to the Iceman Mountain Bike race in Traverse City, Michigan. That will be my last MTB event of the season and then it’s back on the cross bike for the next round of USGPs in Fort Collins.

 

Thanks for your support……

USGP of Cyclocross 3,4

October 26, 2010

This weekend the USGP of Cyclocross returned to action in Louisville, KY, home of the 2013 Elite World Cyclocross Championships. The race was held at a new venue this year and it was designated by the city as a cyclocross specific course. The venue is two miles for the heart of downtown on the Ohio River and same one that will be used for the World Championships in a few years.

The weekend saw perfect weather with unseasonably warm temperatures pushing into the eighties and very dry, dusty conditions. It felt more like a high altitude mountain bike race then an October cyclocross race. It was also my first race since Madison after a nice break and a few base miles in my push to be good for the National Championships in mid-December.

Saturday’s race was fast from the gun and with a poor start position as a result of the reduced early schedule I had I was suffering from the start. I moved my way up from the mid twenties and by the end of the race had caught Powers in a battle for third place. He punched it on the second half of the last lap and I was unable to respond and had to settle for forth place. I was able to make up most of my time on the barrier section since they were far enough apart to bunny hop at high speed but couldn’t quite regain contact.

Sunday’s race started much better for me and I was in the top ten by the first corner. Sometimes you get good starts and Sunday I had a great one. I managed to ride in a group for forth through sixth place for most of the race. This time Tim Johnson was in front of our group but we couldn’t manage to real him in. On the last lap my two companions for the day, Tristan Schouten and Davide Frattini managed to crash each other in the corner after the pits giving me an easy ride in for another forth place. I was suffering very badly at the end so I was happy for the little gift.

Sunday night a bunch of the Zipp athletes headed up to Indianapolis for a company visit and clinic on Monday. The new building (they just moved in 2 weeks ago) was great and it was nice to see how some of the fastest wheels in the world are made. The clinic was a great chance to meet some new people and hang out with old friends.

My cyclocross season is really starting in earnest now as I leave on Friday for two more days of racing up in Boulder Colorado. I’m hoping the thinner air of the Rocky Mountains will give me a slight advantage.

World Championships Race Report:

September 7, 2010

The mountain bike season wrapped up this weekend with the 20th edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. The race took place at longest running venue in North America, Mt St Anne just outside of Quebec. MSA has been an annual stop on the World Cup circuit since I started racing and the North American racers always receive great support there.

MSA is situated right on the St Lawrence Seaway and has always been one of the most technical stops on the circuit. Over the years the course has been shortened (16 mins per lap) to make for better viewing and specific technical sections have been added. Ride any trail in the area and it’s probably going to me more rooty and rocky then anything you’ll ride all year unless you live in the northeast. Add the rain that always falls on top of that and you have a great venue for a World Championships.

The week leading up to the race we had surprisingly warm and dry weather for early September with new high temperature records being set daily and the newly installed A/C units running nonstop. Hurricane Earl was threatening to douse the festivities all week but by the time Saturday rolled around the temperatures were back into the low seventies and only a little rain had fallen leaving the dirt tacky and the roots and rocks slippery.

I had a great start number since I was ranked 12th in UCI points heading into the weekend. I started 12th on the grid, which is second row at a normal race but at International races with one minute to go a field size of one hundred occupies the space of about forty so I was

about six inches from the start line. I got a good start and managed to squeak by a crash about one minute into the race and completed the first start loop in thirteenth position. I managed to stay in the mid-teens for the first half of the race but eventually the power

faded and I dropped to twenty first position by the finish after giving up five positions on the last half lap. I did manage to ride all the technical sections with out crashing even during the

rainsquall that came in during the middle of the race and made things slick.

I rode the new S-Works Epic 29er with LK tires and it handled the technical stuff like a dream. MSA is a very rough course and the new bike soaked up the bumps. My teammate Burry rode the new S-Works Stumpjumper HT 29er to a bronze medal and was leading during the middle of the race. Susi had some rough luck in the beginning with a flat tire on the first full lap. I tried to give him my Big Air but managed to pierce the can when I ripped it off and dropped it for him. By the time the traffic eased up in the trail and he was able to get to it, all the gas was gone so he had to run a bit.

Jose Hermida from Spain is our new Elite Men’s XC World Champion and probably the most liked and entertaining guy on the circuit. I think he’ll do the jersey proud.

The weekend was packed with fun events and we got a chance to watch the “Legends Race” on Friday evening where Myles Rockwell won a Short Track style event, Lopes second, Frishi third and Ned coming in for fifth. Saturday evening I got to participate in my first ever pump

track race. I was destroyed from the XC race earlier but a few of the XC riders signed up for the 4 lap timed event. I managed to come in first for the XC guys but pretty far down on the list with the Four Cross stars.

This season has been one of my most enjoyable ever. The team is amazing, the equipment rocks and the support is incredible. I have had a mediocre World Cup run but my best domestic campaign ever. Now I have a few days to switch gears and get ready to put the new Crux to the test at Cross Vegas.

Thanks for your support….

The Weight of Leadville

August 17, 2010

Picture's worth 1,000 words.

Leadville 100

August 16, 2010

That is one long race! This past weekend was my first mountain bike hundred miler and maybe my last. It was unlike any race I have ever done before. The Leadville 100 is a one hundred mile out and back mountain bike race that takes place mostly between 10,000 and 12,600 feet.

The course is made up mostly of fire-road, asphalt road and less then one mile of single track. It rolls most of the time but has five major climbs that are pretty long but all ride able. The downhills have a few rocks but are mostly wide open and fast. There isn’t that much

shelter on the course so a lot of the time you’re exposed to the wind whipping up the valleys.

The race starts at 6:30 AM in downtown Leadville. All 1,400 competitors start together and do a neutral downhill start for four miles. It’s pretty scary rolling downhill while it’s still partially

dark and forty degrees with all the racers of different ability levels going about thirty five miles an hour bar to bar. After the neutral start we hit the dirt road and the race started to string out. We had to dodge a few cows before hit the first climb.

I thought we would take it easy in the beginning but I was breathing hard after just ten minutes into the race and we went over the first climb with a group of just six riders. The group swelled a bit on the road descent and by the time we started the next climb we were a group of maybe twelve. The second climb was only about twenty-five minutes and when we reached the top we were a group of only five and Ned was in there along with JHK, Levi and Shriver. That was when my day took a turn for the worse.

We were rolling across the top and I was on Levi’s wheel when he suddenly slammed on his brakes and turned off course while going about twenty miles an hour. I didn’t have time to react and slammed into him crashing hard and ripping out the spokes in my front wheel and

flatting. I was dazed but by the time I got up Ned was giving me his front wheel and I was off again and caught the group going down the Powerline descent.

We rode together in a group of about ten until the 3,000 ft Columbine climb at the forty-two mile mark. I couldn’t follow the pace of JHK and Levi and had to let go after about fifteen minutes of climbing. I rode with Bishop to the top and was hoping to keep the gap small and

close it on the descent. That didn’t happen though and I was two minutes behind JHK and Levi going through the aid station at the bottom of the climb and had dropped Bishop so I was on my own. After dodging racers coming the opposite direction for about fifteen miles

and having some very close calls I rode the rest of the race by myself. I had about fifteen miles of rolling head wind before the climbs started again and I would have given anything to have someone to swap pulls with.

I was pretty much done by the time I hit the last two climbs and couldn’t believe I made it up them because I was riding so slowly. I also ran out of water and had the dehydration white mouth thing going but I think everyone did. I managed to hang on for third and was pretty happy to get off my bike after 6:30 of riding. First thing I did was chug a few bottles of water, press conference and then off for more pain of cleaning out my wounds.

I’ll take the pain of an XC or CX race anytime where you don’t have time to think about how much pain you’re in until after the event. This race was a notch lower so you could fully take in the state you were in the entire time. I couldn’t believe how many citizen riders finished in the twelve hour cut off time and how many had really fast times. I hope I don’t have to do that race again for a long time.

Thanks for your support….

Mornings

August 7, 2010

This guys is king of the castle.

I did my favorite high country ride yesterday, Molas to Cascade. The trail was in awesome shape even with all the rain, velcro out there. I wanted to make it a little longer but the problem is once you get over the 4 hour range on the trails you need to take a camel back and I prefer to not use them. I will if I have to but given the choice I'll carry 3 bottles.

Carbon Ti is an awesome sponsor. They make super light weight skewers, seat clamps and stem caps. Check out my new seat clamp on the Epic 29er, everything has our names on it.

Well here is a cover I was very happy to see:

Willow has been killing it since last year and never seems to get the credit she deserves. Bronze medal at Worlds, leading the World Cup this year, those aren't some small races, thats the pinnacle of our sport. I'm glad to see her getting some well deserved press and the article is good as well. Congrats Willow and keep up the good work.

While on the topic of covers, I saw this one in the airport on the way to Europe a few weeks ago.

First Tomac defines mountain bike racing for a decade or more and now his son is set to be the next Bubba Stewart or pretty damn good at the very least. I'd say that family has some skills when it comes two wheels. The Durango area is all over the magazine stands this month.

I'm hoping they have coverage of World Marathon Championships tomorrow somewhere on the web. I haven't heard of anyone covering the race so if you know something I don't please let me know. Good luck to the Dart and Susi, I'm sure they're gonna do awesome.

It's looking like it might rain again today so I'm heading out into the Gulch before the sky opens up. If it stays dry, Rude and I might go play some golf down in Farmington.

I wonder how many jars of Nutella the Dart has gone through in Germany this week waiting for Worlds....

Dumping

August 5, 2010

It has been raining here in Durango like crazy lately. The past few years my yard was completely brown by now, I get a sprinkler system this year and now it's raining all the time. At least the trails are like velcro a few hours after it stops.

So I made it back home and it is good to be back. I don't know what it is about flying back home to the U.S. but it always takes me much longer to get adjusted to the time then going over to Europe. These grey mornings don't help either, although yesterday was sunny. Last night our neighbors house across the street got hit by lightning and it was super loud. The hairs on my arms were standing up.

I have taken the past few days off, was finally ready to get up in the high country today and now it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Oh well. I'm not staying up at DMR for Leadville either, too much time away from home. I feel like I haven't been able to really prepare for Leadville so I'm just going to keep my focus on WC finals and World Champs and just see how it works out. I did do some filming the past few days for the Leadville movie though so I'm hoping I don't suck there.

My golf game is coming back around too the past few days. Rude, Barthel and I have been tearing up the links. I was hoping to get out tonight but this rain might push my ride back into my golf time.

The Dart and Susi are in Germany getting ready for Marathon Worlds. The Dart is going to race the 29er Stumpjumper. He says the course is super smooth and fast.

I managed to not gain much weight on my Euro trip. I usually pack on the pounds pretty quickly at sea level, especially while spending most of the day in bed with a Nutella jar and tablespoon. This trip must have been short enough though to not pile in too many calories.

Meg left the day I got back to go to a Power Balance party in Hollywood with Willow and her friend Heather. They flew out to L.A. just for the party and Meg said it was awesome. They got to see Flo Rider perform and meet him along with some other celebs.

I avoid doing real world chores at all costs but with this rain I'm thinking about taking care of some actual business. Usually I can find an excuse to put it off but it seems like the perfect time right now and Winston thinks it's a good idea.

I wonder what the Darts' up to right now.....

World Cup 5 Val di Sole

August 2, 2010

World Cup #5 Val di Sole 8/1

The last time I was in Val di Sole was 2008 for the World Championships. The town is nestled in the Dolomites and the Giro had a mountain top finish on the Passo Tonale this year about 20 K from the race venue. We travel and race in quite a few beautiful places but this region with it’s huge peaks, raging rivers, hillside vineyards and old castles might be the most picturesque of all.

The trip started out a little rough, we were rear ended in Susi’s brand new Multi Van on the drive over from Champery less then 10 K from Val di Sole on Monday. Luckily no one was seriously injured and we all just had some sore necks. We did get to spend some time at the

Carabinier (Italian Police Staion) while Susi filled out a bunch of paper work.

The week went quite a bit smoother from there and our only problem was sneaking the bikes into the hotel room. We had great weather and only one day of partial rain. Burry and I did a big ride in the mountains one day and other then that we were in recovery mode getting ready for the race.

The course changed a bit from 2008, they added a few more short climbs, which broke up the rhythm of the track. It seems this year whoever I start behind inevitably has a mishap of the line. This weekend I was on the second row right behind Lukas Fluckinger and he slipped a pedal right when the gun went off. I lost a few places at the start but managed to work my way up into a group racing for fourteenth by the middle of the race. I have been fading at the end lately and dropped back to nineteenth by the finish. Not my best result but I felt pretty good on the steep climbs considering that I’m a pretty big guy and they are usually not my specialty.

I rode the 29er Stumpjumper hardtail since the course was pretty smooth. I also used the new Renegade tires with the lower volume and larger knobs which hooked up great on the dusty course.

I have a week or two at home before I head to Leadville to line up for the longest and highest MTB race I have ever attempted. I am looking forward to a non-lung searing World Cup start where hopefully I can ease into the race more like on the road. I’m not looking forward to 6

am start time though.)

Thanks for your support….

SWAT

July 29, 2010

This morning I had the craziest drug test experience ever. Before today the most interesting thing that ever happened to me at a drug test was at Continental Champs they gave us beer to help pee in Ecuador. Today we got a SWAT style wake up.

You are required to list 1 hour each day when you will definitely be at your location. I always chose 6-7am because that's when I'm still home and sleeping. I usually get tested after this time but if you're not home during your stated time you can get a missed test.

Anyway, 6:30am this morning the Dart and I were awakened to the hotel manager and the testing agent who simultaneously knocked on the locked door, opened it, turned on all the lights and opened the metal shutters before I could even open my eyes or take out my ear plugs. Then the hotel manager went on to berate us because we aren't allowed to have bikes in the rooms. These bikes are cleaner then the ones you will find in a shop on the showroom floor mind you and much cleaner then the bottom of my shoes.

The test went pretty normal after that other then the fact are rooms are tiny and packed with stuff so he had to stand to fill out all the paper work. I peed right away and he left, we tried to go back to sleep but 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door and it was him again. He had filled out the wrong form so we had to fill out all the paper work again. On the plus side, this was the first time I got tested and the Dart didn't. Usually it's his tester waking me up.

My internet time is running out so no pictures today. And it just started to rain.

I wonder what Winstons' doing right now.....

Crash

July 27, 2010

Yesterday we got rear ended driving to Val di Sole in Susi's brand new Mulitvan. We were only 20 Ks from the hotel when we were stopped on a hill and this ran into us.

It didn't damage the car very much but I was in the backseat with out a seat belt on and my head hit the seat in front of us. Check out the back of Susi's new/beat up van.

The back up camera and sensors still work but the rear door doesn't open anymore. We spent an hour at the police station while Susi filled out paper work afterward. It made a long drive even longer.

Now that we're in Val di Sole it's pretty relaxing. The food is much better at our new hotel then in Switzerland but the supermarkets here aren't open as often. They close from noon to four everyday. I also missed breakfast this morning because I woke up at 10 and it closed at 9:40. What kind of time is 9:40 to close something. Shouldn't it be 9:30 or 10? Come on.

I did a good ride today with the Dart tagging along for half of it. I'm trying to keep my volume up so I can finish the Leadville race. We only race for an 1:50 at the WCs so I need to get some endurance someplace. The problem is that's it's so hard for that time it feels like I rode my bike for 12 hours. The elevation isn't helping me much here either, only 900 meters which is less then 3,000 ft. I could go stay at the Passo Tonale which is almost 2,000 meters which is the same as Durango but I don't have a car to go up and back.

The weather here was awesome today, sunny with some clouds and warm in the sun. The course is a little different then the last time we were here and completely different from Champery. There are no flat sections, no roots, a few rocks and no drops. It's like a road race compared to last week.

This is right after the crash happened.

I guess the thing you do in Italy when you get in an accident is to open every door on your car, roof, trunk, drivers, passengers, etc....

Well the new UCI rankings just came out and I moved up to 12th. That's the highest I've ever been ranked in the World. It's funny too because this year my World Cups haven't been great but I've scored a lot of points domestically. I hope I can move up a few more places before Worlds so I can start on the front row. That would be sweet.

I wonder how cold the river is going to be tonight....

World Cup 4 Champery, Switzerland:

July 27, 2010

I finally had a good World Cup this weekend. I have been having a great year on the U.S. side of the Atlantic but had yet to get any result on the others side of the pond until this weekend. Last year Champery was my worst World Cup and so far this year it has been my best.

I traveled to Champery on Tuesday after having spent the past five weeks at altitude and just having claimed the U.S. National Championship. I knew my form was good but that doesn’t always translate to results internationally. The fields are so deep and the competition so intense that you can’t afford any mistakes. The course this year was littered with steep rocky and rooty descents and heinously steep climbs. The course was tough to ride in the dry but

when the rain came it made the toughest course we face all year simply treacherous. The organizers decided the track wasn’t tricky enough and threw in a big gap/drop jump to keep us on our toes.

We raced on Sunday and the rains had stopped by Friday night so the course was starting to dry up a bit by the time we raced. They also trucked in a bunch of stones to put down on the new climb so it was ride able. There were still some boggy sections in the woods but all

and all the course was in great shape. I had a descent start and by the end of the first lap I had moved up to about twentieth place. I continued to pick people off on the flats and downhill’s while dying on the steep climbs. By the middle of the race I had moved up to ninth

place and was feeling pretty comfortable, other then on the climb. Heading into the last lap I had dropped to eleventh but managed to catch and pass Hermida for tenth by the middle of the last lap. He stayed on my wheel though and I knew he would drop me on the climb the

last time up. It was only four minutes from the base of the climb to the finish but I couldn’t hold him when he came by and one more rider passed me as well on the last steep pitch. I managed to hold on for twelfth place. I was shooting for top ten and nearly had it so I have

to be happy with that.

Next weekend we are off to Val di Sole Italy where the 2008 World Championships took place. That means I only have six more days in Europe before I head back to Durango and start getting ready for Leadville. It should be an interesting transition from racing nearly at sea level flat out for two hours to competing at 10,500 ft for almost seven hours.

Thanks for your support…..

Jet Lag

July 22, 2010

Last weekend couldn't have gone any better for me. I've won National titles before in Cross and Short Track but never the XC and the Short Track title came a long time ago. I had Meg and Winston there and both my parents and Meg's parents. I was so pumped after winning the XC that to get the Short Track win also was amazing. It was one of those times when I felt in control the whole time and was never worried about cracking. I guess I'm going to have to play golf the day before all my important races now.

The new Carbon Epic 29er was the perfect tool to get the job done. It is a huge advantage having a super light full suspension 29er that weighs less and works better then most 26ers out there.

I had a picture of a bunch of the Durango locals in their Stars and Bars jerseys but I can't seem to upload photos from the Hotel Suisse. There were so many jerseys that went back to Durango though it's hard to keep them all straight.

I went back to Vail with the family on Sunday night and before I could get settled I was packing to fly out to Switzerland on Tuesday morning for the next round of the WC. The trip went relatively smoothly, I flew out of DIA, I had a ticket waiting for me at the airport and didn't have to scramble to try and buy one last minute. My upgrades went through at the last second and I I got to sleep most of the way from DC to Zurich. Benno and Dylan collected me once Lene arrived and we came up to Champery yesterday.

Champery has to be one of the most beautiful venues we visit all year. It is like staying in a Swiss postcard. The course is the most demanding of the year I think. They have changed it a bit for this year and it has seen quite a bit of racing since they had the WC here last year and the Swiss Cup here already this year. The lap it very short, less then 15 minutes so it gets plenty of use. There are two main climbs, 1, two or three minutes and the other closer to a minute. They are super steep and I'm pinned to the nose of the saddle trying to get traction. They are also the only smooth parts of the course. The rest of the time is spent on gnarly roots and the tires don't see the dirt much, just wood and rocks.

The new descent they added is super steep and I can barely make the sharp corner halfway down. I only made it once yesterday with out taking a foot out. After that it's a big drop to a steep descent that I fear I'm boing to burp my tires off the rims every time I hit it. It's a real bike handlers course and will be super technical if it rains.

It is good to be back together with the team again. Burry is stuck in SA right now though and will only get in on Friday since his Visa expired yesterday and Claire lost her passport and just found it again after her flight already departed. She is in route today though. Scmooz and Lene made it yesterday though along with the rest of the staff and our in house team guy Geoff who has been to the Tour, some World Cup triathlon with 400,000 spectators and now the MTB World Cup before heading back to Morgan Hill.

I'm running a little late today since I was wide awake from 4am-7am last night and just woke up in time to miss breakfast. The shutters here in Europe are awesome for sleeping let in zero light. The river in town is great for ice baths too. I get some funny looks from the school kids and the guys that work at the auto repair shop came out to laugh at me for a while too. The things we do to get faster.

Time for me to get going so I can get on the course before it starts to rain. It would also be nice to get back in time to watch the Tour, today should be a great day. To watch, probably not much fun to race except for about 5 guys.

I wonder what Winston and Meg and doing right now.....

U.S. National Championship

July 19, 2010

This is definitely one of the best race reports I have ever written. I have always had bad luck at the National Championship races for some reason but this weekend was just about perfect. I managed to win the cross-country title for the first time and the short track title in the same weekend on the brand new Specialized S-Works Epic 29er. My wife, parents, parents-in-law, and dog Winston were all there to share it with too. It was just awesome.

Saturday was the XC and the second year in a row Nationals was contested at nine thousand feet in Sol Vista, Colorado. It was a hot day with temperatures in the eighties, minimal shade and rough, dusty trails. This year I had a good block of almost five weeks to prepare at home and I knew I needed to train higher then even the sixty five hundred feet of Durango if I wanted to be competitive. I spent two of the three weeks prior to the event driving up to nine thousand feet to sleep in a friends condo at Durango Mountain Resort ski area to acclimate to the altitude and the last week in Vail. I don’t get much time at home during the summer so it was a sacrifice to spend the little time I had there not sleeping in my own bed but it paid off

this weekend.

Ryan Trebon led out the first lap and by the top of the climb we were a group of three with me, JHK, and Trebon. I went to the front on the downhill and JHK and I opened a gap. I rode with JHK for the first lap and a half of the five and half lap race before leaving him for good.

I knew I was on a good day right away and just wanted to make sure I didn’t give too much early on but once I got the gap it just kept growing. The new Epic 29er was perfect for the course and I increased my lead through every rough pedaling section. By the end I had over a

minute gap and could enjoy cruising in for my first ever XC National Championship.

Sunday was the short track and I was already satisfied with my weekend having taken the XC jersey but when I line up the adrenaline kicks in and I wanted another jersey. This time I got away very early in the race and just kept opening up the gap. I spent most of the race on my

own and again the new bike was gobbling up the bumpy course. I built up enough of a lead to take it easy on the last lap and grab my second jersey of the weekend.

It was really satisfying to set a goal, train specifically for it and achieve what I set out to do. I have been trying to win the cross-country jersey for so long I thought it was never going to

happen. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later I’m just glad it was sooner. I don’t have much time to celebrate though as I leave for Europe tomorrow for the next round of the World Cup in Champery, Switzerland.

Thanks for your support.

Yeah!

July 17, 2010

Winston is stoked too

U-23 Day

July 16, 2010

The U-23s battled it out for the National Championship XC title today. It was a great race too. It was a group of 6 initially but quickly broke up into a group of 3, Tad, Rob and Russell. Tad and Rob dropped Russell about 2/3s of the way through the race and then it was a 2 man race. Going into the last lap Tad got a small gap on Squire and eventually won by almost a minute at the end. It was exciting to watch. And it was HOT! When I got in the car to go home after the race it said 88 on my thermometer, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and there isn't much shade on the course. The feed zone is fast and on some really bumpy grass, I saw plenty of dropped bottles in there which isn't good on a day like today. It's rare the temperature is almost 90 degrees at 9,000 ft, good sunburn weather. Oh yea, the top 3 guys were all on full suspension bikes I think but the Epic prevailed.

Here is the S-Works Epic Carbon 29er I'm racing tomorrow.

And another view. Notice those center cut new Renegador tires.

The rear end on this bike is incredibly stiff. I think it's stiffer then my hardtail. The 142+ is beefy.

Look how thick the stays are.

Finally, Miron is making sure it's all dialed in. This weekend he has to take care of the Captain too, he's racing the single speed race tomorrow. Early. I didn't think the guy ever woke up before 10 am, the Captain, not Miron.

Meg and Winston have been telling me about this moose they have seen hanging out at the lake just down the road from the condo. They've been telling me he's there every time they go there. Today I went to see for myself and he was gone. Great.

My parents got into town yesterday. They haven't been out to Colorado for a while and have never been to this area. Today they went to the Coors brewery and after the weekend we're all going to Vail for a few days to visit with Meg's parents. Winston loves it in Vail since he has 2 dogs to play with, no leash and a cat that doesn't take any crap from him.

I can't believe Roel Paulissen tested positive for clomiphene, the same thing Rory Sutherland got busted for a while ago. I always thought he was very against doping and he was one of the only Euros that would talk to me when I first started going to Europe to race World Cups. He claims he didn't do it but so does everyone, it sucks either way.

Tomorrow is Elite National Championships and it should be a good race. I think it's going to be hot, dusty and lots of lung burn. I can't wait!!!

I wonder what the Darts' doing right now....

Grandby

July 14, 2010

So I locked up the Number 1 plate this past weekend in Colorado Springs. After a flat in the TT, a OK XC I finally won the last day in the Super STXC. The race was just over an hour where it usually is only 20 minutes. I got away with 2 laps to go and gained some time back but not the 3 minutes I needed to jump up from 3rd in the G.C..

I spent the past two days in Vail hanging out at Meg's family's house. Yesterday I spent the day at the Specialized Launch for all there 2011 product in Keystone. The new stuff coming out is incredible and I might even ride the new S-Works 29er Epic this weekend. The trails over in Keystone are a blast too and I put my Stumpjumper through the paces on a few of the lift accessed trails. I needed to get some time in on it since I'll be using that bike in the Super D this weekend.

Meg, Winston and I had a great time in Vail too. I rode the bike path on Monday, it's one of my favorite bike paths anywhere and it runs right through the village. I also spent some time sitting in the river there while Winston and Ava played ball. Bob's place kept us fueled up and I hit some balls at the Eagle Vail golf course. Not a bad couple of days.

Today we drove over to Grandby/Winter Park for the National Championships this weekend. I was surprised by how many people are here already. The course is new this year for the Pro race and it's pretty good for the most part. It's a lot of new trail so it's pretty bumpy and I'll probably be riding an Epic of some sort, either 26 or 29.

They had a good 15 minute ish lap but I heard they wanted to make it longer for some reason, I have no idea why. 15 minutes is what a WC lap is and I think next weekend's race in Champery is right at 15 minutes. They added a really sketchy fire road descent when they changed the course since you just bomb down some loose rock road. I hope they change it back.

I'm going to boohoo about the numbers too. Somehow I had number 113. Now I work my ass off traveling all over the World trying to get World Ranking points not only for myself but for the USA. The least they could do is give us numbers based on our ranking. They talk about getting the number 1 plate in the PRO XCT and UCI race gives out numbers based on rankings, how hard is it to give us a little respect. Don't you think it would be funny to see Jonathan Page with number 238 at CX Nationals? It just doesn't make sense.

OK, I'm done complaining, other then that I think things are great over here. The weather is awesome right now, the new trails they cut for the course are good and Meg set us up with a great condo this year. We have killer internet, Comcast so I can waste the days watching the Tour and the British Open and we can walk to the center of town in about five minutes. My bikes are working awesome, the form seems to be good and the moral is high.

Tomorrow I have an easy spin on tap, maybe a run of the Super D course and if I'm really lucky a few holes at the Head Waters golf course. I don't want to waste too much energy but I read MJ use to play golf before his Championship games and it seemed to work pretty well for him. I'm also looking forward to checking out my new phone Rude is bringing up from Durango tonight.

I wonder what the Darts' been up to.....

It seems like I was just writing about

July 12, 2010

It seems like I was just writing about the first ever PRO XCT event back in March and this weekend the five race series came to close in Colorado Springs at Cheyenne Mountain Park. In addition to being the final event, it was the first and only stage race of the series consisting of a time trial, cross-country and a super cross-country. I had an eighty-point lead in the series heading into this past weekend and barring any catastrophes I was going to win my first ever PRO XCT/ US Cup/ NORBA series.

The race started at 6:30 pm Friday with a short seventeen-minute time trial. The course was mostly fast rolling single track with a very technical five hundred meter rock garden in the beginning. I had ridden several laps of the course without incidence in training but managed to cut a sidewall one minute into the race. Disaster had struck and I didn’t have time to put a tube in so I hit it with a Big Air but soon was riding on about five psi. I came in three minutes

down and was in thirty-ninth place heading into the cross-country.

I knew it was going to be hard to make up the three minutes I lost to the leaders in the cross-country but I was going to give it my best shot. I worked my way up pretty quick at the start and found myself fifteen seconds behind Kabush and JHK after one of five laps. I made a big push to catch Kabush on the next lap and managed to bridge to him just at the top of the climb but JHK had gotten a gap on him. Kabush was second overall in the series so I figured I would just sit on him and let him do the work.

By the third lap the gap had went up to about thirty five seconds to JHK and it appeared Kabush wasn’t going to chase him.

I went to the front at the bottom of the climb and Kabush did a good turn at the top and we made contact with him on the start of the last lap. At the very top of the climb JHK attacked and Kabush was in front of me in the narrow single track. I couldn’t get around him to chase

and then Kabush crashed in a rock garden and I had to get off and run around him. By then JHK had a good fifteen to twenty second gap and he would keep that to the finish. Kabush got around me on one the corners on the descent and I had to settle for third which was enough to lock up the series overall and move me up to third overall in the stage race.

Sunday was the final event of the weekend and they called it a short track but it was over a mile long course and we raced for about an hour instead of twenty minutes. I tried to attack a bunch in he beginning but it was clear Kabush and JHK weren’t going anywhere. We rode in a group of three for most of the race before Kabush slid out in one of the many slick corners while I was pushing the pace. That left JHK and I alone off the front with Kabush a few seconds back. With two laps to go I attacked when JHK bobbled and managed to open up a twenty second gap to him and over a minute to Kabush by the finish. It wasn’t enough to move up from 3rd in the G.C. but it was nice to grab the stage victory.

With the PRO XCT series in my pocket now the attention turns to Sol Vista for the US National Championships this weekend and then back to the World Cups in Europe after that. I’ve had some good time at home build up my fitness now it’s time to put it to the test.

Thanks for your support….

That was Awesome

July 7, 2010

I wish everyday of the Tour was like yesterday. I'm sure most of the riders didn't like it but it was awesome to watch. I guess when you add dirt and rocks to race it makes it more like a mountain bike race. Plus, they weren't just sitting in the group they were racing flat out at the end. The riders needed to use bike handling skills other then just aerobic output. Awesome!

I have been logging in some pretty good mileage the past few weeks along with some intensity. Now I'm starting to cut back the mileage in hopes of tapering for Nationals and next two World Cups. I did one of my last biggish rides for the next three weeks yesterday. I also busted out some hyperoxic intervals at Performance Cardiology. I think I have the record for the most sweat produced in a session. That's no small task either with AC and a wind tunnel type fan blowing cool air three feet from velotron.

Last night was our last sleep over at Cascade. A huge thanks to Kricket and her family for letting Rude and I stay at their condo. I found out that it's at 9,000 ft, not 8,700 so I that makes me feel better about trying to catch my breath all the time. I can't believe how nice it is to have a good solid block of training at home. You would think that racing and recovering is enough to get fast but I always feel so much better training at home for a while. It's much easier to complete work outs in a familiar environment where you know the rides, how long they should take, what it should feel like, etc....

It has also been awesome to hang out with friends in the middle of the summer in Durango. Usually I get a week here or there but this year the schedule has worked out great. Speaking of schedules, I'm excited to Fort Collins has a USGP this year. I enjoyed the course in N.J. and had some great races there but I feel the good races are more a timing of the form thing then a course specific thing. Now I'll be able to drive to two UCI races, the Boulder Cup and the Fort Collins USGP. That is if we don't get a huge snow storm that shuts down the passes.

Tomorrow we're off to Colorado Springs for the last PRO XCT, then to Vail until Nationals. From there I fly out of Denver to Switzerland for the next two World Cups so my summer vacation is about to come to an end. It has been awesome none the less. It was also cool to have Plaxton in town for a few weeks, got to show him some good spots in D-town.

Finally, looking forward to the British Open. In addition to Phil playing well right now and Tiger always good in the Majors, there are tons of young up and coming guys that could make things exciting. Then again, it was sweet to watch legend Tom Watson make it to the weekend at the US Open.

I wonder how cold Cascade creek is going to be today......

Cascade

July 5, 2010

The 4th of July was a hit. G.C., The German, Rude and I rode the Kennebec pass loop from town. We met up with Maple, Snoodle and Plaxton at the Kroger Campground and rode the rest of the way together. It was an epic day since we had 4 flat tires(none for me luckily) and G.C. had to answer the call of nature multiple times and not the quick easy one. The ride was sweet though and we saw a bunch of people out on the trail.

I spent the past two nights down in town since I didn't want to get up early to do the 4th of July ride and then we just wanted to hang out at home yesterday. I still got some good high altitude training in on the ride yesterday so I think it's all good. Tonight Winston and I sleeping up here with out his mom who has to give our diabetic cat Maddy, a injection everyday at 9am. First she was really fat and then she got really skinny.

I had a nice rest day today. First Winston and I hit the dog park after watching the Tour de Crash. Then I met up with Barthel at Hillcrest to hit some balls on the range. From there I had a nice spin in the valley and then met up with Snoodle, Plaxton, G.C. and Taylor to tube the river. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was in the mid 80s. Just about perfect except for the stiff headwind we had. Not bad when you're dry, but pretty chilly after getting soaked in some rapids. This is us loading up.

Snoodle in the Exploder

Plaxton taking it easy.

This is the whole crew taking off. I couldn't get that great of pictures with my phone but I did manage to not destroy it in the river.

So Snoodle's dad just bought this van and is driving it back to Massachusetts from Durango as we speak. I think the top speed is 50 mph. That is a long trip, at least he has his dog for company.

Tomorrow I blasting out some more sea level training in the lab and then I only have to drive up here two more times and then we're off to Colorado Springs. The races in the Springs are all set to start after 4 pm with the XC currently scheduled for 6 pm. That's pretty late so I'm hoping they change the schedule.

Myron is suppose to be driving the new Specialized truck out to Colorado Springs. I hope he passes his driver's test.

I wonder what T.V. show Snoodle and Meg are watching right now.....

4th of July Weekend

July 3, 2010

4th of July Weekend

Happy 4th of July to everyone, especially non-Americans. This weekend is reserved in the U.S. for lots of drinking and blowing stuff up. The cycling community in Durango also uses this weekend to ride Kennebec Pass, a 11,500 ft ish mountain right out of town. You ride about 13 miles of pavement up to a dirt road, then climb about 4,000 ft. From there you hop on the Colorado trail and descend almost all the way back to town minus a short 30 minute climb in the middle on awesome single track. Some people ride from town, some people drive to the dirt parking lot and some people drive all the way to the top. Not everyone does the ride this weekend but on a normal day you might see 3 other people and on the 4th you're likely to see close to 100. You might think it's nicer to do it when it's less crowed but I like knowing there are plenty of people around if I crash and get hurt or break my bike. Most of the ride doesn't get cell reception. We are leaving from Starbucks in town at 9am tomorrow for anyone looking to ride from town. Going at a steady clip it will probably take about 4.5 hours. There is one water stop about 1 hour in at the Kroger camp ground.

Meg and I have never ridden the train in Durango together. Meg has ridden it but I haven't This is as close I've come to riding the train.

This is me working in my new office up at Cascade. There's no cell service but there is internet so Skype is the only way to talk to people. I wear my full kit at all times while doing cycling related stuff online, it's like my business suit. Ha.

So this is the machine Crawford has been putting everyone through the paces on. He punches in the resistance and you keep the gears spinning for a certain amount of time.

And this is me doing sea level intervals at 6,500 ft in Durango. Pretty cool.

It's hard to get the same levels in the lab that you can outside at sea level but it's pretty close. It is still way more watts then you can do outside at altitude. The question is, how many times can you do intervals inside on trainer?

Meg and Winston spent the night with me at Cascade with me last night. Winston wasn't doing as bad with the altitude but he also couldn't play ball up there because it was raining when we got there so he didn't get as tired. He was drinking a bunch though last night and LOUD! I think he's the loudest drinker I've ever heard.

Today I'm doing some motor pacing and sleeping low in town so I don't have to get up to early to do the Kennebec ride. I also think I'm getting addicted to coffee because when I don't drink a latte in the morning I feel pretty tired. And I'm interested to see how the body responds to doing intervals up at almost 12,000 ft and then down at sea level. They say you have to keep the body guessing to keep it growing so that seems like it should shake it up a bit. And I feel like Ned getting ready for the Iron Horse driving up to DMR everyday.

I wonder if I'm going to go to Silverton on Sunday to watch the fireworks....

Moloas to Cascade

July 1, 2010

Rude and I had an action packed day up here at Cascade. To start with, Cascade is pretty dead this time of year. I think there are about ten cars in the entire complex parking lot which probably has over a hundred units. Anyway, I'm enjoying this laid back off time at the resort. It seems like we would have tons of time and get bored but yesterday seemed to fly by.

We got out the door by 10am for our Molas/Cascade ride. Most of the time you're at about 11,000 ft but there are times we were up at 12,000 ft. Thunder storms roll in fast up there so you could start out with clear blue sky but an hour later be pinned down under some rock with your rain jacked pulled over you head. We had great weather all day though. We came down Engine Creek Trail, a way I had never been before. I was wishing I had a 160 rotor on the rear by the bottom but we made it on problems. Here is the loop, notice the elevation on the topo.

 

Once we got back we were off again to jump the pools here at Cascade. The pools are about 500 feet from where we're staying. First you climb down a steep dirt slope in flip flops to get to the creek. Then you climb some sketchy wet rocks to get to the first pool. The drop is about 10 feet but you have to go down this natural rock slide because if you just jump the pool isn't deep enough. The next pool requires you to scale the side of the canyon up to the next jump point. This is also about a 10 foot jump and you barely touch bottom when you land. The last pool is the biggest and maybe 15 feet to the biggest pool that you don't touch bottom on. The whole creek where you can jump is a big slot canyon so once you do the first pool, the only way to get out is to jump the next ones. The water was pretty cold and there isn't much light in the canyon. The hike out is about 10 more minutes of steep traversing with flip flops flying off for much of the climb. It is a lot of fun but also a bit of work too.

Next up was a nap that didn't take and then we were off to DMR to watch the DEVO short track. The German took a commanding win over Snoodle and GC. They rode together for half the race before the German pulled away. Meg and Winston also came up for the STXC and then we all hit the Sow's Ear for dinner. We had one of the most unfriendly waitresses I've ever had, especially since the place is really expensive. I was pretty disappointed with the dinner but at least I didn't eat too much.

The altitude was hitting winston hard last night because the guy wouldn't stop panting for most of the night. Rude and I are off to ride the Engineer trail now and then back down to civilization.

I wonder if we'll make it on the river today....

Busy Day

June 29, 2010

It seems like when I'm home I never have enough time. I try to cram in all the stuff I miss out on while I'm gone and sure enough the day gets away from me. Rude and I stayed up at Cascade last night and I'm not sure if it's because I know it's high up here or what but I always seem to wake up out of breath when I stay someplace higher then Durango. I can go from sea level up to Durango with no problems. If I go any higher then that though I feel it as soon as I walk up stairs or wake up in the middle of the night.

Tomorrow Rude and I are staying up here all day and not going into town. We're going to do my favorite ride, Molas to Cascade and maybe check out the STXC at Purgh tomorrow night. If we are really ambitious we'll probably jump the Cascade pools. Other then that it's just RandR.

Snoodle did some hyperox intervals with Crawford at Dr. Andrea's office, Performance Cardiology, today. They have got some new technology which allows you to train at sea level here in Durango. You are hooked up to an oxygenated breathing apparatus and can bust out huge numbers. I am doing it next week but I have heard of guys hitting the highest heart rates they have ever seen and big power too. I guess you're muscles quit before you are limited by breathing. I'm really excited to check it out since that is the one thing we have been missing here, a place to work on power. There is no place close by to get to a lower elevation. You can drive 3 hours and only drop 2,000 ft.

Meg's parents are in town tonight on their way back from Mexico. They made it back into the U.S. last night and stayed in Tucson. Winston is enjoying visiting with Chester and Eva while they're here. Bob forgot he had the bikes on the roof of the van when they were driving under a bridge in Bucerias. The Specialized suffered only minor damage but the early 90's Klein busted the tab off the fork where the axle sits in. It was a really cool bike with a neon orange and pink fade.

Well it's time for me to go to bed. I wonder what Winstons' doing right now.....

Still Going

June 29, 2010

I'm still knocking out these blogs, I feel like I'm closing the gap to Hill. I've even got some photos in this one so here we go.

Meg going to the bachelorette party last week. It was an 80s prom theme. I think she looks more like Punky Brewster though.

In case you haven't been to a news stand lately, here's my Xterra teammate Dan Hugo. The lady's love him and I think he as a better photo on this Tri mag then Lance has with a similar pose on Men's Health. Though Men's Health probably has a wider audience.

Saw this ad in the WORS magazine at Erik's in WI. This ad is a little gay, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Meg and I have been loving our Globe bikes. The belt drive is sick and we can now climb the dirt trail from the River Path to our house with out getting off or possibly blowing the back out. Anyway, we rode them to Dough Works this morning for some B-fast.

Even my coffee mug matches the bike and I didn't even plan that. Also notice the sweet carbon S-works seat post.

For those of you thinking Durango is super bike friendly check out this article. More specifically read the comments at the bottom. When ever there is an article about cycling in the paper there are at least this many negative comments. We have incredible trails and great access here. The roads are awesome to ride but I've ridden all over the world, literally every continent sans Antarctica and I think some of the only place I've ever been hit is here and South Africa. Here it was malicious and SA the guy was just oblivious. So be careful if you're out on the roads here.

http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/06/28/License_to_ride/

This is Meg cruising the sweet river bridge on her cruiser. You can jump off the bridge into the river when it's high enough and there are no people there telling you not to jump off it.

The STXC in WI was HARD! I was suffering quite a bit on Sunday and it was all I could do to get 5th. I'm not sure why it was so painful since I felt great on Saturday. Wisconsin and WORS put on a great event, I hope we go back next year. The courses were fun and challenging, the spectators were awesome and the weather was good. I would say it's the coolest course on the PRO XCT circuit this year. I'm partial though since I grew up on the East Coast and it's very similar to East Coast riding. All the courses have been good though so far.

OK, too much blogging. I have to get dressed and meet up with Rude for some Sports Center like golf up at the Crest.

I wonder if Kricket has internet at her condo up at Cascade....

Subaru Cup PRO XCT

June 28, 2010

The PRO XCT returned to action this weekend at Mt. Morris ski area in Wisconsin. The last time Wisconsin made an appearance on the National calendar was in the beginning of 2000 when we visited Alpine Valley that was an old trash dump turned ski area. The venue this weekend wasmuch nicer and the racing was great.

Mt Morris is located about ninety miles northeast of Madison. The mountain isn’t much but the trails and course rock. It was made up of ninety percent tight, tacky single-track trails with short switch back climbs and tight descents. It rained a bit the night before the race,

which made the traction awesome.

The XC race had a great turn out and the race was on right from the gun. We quickly formed a lead group of four containing, myself, Sam Schultz, Plaxton and JHK. I tried quite a few attacks but with such short climbs it was hard to break up the group. The last time through the top feedzone Schultz attacked and got a few seconds before the descent. I was on Plaxton’s wheel and thought for sure he would close the gap before the bottom of the descent but Shultz still had a few seconds at the bottom before the last climb. I made it around Plaxton but couldn’t bridge up to Schultz. Then just about insight of the finish I bobbled in a rocky corner and knocked my chain off. Plaxton got back around me and I settled for third.

The STXC was one of the fastest I’ve done in a long time. It went right through the venue and had s power sapping grass ski slope climb that felt like I was riding through glue. The lead changed just about every lap but with three to go Adam Craig attacked and we wouldn’t see

him again. I tried to chase but wound up hitting the wall. I dropped pretty far back but made it back up to fifth for the finish.

The fans in Wisconsin were awesome and one of the forested climbs was packed with people and felt a bit like a Euro World Cup. With my third place finish I took back the lead in the PRO XCT series and put a little buffer between Kabush and myself. The final race of the series

is in two weeks in Colorado Springs.

Thanks for your support….

XC Wisconsin

June 26, 2010

So of all the Specialized athletes Sam Hill is leading the charge with the most blogs on i-am-specialized.com . I am 18 posts behind him right now and I'm going to try and close the gap. All the posts that are on Toddwells.com are also on i-am-specialized.com and vice versa.

So since there is no way of me beating Sam Hill down a hill, I'm trying to catch up to him in cyberspace. Back to the race today in Wisconsin. For starters, it started late, 3:30pm. It's nice not to have to get up early but I would prefer a 1 or 2 start time. We finished at 5:30ish and didn't leave the awards until 8pm, which wouldn't be a big deal but the restaurants around here stop serving dinner at 9pm. We raced back to the hotel, cleaned up and made it to the Moose Lodge Super Club to meet the ShoAir crew by 8:45. It's always a race. It was pretty hot 85 degrees and quite humid 85 percent today. The rain from last night made the course perfect and the tight switch back climb wooded section was packed with spectators and had a Euro feel. We established a lead group of 4 riders, me, Schutlz, Plaxton and JHK halfway through the first lap. I tried to attack a bunch in the first 2/3s of the race but everyone was pretty evenly matched. Plaxton took a flyer at the start of the last lap. We closed it down in a few minutes and were a group of 4 again going over the top. Schutlz then hit it through the top feed-zone(8 minutes from the finish) and I decided to stay behind Plaxton for the descent since he is usually very quick downhill. We didn't catch Sam by the bottom and he had a few second lead starting the last 2 minute climb. I managed to get past Plaxton but never caught Sam. Then inside a minute to the finish I dropped my chain around the last rocky turn before the finish and Plaxton passed me back so I had to settle for 3rd. I was happy with the race and glad to see Sam Schultz get his first PRO XCT/NORBA/UCI/US Cup win. It was a fun race too battling back and forth. With no sustained climbs or straight sections it was really hard to break up the group and everyone seemed to have a section they were going fastest in.

Tomorrow is the STXC and another chance for a result. I was hoping to do the Super D too but our flight out is at 7pm so we'll have another race to get to the airport. Plus, I'm hoping to get some Chipolte before we fly out. We don't have one in Durango and it's my go to burrito spot on the road. The burritos are twice as big and half the price of similar burritos in D-town. There is a sweet wakeboard lake with zip line and jumps at the venue. I haven't made it there but Ty and Johnny hit it up today between working the feed-zones and drinking pink Mike's Hard Lemonade. My room at the Knight's Inn lights up like a sun room at 6am so I stuffed my bike box in the window so hopefully I won't wake up early tomorrow. I wonder if Winston is behaving himself at Doug's and if our cat Maddy is OK since she is now diabetic and requires insulin shots daily......

Wisconsin PRO XCT

June 25, 2010

Last weekend I Rude and I rode up to Purg. to do the first round of the DMR Triple Crown. The race was the first of the series was a 40 minute short track on a half mile course they built at the base area. The race was fun but the ride home on the Hermosa Creek trail was even better. The best was the pizza break at Mama's Boy in Hermosa. That might even beat the cookie shop at the top of Mt Lemmon. Anyway, here is a shot from the Short Track at DMR.

This is the first weekend in three weeks I had to get on a plane and leave Durango. Durango is such a great place during the summer when it's in the mid 80s everyday, no humidity, sunny and all the trails are open and ripping. Oh yea, the river is perfect for tubing right now, not too low and just cold enough to enjoy warming up at the end of the ride.

So like I said, I had to leave Durango last night for the PRO XCT in Wisconsin this weekend. Meg, Rude, Myron and I flew into Madison last night, Myron and I visited Erik's bike shop this morning then we all drove up to Redgranite for the race. There were cops all over the place and I've never seen so many people driving the speed limit.

The course is pretty far out there at Mt Morris Nordic area but it is awesome. It has short twisty single track climbs and descents with a few open areas for passing. It is so much fun to ride I could have done laps all day. It reminds me of the area where I grew up but a lot smoother and more buffed out. I am racing the Epic 26 with Renegade 2.0 tires if it stays dry. They roll so fast and the traction is perfect out there. They are calling for thunderstorms tomorrow though and we don't race until 3:30pm so it could get wet. It seems like it has a sand base though so it should be pretty good even if it rains. There are a few rock sections but it's just mostly smooth, flowly and tight single track.

The weather here is nice too. It's in the low 80s with quite a bit humidity but it feels cooler then Durango since the sun isn't very intense and it's all in the trees. Today there was a good breeze blowing as well.

With all the training I've been doing lately just getting ready for the race yesterday and today it feels like I'm hardly riding at all. I have the same feeling after I'm done with base and start transitioning into more intensity. Trying to keep the volume high while fitting in intensity is tricky. You don't want to back off the volume too soon but it's easy to over cook it when you start introducing the hard efforts.

It seemed like a cross race today since we saw Trebron right when we got here and rode the last part of a lap with Jonathan Page. Now I'm just trying not to eat too much since I haven't been putting in much volume the past two days but my metabolism is still humming.

My final thoughts are how great it feels to come back to sea level after three full weeks at altitude. It's so nice to be limited more by your muscles then breathing. I'm not sure how it will go this weekend but it feels good to breath thick rich air after the thin dry air of Durango. It's just always a question how the power will be after not making the big watts for a while.

I wonder what Winstons' doing right now.......

Heat Wave

June 7, 2010

It's been scorching here in Durango the past few days. The temperatures were in the upper 90s the other day, it was awesome. Today the temps seem to have come down a bit but it's still suppose to be nice all week.

I have 2 days left on my rest block but I never seem to do too much actual rest on my breaks. I do get away from the training on the bike but end up going hiking, running, golfing, dirtbiking, etc..... Speaking of dirt bikes, I finally got mine back from HB yesterday. I had dropped it off with him in the fall b/c I was having trouble getting it started and haven't really been back sense. He's got it running great and I rode it all the way home from his house. Going 70 mph on knobies with a huge visor on the helmet isn't the most reassuring feeling.

Rude and I tore up Hilcrest yesterday, I actually played pretty well and chipped in on number five for birdie. I think we're going to get in 18 today. First I have to see Luke and check out his new muscle machine. I'm not sure how it works but you do exercises with it hooked up to your body and it makes them 500 times intense then normal. It sounds painful and Rude said it was when he used it but it stimulates muscle growth I guess.

Winston is wanting to go to the Dog Park too since it's cooler outside. He kind of melts in the heat with his black winter coat. I want to shave it off but the vet says he has very sensitive pale skin and will get sunburned with out it.

Flipper did the impossible for me at Offenburg and made it look like I was actually going pretty fast. Well here I think I'm eating a Clif Shot.

But this one I'm just suffering.

I think I've figured out my new Garmin with help from Sager and Rob Squire. It is amazing all the information you get but it's really cool when you download it to the computer and see it all laid out on the computer.

Finally, I just got the new Mountain Bike Action and I'm pumped to have made the cover. I saw some pictures of it on Facebook but now I have it in hard copy. MBA is really the only U.S. magazine that actually covers mountain bike racing. It's a good mix of XC and gravity. They actually have interviews with the riders and reports on our country's biggest races. Keep up the great work MBA.

It's time for me to clean up the garage and take Winston to the park.

I wonder what today will bring.....

Cool Race

June 5, 2010

This looks like an awesome race. I want to go do this next year. Urban MTBing in Florida.

This site has been seriously neglected lately. I think it's because of Facebook and Twitter. Anyway, I've been taking the week off and resting up. Actually, I haven't been resting so much as golfing and when you play as poorly as I have been lately you get quite a bit of exercise. I can't wait to get back on the bike and start logging in some big miles.

Winston is doing well and went hiking with Rude, Sammy(Dekrey's dog) and I up Engineer the other day. They decided to go swimming right before we got back in the truck and proceeded to cover the inside in mud. I've got most of it out but am still finding clusters here and there.

The trails in Durango are awesome right now and the weather has been great. High 80s during the day and cool at night, perfect for sleeping. My grass is even starting to come back and is turning green again.

I don't have to go anywhere until June 24th when I head to Wisconsin for the next round of the PRO XCT. Hopefully by then the grass will be completely back, my golf game will be coming around and the form will be on the upswing.

I gotta get outside and enjoy this beautiful day. I think Meg and I are going to hit the high country for some hiking.

I wonder how long this good weather is going to last....

Mellow Johnny’s PRO XCT

June 1, 2010

Everything is bigger in Texas! This weekend we raced at Lance Armstrong’s ranch just outside Austin in Dripping Springs, TX. It was round number three of the PRO XCT and I had the number one plate with a slim, five point margin over Geoff Kabush.

The course at Mellow Johnny’s was mostly rocky single track. The volcanic rock was sharp and loose combined with the dusty trail making traction tough. There was a lot of two wheel drifting going on. The track had short punchy climbs that weren’t longer then one minute but

there were plenty of them. The down hills had some small rock drops but nothing most amateur couldn’t handle. The hardest part of the race was the heat. The temperatures hovered near one hundred degrees for the race with no wind, hardly any cloud cover and the only shade coming from the team trailers parked in the pit.

The race started at one thirty P.M for maximum sun tanning opportunities and consisted of one start loop and four big loops. I slipped my pedal at the start but by the time we finished the start loop I had made it up to sixth and what would be come the front group for the first part of the lap. Midway through lap one Sam Schultz attacked on one of the only passing sections and I followed him. That split the group down to four and it was Sam, Plaxton, JHK and I. We got a small gap on JHK shortly after that.

Halfway through the race I was leading but clipped a pedal on a rock and had to get off and run a section. Plaxton got a small gap on Sam and I. He kept the pressure on and by the end of the lap had fifty seconds. I was chasing flat out but couldn’t bring him back. The start

of the final lap I could see Kabush was closing on us but there was nothing I could do. I was barely hanging on to Sam when he decided he couldn’t pull anymore because JHK was chasing just behind us. It was lucky for me because that gave me a clean run at a small technical

section two Ks from the finish. I hit it cleanly and Sam bobbled leaving me a small five-second gap I was able to hold onto to finish third.

I haven’t raced in heat like that in a long time and I was happy to be part of the race. Since Kabush finished one place in front of me he took the number one plate but only by five points so these next two events should be exciting. I have a small break right now and then I’m

off to next Subaru Cup PRO XCT in WI at the end of June.

Thanks for your support….

World Cup 3 Offenburg, Germany Race Report:

May 26, 2010

This past weekend I wrapped up a seven-week road trip with the World Cup in Offenburg, Germany. Offenburg is located in the black forest right on the French border next to Strassbourg. It is a stunning venue with rolling hills littered with vineyards and ancient castles.

I had the choice of going back to the U.S. after the World Cup in Hoffalize three weeks ago but I decided to stay in Europe and spend some time at the U.S. MTB development house just outside of Frieburg Germany between the races. My plans changed a little after spending

five days riding in forty-degree rain and fog. The following week had the same forecast so I opted for a quick flight to the cycling Mecca of Mallorca to log in some miles and see the sun again. Meg had just arrived the day before so we both headed south towards the sun.

Our Specialized team mechanic Sandy Gilchrist has been running cycling camps out of Mallorca for many years so he set us up with a place to stay and put us in touch with the right people. I have never ridden such fun twisty roads and seen so many cyclists in one place in my

life. It was a great trip but seemed like it ended before it even got started.

Next up was a HC UCI race in Heubach, Germany the day after we got back. The weather was exactly the same as when we left, cold and rainy. Heubach was like a mini World Cup with a super deep field and tons of spectators. I was a little tired after putting in a big week

in Mallorca.

The rain lasted until a few days before Offenburg and then the sun finally came out. The course was perfect on Wednesday but then another day of rain turned the course to mud. By the time race day rolled around the course was in perfect condition with dirt like Velcro. I

had my first good start of the World Cup this year but form seems to have cooled off after a great start to the season. The lights went out very early on in the race and I struggled just to get to the finish line. My teammate Christoph Sauser flew the flag for the team though

with a great forth place podium finish.

I have one more race this weekend, the Mellow Johnys Classic PRO XCT in Texas and then I’ve got a much needed break before I start building up for the second half of the season.

Thanks for your support…..

Sleep Training

May 19, 2010

I am logging in the ZZZs here in Germany. I don't know what it is but I can't keep my eyes open in the afternoon. Even with the sun shining the past days. I go in to watch the Giro, get about 5-10Ks in and crash out hard until the announcer starts screaming with a few Ks to go before the finish.

It's pretty easy to fall asleep when cycling is on TV and especially so with a commentator speaking another language. Now they have it on again at night so if I can't sleep, I have the perfect alternative to a sleeping pill.

Meg, Fin, Leo and I rode to a waffle shop this afternoon that we went to yesterday but it was closed. I had to settle for a bakery instead. Not as good as the waffles, but not bad either.

We have a cow here at the farm that has been mooing like crazy lately. It wakes me up in the morning sometimes and I can hear it perfect from the computer room. I'm not sure why it's so upset and I can't figure out which one it is because when I go in the barn to find out it stops.

Tomorrow is my last day here at the US compound, Sandy and I are heading to Offenburg to meet up with the Specialized team. Lene won't be making the trip down since she's still suffering with the illness she got in the Dalby forest. I hope she gets better soon and I'm sure she'll be storming at the next few WCs.

The weather has been great here the past 2 days so I'm hoping it stays good for the race this weekend. WIth all the moisture we've had the course will be perfect if it stays dry. It will probably have black marks from the tires for being so packed in and be like riding on rails. On the other hand, if it rains like it has been the course gets really muddy and I don't know whether I'll use the 29er or the Epic.

Meg is also out of here tomorrow morning as long as the ash cloud doesn't appear over Frankfurt tonight. There is a puppy here on the farm I have been getting my pero time with but I'm looking forward to getting back to see "W" soon.

I wonder if will snow the week I get back since it's Iron Horse weekend....

Blue Sky

May 19, 2010

I have finally seen the sun here in Keizgarten. It has taken about 9 days but it's finally snuck out for at least the morning. When Meg and I left for Mallorca it was raining, when we came back it was raining but now it's nice.

This weekend the US team headed to Heubach Germany for "Bike the Rock" HC UCI race. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, about a 3 hour drive and pre rode the course. The course is about a 15-18 minute lap, 4ks straight up and down, lot's of climbing. The U23s had a their own race in the morning which was cool for them to be able to test themselves against their peers with out racing 200 other people too.

The field for the elite race was like a mini WC. The start was awesome and lined with spectators 3 or 4 deep all the way around. We had a BMW convertible for a lead out vehicle and the expo was packed. I wish the races were like that in US.

I had a good start but managed to move backwards the entire race. Not quite sure why, good legs, plenty of suffering but just no power. Hope things turn around quick. At least Bike the Rock and Offenburg are two completely different types of racing. Bike the Rock was like a mountain climb and Offenburg is like a crit.

Sam Schultz had a good ride coming in 11th and Kabush was 13th having ridden as high as 2nd in the beginning of the race. Wolfram was going so fast up the climbs I think he had close to a minute at the top of the first climb but would lose it all and then some on the descent. Amazing.

Meg and I have 2 more days together before she goes back to Durango and I head to Offenburg with Sandy to meet up with the S. team. The staff has been great here keeping our gear and bodies running smooth. The U.S. riders didn't have 1 mechanical yesterday which says a lot since it was really muddy for the U23s and the bikes were destroyed after all 8 of us pre rode on Saturday. Sandy did a great job and the bikes worked flawlessly.

I gotta get off the computer and spend some time with Meg, between 3 hours of the Giro each day and now 2.5 hours of the Tour of Cali live on Eurosport all I do is watch cycling on TV.

I'm hoping this ash cloud doesn't mess up my flight back to Durango on Tuesday, if things go smooth I'll be home in 7 days and I can't wait. Dog park, sunshine, dusty trails, river, friends and golf. I'm looking forward to some sushi and mexican food as well.

I wonder what Winstons' doing right now......

Mallorca

May 10, 2010

I toughed it out in Germany for exactly 4 days.

Kirchzarten is a really cool town located about 9Ks from Freiburg(where the Schumacher doping scandal took place) at the base of the mountains. The mountains are really cool and being so close to Switzerland, it looks a lot like it there.

For the 4 days I was there it was between 6-9 C with a huge cloud settled in about 300 feet above the house stuck on the mountains. It didn't rain everyday but if you went into the mountains the air was so thick it was like it was raining. Rob and I did a ride one day where we were up around 3,000 ft, it was raining, it was 2c and the wind was howling. I decided to go to Mallorca right then.

Meg flew in on Tuesday to Frankfurt, took the train to Freiburg and I went down and picked her up. It takes 2:30 hours to drive from Frankfurt with no traffic and the train took less then 2 hours with no transfers. I was also able to suck down a Chai tea from Starbucks before she got there since there's one in the train station.

It has been awesome having her here as the last time I saw her was before Pan Am Championships, about a month ago. We haven't got to spend too much time together though because I've been doing some big training up until today. Top that off with the fact she is becoming an insomniac this trip and our schedules are a bit off. Today though we're taking it chill and hopefully going to spend the day on the beach if the sun would stay out.

The U.S. development house in Germany is really cool. It's a huge house that has a bunch of small apartments and is a working farm. There are cows, chickens, mini horses, normal horses, sheep, cats and a new puppy. It's like being on the Simple Life. It's great getting to hang out with all the U-23s, Gully, Sandy, Shultz and the rest of the crew. I forgot my cable for my phone at home so I can't upload any pictures.

The crew in Germany make it cool but the scenery and weather in Mallorca are great too. Sandy set us up with Tolo who is like the Bob of Mallorca. He owns a restaurant on the beach and his girlfriend got us an apartment to stay in for the week. We hung out with Ken Whelpdale last night and his fiance too so we feel like locals here. The riding is incredible, I have never ridden anywhere like this. I would say it's even better then riding in the Alps.

Well Meg is done with her cappuccino and we need to get to the beach. Hopefully the ash cloud will be gone by the time we fly home on Thursday.

I wonder what's going on at the development house today.....

World Cup #1 Dalby Forest UK

April 27, 2010

I am really excited to be contesting the World Cup for 2010. The first race of the season was this past weekend at the Dalby Forest in the U.K. and it was almost as hard getting there as it was to race. The volcano in Iceland made a long trip even longer but I’ll just give you a brief description.

We flew from Sea Otter to Frankfurt with out incident and when we arrived the airport was like a ghost town. All the flights out were canceled so we sat around for five hours trying to make a plan. We decided to rent a car and were out on the road just in time for Frankfurt rush hour traffic at 5 pm. We (Burry, Susi, Lene, Claire and I) made it to the ferry in Calias, France at 12pm in our very tight five seater Picasso Citron with an electronic hand brake that didn’t

want to come off. It was a one-hour ride across to the U.K. and then another eight-hour drive from there to Dalby Forest. Claire drove the entire fifteen hours after flying all the way from San Francisco. Amazing.

The course in the U.K. was an awesome six K loop with lots of rock drops, fast single track, short climbs, decision maker lines and even a BMX track. I was struggling with my knee early in the week from my crash at Pan Ams and the long travel. Thursday I was unsure if I could

even race since the course was pretty rough and my knee was hurting on the track. Great treatment by Claire, Peter and local physical therapist, Ed got me going in time for race day.

The weather was killer all week and then on race day the clouds rolled in and it even rained over night. The course was completely dry for the start of our race and I rolled to the line with my S-Works 29er and new Renegade tires. I managed to avoid the carnage on the start loop but didn’t have my best start and spent most of my day slowly working my way up through the field. I did make a quick stop in the tech-zone to tighten a loose saddle but other then that I didn’t have any problems and my knee really didn’t bother me. I spent the later half of the race with Roel Paulissen and finally crossed the line in 19th position, 3:49 down. Not my best W.C. but not my worst either. My teammate Burry had a great race and came in third after pushing the pace all day.

To give you an idea of how deep the fields are getting that’s five to ten riders finishing each minute. Most national mountain bike races one rider comes in every minute or two. These races are just awesome! We arrived in Houffalize yesterday and even after taking a two and

half hour detour it felt like a breeze after last weeks travel. The weather is supposed to be good all week here and it’s a new shorter course this year so we’ll ride through the historic town center even more.

Thanks for your suppot…

Sea Otter Classic 2010

April 20, 2010

The Sea Otter Classic is known for it’s unpredictable spring weather, huge venue and top international field. This year the weather was perfect for racing with temperatures in the upper sixties, blue sky and no wind. The field was stacked with international talent and a new course made the race perfect for spectators.

I don’t usually get to race alongside my teammates; Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser in the U.S. Lucky for me we were all-together at the Sea Otter and could use some team tactics in the races.

The Short Track was the first event of the weekend on Saturday afternoon. The course this year had a big mud bog in the first turn, which resembled a motocross race more, then a bicycle. From there it was a short punchy climb followed by a bumpy traverse and some

downhill grass switchbacks, total time of two minutes per lap.

I had a great start and got off alone on the second lap. I never looked back and midway through the race Burry joined me at the front. He had a bit of a slip up shortly after and I rode the rest of the race alone off the front. It was awesome to win the STXC for the second year in a row.

We had a lot of confidence going into the cross country on Sunday after finishing first, second and forth in the STXC. It was a new course this year that was six kilometers instead of the normal twenty miles and we did five laps instead of two. There was a lot more pavement then in the past as well so it was great to have two strong teammates.

On the first lap we split into a group of ten with Burry, Susi and myself making the selection. We were able to split the group further on the second lap with Burry and myself getting off with only Kabush able to follow. Susi was just behind with Fontana chasing. Burry and I took turns attacking Kabush for the remainder of the race but couldn’t get rid of him. Coming into the finish I made a last ditch attack with Kabush having to chase me down. That left Burry sitting in his draft and allowed him to easily come around him in the sprint and take the win for Specialized. I ended up third in the sprint and Susi came in forth just behind us.

2010 was my best Sea Otter ever and the team did awesome. We are all in route to the first World Cup in the U.K. now. We made it to Frankfurt and are now trying to figure out how to get up to the Dalby Forest since all the flights in Europe are canceled because of the volcano in Iceland. Hopefully we’ll make it and have another great weekend of racing.

Thanks for your support….

Specialized HQ

April 15, 2010

Thanks for posting this picture on my Facebook, it could be the coolest picture I've ever had on there. Specialized and the US team jersey.

Every time I got to Specialized I'm totally blown away by how awesome it is there. We were in meetings with every product group you can imagine on Tuesday. Not only did we get the low down on all the stuff but they take any feedback we have. It's so cool to work for a company that appreciates it's riders and uses them to improve their products. You'd be hard pressed to find a company with a broader range of high end race equipment then Specialized. I mean they have the best bikes across all spectrums.

They also had some SBCU classes going on while we were there. If you ever get invited to one of those classes don't miss out on it. It's an amazing office with so many trick bikes, famous gear and just an incredible facility. If you do go though, you gotta make sure you're in shape because they have a daily lunch time ride that is a hammer fest. There isn't much time to eat on the ride since it's short and everyone is looking to get in a good work out. I have to say doing it on a road bike this year instead of an MTB made it a little nicer. The roads around Morgan Hill are sweet for road riding and there are hardly any cars.

We came down to Monterey yesterday and it looks like the weather might hold out for the weekend. It's a little chilly with temps in the low 60s but being right on the coast makes it seem colder. For the time being, the sun is shining, the flowers are popping and it's not too windy.

My knee has been getting better each day. I almost have a full range of motion back in it thanks to Troy and Mark for all the therapy they gave/give me. I have been having a lot of lymph drainage treatments. It's pretty much just split kineseo tape that puts ripples in you skin and allows the lymph to drain better. Lots of ice, massage and elevation have also been in the program.

It's awesome to be back together with the team this year and it's like we just stepped in where we left off last year. Everyone is getting along great and it's a pleasure to be a part of it. It's time for me to suit up and bust out an ez spin along the ocean. Life is good.

I wonder what Winstons' doing right now.....

Continental Championships Race Report:

April 12, 2010

I have been to numerous Pan American/ Continental Championships and come close to victory but never sealed the deal. That is until this weekend. I finally took the “W” down in Guatemala this year to grab my first Continental Championship jersey.

Continental Champs are usually a bit of a mystery because there are always one or two fast Central or South American guys you don’t see anywhere but at this race. Most of the time it is very hot and if you accidentally brush your teeth with the water you won’t even make it to

the start line, maybe for the next few races too.

This year the race was held outside of Guatemala City on a great course with some tight single track, steep climbs and fast double track sections. It was at altitude somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500, depending on whom you talked to.

I had a great start, got the hole-shot and 10 minutes into the race was off with a guy from Brazil that I traded blows with all day at worlds in Val di Sol, Italy. I attacked him quite a bit on the first of six laps but crashed on an off camber section on the second lap and spent a good portion of the third lap chasing back. I was finally able to crack him on the forth lap and hold onto a 40 second margin for the remaining two laps to take the victory.

It felt awesome to finally win one these events since I really enjoy racing south of the border and the people are always quite appreciative of the riders. I managed to injure my knee in the crash and after the race it swelled up quite a bit. I’m hoping it will be good to go by Sea Otter though and doesn’t get to much bigger on the plane ride there.

Thanks for your support….

Haps

April 6, 2010

Phil's World trails in Cortez, CO are rocking. I rode them twice last week, once during the week and then again on the weekend. I've never seen so many cars at a trail head for a non competition event. I think everyone that rides MTBs in Durango was over there this weekend. It's for good reason too, the trails are a blast and some of the only dry riding in the area.

Last week I logged in some good hours of training, did a little motor pacing, group ride and a group MTB ride on Sunday. Sager was in town and drove the whole crew over to Phil's. I rode my new SL3 over there and they brought my MTB for me. It was an awesome day of riding followed by an incredible Easter dinner prepared by Meg. She even got Snoodle and I easter baskets while we were out riding so when I got back I had plenty of chocolate bunnies to munch on before dinner. I think it was one of the best days I've had in a while since I also got to watch Tour of Flanders when we got home with out knowing the outcome. It was the perfect day.

Today I went out on the Dan Bowman Hunger ride. The ride is suppose to teach your body to burn fat more efficiently. You basically ride as hard as you can with out eating anything until you blow up. Then you ride/limp home. Lucky for me it was really windy today and when I detonated I had a tailwind most of the way home. If it was a head wind I might have had to walk.

We had a great burger night at the Palace tonight, the best place for burgers in Durango. If you're ever in D-town on a Monday night and looking for a good, cheap, natural local beef burger go to the Palace(next to the train station) and enjoy. From there you can stumble to Falconburgs for pint night, or if you're in training Starbucks for a sweet treat.

I have two days left in Durango before I go on a two month trip. I've almost got all my laundry done but that's about it. Meg finished our taxes and Gretchen got them all done. Now all I have to do is pack. Tomorrow I've got a massage with Elka. I need to toughen up before I get to the Sea Otter so Claire doesn't make fun of me for being such a baby. Susi always wants her to push harder and I'm always asking her to go lighter.

Speaking of Sea Otter, I hear Cannodale is bringing their World Cup team so Roel, Fontana and Fumic will be there. That's awesome for us US guys as they'll not only have to travel all the way to the US, but all the way back less then one week before the first World Cup. The Specialized riders always come because we all go to the company hq in Mogran Hill for the week before the race but I don't know why they are making the Cannondale guys go. Maybe they're going to Connecticut before the race. That doesn't make much sense though b/c they would still need to fly 5 hours across the US to get to the race.

Tomorrow Meg and I are going to Ashley furniture in Durango to argue with them about our couch. We bought the couch one year ago and now they're claiming we never paid for it. They claim we paid the down payment but not the final payment when it was delivered. We paid cash and don't have a receipt but it was delivered C.O.D. so it seems like the couch itself would be the receipt. They called us one week ago out of the blue to tell us we were one year late on our payment. What kind of business is that. On top of that they said none of the people that worked there when we bought the couch work there anymore so no one will verify we paid for it.

The Wells house is pretty tired tonight, even Winston is pooped after a big Dog Park session today.

I wonder if I'm going to finish my latest Jack Reacher novel tonight....

Fontana Pro XCT Race Report:

March 29, 2010

This weekend was the opening round for the new Pro XCT series in Fontana, CA. We have been coming to this Southern California venue now for five or six years. The area is best know for it’s down hill race series but it also has some fun XC trails. Add in the Jason Britton

show and the Inn N Out truck and there is something for everyone.

Saturday was the XC and the legendary Santa Anna winds that usually blow in the fall and cause all sorts of fire problems were blowing full force for the race. The course was dry, hard-pack with one steep single-track climb and a shorter paved climb. The rest of the course

was up and down with a high average speed. There was a new rock drop section that was also fun.

The race broke up pretty quickly and by the second lap we were a group of four, Plaxton, Sid , Kabush and I. My plan was to attack early and get away but no matter how many times I hit it I couldn’t hold a gap. We were all together with less then a K to go to the finish. I attacked as hard as I could on the last open section before a short rocky climb. I got to the climb first and held it till the finish. It was definitely a tactical finish. I took my first victory of the year and grabbed a few UCI points in the process on the big-wheeled 29er hard tail.

They have decided to make the short tracks really short this year, fifteen minutes plus one lap. That is about sixteen to seventeen minutes of racing instead of what we usually race which is closer to thirty minutes. They both seem like short races but our new format goes really quickly. I had a mediocore start and by the time I made it to the front of the group Sid and Trebron were gone. I tried to bridge to them but never made it and settled for forth.

I also raced the Super D this weekend after the STXC. The Super D course was basically half of the cross-country and took between ten and fifteen minutes. Super D is pretty fun but the start is everything because there isn’t much passing. We had to run to our bikes for the start and I was towards the back of the group. Lucky for me the course has a short climb in it and I was able to make it up to third by the finish. Mountain bike racing had a really laid back vibe back in the day and the Super D feels the same way, just a bunch of people out to have a good time.

I’m on my way back to my home in Durango for the first time since early January and then it’s off to the Continental Championships in Guatemala in a few weeks.

Thanks for your support…..

California

March 22, 2010

I have a bunch of pictures from this trip. Lets start at the beginning, San Diego. They live large here in Del Mar, even the dogs have their own water fountains.

Winston has been taking some serious pictures this trip. Like I said, Del Mar is nice.

These two were waiting for the bus.

In N Out burger is awesome. They have a walk up window so you can show up with your kit and not have to go inside and stand in line. California has some good stuff.

The beach here in Laguna has some great sunsets. It is a little busy here but the sunsets don't get much better.

They are into the paddle boards out here. I've never done it but I bet it's pretty sweet being out there this time of night.

The other night I made it out on the Rad's ride. This is either the longest or one of the longest running mountain bike clubs in the world. They ride some gnarly descents and go up stuff just as bad. I think we need to start a club like this in Durango. We were lucky enough to go on an "event" night, St Patty's day when a new member got inducted into the club. It was the first daylight savings ride and we finished with the setting sun.

There are a lot of cars here so that means there are a lot of parking meters. 7 days a week 12 to 14 hours a day. You know it's a serious parking meter when you can pay with your credit card.

Meg has been repping the Crankbro's stuff hard this week. And of course the Buck.

The road riding around Laguna isn't the best. Today I went south down through the military base to Oceanside and then inland towards to Temecula to Mt Palomar. The riding out there is way better, no traffic lights, not as much traffic and awesome roads. Mt Palomar is 7 miles at 7% grade. The road is bermed out too so when you come down you can totally rail the corners. It was an awesome ride but the 2 hour car ride home in rush hour traffic wasn't so hot.

That about sums the week up. We are settling in nicely here in Laguna, Lene even put a few miles in on her new 29er.

I wonder if the snows' melting in Durango......

Laguna Beach

March 16, 2010

I have to say Laguna Beach is pretty sweet. There are a lot of people here but there are quite a few trails right out of town, the beach is awesome and you can walk everywhere. We even saw some homeless guy shopping at the Whole Foods in town. Living large.

Meg, Winston and I busted out of Ontario today and rolled straight down to Laguna with no problems. Last night we saw some guy in the gas station next to the hotel with 4 tear drops tatted on his face, that's 4 kills I think.

I saw three rattle snakes today in my 3 hour MTB ride. One was really mad after I tried to maneuver him off the trail. I had to wait for a few minutes before I could pass. The other two were on the side of the fire road so it wasn't a big deal. Tomorrow I'm going to stick to the roads. Speaking of the roads, town is super pedestrian friendly and cars are always waving you by or stopping to let you cross. That's a nice change from Tucson where you have to sprint across the streets.

Yesterday's short track went pretty well, I sprinted with Sid for the win but had to settle for 2nd. The Super D/TT didn't go so well. I can usually rip the downhills pretty well in the XC race but I was creeping down it in the Super D. That gives me something else to work on and there are plenty of trails here to practice on.

Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt

This time change is awesome but it's making me tired tonight.

I wonder how many rattle snakes I"m gonna see tomorrow......

Boneli Park, CA Triple Crown #1 3/13-14 Race Report:

March 15, 2010

The 2010 U.S. mountain bike season got underway this weekend in Southern California with the first ever Triple Crown of Mountain Bike. The Triple Crown was held in Boneli Park, which is less then twenty miles from Fontana, which will host the first, round of the PROXCT MTB

series on March 27.

The weather and course were both typical So Cal with temperatures in the low seventies, plenty of sunshine, hard pack fast trails, short climbs/descents and a few technical rock sections thrown in for good measure. Inn N Out Burger was onsite feeding hungry racers and Jason Britton of the Speed Network put on a street bike demo before the start of the XC.

The Triple Crown is a new series this year, which combines your XC, result with either you STXC or Super D, which ever is better. The result is then the combo of the two and puts a premium on being an all around rider since if you win the XC but don’t place well in the STXC

or Super D you aren’t going to be in contention for the win.

The first race is always nice because you get to see your traveling family that you haven’t seen since September. It is also nice to gauge the fitness and see how the winter training paid off.

The XC started with a bang and we were soon off on the fifteen-minute loop in a large group. The group got widdled down to six or seven pretty quickly with guys coming back when the pace would slow and dropping when it would increase. Midway through the hour and half race

Max Plaxton took a flyer and we wouldn’t see him for the rest of the day. Kabush drove the chase group for a lap but Plaxton wasn’t coming back. The last time through the Start/Finish both Kabush and Sid Taberly hit the tech zone for wheel changes because of slow leaks.

That left Sam Shultz and I to try and chase down Plaxton. I was pretty cooked by that point and Kabush and Sid came back to us midway through the lap. I tried one last ditch attempt about a K from the finish but couldn’t hold on and was caught and passed by the group and ended up fifth.

Sunday brought a short STXC race that is usually thirty minutes but was cut down to about eighteen minutes. Since it was so short it was fast from the gun. There were a few attacks but it was a very fast course and stayed mostly strung out in a group of five or six. I came

into the finish in second position and sprinted with Sid for the win but couldn’t come around before the line. I would need to do one better then that to try and improve my position in the Super D.

The Super D was a mix of climbing and descending, more like a time trail then a downhill and we started at thirty-second intervals. The course was a mix of fire road and single track. It was about eight and half minutes long with three hundred or so feet of descending and one

hundred feet of climbing, nothing to technical but plenty of pedaling and places to go fast. I was looking forward to this event most of all as the Super D has been gaining popularity over the years and I had never done one. The race was a blast and I found a new skill set where

I can definitely use some work. I didn’t better my performance from the STXC so I wound up forth overall for the weekend. I am happy with that for the first race of the year and I’m looking forward to lining up again in Fontana in a few weeks.

Thanks for your support.

Adios Tucson

March 8, 2010

I can't believe I'm out of here already, seems like we just arrived. I had a little bit busier off season then normal with a trip to South Africa and driving all the way back to Durango from Mexico instead of just going straight to Tucson. Oh well, it's been another great winter of training.

This year has been the wettest I have ever spent in Tucson. As I'm writing this it's pouring out again. I can't believe all the water Tucson has received this winter. Everything is turning green, the washes are raging and they claim to be out of their short term drought. I thought the whole meaning of desert was dry area but I guess it's been drier then normal over the past 5 years.

Winston got attacked by another dog a few days ago up at Lower Tanque Verde Falls. We were the only ones there minding our own business when some lady comes down the trail, tells Meg her dog just attacked another dog and by the time she finishes her dog has Winston's neck in it's mouth and submerging him in the water. Luckily he got away but got a bite on his back and bruised his chest trying to escape. The lady just took off. From start to finish the whole experience was less then a minute.

Winston seemed a little shaken up but OK until that night. He started to stiffen up and then at 2am he was panting super loud and we took him to a 24/7 emergency vet. He had a fever and had to get on antibiotics and pain anti inflammatory medicine. It was a bummer but the vet was really nice and we were out of there with in an hour since no one else was there.

He's having a rough week, yesterday he had to go back and found out he's got worms. He's on even more medication now.

I finished up my high volume, low intensity training block last week with out a hitch. That training takes a lot out of me but I feel like it sets me up well for the rest of the year. Since then I took a little break and have been doing some transition rides and hit up the Shoot Out group ride on Saturday.

The Shoot Out has been going on for ever and the ride rolled out of town with 150-200 the other day. We even had like 30 or 40 people do the Madera portion of the ride. The most I've ever seen do that part is about 15. The ride was really windy and I got some good suffering in.

After the ride I had my first USADA test of the year. I've been been tested by the same husband/wife down here for the last 10 years.

Congrats to Tad Elliot for getting 2nd at the Birkebeinder ski race a few weeks ago. It's one of the biggest races in the country and he narrowly got beat by an Italian racer. Dan Bowman also had a good race at Tour of Langkawi where he was 20th on the huge climbing day. Jean-Christophe Peraud had a good Paris Nice prologue yesterday in his first big road race since switching from the MTB. He got the silver medal in Beijing and switched to the road this year after winning the French TT national championships last year.

Meg, Winston and I are heading out to San Diego today. I'm getting my UCI medical tests done at the Chula Vista OTC tomorrow morning. Then we're going to hang out in Del Mar for a few days before going up to Boneli for the first race of the year. It's going to hurt bad but at least I have a month of good racing before the first World Cup. I'm hoping by the time we get to Durango at the end of March the snow is melted or at least starting to.

I wonder how long it's going to take us to drive to San Diego....

Base

February 26, 2010

So I'm in my last week of base training for this year. People have different ways they approach this endurance phase of training. Most do some intensity during this period but I don't do any. I figure racing from March through December is enough intensity and I enjoy not putting it in the red zone during this time of the year. That's not to say I'm not training hard though. This week I'll hopefully log in 35 hours at a very steady pace that is about as hard as I can ride after the 5 weeks leading up to this week. Needless to say I'm pretty tired right now. I only have 2 big days left though and then I'll have a nice 5 day recovery period consisting of ez riding and as much golf as I can take.

The weather has been really wet this year. The washes are still running full blast and it's gonna be an awesome spring with all this water. Should be blooming cactus everywhere. With the cool weather I've managed to ward off the sunburn this entire training period which is usually tough with big hours, no shade and 2,500 ft elevation. These guys haven't been out much but will probably be coming out soon.

I heard a rumor that the upcoming Fontana PROXCT just got down graded from a C1 to a C2. That's a bummer since the US needs all the points we can get for Olympic spots but more importantly I need all the UCI points I can for start position at the World Champs. If you were at the Saint Ann World Cup last year you know the new start is even more crucial then the old one. You have about 2 minutes before you drop into a long single track.

Meg and I have been logging in the Olympic viewing. I'm either out on the bike, at the gym or watching the Olympics. My favorite event so far was that 15K mens skate race. That was the most exciting race I've ever seen on skis.

I have also been crushing the Lee Child books. The Reacher character is awesome and ever since the TM, Booby turned me on to them I have been reading them non stop. You can hit up the Bookman's here and get like 10 books for $40. That's a sweet deal.

Finally, check out this article from Cyclocross Magazine about Cross Nationals. We need to get a CX National Championships in Durango. http://www.cxmagazine.com/cyclocross-nationals-boost-bends-economy-144m?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CyclocrossMagazine+%28Cyclocross+Magazine%29&utm_content=cyclocross&utm_term=cyclocross%2C+cycling%2C+bike+racing%2C+veldrijden%2C+cyclo-cross

I wonder how old Hagen is today.... Happy Birthday.....

Super Bowl Sunday

February 8, 2010

The training has been going well lately. Our living situation is dialed in and I have more then 1 days worth of groceries in the fridge. Life is good.

I finished up the first phase of my base on Monday and then had 5 days off. While, not quite off but pretty chill, other then getting back to the best gym in Tucson and working myself over. Kettle bells are way better for swings then dumb bells. Jump squats also work way better with the proper equipment.

Meg, Winston and I logged in some running miles too. I have been trying to run twice a week this year for my training. It helps keep the muscles in good shape, builds bone density and keeps the weight off. Plus Winston loves it so it's gotta be good.

I played some golf too. Had my best round going in a while but ran out of daylight the other day. I was crushing the drives though and hit 300, that's big for me.

Meg and I went to the Desert Museum on Friday. That place is so cool. I hate to look at the snakes but can't help myself. They blend in so well, you gotta be careful when you step of your ride in the desert, there are plenty of venomous creatures waiting to get you like this one.

The cactus there are really friendly.

I like this one. Notice my sweet helmet hair.

They even have mountain lions here. If you live in the west you gotta fear the mountain lion. You don't see them often but if you do it could turn out bad. You can kind of see him here, not much zoom on my phone.

Tucson has been really rainy this year. It has already rained more in the last couple weeks then it usually does when I'm here for months. You don't see the washes running too often in the winter.

Luckily when it rains in the desert it doesn't do it all day(usually). This is a classic Tucson picture. That is a lift kit. Meg is 5'6" so that thing has to be close to 10' tall.

Sram just launched a new site for it's XX stuff, check it out at: http://sram2x10.com They have a list of bikes speced with the XX, Specialized has 6 production bikes with it and the closed competitor only has 2. That means they give you 6 super light high end production bikes to chose from. Man I'm lucky to be on the Big S.

Finally, here a classic Flipper shot from our Stellenbosch SA Camp.

I wonder when it's going to be hot and sunny again.....

This is Getting Ridiculous

January 28, 2010

The bad weather seems to have followed me from Durango to Tucson. It usually rains one time while I'm here in Tucson all winter and today it hasn't stopped since I woke up. Maybe today is the one day but somehow I doubt it.

Made it down here last night and am staying with Hutch right now on the North side of town. DT is going to show me a condo tonight though so as soon as I'm set up with a permanent residence Meg and Winston are going to come down.

So far today all I've been doing is eating and drinking caffeine. I was trying to cut out caffeine for a while but that doesn't seem to be working. What else am I going to do while hanging out at the coffee shop surfing the net?

I had hoped to tough it out through the SnowDown parade this weekend but I'm a total wuss when it comes to cold weather. How I ended up in a mountain town in Colorado I'll never know. I always had dreams of moving to the beach in Florida but somehow I landed in the four

corners. It's so beautiful there 7 months out of the year it's tough to leave. Especially when I can drive 8 hours to (usually) sunny Tucson and so many great people live there.

Hutch(the Fabio looking guy) was one of the main people that helped get me back into racing once I graduated from the UofA. It was great having him on the circuit for a few years and it's always good to catch up with him. Never short on stories.

Meg is having yet another birthday tonight put on by Willow and Co. I'm sure it's going to get out of control and I'm bummed I won't be there to be part of it. If you're out on the town tonight I'm sure you'll run into them.

The rain seemed to have stopped for the moment so I'm going to head back up the hill to Hutch's house in an attempt to get out on the bike or at the very least lace up the shoes for a good run.

In case I'm not back on line in the next few days, doubtful, good luck to the whole US Cyclocross Worlds team and Kit-Kat. Kick ass over there in Tabor and bring back some hardware.

I wonder what Winstons' doing right now.....

Cyclocross National Championship

December 15, 2009

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that the Cyclocross National Championships took place this weekend in Bend, OR. This is the first time Bend has hosted a Cyclocross Nationals and it was a huge success. The crowds were estimated at somewhere between seven and ten thousand strong. The venue was downtown and city put on a great show.

I went into Nationals thinking I had a great shot at the jersey after a first and second place last weekend in Portland. I knew my form was good and I had tested myself against all the competition except Jonathan Page. I had a great week in Portland and Bend leading up to

the race, though it was a bit cold. The temperatures were stuck in the twenties for most of the week and Bend got some fresh snow about five days before the race. Slippery conditions are always good for me so that gave me even more confidence.

Sunday came and the temperatures soared to almost forty degrees, the course went from snowy to dirt and mud puddles. It was a little slick in sections but nothing like it had been earlier in the week. About halfway though the first lap I knew I was in trouble. Powers was

driving it on the front and I was slowly slipping back through the field. The legs felt good I just couldn’t get it going. I was suffering like a dog but not going anywhere. Finally towards the end of the race I started to settle in a little and made contact with Page. We would battle the final two laps for third place but when we hit the pavement together for the sprint he was gone.

I have stood on the podium with the same four other guys for the last eight years minus 2008 where I didn’t make the podium. We have almost all stood on that top step a few times and I can say from experience it is a pretty amazing feeling. I have never seen such a huge crowd

for the podium at any race I have done, ever. Cyclocross is blowing up in the U.S. and I feel honored to be a part of it.

I want to thank you all for your support and especially for all the “good luck” wishes this week. Most of you have already seen it but for those that have not, Specialized put together a series of webisodes though Brake Through Media that documents my build up to Nationals this past week from my win in Portland to the finish of the National Championships. I have received some great feedback on it and you can access the videos at: http://iamspecialized.com/xc-mtb

Thanks again and I’ll see you next year……

USGP Finals Portland, OR.

December 7, 2009

The USGP Finals took place this weekend in Portland, OR. I have been racing cross in Portland for about seven years now and I have never spent an entire weekend here with out rain until now. What the weather lacked for in moisture it made up for in wind and cold on Sunday.

Saturday was beautiful though so I’ll start there.

With one week left until the National Championship I wanted to have a good race in Portland on Saturday against all the guys (minus Page) that I will be competing with in Bend on December 13th. I wanted to make sure I had my race week lead up dialed, that I would be

completely open and rested as much as possible for the one day event.

I usually race better the second day of a two-race weekend so I was really keying on the first day since there is no second day at Nationals. To add even more pressure we had a film crew here putting together a documentary on my lead up to Nationals, I had to perform.

Saturday went perfect for me. I made the front group with Trebone, Powers and Kabush right from the gun. We dropped Kabush pretty quickly and mid way through the race Trebone dropped after doing all the work in the beginning. I attacked Powers but he came back to me each time and on the last lap I put in one last surge through the technical section. I was able to grab a couple bike lengths lead and hold onto it to the finish. My first USGP win of the year. Phew.

Sunday the temperatures dropped and the slippery course we had on Saturday turned into a highway on Sunday. The corners were like Velcro and the straights like asphalt. I found myself in lead after coming around my brother who had holeshoted right before the first 180 corner. Midway through the first lap I was off with Power and Johnson. I was feeling good and kept the pressure on hoping to crack them but by the mid point in the race we had settled in and that’s when they started attacking me. I was able to cover each move and countered a bunch of them but we were all evenly matched. On the last lap Powers attacked and got in front of me before the technical section. I passed him back a minute later but went wide in one corner and grabbed the lead back with a great inside move. He led through the last few corners and put a few bike lengths on me. I tried to catch him on the pavement but had to settle for second. It was the most fun I’ve had in a race in a long time with all the lead changes and fast conditions.

Also managed to pick up the SRAM most Aggressive Rider award for the second weekend in a row.

We are heading down to Bend on Tuesday to prepare for Nationals. They got fifteen inches of snow this weekend, high temperatures are forecast only in the teens and more snow is in the mix for the next weekend. It should be perfect conditions for me and make for a great race.

Thanks for your support…..

Days Left

December 2, 2009

I have 2 days of training in Durango left for the year. Actually, I only have 2 full days left in Durango for the year. I've spent more time here in 09 then I have in any recent years. It's been awesome.

Yesterday I rode the Colorado trail and this was as snowy as it got. The worst part was actually in the canyon about 2 minutes from the parking lot. After that it was great.

Winston has been sharing his food lately with "Cowboy". I don't think he likes "Cowboy" that much though since he always ends up outside.

The temperatures in Durango dropped last night. It's about 10 degrees out right now at 8am. It's always cold at 6,500 feet in December but it hasn't been this cold in a while.

I finished "Running with the Buffaloes" a few days ago. It was a great book. I never ran cross country but it gives you the inside scoop on CU's build up to the NCAA championship in 98 I think. It's amazing how much those runners get hurt. In order to be good you have to run a ton but if you run a lot you are bound to get injured.

Well I have a busy day, dentist, doctor, training, tire gluing, packing, dinner with Gilby and I have to find my really warm gloves.

I wonder what Myrons' doing right now....

Jingle Cross Rock

November 30, 2009

I spent this Thanksgiving in Coralville, Iowa for the Jingle Cross Rock UCI races this weekend. It has only been a two-race weekend in the past but this year they added a Friday night race under the lights. We lucked out with the weather since late November in Iowa can see temperatures stuck below freezing during the day and absolutely frigid at night.

Friday night was a little cold but not too bad. The elite men lined up at 7:30pm under some of the brightest lights I’ve ever seen. Mt. Krumpet was lit up from a mile away and the course was covered in mud since it had rained a lot earlier in the week. Jingle Cross is known

for Mt Krumpet, which is a giant climb (for cross) we go all the way to the top of and rip down. Steep muddy climbs and cantilever brakes don’t mix too well.

The race went well and I was able to take my first cross win of the season and gain some valuable UCI points for my Nationals start position.

The races on Saturday and Sunday went well also. I was able to gather three wins this weekend and managed to get off the front after about one lap each day. The course dried up as the weekend went on and by Sunday only the climb was muddy. Myron and Richard were working hard on Friday as I was swapping bikes every lap. Saturday wasn’t quite as bad and Sunday I didn’t do one bike change.

We zig zaged all through the Johnson County Fairgrounds stables, barns and grounds. There was Christmas lights and music going all through the course and the Grinch even made an appearance on Saturday afternoon. The race promoter raised 30K for the local children’s

hospital with the event and it was even bigger then last year. On the run up people were hanging over the tape handing out meat and beer.

You gotta love cross.

Google It

November 24, 2009

Durango is turning into a cyclocross town. I would say it's still a mountain bike town but there is a lot of momentum behind cyclocross right now. When I was racing cross back in 2002 it was myself, Maple and Barthel. Now every ride has 40+ people, FLC has a 7 race series

that goes from Durango to Dolores, Cortez, Aztec and back to Durango. This weekend there was a race in Aztec and one at Santa Rita park in Durango. The courses are rad, there's a good turn out and the temperatures have been in the mid 50s for most of the events. It doesn't get much better then that.

I opted to skip the NACT finals in Long Island this weekend after coming down with a cold in N.J.. I think it was the right decision since I was able to get healthy and do some good training here in town. It's so nice to actually spend a few weeks in a row here. Usually I don't get more then 2 or 3 weeks at a time in town but this fall I feel like I really live here.

Every night we have to google at least one thing. We're usually sitting around talking, Meg, Snoodle, Winston and I. We always come up with some question about something we're talking about or watching on TV. Here is what we checked out last night.

1. Taylor Shift's height: 5'8" to 5'11"

2. The forth person's name in the Black Eyes Peas: Forgot already, maybe Tabu

3. Mary J. Bliege's age: 38 (Meg thought she looked good for being

like 50 but not for being 38)

Monday night football is always a must watch too. We have to Tivo CSI Miami though and if it's a bad game like last week we just bag it. We watched the AMAs in about 20 minutes last night after we got back from dinner at The Office. They always have live music, mostly country, 1

man band, covers, etc. Last night we heard an original from cousin Eric of Cowboy Rap. It was pretty good. He even borrowed Meg's sunglasses for the song.

Congrats to the FLC soccer team for making it to the Final Four for D2. They play in Florida on December 3 and if they win, the championship game is 2 days later. FLC has awesome soccer and cycling programs.

Meg and I just got a new tent for our Mexico trip. We're planning on camping in San Carlos and maybe Mazatlan. We already checked out the campgrounds and need a little bigger tent to fit Winston.

Bowman and I are going to tear up the Aztec trails tomorrow morning. I hope my bike starts.

I wonder how cold it's going to be in Iowa this weekend.....

USGP 5/6 Mercer Cup N.J.

November 16, 2009

I didn’t think my cyclocross season was ever going to start this year but I finally made it to my first race this weekend. I had planned on beginning my build up for CX nationals a few weeks ago at the Boulder Cup but a freak infection landed me in the hospital for surgery just a

few days before the event. My recovery took longer then expected so that’s why I haven’t been out there mixing it up. Things seem to be going smoothly now though so hopefully I still have time to build up my form for nationals.

I hadn’t been on a plane for almost two months before this weekend and I have to say it’s been awesome spending so much time with Meg and Winston. I’m really excited to race now though and couldn’t wait to get back out there.

Hurricane Ida nailed N.J. on Thursday and Friday with strong winds and rain. After 600 people rode the course before we raced on Saturday it turned it into a sea of peanut butter. I wasn’t expecting much since I missed a bunch of training with my surgery but managed to make it up

to 8th place by the last lap before fading to 10th at the finish. Not where I want to be but good considering I had so much time off the bike the week before.

By Sunday the hurricane was gone and the sun was out in force. The temperatures were pushing 70 degrees and all the riders had dried up the course substantially. There were a few more turns then the previous day, berms were forming you actually had to use your breaks

coming into some of the corners rather then pedaling flat out just to keep moving forward. I had much better legs after having a good race effort the day before and found myself flying past guys the entire race. I made it up to 3rd place by the end of the day, which was also

good enough to grab the “Sram Most Aggressive Rider” award, something I had never won before.

I knew the first race back was going to be hard so I was very happy about how it went. I hadn’t worked with Myron, my mechanic during cross yet except for at Cross Vegas that is more like a road crit and doesn’t require any pitting unless you have very bad luck. I had hoped we would have some easy pit work to start out but I was swapping bikes every half lap on Saturday so he was basically thrown right into the fire and didn’t miss a beat. The bikes worked awesome, the new Zipp wheels were great and the TRP brakes are the so easy to adjust it’s incredible. I can’t wait for the Jingle Cross Triple header in two weeks.

Thanks for your support…..

Tire Testing

November 10, 2009

I've been back on the bike the last 2 days. I'm not sure how it's going though. I have been using a normal saddle that's much softer then my normal one. I don't have the side cut out it so my left leg doesn't get a lot sorer then my right one like it did with the modified one. I find out on Thursday morning if I can go to N.J. this weekend. I'm finally off antibiotics today. Woohooo.

Rude took me motor pacing yesterday and I was suffering. I haven't been behind the scooter in a while. He was suffering too since it was pretty windy and cool. Well, I was wearing shorts but it's cold when you're just sitting in the wind.

We had a good burger night last night. Every Monday night is "Burger Night" at the Palace in town. They have pretty cheap burgers that are made with meat from the local Sunny Side farms beef. The guy who is the chef there use to cook for Oprah and now runs the Palace. Big

time.

The Specialized crew is in town for tire testing today and tomorrow. I missed the last tire test session in South Africa this winter. We're testing some 29er and cyclocross tires. It's going to be a full two days of testing but it's so cool the company does stuff like this. They are so thorough and it's no wonder they make the best products.

I was finally able to book a hotel for free with my Hilton Honors card. I have had it forever and my points never seem to get put on it. Last night I had enough to book a hotel for Meg.

I'm still recovering from my running race this weekend. My hamstrings are worked. Who knew running worked your hamstrings to much. As a bike racer, I find my hamstrings are the weakest part of my leg. I have been doing a lot of weight stuff over the past few years to try and get them stronger but they are still pretty weak.

This past weekend was the local race in Dolores. It had a great turn out, a beautiful day and plenty of good racing. Rude narrowly out sprinted Shriver for the "W". Grant and Howes had a good battle as well as Travis and Ned. There was some action in the pits and I even

grabbed a wheel for Mapel. I think he was the only guy to do the running race on Saturday and the CX race on Sunday. Looks like he's back in training mode.

I wonder if the Gulch is dry yet......

Weekend....

November 10, 2009

So today is my 4th day being off the bike. It sucks no being able to ride and feeling fine. I have been logging in the miles with the running shoes. I ran for over an hour and half the other day with Winston and Tad. Winston couldn't even walk all the way into the house after the run before collapsing on the floor. My calves were worked after the run too.

I did some speed work yesterday to get ready for my 1st 5K race in 9 years today. It's only my 2nd 5K ever. It was a benefit for a local high school girl who was paralyzed during a track event in a town about 20 miles from Durango. A goal post fell on her and she was paralyzed. That sucks. She seems to be in good spirits though.

I started a little slow and a group of high school guys got away from me. I spent most of the race running with Lee-ro. I managed to catch the 2nd place guy inside the last 100 meters and we got with in about 15 or 20 seconds of the leader at the finish. The 3rd place guy and

the 2nd place guy I caught on the last climb both out kicked me on the slightly down hill finishing straight. I can't sprint in a running race either I guess. 4th place isn't too bad and it was cool to run in a group for the whole race and jockey for position at the end. I don't

think I'll be able to walk tomorrow. Even Mapel was out there today ripping it up. He finished behind Lee-ro and they were both wearing red shirts.

I hit up the test track for some dirt jumping today also. I rode over there standing up the whole time. The nice thing about dirt jumping is you get to hang out at the top of the run. The weather was awesome, just about 70 degrees with hardly any wind. I hope this weather never

ends.

I'm not sure if my butt is ever going to heal. It's like having a inch and half long cut, half an inch deep on your knee. You're always using it so it never seems to heal. Even when it does heal it's still sore for a while and the last thing you want to do is put pressure on it.

Meg and I have been logging in some serious "House Hunters" time on the HGTV channel. I like the international version the best. Either Spain or the Caribbean.

I wonder what Hutch is doing right now.....

No Iceman

November 5, 2009

So I had the brakes put on the Iceman yesterday from the Dr.. I knew it was going to be a long shot to be able to race this weekend when I was still having trouble sitting on the saddle on Tuesday. After talking with the Dr. I'm taking some time off the bike. I had hoped I'd be able to just train through it but it's not really healing and I'm not able to train that well. Now I'm hoping I'll be able to race N.J. but I'm not holding my breath.

So instead of lining up in MI with 5,000 other MTBers, I'll be doing a 5K running race instead here in Durango. Every race I do gets shorter and shorter. I bet 5K of running will hurt me much more then any MTB race though. I'm fine to run so Winston, Meg and I have been ripping

around the trails here in Durango. They're a little muddy but it's nice to run on soft dirt rather then hard pavement.

Sager came into town last night, him and Snoodle are off to a MTB race in Texas today. I didn't actually see him though because he got here after I was sleeping and left before I was awake. That Sager is quite a go getter.

Last night Meg and I made it to East by Southwest for sushi happy hour. Half the pros in Durango were there. We got to talk to Shonny about here Xterra World Champs, Meg was reading the live updates. Too bad she got sick before the race but 5th isn't bad for being under the weather. It's no rainbow stripes though.

The weather in Durango has been awesome this week. Mid to upper 60s, sunshine and no wind. The no wind thing is pretty amazing because it always blows at least a little here. Barthel and I have been hitting the crest the past few days. It's in great shape but they've been

spraying the tee boxes and greens with some type of fertilizer paint. It's pretty gnarly and I have to remember to wash my hands before I eat anything after playing up there.

Time for some Matte and then I'm off for a run with Winston. He's still a little tired from yesterday so he might only do half today.

I wonder what the Darts' doing right now.....

So things aren't looking too good for me

November 4, 2009

So things aren't looking too good for me. I went to the doc. yesterday and was hoping he would clear me to go to the Iceman this weekend but he said I have to come back on Wednesday before he could let me know. He also put me back on both antibiotics for another week. I was so hoping to be done with them already. Wether he lets me go or not, the

training isn't going very well. Sitting on only one side of the saddle isn't optimal and it makes me pedal crooked. On top of that all the pressure from my body is on my left sit bone and a double dose of antibiotics makes recovery tough. I hate going to races unprepared and

just riding around.

On the plus side the weather is awesome here in Durango. Yesterday the bank sign said 68, although I think it was closer to 60. The trails are all muddy though and don't seem to be drying too fast. When the sun is low in the fall all the north facing areas seem to stay wet and

icy until the spring. Phil's World though is reported to be completely dry and in great shape. I'm sure the road apple and alien run are also in perfect shape after that moisture.

Winston, Meg and I hit the dog park yesterday for a little while. You have to be out of there by 2:45pm or the sun dips behind Smelter mountain and it gets cold. Winston made some new friends and gave his ball to a husky. Such a nice guy.

Dekrey got reared on Rude's scooter by some 90 year old lady at the stop sign on ninth street by the river trail. He was stopped and turning right when the lady just ran into him from behind. He wasn't hurt but Rude's fender got busted. The old lady was shaking when she

got out of the car. How do you not see someone stopped at a stop sign when you are getting ready to stop at that same sign? It doesn't make any sense.

I'm glad to see that the LA doctor in that road rage case got convicted for crashing those 2 cyclists. At least riders there will getting run off the road by one less person for a while. Also big news that Evans is moving to BMC. That's a big step going to a non pro tour team, hopefully it works out for him and he can do the tour.

I wonder what Megs' doing right now.....

Sunny Days

November 2, 2009

A few days ago it snowed here, not it's almost 60 and not a cloud in the sky. Gotta love Colorado. I hope this weather holds out for a while since I need to do some good training now.

My incision is healing slowly but surely. The doc wants it to heal from the inside out so it's still really tender and it's right where I sit on the seat. I got some good advice from Verhuel about cutting the area of the saddle that hits it out. I know it's not the best structurally but at least I can kinda ride. Here's a shot of the modified Phenom.

When I'm not carving up seats this time of year, Meg and I are firing up the Jack-O-Lantern.

Last night we had a record number of trick or treaters, 10. We also went downtown with Ned and Pam to have a drink at Ariano's. I was sticking to Pellegrino since I'm taking 2 different antibiotics for my infection and 1 of them is what they give alcoholics to make them trow

up if they drink. I'm a mess. Ariano's is an Italian resturant that's been in Durango for 25 years. Last night was there last night open. The space is being taken over by East by Southwest Sushi place and turned into a fancy Thai place.

I've been watching the Boulder Cup on cyclingdirt.com today. It sucks not being able to race. Oh well, I'm going to try and do the night race up at FLC tonight. It's at 6:30pm so it's going to be completely dark since the time changed today and probably cold and muddy. I can't

quite jump on my bike correctly so I'm going to be doing some Ned like remounts.

1st US guy to win the NYC marathon in 27 years today, that's pretty cool. It seems like it's been that long since a US rider won an MTB World Cup too.

Meg's parents just arrived in Durango on their way back to Vail from Taos. It's their 40th anniversary tonight and her Mom's 60th birthday soon too. Those are some big milestones.

Rude doesn't look like he's having as good of day today as he did yesterday. Hope he holds on for 10th.

I wonder what the temperature is going to be at the Iceman this weekend....

Rain

October 23, 2009

I got soaked yesterday for the 2nd day in a row. I wasn't quite as lucky as the day before though and had to call in a ride from Meg. I thought the weather would clear up as the day went on so I headed out for a Bayflield/Ignacio loop. I got to the top of Florida and it

started raining but I figured it would clear up once I got to Bayfield but it didn't. It was about 40 degrees and pissing rain by the time I got there. Then I thought for sure it would clear up in Ignacio since it's further south and really dry there. Nope, pouring rain. I pulled into a gas station across from the old casino, drank a huge cup of hot chocolate and tea. Meg came and got me about 1 hour later and the rain didn't let up at all. We get back to Durango and it's not even raining. You kidding me?

Needless to say when I tried to go back out later on it started raining again and I called it a day. Racing in the rain is one thing but training in it on the road is another. I have a few chill days now and I'm heading out to the course today. Might even head down to Farmington to soak up the warmth.

Rude is off Louisville for the next two rounds of the USGP this weekend. I decided to bail on it since I'm racing the Iceman and didn't want to do 4 weeks of racing in a row. I'll start my season at Boulder next weekend. The race on the first day is no longer at the reservoir and is back at that office park where it was the first year.

So who's going to win the GPs this weekend? I think Trebone is fired up for a 'W' but I don't know if he'll get it if it's raining. I also think Kabush will be going good on Sunday. We'll have to see if my predictions are right. I'm hoping Rude has a good race, he has good form but you never know with the Bear which way it will go regardless of form.

Bobby and Susi are doing a 2 person, 5 day team race near Stellenbosch in South Africa this week. Bobby has been cramping up and Susi has been harassing him about riding too slow. You gotta know when you sign up to do a stage race with the former World Champ it's not going to be fun, especially if you're a triathlete. Or actually, a working guy that commutes from SA to Cali for work. That's a lot of plane time.

Winston and I need to get our day started, thinking about hitting the dog park hard.

I wonder how long before I lose my sweet new scarf......

Weather Change

October 23, 2009

I went from riding in just shorts and a jersey to getting caught in a 47 degree thunder and lightning hail/rain storm on the road yesterday. It was freezing. Rude and I had just went out to do a short road loop when the wind came up, the clouds came in and the rain came down. I

guess most people would call it "perfect cyclocross weather".

Earlier in the day it had been pretty nice and I logged in a few hours in Horse Gulch. The thing about Horse Gulch is I have never seen a horse in there. Now on the Colorado trail this weekend we saw about 10 horses. I think they should rename Horse Gulch, Rattle Snake Gulch

since I see those in there all the time.

Anyway, I got this new seat dropper seat post from Specialized the other day and I finally got it set up. The post is awesome. We don't have many stunts or drops on the trails here but it's nice not to have to stop, get off and drop your seat to do a couple foot drop. With

this post I can hit all the stuff with out even slowing down.

Meg has been craving eggplant pizza for the past few weeks so last night we went to Mama's Boy and she satisfied her craving. We never seem to go there because it isn't downtown and we generally gravitate in that direction when we're hungry.

Today is the last of my big rides for the week. I have a three day rest coming up and I'm hoping to play at least 18 holes per day, maybe 36. I might even get a new header up on this site but probably not.

I wonder if it's going to rain again today.....

Roosting

October 15, 2009

I can't believe how busy I am these days. You would think that with out any races to pack for, travel to and from and prepare for I'd have plenty of time on my hands but that's not the case. I woke up somewhat early this morning and got out in the Gulch just before 10am. The

trails were pretty loamy but were still a little slow from the rain. From there I had to race over to Luke's for some dry needling and laser treatment on my knee. I was TTing down 160 on my MTB and I just barely made it.

The dry needling works well but gives me the biggest "zing" when my muscle grabs the needle and relaxes. Not my favorite treatment. The laser doesn't feel like anything though and I think it is really working. I have to wear goofy glasses though to block what ever ray it emits.

Got home, Winston and I loaded up the CRF, stopped by RGPs for some Southwest fuel and headed out to HB's house to roost. We almost made it there before we got stuck in the middle of a sheep drive.

It's nice to live someplace where this stuff is common place. Could you imagine being 1 mile from LAX and seeing something like this? Durango rocks.

We had a killer session at the ranch, Winston didn't go on any loops but hung out with Rooster and Baxter all day. I don't think he stopped playing the entire time we were there. 1 can of Coke, 1 Snapple and 1 Sobe Power later I was buzzing on the way home. I managed to make it

to the gym after dinner which i was pretty proud of since it' hard to get motivated to leave the house once it gets dark and I settle in.

I just found out Meg and I are getting some sweet new Specialized Globe cruiser bikes. They have 8 speeds and I'm hoping I get the one with the belt drive. Right now we have one speed cruisers that we can barely pedal up the hill in front of our house. You can check them out

at this link: www.globebikes.com I'll get some pictures up when we get them. They have 700C wheels and should cut our ride time down to town to under 8 minutes.

I need to get ready for bed, big day at Pinon Hills golf course tomorrow.

I wonder how Noah's wedding is coming along....

Monday Night Football:

October 15, 2009

Here is my first picture from my new camera. Meg took it while I was cutting down the final limb on this damn tree. I can't wait to get it out of my backyard. Notice that sweet ladder I bought a few months ago. It's nice and light since it's aluminum but it sure is flimsy.

I did my first ride in the passes since the spring today. It wasn't too cold but I did bring quite a few clothes with me. I was pretty cooked at the end and it's always a block headwind the whole way back in the valley. Today was no exception. It wasn't my fastest time but it was pretty good. They're putting in some new bridge over in Silverton.

Silverton is the picturesque mountain town. Old victorian mining town architecture, only Main St. is paved and it's surrounded on four sides by mountains. When it dumps big there in the winter you're not getting out of town for days. Pretty cool.

After the ride I met up with Luke for some dry needling and laser work on my knee. I have been having some problems with it all year since screwing it up lifting weights this spring. I think the laser if working wonders.

So I finally cleaned up my bike that I rode for over an hour on the rim and the thing seems totally straight. They sure do make equipment good nowadays.

Meg and I ate at Jean Pierre last night. It was good, we had some good steaks. Then I came home and ate a Reese peanut butter crunch bar. Those things rock.

I talked to the Dart yesterday and he said the Roc is awesome. They have been hanging out on the beach everyday and living it up. I hope I get to go next year, I love beach races.

I wonder if I'll play Pinon or Cortez tomorrow.....

Rough Ride

October 12, 2009

Jeez I got beat up on my ride yesterday. Did the Hermosa Creek loop and about 20 minutes after I got to the good single track I flatted. No problem except for the 29er tire fits tight to the rim with a 26 tube and I pinched it putting it on. An hour and a half later Meg picked me up at the south trailhead. I've never ridden a flat that far before and it rattles the crap out of you. At least I got to get a piece of pizza at Momma's Boy in Hermosa afterward.

I've been logging in some miles lately and feeling like I'm getting physically fit too. I can now do all of the following with out getting sore, or too sore: ride the bike, run, lift weights, play 18 holes walking and dirt bike. This is pretty good since when I try to do any of the above other then riding during the season I am sore for at least a week.

Rude, Gilby, Barthel and I played out at Dalton the other day. It was touch and go weather for most of the day but cleared up at the end. We even had this rainbow at one point.

I have also been playing up at Hilcrest a bit but they are so unfriendly up there. I have never been to a golf course that was less friendly then there. I don't know what the deal is but I guess it's been like that forever there.

Finally got my new camera back from Las Vegas. I had left it someplace and they just sent it back to me. I don't think it works as well as my old one but it's water and dust proof so maybe it will last more then one year.

The whole team wrapped up the season in the south of France at Roc d'Azur this weekend. I wish I could have been there but that's a lot more travel after coming back here for Vegas. It looks and sounds like it is awesome there, maybe next year.

I wonder what the Darts' doing right now......

Training:

October 5, 2009

I'm back in training mode, did a good Bayfield/Ignacio loop today. Avoided the rain for the most part but did have to throw the jacket on twice and got some wet feet too. The new cross bikes are awesome. I have to say one of the coolest things on the bike are the TRP brakes.

They are so easy to set and adjust, way better then the Empella frog legs. Especially since the new Zipp rims are much wider then traditional rims so the brakes require adjustment when swapping from race to training wheels.

Today I glued up some new Specialized prototype tubular cross tires. I will probably be racing them at some events so keep your eyes open for a new tread pattern out there. They are on a FMB casing which I like better then the Dugast. It comes pre sealed and the base tape seems to

be stuck on better.

Meg and I had our 6th anniversary today. We were planning a hiking trip up to HB's cabin in La Plata canyon but Meg has been feeling under the weather the last few days. She spent the day in bed and I spent the day on the bike, at the dog park with Winston and cleaning up the garage. It still needs a lot of work.

I'm switching up my cross schedule a little bit this year and will be racing the Ice Man MTB race in Michigan the first week of November. I'm looking forward to doing another MTB race after having some bad luck at World Cup finals. The race is suppose to be really fast and

fun. This year I think there are 4,500 people doing it. It's no S.A. Cape Argus which has 30,000 people that compete but it's the biggest race I will have ever lined up in.

I saw Tad and Rude tonight, they had just finished up some golf at the Crest. Tad has been getting ready for the nordic season by roller skiing/skating. He roller skates for 3 hours a day, that is brutal. I'm glad I don't do that sport. Maybe he should head over to Silverton because I heard they got 7 inches of snow today. I guess I won't be doing the Molas/Cascade ride this week.

Sundays are the best day to train on the road. There are hardly any cars and no one seems to be in a hurry. I bet that is the day with the least traffic accidents. I know it's the day I get honked at the least.

I wonder if it's going to rain again tomorrow.....

Durango

October 5, 2009

It's been so long since I've updated this blog that the posting template has changed. I don't remember what I talked about last but I'll go with Cross Vegas. Cross Vegas was hard, as always. There's a lot of drafting but that thick grass just takes it out of me. There are minimal corners for recovery so it's a lot like racing a crit but with just a few guys. Here's a shot of the new ride.

Usually I bunny hop these barriers but this year I didn't have a chance to practice before the race and didn't want to look like a dork and crash.

I had good form but that didn't translate into a good result, one of these years I'm going to have a good Vegas. The party after the race was good though. I even managed to loose my new camera I bought 2 days before.

I spent some serious time in Sin City because, Meg, Willow, Heather and I went stuck around for the Britney Spears concert on Sunday night. I also got to see my old friend that I went to the UofA with, Dave.

Britney concert was cool, only my 2nd concert ever. There was some guy dressed up like that flight attendant in her "Toxic" video and he was just a fan. Best costume of the night though. Porter from Specialized set us up with Britney's bodyguard and he got us right next to the

stage. Pretty cool.

It was really nice to get back to Durango after being gone for a month and flying around the world. Winston remembered me which is what I was most worried about since I hadn't seen him in so long. We've been hiking and running. He's faster when it's cool out since he doesn't

over heat so fast. I started riding again and have been hitting the gym too. I'm so sore from all my new activities that I have to lower myself down into the chair with my hands.

The golf game has been coming around too, I've been playing with Rude, Barthel and Tad. I even have some idea where the ball is going to go when I hit it. Most of the time.

I wonder when my hamstrings are going to stretch again.....

World Cup Champery Switzerland

September 14, 2009

This weekend was the second to last World Cup of the season. It was held in Champery, Switzerland, deep in the Alps and less then thirty minutes from the UCI international headquarters. The weather had been great all week but yesterday a big rainstorm soaked the short and technical 4.7 KM loop leaving the trails slick and muddy.

The course consisted of one really steep climb/descent and flattish loop at the bottom. The trails had tons of exposed roots and slippery rocks. The Epic was the perfect bike for gobbling up the rough stuff and helping me keep the rubber side down all day.

I didn’t have a very good start and never really got it going all day. I managed to move up a little as the day progressed but only managed a 25th, my worst World Cup of the year. It’s funny because I had my best race of the year last weekend in Australia at the World Champs.

Sometimes it’s tough to figure things like that out but that’s why we line up every weekend.

On a positive note my teammate and great friend, Burry Stander won the race today and took his first ever World Cup victory, locked up the U-23 World Cup Overall and added some points to his 2nd place overall for the entire World Cup. Great Job.

Another highlight of the day was winning the team competition. Each race they crown the best team for the day, which is composed of a team’s top three finishers. With Burry, Susi and I we managed to take it away from Merida for the first time this year so well all got to stand on the podium. We will also race with yellow number plates next weekend designating that we won the team comp this past weekend. Tomorrow we’re off to Schladming for the final World Cup of the year. It seems like we were just racing in South Africa a few weeks ago. It has been great being part of the Specialized team and enjoying everyone’s success through out the year.

Thanks for your support….

2009 MTB World Championship

September 8, 2009

The World Championships is one race that everyone wants to win. It’s a one day race and if you have an amazing day, you can find yourself in the coveted “rainbow jersey” for an entire year. Needless to say, it’s the most important race of the year.

The World Championships took place this year in Canberra, Australia. Canberra is a three-hour drive southwest from Sydney and instead of being tropical and balmy, it’s dry and cool. They are just coming out of winter so the weather was on the cool side but nice and dry.

The course was almost the same as World Cup course from last year but they shortened it a bit so they could add one more lap. It was a fast circuit with plenty of man-made jumps, berms and rock gardens. There were multiple lines so you could take a short harder section or an easier longer one. It had sections of fast, loose single track and few dirt road sections for passing. I think it is the best course we have ridden all year.

The start of the race was very important since after the one-kilometer long dirt road it turned straight into single track. If you don’t get into the single track in the first ten you have to stand around and wait for everyone to funnel in. The further back you are, the longer you wait. I am usually a good starter but found myself standing in line and only managed to make it into the first single track in the mid thirties. By the time I popped out of the first single-track

section I was already one minute down.

Once I settled in I started to move up quickly. The way the course was setup you couldn’t pass in the single track so you had to wait for the dirt road sections. I would sit on a group on the dirt road and then sprint to get into the single track first. I was riding the down hills well and could usually bridge to the next group on the single-track sections and then repeat the process.

I managed to make it into a group of sixth through eighth on the sixth of seven laps. I couldn’t hold the pace of Ravanel and Peraud up the climb on the last lap and had to let go. I almost caught Peraud coming into the finish but had to settle for eighth which is still my best

ever World Championship finish. I was happy with the race and seem to keep improving which is the most satisfying thing. Now I’m off for another around the world trip for the World Cup in Switzerland this weekend.

Thanks for your support…..

US Cup PRO XC Finals Windham, NY

August 17, 2009

The US Cup PRO XCT is officially in the books for 2009. This time last year there wasn’t even going to be a National series but Scott Tedro stepped in with Sho-Air and Specialized and made it happen.

The past few weeks back east were cool and rainy but summer returned this weekend with temperatures in the nineties with humidity up also. Windham is getting ready for the World Cup finals next year and the PRO XCT was a great chance for them to work out the kinks. The crew did a great job getting the course ready and things ran smoothly. I don’t think I’ve ridden as many bridges all year as I did in one lap of the Windham XC.

The course was shortened from last year. The laps took about sixteen minutes in the sweltering sun and heat. There was plenty of exposed ski slope climbing, fast rocky descents with lots of bridges and some high speed open descending.

We raced at 2 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in site. The race broke up pretty quickly and by the midway point I found myself in the lead group with Sid and Max from the Sho Air team. Kabush, Shultz and JHK were only fifteen to twenty seconds behind. On the forth of six laps

Sid flatted and had to change a wheel in the tech zone. I was by myself at the front with a few seconds on Kabush and Max. I could only hold the pace for a lap though and Kabush came by at the start of the fifth lap. Max and I rode together for most of the lap until I faded near the top and was alone in third. I would ride the rest for the race in that position and maintain my forth overall in the series. Sunday was the short track and I had a pretty commanding points lead for the overall starting the day. The short track course was also a bit shorter then last year with laps taking about 1:30. I like to go hard from the gun but decided to play it safe today and make sure I didn’t do anything stupid to lose the overall. I started conservatively but never really got it going. We rode in a big group until four laps to go when Shultz and Kabush attacked. I was in a group with Sid, Craig and JHK on the bell lap but couldn’t come around them. I rode in for sixth, which was more then enough to wrap up my first short track National series overall title and on the 29er to boot.

I have a two weekends of no racing after six weekends in a row and then it’s off to the World Championship in Australia.

Thanks for your support…..

Mt Snow PRO XCT/STXC

August 10, 2009

The Mount Snow Festival kicked off this weekend of racing with fire works, a giant slip and slide, a woman’s only triathlon, clown show for the kids and plenty of other fun summer time activities. The Pro XCT and STXC were just part of the action this past weekend in southern Vermont. The festival atmosphere was great but the cool temperatures, lack of any humidity and minimal black flies was even better.

Mount Snow has probably hosted more national and international events in the U.S. then any other race venue. The course is known for steep, technical climbs and treacherous descents covered in rocks and roots. It usually features a big climb to the top of the ski resort but this

year they decided to alter the course to bring it more in line with the twenty-minute lap the UCI is shooting for. That meant we didn’t have to do as much sustained climbing and spent more time in the venue area.

The XC started well for me, I found myself in the lead group of five a few minutes into the race. First it was an on form Sam Shultz driving the pace but he would fall off the group on the second lap along with his teammate JHK. That left Sid, Kabush and I to fight it out over the

next four laps. I threw in a few attacks but lacked a real punch to get away. Kabush also hit it a few times during the first few laps but nothing stuck. Finally halfway through the forth lap Kabush attacked on a steep climb, I fell off the pace first and then Sid. We would stay that way to the finish.

The STXC started even better on Sunday with Sid and I getting off together after a lap or two. He towed me around until five laps to go. I wasn’t feeling great but I was hoping to hold off a hard charging Kabush. It didn’t happen, he caught me with two laps to go. He attacked on the last lap and got a few bike lengths on me at the top of the climb. I tried to bring it back but after two wheel drifting though the slippery descent the lap before I didn’t want to risk it

again and had to settle for second.

I was happy to be on the podium both days this weekend. I have had some bad luck at Mt Snow in the past but the Epic was awesome for the XC on Saturday and the 29er was great for the STXC on Sunday. The bikes worked perfectly, the tires held up well through the sharp rocks and roots and the suspension was awesome.

Next weekend is the final stop on the US Cup Pro XCT circuit for the 2009 season in Windham, NY. It will be nice to check out the course that will be used for the World Cup finals next year.

Thanks for your support……

World Cup #6 Bromont, Canada

August 4, 2009

The Canadian World Cups are in the books for 2009. This weekend we wrapped up the sixth round of the World Cup in Bromont, Canada. Bromont hosted a World Cup last year, the World Championships in the late nineties and the Master’s World Championships on numerous occasions.

This year they made a few upgrades to the XC course, rerouted the main climb and added a few rock gardens. The weather was pretty good all week and held up for most of the women’s race earlier in the day that my teammate, Lene Byberg won. It started raining about two hours before our start and only let up for a few minutes in the middle of race. The course had streams running down the middle of it, the roots and rocks were covered in slick mud and climbs had become even harder then earlier in the week.

I had a decent start and found myself riding with Burry and Susi right at the start. Everyone was having trouble with the mud and was randomly shooting from one side of the trail to the other. World Cup starts are always crazy but this one seemed a step above the rest. Could be the fact I was seeing it through my mud-splattered glasses.

I was moving up well on the first lap but burped my tire midway through the technical traverse. I was able to stop and fill it up with my Big Air but lost some valuable spots. I got going again fast and found myself in the top ten by the midway point of the race. I managed to burp my other tire on the fifth of six laps and again hit it with the Big Air and luckily it also sealed. I felt great on the last lap this weekend as opposed to last weekend when I was seeing double. I was chasing down eighth place on the last descent but couldn’t quite real him in and rolled in for ninth.

I was thinking I had a shot at the podium going in but am still very happy to get my first top ten in the World Cup of the year. The race was crazy with all the rain and mud but the mechanics had my bike working perfectly. There was so much carnage on the course with flat tires, broken chains and ripped off derailleurs that it looked like a bike junk yard in some sections. I don’t think anyone had brake pads left at the end of the day since the mud was so thick but everyone was in the same boat.  

I want to give a big "Congratulations" to Geoff Kabush for winning his first World Cup, he has been close many times but finally bagged the "W". Sam Shultz was also having a great ride racing in the top five for over half the race before seeing his career day ended by mechanicals. I also want to congratulate Lene for not only winning her first ever World Cup but for also taking the Women's Overall Leaders jersey in the process. It was an exciting weekend all around. 

I have the final two US PROXCT races coming up on the east coast the next two weekends. I head back to Durango to dry out for a few weeks after that before heading to the Australian winter for the World Championships. I’m hoping for some dry races and I think my bikes are too.

Thanks for your support……

The World Cup returned.....

July 27, 2009

The World Cup returned to action after a two-month hiatus this past weekend in Canada. It was great to hang out with the team again and get back to international racing. Mont Sainte Anne has hosted a World Cup just about every year since I started racing. The course has seen quite a few changes over the years but it still remains one of the best pure mountain bike circuits we race on all year.

The course has two steep climbs, tons of roots, rocks and technical descents. This year it rained quite a bit on Saturday, dried out that night and then poured during race morning. It made one of the most technical courses on the circuit even trickier. Luckily the course holds water really well and just got slippery.

Last year a lot of the top guys skipped the Canadian rounds of the World Cup to focus on the Olympics. This year with Olympics not being a factor, a big lay off in the schedule before the races and the fact that Worlds will be held there next year the turn out was awesome. Just about all the top guys were there and it made for an awesome race.

Things started out pretty well for me. I had a good start and moved into the top twenty in the first few minutes. By the second lap I had moved up to tenth place and by the middle of the third lap I was sitting in fifth place alone. I was feeling pretty comfortable until the middle of the fifth lap when I started coming a little unglued. Burry passed me for fifth but I was still in sixth place alone starting the last six-kilometer lap. With three-k to go the lights went out. I dropped nine places and lost five minutes in those few kilometers and saw my good race go out the window.

I haven’t blown up like that in a long time. I was happy to push myself to that point but I just wish I could have held it together for a few more minutes and scored a good result. Next weekend I have another shot at it in Bromont.

Thanks for your support….. 

US National Championships Grandby, CO

July 20, 2009

The US National Championships took place this past weekend in Grandby, CO. This was the first time Sol Vista ski resort had hosted a big race and was nice to go to a new venue. The area up in north central Colorado is beautiful with huge mountains, giant views and endless rivers and valleys.

The cross country was on Saturday afternoon. The weather was warm and dry with temperatures in the low 80s and no humidity. The course was a classic ski resort track that had us climb to the top of the mountain on fire roads and single track and then rip down more of the same. There was a lot of fresh cut trail that was very bumpy and it was perfect for the Epic. With the base of the course starting above 8,000 feet and the top above 9,000 the breathing was tough.

I had a great start and was with JHK and Craig by the end of the first of five laps. JHK and I then rode together until the final lap. I led through the start/finish but he attacked on the feed zone climb right after that. I was chasing hard and hoping to keep him close enough on the climb to catch him on the descent. He was climbing better then me but I was descending faster then him. Halfway up the climb I had a problem with my crank that ended my hopes for what is proving to be a very elusive National Championship jersey. Bummer

Sunday was the short track and I wasn’t very motivated after the previous day. When you pin a number on though the motivation comes back quick. The course was very different to a normal short track. It was just straight up the side of the ski slope and then a few switchbacks on the way back down. Usually short tracks are fast with some drafting but this was just nose of the saddle all the way up and two wheel drifting on the way down. I led for half of the race before Craig bridged up to JHK and I. He attacked straight away and I was already on my limit and couldn’t go with him. He held that lead until the finish and I had to settle for 2nd place. Not a bad result but on a day titles are handed out to the winners not what I was hoping for. Oh well, next year.

I am now off for a month long trip with the two Canadian World Cups and final two US PROXCTs in the next four weeks. It will be nice to get back to sea level for a few week sand breath that thick air.

 

Thanks for your support…… 

The Tour has finally started....

July 6, 2009

The Tour has finally started and that means I'll be getting some great rest these next 3 weeks. I usually watch in the morning, afternoon and night. It the most time I spend on the couch all year except when I'm sick.

Rude and I did a big week of training this past week. We logged in a bunch of high country rides.

Not too much snow up there. We also did the Molas/Cascade a few days ago.

This ride on the other hand was pretty muddy. You can't tell from this shot but there is quite a bit of snow melt going on up at 11,000 feet right now. Tad started the ride with us but crashed and busted his clavicle. He didn't think it was broken and set out to ride the road back to the car but was in too much pain to ride and just hiked out to the road. I bet he'll be back soon. On our rest week we hit the links with him and Evan.

I also went roosting up in the high country with HB about a week ago. He tried floating his bike down the river on one creek crossing and I couldn't make it over any of the hundred of downed logs. While HB was floating down the river, I was taking this picture of the rig.

I'm not a fan of camelbacks but I've been using the HAWG quite a bit lately since I've been riding the Stumpjumper on all these high country rides and it only has one bottle cage. I try to fill it up as little as possible so it's not too heavy. I've also been using it on the moto.

Tomorrow we're doing a MTB group ride up Junction Creek and down the Colorado trail pretty hard if anyone wants to go. Probably be at the cattle guard around 9:30 if you want to go, should take around 3-3:30 hours.

Town is off the chain right now for the 4th. I can't remember the last time I saw as many people in town as I did yesterday. Everyone from Durango heads out to the lakes and mountains for the weekend and everyone from out of town comes to Durango for the weekend.

Winston has been kicking it at Dog Park lately, leaving his tennis balls in the river for his buddies down in Aztec. We floated the river with Powers and Emily yesterday, Powers was wearing some type of Sheik head ware and had a tube that was 6 inches around on one side and 3 feet on the other. Not optimal for the rapids.

Almost time to go train, I wonder if it's going to rain today......

Teva Games/ Pro XCT #4 Race Report:

June 15, 2009

In the past eight days I’ve raced three events and stood on each part of the podium. I’ll start at the beginning though with my late decision to attend the Teva Games in Vail, CO last weekend.

The Teva Games is a huge festival held in Vail, Colorado and consists of everything from a mountain bike race to dog jumping competition to half marathon to freestyle kayaking and everything in between. I was planning on taking the weekend off but with a huge payout on the line and a chance to see my wife’s family (she’s from Vail) I decided to drive and pin on the numbers.

The Vail course is a classic western ski area course with plenty of fire road climbing and awesome single-track descents through aspen tree forests. We actually used part of the course from the 2001 World Championships. The air is pretty thin up there and the base of the course is at 8,200 feet so the breathing is difficult to say the least. I spent most of the day swapping pulls with JHK while we built up a good gap over the chasers. I was hoping to attack on the last sustained climb but he beat me to the punch and I couldn’t up my pace so I had to settle for second place on the day. I was happy with the race and impressed with the turn out for the event, they sure know how to put on a show.

Next up was the forth round of the Pro XCT in Colorado Springs, CO. It sure is nice being able to drive to the races instead of getting on a plane. The Short Track was the first event of the weekend and kicked off on Friday night. I won the first round of the series at the Sea Otter and I was focusing on extending my lead in the four race series. I again found myself off the front with JHK but this time half way through the race I was able to get rid of him and take my second Short |Track victory of the season and extend my lead in the series. I didn’t have much time to savior win since the next day was the XC race.

The XC course at Cheyenne Mountain State Park was a mix of fast twisty crushed gravel hiking path and rock strewn technical single track. It was by far the most technically challenging Pro XCT we have raced this year. I ended up in the lead group of three with JHK and Max Plaxton half way through the race. Towards the end of the third of four laps I lost contact after JHK bobbled and I couldn’t keep my momentum through a rock garden. I chased in vain on the forth lap and never caught the leaders so I had to settle for third place. I was happy to get at least one victory for the weekend.

I’m off to New Jersey for a five day road stage race this week and then it’s back home to Durango to prepare for the National Championships.

Thanks for your support……

US PROXCT Race Report

June 2, 2009

The US Cup made it third stop this weekend just outside of Birmingham, AL. It was the first time any national XC series event has visited AL, the closest it has ever come before was Helen, Georgia.

If you’ve never been to Georgia and preconceived notions of the South I would say it is worth the trip. The people are some of the nicest I have met in my travels through out the world. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm all weekend with not much humidity (for the east coast). The race was held in beautiful Oak Mountain State Park and was mostly fast, flowy single track with a short asphalt climb and descent.

I had a descent start getting into the single track in the top ten and we formed a group on eight on the first of five laps. By the second lap we were down to six and on the third lap we were only five and it would stay that way until just before the finish. Sid Taberly attacked on the only substantial climb; a minute and half steep pavement climb about 2 K from the finish. I had been feeling great all day but couldn’t match his speed at the end and JHK also went across to him.  I chased hard but Plaxton came around me at the end for 3rd and I had to settle for 4th.

The US Cup is doing a great job promoting the National Series. There were a lot of spectators, FOX was there filming and we even did a parade lap before the start for them to film. The US Cup comes to Colorado Springs in two weeks and I’m looking forward to racing fairly close to home.

Thanks for your support.  

World Cup #4 Madrid Spain 

May 27, 2009

It was back to Europe this past weekend for round number four of the UCI Nissan World Cup. Casa de Campo has hosted the Madrid World Cup for the past eight years and is right in the heart of the city. The Royal Palace is less then a kilometer from the course and the park has to be bigger then Central Park in New York.

My trip over was good and the weather was hot and sticky when we arrived on Thursday afternoon. Burry and I went out for a loop of the course and right when we were getting started we got called for random drug testing by a guy that looked like Maverick in Top Gun complete with Aviator sunglasses. Thirty minutes later we were back on the course.

It rained on and off the next two days and Sunday morning the women had a muddy course to contend with. They dried it out for us though because by the time we went it was in perfect condition. It was super tacky and fast, probably the fastest I have ever seen it.

I didn’t have the best starting position after not finishing Offenburg and not starting Houffalize but I moved up pretty quick. I managed to make it into the main chasing group containing third through tenth at the start of the fifth lap but couldn’t hold the pace. I faded back to sixteenth by the finish but was happy to make it into that lead chase group and take part in the race.

They have been trying to make the World Cups slightly shorter this year shooting for between 1:45 and 2 hours instead of the normal 2 to 2:15. It seems to me that the pace is slightly higher from the start but no one really cracks at the end, everyone is still going full on.

Burry, Susi and I did a ride through the city after the race. We hit the Buck(Starbucks), which it seems is world wide now and hung out for a while people watching. It was a highlight of the trip for me. It was a quick trip and I’m already back home.

I have a few US Cup races, the US National XC, STXC and Marathon championships and a road race to do before the World Cup resumes in Canada at the beginning of August.

Thanks for your support….

World Cup #2, Offenburg Germany 2009

April 27, 2009

Offenburg has to be one the best World Cups we do all year. The crowds are second only to Houffalize, maybe. The course has good climbs, steep descents with rocks and roots and spectators everywhere. We wind through the black forest but also the vineyards and sports fields in the area. All and all it’s a great course.

We had some big travel coming from Sea Otter on Monday but the rest of our week was very relaxing. Claire is giving us great rubs, Sandy and Dylan keep the bikes running smooth and Beno keeps it all together.

The week flew by and the race was there before I knew it. I had a third row start but moved up quick and made the lead group right after the start loop. Things were going well for me until midway through lap four of seven. Absalon had attacked on lap three and Burry and Susi were trying to bridge across. I was sitting in what was left of the chase group of forth through ninth when I cut my tire right on the bead. I tried to seal it with the Big Air but that didn’t work and I couldn’t get the tube inflated either. I was about as far from the tech zone as you could get on the course so my race was over.

It felt great to be part of the race again but very frustrating not to be able to finish it off. Susi also had to abandon after crashing on lap five and snapping off both brake levers in a strange crash.

Burry had another great race finishing forth after riding in second for most of the later portion of the race. He even had to come back from a puncture on the first lap that he got only meters from the tech zone. It would have been a really quick change but Dylan was stuck in the tech zone on the opposite side of the course because there was no break in the 220 riders to get to Burry on the other side. He also won the U-23 and built up his lead in the U-23 overall. Next weekend is Houffalize and I’m just hoping for the same legs as this past weekend with a little bit better luck.

Thanks for your support. 

Sea Otter Classic 2009

April 22, 2009

I never thought they would shorten the Sea Otter cross country because of heat but that’s exactly what happened this year. We arrived back in the U.S. on Tuesday evening after horrendous travel from South Africa back to Northern California. Our first stop was Morgan Hill to tour the Specialized factory and try to hang on to the famous “lunch ride”. The office visit was awesome but the lunch ride hurt. I don’t think there is an easy group ride anywhere in the world.

Thursday was our first ride in Monterey and it was typical Sea Otter weather, super windy and cool but luckily no rain. Friday wasn’t much better but we did get to participate in the Stumpjumper 29er launch. I think that was the day that the wind was pumping so hard Susi got blown over at a traffic light.

By the time the short track rolled around on Saturday the winds died down and the temperature was on the rise. We managed to get Burry, Susi and I all off the front and were just riding a team trial when Susi burped a tire and it was just Burry and I left. Burry pulled most of the race and I was able to gap him at the end to take my first victory of the season in the Specialized colors and on the new 29er that just launched the day before to boot.

Sunday we were told about an hour before the race that we would only be doing one and half laps instead of the traditional two full laps because of the heat. It was warm for Sea Otter, upper eighties but minimal humidity, still much cooler temperature then the previous week in South Africa where we had ninety-degree temps and ninety percent humidity.  

Burry rode on the front for most of the first 19 mile loop and whittled our lead group down to seven before he decided he wasn’t feeling well enough to continue. Susi attacked toward the end of the first lap and I waited to see if anyone was going to chase. No one did or could so I tried to punch it across to him just before the track. I couldn’t get any closer then about forty five seconds and managed to flat half way through the shortened second lap. By the time I wasted my Big Air, put a tube in and walked part of the way to the tech zone Conrad came by and gave me another Big Air. I was able to air up the wheel and get riding again and was still in eighth place. I managed to make it back up to sixth by the finish, which was enough to win the overall Sea Otter title and Susi won the XC.

It was a great weekend for the whole Specialized team and made the long travel back from South Africa worth it. As I write this we are already back in Europe for this weekend’s World Cup in Germany.

Thanks for all your support. 

2009 SA WC #1

April 15, 2009

The 2009 Nissan World Cup season is officially underway. We had the first race of the year this past weekend in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. I started my trip two weeks ago with the first round of the new US Cup MTB series in Fontana. Since this is my first race report of the year I might as well start at the beginning.

The first US Cup race in Fontana was a big success, lots of participants, great fans and even a street bike exhibition filmed for Speed Vision right before the start of the men’s XC. I was hoping for a big result but one hundred meters into the race I had a mechanical that sent me scootering the bike to the tech zone. By the time I got going again the race was way up the road and I spent the rest of the day making up ground. I was able to work my way up to tenth place before I ran out of laps. Not the way I was hoping to kick off the season but the form was good and I was excited for my first trip to South Africa.

My trip had another hiccup as I arrived in Washington Monday afternoon only to find I needed two completely blank Visa pages in my passport to enter the country. I only had one, which meant I had to stay the night in Washington, go to the passport agency (only a few exist in all of the U.S.) and plead my case for an expedited set of extra passport pages and hopefully get on the flight the next day. Amazingly everything worked out and I made it back to the airport the next day with a fresh set of pages in my passport. I was even able to walk by the White House while I was spending the day at the agency.

I spent the past two weeks hanging out at Burry’s house in SA. We did an SA Cup race last weekend that was stacked with World Cup guys looking to preview the course before the big show. I used the race to shake out some jetlag and sweat out about twenty pounds of water. It was hot, humid and everything you would expect South Africa to be at the end of their summer.

This past week I spent most of my time with the team in Pietermaritzburg. It is great getting to know everyone and settling in with the new program. One thing that hasn’t changed is the Dart and I rooming together and watching seasons worth of TV sitcoms at a time. This week we knocked out the past few seasons of Entourage, last year it was all the O.C..

Race day came before I knew it. The heat was on again, temperatures close to 90 and humidity as well. I had a good start and settled in just outside the top 10 with Burry and Susi in the top 5 by the end of the first lap. Second lap I was still hanging in about the same position but then the lights went out. I started dropping like an anchor and finally crossed the line in 23rd place. I’m glad the first race is over with and I’m looking forward to getting back to California for the Sea Otter.

Thanks for all your support.

Stats for Todd Wells are coming soon.