Sunflower State Games

After a week off the bike I went out for some riding and spiderweb clearing at Clinton. After A few hours I had enough but decided I might as well do the SSG's on Sunday. The race was bright and early in the morning, which is much better than starting at noon when its 95 degrees out. Pulling in we immediately saw the intimidating Ethos racing squad unloading their cooler or breakfast beers. The race was at the Govenors mansion trails. I used to ride these trails when I was growing up, but they are in great shape and the course was probably one of the best local races Ive done in a long time. 4 laps and 1.5 hours flew by I was having so much fun. On the first lap I was pulling around Garret S. of ethos and his singlespeed. The course was pretty much entirely out of the saddle climbing so I could tell I was riding his type of course. Close to the end of the first lap there was a longer climb so I upped the pace a bit and got a gap on him. Was able to gradually open it up as the laps went on. After the race it was pointed out that I got a bronze medal for my effort. Out of there by 11am and had a whole day to get other stuff done, such as nap.



The season has basically ended for me and it looks like im #1362 in the world. ha.



With as busy as we've been, I neglected to post about our weekend at the Topeka Tinman. Katie and Shannon tore it up again this year and finished together in a dead sprint. They were threw a bit of a curve ball when the organizers changed up the course, and added a bit of distance to the swim. Both of them survived it and have new personal records to shoot for next year.


Sol Vista

After a few days in Vail we headed over to Sol Vista for the USA National Championships. 9000 ft above sea level. We got there nice and early and stopped by our condo to find out that it hadnt been cleaned. After a few hours hanging out at the venue the cleaning lady showed up and did a bit of cleaning for us. My parents and sister were all headed up so it was going to be a nice weekend.

On Friday I set out for some early morning preriding. I did a couple of laps on the hardtail, and decided that even with all the climbing, the course was just too bumpy. A couple of laps on the dually confirmed that it was going to be the faster/more fun choice.
XC: I had a good callup in the mid twenties and was hoping to maintain this for the first few laps. It was not too be. I didnt want to go out too hard on the first huge climb but it quickly became apparent that my not too hard was slow. I picked it up a bit and passed some guys back but as they say, I was "flat". I had one speed, and it wasnt fast enough. I was catching guys on the downhill and relatively flat sections, but losing ground on the climbs. The course was good though and I managed to get by a few guys on the last lap for 40th.

Short Track: After waiting around all day for a 30 minute race and then long drive home I was ready to get it over with. Another good callup in the early twenties. The gun went off and I had a great start. The inside line down the first straight opened up and through the first turn I was able to get by some more guys and was probably sitting just outside the top 10. I know I was in a good spot because I was perfectly positioned directly behind Ryan Trebon when he decided to crash in the next turn and take Barry Wicks with him. So I am standing behind two humongous Kona bikes and riders, as others make their way around. Finally get going again much further back in the pack. At the start of the climb on the next lap I round the corner and the guy inside of me slide out, forcing me off the course, into the loose rocky stuff. I stay up, lose a bunch more spots. Two laps in and ive had way more bad luck than I can recover from in a short track. After a few more laps I get pulled and we head for home. 46th. Its pretty amazing that I followed Trebon around for a few laps after the crash and yet he still managed to ride through the entire field to finish 6th.
Did I mention that Todd Wells lapped all but 6 riders. That is ridiculous.



Posing on the Gore Creek.
At the wedding deck on top of the mountain. Katie made her first trip to the top on bike this year. It was a long ride, but worth it.

White water Rafting was a blast, we were so excited we wore our life jackets and helmets in the bus to the rapids.

After the weekend of racing in "the springs" it was time for a bit of vacation in one of our favorite places. Vail. We met Morgan and Adam up there and piled on a bunch of activities around the valley. It was a great few days and we are always reminded what an amazing place Vail is.


PRO XCT Finals

Katie and I loaded up the car and headed to Colorado for 10 days of racing and vacationing. We did a ton of stuff and spent lots of time at the races. In the next few days Ill try and summarize some of what we did.

First thing on the itenerary was the Pro XCT Finals in Colorado Springs. This year the event was a stage race which was surely going to be tough being it is at altitude. Three stages, a Time trial, a Cross Country race, then a cross country criterium. First things first though, was a stop at Carmichael Training Systems to catch up with Cameron and Amber Chambers. We got a tour of the facility, which was pretty awesome. I was drooling over an entire building based solely around cycling and Katie was jealous that Cam gets to work in a place where every employee is physically fit, no big gulps and smoke breaks there.

Stage 1: The TT. I pretty rarely do a TT, make this my third one ever, so I didnt know how it would go. This was the roughest course of the weekend, the only day I would ride a dually. The race started with a big paved climb, then entered into a really rocky section. I felt good at the start and got through the rocky section without a problem. I was thinking I didnt want to go too hard and blow up before I had a chance to really pour it on towards the finish. This turned out to be the wrong approach as it was really hard to do much pedaling the second half the course as it was lots of descending and loose, slick turns. At the finish, I was pretty happy with a 28th place. Only losing a few seconds to the top 20.

Stage 2: XC. Saturday was the traditional Cross country day. Figured it would be over 2 hours of racing. Once again, I was careful on the start to ease into the race. The lap is basically one long climb and then a descent. At the end of the first lap I started to catch riders who were blowing up. From there I steadily moved up little by little and by the finish I was sitting in 24th. This put me into 24th overall.

Stage 3: XCC. Sunday's stage was a cross country crit, or a really long short track. 45 minutes plus 5 laps. Warming up I was thinking that the two days racing were taking its toll and my legs felt a bit weak. I had a good call up by sitting in 24th and the race started on a long paved climb before entering the singletrack portion. The gun went off and I quickly found that I felt better than I thought. By the top of the climb I was well inside the top 20. I would fade a bit in the middle of the race, but then started coming back towards the end. On my next to last lap I had decided to try and rest for one last surge so I sat on a couple of guys wheels for the lap. As we entered the paved climb there were four of us together and I was thinking that if I beat them to the singletrack I could hold them off to the finish. One pedal into that plan and my front derailleur came loose and twisted. It was hitting on my cranks so I had to switch out of the big ring to try and keep pedaling. I found it would keep the chain on, but sounded like it was trying to shift every pedal stroke. I stayed with the group until the top of the climb but the shifting problems were too much and they got away. 22nd place in the XCC put me in 22nd for the overall. Some more series points were earned, and a handful of UCI points as well.

Mike Broderick is making a pass on me on the second or 3rd lap.

The trailwatch photographer who takes photos for Cyclingnews.com seems to like taking pictures of me and playing with them on photoshop.