Wow- that was an eyeopener. This weekend I traveled with the elite team to providence, RI for my favorite race of the year, the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Roger Williams Park for the UCI junior men 17-18. The course is one of the best designed courses in the states, and the fall weather is perfect for cross with the occasional downpour. Troy Wells and I arrived early so that we could go on school visits on friday. We went the the same school this year, and talked to the highschoolers about the opportunities cycling has to offer and the places it takes you. The crowd favorite was troy bunny-hopping the principal. Later that day we pre-road the demanding course and opened up our legs for the next 2 days of racing. Race day quickly arrived and it was game time. With the forecast showing a 50% chance of rain for our race, and the start being dry, I started on Challenge Chicanes with my Pit bike having Limus mud tires. I had a terrible start and started picking my way through the field, but I just didn't have the legs that day. The skies opened up midway through the race and I switched bikes to mud tires. The mud gave me an advantage but it was too late. I ended up 14th. Sundays race was a bit different. I had 2nd to last call up, but had a great start and moved into the lead group within the first lap. While duking in out with another rider through the chicane section of the course, I was pushed into a post and went down hard losing my chance at a strong finish. I fought hard for the rest of the race, but it was over. I ended up 15th on the day. Even though I was disappointed with my finishes, it was the first race of the year and a good benchmark to go off of. There is plenty of time for improvements in the next month before the Pan Am Championships. A big thanks to all of our sponsors for helping me get here so far! Check back in frequently for more blog posts!
Sundays race was HOT!
Photo Cred- Pete Banach - Spokenshutter Photography
The Day before Diegem Cormac and I raced in Bredene right next to the sea. Before the race my legs felt pretty good and opened up after racing in Loenhout the day before. After wasting 25 minutes trying to find inscription(registration) we went and pre-rode the course. It suited me well, it didn't have all the heavy mud that the Belgian races typically had. I was super excited for the race because of the course and because I was looking for redemption after a late race crash in Loenhout. I got called up almost last because I only have a few Belgian race points. By the first corner I had moved up to about 20th out of 40, and Cormac had moved up to 5th. I spent the majority of the race moving up and chasing down the lead group. With 2 laps to go I had moved up to 6th and was closing in on the lead group of riders. I was riding through one of the mud pits with a big Belgian kid when I got muscled into the course tape and was flipped over. The tape had had hooked my bar and flipped my bike out from under me. The cloth tape in combination with a wood post had tangled my bike to a point where i couldn't get my bike free. After a minute of struggling to get my bike free my race was over but I still wanted to finish. My bike was so stuck that a helpful spectator had to cut the tape to get my bike free. I then spent an additional few minutes fixing my bike. I rode a moderate pace to the finish. I was pretty disappointed after the race because I felt that i had a good chance of placing top 3 in a big race if everything had gone alright, but that's bike racing for you. We raced Diegem the next day. check back in for a blog post from one of the other riders. Next up, the last race of the trip, Baal.
We didn't expect to see the sea when we heard we were coming to Belgium, but we did at Bredene
The day after Christmas was my first opportunity to race in a world cup. I was lucky enough to get selected to do The Zolder World Cup while the team is over in Belgium. Me, Maxx and Spencer all got to start this world cup which was really cool. This race was one of the hardest I've ever done because it was against all of the best racers from around the world. I learned so much about my self as a racer and racing in general.
I started right behind Cooper Willsey, who took the whole shot in the race, and when the gun went off I sat in behind Peter Goguen during the start straight and was able to sit mid pack into the first corner. The whole american team ended up one right after another for part of the first lap which was nice to be riding with some of the people you know against people you've never raced before. It broke up over the next few laps, Peter was fighting for low teens, Maxx broke out into the upper twenties and I was hanging in the lower twenties right in front of cooper, Austin, and Ian. I was having an excellent race, keeping calm and making few to no mistakes until I messed up one corner in the second to last lap and Cooper, Austin, and Ian got around me along with a few other riders. I fought my way back up to those guys but didn't have the legs to pass them back in that little amount of time leading up until the last lap. I did however catch Ian on the last run up and was able to pass him along with some other riders right before the last decent and start stretch. After Passing Ian and getting on the start strait I began to sprint as hard as I could to get the kid just in front of me but to no avail he was just a little to far for me to catch before the finish line.
Overall this race was so fun and super fast with lots of the best competition. Doing this race really showed me i have a lot in can still improve upon in my riding but also showed me that i can rival the top riders and not get blown out of the back of the race. Im so happy I got the race this world cup and can't wait to come back and race nationals back home in Boulder.
Right after the first decent heading towards the run up.
Seconds before I messed up and Cooper, Austin, and Ian got around me.
We are coming up on the midway point point of the trip and I can only describe everything as crazy.
Everything over here is so different, but it is an amazing place to race and train. We've been here for 6 days and are finally starting to settle in to the life of racing in Belgium. The first couple of days were very hectic just trying to find my bearings and not get lost on training rides. It helps a lot that we are living with Maxx and Garret, who came over here for "hell week'" last year. We are also staying with Spencer Downing who has spent the fall living and racing in Belgium and Spain, so he has been really helpful showing us around. Cormac and I raced in Waremme as our first race over here. It was a smaller local race, but a good race to help us transition to the aggressive racing here in Belgium. The course conditions were the complete opposite of the dry races in Colorado. The entire course was caked with inches of heavy mud. The start was crazy, all the Americans started last row regardless if you had UCI points. I had a okay start and by the first corner I was mid-pack. I moved up 3-4 spots a lap and ended up 6th. Cormac came across 11th. I had no expectations coming into the race, so I was really happy with a top 10. The next 3 days where relaxing training days were our only goal was to get lost, and we managed to do so every day. Here is our schedule for the rest of the trip, Loenhout on the 27th, Bredene on the 28th, Diegem on the 29th, and Baal on the 1st. Make sure you check back in for updates on those races and a race report of the Zolder World Cup from either Maxx or Garret.
Cormac drilling it in Waremme
The van packed up for Waremme
The main church in downtown Oudenaarde, the town we are staying in.
Yesterday was the teams first race in Europe this trip. Garrett, Nolan, Spencer and myself went out to the race for the team as the Wonder twins only got here the day before.
We showed up to the race on time but registration is very poorly marked and not super close to the venue and most of the traffic guides don't know where it is. so after a while of greg driving around the town we finally found it at the school.
because of the delayed set up due to registration, we were unable to pre ride before our race, witch always makes the race more fun on lap one...
I got the 16th call up and after the gun went off had a great start. I was 3rd in the hole shot ad quickly took over the lead. I managed to create a small gap on the rest of the field and was able to hold it for a little over a lap before getting passes and passed and passed and passed and passed and then passed some more. only needed to pit once because it was kind of dry for a european race.
in the end I finished 15th, my best result yet in Europe!
I had a great day and learned a lot from leading the race for a little.
Nolan came in 18th and garrett finished 28th after getting taken out in the start.
We are doing our annual team trip to Europe and need your help to get there!
help us out by donating here: http://www.gofundme.com/3vwaj8
or if you want to sell some stuff on the pros closet and donate the proceeds to the team contact Mitch Hoke: firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks for your generosity!
Last weekend the Clif bar development cross team traveled to Iowa City for the 2013 edition of Jingle Cross Rock. My brother and I were the only 17-18 year olds to go because the two 18 year olds (Maxx and Gerret) had to go on college visits. Brady on the elite team, Ian from the u23 team, and our mechanics Myron and Zane also joined. We arrived the day before the race on Thursday and did a short easy ride before the sun went down. We went to bed early and got lots of sleep. The next day we went to the course early and sent up the tent area. Next we pre rode the course will CLIF Bar company rider Terra. After that Cormac and I got ready for our races. I raced the 2's and he raced the 3's , our first ever night time races.. I had last row call up in the 2's, but had a great start and battled this guy all night, and I out sprinted him for the win. Saturday we raced the juniors really early. I took the win in a not so competitive race over Cormac but gained lots of experience on the course, which I am told is one of the most European courses in the US. Sunday I decided to race both the juniors and the 2's for experience in the mud. I won the juniors again and practiced my pitting almost twice every lap. The 2's was a different story, I had last call up again but had a bad start and never could catch up. The group of 4 leaders we saving their energy while I struggled in the wind. I picked a few guys off every lap but ran out of time and managed 5th. However I gained lots of experience in the mud.
Struggling in Sundays wind on my way to 5th in he cat 2's
Cormac rides the railroad track
Top of the podium for Fridays night race in the cat 2's
Brady doing what he does best on Thursdays easy ride
I was ready, my shoes were perfectly tightened, I was wearing my lucky socks, and my skinsuit was pinned just right. It was the race I had always dreamed of doing in the elite category, The Boulder Cup.
I was ten when I saw my first Boulder Cup. It was at Harlow Platts Park right near my house. I saw all the elite riders racing and I said to my mom, “I need to do this sport.” The next year I saddled up and raced in the juniors. I did not race very fast, but I had a lot of fun, and I kept coming back. Each year I would get better and better until I won my first Boulder Cup in the category four mens. Every year, after my race, I would watch the elite race and think how much fun it would be to have all of those people cheering for me.
This year I was finally old enough to race in the ELITE men. (I am really still just a first year U23, but in the Boulder Cup they race together.) The race was a blur, but it was an amazing feeling being cheered on by hundreds of people. I finished 28th out of 64 elite riders being the youngest rider in the race. Even though I couldn’t beat my elite teammate Brady Kappius it was still one of the best races of my life, to date. -Ian
I was exhausted, my body was aching, and I had a blinding headache. My shifting was making a grinding sound I can’t even describe. I was maybe three miles from the finish of the Mike Horgan Memorial Hill Climb up Sugarloaf when things went from bad to worse; my back started to seize up. I was in incredible pain and I got off my bike and started walking it. Every time I would try to ride, my back would seize up. After some light stretching and getting my breath back, I was able to soft pedal a bit to keep going. Then after a few minutes my coaching mentor, Amy Dombroski, came riding up to me. She had already finished her race in the women’s category and she recognized me and started cheering me on. I told her I wasn’t feeling too great, and she told me to try to breath into the pain. All of a sudden I was able to pedal again, and the the knots in my back started to untie. Amy rode up a bit further with me and then turned around and cheered for some other kids on my team. When the pain was gone, I was able to focus on my race, and I made it to the top in first. As I recall, Amy was second in that brutal race and still had the energy to cheer us on.
When I was first getting into cycling, I was on the Flatiron Flyers. Flatiron Flyers was a local junior cycling team, and Amy was an assistant coach. She would come ride with our group and give us pointers on how to become better bike riders. Amy was one of the top U.S women's cyclocross racers and was getting close to being able to win a world cup race.
Recently in Belgium, Amy was hit and killed by a car training. It was a tragedy that affected the entire cycling community.
I was exhausted, my body was aching, and I had a blinding headache. The mountain bike I was borrowing was too small and was clunking when I tried to shift. I was one and a half laps into my four laps and it was by far the worst I had ever been performing during a bike race. I was nearing the end of my second lap when I realized I could end all my misery by just calling it a quits and going back to our team tents. Then my lower back started to cramp. It was a sharp pain right above my hip. Then, I remembered Amy’s words of encouragement, and I knew what I needed to do. After that, it felt like she was riding with me. I started to speed up and the stabbing pain went away. Even though I still finished poorly, I was very proud of myself and I think Amy would have been as well.