Monday, November 30, 2015

UCI Juniors Pro CX series - Nic Jenkins

This fall I've been all over the country following the UCI Juniors series in the US, which included the Pan-American Championships in Cincy. The first races were in between Colorado High School MTB races, which made travelling and racing in general super busy. In Providence and Boulder, I became more familiar with the ridiculous fast starts and high pace of some of the fastest juniors in the world, which most definitely helped my fitness for MTB state champs in the end of October. When that time came around, I was physically prepared and scored a 2nd place in Varsity boys. I was also 2nd at MTB nationals this summer, so I'm hungry for a W sometime in the future.

      The next races were Cincy, Louisville, and LA. I improved a lot over the weeks in between and managed to finish 11th and 14th for the two days in Cincy. The Pan-American course was as close to a European course as you could get with some serious off camber, mud, and steep run ups. Unfortunately, I was sick for the Louisville trip, but learned a lot from the previous weekend.

      A few weeks later, it was time to shift to the heat in LA and finally score some UCI points. Since only 11 guys raced both days, I knew this was my shot to mix it up with the leaders and podium. On Day 1, I found myself in 4th early on and chased hard the whole race, only to get within 3 seconds of 3rd on the last lap until I washed out in a corner of pine needles, which were abundant in literally every corner. On Day 2, I was 3rd off the start and made it a priority to stay with 2nd as long as possible. I succeeded in this, going out onto the last lap with the 2nd and 3rd place riders. I tried to make a move to go into 2nd but got the "door shut" on me. At this point, I didn't have much of a kick left, and the two slowly rode away; however, I was less than a minute from first in the end. The bumps throughout the course sucked all the energy out of your upper body and hands. Overall, this event was a huge confidence-booster, and I scored some valuable UCI points to solidify my call up at nationals in January in Asheville, NC.

      My equipment this season has been flawless, especially the SRAM CX1 system, kappius tubular rims with challenge tires, capo cycling and giro cycling apparel, and of course, oakley sunglasses. Now that the conditions are getting worse with winter on the horizon, I'm super excited to race in some mud, snow, ice, and whatever other conditions you can do a cross race in :).

Cheers and happy trails!
Nic

Saturday, November 28, 2015

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Have you tried CLIF Organic Energy food yet?

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Have you tried the two fruit flavors yet? Banana Beet with Ginger and Banana Mango with Coconut are inspired from the recipes of Team CLIF Bar athletes.
Inside Track

CLIFCast: Nutrition Strategies for a Successful...

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Take the CLIF Adventure Quiz!

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Inside Track

Garret Gerchar - Pan American Championships


  
Last weekend I traveled to Cincinnati to race the CincyCx race and The Pan American Championships. I was excited to finally travel to a cx race after only doing local cx races or collegiate mountain bike races earlier in the season. I just got back from collegiate mountain bike nationals that Monday but packed up on Friday and headed to Cincinnati. It was an early flight and was a little out of it, forgetting to empty my water bottles through security and then forgetting myheadphones at home. It was a long flight with a layover and knew I wouldn’t get through it with out my music so I picked up a pair of headphones in the airport and was on my way to Cincinnati. Arrived in Cincinnati and met up with Troy and we got a rental car and headed to our host house. After arriving we met with our host Scott and he told us about a good ride we should do to spin out our legs, we tried to load the file on my Garmin but it didn’t work so we tried using a print out turn by turn direction of the route, we followed the route for a little bit but realized it was going to get dark soon so we found a bike path and rode that for a while till we headed home. It started to get dark soon but luckily Myron had lights for us and Troy had his reflective capo kit, so riding the roads at night we were visible and made it back to the house safe and sound. The next day was the Cincy cx race, I had raced here before two years ago and was excited to race in the pro field.



The race was in the evening so most of the day was spent lying around and relaxing getting ready to race. When race time finally came we headed to the venue. I got pinned up in the tent and went our and warmed up with a quick pre-ride and then found my way into a neighborhood to do some openers. After all that the race was off, I had a poor call-up but was able to make up a few spots at the start but was playing catch up for the race, slowly moved my way up until I found a rhythm and sat in at a good pace. Slowed down towards the end of the race but finished with some power in my legs feeling ready for tomorrows Pan American Championships. Post race me and troy went to chipotle and got a burrito to help recover and get some protein. After a goodnight sleep I was feeling rested and ready for Pan Ams. This race was earlier than the last one so had to change up my eating habits from the day earlier. Had a big thing of scrambled eggs for breakfast and then some leftover pasta with meat sauce for lunch before heading to the venue, where Myron drove me out there. Once again pinned up my skin-suit and got on course for a pre-ride, unfortunately this time the UCI officials shut down the course before I could finish the last part of the course. Luckily it didn’t affect my race. After that I did some openers on the rode and then headed to the start. Rode around the start for a little while after they postponed the race. Then finally we started. I didn’t have my best start but was able to make up a lot of places on an off-camber running section.

            After that I was able to hold my place only having a few people pass me. The legs felt good and I was able to keep pushing hard until the last two laps. I was able to ride the off-camber every lap and was feeling really good technically.


The race was hard and last lap I was toning down a little bit and was holding on to 15th position last lap and was riding the descent well trying to keep any competition off me because I could tell the legs were slowing down after yesterdays full race and the start of the race today.


On the last lap I had 15th in the bag or so I thought until a rider came up behind me. I knew I had a little punch left in my legs so I put in the power and tried to hold him off, Luckily for me I was putting some time into him and rode a very tricky off camber in front of him and he ended up crashing, locking me into 15th position and giving me my first UCI point of my U23 racing carrier.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Alex Loves the Fall!

Alex, has had a bit of a delayed start to his cyclocross season. For good reason though! He has been out chasing singletrack, trying to get that last bit of glorious fall weather. Alex Finished up third in the Highschool Mountainbike series this fall. Congrats Alex! Expect to see Alex out tearing up some Colorado CX courses later this fall as the weather turns cold and wet. In the meantime here are some pictures Alex wanted to share from his singletrack shred session.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

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Inside Track

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cross is Here!

This year, my brother and I moved out to California for college, a new experience for both of us. I will be attending UC Berkeley and Liam will attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Aside from the increased course load, college offers a lot of new challenges for training and racing competitively; especially being new to the area. The first challenged I faced was finding new roads to train on, a process which usually consisted of about 50% ride time and 50% navigational time. Eventually I was able to gather my bearings and find some amazing roads to train on.























I also made my way out to the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands which offered an amazing view of the bridge and San Francisco
 






















The second obstacle I faced was bike maintenance and storage which also proved to be very difficult in my dorm room. Gluing tubulars was an interesting experience, and raised a few eye brows from my roommates, but none the less was a successful process. 



With new training roads discovered and bikes ready to go, Liam and I checked out our first cross race in Sacramento two weekends ago. I did not have the race I was looking for, but Liam managed an impressive 2nd place in the elite field (see his blog post below). This week I am preparing for the 3rd Sacramento Cross race at Lange Twins Winery, which is known for its amazing course design and all around good time. Following that I will be working on my form for CXLA and Cross Nationals in Asheville, NC. 

    
Thank you to CLIF BAR, Niner, Challenge Tires, Crankbrothers, SRAM, Docs Skincare, Kappius Components, Fizik, Capo, Pategonia, and Pedro's for the support this season. It's going to be a great one!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Finally Cross Season!

It's the time of the year that us cross racers dream about. After a long 8 month break, cross season has finally arrived. The leaves are falling off the trees and snow is falling in the high country back home in Colorado. This year will be a journey for me as I leave home for college on the west coast and enter the ranks of U23.

New whip for the season 
5 weeks ago I left Colorado for San Luis Obispo. My first month at California Polytechnic State University has been a bit hectic, but I am now starting to settle into the college lifestyle. Cal Poly is known for being one of the best engineering and agriculture school schools in the west, however my major is Business Administration with a undecided concentration . Our quarter system is a bit different, but it gives me plenty of time to train between classes.
Go Mustangs!
I have been racing with the Cal Poly MTB team for the last couple of weekends which has been really fun and I am starting to transition to cross. I did some early season training races in Colorado 6 weeks ago, which were a great measure of my early season fitness and skill. Every thing has been going to plan and I did my first official cross race last weekend with my brother. Cormac goes to UC Berkeley so I found a ride to Berkeley then spent 2 nights sleeping on my brothers dorm floor before heading up to Sacramento for SacCX Series race 2. I was very happy with my first race out here, I lead for over half the race before fading in the end and coming home with 2nd. A great write of the race can be found Here. Up next, more local races and UCI CXLA. Also, A big shout out to all of our sponsors for getting us going this season. I am excited for lies ahead.
2nd Place!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Team Bikes

Like last year we are lucky enough to get to ride the Niner BSB 9 RDO cross bikes. Disc brakes, thru-axles and loads of clearance make for a mean cross bike. If you want to try one out, track us down at the races and we will happily let you take one for a rip!


Scope out all the details and some detailed pictures on the Niner Site: http://www.ninerbikes.com/BSB9RDO 

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