Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sea Otter Race Report From Anders and Liam




Hey guys! Liam and Anders here, we got the opportunity to head to The Sea Otter Classic with the Clif Pro guys Ben Sonntag, Troy Wells, and Menso de Jong. The whole trip was a fantastic learning experience and we both learned a ton about what constitutes the "pro lifestyle" and what goes into being a professional athlete at a large scale event such as Sea Otter Classic.

The Sea Otter Classic

 Each day we would prep in the morning and gather our race gear along with a change of clothes before heading to the venue. On Friday, we posted up with our gear at the Stan's Notubes tent before taking to the start line for the STXC event. The race was redline from the gun and was as much of a pavement crit as a STXC event could be, with wind, pack riding, and tactics all playing more of a role than individual power output and technical skill. By the end we finished 37th and 38th out of a field of 110 professionals, 14 of those riders being Olympic athletes! After the race we cooled down rolling around the roads just outside the venue with Troy, Ben, and Menso, talking about the race before cleaning up a bit and going to meet some of the sponsors. At Oakley's booth we met with the rep for our team and talked about the PRIZM tech and picked up some new product to represent from them. We then rolled over to the K-Edge booth to meet with Kyle and get to see some of the new mounts they have developed for the 2017 season. This also gave us some time to talk kit designs with Dylan Seguin and learn about the process of developing the signature Clif Bar Kit look. Later in the evening was a party thrown by the Clif Pro Team! We got to see a lot of friends and also converse with some of the guys from Maxxis. That pretty much wrapped up our Friday, it was time to head back to the house and get ourselves reset for Saturday going into the XC race.



The morning of the XC started similar to the short track. We headed down to the Stan’s Notubes tent to get our gear organized and ready to race. After a good warmup we lined up with a world class field, including World and Olympic champions. The race started by going up the racetrack and just before the Corckscrew the race turned right onto the dirt. After a few rock  gardens the track descended again, and then switchback climbed up again. after another descent the course flattened out and came into the short track course on the racetrack. Throughout the race we did this eight times totaling an hour and a half of all out effort on a very hilly course. In the end Ben Sonntag ended up 16th, Liam Earl 25th, Troy Wells 53rd and Anders Nystrom 68th. After the race a good cool down was in order and another round of meeting the supporters and sponsors of the team. We rounded out Saturday evening with a Clif Bar Company hosted party in the venue, featuring DJ NutButter and Jeremy Powers spinning music, a rap verse dropped by each of the Clif Pro ladies, and lots of food and good fun! That rounded out the overall experience, and it was fantastic to be a part of. 



Whats Next For The Team?


Getting to travel and interact with Troy and Ben is a great way to learn the ropes of all the different aspects of big league racing and public relations between us and our sponsors and supporters. We’re extremely grateful that they allow us to tag along for these events and we enjoy learning how to balance everything during a weekend like this while still being able to perform at our peak when we’re on the start line. We’re looking forward to the next MTB round in Soldier Hollow, Utah! We’ll see you guys there!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mountain Bike Race Season is Here!




The CLIF Bar Development team is excited to be racing mountain bikes this year. 




New team member Finn Gullickson is representing the team in California the past two weekends. 




In the Fontana PROXCT Finn finished just on the podium in fifth place. At the more competitive Bonelli PROXCT Finn rounded out the top ten in ninth place. 





Keep an eye out for the new black Team CLIF Bar truck on the PROXCT circuit this summer.





Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Day in The Life

Tired of reading our blog posts? Yeah us to. This week team member Anders, created a video blog to show us a day in life. A student at Marian University, Anders is home in Boise Idaho for the Holiday break. Take a look at how Anders stays motivated for Cyclocross Nationals in a few weeks.


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Racing Update: CXLA and More


After a strong first half of the season in both Cross and Collegiate Mountain, Team Clif Bar hopes to continue performing and out performing those results for the second half of the season. Since the last race update the bulk of the cross season is now behind us and during that the time team has been busy competing all over the United States



Picking up from the Early Season race update was Pan American Championships in Cincinnati. In the U23 Field Garrett Gerchar came in 14th and Anders Nystrom came in 17th. The course was the same as it has been for the past few years but this year unlike last it was a bit dryer and warmer. Also the race was held on Saturday instead of Sunday giving the racers fresh legs as Kings CX was not the night before.

Just one day after Pan Ams was Kings CX. The race started out in the dry but a rain storm quickly moved in forcing the entire field to do a pit change on the same lap. With these crazy conditions Anders came in 35th and Garrett 46th competing in the Elite Men’s field with 60 starters.

The only rider to compete in Louisville Kentucky was Anders. He raced for Marian in the Collegiate men race and ended up second after having a few mechanicals along the way. Anders also raced the elite men and ended up 32nd.  




CXLA came just a few weeks after Derby City. This was a big one for the U23 men as it was a double weekend with valuable UCI points up for grabs each day. CXLA is important event  for us U23s because both days had UCI U23 specific fields. On day one the conditions were warm and dry in classics southern California fashion. Garrett lead the team with a 5th place finish followed by Anders in 10th. Liam came in 12th after having a few mechanicals on the first lap. Finally, Cormac came in 13th. On day two of CXLA the weather took an unexpended turn and the first half of the race was downpour after the rain stopped the course became slick and wet. Garrett ended up coming in 7th, Anders in 8th, Liam in 10th and Cormac in 12th.



The next and final stop for Clif Devo Cross Team is Hertford Connecticut. Liam and Anders will be racing on Wednesday morning in the D1 Collegiate championships, racing for Colorado Mesa University and Marian University respectively. Also on Wednesday Garrett will be racing in the D2 colligate championships for University of Colorado Boulder. On Sunday Juniors Nic Jenkins and Alex Campbell will be racing in the Junior men’s field. While Liam, Cormac, Anders and Garrett will be racing in the U23 men’s race. Stay tuned for more updates.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Liam Earl: Bike Setup

The Bike:

This year the Clif Bar Squad Is sponsored by Niner and our weapon of choice is the BSB9 RDO. One of the fastest bikes in the peloton the BSB9 offers full carbon thru axles front and rear along with perfect race winning geometry. Many of our riders like their bikes set up in different ways to fit their riding styles. Even though the bike is the same each one is tailored specifically for each ridder. Today I’m going to share how I set up my.

Handlebars:
Starting with the handlebars. My handlebars are similar to a traditional cyclocross set up where the hoods slightly higher than they would be on a road bike. On a road bike the hoods are low so that the rider can be aero. But in cross aerodynamics is not as important as being able to clear obstacles and dampen bumps. That is why I prefer to have raised hoods so that my hands can stay firmly on the bars. Also with Sram Hydro Brakes the hoods are much taller than normal hoods. Making them much better for tackling technical courses. Also I have added a few spacers to my cross bike from a traditional road bike fit to make it easier to go over bumps and pull the front end of the bike up.

Saddle:
The right Saddle height and position is also very important for cross racing. Saddle height on the cross bike is slightly lower than on a road bike so that the ride is more comfortable and better to dismount and remount. Also to get further back on the bike during technical descents. I have a setback Niner RDO seatpost on my BSB9 so that I am able to have the correct reach without having too long of a stem and keeping the right fit over the pedals.


Wheels and Tires:
The wheels that I run while training are a set of aluminum clinchers and while racing I run a set of Kappius Wheels with a Grifo in the front and a Limus in the back. My normal racing tire pressure is between 22 and 26psi depending on course conditions.  



Gears and Drivetrain:

My drivetrain is set up to be cross specific with a 11-36 in the rear and a 40T Sram chaining in the front. This setup is perfect for racing and training offer easy gears for climbs and hard enough gears for sprinting on the flats. Also I have a Quarq Power Meter for data when Training and Racing.

Liam Earl: Bike Setup

The Bike:

This year the Clif Bar Squad Is sponsored by Niner and our weapon of choice is the BSB9 RDO. One of the fastest bikes in the peloton the BSB9 offers full carbon thru axles front and rear along with perfect race winning geometry. Many of our riders like their bikes set up in different ways to fit their riding styles. Even though the bike is the same each one is tailored specifically for each ridder. Today I’m going to share how I set up my.

Handlebars:
Starting with the handlebars. My handlebars are similar to a traditional cyclocross set up where the hoods slightly higher than they would be on a road bike. On a road bike the hoods are low so that the rider can be aero. But in cross aerodynamics is not as important as being able to clear obstacles and dampen bumps. That is why I prefer to have raised hoods so that my hands can stay firmly on the bars. Also with Sram Hydro Brakes the hoods are much taller than normal hoods. Making them much better for tackling technical courses. Also I have added a few spacers to my cross bike from a traditional road bike fit to make it easier to go over bumps and pull the front end of the bike up.

Saddle:
The right Saddle height and position is also very important for cross racing. Saddle height on the cross bike is slightly lower than on a road bike so that the ride is more comfortable and better to dismount and remount. Also to get further back on the bike during technical descents. I have a setback Niner RDO seatpost on my BSB9 so that I am able to have the correct reach without having too long of a stem and keeping the right fit over the pedals.


Wheels and Tires:
The wheels that I run while training are a set of aluminum clinchers and while racing I run a set of Kappius Wheels with a Grifo in the front and a Limus in the back. My normal racing tire pressure is between 22 and 26psi depending on course conditions.  



Gears and Drivetrain:

My drivetrain is set up to be cross specific with a 11-36 in the rear and a 40T Sram chaining in the front. This setup is perfect for racing and training offer easy gears for climbs and hard enough gears for sprinting on the flats. Also I have a Quarq Power Meter for data when Training and Racing.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Anders Shares His Training Playlist



Music can be a very key component to any athlete’s training and competition. Whether you’re just trying to make the time tick by a bit faster on long training days, getting your mind right in the gym to attempt that higher higher rep lift, or blocking out all distractions to bring your mind to focus the morning of the big competition you've been working towards, music can be critical to your mental success as much as your physical training.
I always train with music, always have headphones in warming up at races, and usually am plugged in even just walking around between classes. Listening to anything from Punk Rock to Electronic Drum and Bass, each genre is a key component for whatever I’m doing that day. If it’s any sort of steady workout such as running (be it stadium stairs or just conditioning runs) or long steady rides for base miles, I go with genres such as Trance, Bass, and House. Steady, pumping music that keeps my breathing or pedal stroke steady and ticks the time by much faster than trying to do those days with just ambient noise. For more aggressive riding such as intervals or power tests, I jump to genres like Hardstyle, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, or more aggressive Rock music. The high BPM’s keeps the heartrate up and the intensity levels high in order to finish out each interval better than the last. In the gym I revert to Rap, Trap, and Rock/Punk Rock. Not necessarily needing to be fast paced songs but the aggression is still there for lifting heavy weights. Finally, since I can’t actually race with music, I listen to music for as much time as possible leading up to the race that day. Starting off with Electronic Trap for pump up and focus, and graduating to faster and faster electronic music through the warm-up until one song really sticks out to me. That song gets put on repeat so it’s stuck in my head all through the race. It usually ends up being a fairly catchy, Pop Electronic song that keeps the mood positive and the race pace high.



Check out below for a playlist sample of all the various genres I’ve covered. These are all songs I regularly listen to through any of the training and racing I do.


Thanks for checking this post out, hopefully you found something new to motivate your training and get that mental game as strong as the physical game!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Here's Another Sweet Cross Ride!




The hardest parts of cyclocross are cornering technique and the running in my opinion.  My favorite place to practice cyclocross skills and to train for cross in Lakewood are Bear Creek Lake Park and the Bear Creek Green Belt.  Both areas have a lot to offer, such as different riding surfaces, sand pits, and steep hills to practice run ups.

I like to practice cornering the most in the Bear Creek Green Belt.  The trails wind along the river banks and get really tight which is perfect cornering practice.  Practicing corners helps keep me fluid on the cross course and fluid is fast.  I typically warm up in the Green Belt as the trails are pretty tight and don’t make the best places for intervals.  I like to do a few loops around the trails as a good warm up and progressively speed up and take the corners at higher speeds.  The trails also have mixed surfaces to practice on like loose gravel, nice hard pack and grass, most of which are always seen on any cross course.  


After a good warm up in the Green Belt I ride up the bike path into Bear Creek Lake Park where I can do intervals or practice refining other skills and do some running.  Lots of the trails in Bear Creek Park are pretty sandy, I like to spend time on skills days to ride in the sand and corner in the sand.  Since there are so many trails along the rivers in the park sometimes I set up a course that includes every surface I can find to practice all aspects of cross.  I try to dismount and run any steep hill that there is in the courses I set up just to practice getting on and off the bike.  I get a lot of practice on very loose and rough riding surface in Bear Creek Park which helps out a lot in races such as Valmont.  I usually like to do my intervals on the dam trail in Bear Creek Park as it is the longest climb in the park and makes a good place for continuous efforts up to 3 or 4 minutes.  On a hard interval day I usually head up to Green Mountain Open Space on the mountain bike for hard climbing efforts up to 15 minutes long.

Just outside the park is the Morrison Incline which I like to run once or twice a week to train for really hard run ups like the 5280 stairs at Valmont.  Going up and down the stairs three times in a run hurts a lot and helps me build up endurance to beat running fatigue late in races.





I’m looking forward to the upcoming races where I’ll start racing in the SM Open category to build on my race experience and make things harder.  I hope to see you all out at the races, happy trails.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

What's Our Favorite 'Cross Ride?



This week we wanted to mix it up and describe our favorite cyclocross ride. What's are favorite Wednesday skill ride? Where the heck do you even train for cyclocross? Team member Nic Jenkins offered up his favorite ride in his hometown of Colorado Springs. Hopefully his insight will give you some inspiration as the where to rally your cross bike in your own hometown. Really it just comes down to having fun and riding as much mixed terrain as possible.

As many options as there are in Colorado Springs for cross riding in the fall and winter, my all-time favorite place to ride is at Monument Valley Park by Colorado College. Honestly, you could even host a cross race there. With a giant sandpit and steep hills, I can ride for hours on end and refine a variety of skills. In fact, a bike path runs through the college area all the way to Monument. That being said, I can put in necessary endurance miles as long as I want, or until it gets dark out after school.




Typically, I like to do a couple mile start loop to my ride around the iconic Fountain Creek. I focus on feeling comfortable on the bike while eating and drinking throughout. From there I do a couple laps on a mock course that my brother and our neighbors made a few years ago. It includes a run up, navigating around some trees, hopping logs, and more race-like features. Afterwards I head to the sand pit and try carving some ruts in various directions; sometimes I hammer straight through and others I’ll turn slightly in the middle.



Frequently I ride through the park without a particular agenda, taking random turns and accelerations to mimic a cross course - some have turns that are really awkward and take time to master. Lastly, I spend some time hopping the metal bars in the parking lot at different speeds, for I am feeling more and more comfortable clearing barriers of a standard height.





Last weekend at Cyclo X Interlocken, there was one section that had a barrier run up, followed by a sand pit, and then a U-turn directly into another sand pit. Without a doubt, practicing sand riding skills during the week helped me out, especially when I got more fatigued as the race progressed. I actually had my best finish yet in the SM Open group (10th) and clocked the third fastest last lap of all the riders. It’s an awesome feeling to throw some elbows with local pros and test your fitness for a full 60 minutes, as opposed to 40 minutes.

Moving forward, I’m going to participate in a few more pro races in Colorado before starting my off-season. I have been training hard since the end of May and am excited for some time off from the bike. I always look forward to skiing and running in the winter. Not that I don’t enjoy cyclocross in December, but the timing isn’t the best. Next year my goal is to achieve top results at the UCI Junior events domestically and internationally in hopes to make the Worlds’ team in September.

The days of riding in the snow and cold where you pull out your winter gear (shoe covers, gloves, hats, leg warmers, etc) are right around the corner! I will give another post sometime this winter and give info on the latest outdoor adventures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Racing Update: Early Season


With cross season getting underway and collegiate mountain bike racing coming to a close, we’ve just finished up two weekends of hard racing. We wanted to let you guys know what we’ve been up to and how our racing has been going.

Our boys have been racing hard for the past couple of weeks. From California to Indianapolis our guys have been racking up the results in both cyclocross and collegiate mountain bike. With mountain bike nationals coming to a close this past weekend, they are looking forward to turning their focus towards the rest of the heavy cyclocross season we have coming up.



For our results roundup, we’ll start on the west coast where Cormac Dunn has been racking up consistent top tens in the bay area Superprestige and sacramento cx circuit. Cormac has been fitting in consistent results while staying on top of his school work at Berkeley, whom he represented while taking the win at a collegiate mountain bike race in the WCCC. Keep a look out for Cormac at the upcoming California cx races.

In Colorado many of riders have been racing in the RMCCC, as well as the US Open of Cyclocross. Liam and Garrett both had a great showing at the US open of cyclocross, with Garrett getting a top 20 on Day 1 in the elite/open race. Then on day two Garrett and Liam got 6th and 9th respectively in the U23 UCI race. That means valuable UCI points for both of those riders. Liam and Garrett have also been tearing up the RMCCC with consistent results in XC and STXC, Liam winning the second  XC race of the series and Garrett getting 4th in the short track race at Crested Butte.


Also in Colorado, Nic Jenkins and Alex Campbell both raced the UCI junior race at day 1 of the US Open of Cyclocross finishing 6th and 7th respectively. This got them some UCI points for the upcoming Pan American Games in Cincinnati. A week later Nic Jenkins won the high school varsity state championships for the NICA league in colorado, showing his good form for the upcoming races.

Anders has been racing for Marian university's collegiate cycling conference in every single discipline from XC to dual slalom where he racked up a total of 4 podium positions in different disciplines earning him yet another podium spot where he grabbed second in the conference omnium.



Three of our riders were selected by their schools to participate in the Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in West Virginia. Liam, Garrett, and Anders participated in XC and STXC, and Anders took it a step further to participate in both downhill and dual slalom. Anders and Liam both were representing their schools in the Varsity division while Garrett helped his team in the Club division. Garrett grabbed fifth place in the Club STXC Race. Liam Also finished fifth, except in the Varsity XC race. The guys had some excellent individual results helping their teams out with omnium. Anders helped Marian University secure 3rd in the Varsity omnium and Garrett helped the University of Colorado at Boulder secure the Club omnium title.



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