Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hooglede World Cup

The World Cup today was epic. It was super muddy with sections of ice included for good measure. There were 3 stair sections that were super hard, a few super steep sketchy downhills, a sand pit and a bunch of cold Belgian mud.

The juniors started the day off with a great result. Bjorn was off the front of the race for a while until he flatted, and Danny was right behind him. Summerhill ended the day in 8th place! That is an amazing result for the first year junior. A great quote from Geoff Proctor, the national team coach was, "Seeing you guys on the front of the race gave me goosebumps down my spine." That is pretty cool.

Bjorn fell back to 32nd and Alex ended up 36th. Alex crashed about 10 times on the first lap. At one point he had some Slovakian kid sitting on his bike taking his helmet off after a crash. Howes tried to get his bike but the kid would not get up. A swift kick to his back remedied this. Howes was back in the race, all the way at the back of the pack but managed to move up nicely.

The U23 race went alright. Jesse Anthony got the hole shot, taking the lead for the first couple of minutes. After a bad start, Troy Wells worked his way back up 26th place. Morgan Schmitt finished 45th, and I was the last rider to not get lapped, I ended up 51st. I did beat 15 guys though, so that was pretty good.

Adam McGrath crashed somewhere on the course and hit his head. He fell over into the crowd and was taken to the medical tent. He could not remember a whole lap! He is doing alright now, but has got a monster head ache.

Trebon crashed out of the Elite race and screwed up his shoulder. Wicks broke his pinkie finger out on the course too. I guess it was pretty nasty. I'll try to get a pic.

The juniors are racing again in Sven Nys' hometown of Baal tomorrow. Hopefully they can kick some butt. Should be a good race for them.

The Elites and U23's get a day off then race again on Monday.

Happy New Year, that is if you use the Gregorian calendar, but if you are using the Discordian calendar, happy - Setting Orange, The Aftermath 73, Year of Our Lady of Discord 3171,

Friday, December 30, 2005

Another Boring Day in Belgium

With another day off here in Belgium, we were all fighting to keep ourselves entertained. The juniors succeeded at waking up 11 am. Darn kids. We then headed out for a ride in the increasingly deteriorating conditions. By the time we made it back home, it was snowing pretty well. We went and rode some icy rutted out trails, it was pretty sweet. Total ride time was about 1:30.

The weather is going to be the main challenger for tomorrow's World Cup, it snowed today, then it is supposed to warm-up overnight and turn to rain. Wow, sounds like a great time. Hopefully we can get some good pictures.

Other than that, the day was spent trying to entertain ourselves, which can get hard sometimes. We seemed to make it through though.

The pictures are of our ride. Alex was riding up the cement embankment on an underpass. He made it to the top, then had to slide down because he wimped out!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Off day

Today was an off day. For Brady and Alex this meant no riding (Brady has come down with a light cold and Alex has suspicions of tendonidis) and for Troy it meant a relatively light ride. For Toast it meant a day off his bike, but in a different way. He crashed, again. Many of us are starting to wonder if the mechanics are putting Crisco or some other kind of grease on his tires. What ever, he's still plenty fast and his toddler like tumbles don't seem to be slowing him down too much. With our time off we were forced to try to find ways to fill our time. To accomplish this we have turned to the standard media. Stuff like internet, tv, books (eh.... not so much), and video games. Our current favorites seem to be Grand Tursmo (best car racing game in the whole wide world), JIM tv (worst MTV wanna be channel ever!!), Myspace (the land of bike dorks, gossip hungry 13 year old girls, braille faced computer geeks, and dorks in general), and Mark Twain's short stories. When we weren't wasting our time with this mind numbing "junk" most of us managed to brave the snow and make our way out into the town for a bit of Christmas shopping and culture absorption. After some steak, potatoes, and salad for dinner, we watched some more tv and are now headed to bed.

Tomorrow we are going to check out the course for the World Cup on Saturday so hopefully we will have something a little more interesting to say then.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


As far as the recap for today's race goes,
the U-23 race went as follows. Our very own Brady Kappius managed to grab the whole shot until his unfortunate sickness got the best of him towards the second part of the race. Brady stuck it out though and stayed in the race until he was lapped by the fast leaders. Also in the U-23 race Troy Wells had very good race with the exception of having a crash and a flat, Troy finished 30th which was good given the conditions.
Before the U23's was the junior race, in which I also managed to grab the hole shot as well but because of a very unexpected piece of black ice, my lead was snatched away from me dropping me back to 25 place. So with that I buckled down for a number of laps with out the help of any of the other European riders in my group I managed to pull myself back to 8th place as I held the lead for the sprint coming one place short of U.S. very own Bjorn Selander who just like me crashed very hard messing up his knee though managing to hold on to his 7th place
On another note Alex having been given a terrible start position found it very difficult to redeem himself up to his normal position.
All in all, the team as a whole had a good day of racing with a few mishaps but overall a solid performance.

Danny Summerhill
a.k.a - Toast
a.k.a - Summy

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

EURO Land.

So far since I've been in euro land I have had two dinners where I was saying how good dinner was. I was saying to Jesse A man this steak is good and then he informs me that it was Horse Meat. On X-mas eve I was thinking that the chicken we had was great then I find out it was rabbit. We have had two races for each group since we have been in euro land. Today was a rest day that consisted of riding to the coffee shop and a visit to the local bike shop with J-Pows, Anthony, Morgan, and Dan. The coffee shop is cool with a classy setting. These Belgium millionaires kill me.

The bike shop was cool i mean there is no place in the states where you can go just buy a DUGAST tire stright up for 62 euros. After the ride we returned home to Izegem for lunch followed by a photo shot for the GVA newspaper for this article they are doing on cyclists here for X-mas cross circuit from out-side europe.

After the short photo shot is was time for me to get a massage from He was rocking a DOPER SUCK shirt (COCKY).. Summerhill (A.K.A. Toast and has also picked up the name Summey) has been like alittle 13 year old girl when it comes to MYSPACE. MYSPACE is a online type of blog website with friends and a comment wall. Toast's best quote all trip has been " I don't know what I'd do without MYSPACE". For the record I have been spending time on MYSPACE also since there is nothing to do in Izegem beside from trying to recover and get ready for the next race. Anyway we have a GVA U-23 and Junior race tomorrow it is like one step below a World Cup. I guess in the U-23 field we have 95 starts so it should be interesting. 80 crazy euros 5 Zem-bob-ways and 10 North Americans should be fun. I've been sleeping like 10hrs a day I love coming to sea level from Durango (6500 feet above sea level you sleep like a brick).

Check in tomorrow for another update maybe you will be blessed with one from toast.

Monday, December 26, 2005


For the U23's today, we raced in Hofstede. It was the same course as the World Cup for the Elites. We had a super early start time of 10:30. Even the Juniors started after us! The weather was fairly good, partly sunny with just a little bit of rain. The course was fast except for the huge sand pit (beach) we had to run through. It was super tough. With a second row call-up, I thought I would have had a good chance. Not the case. Some crazy euro almost took me out and I got thrown to the back of the pack. Jesse Anthony got the hole shot, with Troy Wells on his wheel. It was sweet. After people crashing all over the place, I was back even further. After struggling at the back and not having it mentally, I decided to pull the plug after about 25 min. Oh well, can't be going 100% every day. I'm bound to have a good race one of these days. Troy ended up really good, 13th place against a strong field. He was struggling in the sand though. The other U23's did alright.

Results for the race can be found here -

The juniors woke up at 11, they had to get their beauty sleep I guess. Then they went on a 1 hour ride to Roeselare, about 10km away. Here are some pictures of their beautiful sightseeing.

Talk to you tomorrow,

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Part one: Junior race

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Just think, while all of you were sitting around the Christmas tree opening presents the juniors were showing there teeth and sporting their wears in a crazy slick and very well attended (spectators) Belgian cyclocross race. Because no body has work on Christmas, the crowds were out in full force to support the racers. To start the race, Alex Howes managed to pull a sweet hole shot (first rider to reach the dirt section) out of his bag of tricks; tailed by team mate Danny. From the mouth of the beast, "It was pretty sick. There's nothing like showing these crazy Euros what happens when you give Americans a front row starting spot on a 500 meter starting straight with spectators packed 5 deep the whole way!" In the race, Bjorn and Alex road solid rides to finish 10th and 11th and Danny came across in 16th after a very hard and, honestly stupid, crash.

PS. They actually paid us money to race!!! A whole 7 euros.

Part two: The U23s get a well deserved rest day

Ahhh, the sun! Its a Christmas miracle. Finally, we get a sunny day in Belgium. Although he roads were still wet and muddy, Newt, Mitch, Baker and Brady went out for a good 2 hours. We followed some sweet 33 km route in a town that is about 10 km away. Total ride was somewhere around 50km or 30 miles. The pictures are of some of the beautiful countryside we found.

Up next for us is a race in Hofstead tomorrow. The race is a World Cup for the Elites, but not for us. Maybe it will be a little easier, yeah right!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

First race of the trip!!!!!!!

Today was the first race of the camp. For some, it went really well, for others it went ok, and for others it went really bad. For starters it's a shame our buddy Bjorn's bag came because it would have been nice if he was racing in our team colors. His performance was by far the most impressive of the day. With major jet lag (we are all still on U.S. time) he managed to finish 8th only 2 seconds off the win in one the most prestigious (hence the name, "Diegem Super Prestige") fields in the world. Not to mention he was racing on a borrowed bike.
For team TIAA-CREF/Clif bar U.S. national champions, Troy Wells and Danny Summerhill both had very respectable rides. Troy scored a top 25 which he will most definitely be able to improve upon and Danny pulled off a very impressive 17th in his first European race ever. Very strong rides by both. However, Alex Howes and Brady Kappius did not fare so well. Alex crashed during warm up and injured his hip, severely hindering his race performance. Brady, on the other hand was forced to abandon the race after bending the laws of physics and wrapping his chain completely backwards on his chain ring. Major bummer.
Any ways life is good in the land of Flanders. The sun actually came out for Christmas eve today and we had an amazing dinner that consisted of sweat potato spinach waffles, rabbit, apple sauce and some wicked good Christmas cake. All of us are also smiling about JIM TV's Belle Perez weekend. She is a beauty that the states will never know. What a shame.

Thanks for reading and if you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas,


Friday, December 23, 2005

Alright, so I'm sitting on my bed surrounded by the sounds of Europe. Diesel cars chugging in the street, crappy euro trash tunes pumped out by the JIM tv (Europe's equivalent to MTV), and Brady screaming, "Man I want some rice pudding!" Not much going on, this side of the pond today. We all went for a typical euro ride (nice and wet), Brady managed to tip it over but he's alright, and a few of us went out for some super fluffy waffles. Dang, I wish I was eating one right now! Tomorrow is our first race. The race is in Diegem tomorrow. It is a sweet course, hopefully we can get cool pictures.

Time to eat some steamed vegetables,

P.S. - We have a new team member! Bjorn Selander

P.P.S. - Not really, his bags and bike have yet to show up so he borrowed some clothes.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

We made it!

Team TIAA-CREF has successfully made it to Europe! Alex and Brady made it in Thursday morning, and Troy and Danny made it later in the afternoon. Troy's bags are still in transit, but they should be here by tomorrow. The flights were fairly uneventful, the usual sardine style packing. The weather is the usual cloudy, grey, and rainy. Awesome cross weather.

Tomorrow is one day of training before our first race on Saturday.

We are all pretty tired, so we are going to bed, but we will be back tomorrow. Hopefully we will have some pictures too.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


This just in: 4 riders from team TIAA-Cref/Clif Bar have been selected to race in the world championships! Both Troy Wells and Danny Summerhill earned automatic nominations after their winning rides at nationals and Brady Kappius and Alex Howes both earned spots through coaches selection due to their strong season of racing.

Wish us luck and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar Strikes Gold at Cross Nationals

December 12, 2005

Summerhill photo courtesty of Chris Milliman

After a hugely successful season the TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar Team traveled to the National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Providence this past weekend with their sites set on both the Junior and U23 titles. With the main focus of the team being the development of young cyclo-cross talent the weekend would provide a national stage to prove the success of the program. The race weekend got started early on Friday afternoon with Brandon Dwight picking up a third place finish in the highly competitive 35-39 Masters category. Brandon was forced to contend with New England’s first major blizzard of the year serving up white-out conditions that caused many competitors to abandon with hypothermia. By the end of the day over four inches of wet snow would fall on the course setting the stage for a test of fitness and character in the U23 and Junior races to be contested the following day.

Saturday began with the highly anticipated U23 race and expectations of a final showdown between USGP champion Jesse Anthony (Clif Shot) and his year long rival Troy Wells. Setting out for their fifty minute race on the extremely technical course that would force riders to negotiate both frozen ruts and thick mud, TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar rider Zak Grabowski got the hole-shot and set a blistering pace for the first lap. Not far behind, as expected, Troy Wells was again dueling with Anthony but an untimely puncture for the Clif Bar rider early on the second lap would allow Wells to bridge the gap to Grabowski who put in a big effort to slingshot the inspired Wells and a resurgent Brent Bookwalter off the front of the strung out field. Troy eventually left Bookwalter behind and struck out on his own in pursuit of his first National title. After initially establishing a health thirty second gap on second place, a rejuvenated Anthony began applying pressure from behind and by the last lap had closed to within five seconds of Wells. With one final push Wells was able to hold on and took an emotional win in front of his family and thousands of cheering fans. Brady Kappius confirmed his status as a rising cross talent as well and took a well deserved sixth place as a first year U23 rider.

With one title already secured, team manager Ben Turner turned to his squad of well trained juniors to contend with last years Junior National Champion Bjorn Selander. Three riders quickly established themselves at the front of the race and TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar once again had a numerical advantage with Danny Summerhill and Alex Howes keeping a close watch over the strong Selander. With half the race over, Selander had pulled Summerhill away from the slowing Howes and seemed to have improved his chances of repeating his title but with two laps remaining Selander suffer a mechanical forcing him to run to the pit for a bike change. Summerhill, no stranger to wining national titles, having taken three on the road earlier this year (crit., TT and road), cruised in for the win with Howes just holding off a charging Salender for second.

The US National Cyclo-Cross Championships marks the end of the domestic cyclo-cross season. In Europe, the heartland of cross, the racing is starting to heating up and with the peak of the season just around the corner, TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar will be sending five riders overseas to test their skills against the best in the world. Wells, Kappius, Summerhill, Howes and Dwight will take a short rest and then travel to Belgium for a barrage of holiday cross races in preparation for the World Championships to be held in the Netherlands on January 28-29.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Off to Europe!

photo of Troy Wells courtesy of Jonathan McElvery

With a successful US race season wrapping up and the all-important national championships looming in early December, four members of the TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar cyclocross team have been selected to join US national cyclocross coach Geoff Proctor at his prestigious Euro Camp III. The riders are Alex Howes and Danny Summerhill as juniors, along with Brady Kappius and Troy Wells in the U23 ranks.

Based in Belgium and running from December 22 until January 5, the camp is intended to give the top tier of US 'cross racers the chance to compete against the world's best in the heartland of cross during the holiday rush of 'cross racing. Each rider will be able to race up to seven times at World Cup, Superprestige, and GVA Series events, with most riders attending the camp going on to compete at the world championships in Zeddam, The Netherlands on January 28-29. backs TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar European Cyclo-Cross Fundraiser, the leading online bicycle race/event registration website has announced the creation of a page dedicated to raising funds for the four TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar Cyclo-Cross Team riders who will be extending their season past the traditional end of cross racing in the US.

This fundraiser is a necessary source of financial assistance for these top young racers. Participation in the Euro Camp requires that they pay their own expenses - for travel and the support they receive in Belgium. US Worlds Team members (except for the National Champion) must pay for their entire trip package as well. is donating the service fees from pledges made via this page, so 100% of all donations will go directly to the riders.

For more information or to donate and help these riders on their way to Europe please follow the link below.

For more information on the TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar Cyclo-Cross Team go to

TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar Team Members (National)

Alex Howes (Junior)
Tejay van Garderen (Junior)
Walker Savidge (Junior)
Danny Summerhill (Junior)
Brady Kappius (U23)
Zak Grabowski (U23)
Peter Stetina (U23)
Troy Wells (U23)
Zach Taylor (U23)
Ian MacGregor (U23)
David Robinson (Elite)
Stuart Gillespie (Elite)
Colby Pearce (Elite)
Dan Bowman (Elite)
Bryan Smith (Elite)
Will Frischkorn (Elite)
Hartley (Elite)


Ben Turner – Team director, sponsorship coordinator, team coach,
Elite racer
Brandon Dwight – Team manager, Elite racer
Nick Legan – Team mechanic
John Verheul
– Team coach, assistant manager, Masters 35+ racer
Reed McCalvin – Team soigneur
Kevin Reichlin – Team chiropractor
Marc Gullickson – Team PR/Communication manager, sponsor liaison

2005 Team TIAA-CREF/CLIF BAR Cyclo-Cross Team Sponsors

TIAA-CREF (Fortune 80 financial services company)
CLIF BAR (the Natural Performance Enhancer – energy food/drinks)
Javelin (Primitivo cross frames)
Hincapie (race clothing)
SWIX (base layers and outerwear)
ACA (American Cycling Association)
Curve (socks) (cross-specific parts)
Crank Brothers (pedals)
Fi’zi:k (saddles, bar tape)
FSA (parts)
Challenge (tires)
Shimano (parts, shoes)
Giro (helmets)
Oakley (eyewear)
Pedro’s (bike care)
Sixtufit (muscle care)
Alpha Q (forks)
Mavic (wheels)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

team pictures

TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change