Saturday, December 29, 2007

Summerhill in Boston Sunday Globe, 10/14/07

Finally posting a JPG of this...before the Gloucester race weekend, Danny Summerhill, Josh Liberles and I were fortunate enough to be able to meet Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld for a unique photo shoot opportunity at Walden Pond, in Concord, MA, for his Sunday Boston Globe photo feature, "What They Were Thinking."


Loenhout was a pretty sweet race. All of the usual euro features. Fly overs, mud pits, tight corners, you know, the usual. The start went well, with both Danny and I in the top 20. Bumping elbows with euros is great fun because they always fight back. I felt like my legs were actually coming around a little bit. My lungs still weren't there. I drilled it so hard on the 2nd to last lap so I wouldnt get lapped. I made it by about 5 seconds. The last lap was funny as all the Pro's were warming up behind me. I just had to finish the lap to get whatever place I got. Nobody was gonna catch me and I couldnt see anyone in front of me. Lots of spectators were out. Even for our race there were plastic cups littering the course from spectators dropping them. The BMX whoops section was fun. It was even covered in astroturf this year. 2 big fly overs too. Danny's back isn't doing so hot so he is gonna skip out on Diegem tomorrow and rest up for our last race on Wednesday.

Today around the house was nice. Slept in a little bit. Got some breakfast consisting of corn flakes (2 bowls), toast with jam, yogurt, and some juice. A little checking the email and surfing the web for sweet stuff like titanium bolts for my bike. Then I headed out for a short little spin. The sun was out full blast. The most I have ever see it here. 8 deg C too. It was a little breezy though. Got back, ate some lunch. Massage time at 2pm. Then lots of computer time all afternoon. We have a good time hassling the juniors too.

Off to bed. Gotta get ready for the cobbled climb in Diegem tomorrow.


P.S. - Danny is addicted to MTV's The Hills. In the past 2 days I think he has watched almost every single episode of every season. Oh Toast...

Just Soap

A really cool company that utilizes the bicycle and minimizes its impact on the environment in making an all-natural product is Western Massachusetts-based Just Soap.

A unique bicycle-powered blender mixes large batches organic ingredients creating amazing blends of affordable and long-lasting soaps, like Sage-Fir, Lavendar-Rosemary, and Oatmeal-Honey. Check out Just Soap online.

Salsa team bikes featured on Technical Editor James Huang paid a visit to the CLIF BAR Development Team home base following the Portland USGP weekend, and recently featured the team's Salsa Chili con Crosso bikes and other equipment on his Pro Bike feature for Cyclingnews.

Read the full story, and check out photos, here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rough Day in Hofstade

Danny and I had a rough day in Hofstade. I started on the back row but somehow managed to move way up on the start. Danny got stuck behind a big crash and was forced to chase. The sand was killer as usual. The both of us have been sick for the past few days. Nothing horrible, but stuffed up noses and sore throats. Just that little bit off your top game will kill you over here. I was really feeling bad when I was out there. My legs seemed good, but I just couldn't breathe. Danny had some bike troubles and I'm sure being sick did not help him either. Oh well, we live to race another day.

Today was a nice relaxing day at the house. Easy rides, massage, laundry, bike shop and store runs. Lots of lounging around, almost too much. We will be out of the house tomorrow though. Its a GVA race in Loenhout. Its a fun course from what I remember. BMX whoops section, fly-overs, long start straight, and stop lights are used for the start. Hopefully I will remember to take some pics.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Update From Belgium

Oh the joy of travel. My adventure to Euro Cross Camp VI started out at in Denver on the 19th. My initial route had me going from Denver, to Chicago then to London and finally to Brussels. That plan didn’t last long. My flight out of Denver was delayed because a de-icing part needed to be replaced. I missed the connection in Chicago because of this. So, I’m not too worried, there has got to be some other flights out of Chicago that I can get on. Nope. I get there and go over to the customer service desk. They are closing so I get sent to the one on the other concourse. Sure enough, they are closing too. I try the self-service kiosk to no avail. I call the 1 800 number for United. They can’t do anything but put me on some flight for tomorrow. I try to get on a Lufthansa flight to London that’s was supposed to leave in 5 min. That was too big of a hassle for them to do at the gate. Well, I guess I’m staying in Chicago. I got a room for the night and tried again in the morning. I got on a flight to Washington DC, then to Brussels.

I finally made it to Belgium, the cyclo-cross capital of the world. Which really means nothing when your bikes and bag don’t show up. I finally got my bag yesterday, the 21st and my bikes showed up today. I raced (or tried to) on Ryan Trebon’s training bike in Zeddam today. I made it around 3 laps before my back couldn’t handle it anymore. A 61cm top tube plus a 120mm stem was just too much for me. The course was really fun though. It was slick in the corners but fast everywhere else. There was a nice big fly-over as well. The most interesting feature was the 100-stair run-up. The first lap through was totally crazy with guys yelling in all different languages as we came to a complete halt at the bottom. It was pure euro racing fun. Hopefully I will feel better after a couple days of training on my own bike then Wednesday is a big World Cup in Hofstade. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Team, sponsors featured in Mountain Flyer article

Check out the latest issue of Mountain Flyer magazine, for a feature article on eco-friendly companies making a difference in the cycling world (and outdoor industry), including team sponsors CLIF BAR, Pedro's, Chris King, and Patagonia. The CLIF BAR Development 'cross team is featured as well!

Eckmann brothers head over to race in Europe

Robin and Yannick Eckmann head home to Germany tomorrow for the holidays, and will be racing a few events in Switzerland and then the German National Championships on Jan. 5th.

It was an impressive first full year of cyclo-cross for the Eckmann brothers, in which both dominated the local Colorado scene (15 yr old Robin finishing off his full season in the 3s with the State Championship title, and 14 yr old Yannick schooling the Cat 4s for several races before bumping up and holding his own in the 3s).

Robin hit all the USGP events with the team, and easily won the 15-16 category several times (with his hardest battles coming from Yannick and Rad Racing's Benny Swedeburg in Portland).

At US Nationals, the boys are still able to race with their Green Card until they hit the 17-18 division, and they put in solid rides in the snow and ice of Kansas - with Robin taking 4th and Yannick 5th in the 15-16 division.

Good luck in Europe guys!

Summerhill Report from Belgium: first race

On Saturday, Danny Summerhill and most of the other U-23 and Junior Euro-Campers headed to a Belgian B-series race in Laarn for a warm up race. It brought out some top Belgian U-23s, as well as many Belgian amateurs and some Brits and the US kids. Great ride for Rad Racing's Nick Wieghall, in 14th place. Here's Danny's quick report:

"I started on the front line right next to Niels Albert and I beat him to the whole shot! I led the first half lap but then settled down in 3rd for the first half of the race. After that, I hit a post, popped my chain off and didn't really have that great of a second half of the race. So, I ended up 20th, which I was not too pleased about. We have a pretty big race in Zeddam tomorrow (where the 2006 Worlds course was, with 100 stairs) so that should be interesting!"


1 Niels Albert Palmans-Cras
2 Vincent Baestaens Fidea Cycling Team
3 Gianni Denolf Palmans-Cras
4 Davy De Scheemaeker

5 Kevin Eeckhout

6 Stijn Penne

7 Nico Clarysse

8 Sven Verboven Wielerclub Galmaarden Sportief
9 Patrick Bassez

10 Mike Thielemans

11 David Fletcher

12 Toon Devenyns

13 Bjorn De Decker

14 Nicholas Weighall

15 Matthias Onghena VZW Wielerclub " Onder Ons - Parike "
16 Kristof Boelens

17 Thomas Vernaeckt Asfra Racing Team
18 Kenneth Van Compernolle Sunweb ProJob
19 Dieter Schol K.S.W. De Demerspurters Haacht - Betekom
20 DaniƩl Summerhill

21 Steven De Caluwe

22 Steven Sluyts

23 Laurens De Vreese Wielersportvereniging Artevelde VZW - Gent
24 Alex Atkins

25 Mitchell Peterson

26 Carson Miller

27 Ross Creder

28 Valentijn Ponseele WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke
29 Wim Maes

30 Kristof Scheirs

31 Steven Schol K.S.W. De Demerspurters Haacht - Betekom
32 Vincent Van Hooste Asfra Racing Team
33 Jackson Vijarona

34 Koen Boelens VC De Lievespurters - Zomergem
35 Simon Mathys

36 Kjell Van Driessche

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