Monday, December 15, 2008

Nationals report: Friday (Juniors)

By Friday, the frozen ground of the Nationals course had given out under the pressure of Thursdays herds of B and Masters racers, and succumbed to sunshine and warming temperatures...creating a slippery, goopy mess of mud more suitable for holding wads of grass together for the walls of a primitive prairie home. Instead, this went on the bikes as they slid around the course, spinning for traction on the uphills and trying to stay in control through the turns.

The 10am Junior events featured some truly weight-gaining mud. Zack Gould's rig probably doubled in weight before he pitted with a rear derailleur broken by its struggle against the thick adobe building material clinging to his bike. He got a good workout running half the course with a 30+ lb. bike slung over his shoulder! Kudos to Zack for not giving up and hanging in there to finish a really solid 11th place in the 13-14 race.

In the 15-16 race, the CLIF BAR foursome of Yannick Eckmann, David Kessler, Bjorn Fox and Zane Godby went to work against a strong field and the mud. Yannick resumed his friendly rivalry with Delaware's ace junior Jeff Bahnson (the two had traded wins in the Cat. 2/3 races at the New Jersey USGP weekend). Bjorn looked to continue his hot streak after winning both under-16 junior races at the Portland USGP the previous weekend. David made his Cross Nationals debut, and 14-year old Zane stepped into his first race with the 15-16 category. Yannick raced hard and rode with Jeff for several laps, but before long Jeff's amazing mud riding skills and awesome fitness created a winning gap. Yannick powered home strong in 2nd, and both David and Zane had amazing races to finish in 4th and 5th, respectively. Bjorn was having a great race before he was sidetracked with a flat, but he came back strong to finish 8th. Three CLIF BAR 15-16 Juniors on the podium, and all 4 in the top ten!

The 17-18 crew was shorthanded from our usual USGP squad, with German Robin Eckmann having to race the B race on Thursday. Cody Cox and Andrew Barker rode strong races, starting out in the main chase group, fading a little bit after some blistering opening laps, but recovering to hold on to strong 9th place (Cody) and 13th place (Andrew) finishes.

Cody will now head off to Belgium later this week to begin his first European race experience at the Euro Cross Camp with National Team coach Geoff Proctor.

Nationals report: Thursday (B race)

Junior Robin Eckmann wins the B race! Since non-US citizens are not allowed to race US Nationals once they reach age 17, CLIF BAR's outstanding Junior 17-18 racer Robin Eckmann, who is from Germany but now calls Boulder home decided to race the B race for fun this year at Nationals.

He killed it! Robin moved up to the front of the race on lap one along with another junior ace - 15 year old Jeff Bahnson from Delaware, who was using the B race as a warmup for Friday's Junior 15-16 event. The two rode together off the front for several laps before Jeff completed his "opening" workout at 30 minutes. Robin then was joined by one other competitor, who stuck with him until the final lap.

One strong attack heading onto the pavement though kept his lead comfortable and he cruised in for the win.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bay Area Super Prestige

Today I had a great race at the Bay Area Super Prestige series in Golden Gate Park. I went hard from the start getting 5 to 10 bike lengths on 2nd place by the end of the first lap. Then 2nd place got a mechanical that put him down one place. I kept a hard tempo making a bigger and bigger gap until the end of the race. Which led to my win!
Two weeks ago I also won the race which finally put me in the leaders jersey. It has been a tough season battling fast juniors, but hard work has helped turn the series around.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

On the Cross

Today was the On the cross race at Chatfield. And about 5:00 last night the snow came in, and it snowed a lot in just an hour. So I knew it was gonna make for a muddy and fun race. The course was mostly single track which got muddy after all the races went before us. For our team we had Andrew, Yannick, Robin, Kevin and myself racing in the Open race. After the first lap in the lead group there were about 8 guys including Robin, Yannick and myself. Then the race began to break up some more and then we all found ourslelfs chasing the lead group of 5. So it was Yannick Robin and myself working together to get back into it. Though around one of the muddy corners I was on Yannicks wheel when he hit the deck, causing me to use his real wheel as a ramp and pulling a superman over him. We got right back up and kept on chasing. Then with about 3 laps to go I found myself alone trying to chase down the lead group of five. Then on the last lap on the last corner I just had to hit the deck causing the guy 10seceonds behind me to catch up and pass me in the sprint. So I eneded up 7th place which was not too bad. And Kevin was unable to finish due to his pedal coming completly off on the third lap.
Of course I am just starting to feel good on the bike and I can't even race tomorrow. Because we have to leave ealrly tomorrow to try and make it back up to Grand Junction for school on Monday. The passes are already snow packed and are expecting anywhere from 2-12 inches up in the mountains. And we can't even bring our cross bike back, because we drove down in a little Honda Civic which will not make it back over, so were catching a ride with our room mate who has all wheel drive but has no room for our cross bikes. So I guess we can't even ride cross again until Nationals. Unless we can make it back next week for states but im guessing the weather will be similar to how it is now on the passes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mercer '08 Elite Men | NY Velocity

Mercer '08 Elite Men | NY Velocity

Check out these nice photos of the Mercer race. Some good shots of team and pit action! (just click on the link above!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jersey Cross Life

Late Flights, Food Blights, Mudd
Jersey Pike, No Left Whole Foods
"Out of the way Hoke"

Ride On/Go Green

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Global Cooling Speech!

What is global cooling? We all know what global warming is. Today I am going to tell you about global cooling. Global cooling is basically trying to stop global warming. We can start global cooling by riding our bikes or walking to school, instead of taking a car which releases pollution into the atmosphere decreasing the ozone making it hotter. The things that we want to prevent from happening in order to start global cooling are greenhouse gasses, solar variation, and temperature changes. To start, greenhouse gasses are caused by human-activity that mostly started when the industrial system was started. The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier and he says “It is the process in which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface.” Another example of Global Warming is Solar Variation. As stated by two researchers at Duke University, solar variation is caused by the sun. A different hypothesis is that variations in solar output, possibly amplified by cloud seeding via galactic cosmic rays, may have contributed to recent warming.
Now onto a simpler example, when you drive your car you are releasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere helping create global warming. Think about that the next time you want to go somewhere but you are too lazy to walk, run, bike, skateboard, or even take a bus. If you ask your parents to drive you, then your laziness is making the atmosphere full of CO2 emissions, also known as ruining the earth. Another kind of emission is called methane. Methane is also known as poop gas from animals that live on a farm. Say you had a hundred pigs on your farm and they all pooped twice a day. In a year that would pile up to be a bunch of methane polluting the atmosphere. Methane is also the gas that is a fart. So the next time you are about to fart, just be selfish and keep it to yourself and don’t pollute the environment with your fart. Rotten trash also forms methane.
Who likes snow? I sure do! So by starting global cooling we can have more snow days. Another way to start global cooling is to recycle and compost. By doing this we can reuse our natural resources instead of dumping it into a landfill and have to use up more energy to create paper and bottles. To help global cooling we can put solar panels on the top of our houses to get energy from the sun instead of Excel Energy. Some materials that are appropriate for recycling are: glass bottles and jars of all colors, aluminum cans, pie pans and clean aluminum foil, plastic bottles and jugs with a #1 a #2 or a #5 on the bottom, paper milk boxes, juice boxes and drink boxes, #2 and #5 plastic tubs and cups, scrap metal, most paper items, and phone books! Also, if you eat a whole banana and you are about to throw away the peel, stop, think and remember that all vegetables and fruits can be composted. Even napkins, plates and many other things too! So the next time you drink a soda and you are about to throw it in the trash, think and remember that it can be recycled!
There is one bad thing, and that is that not everything is recyclable or compostable. Some items that are not recyclable are: orange brownish envelopes, construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, paper towels, tissues, waxed items, frozen food or ice cream containers, pictures, and stickers. An item that can not be composted very easily is meat. This is because it takes a long time to decompose, and it also attracts rats and mice to your compost pile.
Obviously, global cooling is the way to go!
By Zack Gould

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Summerhill 13th in GvA Series round in Niel

TEAM CLIF BAR's Danny Summerhill will be back in the US this week to re-join the team for the 2nd round of the Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross Series in Mercer County, NJ.

Jaarmarktcross Niel (GvA Trofee #2) - C2
Belgium, November 11, 2008

Kenneth Van Compernolle Sunweb Projob
2 Tom Meeusen Fidea Cycling Team
3 Jim Aernouts Palmans-Cras
4 Stef Boden
5 Arnaud Jouffroy
6 Joeri Adams
7 Quentin Bertholet Fidea Cycling Team
8 Kevin Cant AVB Cycling Team
9 Sven Verboven Palmans-Cras
10 Dave De Cleyn Scott USA Cycling Team
11 Gianni Denolf Palmans-Cras
12 Philipp Walsleben Palmans-Cras
13 Daniel Summerhill TEAM CLIF BAR

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Junior State Cyclocross!

This Saturday was the Junior State Cyclocross Championships! This was my best race so far. At the start line I was all ready to go, and then I heard the whistle. I was one of the first off the line and I thought I was clipped in so I started sprinting, as if to take the hole-shot. Suddenly, my foot slipped and I swerved a little and was not in the position I would have liked to be in. I was probably in about sixth place and about fifteen seconds behind the leaders. I had to bring up the tempo a lot and finally caught up to fourth and fifth place. In this race there was a ton of singletrack so it was very difficult to pass, but once we eventually got on to a dirt road section I flew past fourth and fifth place. Then I came into a barrier section, the barriers were set to half height, I attempted to bunny hop both of them and did it successfully. By then I had a minor gap on fifth and sixth place. Just five seconds ahead of me I saw second and third place putting down the hammer. Then I came into another barrier section and the barrier was the same size so I attempted to bunny hop that one, and got the first wheel about six inches off the ground and the second one only about two. I nailed the barrier at around 15-20 MPH and almost did a front flip and slammed my whole right side into the ground.
It turns out afterward that I also cracked my helmet. Anyways, I got right up and got on the bike. But when I crashed fifth place caught up to me, and as it turns out third place was right in front of me when I crashed. So we got onto the single track again and I took about thirty seconds to collect myself and then dropped the hammer. I caught up to third place, and passed him on the wider, dirt section part. This time I ran over all the barriers. By the next barrier section, me and third place broke away from fifth and the third place rider was trying to drop me. I didn't budge. The other rider hit a root and his rear wheel started making a weird noise. I passed him and dropped him on the run up and then twenty seconds later I hear a loud POP! I finished in third place and was so tired but the good hard working kind of tired. I did better than I thought was even possible for me to do. So, the moral of the story is; don't give up even if you have a bad start or crash hard. Other good results from the Clif Bar Development CX Team: David Kessler:15-16 State Champion. Zane Godby:13-14 State Champion. Yannick Eckmann: 5th place- Pro Race. Robin Eckmann: 6th place- Pro Race. Brady Kappius: 3rd place- Pro Race. Mitch Hoke: 10th place Pro Race.
By Zack Gould

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Best race so far

Last Saturday and Sunday were my best races in my season so far. It was the Boulder Cup that weekend. The first day at the reservoir was really good. I raced the juniors Elite which started 2 minutes behind the Cat.3. So we basically chased the cat.3 down. I had a perfect start. I got the whole shot and kept my pace up as long as i could. I got a a gap in the first lap. But I got chased down from a lot of my team mates and other people. I tried to stay away from them, I went each lap so fast as possible. Also each lap i got closer to the leader from the cat.3 guys. In the last lap i was in 7th place in the cat.3 and first place in the juniors elite. When i finished i needed 34 seconds more to catch the leader of the cat.3 but that didn't happen. I still said to my self I still have another day.

On sunday we started 2 minutes behind the cat.3 again. My brother robin got the whole shot, Skyler from Black Sheep was in second and I was in third. After like the 3 corner before the hurdles I past both of them and went through the hurdles first and got a gap. Each corner the gap got bigger and bigger. In the first lap I caught a lot of  cat.3 riders. In like the 3 lap in the race i was close to 5 place. I was far gone from the junior field i was like 45 seconds ahead. I didn't slow down though I wanted to catch the leader from the cat.3 guys. It took me another 2 laps until i caught the leader. When i passed him i just kept on hammering it down so i rode away from him too. The announcer went crazy yep talk about how old i am and that i started 2 minutes behind a caught all of the riders and all that. Oh by the way the run up after the hurdles was just amazing the crowed was just yelling and everything it felt like i was in the pro race. On the end of the race I ended up in 1st, 43 seconds ahead of the first cat.3 rider and more than 1 minute in front of the next junior Elite rider. A lot of people came up after the race to congratulate me and all it was just so cool.
So that is why is was my greatest weekend ever.

written by Yannick Eckmann 

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Photos from Sunday's Super Prestige

Veghel-Eerde (Superprestige #2), Ned (C1)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

CLIF BAR kids' clinic at Louisville USGP

Summerhill 20th in second World Cup

On Sunday in Tabor, Czech Republic, TEAM CLIF BAR's Danny Summerhill finished a respectable 20th place after chasing hard all day to make up ground after two early pile-ups put him way back.

Danny's race report:

"Bjorn [Selander] got a really good start and I followed probably top 15 first corner then going through it someone crashed right in front of me sending me back a few places - then 300 meters later I got caught behind someone else who had crashed which put me almost last, so at that point I was pretty scared, and knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't step it up! (haha) I slowly started picking off riders and was able to get in a group of 2 czech riders and we we're coming up to what was basically the second pretty big group with Sinkeldom and Adams and I dropped my chain. Fast forwarding a few laps I finally caught the really big group by myself with 2 to go... And even though I know that I proved to have a lot of power to make it from almost last to top 20 I am still quite mad in general that I wasted sooooo much energy just making it up to that group because I feel like this course suited the 3 of us soo much more than most other people as it was very dry and reminded us a lot of a home race!!!"

Other then that I am working on not getting down on my self because I know this trip is for learning and january is for kicking ass but it is still a pain knowing I could have, from what I feel right now done a lot better!!!

USGP #1 & 2, Louisville, KY

TEAM CLIF BAR's Troy Wells and Brady Kappius put the team on the national radar this past weekend in Louisville, KY, at the first stop in the Crank Brothers' USGP of Cyclo-Cross Series.

On Saturday, Troy had perhaps his finest race as a Pro, finishing 4th, and Brady posted a 3rd place in the Under-23 competition (19th overall).

Sunday saw Troy go for broke driving the lead group early in the race, but he eventually faded to a 9th place finish. Brady stepped it up a notch and grabbed 2nd in the Under-23 field, and took over the USGP Leader's Jersey. CLIF BAR riders have now held the USGP Leader's Jersey every year since 2004.

Boulder Reservoir

On sunday was one of my favorite races the Boulder Reservoir. I started of in the 3rd row, after the start i was like 15 or so. I moved up slowly till the long sand pit were you had to run through. After that i was 10th place about and than i got into a group where we were fighting for 7th place. After i while people went out front and i dropped back slowly. I was fighting so hard to stay in the group on the long straight away i got dropped and when it got more technically i got closer again like at the sand pit and at the corners. At one point i never caught back up and i got slower and slower. I was fighting now for 12 place I tried my hardest for the last 2 laps I saw one guy coming from the back closer and closer. I kept on hammering but the other guy was just hammering it more. In the last 1.5 k to that guys past me. I didn't even have a chance to try to stick with him because he was just flying by me. So when i crossed the finish line like 15 seconds behind i was really tired. I got 13th again like the weekend before. I am really pleased with myself because I am still so young and i can ride with the pro's.
I just hope i can keep this up till nationals.

Ben Turner (He got everything under control) :-)
Race Results from the Clif Bar development Team

In the cat.3: Danny Hiller- Had a strong race but he flatted a few laps to go and dropped out.
In the Pro1,2: Andrew Barker-30th
Cody Cox-24th
Robin Eckmann-19th
Yannick Eckmann-13th
In the Juniors 13-14: Zane Godby got 1st place

TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change