Monday, December 3, 2012

Illinois State CX Championships

Every year Montrose is a great race, a lot of local racers target the State Championships so everyone is on form.  Combined with a tough course including some killer sand sections and *usually some ice, snow, and freezing temps its always a great event and challenging race. This year was certainly warmer, but the sand seemed a little less forgiving.  

Scott McLaughlin leading Brian Conant, Paul Mumford, David Reyes, David Lombardo and I through the sand Photo: Brandon Elliott

I wasn't doing myself any favors out there, a slipped pedal at the start, a couple bobbles in the sand and I found myself chasing the leaders all too often.  I kept reminding myself the sand was going to catch everyone at some point, and Im usually strong in the last laps of a race, so I kept pushing to get back to the front.   David Lombardo, Brian Conant, and Paul Mumford were all putting in some good attacks, but every now and then the pace would settle just a bit and Id push through the power sections to bridge back up.  With two to go it was down to Brian Conant, David Lombardo and I.  I kept the lines through the sand clean and focused on riding a smart final lap.  I took the lead after the finish with one to go so I could set the pace and keep a clean line.  Brian and David were both right on my wheel and Brian nearly came around before we went  under the bridge into the final straight.  My legs were absolutely cooked, but the end was in sight so it was one more brutal push to the finish. In the end it came to a sprint finish with David coming around from 3rd wheel...

David Lombardo and I through the finish.  Photo Amy Dykema
I held on to the win by about the width of a tire.  Having focused on this race I was really excited to get the top step.  David Lombardo rode a smart race and nearly took the win, but I am absolutely certain he will be on that top step in the not too distant future.  At the end of the month he will be heading to Europe to race at the EuroCross Camp and the Chicago CX community couldnt be more excited for him.  Hes a great guy, an incredibly talented rider, and couldn't have been more gracious after the race yesterday.  The season isn't over yet, we have a few more local races and then Nationals and Masters Worlds to look forward to, but this was a great cap to the Chicago Cross Cup. Thanks to all the volunteers and race organizers for another great season.  

1/2 Podium with Brian Conant and David Lombardo Photo: Alison Ramelb

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A win.  That's a win with a "." rather than a "!".  Been a long time since I've won a bike race, 15 or so years.

Despite a very gloomy morning the sun came out and made a perfect a 'cross day-cold and muddy.  Each week the club parcours in Utrecht becomes a little more technical; a new off camber tightrope and a few quick drops mixed to the normal menu today.  A smaller turnout than normal meant a four man group forming at the start and waiting.  Finally an attack at half way-one forward, two in the middle and one out the back.  I came across with one to go, heel clipping a barrier in front of the small crowd.  That gets a shout.

At the muddy run up starting the laatste ronde a choice--go now as my rival stumbles or hold for a big push at a half lap?  I went.  Then 3/4 of a lap with those remembered thoughts of when you haven't been off the front in years.  Just focus, push smoothly forward and don't look back.  Maybe glance when the course allows.  No arms up at the finish, Saturday club race requires a subtle finish.  Or maybe some karma balancing from a beyond last place in Belgium two weeks ago? 

So why just a "."?  A win is a win, right?  I'll take this one for what it is-a hard 50 minutes at the club series.  Six races in the book and a slim lead in the overall klassement, we'll keep it a win with a "." for now.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back at it

It was nice to be back racing again after several weeks off. Year four at Indian Lakes Resort was the best yet in terms of course, conditions and fun. Saturday, there was a strong thunderstorm about an hour before the men's 1/2/3 race that left the course wet and slippery.

Scott and David at the first barrier
All  photos: Paul Davies
By the time our race began, it was bright, warm and sunny but the course was still soggy - the perfect combination.

Mike making it look easy
The wet grass and mud meant it was hard to put the power down, which was good for me since I didn't have any anyway!

Mike and Mumford on the hill - just a bit too slippery on Saturday to ride all the way to the top
I made the most of all the twists and turns and managed to secure 4th place.  Meanwhile, my teammate Mike Hemme was riding very smoothly and putting in devastating accelerations on each short straightaway. I'm sure he was working very hard, but he made it look easy as he rolled in for his 4th win of the season.

SRAM engineer David Reyes (Bloomington Cycle Racing Team), meanwhile, made up a lot of ground in the 2nd half of the race, passing me in one of the strong headwind sections like I was standing still (I was, more or less). He kept it going and finished an impressive 2nd.

On Sunday the sun and especially the wind dried out the course so it was just slightly soft and tacky for the elite race. My legs were useless but I had fun trying to carry as much speed as possible through the numerous off-camber turns. Up front, Mike Hemme and David Reyes were in a huge battle with Brian Conant and Kevin Klug of the Pony Shop and Kevin McConnell of Mercy-Specialized, visiting from Iowa. Mike, unfortunately, had a loose cleat which made it nearly impossible to clip in, or once clipped in, to clip back out again and lost contact with the lead group. I was too far back after a few laps to say how the race went for the leaders, but in the end it was Brian, then David, then Kevin. Nice job, guys!

Chicago's pro-level UCI races will be back at Indian Lakes Resort in a couple of months. I'm hoping to find some form between now and then and I suspect Mike and David will both be tearing it up. I am sure it will be as much fun as last year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some random photos and notes from the Koppenberg 'cross.  The course goes around the town of Melden then halfway up the
Koppenberg (the treeline in the center of the photo) then back down to the edge of town before going back up again before the switchbacks to the bottom again.  It's brutal.
Telenet mechanics cleaning bikes after a pre ride.  Early in the day the mud was
sticky, one lap and wheels would not turn.  The mechanic on the left is putting
a wheel into a rack on the back of the truck for washing-this speeds up the
wash process when 5 riders come back off the course at one time.  There's
no shortage of wash time (and post race overhauls) at a race like this.

Buildup after one lap.  There's always
a discussion of better to change at the
top or the bottom of the course-most
riders have the option of both although
most prefer a clean, and lighter, bike
for the climb.  On really muddy days
you'll see riders run from the lower pit to
the road.
Amy D with the visor up.

It's muddy for racers and spectators alike!  Just walking around
the course can be a challenge.

Tom Mussen in front on the first decent.  A late
race crash took him out of the race with one lap
to go.
Helen Wyman is a new convert to SRAM-she's a big fan of the
reach adjust on the shifters.  She took a second win at her
"home" race, during the season she lives just down the road
in Oudenaarde.

Bart Wellens running on the first lap.
This move got him a better line to the next
corner and two positions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunrise Park

Double Up

Photo David Bowers
Some weeks life catches up and its just a bit tougher to motivate for the double race weekend. After a long week of travel I was on the fence about heading North on Saturday, but my fine friends at My Wife Inc were hosting another race North of the border, at Noyes Park in Milwaukee. They consistently put on great events and always have a fun course so I convinced Mumford to make the drive North with me. It was another great track based around a golf course with solid flowing turns and they made the most of the terrain. Definitely another highly recommended race to visit next year for the Chicago folks.  Ill spare you the details of my lackluster race, but Mumford managed to stay up with the chase group and just missed the podium in 4th.
Conant with the Holeshot - Photo Brion Goudreau
Sunday was the 6th stop in the Chicago Cross Cup at Sunrise Park.  Its a long course at 2.4 miles and given some of the longer open sections where you can put down some power I was looking forward to the race.  Hoping my legs would recover and find a little snap after Saturday, I just tried to hang on the lead group with Conant, Klug, and Reyes early in the race.  With two to go I put in an attack to see if I could get a little gap and though we opened it up just a bit on Klug and Conant, David Reyes was glued firmly to my wheel.  He came around on the last lap and I just tried to maintain contact and wait for an opportunity to squeeze in a pass.  On heckle hill I found a bit of a gap in the turns and moved just inside David, after that it was just an all out effort to hang on as he was right on my wheel, but I managed to hang on for the win.  After a few seasons with some podiums and no wins I was definitely excited to grab my second win this year.

Photo Roderick

This weekend is another double.  Halloween Cross up in Wisconsin is always a blast and has a great crowd. Theres a coffin (which has involved flames in years past) to bunny hop (or run if you're so inclined...but really get out there and practice your hops, even roadies need to hop the occasional curb) and then Sunday one of my favorite courses in the CCC out in Campton.  

Video of the Sunrise Park Cat 123 Race Courtesy of Walid

The midweek Nacht van Woerden is a small but well attended early season race in the Netherlands-like many of the summer "kermis" races there's a town fair with rides and games along with a race to bring people into the city during the week.  It's a great atmosphere and night racing always adds an extra bit as racers move from dark to light around the course.  Although the crowd seemed smaller this year still a good night out and the recent warm spell was good for spectating.  Added bonus is the race sponsor produces potato processing equipment so no shortage of proper spectating food!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

First double race weekend in the Netherlands

It's much steeper than it looks!
The first double race weekend in the Netherlands wraps up with tired legs and two decent rides although no real results.  Saturday was the opener for club racing-each club has a training race at their home track Saturday mornings here.  "Training race" is a gentle way of saying we all start at once and still go full speed.  I joined the race in Utrecht-the course uses the terrain and includes a proper stair runup and plenty of off camber to keep things interesting.  Damp, warm and very windy meant there were even tactics to play--I ended up at a standstill several times trying to move someone else to the front heading into the wind when the course was exposed.  Good fun with nothing on the line.

You don't want to hug
the tree like this guy.

Sunday morning round 2 of the Middle Netherlands series brought all these clubs racers together at Hilversum.  By a rough count 70 riders turned up to race on course about 2/3 the size of a football field.  A few 3 meter high lumps keeps it interesting and with a morning rain slippery corners a plenty.  And did I mention plenty of corners?  With a course this size they use every spec of land-180 turn and then straight just enough to bring back the guy in front of you 100 times.  It took a good two laps for the long line to break up-you could see the 30 guys ahead of you in two or three lanes racing back and forth.  Passing is tough and after all those accelerations not much left in the tank, a good day is not hitting the deck while the sliding around.  Going in circles is a long morning.

Happy to put the feet up and watch the World Cup on Sporza this afternoon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Last weekend was the first of 2 doubles for the Chicago Cross Cup, Saturday in Wauconda & Sunday in Carpentersville.  Storms rolled through the region Friday night through Sunday afternoon – including tornado warnings in Carpentersville – with promise of fun racing conditions.  The masters races were mostly spared the sloppy conditions of later races, especially my 8:45am 40+ start.
Wauconda is a go-cart course and is usually my worst race of the year, where I give up ten or more spots compared to a usual finish.   This year I was determined to at least have a respectable finish.  I wound up in a heated race for 10th where I finished 3rd of 3 (i.e. 12th).  Lots of fun racing the last few laps with my usual cronies, and the 12th-place finish was equal to my best to date.
Hot race for 10th in Wauconda (photo: Burnham Racing)
Outside of the Chicago Park District, Carpentersville is my favorite venue & among my favorite courses.  Main Street Bikes has a BMX pedigree.  So every year I'm enthused to hear the shop guys shouting "Go Redline!"  And their pump track is always a blast!  The overnight rain had made the pump track challenging but ride-able – at least for my race.  I guess the conditions suited me because I finished 6th – 6 places better than previously this year.  Big thanks to John Gatto, who interrupted his warm-up to hurry to the pit & assist me with a bike change.  He even cleaned & prepped the dropped bike.
And thanks to Lauri Nowak for coming out early to shoot the old fellas:

Monday, October 15, 2012

You win some, you lose some

This was the first of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup's two double-race weekends. Saturday was PsychoCrossChicago in Wauconda. I understand the morning races were mostly dry, but it was a little muddy and very slippery by the time the Elite race went off in the early afternoon. After another poor start I was quickly able to move in to the lead and establish a gap after a couple of laps. I did not know that Tom Burke from Michigan was visiting our series this weekend - he closed the gap after a few laps but was never quite able to latch on to me.  Still, he made me work hard all they way to the finish. Here's a link to a GREAT video of the race. You can see me struggling to clip in at the start, then a couple of the early laps, then a couple of the later laps.

Sunday we were back in Carpentersville where I've had several really good races, including last year. My luck ran out this year! After another poor start (I just can't seem to get my foot clipped in to the pedal properly this year) I quickly moved up to third place in muddy conditions that tend to work in my favor. Still in the opening minute of the race, I discovered that my rear tire was quickly going flat. Luckily I had Paul Schilling working the pit for me and he helped me switch to my 'B' bike just two minutes in to the race. Unfortunately it was fitted with dry-conditions tires because my wife Ellen had just finished her race on my spare mud tires. She made it to the pit in time for Paul to replace the flat tire on my 'A' bike before the first lap was over. I switched back to my 'A' bike the next time by the pit and could then start making forward progress. Unfortunately, I was out of time because our race had to be stopped after just two short laps due to a tornado warning. I finished 13th and lost the leader's jersey that I had just regained the day before! Congratulations to David Reyes, who's aggressive riding in the opening phase of the race earned him the win.

Ellen in the Women's 4 race on the unrideable muddy off-camber section. Photo: Gene Cassella
A note on course design - while many will say a particular course is great because it matches their strengths, I know that different course designs and course conditions are going to suit different kinds of riders. Both races this past weekend suit my particular set of strengths...while others ruthlessly expose my weaknesses. It's clear that a lot of time and effort go in all ChiCrossCup courses which makes them all great.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Images from Dekalb

I neglected to post Bill Keith's photo of me from the second stop in the Chicrosscup series:

Nice follow-up to Matt's shot of me face-down in Jackson Park.  So nice to have friends around for these important moments.  Unfortunately no one captured me piling into barriers on the penultimate lap (again!) in Dekalb.

Dan Stefiuk

Otherwise it was a gorgeous day for a bike ride.  I was exchanging paint with the usual suspects until I hit a barrier, launched my bike, lost a bunch of places, & finished 17th.


Richard Breininger

Photos by Bill Keith


Europe waits a few weeks extra to enter veldrijden season compared to the US-not a worry as we're  still racing up to the start of the Classics!  My traditional opener is a little race in Montfoort, NL.  Similar to a local US race-very tight and twisty course around a city park.  Only there's a large molen across the street.

Tradition is important in European racing-tradition here means mud.  The race could easily be renamed Mudfoort as race day always brings a downpour in the morning with the sun poking out midday.  The difference in the course between warmup and race is amazing-what could easily be ridden early in the day is a 3 meter wide mudpit after one race.  Thankfully I've never done the last race of the day here!  And it's a harsh reminder sliding skills are a bit rusty as we're all still fresh off the pavement.  Can't say much exciting about the day's effort-being the foreigner with no points call up in 63rd position means a lot of position fighting on a course where passing amounts to just staying upright and not backsliding running up the canal banks.  The goal is simply to have a good race.  Goal accomplished despite an unexciting 41st place finish on the day.

Cross the Domes and Dan Ryan Woods

The ChiCrossCup and Wisconsin Cycling Association cyclocross schedules sync up very nicely this year for Chicagoans, with several opportunities to race in Milwaukee on Saturday and Chicagoland on Sunday. Milwaukee is an easy 90 minute drive from the city of Chicago, much the same as several of our Chicago series races out in the 'burbs.

Cross the Domes is put on by My Wife Inc, which I'll say again has the coolest kits in Cycling.  They are also very talented course designers. I've already said it half a dozen times, but if you still need convincing Paul Mumford and Mike Hemme, both of whom drove up to Milwaukee with me this year, agreed that if you didn't make the trip you missed out! A fair number of Chicagoans were in the Cat 1/2 race and even on a course I love, I was thoroughly trounced by most of them as well as most of the other racers out there. Good job, guys. 

Sunday was Dan Ryan Woods in Chicago put on by Beverly Bike-Vee Pak. The big story here is teammate Mike Hemme's first CX win! 
Big improvement over your typical 'race face' Mike! Photo: Kyle Mistry
Mike can lay down the power like few others and that was a huge advantage on Sunday. We were a group of five or so at the front of the race but no one was really pushing the pace until Mike started attacking. I was the first rider to get shelled, unfortunately, and lost the leader's jersey to eventual 2nd place finisher Brian Conant. SRAM employee David Reyes, who won here last year, took third. While he is not on the SRAM Factory team this year, I am of course happy to see him marching his way up the results list - from 10th to 4th to 3rd.
David, Scott, Mike and Paul in the bunny hop section. Photo: Kyle Mistry
The SRAM Factory team was also solidly represented by J.P. McCarthy in the Masters 40+ race, Mulubwa Munkanta in Cat 4B, and my wife Ellen in the Women's 4 race where she finished 10th.

Thanks to BBVP for putting on another great race, and once again - congratulations Mike!
Mike gets his first CX win! Photo: Mumford using Mike's iPhone (I think).

Thursday, October 4, 2012


My favorite Wisconsin cyclocross race is this Saturday in Milwaukee, hosted by a team with, hands-down, the most awesome kit of any team in cycling. They do a great job with the course and I can't stress enough that you will be missing out if you don't go!

Sunday is race number three in the ChiCrossCup, where I had a very eventful race last year. I hope to muster up the same level of energy this year.

USGP Sun Prairie and CCC Hopkins Park in DeKalb

It's been a very busy couple of weeks here at SRAM HQ so just a brief note on the two past weekends of CX racing.

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin hosted the opening rounds of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross on September 22-23. When the USGP's title sponsor fell in to financial difficulties, SRAM was one of several existing sponsors that came up with additional funding to keep the series healthy. Trek Bicycles generously stepped in as the new title sponsor. After a few years of getting slaughtered in the pro race, I decided to race in the masters 35+ race both Saturday and Sunday this year. After a mediocre start on Saturday I made my way up to the lead group, but eventually faded and watched in frustration as the other three riders pulled away. I held on for 4th. Sunday, a horrific crash just after the start forced our race to be canceled. The Pro/Elite race was a couple of hours later so I quickly switched my registration and lined up in 62nd spot in the 'big show'. I had a decent but unremarkable race and finished in 41st. Still, it was a lot of fun racing in front of a large and vocal crowd on a really fun and challenging course.

This past weekend was the 2nd stop in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup. They changed up the course a bit this year, making it faster with fewer tight, low-speed turns. I hardly touched my brakes the whole race - which may indicate that they took out a couple turns too many, or may indicate I was pedaling way too slowly. Probably the latter. I had a very poor start and had to chance frantically in the first lap. I made it in to 2nd position just as Brian Conant of the Pony Shop established a gap on the rest of the field. I spent the rest of the race attempting to chase him down but in fact he just slowly but surely padded his lead all the way up to the finish.

There are always a lot of great photos and videos from the race posted on the ChiCrossCup forum. Here are a few of my favorites:
Idyllic fall weather. Photo: Edmund White

An 'artsy' shot of new SRAM employee and SRAM Factory Team member Michael Hemme. Photo: Edmund White

That's me in the series leader's jersey, which I managed to hold on to for another week. Photo: Edmund White

Sunday, September 16, 2012

At last, indeed

I have loved Jackson Park ever since I arrived in Chicago in 1981.  In the eighties I played & coached countless soccer matches there.  Sunday mornings in summer I represented the illustrious Hyde Park club El Gringo Es Mandingo in the Third World Soccer League, and I coached the Mount Carmel Caravan JV squad in Jax Pk.  But that was another sport & another century.

Kudos to XXX Racing for making the very best of the pitifully small bit of the park allotted to us for this year's relay & series opener.  I like the twisty courses XXX always lays down.  Well, in spite of what I consider home field advantage & a successful relay with Scott a few weeks ago, I had a miserable series opener.  I started well & was in 3rd position for the 1st half of lap 1, then wiped out in turn 17 (or so).  The hard chase revealed that I'd over-estimated my fitness anyway, and then I stacked it into the double barriers on the penultimate lap.  Thanks to Matt Caron for his encouragement, his sage advice, and for capturing the moment.

Still, it was a blast to race with my 40+ cronies again, 80 of us in all.  I finished 13th.

And it was great to see so many colleagues & teammates racing well.  Congratulations to Bill, Rachael, Rachel, Dan, and David.  Big props to Tim, Richard, & Ellen for claiming front-row positions in DeKalb.  And to Scott for bringing home a handsome new jersey.

At last!

The Chicago cyclocross season is underway at last! It was great to see a younger generation of 'cross racer stepping on to the elite podium in yesterday's opening round of the ChiCrossCup. While I was born in 1969, I was joined on the podium yesterday by Paul Mumford of the Chicago Cuttin' Crew and David Lombardo of Vedigris-Village CX who were born in the 80's and 90's respectively. I suspect it won't be long before old folks like me are pushed off the elite podium for good. As well it should be.

Series leader jerseys are new this year. Photo: Ellen
Our hosts xXx Racing put on another great event. We had 662 preregistered riders, the highest in CCC history. I don't know the total number who lined up to race, but given the gorgeous weather, I suspect it also set a CCC record.

The double barrier. Paul is to my left, "rocking" the pink Cuttin' Crew jersey. Photo: Ellen.
My race was really, really fun. After about a half a lap it was Paul Mumford and I together at the front for the rest of the race. Paul was absolutely schooling me in the tighter turns. It's not usual for me to lose time in the technical bits and have to try to make up gaps in the power sections, but that's exactly what was happening yesterday. It's great to be pushed that way and I think I did manage to settle in and minimize the damage in the tighter turns and keep on even terms with Paul in the faster, sweeping turns by the second half of the race. Regardless, it was a wake up call of sorts for me and I'll need to work on my technique if I hope to stay in contention with Paul and the rest of the field this season. It's going to be exciting.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Warm Up 2 - Jackson Park Relay

Super fun! Thanks to Scott for putting us in 1st or 2nd position at the start of each of my laps in the 30+/40+ relay.  1st through 4th were never more than a few seconds apart for all 9 laps.  Only on my 4th & final lap did I hand off to Scott in 1st position. 
Having ridden disc brakes all summer, I guess I forgot how to re-mount safely & gashed my knee on my cantilever in my last lap - while making a pass, so well worth it!
Staying around for the podium shot was nearly a big mistake.  I only managed to get on my Eurobike flight with the help of a kind counter-to-gate escort from Swiss Air!

Aiming for inside corner on lap 8

Made it!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Warm up

This past Sunday XXX Racing hosted the Jackson Park CX relay races for the third year in a row. 2-person teams alternate laps so the racing is very intense - roughly 6 minutes of intense racing followed by 6 minutes of recovery for each rider. Just like last year, I teamed up with SRAM Factory teammate J.P. McCarthy in the Master's 40+ race and we won it again. This time we also beat the first 30+ team which was on course simultaneously.

And again like last year, I teamed up with David Reyes for the Elite race later in the day, and we again finished 2nd overall. Michael Hemme won the Elite race for the 2nd year in a row, this time teamed up with out-of-town ringer Shaun Adamson of Cycle-Smart. Mike is a new SRAM employee, but already outfitted with SRAM drivetrain and Avid brakes:

Photo: Edmund White
The Elite race was pretty exciting, with David and I swapping the lead with Mike and Shaun at least a dozen times before the end. Mike and I raced the 2nd-to-last lap against each other and he came out ahead, coming in to the transition zone a few bike lengths ahead of me, so Shaun had a small gap on David starting the final lap of the race. And that's how it finished up as well - David put in a good sprint but couldn't overcome the small lead that Shaun was able to maintain throughout that final lap:

It rained lightly throughout the race, but intensified during the final lap. Photo: Edmund White
And once again like last year, I did the final race of the day, the co-ed event, with my wife Ellen.  My legs were shot by then but Ellen was racing like a pro and we improved our placing to 7th this year. Good job, sweetheart...sorry I was so slow.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


How to describe course conditions and my race at the cyclocross national championships yesterday? Friend and fellow racer Rheudabaga called it riding in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I think that sums it up perfectly.

They don't call it Badger Prairie for nothing... All photos: Ellen
My last trip to Nationals was two years ago in Bend.  There, I started in the second row and managed to be in third position when we turned off the paved start/finish straight and on to the dirt. This year, I had a front-row start and may have actually led the first 10 feet of the race, but try as I might, I was back to about 15th when we left the long pavement section. When we made our first right turn on to the worst section of frozen ruts covered with a thin layer of slippery mud, the race exploded. Have you ever seen a Pachinko machine in action? Suddenly each of us was like one of the little steel balls in a Pachinko machine, bouncing randomly left and right, smashing into each other and onto the ground. Ninety seconds into the race I was already running to the pits with a mangled bike. My father-son pit crew of Paul and Jake Schilling (thanks guys!!) got me sorted out, and I was back on course in 27th place.

Negotiating traffic

Applying a little 'body English' before my back locked up

Kevin of the Pony Shop digging deep.
I moved up slowly, dodging out-of-control riders as I went. All the frozen ruts made the already-bumpy course murder on my back, and with one lap to go I started falling apart. I could no longer use 'body English' to keep my bike under me, so my forward progress came to an end, and I even gave up one spot after crashing a few more times. I finished ninth, a respectable result but one that leaves me hungry for more next year!

1st and 2nd place  - teammates Brandon and Peter of Boulder Cycle Sport. Unbeatable?