Monday, August 28, 2006

Rockin Rockford

The Rockford crit went well for us with placings 1-5, 7, and 10. For the 2nd year in a row, we beat up on (the other) local pro Kirk O'Bee and took turns attacking him until he dropped out. We're ruthless. Sheedy won in a crowd-pleasing fashion by crashing on the final straight about 3/4 through the race and then coming back to win solo. He's all about putting on a good show even at the expense of some skin. Today, Bob had me break a record in this Monday night TT Series that they hold in Ada May-August every year. Bob wanted it broken bad because a dude from a rival club team set it a few years ago and there were rumors that he turned around early on the out-and-back course. Again, we're ruthless. So now we head to S. Carolina tomorrow and spend a couple of days checking out the courses before going to work Fri. and Sun. And yes, I'm still excited. Very, very excited.

Rockford podium. We'd be happy with filling just 1 of the podium spots in the next 2 races. See? We're not greedy.

Tommy and I sportin the fresh mohowks for the final round of racing. Pulling out ALL the stops!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bring it on!

Here we go with the last month of racing and I can't speak for my teammates but I'm excited! Excited that many of us are riding well right now, excited that "my" event is finally here, excited that we have the opportunity to put an exclamation point on this season, and also excited that some R&R is on the horizon. I leave shortly to get on a plane to make a race for the last time this year. Okay, send us good juju if you get a chance.

Discrimination is dispiccable. This was at a Utah burrito joint and in case you can't read it, this kid's shirt reads "Friends don't let friends have mullets". A brawl nearly broke out shortly after this pic was taken. Photo courtesy of the multi-talented Belgian Tim. Okay, gotta go catch a bus. Laters.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Final Push

We're getting into that last part of the season now when I can't stop thinking about how glorious the off-season will be, but I still have the biggest races of the season coming up in the USPROs. Talk about conflict. Just have to stay focussed for a few more weeks...but MAN, 8 months of straight racing can take a toll on a guy. Okay, enough whining. At least I wasn't racing ProTour riders in Feb. Hehehe.
Utah didn't go quite as planned. I wasn't climbing very well and the other guys really struggled with the altitude. I had fun spending time with the guys though, so it wasn't all bad. Next, we have the Rockford, MI crit - which is 1 of 2 races that Priority Health, Advantage Benefits, and Bissell sponsor each year (which basically means that we have to win!). That race is on Aug. 26th and then we travel down to S. Carolina for the USPRO TT on Fri. Sep. 1 and the RR on Sun. This is the first year that it is US only so we won't be able to utilize the skills of Richie, Tommy, and Glen for those. But, Eddie is rumored to be making his comeback there so it will be great to have him in the road race and hang out with him again. Talk about morale boost! After USPROs, I have the Atlanta 100k, Univest, and then the Parker Omnium to finish things off. My life is pretty hectic right now, so don't expect any frequent or creative posts. I'm surprised that there are any readers left - as boring as these posts have been of late! Anyway, I hope to be back to my old self soon and I appreciate everyone who continues to keep up-to-date on our happenings.

Attention all masochists: for a good time, try O2 intervals! This is Frank and I prepping for TT Nats. I'm officially a spoiled athlete.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

me gustan burritos!

Tonight's agenda: repeat "I'm a climber" over and over until I believe it. We're in the midst of racing the Tour of Utah and I'm reminded why this is my favorite state in the union. It is so beautiful here and this isn't even my favorite part of the state. The views are magnificent and the upcoming climbs are stellar (and scary hard). Jake, Brian, Glen, and I are joined by Omer and Dan Timmerman and supported by Benno and Tim, who is helping as an invaluable soignier. We've had some quality time together in the close quarters of the team van (around 25 hours from Michigan) and no fist fights worth mentioning to this point. The racing has been very difficult due to a combination of a hella-strong field, massive crosswinds, 95-105 degree weather, and altitude to top it off. My favorite kind of racing usually, but poor positioning has cost me valuable energy in both road races thus far. Monday's road race was highlighted by hurricane force winds for about 20 mins. while a front passed through the area. It made for some interesting racing: I was kept busy dodging tree branches and other debris blowing across the road while being equally attentive to the 130lb "climber types" who were also blowing all over the place. Kinda funny and scary at the same time. Late in the race, 2 dudes tangled right in front of me and I had no where to go but straight over the top of them, somersaulting over my bars and rolling on the pavement (Mary Lou Retton would have been proud, I'm sure). To my amazement, I was fine and tried to get straight back on my bike but my bike had taken the brunt of the impact. After a few futile attempts to get my bike operational again, I pretty much blew my top and had what is best described as a "tantrum". Pretty funny stuff, really - I don't really remember much of it but I think it involved a lot of cursing and even jumping up and down! I wish someone would have gotten that on tape. I'll have to work on that...Ben was able to get me on the spare bike after a bit and Glen and Dan helped me pace back onto the field at the expense of their own races. Overall bummer but could have been worse. Day 2 involved more insane crosswinds and poor positioning caused me to miss some initial splits and I (and Brian and Glen) had to use way too much energy for me to catch back on. Do I learn? Don't answer that - it was rhetorical. On the bright side, Omer must have set some kind of record by going back to get something like 50 bottles from the caravan during the race. He needs to be in the domestique Olympics or something. Unfortunately, Dan had to pull the plug after getting some food poisoning and thus having little energy and Glen was having problems controlling his bodily functions during the race on Mon. (he's getting old - this is to be expected). The time trial today went a little better for us as we finished 3rd on the day in team gc and are now 4th overall. I had a pretty decent run, though not too exciting. My uncle David and cousin Amanda came to watch which was really cool and the only bummer was that I had the fastest time for about 20 min. and we had to sit there and wait as guys kept slipping by me and ended up ousting me from the podium.
Okay, that's enough babbling. Big hilltop finish tomorrow = gc shakeup. Be sure to check it out...ya know, if you care.