Cyclocrossers – we lost a favorite son this weekend in Marc Druyts. Marc unfortunately passed away this weekend due to cardiac arrest after participating in a road race near Kessel, not far from his home. Druyts, 48, was the treasurer Flanders Mountain Cup series and an extremely well liked and well respected racer in the elite with out contract and master's races. Marc leaves behind a wife and two daughters. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
For those of you that are new to the sport, Marc is…well he is Belgian cyclocross and Master’s ‘cross to its very essence. He most certifiably is a legend of our sport and worthy of the blue Master’s World Champion jersey.
Pete Webber with a very shocked Marc in his Master’s World Champion’s Kit after Pete came and stormed into the Master’s races in Belgium – Beernem, December 2009.
I had heard the true ‘tales’ of Marc before my trip to Belgium to race at Worlds in 2008 – and where I was able to brush shoulders with this Master’s champion. One of those tales which set the stage before my trip on the aggressive nature of the racing in Belgium was told to me by my good friend Mark ‘Howie’ Howland – a starter at World’s in Mol for nearly every year over roughly a decade. The story, in Mark’s words was this…
“The call up procedure was done completely randomly in Mol…even the prior year’s World Champion himself Marc Druyts was lined up last. He seemed anxious, while I was trying to figure out how to somehow finish in the top half of the field from where we were some 65 guys back. That's when Rudy (ed.- De Bie – a good family friend to Howie) was standing on the railing in the staging area leaning over to tell me to follow "that" guy..pointing directly back to Marc. Marc then moved himself and his bike a few more meters from the last row, puzzling us all. Upon the ‘bang!’ of the gun, while the sound of people still clipping in their pedals was heard (some not even yet clipped in!), Marc was off like a lightening bolt. From his position meters behind the peloton, he used that momentum and speed to blast though the field and past the ‘chaff’ in the back of the race. He went from the back to the front group in two laps, and went on to win the World’s yet again from a four man group. Needless to say, I was in shock and awe, at how anyone could have done what he did that day. I thought he was hopelessly optimistic (I'm still shaking my head as I write this...) The gun went off, the school bell rang, and class was in session on that day.
I'll never forget it. Ever.”
Pete and Marc slaying each other in Beernem, December 2009
Marc is 3rd in the procession of riders running through this heavy classic course Waregem, January 2010
So the point of this post is simple: keep the memory of this legend alive. There is no other way to describe him other than: complete bad-ass.
Highlights of Marc’s World’s accomplishments…
This season will be an incredible one in the United States. Cyclocross has truly exploded in this nation and for the first time (at least since Jan Wiejak for those of us that are old enough to remember this champion who taught the Americans what European cross REALLY is…) we will see seasoned Europeans toe the line here on our shores on a consistent basis. They’ll be competing in the biggest and best races from New England to Portland and all UCI stops in between. As Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com announced, multi-time Swiss Champion Christian Heule will race for the ‘Green Train’ here for the full fall schedule. But as I previously reported, Ben Berden will be yet another prominent European cyclocrosser coming to race here as well full time. Riding for a new bike manufacturer, Stoemper Bikes of Oregon, Ben will take on a full schedule here mixing it up with the best the US can throw at him.
Ben, as I reported in the last post, has a…past. He was a rising star as a Junior and U23 of the late 90’s generation…
Honestly, I am not sure even where to begin with this post as I’m having trouble keeping the tears out of my eyes these bikes are so beautiful. Opening up the box shipped to Boulder Cycle Sport directly from the mad Ridley laboratories in Belgium literally had my heart racing….and it was not a let down once the bubble wrap was removed. Behold the 2012 Ridley X-Fire – with a paint scheme custom designed by the geniuses at Ridley’s Custom Fabrication Studio for the Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassador’s team. Brandon, Pete, Allen and I are beyond stoked to ride Ridley yet again this season after three great years of our BCS/Ridley relationship.
The 2012 X-Fires are an incredible animal…offering new features over its 2011 predecessor. We love the X-Fires due to their versatility. With minimal weight penalty, we have removable seat posts and bottle cages so when we’re not racing on these bikes, we’re putting in long epic miles on them upon the endless high-altitude dirt roads Colorado offers us.
So let me take you through some of the highlights of the 2012 Ridley X-Fire which we’ll be rocking through the mud this season…(and it’s OK to get misty eyed due to the beauty of their stunning custom paint.)
The frame sizes and geometry have not changed year over year for the X-Fire.
Save The Date! Thursday, August 11th – 7:30 PM Boulder Cycle Sport North Store
Calling all Boulder Junior Men and Women – Ages 9 to 17 (racing ages 10 – 18)! We want YOU to come and be a part of this year’s Boulder Junior Cycling Cyclocross team!
This Thursday evening, come and meet the coaches and returning team members from last year’s successful CX campaign. Some details for you:
- Thursday night you’ll meet the team, coaches, get your kit sized and purchase goods for your upcoming season at special prices.
- Practices Monday and Wednesdays after school beginning August 29th.
- Specialty coaching for returning/experienced racers as well as kids new to the sport and discipline of cyclocross
- Coaches: Ann Trombley (US Olympian) and Allen Krughoff and Greg Keller of Boulder Cycle Sport’s Cyclocross Ambassadors Team among other special coaching guests!
Want to learn more about Boulder Junior Cycling? Click here to visit the website.
Get ready to HUP!
As we head into cross season, the training each year about this time begins to change. We go from epic long base miles and MTB rides that fundamentally teach you how to suffer for long hours on the bike to much higher intensity workouts that stress your body to the core. Intervals, motor-pacing and Tabatas begin to take over so that the constant power-peaks in a cross can be maintained during the course of a 60 minute race…
Moms and Dads: You know you want to give your little dumplin’ that extra HUP this season, so why don’t you bring your kids on down to the Paul McCarthy/Blue Sky Velo’s kids cyclocross clinic and let ‘em get some proper tutelage!
My friend Amy Dombrowski (Crank Brothers/Ibis) multi-time U23 cyclocross national champion and all around good gal will team up with yours truly to teach the ‘sport of the changing leaves’ to the youngsters. We’re stoked! Here’s all you need to know:
When: Sunday August 7th 2011 – 9AM to 12 Noon
Where: Rogers Grove Park, Longmont CO (info and map)
Registration: contact pjmac7 at y a h o o dot com
What will be learned: This is an entry level clinic designed for first timers. There will be an overview of cyclocross but mostly tutorials and skills instruction. The kids will be on the bikes as much as possible.
What your child needs: The child should have a mountain bike (with no bar ends) or cyclocross bike, comfortable shoes (or clip less pedals if they’re on them already) and a HELMET (mandatory). Snacks and drinks will be provided by Blue Sky Velo but feel free to bring extras for yourself or specialty snacks if your child has any allergies.
Should parents stay: Yes, the child should have a parent accompany them.
Ages: If your child can pedal, they can attend.
Hope you and yours can attend!
Cyclocross season is rapidly approaching and we are getting ready for the best season yet!
The mission of the Boulder Cycle Sport Cyclocross Team is to create a fun and competitive cyclocross team, open to all ability levels. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first time racer, we will provide an opportunity to take your skills to the next level. Those who have no ambitions of racing, but are looking for a fun social cycling group to be a part of are encouraged to join our growing cyclocross community, too!
Click the image above to learn more about the 2011 BCS CX Team. See you in the mud. Hup!
Like I’m certain you have, I’ve plowed through the countless articles available to us on what Training Stress Scores (TSS) are and how critical they are to a balanced training plan and killer results. The good folks at TrainingPeaks have a really concise breakdown of TSS should you want a quick refresher. It’s fascinating science to say the least.
But alas the concept of ‘total’ stress on training is massive and I’ll be honest, frequently overlooked. Anyone who’s read my blog before knows that I can be a moody, nail-biting, emotive sombitch. Yes, it’s true. I have tons going on in my life, probably as a symptom of not being able to say ‘no’…but alas it’s my life and I’ll never change that side of me. Funny, as I guarantee you reading this have very much the same set of conditions in your life with all you do and are committed to. We are family men/women and workers first, bike racers second. It’s just the simple hard truth that Johann Bruyneel is unfortunately not sending scouts to our local races and getting contracts lined up for us and our fit-yet-aging carcasses. We race out of passion and the simple love for the bike and all it does for our lives.
But my point here in this post is again about ‘total stress’. It’s about what is within and circulating around your life at any moment that can factor into less than great “results.” And the most important variable here I want to stress is that “results” may not necessarily equal a sporting ‘scoreboard’ for you…e.g. how you did at your last race…but the results of how cycling should be playing into your life to improve it…to recreate it…to cause you great satisfaction.
Total stress when factored into your training stress scores are as important if not more than the watts and KJ’s you’re producing and monitoring in your software programs and spreadsheets. It amounts to: Your sleep. Your nutrition. Your family life. Your work life. All variables that are extremely tightly linked and can quickly erode each other. Most of all, understand that this is not a one way path (e.g. good sleep and playing nice at work will = podiums). Quite the contrary. It’s multi-directional. Just as eroding: Too much obsessiveness on training (and your critical ‘rest’) could and will erode your family life and your performance at work. There are a shed-load of Xtranormal videos on this subject that will make you spit your beer out laughing.
It’s a cycle folks. A (you guessed this was coming) balance.
For me I know the moment things are out of balance when I am working hard in a race or going deep on a training ride…and almost instantly my mind wanders. One minute I am in the heat, on the wheels I need to be on and then I start thinking of the critical things going on in my life. It’s unstoppable. My focus lost and in the place of what I need to be doing on the bike, all the external stuff creeps in: A business trip; something my kid may have done that really irked me…and quite frankly, stuff I may have been wrong for in yelling at my sons about; etc. And thus I start to go mentally sideways. The ride or race at that moment is lost.
Ever experience this? I am certain you have. Positive in fact. What can you do? Finish the race. But more importantly look at the opportunities to re-set the balance. Skip a race and go to the water park with your kids. Skip a training ride and sleep more. So when you’re in it…be ‘in it’. Be present with your daughter as she is on the slide and not thinking about the race. Be in the race and be present with your efforts…the goals you set for yourself WITHIN the race such as staying on the wheel of a guy you know is strong for 5 more seconds. Before you know it, your mind is in it. Where it needs to be. You will hang onto a wheel for 10 seconds and be setting the tempo and leaving that guy struggling to hold your interval. You will be completely immersed in the day spent with your family, nary a thought of the crit or ‘cross that you didn’t need to be at any ways. Just the fact that your child and family are so happy you’re there. Really there.
Total stress is totally manageable. Just be present wherever you need to be that day…at that moment. The results will speak for themselves.
Brook Watts and crew are back for CrossVegas! Can NOT WAIT! And if you are fan of Bart Wellens like I am, you are NOT going to want to miss this years Elite race. I’m looking forward to ensuring another year of Colorado dominance out there in the heat of the desert.
Giddy up.Cross Vegas 2011 Registration Opens Aug 2
I can taste it. I can taste the blood in the back of my throat which only an effort like a cross race can give you.
And it’s almost that time again.
My motivation is off the charts this year. I am motivated to keep it upright, take my lines clean and train hard in the cool morning air. I am motivated to race competitively, to be the smoothest and have a blast with my best friends as we trade paint pushing each other to go harder, to be better. Last year is a distant memory but the lessons have been learned on what an injury can do to your psyche…but most importantly to what it can do to decrease the amount of fun you’re supposed to have! No more of that please.
The 2011 Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassadors team is taking shape again this year. New sponsors to be announced soon and new frames to get fit and dialed in. This year again with the unbelievable products from Ridley Bikes…custom-painted X-Fires. “More arrow than I am Indian” (™ – Timmy Faia) but I’ll ride them hard and we love these bikes to their (Belgian) core.
There will be new camps to give to kids & first timers (I’m assisting with the Amy Dombroski/Blue Sky Velo clinic on August 7th – Stay tuned for details) and camps for ‘experts’ alike (The FasCat CX Camp with Jeremy Powers August 12th to 14th). All of them hungry for knowledge of all the little aspects of the game to make them smoother, cleaner and having more confidence on the bike. All the ingredients to ensure smiles are had this coming season.
It’s almost time again. What did you do today to get ready?
Double hup, Pilgrims.