I was able to meet Lars in Vegas this past CrossVegas in 2011. I can say first hand: Lars is one. good. kid. And he is a literal machine. A true once-in-a-decade talent who's already chewed up and spit out the U23's. That win in Vegas over Peeters was no 'lucky' turn of events. It was a guaged and perfectly timed effort. Lars is a Terminator built from parts of Sven Nys and Adri van der Poel. Insanely powerful attacks mixed with gifted technical abilities. Welcome to the next 10 years of cyclo-cross domination...
(Filmed by Chris Milliman!)
I’ve always enjoyed my friend Chris Milliman’s work. He captures images that we all as crossers see weekend in and weekend out…and not just the obvious stuff like the racing action. Chris sees the intimate stuff….the spectators with Gitane’s jammed in their mouths, the insanity of the pits, the lady dispensing the frites and mayo from the back of a trailer…you know all the stuff that REALLY happens at a cross. See his portfolio here. But now he’s taken that amazing acumen of his in still photography and applied it to real life moving pictures. If you haven’t been to Belgium to race or spectate (shame on you), here’s your chance. Watch our friend Ben rail the heavy mud on his Stoemper at Kastreelcross Zonnebeke .
OK…TRUE success story here! I wrote a post a few months ago to help expose my good friend Brady Kappius’ company, Broken Carbon (follow him on Twitter here as well). As it comes to pass, I was cleaning off my Ridley X-Fire from its caked on mud from training and that’s when I saw it…and the cold rush ran down my back…
Yes, I wept. I have ZERO idea how this crack and hole got into the chainstay or how long it was there. It was a literally a hole in the carbon. But without even leaving the garage after I discovered the hole, I simply whipped the phone out of my pocket, called Brady, sent him this picture and he said in the most calm manner: “No probs. I’ll pick it up, fix it and it’ll be as good as new.”
And holy shit did he! Just got the bike back and look at this. It is meticulously fixed, polished and nearly blends in perfectly. Check it…
Outside view of the chainstay:
Inside view of the chainstay:
THANK YOU BRADY! By steed’s back to life and waitin’ to be ridden. HUP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is but I like shoes. OK, love shoes…and bike shoes to be completely accurate. I like my feet to feel right, comfortable and of course style is always up there as well. Maybe I have an Imelda Marcos-esque addiction to fine footwear. Or maybe I’ve been on this constant search for the perfect ‘cross shoe and have been trying tons of different options to eek out whatever performance I can in various conditions.
Whatever the case, this season I landed on what I think is a pretty significant breakthrough in my ‘quest’ to find the perfect cross shoe. The Mavic Fury. The very yellow Mavic Fury that is. While there need to be improvements as I’ll talk about below, I think it is extremely close to perfection
Za Webber gives a shout out to the goings on after he and Brandon won their respective heats leading to the main event on Saturday: The World Championship race.
Everything went into slow motion when the bodies began to literally fly into the air…disintegrating the course tape, smashing into spectators and generally being thrown into completely orthogonal directions from the direction the racers needed to go…as if they triggered landmines and were thrown violently into the mud.
That was the first 25 seconds of our National Championship race in the Men 40-44 group.
I’ll get to the racing in a moment but the synopsis is this: what a phenomenal day on Saturday January 7th, 2012. The Boulder Cycle Sport crew…no, strike that…the Boulder crew itself from various teams all worked so well to get our racers onto podiums and meet their personal goals for this race. It was crazy passion. Crazy dedication. Crazy cross fanaticism at its best.
The lead up -
The days leading up to Madison were very introspective for me. It’s been the same old broken record: “Too much going on in my life/am I fit enough/the teeter totter is broken/I’m not good enough/etc etc.” My State Championship was a personal disaster and really, deeply, disappointed me. I’m still learning how to train/eat/rest/peak/reduce stress in order to be at my best for various targeted goals. And States sort of burned this hole in my brain on how to completely fail. Utterly fall apart…and it really all just emanates from poisons in the head.
I had some great talks with two guys I deeply respect and consider mentors. My teammate Pete Webber and my coach Frank Overton. They both intimately get me…they get my passion for the sport and know that I have a brain that constantly thrashes, is rarely calm, very often impulsive and jumps to bad places too quickly thus beginning my mental poison cycles throughout various times in the season. They both were clear and syncopated when they said: it’s in you, just relax, trust the training and know that you’ll be good.
As for goals, Madison was as some call an ‘A’ goal. Obviously in front of our Nation’s best masters, I wanted to do the best that I personally could. My call-up would be mediocre (27th in row 4) and my goal was to be top 25. I wanted to ride clean enough to maintain and push on from there versus getting nervous, get off my game and start getting caught and dropped. No fun. It was a very conservative goal but after last year’s debacle-season and Nats, I wanted to ‘walk down the hill’ and be conservative in my brain as I had a clean 2011 season of decent results, no crashes and just flowy riding which led me to a top 10 overall in our region. I wanted this Nats to go the same and just ride clean to a respectable result. Literally that was it.
The whole build up to Madison in the weeks following States was ideal. SUPER calm. Way less stress after speaking with Frank and Pete and generally just enjoying ripping on my cross bike. From the packing and bike transport to the logistics to the flights and getting to Madison, it was all fun and games. The family was in a good place, I never got sick and I was stoked to be with my buds. Traveling with two consummate pros in Pete and Brandon isn’t all seriousness, by the way. In fact. quite the opposite which relaxed me even more. These two stars-n-bars winners and former pros are probably two of the funniest mopes you’ll ever meet and I am so happy to have them in my life and pushing me to go harder…be better…one idiotic moment at a time…
Learning from Pete and Brandon over the last 5 years or so has been continually eye opening. Every little detail
The Boulder Cycle Sport team bikes packed in the Pro Bike Express trailer which is now already safely in Wisconsin. Brandon, Pete and I are taking to the airways tomorrow evening to get our bones to Madison and get to work on Saturday.
It's ben a fun season. Learned tons. Ready to race and do my best.
Reports coming on the twitter.
For the last few years I have assembled a ‘best of list’ for the preceding year. Various things, events, products used and notable/random happenings all get included when I sit and think on what the last 365 days brought to my life experience. This year, I will call the ‘year of the product’. So many things came across my path that were extremely inspiring and very often game changing for me. So now I will pass on to you my thoughts of the ‘best of’ (products, happenings and general randomness) from this past year: two thousand eleven.
Best Products of 2011 -
- The Mavic Fury – Performance, weight and pedal entry excellence.
One of the most randomly known aspects of the blog known to my readers has been my lust for the ‘white sex’ a.k.a. The Sidi Dragon. I’d used every iteration of this shoe
The Colorado racing season…she is DONE! I can not believe that this past Sunday was the last time this season I’ll here my name across loudspeakers by voices like Larry LG Grossman. It was the last shot I had to use some late season form here in our state and racing series. A final chance to trade paint with some of my best bros. A last attempt to make them feel vomitus as they do me weekend in and out.
The last few weeks I could feel my fitness rising. Growing. Piston’s finally going: ‘braaaaaaaaap!’ instead of blick-um blick-um blick-um. Decent results and more importantly ‘feelings’ on the bike that gave me such confidence that the work was in and my drought was over. It was pure bliss in bad conditions. Our Ridley bikes, PDX tires and my love for crazy-hard technical driving courses sort of getting a chance to do what they do best with me on top of them. Colorado States in Castle Rock would most certainly be challenging. Tons of elevation gain and mud on a course laid out to provide zero (quite literally zero) recovery. I had my work cut out for me.
When we arrived and surveyed, we all knew that this would be a leg burner. Mud everywhere given the snow earlier in the week and escalating temps come race weekend. Even on the climbs would guarantee you’d feel a little slow death every lap…
The Alpha Bicycle and Frites en Mayo crew got super busy doing their best to make this a hard and memorable event. They applied tons of time and passion to creating and promoting no less than an extremely challenging course