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Entries in cyclocross (85)

Za Touch Ups

T-minus a couple-a days and we're on the aluminum tube over to the Motherland. THEN, I'll have some new stuff for you all to read. Sorry for the lead up dribble.

So at this point, I am doing some touch up. Whatever work I've put in is in and that is that. I've definitely put everything I could given the balance I have got to maintain into this trip in terms of body prep so all that is left is dodging this light cold I have (nothing big) and doing some tuning this week with prescribed intervals designed to keep the channels open in za muscles.

Changing subjects, I just want to say THANK YOU to all my homies. Honestly, the emails and shouts of encouragement are truly special. At the end of the day, I'm not deploying to Iraq. But it feels like it! If you lessen the degree of severity to the scale I am venturing on (a 'cross vacation), there is still a sense of 'man, give 'em hell' when I speak to true 'crossers. It is like going to battle, gladiator style. Here's where I am at with all this:

  • We've chosen a sport (cycling) that is by its very nature hard and inherently self-weeding of non motivated people.
  • The specific part of the sport we've poured our passion into ('cross) is probably most prohibitive...even for long time racers...given the extremity of it all: conditions, intensity, aestheticism/technique. The shit's hard, yo. I can't believe I've maintained fitness and motivation since August. I do NOT want to stop!
  • We participate in this discipline and it gets us so close to PRO....more than any other sport. As an example, Fred, the local softball 3rd baseman from the East 53rd Street McSorley's Irish Pub team is likely not going to escalate his skills up the 'series' ladder to compete against the best on earth. Frankly he can't. The escalation doesn't exist. Cross can give us that. Look at our homies over there new throwing down in the Super Prestige and GVA's. Many of you race against them/with them weekend in and out in Portland, Seattle, Boulder, Boston....It is that exciting.
So in my head, it's basically those points and more which are are deeply embedded in your (the crossers) brains...possibly without you realizing it....and yet you know what's up with trips like this to Belgium and you take the time to say 'Give 'em hell'. That is so rad it makes my hair stand up. I will try to throw down as hard as I f-ing can.

I look at this picture Jon C sent to me to stoke me up. Open this bad boy up and look at it.
This is the face of a man saying "Holy shit. I just won the hole shot at the Master's World's." I love it. It's these sort of stoke ups from Jon, Mark Howland, Will Black, Brandon, Boups, Bobby Noyes....and boat loads of other folks....that again, make may hair stand up.

I will report. You will be stoked. You will come to the Motherland next year and get it on.

Start saying it. Write it down, print it out, and hang it up (or set an Outlook reminder, worker bees) and it will come true.

Ya-f-ing HOO.

TJ's got his stars-n-bars skinsuit...

So I made mention that I'd love to see TJ rockin a legit National Champion's skinsuit instead of the podium jersey he was rocking. Looks like the got it to him post haste although we did not get to see much of it due to issues TJ had apparently at the GVA held in Loenhout:They could've shipped him a red white and blue Giro though! Ha! By the way, the picture above was taken by the person shooting Geoff's folks at Cross Camp. Lots of good shots of the various races the Euro Crossers are competing in while over there.

He even grabbed a nice shot of Paco suffering it out against the big'uns in Torhout!

More from Mr. Sales

So a few days ago I posted about photographers growing around the country and really 'getting it'. Again, Joe Sales impresses. He posted this pic below and it epitomizes his strength as a photographer but also as a person who understands 'cross to its core. The last time I said that it was about Brian Vernor when he did his photographic essay at the GP's a season or so ago. This photo is creepy as it is as if Joe molded these racers in wax. Time truly standing still. The strobe behind them is what is giving it that 'staged' appearance as if said "Cut! OK guys, let's do it again."


Zoopa fans

Let's face it. Sports is a heavier subject in many households than religion or politics. People would throw themselves directly in front of a bullet to save their start quarterback than their local beloved politician or spiritual leader.

So let's observe some of these species around the world, shall we?

The Tennis fan:

The Hockey Fan

The English Soccer fan

The American Collegiate Football fan:

The German fan (who gives a shit what sport):

And, last but not least, the Cyclocross fan:

I am proud to share a heritage where incredibly bad footwear combined with insane amounts of alcohol can allow any person to join in the fun and speak the language. It's all slurred together and guttural anyways.

Endless Winter

Man oh MAN! Things are going OFF over there in the Mother Land. Geoff P's got the boys amped and racing hard....even with all of the crazy logistics and skewed travel plans many faced with planes missed, bikes not showing up, etc. Catching up on their blog, it's great to see Danny, Brady and the rest of the local boys throwing down. I race against Brady's dad (trust know exactly where the genes come from if you should race against Mr. K). It's great to see them there giving everything. It is especially rad to see Tim Johnson there with the stars and bars. I would LOVE To see Cannondale rush a skinsuit to him so he doesn't look so bush league with the podium jersey he got at Nats. C'mon! So un PRO!

Sager's team mate Mitchell Peterson is there as well. He has a great race report here. Some observations:

Observation No. 1: Mitchell Peterson is the 2nd coming of Charlie Hayes.
Have you ever seen these guys together? Have you? Mitchell could be the spawn of the legend and my hero Charlie Hayes.
Observation No. 2: Mitchel is spanking Kamiel Van den Berg
I love this shot. Go lay the smack down on Kamiel, Mitchell. If you've seen it, Kamiel is the guy who on the 1st lap of the 2006 World Championships from The Netherlands who gives that group of jeering Belgium spectators the finger. After taking the hole shot, Kamiel implodes like a dying star on the 2nd lap. Ouch. So this whole shipment of Americans over to the Mother Land (including myself in a week!) is sort of like the Endless Summer....of the Winter variety. We are on a quest to catch the biggest and the best waves all for the experience. To really understand what this sport is about come good or come bad.

Tick tock tick tock.

Petition to USA Cycling for Kansas City Master's Race Issues

While I was not there to witness this first hand, I have been hearing about specific issues going on with respect to race logistics for the Master's categories at Kansas City. There is a petition circulating for people who were there/are interested in changing the logistics for next year. You may find that information and enter your 'e-signature'

>> HERE <<

Observations of the Cannibal at Scheldecross

Hmm. Sven. The Cannibal Part Deux. Father. Husband. Crosser.


My God. First, he demonstrates crappy tape jobs wherein it is my opinion that his mechanic should have to work the pits without his Wellingtons for a day. Now this?? (queue in a record scratching horrifically...):
For shame, Sven. For shame.

See, Radio Freddy agrees with me that ya just gots to match that tape and that saddle. And if matched white? Mmmmm white. Very PRO. Call me OCD, but it would cause my skin to crawl with all that un-matchiness going on with my bike.

Get PRO Sven. quickly. You're losing points. Niels is taking you down you on the PRO tip.

Mini Bart got his today

I saw that Mini Bart (where Wellens is Big Bart) got his today at Huybergen. I am stoked for that. That little mofo is tenacious. Of the embarrassingly obscene 100's and 100's of hours of 'cross vids I've studied, that guy is always in the mix...typically in the top 5 until the 50th minute when Sven drops everyone on the 2nd to last lap and goes on to usual win and Bart's wings fall off.

What's interesting about this guy is that he's been at it for some time now. He nipped Colorado's Walker Ferguson at the 2000 Cross Worlds...but both beat some current names that day like Enrico Fanzoi (bronze at Worlds last year), Klass Vontornout (won his first Elite the other day) and others. That was a solid class of Juniors.

Augustas! Save zom room vor later!

Ah, the holidays. It's that 'special' time of year when if you are blessed with children like we are, they bring home lots of things:

a) The spirit of the holidays taking you back to the time you were a kid waiting with baited breath for the sound of sleigh bells...

b) Ebola viruses that make you feel cheerful and joyous as you try and sing Oh Holy Night with swollen tonsils and lymph nodes

c) Food...mainly of the chocolate covered variety that you want to bury your face in, consume and wash it down with a couple of Chimay tall boys.


Got back from lovely Toronto and had to squeeze in za plan for the day at lunch time. One hour of openers before the Bataan Death March training this weekend that T has in store for me. I got out on the roadie as the roads are in good shape....but as I type this the snows are coming down again. Perfect timing. The Hour of Power was filled with just enough to get the juices flowing in the legs. Small ring efforts for bursts incremented over the hour dosed in just the right amounts. One saw a 1400w peak which was surprising as I wasn't trying to go too deep so I hope the signs are there that what's being baked in by T is going to give me some level of respetcable performance in the mother land.

Riding today, I hooked up with Von and Nick doing base. God that looks....relaxing. more...just rolling and talking. OK, it's 5 hours worth of work, but the likelihood of getting cross eyed or vomitous while doing it is null. Even still, I coerced Von to come along on my voyage and do some efforts. Ha! Sucker. Pulling back in the garage, though, I see the cross bikes hanging there and I just feel in my gut I'm not done with 'cross this year. August, September, October, November, December.... I WANT to be cross eyed in my work outs and get to Belgium....finally. One year of thinking and dreaming.

Cross is crack.

Trebon's Head-on Collision

Holy crap. This is an unbelievable youtube capturing the moment Ryan and Steve hit head on. It is NOT what I expected. In fact, pretty fricking horrific. Frankly, I can not for the life of me figure out which side is 'correct' as so many dudes are weaving through and over that tape.