Entries in Masters Worlds (34)
That's it. As far as training is concerned, 'what's there is there' and 'what will be will be', given good luck and good legs on the day. We are amped here in Boulder. AMPED to race, see our friends from around the country and abroad and celebrate our sport.
Four months. Four months of racing for me and I'm still hungry given a truncated season. A season that again seemed to challenge me in so many ways given yet another broken collarbone in late August and a resultant season of hurry-up-and-try-to-get-fit-along-the-way. Nothing was going to stop me from crawling back on and doing what I love so dearly.
And now we're here. Just days leading up to our trip to Louisville, KY and the Masters World Championships followed by the biggest cyclocross event this nation has ever seen: the Elite World Championships. At this moment I still can't believe I'm here, that I'm going and have enough motivation to tear legs off and go and do my best.
It's incredible when I step back and look at all the support I have in my life to do what I love so much. A few shout outs...
- My wife and family: who deeply understand the teeter totter and how the bike, my sport and my friends balance my life and bring me great joy.
- Brandon and the crew at Boulder Cycle Sport who take such great care of me. I'd love to bring them National Championships (but I think Pete and Brandon have that covered! ha!) but they know how proud I am to wear that Orange we wear and coach all the folks new to the sport who I see fall in deeper love race after race as they see their own improvements the 'Ambassadors' and I teach them. I'll never forget walking in the first BCS shop near my house the day they opened in 2005, seeing Brandon stocking shelves and saying: "So, do you guys do cross?". The rest is history.
- Pete Webber for spending his valuable time convincing me I can compete at the level I know I can compete at, coaching me to keep a hurting engine to keep going and mainly believe I can flow again. You all have no idea how disciplined Pete is with his preperation and focus to the sport but most importantly how much time he spends helping this community to do their best individually and show the country how we love this sport collectively.
- Ridley, SRAM, Bell Helmets Clement Tires Anthem Branding, Harshman Wealth Mix1 and Mavic who graciously support this old man and allow me such amazing communication lines to provide feedback and help evangelize such incredible products. I can only do that because they are 'the biggest little companies' on earth who relish these racer channels.
- Our community of 'crossers here in Boulder. This is what we do. From our juniors to masters, we simply live for cross and live to shout our guts out at each other to race, do our best and represent where we're from proudly.
The bikes and equipment are packed an in-route at this exact moment. We're going to go celebrate cross, race, spectate and come back to our respective homes and evangelize what we've seen to anyone who'll listen. But for now, we rest and think about the week to come.
It's only a matter of days now. My head is spinning a bit given the maelstrom of things going on from business to family to training...all leading up to the big show in Louisville KY. My last foray at a World Championship was in Mol, Belgium some 5 years ago. The lead up then was intense....although almost all self-imposed stress. This time it's sort of a good 'stress'. Much positive energy coming from all seats of my teeter-totter. It's just a lot of energy to handle at the moment!
We're still staying on top of it here in Boulder. We went from sub-arctic temps and snow we trained in to 60deg temps and blue skies. Lots of great miles and lots of large smiles as we slay each other to ensure Colorado represents well in Louisville.
Our training rides have consisted of a lot of mock racing. Shorter/wicked intense efforts combined with long dirt miles on some of our favorite loops.
The Ridley X-Fires are also getting their final preps.The cabling is still spot on after a full season due to it's 100% sealing so only things like brake pads are getting re-freshed. These bikes are literally build and ride. Very little maintnece thankfully.
One final addition I am making however comes by way of my friends at K-Edge. They are such great supporters and want to ensure I have a problem feree ride in their own unique way...but ensuring I have thier K-Edge Double XL Chain Catcher is affixed to both bikes. Such huge thanks Tim and Team K-Edge!!
One week to go. One week filled with immensely important business meetings, travel and in 7 days time, my first heat race. I am so amped for it all and the celebration of the most elite-level cross in the world right here on our soil. It truly is like a dream come true after devoting so much of my soul, my life and my time to this sport that I love.
Wish us luck and more from the road in Louisville!
Well, it's official, I guess. The news is now emanating from Za Motherland about the cancellation of this year's UCI Master's World Cyclocross Championships. Sad sad sad state of affairs.
A few months ago I heard rumblings from my dear friend Mark of Black Market Racing. Parenthetically, it needs to be understood that we...we=Americans...have a rich history of participating in the Master's Worlds for a decade or more. Folks like Mark and the BMR crew, Kathy Sarvary and Tom Stevens and of course the machine himself, Mr. Will Black, have been packing up their bikes and heading to this race for a decade or more.
With these relationships having been formed over the years by guys like Mark et al, we now have great relationships with the inner-sanctum of the Belgian Cycling Federation and regional authorities which are kept up around the calendar year and re-formed when the troops head back over to race year after year. Dialog with authorities on the Belgian Cycling Selection as an example indicated that these 2010 Master's Worlds getting cancelled unfortunately all comes down to a lack of financing (isn't it always money??). 30K Euros was the apparent sum required and unfortunately not able to be sourced for the event. How that was to be utilized (e.g. between the UCI and the Zilvermeer course and others) is not understood....but alas it's assumed that hands were thrown in the air and brain damage was being done and the event was whacked. The solution: The European Masters Cyclocross Championships held in Mol, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel...just sans UCI. And sand beautiful master's jersey. Oh and 'non Europeans' are apparently allowed to race their championships. Sigh. What does it all mean....
This all begs the question of fundrasing. I mean, we pushed and got something infinitley more insurmountable done here in Boulder with the Valmont Bike Park. That is a multi-million dollar sustainable park! Here, I wonder why a consortium wasn't assembled, sponsors solicited and pushed hard. Maybe it was. It makes me think that the Master's Worlds is just something that is 'humored' by its organizers and the UCI itself....yet still cherished by riders.
Anyways, I digress. I'm bummed out for those who were making plans for this yet I'd still encourage you to go. The racing in the area at that time is unbelievable and you'll learn lots you need to bring back to your regions here in the US. This is how we grow.
Grabbed from MTB Kalender, an extremely popular results and race calendar site used in the Netherlands and Belgium. We used this when there quite a bit last year and have been taking pictures for a long time at Mol/Masters including last years race.
Looks like the modified the course slightly this year.
My friend Mark French is over in Belgie-land on business but the true inner-'crosser motivated him to cruise down to Za Beach in Mol to see the Master's World Cyclocross Championships today. He snapped a few pics and it's clear they changed up the course this year, almost as if they ran it backwards! I need to talk with some of the homies who went over there for a report. Anyways, as it comes to pass, our 'master's master' Edwin Raats DID win today. Congrats man! This is a pic Mark nabbed coming through possibly the worlds LOWEST set of barriers I've ever seen. I mean, we're Masters UCI people, but c'mon! We can get the legs a little higher! We're not THAT old! Ha!
Apparently the Italian, Massimo Folcarelli, was bringing the heat and was off the front but Edwin was able to nab him and put a massive gap he held through to the end. Sweet.
Henry Kramer still impresses with a top 10, taking 7th. He WILL get those stripes. I know this.
I can not tell you how weepy I am not being there. The one taste I had is never going to leave me. Ever. I hope I can hold this momentum like I did in 2007 to get there. One whole year of thought on it. And it was an awesome, awesome pay off.
Did Edwin pull it off in our group this AM? I'm waiting to hear! He just nabbed the Dutch amateur title (and as mentioned before, the amateur class and its National title is a big deal in Europe).
Henry K pulled off his usual win or two in the lead up races teh week leading to the WK and those world strips have just been out of his reach these last few years. I'm thinking unless he mechanical'd, he's on the podium again today. The Belgians fear him over there. It's funny. They treat him like a full up rock star! He's an American they love!
365 days to go. Can I keep focused again?
Wow! What a COOL night! Thanks to you all who came to hear some stories from the 'old men' about this adventure we went on to Za Motherland. The turnout was fantastic and we were able raise some great coin for the CLIF Bar Cyclocross Development Team. Sweet!
At the end of the proverbial day, I hope people had fun and could here the 'subtle' messages of things that I learned....and is at the heart of what I wanted to relay:
a) Trips like this aren't just for pros
b) The racing is just 1 aspect of the trip. Keeping your head up and 'seeing' is more important and seeing that culture woven through the races and racers themselves is what must be tasted.
c) Cross is life. You need to go.
Thanks to all the supporters of the Slide Show Fundraiser! Chris King, New Belgium Brewery, CLIF Bar, Izze, and Rocky Mounts! People were stoked for their prizes and we thank you all for your kind donations.
Some digital celluloid of the night!
Taking place at the hallowed halls of BCS in North Boulder. Be there to help support Ben's CLIF Bar Cyclocross Program with a $5 suggested donation and entry into the raffle for some cool schwag from Chris King, Rocky Mounts and more!
While I am in the zone, I wanted to get these up for you all to have some look sees at the various daily goings on from our trip. You can always go to my PhotoBucket Site to see originals.
OK, I'll let you in on our secret training. This is how we got utterly amped for our races. Who needs EPO? I used to listen to Rage, but have moved on...
Here's Dubba at Fort 6 Sunday. Ha! Sunday. I can't believe I was racing my bike in Belgium last week. Sweet.
Dubba had a very strong race against heavy contracted hitters at Fort 6.
So there you have it folks. Some vid and stills from Za Trip. I can NOT thank you all for reading and commenting religiously. It made me smile. I think I got my points across about the trip and the impact it had on many levels. I can't wait to hear other people's stories of their trips next year. START PLANNING NOW! That is my only advice. Again, Brandon and I are scheming a slide show at Boulder Cycle Sport for local folks and have some beers and give you some color commentary on the experience. I'll post something in the coming days.