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The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...2007 No. 9

'Crossy weather this AM! Driving in from DIA last night, I could see all the stars in the sky. Getting home and finally falling to sleep, I awoke for like my 6th pee somewhere at like 4 AM (whenever I come back to altitude I start to pee like a mad man) and I could hear the distinctive sound of water running down the gutters. When there was enough light out to see this AM, I could see snow and rain and 35 degree temps.

Yum. Cross. Belgie style.

This AM was a cluster trying to wake up from my trip, get some coffee in my gullet, see my wife and kids out the door for school then finally suit up and giddy up on down to Amante. I was late jammed down expecting to see like maybe 5 people given the less than ideal weather (for non crossers) but low and behold, the whole friggin 'peleton' was in effect. My God we are a bunch of sick monkeys.

We got a surprise visitor today! Jon C (pictured winning the CO states last year) from Moots was in town on biz from Mootsland, CO. GREAT TO SEE YOU MAN! Thanks for the 411 on Mol. The call to order came, people finished up their coffees and we all trained on up to Elks. The usual place.

We dialed in a course basically the same as we normally run with the exception of adding some sections to get people to train for the sand conditions this weekend. So we sent people up through this section of stone driveway for like 25 feet which totally simulates the power needed for sand.

We lined up and Paco called out GO! and we were off. Tyler, Colby, Paco (on his Primus Mootry 1 x 1! You are ridiculously fast on that that one gear) Troy and I got a selection right away and rolled nice for like 2 or 3 of the 5 laps. Even after my stress ball trip to NYC, the break from the bike certainly paid dividends. I rolled better than I anticipated today so the engine must be up to something good (I hope). T had me under strict orders not to go to deep and I never did, yet was there the whole time. I guess that's the point, right?

Even after telling EVERYONE to watch the cement corner, yours truly went down on lap 4. Totally harmless crash and funny actually. Back up in a flash and finished up after 5 laps nicely with Steve, Jon C and a Red Rocks Velo fellow (Clay's team mate) somewhere in the top 6 to 8 or so on our training race.

A group of us then went on a mellow dirt road spin down for an hour or so around the Boulder Rez. Lots of fun! Great to see you out there this AM Clay H! Sorry about your flat!

So big races this weekend! Nice! Looking forward to it. Chris G has something special lined up me thinks.

'Cross on my peeps. Thanks for reading.


Enter sand man

So the Coloradans will have their fill of sand this weekend given the races locale: The Boulder Reservoir. Brian H and the crew will be out there in force to get course dialed. Bring your Stans however given the unbelievable amount of goat heads on the course. Last year, Chris G literally swept and raked every square inch of the course by hand to free it if the spiky race ruiners.

Life is good at the '06 Rez race pre-goat heads...

...then forced to play catch up after changing bikes

My run today was unbelievable. One of those absolutely picture perfect fall mornings. I couldn't believe how well I responded back to the running after doing so much of it to prep for 'cross (~ 3 x per week). I felt light and the legs turned over good. I will be missing this weekends beach frolics as I'm heading east for the family fun. Then back to help Chris G set up for the UCI races coming next weekend. This race and a re-emphasis on running will help as training for my Mol trip.....which will have monster sections of sand and require power and running savvy. John Suzuki, a CA based 'crosser captured some great pics you can see here:

Needless to say, I will be found at the Rez days in December getting the whole sand thing dialed for January 19th 2008.

'Cross on, peeps.

The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...2007 No. 8

Yes sports fans, the Wednesday World championships were in effect this AM! Gotta love Boulder. We went from epic 30 degree snowering on Sunday to 65 and sunny today. Gorgeous.

Today was the typical ENORMOUS field of cross enthusiasts. Literally, we have doctors, lawyers, technologists, general worker bees out there. Each punching holes in their schedules as the Wednesday throw down is not to be missed. WAY too many ego-based bets and shit talking going on that people live for week after week after week. Today, lots of the strong men and women out. No Sager (where were you man!??) but lots of the top shelf was there including B-money, Danny "I'm going to own Juri Adams in 08" Summerhill, Colby and more.

Special guest today: My boy Timmy "The Truth" Faia. Don't ask me why I called you The Truth just came to me. Thanks for making the trek from Breck! Hey, that rhymes...

Session 1: Elks. The bag-o-barriers made its debut again and we had a great course set up. Plan was to slow burn into this session instead of shooting all the bullets in one fully automatic spray and I felt very fast. Not quite fast enough to stay with Brandon, Troy and Danny, but fast enough for like 5th I think in the 25 minute heat. The WB and I rolled very nicely together trading some work which felt great to do with him as we've had plans for a while to try our tag team! Ha!

Session 2: Valmont. The Parks and Recs folks came to 'greet' us and we complied nicely. They were not psyched but the work folks like Cat Johnson has been doing was all front loaded today and they knew we could be there. We stayed on the perimeter of the grass and monitored the large gate so as to not let the disgusting disease infested death varmints in or out (Boulders sacred and protected prairie dogs). Thanks all who looked after the gate for the rest of us! Session 2 for me was about 'completeness'. I wanted a good workout and rolled evenly through the thick grass. I stayed in the front 1/2 of the large field and just put in some attacks to work on some sharp end intervals. The body is still feeling the cold I have but definitely dissipating. All in all, two good deep sessions today.

No racing this weekend at the Boulder Rez and all its lovely goat heads. Good luck with that boys and girls! Traveling to see my family and looking forward to some rest and home cookin'.

Sorry not a lot of pics today as I was busy getting in a work out or two. Some digital celluloid:

The Indy twins, Rocco and Timmy The Truth.
The new Litespeeds run by Kabush and Team Maxxis. This one owned by Gary Wolff, Maxxis Mechanic


The fastest Frenchman on 700c knobbies has the worst tape job in all of professional cycling. C'mon Francis! Get PRO. It looks like his 13 year old brother wrapped his bars:

(Photo: )

Boulder Interlocken Pics by Mark Wollcott

Mark has some fantastic pics of Saturday's race. Only 1 of every 50 shots has a dude smiling. What a sufferfest....

Friends Todd Carver and The WB Ward Baker duking it out in the 35 Opens.

Some "odd" scoring at Boulder/Interlocken on Saturday

So, investigating the 35 Open results from Saturday, there are some obvious scoring errors going on. Yvonne from the ACA is looking into it but due to the huge fields, dudes who got lapped (including one of my team mates!) got lumped into the top 20. So three places will likely get relegated. Am I being an anal retentive beeatch? Ha! I guess so. You can call me a chump the next time you see me.

Nice pic from Ward's 'A' bike yesterday after the Open race in Evergreen. Epic say he and Boups:

Cross Racing Week 6: The excuse factory is open for business

First, let me just state this for the record: I categorically sucked ass today. I pulled in a top 20 in a huge field in the 35 Opens (I heard there were a 100 in an earlier cat's race) which saw us lapping guys by 3 to go, but seriously, I had nothing today. More suck ass drama in a minute.

Todays race was at Interlocken, just East of Za Reepoobleek of Boulder. Brian H, Todd Carver and the Boulder Racing crew put together a Euro-style course that saw us race on mostly grass course with plenty of twists and turns.....and included a 'feature' of a muddy river run through/up as well as a volleyball course's sand you had to run through. It was by all definitions a very hard course. The grass was super thick and moist and draining of energy every lap you ticked off (excuse no. 1...the course did me in. More excuses coming up!)

OK, the race: I got the call up today as I was sitting in 8th in the series overall. Standing there, the badness was already in my head. The voices saying, "...shit man, you feel like ass." Fair enough, evil voices. I still toed the line but I new it was not going to be a good one from the get go (excuse no. 2: No fair! I had demons in my head!) and my plan was to just cherry pick and sit in for the day. Ha! Right....

I won the hole shot with the intention of getting through this nasty corner at the start and then wanted to to group with some dudes who'd eventually bridge so I could sit in and just pace myself for the day. I kept looking back and had this huge gap after the first 1/2 lap. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Whatever. It was what it was. Then, the fire lungs set in early. I'd been hacking and sort of feverish since I came back from May-hee-co (yup, excuse no. 3....Gweggie has a cold virus) and never could feel like I could cycle a full chest full of air the last couple of days. So by lap two, the burning was utterly intense from the depths of those pink air bags.

With each lap, it was like being in quick sand. The captain's bridge was commanding the engine room to throw on more coal but the engine room was on strike. Legs like lead which I got the sensations of while warming up (of course, excuse no. 4...Boo hoo, my legs hurt, mommy).

OK, silver linings:
a) Beautiful day! The weather was epic. 70 degrees, sunny and a HUGE crowd!
b) OK, another thing for the record: THANK YOU FAITHFUL MUD AN COWBELLS READERS! Holy crap, you rule. EVERY lap there were faces I've never seen before yelling my name and I S-W-E-A-R to you that with each yell, a few more watts came out of the legs when nothing was technically there. Thank you thank you thank you!
c) The WB pulled in a top 10! Not sure where in the top 10 but he was rolling while suffering like everyone was and that is RAD! Sweet work, Ward.
d) The bikes were dialed! Given my comical track record of tire implosions, I can not use the bike as excuse no. 5 today. The Rock Lobsters ruled and the Griffos at 45 p.s.i were spot on. It was the body's turn to shit the bed....and it was messy!

So, I am now drinking a beer as I type this. I am turning into the 'people's racer'. The hack who has that phlegm and snot cascading into about a 16" string below the chin while he races. I do it all for you my peeps.

OK, I do it for me too and a wee bit of pride.

Training week coming up with no racing this coming weekend. Yee-haw! It's my beautiful parents 50th (yes, 50th!!) wedding anniversary and the kids are all flying to the East coast to celebrate that unbelievable milestone.

'Cross on (just not like me these days).

Thanks for reading (and cheering!!!!)

Digital celluloid of the suffering from my main man George! Thanks man!!

Back home

Back home and pumped to be here with my fam. This trip was super short but I feel broken. No Wednesday WK's for me today as I was in an aluminum tube most of the day, so no blow by blow or pics. Sorry! Sager has some pics of this AM's frolics though:

Peek a boo

For some reason I can't edit yesterday's post to add some things I forgot....and fix some horrible grammatical mistakes. I was capital T tired last night! Sorry about the run on sentences and "teh" spellings. I had to get up at 5 AM too and am typing this from Mexico City. all 2200 meters high of it. Buenos Dias! I flew in and was staring out the window of the plane and we flew RIGHT over the Olympic velodrome at probably 1000 feet up and could see dudes ripping around the track. Rad.

So here's the Challenge from Saturday. F-ing beat! This tire was BRAND new. Literally installed the day before. Gonna have to study this one closely to see WTF happened:

Peek a boo

Also, had to whip out the spikes. I ran them in an old set of Shimanos 'cause I couldn't get the screws out I put in solely for the purpose of being able to get them out! Ha! I am wee taw ded:
They definitely helped on the run ups this weekend in the rain.

Interlocken is this weekend. I need to eat and rest well while on the road but after my 16 HOUR trip today....which should have taken 5....the stress hath returneth.

Zen. Be zen, Gregoire.

Enjoy the Wednesday Worlds, beeatches.

Cross Racing Week 5 (Races 1, 2 & 3): Epics

Cyclocross. In a word the sport is: epic. I'm still in love after all these years. Week 5 ladies and gentlemen of cyclocross racing here in lovely Colorado. This stop Gunnison CO. Affectionately known as Gunni or the G-Spot. The net of the weekend: Pain, suffering, victories, great placings, hard work, snow, freezing More on that in a moment.

View Larger Map

The weekend started out at 5:30 in the AM. The RM crew woudl be the, WB, CV and yours truly. WB has the ultimate battle wagon, a very large Suburban, which we jammed 10 sets of wheels (mostly all mine and as you'll read, will be useless as tits on a bull....i should just ride solid rubber tires) 5 bikes, tools, chairs, gear. A battle wagon indeed.

The arrows

Battle vagon

The WB created his (in)famous McWard sandwich. A powerful concoction of toast, Canadian bacon, egg and a secret solution only known to him that resembled mustard and some mayo.) Dee-lish, man. Thanks much for the kindness.

Perfect morning

So with coffee, McWard's, bikes packed, we're set. We fire up the Iraqi-conscious V-8 and we're rolling. 3.5 hours later of good road tripping times (and CV's buzz saw from the back) and we're at the campus of Western State College in Gunni.

On the road again...

Ken Bloomer has the course dialed. A nearly 100% grass affair assembled in a twisted maze. Ward and I are salivating as it's a technical course with lots of corners to rail sans brakes and jumps out of the corners to make people hurt. And the weather is PERFECT. Fall weather with a mix of sun and clouds. Like 55 degrees.

We watch CV race his 35Cat4, railing it like a champ and fire the questions at him when he's through. Within a few minutes of his finish, CV is changed, prep'd and ready to be the most unbelievable cameraman and pit crew member of all time.


Day 1: Race 1 35 Opens.
We line up, get the call ups done and the field is small-ish given the distance to the course which many feel is just too damn far to race. The way I look at it: Fun course, great road trip....and boat loads of family planning months ago are not going to derail me. I'm gonna go race me some cyclo-cross! There are maybe 20-22 dudes in the group. We've got dual national champs in here today and Russel Kapius whom I'll talk more about later.

The institution of ACA race officiating, Dean is out there again. "15 seconds gentlemen (I'm intimate with this by now). Go! We're off..

Lap 1 and 2 and it's a dream scenario. Ward, Phenecie, Kiester and this other national champ dude (e.g. he's got the collar and arm bands all present....and toes the line at the start with a nose full of menthol he must be PRO) and we've got a gap. During lap 1, i get squirly on this steep off camber grass section and slide out. Nothing big....and I'm back on my bike in about a second. We're rolling again. By lap 2 I am feeling nice and cozy. Until I hear: thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap . What the? I roll RIGHT past the pits thinking the thapping is just a bit of mud and then.


A la Research Center. Back wheel blows up. So...I fall off the lead group....again! (ha!)....and hoof it. Brady Kapius and the CV are at the pits and I do a perfect exchange with those guys. Brady catches and CV hands me my freshie. So, like ALL my races this season, the chase is ON. I'm off the back in a big way. One guy caught. Recover, guy caught. And so it goes until the finish and I pull in 10th. Some dudes DNF'd so I only had like 4 or 5 guys to bridge--attack-->bridge. I'm making a sport out of this these days! Oy!

On to BETTER news, the WB PODIUMS! Sick ride to 3rd place. He and I in the car ride up strategized over how we would play it out with two team mates up there. He held up his end of the bargain! I'm going to ask for a rain check on our next rendezvous at the front WB. NICE WORK Za WB!

Day 1 Race 2: Opens
So after the 35's and even while cooked, WB turns to me and say, 'C'mon man. Let's jump in the Opens. Damn straight. I want a little more. (read: little more abuse). 3 hours later and with a near staff infection brewing in our chamois, we line up with the Open men and get it on. We've got 3 RM'ers in here: Corey, the WB and me.

3,2,1...Go! I win the whole shot and surprisingly feel pretty good. So I want to play a bit for a deeper work out. Ward is with me and I back off to let Brady and Joey Thomson take the lead. It's their race for sure. Lap 1 about 1/2 way through and we go through this super twisty section that literally sends you under a tree. I have already raced the course so I should have it dialed, right? Nope. I hit my back on this mo fo so hard, I think I dislodged a kidney. I have to stop because I am like laugh/moaning concerned that I am going to pee blood. I pull up my panties and get back in it. As the race roll son, I sincerely feel better and better. I got to roll with the legend Dave Weins and I can see Ward in front of him. I look at my watch and it's 55 minutes. It flew by. I roll in at 59:25, 4 minutes behind Joey Thompson. I can not complain. I kind of surprised myself. Ward rolled nicely to an 8th and Corey rocked it for a 5th. Nice man!

Day 2 Race: 35 Opens.
Early this AM, and after 1000's of CC's of WB's insane gas pumped into the room's atmosphere, we wake up and open up the curtain to our awesome Super 8 motel palace to see gray clouds. Hmm, OK, not bad. This looks like good cross weather. Loading up the truck, it starts coming down. Rain and snow....and 37 degrees. Epic.

We get to the College, unpack, suit up in waterproof pants jackets, gloves hats and roll the course to warm up., It's essentially the same as yesterday but the opposite direction with some improvements made...and some good decisions on Ken's part to make certain areas of the course safer.

CV rolls his 34 Cat 4 race and pulls in an awesome 9th. Nice work boy. We again ask him tons of questions and he dials us in on all of the sketchiness. Our warm ups proved that all that grass was turning into a skating rink.

I dial in the Rock Lobster and set the Dugasts to about 40 PSI. Even with that, I....and the REST of the field...will be hitting the deck.

3,2,1....Go! We're off and heading for a sharp right corner off a dodgey wet sidewalk. I just want all of us to get into the race without a pileup so I yell I want the corner!. Menthol Natn'l champ wants none of that and takes this mad inside line and I ye;; out "What the F!" he's like "Hey, it's bike racing!"....and this begins the first tumble...more like a slippy slide down the grass. I'm up and don't lose virtually any places. I'm behind Menthol Champ and as we start flying into this hard at speed grassy apex, Menthol wipes out.

Of course I'm thinking Nelson: Ha ha! (It'll come bike to bite me).

So we roll and I am with the lead group. Ward's marking Phenecie....who incidentally is racing again today AFTER he crashed severely yesterday and probably needed a CAT scan. He's still looking good though.

Slip 2 happens on the back stretch. Whoosh! I am down again. So are like 3 other guys. I have to sort out my shit and I'm now in like 10th place. We roll on. SHWAP! I'm now caught in a tree! Ha! Gotta untangle from that! Continue ON. I start picking off dudes and by now it's 2nd to last lap. I bridge to this guy and I think by now we are in about 6th and 7th place. In front of us is the Red Rocks Velo "blue train". Thee guys in a team time trial: Russ Kapius, Clay Harris and Jared Shuttleworth. They have like 30 seconds on us and another 20 to Phenecie and Ward. I'm like: "We've gotta work together to brid...".Swoooosh!...D'oh! I am on the ground AGAIN! Ha! So now, generally pissed, I begin what I am coming to know as "My Race." Play catch up.

I bridge to the first guy. Catch and pass him in the run up. Later.

I bridge to the first RRV guy, Jared. See he is suffering so say Adios man. Later. Clay is riding well so I put in an effort and hear HIM go down. As much as I think Clay is an awesome guy, I smile and punch it to get to him. I know he's OK 'cause he's up and I bridge and sit. Sorry Clay. I see Clay put his head down and I punch it again. One guy to go. Russ "The Killer" Kapius. I bury it and launch an attack from Clay to get to Russ. I want to be on the podium SO badly with Ward I can taste it. I am in the 42 x 12 and start to make ground. We are in the grass straight away and we need to come around a tree down a grassy embankment to come back in the opposite direction on pavement to the start/finish. Russ slows down around the tree to ensure he doesn't crash. He's through nicely. I come at the tree like 5 seconds later and I am through nicely. Russ punches it and even in a Cipolini-esque sprint, I can not catch this guy and settle for 4th. Now I know where Brady gets his genetics.

Russ, INSANE job man. Nice work. THAT is bike racing.

Better news: WARD GRABS THE "W". SICK Our man WB, Ward Baker, nails the 35 Open W putting in a last lap attack on Phenecie that wasn't able to be countered. Great job man. I am so proud of the effort!

All in all, it was a great and epic weekend of racing. # races in 2 days and very tired legs.

Couple of Blog-related side notes:
~Colm, great to meet you man! Thanks for reading my trashy 'cross site! I heard you say to watch out for our favorite Saint today man. man. You are a good Irishman. Keep 'crossing HARD!

~My wife calls me from home to say they were out with the kids and some cyclist asked if they were "mud and cowbell's kids?". HA! Awesome. Indeed they are.

Cyclocross rules. People who like cyclocross rule. Therefore, you folks rule.

Catching and passing on the run up.

CV getting it sideways!

Hup hup in the 35 Open race.

"OK, where's the next guy to catch?"
I like to catch bugs for protein as I race.
Cory and Shawn in a little hup hup.
Nice form Corey.
The ride home after the race today

Credit MOST of these photos and ALL vids to CV!! Thanks man!!