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Entries in Za Webber Trip 2010 (12)

Za Trip 2011 | Master’s Worlds and an Assenende

Za Trip 2011– she is done.

It was very safe to say that the Boulder crew came to Belgium unknown…and they leave well known. Especially the boys in Orange and Black. Unbelievable efforts by the entire crew…and I truly think they left an impression on the racers that the US fields are deep…and strong and taking the Masters and Elite Worlds in ‘12/’13 Extremely seriously.

As for the Master’s Worlds, our friends at CXMagazine published a brief report of the antics and re-casted the videos of Brother Webber seen below in earlier posts previewing the course. You can catch up on the videos to re-cap but the race was epic and the ‘Za Trip’ boys killed it in the Men 40-44. This was a first Master’s World Championship for all of them…with the exception of Pete having done the Elite Worlds in Koksijde in 1994. Their results are fantastic and shows the class of our Master’s riding in the US.

  • Pete Webber 4th
  • Brandon Dwight 6th
  • Ward Baker 12th
  • Kurt Perham 14th
  • Brian Hludzinski 16th
  • Michael Robson 18th

I’m extremely proud of them and truly looking forward to them coming home and hear the stories.

Ward MAsters Worlds 2011

Seen above in the green DCM kit is Nico Berckmans…and to the left in the picture in the all white Stevens kit is Jens Schwedler. These guys (scoring 1 & 2) in the race put on a schooling as you’ll see in this video. Note the time gaps…



With that epic day of racing in Mol in their legs, today, Sunday the 23’rd, the boys had one last race to do…and one BIG race to go and watch. The Boulder crew made their way to their FINAL race in Assende, Belgium…the last race of the Flemish Cup. It was a Boulder Cycle Sport affair with Brandon taking the flowers with Za Webber in 2nd.


All the boys crushed it today putting 5 into the top 7 amazingly. I remember the last race i did on "Za Trip 1' and how spent I was after Mol. And of course Fort 6 (the next day's race) was the hilliest and muddiest race I’d every experienced! OUCH! These boys leave knowing how the sport is raced and raced hard in 'the fields' and what great champions are like (like Mario below) and that we have a great admiration and passion for the sport.


Now, on to the late day fun! With their faces washed and bikes packed for the plane trip home tomorrow, the crew were able to go and spectate at the World Cup in Hoogerheide. Clearly the boys were celebrating given the beer and their new found VIP passes (don’t ask…)

BCS Boys

So with some fine Belgian Brown flowing through their blood streams and with backpacks full of high end HD recording devices…what’s a bunch of cross nerds to do? Go explore…

First, Pete was able to catch up with the legend, Adri van der Poel at the Hoogerheide World Cup race today. Have a view.



They then cornered our good friends, like Johs, Jeremy and Timmy for some camera time. Just enough to stress ‘em all out.



Pete then goes and tries to invade Niels’ ‘compound’…



After the race, you can clearly see the, um, “excitement” Webber has with his stalking of Styby. Or maybe it’s the beer.


That’s it folks, the trip, she is DONE! We’re all proud of the crew here in the US….especially here in Boulder…and most especially the author. If I could not be there with my best friends, I wanted to help articulate the great and fun things these guys are doing for the sport.

Now get home boys. I’m tired of the awesomeness you just experienced.

Za Trip 2011 | Hot Laps and Cornering Tips

Michael strapped on the Contour Cam and pointed it back at the boys during a hot lap of the 2011 Master’s Worlds Course in Mol. Brandon also provides some pro-level cornering advice in the sand.

Cornering tips from Dubba…


Za Trip 2011 | R & R Days = (you guessed it) Beer

The boys got on their bikes today with the rest of Za North Americans to shake out the badness in their legs before proceeding to fill up said 'hollow' legs with the brown bubbly goodness, Belgium is famous for.

Pete’s video check in…



Pete interviews Dubba…



With the ride done, the crew packed up and headed the 5 clicks to the Roman brewery to get on the ‘Schlameel, Schlamazel’ and tasted the frothy goodness. Yes, this is the part that should make us all, who are unshowered and hunched over our PC’s the last 2 weeks (OK, maybe just me…) insanely jealous.

pete beer

the crew beer




Za Trip 2011 | Bakel, Za Netherlands

2 years and 3 days ago…exactly…my Dugast rubber was tearing through this most epic of courses in Bakel, The Netherlands. It was epic and would go down in the annals as the most brilliant course I’d ever been on. This still holds true to this day. I literally dream about that course and want to make it a goal to get back again next year.

As the boys were getting ready to depart for the trip, I told them that while “the big show” is Mol, the race I KNEW they’d fall in love with what was in store for them in Bakel. It offers everything we’re good at with respect to our core group of buds here in Colorado: Flowy singletrack, top-end bike handling, highly technical cornering, etc).

And so it came to pass as you’ll see that the boys had an amazing day. Our good friend Edwin Raats stole the top-step bouquet from a hard charging Brandon (2nd) and Pete (3rd) with the other ‘Za Trip’ boys pulling in prijs geld as well. I think it is extremely safe to say that Edwin is determined not to wear his Dutch National Master’s Champion kit next season, but the dark blue Master’s WK kit instead.

I’ll let the guy’s pictures and words tell the rest of the story about Bakel today…but of ALL the races these guys are doing on this year’s ‘Za Trip’ program, Bakel I’m sure will leave a strong pull to come back like it has for me.

Pete's video check in... 

Dubba interviews Brian, Michael and Ward... 

Michael Robson is our notorious ringleader of our pre-season Wednesday AM road/dirt training rides. It's on these rides where he shows us some of the tricks he learned in the 90's racing Kermesse's like slowing everyone down 'cause people are dropped' (read: he's recovering for his late stage attack in the same gutter...every week). But it's his post ride reports we actually long for and here is a typical example as he recounts his race in Bakel. He writes about everything, except for the Dwarfs, Rainbows and Unicorns it appears he saw as well today...

"If you are a rabid crosser there is the race you dream of. That perfect race with the perfect course, perfect conditions, perfect weather, perfect flow. We did that race today and it was, well, perfect. From the moist loamy earth to the gorgeous Dutch women, Bakel, Holland was better than your dreamiest dreams. We arrived under a sky of pillowy clouds to a nicely balanced course of woods, grass, sand and a little pavement. all of it tacky and blazing fast. Cruising through registration the next step was to get dressed for a pre-ride and within half a lap it was apparent that were were on to something special. Keller had said" Ahh Bakel,.. Robson you will love Bakel", and he was right. WB and I pre-rode together and at one point I looked back at him, his ridiculous grin told me we were on the same, blissful page. This was going to be good.

As seems to be the case here we got the obligatory crappy call up, but we did get call ups and were distributed throughout the last two rows of a 45 man field. Pete, Dubba and I got great starts, weaving through the pack and moving up in the first few corners. On the first trip through the woods I was right in the middle of enjoying the delicate wiles of a particularly fecund section of forest when I was rudely interrupted by Dubba barking at me from behind. "Robson, pass where you can". The audacity. Anyway, it was time to get to work. I pulled Dubba up through the stragglers until we were in the lead group, passing left and right, Pete was already there. I was able to stay with Pete and Dubba for the first couple of laps and then settled into a giddy rhythm of bermed roller-coaster trails and lovely manicured grass. Meanwhile further back WB and Brian's start was later likened to 'pushing a tennis ball through a garden hose' but in short order they were on a rampage, with three to go I started seeing them. WB was chasing hard but I was holding him off. He had gapped Brian just as we turned a hairpin and Brian was screaming at me "I'm coming for you Robson!!".  Then I made a small mistake in the woods and WB was suddenly behind me. He passed me before the cursed sand run-up but I stayed on his wheel plotting my revenge. It wasn't to be, Ward saw my move and was ready so as we swung into the o-so-short final straight I couldn't make enough ground and my wonderful friend beat me in for 7th. Earlier Edwin Raats had snuck away for the win leaving Pete and Dubba to duke it out for second. Dubba dug in for the no. 2 spot with Pete hot on his heels.

On that day with those conditions that was the funnest course I have seen. Some might say it's not technical enough, others that it is too easy, not enough mud or heavy grass but I'm safe in the knowledge that Bakel was a truly euphoric day of cyclocross.

Its now late at nght and I just took an Ambien, shit's getting nutty.



Some digital celluloid to punctuate the day…


Post race interview to the spectators with Brandon and Pete. Questions and answers in English and Dutch. This guys was great. He knew both Pete and I were cyclocross national champions and were ex-Pro mountain bikers.


On the podium, complete with podium girls and a bouquet: Edwin Raats was too strong today. On the right is the winner of the other older category, which started in the same group.


Loamy dirt. Buttery smooth and grippy.DSC_1996

Every corner was bermed out like this. The course was a blast.


This race brought to you by Rabobank, naturally.


The pits are incredibly PRO. Right down to the flags reminding you you are NOT in Belgium.


It would not be a cross course in the Netherlands with out flat grass. Notice the family on the bike path in the background. Every road in the country is paralleled by a bike path. And, there are people riding "Dutch City Bikes" everywhere, and not because it looks hip and cool. It's a way of life.


More berms.


Dopers Suck is strong across the pond (as is the white sex, naturally)




Dutch condiments.


Michael Robson was in the money today!


We knew Pete Webber was good for something.


Ward 7th, Brian 9th and Robson 8th. Strong work boys!

Za Trip 2011 | The Team Has Arrived!

The boys made it safely and are ready to tear it up tomorrow. Pete dropped a video-update to us while Michael Robson has provided a few pics of their opener-ride today.

Hup boys!


Za Webber Trip 2010 | First glimpse of “King Albert” in the jersey

Well, Mr. Webber is resting well, waiting for our buds to meet him over in Belgium later this week. Webber hit up the West-Flanders Championship race in Otegem, also the debut of Prince…er, ah KING Albert in his new jersey. He sent on some pics for us to geek on…


Za Webber Trip 2010 | Recovery on the Canal

Webber checks in on a Thursday recovery ride on one of the prototypical canals famous in this region of Belgium.

Za Webber Trip 2010 | W = Waregem = Webber = WIN!

Hmm, let’s see: 4 races entered. 4 wins. Z’Americans are a force to recon with! Well, at least Webber is! He took an absolutely muddy and true ‘field race’ today in Waregem. Report below. Webber’s successes are now known by the Masters overseas, and yet a new troop of guys are all getting prepped to join him in Za Motherland for ‘Za Trip 2010’:

  • Brandon ‘Za Dubba’ Dwight,
  • Ward “The WB” Baker,
  • Brian “I dare you to spell my name”  Hludzinski,
  • Michael “Large Arthur” Robson
  • Kurt “KP” or “Top Pro” (You choose) Perham

All will be invading to join Pete “Turbo Pete” Webber (affectionately coined by Mario Lammens) for the lead up to Master’s worlds in Mol. Sadly, I’m not making Za Trip this year but I am doing what I can to help prep the boys. Got out early this AM with Dubba in the foulest conditions to yell ‘mush!’ at him as we powered through the deep snow and howling wind. He’ll be ready to tear legs off. HUP!

Za Webber Trip 2010 - Waregem Race Report

Hey everyone, here's a video and photo report from today's Flemish Cup race in Waregem.
I'd like to say "Dank U Wel" (Thank You!) to all the racers, supporters and organization crew at the Flemish Cup races. They are great events and my family and I enjoy them very much. Good luck to the renners (racers) for good legs at the national championships (BK) next weekend and we'll see you at Langemark.

Check out Sally’s PRO bike change:

And look at this atrocity. Unbelievable. 


Za Webber Trip 2010–The Mud Fest Recon

Pete and his pro pit team composed of wife Sally and daughter Ella (6 y.o.) are reader to get ‘er done tomorrow in Waregem. Pete checks in…using video of course (he listens to his bud when he asks him to shoot more video…).

Za Webber Trip 2010
Waregem Pre-Race Report
Hello from Belgium and Happy New Year! Tomorrow (Jan. 2) is the Waregem cross, another round of the Flemish Cyclocross Cup. Since it is only 15k from Oudenaarde, I went over today to check out the course. It is gonna be epic! A classic muddy field race. Check out my 1-minute video update and some photos of the track. My bikes are dialed and the pit crew is ready - we even practiced our bike changes today in the street. Stay tuned for a post-race report... Thanks for reading, Pete


Recon pics…

Za Webber Trip 2010 - Vorden with a 'V' in Victory.

I guess the word to use by this point is something like ‘rampage.’ As in: “Pete Webber is on a RAMPAGE in the lowlands this season, chalking up his 3rd win in as many tries.” This recent win comes to him against some stiff competition, including the reigning Dutch Masters National Champion. The rest, I’ll leave up to Webber to bring us up to speed on as we all try to live vicariously through his exploits…

Za Webber Trip
Vorden Race Report

I want to start today's blog with a big "Thank You" to everyone who's been encouraging me. The emails and Facebook comments are totally great! I'm very lucky and fortunate to have such great friends and family.
Today we made a long haul to the Netherlands for a Wednesday race. A cool thing about the holiday season over here is mid-week racing. The top elite riders get a bunch of mid-week races between Christmas and New Year's Day in Belgium, but there are fewer options for Masters. Last year I raced an event in the Netherlands and it was awesome. Very PRO, great riders, great atmosphere. So this year I was looking forward to a return trip to try the "Castle Cross Vorden," even if it meant a 3.5 hour drive each way. Local racers here would never dream of such a long drive for a race, they seldom look more than 1 or 2 hours from home. But I'm here for 'cross, and cross-border adventures just add to the fun.

Our day started with a 5:30 wake up to hit the road by 6 for an 11:30 race. Straight east, past Gent, Antwerp, across the border, past Eindhoven and finally to Vorden, not far from Germany. As is usual this time of the year, the sun doesn't fully rise until about 9 am. That equals 3 hours driving in freezing rain before sunrise. Not exactly the best race-day prep. But over the years I've figured out that my 2-hour pre-race routine will get me to the start line no matter time of day, amount of sleep, or crazy weather conditions. For me, the important thing is to just execute the routine.

I had read on the web that the recent snow and some freeze/thaw had put the race into jeopardy. Thankfully the local community rallied with tractors and shovels to clear the heavy, crusty snow from the entire loop. In most places, that left only a singletrack-width race track. The snow to the side was widely variable. Sometimes unridable crust, other times just heavy wet stuff. They did a really excellent job and the road sections combined with some creativity provided enough passing. The terrain was very flat, maybe a couple 3-4 foot 'hills', but otherwise just twisty turns and power slogs. The ground was not frozen, so there was also wheel-sucking mud and boggy grass, followed by icy turns in the shade. No dismounts at all. Flat, heavy courses are often the hardest since cornering, accelerations, and simple pure power are required. Adding to the challenge was a dicey corner right on the bank of a muddy canal and a heavy stench of fresh manure.
With 4 laps pre-ride, some practice starts, and a Clif Shot I worked the cobwebs out. The A-Team pit crew of Sally and Ella had my Rhinos at 22 psi and hit my pedals and shoes with some de-icer spray. I was ready to roll.

The start/finish pavement was icy in spots, so the organizers had decided to shorten the start straight to only 25 meters before a turn into the singletrack in order to prevent high-speed crashes. This, combined with the large amount of singletrack convinced me to approach the officials before the race and beg for a better call up than the last row normally given to internationals. They actually listened to me and invited me to line up first! Unfortunately I didn't know this was going to happen, and I missed them call my name in the string of Dutch. Fortunately, another rider clued me in and I made it to second row. The one race I get called up, and I miss it! Duh! There wasn't long to dwell on this hiccup however, as the rider next to me on the grid gave me a back-slap and said "Let's go Mud and Cowbells hey!" The spirit of Za Keller is everywhere! I laughed and was psyched!

We sprinted away from the line and were instantly into the woods. Total chaos as everyone tried for one line. I ran and elbowed and took a shoulder or two before I settled in about 15th place. After a minute to get my wind back, I set myself to the daunting task of moving up. It took two frantic laps of aggressive passes and capitalizing on each opening before I made the front group of 3. I sat with these guys for another lap until I felt I like had the legs and the cornering speed to attack. I went full gas for the next two laps and took the lead with 5 to 10 seconds of daylight. The second place rider was wearing the Dutch champion's kit, so I knew there would be no giving up. He pressed me the whole distance. And with about 50 slippery opportunities on each lap to make a mistake, I worked hard to stay smooth and focused. Cross-eyed and gasping, I was completely at my limit when the finish line finally arrived. I raised my arms for a very grateful victory.

Some of my pics

Some additional photos by local photographers:

The start:
The first turn chaos:
The finish:
The results:

Check this video of the 15-16 year old juniors. These kids are very impressive: