Thursday, April 29, 2010

31 mph winds with gusts 77mph+ Gila Day 2

I don't have many pics today coz my camera got blown 2 at Tour of the Gila. Good day, once again everyone finished in one piece, which in this sport, is alot. Of course the riders always want more, but some days you take what you can get. I want more for the riders too but racing in conditions like today - you have to be happy to finish. Nate and Kevin both took a spill, Kevin on the twisty turny Pinos Altos descent, Nate on the stretch after the Sapillo descent on NM 35. Kevin just had a face like a mtn biker - covered in dirt; Nate took a hit on his elbow and had to get some stitches. He was pissed so I knew he was okay.... he is fine. Going to be sore and banged up, may hurt his TT elbow. But he did incredible - in the front group, said he had to bury it to chase back on after the fall (which happened coz someone threw their water bottle in the road). Blair got through the tough part, and on the twisty descent got stuck between groups. There are so many many skillsets one must acquire, to race this level racing. Having the legs is one thing, I think really important, but there are many other fears to conquer. It takes time. About 3-5 more years than most riders want to spend. I think of how many times I had to tell Nate he would have his day, alot. Many yrs. I know Nate won't mind me saying this coz it is true. Takes so much time and just when you figure out something, there is a new obstacle. But that is why I do love the sport. I didn't elaborate on this much; this sport of road racing is amazing. I have been through all spheres in this sports. Top to bottom and back and sideways. But the amount of support that goes into one single race, at this level, is extraordinary. The mult support systems are several. Each rider is dependent of these very special support systems. The riders that work as hard as they do; how can you not wanna support them? I come to a race like this (real) and again reminded just how extraordinary the sport is. Why I always want to be involved in it and will support road racers.
Back to the racing today; Blair had to do alot of extra work but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I remember many days like this. And I know how hard they are. I am just happy Blair has the power. One step at a time. All we can do. He was so close today, so close. Had he gotten into the group on the descent of Pinos Altos, I am sure he woulda been in that front group. Sure of it. So we need focus bit less on power now and more on certain skillsets. It will come Blair.
Cat 2 race with Kevin and Russ - this race was completely splintered to bits in the first 10 miles; it was a Brutal start (which I knew, had predicted, was going to happen). There was a time bonus sprint 6 miles into the race and the cross winds coming into the sprint were sick. I don't have words to describe the wind today. I was really afraid all hell was going to break loose from the gun. The first sprint happens, then you go about 1 more mile and turn right - and then climb for about 4 miles to Pinos Altos. Nate said the pace on that was sick. I can only imagine. When the cat 2 guys came through - it was in bits and pieces - 80+ guys destroyed in the first 10 miles. Russ and Kevin were both looking good. Kevin made it back on after his fall. I cannot remember exactly where Russ went but he launched hoping to bring some guys with him, and there you go. A successful break on a day when many people wanted to be swept away so they didn't have to fight the winds. It is so COOL!!! when the homeboys kick some butt in races like this. I love it. Nate in school and Blair working FT 9-5; racing against the pros, incredible. I wish I had lots of money and could sponsor the homeboys full on. But we all do what we can right and who knows what the future holds.
Russ's break stuck and we saw them coming into the last turn - Russ looked great!! One guy jumped and got clear, and then Russell Brown took a field sprint! I gave him lots of crap coz I remember him telling me he couldn't sprint. Never say never. Not in a sport that rewards commitment and consistency.
Pierre just called time to go get Nate. Chow down, relax, and tomorrow is the TT. Pro guys go first thing, cat 2's go last I just hope this wind dies down.
Bernard if you read this - Sram guys took care of Nate's bike but gave me hard time coz I didn't have a mechanic. But I mentioned your name and it worked like gold. Thanks

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Land of Enchantment

I promised I would post so here I am. I wish I knew how to place the pictures better but so be it. Another lesson I need get from 16 yr old Avery Wilson......
So today was stage 1 at the Tour of the Gila, for the pro race it is 94 miles from Silver City to Mogollon. The pic above of the terrain says how many houses we saw in 94 miles (that is correct people from MD and NVA there are no houses in the pic). We are in the wild west. The cat 2 race, which Russ Brown and Kevin Gottlieb are racing, also did the 94 miles. I will get some pics of them tomorrow but when they made the turn into the last climb Kevin was in the 2nd group, the front group was only 5 riders - so I am thinking Kevin finished top 10 today, and coulda been 6th. Maybe higher if someone got popped from the front group. Russ was tucked safely in the field, which for today was good coz it got windy as all hell.
Blair and Nate experienced the infamous gutter action of a pro peloton. My NRC racing days are long over, but man the memories of strong cross winds while racing Hewlett Packard years ago are crystal clear. Just single file and it all depends on where you are in the field, how many people blow up single file in front of you and each time someone does blow it is HELL to close the gap. There was a 9' gap which came down to 7'20" the 2nd time through the feedzone (@ 42 miles in) but there was still 52 miles left to race..... I was thinking to myself the chase is going to start and all havoc is going to ensue. Perfect timing for the wind to pick up, which it did. At this point, when the boys decide to chase, you better be sitting pretty. Else it is almost a superhuman effort one must possess not to get knocked out of the front echelon. Blair made it to the front group but cost him some precious fuel, and then he settled into a group behind the front group. Nate was bit far back when the hammer went down - and I am sure Nate learned alot today. This is PRO racing. You rarely get a 2nd chance to correct one single error in your racing. Any time the pace eases up, you get forward. Never stop moving forward. Not to be on the front all day, but just trying to stay in the top 30.
This is why riders should get outta mabra and stick their teeth in this racing - it is way different. To stay in the top 30 when EVERYone wants to be top 30 in the entire field, is hard. Each level gets harder than the last one and you never stop improving. Good day, everyone finished within the time cut, are chilling and Pierre is going to start massages soon.
Tomorrow the race goes from Bayard to Bayard - 80 mile RR with about 5800' of climbing. Some beautiful terrain but some very narrow roads, very tough descents, and lotta UP. Likely be windy again but some of it will be shaded from the winds.
Levi won, Lance was in the race but I didn't see him. Well done KBS

Friday, April 23, 2010

new duds

It is 2 million yrs, yes I am exaggerating again, since I last wrote in my blog. I haven't DLed my pics yet for a while so this is the new clothes we are wearing in 2010. I cannot wait til they come in - another week or so.
Man - where do I start. Life is good, and so busy. Pierre and I work all the time. 7 days/week. The shop is doing fantastic. I have so many things I want to do in the shop: new paint (the walls are awful), new lighting, getting a new VO2 analyzer - the one they use at the OTC, lactic analyzer, maybe a new treadmill. I have been doing a lot of running testing and the current one I have is too narrow. I guess it is like owning a house, only we have the shop and our big dog. I am going to miss Dallas so much again; but thank God the Wilsons's are taking him (so I will not worry). I was afraid when they got their own dog I may not have a sitter, but hopefully Sooty Bear and Dallas DaBoss will get along. Pierre and I take off for Gila on Monday, the race starts on Wednesday. Blair is not feeling so good right now and pray he gets better overnite. He has worked SO hard for this race. As has Nate. All of them do. I will try very hard to post pics and a brief note everyday. This year we have a house with a stove!and a fridge and internet. I have about 30 plans due out on Monday so thank God I have internet at the house where we are staying.
Sunday is the Richmond Duathlon and I have some people racing there. Nancy is racing St Anthony's, many racing Jason Grundel. Racing every weekend. I try to get in my measly 100 miles/week - this is COMBINED running, mtn biking, road biking, walking....... I am trying so hard to make more time; but truth is Pierre and I are busy. It is awesome, the shop is going to make it I would say.
I am infatuated with mountain biking. I don't know what happened, why, how. I just know I did Bakers Dozen, could not clear 2 rocks, and am determined to clear them. It is FUN, it is challenging, I am ready to move on from the road. I never knew if it would happen. Honest. It was, is, has been my life. For as long as I can remember. Of course I will still ride road and maybe even do a few races; but the challenge of mtn biking is so awesome for me right now nd I have FUN. The next thing I will try is cross - as soon as I get my bike in the right size. I set up a camp with Sue Haywood, yes the legend Sue Haywood - anyone can come just email me; and I think I am crazy enough once again to sign up for S100. I know - middle age crisis, I am sure this is it. Better to be doing something like biking than other stuff....
I have a ton of work to get done today and hoping I can get in one hour of something, so ciao for now. Will update from Gila