The morning started great. I finally slept in to a reasonable hour, and for the first time had a decent bowel movement. The result was I was starving for breakfast, and I was pretty underweight. I think the fact that I was pretty blocked up to this point sort of shut down my appetite, and I was a bit behind on calories. It wasn’t due to a weird food thing, just time change. Anyway, I ate and ate at breakfast, but just didn’t seem to be getting full. In hindsight it was a bit of a mistake.
Below is a race update from Payson McElveen, Sweet Elite team member and student up at Fort Lewis College. Himself and Tristan Uhl were invited by the UCI to represent the USA at a stage race in Puerto Rico this past weekend. They won! Check out his day 1 report below.
Well, that was something else. After a 5:30 AM wake-up, we rolled over to the start at 6:30ish, surprisingly in bright sunlight. The sun rises early here! We got plenty of looks at the start area, but everyone was very friendly. Tristan and I started 17th, meaning we had 16 other duo teams somewhere up the course ahead of us, and 20-30 more behind us. I think we were both excited to get things underway, and started up the first paved climb pretty hard. We caught all but one of the other teams in the first 25 minutes, but I was having some pretty good stomach issues and we had to slow down a bit for me. About 1.5 hours in or so we hit the most insane climb I’ve ever ridden. It was “paved”, with cement, but had deep texturing presumably so it was drivable… I have no idea what kind of vehicle could make it up or down though… other than mountain bikes of course! It had an average grade over 25% for about 10 minutes of climbing, and sections touched 40%. Near the top I got a sudden, urgent message from my bowels that they needed to be emptied. I quickly spotted some big, soft leaves, and did the biz. It made all the difference, and from then on we were able to go race pace. The remainder of our ride went well, considering the circumstances. The amount of steep climbing reminded me of the Val di Sole World Cup course, only there was far more of it here. Most of the descents were extremely steep dirt clay trenches, that usually had an icy-slick layer of green algae growing on them. Something happened to my front brake during the flight here too, so I really only had a rear brake to work with. That made things that little bit more interesting. I definitely overcooked a few tight turns on road descents, and ended up in the ditch a couple times. Tristan and I both fell once, but bikes and bodies were okay. Tristan also flatted on a bit of trash early on, but fixed it in 1:30 flat… he’s a professional mechanic too. We eventually passed the first placed team on the road, who’d started 15 minutes ahead of us.
It seemed as though we gradually made our way to the very top of the island, where in fact the palm trees gave way to a few pine trees. At one of the highest points, there was a restaurant/bar, clean and brightly painted, overlooking the surrounding hills and ocean. It looked like it could be quite the tourist attraction, had the roads to it been more drivable. It was pretty wild getting a peek into the lives of the locals. Most live in small shacks in very, very rural areas… and all have chickens and dogs. It seemed like one would have to be pretty self-sufficient to live in such isolated places. Most were also blasting music, and sipping cervezas. A very different way of life in general. Some would look at us blankly like we were aliens, others would shout words of encouragement. At each of the 5 or 6 checkpoints, I got a chance to try out my limited spanish, as we asked about the course ahead. Always it was a wry smile and” Muy duro. Muy, muy duro.” And it was. Many of the climbs and descents were either too steep or too loose to ride, so we ended up hiking for nearly an hour total. As the hours past, the temperature rose, and we came to look forward to the river crossings. For one section near the end, the course followed the river for quite a ways, and we had to hike, bikes on our backs, through knee-deep water. At one point Tristan just dove all the way in. We’ve decided to take our phones tomorrow, so we can get some pictures.
We’re getting treated really well by the Puerto Rican cycling federation, too. The VP himself, Fernando, was kind enough to take my bike to the local bike shop to get the front brake fixed.
When it was all said and done, we ended up with a little under 40 miles in 3 hours and 20ish minutes of moving time, over 6,000 feet of climbing, and a demoralizing 10.8 mph average speed. I felt stronger as we went, and went through plenty of Honey Stinger and Tailwind. The longer, tougher, and more foreign the circumstances, the more thankful I am for that reliable nutrition! Supposedly tomorrow is “easier”, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Hello and happy spring!
thanks so much to all of you who have signed up so far for the Ironhorse Bicycle Classic. We are psyched to have your help.
We do still have plenty of slots we need to fill and we would love more help, we really need it and it’s right around the corner.
Remember-good food, t’shirts and swag bags and a great post race party for everyone who helps out with such a great community event.
Here are some slots we still need to fill:
Road Race to Silverton Sat 25th May
*course marshals for the race finish in Silverton 7.45am(in Silverton)-1pm (have to allow an hour travel time to Silverton)
*1 person for Alpine Push Bike Park in Silverton 8am-1pm
*Hermosa valley road closure course marshals 6.30am-
* A few people for Durango bike pick up-2 shifts
Criterium Sunday 26th May:
Set-Up 4:30 am – 7:00 am
2 people for the Alpine Push Bike park (time to be determined)
Ushers for the Kids Race start 7am-9.45am
Kids Race Marshals: 7:00 – 9:45
Crit Shift One Course Marshals: 9:00 am – Noon
Crit Shift Two Course Marshals: 11:15 am – 2:45 pm
Crit Shift Three Course Marshals: 2pm – 5:00 pm
Tear-down: 4:00 pm – till finished! (takes about 90 minutes)
Mountain Bike Race Sun 26th May:
MTB Shift One Course Marshals: 7:30 am – 12:15 pm
MTB Shift Two Course Marshals: 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
Those of you who have already responded, I have you down. Feel free to “double up” on some shifts should you so desire!
See if you can sign up a friend.
Thanks for all that you do,
IHBC Volunteer Coordinator
Single Bike box -Bike Pro USA- $70
Green Swiss top brake pads (brand-new still in the bag)- $5
Random MTB tires:
1- 26″ Specialized The Captain (Used)- $5
1- 26″ Specialized Sauserwind (Used)- $5
2- 26″ Kenda Small Block 8 (lightly used) $10/per tire
Bike shoes size 40 (not women specific):
1 pair Mavic Road Zxellium ultimate (lightly used)- $150
2 pairs Mavic MTB Fury (used)- $100/ pair
1 pair Mavic MTB Fury (brand new!)- $250
Sure would be nice to have some enthusiastic cross race hecklers for the CX series finals at FLC on Sunday! Sounds like we might get some real weather as an extra bonus.
Bring your drums/bells/pots and pans.
Where: FLC stadium for start/finish.
Times: Women and Men’s B’s at 10am, Men’s A and 35+ dudes at 11am.
Please spread the word to other known hecklers.
Don’t forget the awards party at the Irish Embassy Pub at 6pm on Sunday night.
Aztec Race Report
The new venue for this weekend at Tiger Park in Aztec offered up some new terrain for everyone with some sandy run/ride ups, gravelly paths, sandy sections and some thick grass accentuated by the obligatory collegiate maze. Thanks to the City of Aztec, Pete Shirk and Cottonwood Cycles for hosting the event.
Day 1 began with the standard weather so far this year, dry and relatively mild. The Men’s B class was a pack race for the first few of the 4:40 laps with the usual suspects at the front with one newcomer, Adam Digby (FLC). Jacob Smith (FLC) soon separated himself and despite repeated attempts by Digby, took the win with Digby in second and Troy Hachmann (FLC Alum) having yet another solid ride for third.
The Open Women’s race also stayed tight for the first few laps until Sofia Gomez Villafane (FLC) created a gap over the chasers and went on to a comfortable win. Lauren Catlin (FLC) and Sarah Sturm (FLC) have their form coming on at the right time to take 2nd and 3rd. Series leader Brianne Marshall (Stan’s NoTubes) had an off day and finished 4th.
The Men’s 35+ race had the same group of instigators start off the race but the outcome was highlighted by a newcomer. Matt McGee (2Cross) was in town from Las Vegas and showed up to create a gap from the beginning and grew his lead throughout the race to take a convincing win over the Stan’s NoTubes tandem of Frank Mapel (2nd) and Michael Carroll (3rd). Jon Delacy (DWC) again showed he was the best of the rest by finishing 4th.
The Men’s A race was sure to be decided by the FLC racers vying for spots on the National Team that will represent FLC on Januray 13th in Madison, WI. Leave it up to Sepp Kuss (RMCF Sweet Elite) to derail those plans by keeping tabs on Skyler Trujillo (FLC) and Rotem Ishay (FLC/Jamis) for the majority of the race and then pulling away to take the win – Trujillo 2nd, Ishay 3rd. Mike Sampson (FLC) had his best result to date by riding to a solid 4th and Robbie Jones (FLC) kept up the consistent results coming with a 5th place effort.
Day 2 in Aztec conditions were markedly different with a brutally cold wind out of the west making it very cold out in the elements and a few snowflakes flying. The course was run in the reverse direction from the day before with a few additions to make it a longer lap.
The Men’s B race seemed a tight pack race from the beginning but the group didn’t realize that Peter Marshall (DWC) had exploded off the front to take the win in dominating fashion. Jacob Smith (FLC) road the majority of the race alone to take 2nd and Troy Hachmann (FLC Alum) overcame a first lap mechanical to take 3rd yet again.
In the Open Women race Brianne Marshall (Stan’s NoTubes) exacted her revenge on everyone by using her teams cannon to obliterating the field and even passing all but one B man despite starting 1 minute behind them. Sofia Gomez Villafane, Sarah Strum, Lauren Catlin and Brittany Clawson formed up the FLC Cycling chase train before spreading out in that order to finish 2,3,4,and 5.
The Men 35+ field was missing the guest instigator from the day before and the Frank Mapel (Stan’s NoTubes) Michael Carroll (Stan’s NoTubes) duo (they might as well be riding a tandem) created a small gap over Andre Michaud (DWC) and Jon Delacy (DWC). The DWC racers did their best to close down the gap but fell short with Mapel taking another win, Carroll in 2nd, Delacy 3rd and Michaud 4th.
The Men’s A race got off to a quick start with Sepp Kuss (RMCF Sweet Elite), Skyler Trujillo (FLC) and Mike Wilk (FLC Alum) trading off on the front of the race with Chad Cheeney (RMCF Sweet Elite) holding a gap on a group of FLC chasers. Trujillo and Wilk turned up the throttle to gap Kuss and then Wilk bobbled in the hopable barrier section to give Trujillo the winning margin. Kuss kept riding hard to hold onto 3rd and Cheeney held off the chasing Mike Sampson (FLC) and Robbie Jones (FLC) to take 4th.
The Stan’s NoTubes Series Finals are this Sunday, December 16th up at Fort Lewis College with Open Women/Men B at 10am and Men A/Men 35+ at 11am. The venue will be slightly different than in the past with the Start/Finish next to the Amphitheater/Clocktower on the south side of Whalen Gymnasium.
All please be sure to make it to the Series awards on Sunday night at 6pm at the Irish Embassy pub at 9th and Main Ave. Should be a great time with the CX community coming together to celebrate the season.
Series Points; Stan’s NoTubes 4CCX Overall
Donate to coaches’ Fund
Check out the yellow button to the right,….. thats the one.
Devo Coach Chad is also a photographer on the side. Check out some of the Devo athletes and coaches he photos that are part of the collegiate championship program. Check out the weekends action here, http://cycling.fortlewis.edu.