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CX Nationals Preview

Bill and I remounting after the barriers

I got into Madison a couple of days ago after driving up here from the Chicago Cross Cup. I was doing some work down in Chi-City with the One 2 Go Start/Finish crew. It was a great weekend and was a great venue with just a short walk from the hotel to the starting grid.

Up here, its cold and humid. Not my ideal kind of weather, but its what we have and I can make the best of it. Rode the course yesterday with Bill. The ground was pretty much frozen solid with a thin layer of greasy mud on the surface. The course is still very very fast and it reminds me a lot of the Fort Collins course, but instead of climbing the hill twice we’re going up and down 3 times. Thanks to Podium InSight for the interview after my ride.

I’m a big fan of the course and I think that is suits me pretty well. I think that I start 2nd row on Sunday, so I just need to sit in the groups and make the splits happen. Going back to the course in a bit to do some more riding, lets hope that they actually have the power washer running today…

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USGP – Louisville

Well that was a quick little trip, with very little to show for the whole thing except some time with my team and family.

I flew into Louisville on Friday afternoon, went straight to the course, built my “B” bike and headed out for a couple of laps with Joseph. The course was ripping FAST! Lots of open straights to rev the throttle up, and lots of fun, twisty, pump-tracky sections too.

My race was early Saturday, and thanks to a lack of rain or bad weather I didn’t have to deal with the added stress of rebuilding everything on my bikes in a hotel room. I was able to get up Saturday morning and take my time getting ready as Behind the Barriers played in the background. The course was essentially the same as it was the day before. No change in the moisture levels or anything. I took the start in 3rd row, about 20 riders back in a 140 riderfield. I got a bad start and came off the pavement further back than where I started… Not how I usually roll. I started moving up a few riders at a time, but came to a complete stop at the bottom of the Stanley Fly-Over. Then I flew, passing several riders going through the sand as I used my bike as a wrecking ball. I jumped around 5 more guys in the stretch on the backside of the course, and was posed in 2nd. Then a rider attacked, I let him go, and he proceeded to ride away and take the win… DOH!

Mills and I tag-teaming it with 1 to go. Alder leading Colton in chase.

Meanwhile, I was in the first chase-group. 2nd through 6th place all throwing bows in every corner. I was firmly attached to the back, and still feeling confident in my sprint even though I’d been losing speed all day. Teammate Adam Mills was just a bit further up in the group and pushing the pace in a lot of spots on course. Going into the final run/ride up I rode full speed in hopes of dismounting at speed or making it over the top without dismounting at all. Instead, my front wheel hit the bottom of the incline, dug into a softer dirt spot, and I flipped over the bars landing squarely on my back. Alder Martz (Marian University) had been dangling in 7th and capitalized on my crash moving me out of the group chasing a podium spot and into 7th. Not a great end to the day.

Sunday should have been better, but after spending a ton of time trying to limber up after my race, my body was wrecked Sunday morning. My back had been spasm’ing all night, and I was debating what I was even thinking getting kitted up in the hotel room. Once I got on my bike and turned a couple of laps on the course, my back started to feel better and  began to think that I could stick it out for the 40 minute race. I got a great start, moved up 20+ spots in the 200m before the first turn, and was sitting in 2nd or 3rd for all of the first lap. Then hell broke loose. I had to dismount twice and get my chain back on, and my back locked up in the process. Pain was shooting down my legs, and I dropped anchor. I probably got passed by 30 people in the last 2 laps. Miserable.

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SNOW ridin’

Tuesday night we got our second big snow storm of the year, and the weird part of it was that is was EXACTLY one week after our first big snow storm of the year. I can only hope that NEXT Wednesday we’ll have another big snow storm, but I won’t count on it.

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We got out for a snow ride yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t the best time of day to go because as first it was slushy and kinda warm, and then the temp dropped making everything that had gotten a little wet freeze, including my appendages. We rolled from the coffee shop and it ended up only being three of us; Matt, Zack and myself.

We rolled into City Park and witnessed this… A Trailblazer towing snow boarders into a ramp made from a tilted picnic table. It was a pretty high jump with VERY little down ramp. The driver offered me some skis and boots, but I saw my cross season flash before my eyes for the 2nd (or 3rd) time this year and passed.

We did some of the David Cross course down by the Poudre River Trail in Old Town and then rolled home. I love riding in the snow, especially when I know its probably good practice for what we could be seeing at Nationals in Madison or this weekend in the Springs.

Race Coming Up

  • 11/6 Fall Back Cross – Colorado Springs
  • 11/12 USGP #5 – Louisville, KY
  • 11/13 USGP #6 – Louisville, KY
  • 11/20 Bubba CX – St. Louis, MO

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a week off

Its been over a week since my last post about the USGP in Fort Collins, and now I’m sitting in a snow covered condo trying to figure out if I should get the XC team ready for pre-ride this afternoon or go to the store and get some sleds.

I’m in Angel Fire, NM with the CSU Rams Cycling team. This time for collegiate mountain bike nationals, which I had originally thought would be an awesome warm trip in New Mexico. Instead, we’re in the middle of the first big snow storm of the year. There’s a few inches on the ground now, but everything should be melted by the time racing starts tomorrow morning. At least, we’ve got an X-Box and Call of Duty.

Our view off the deck at our condo.

This afternoon the Bike Park is open for XC pre-ride, but with all this snow on the ground and the course conditions changing by the half-hour I doubt riding today will be worth the effort of kitting up and then having to worry about the damage being done to bikes.

I anticipate that most guys will on trainers in the garage today instead. Which makes my job of maintaining the bikes much much easier.

Besides cleaning bikes and making sure no one misses their start this weekend, I’ll be keeping our fb page updated and taking a bunch of video so that we can make another kick-ass Rams Cycling film….

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Video: CSU Mountain Bike Races

Thanks to everyone for coming out. Especially, CSU MTB Coordinator Aaron Cholewa, C. Hall Designs for the photographs, all the alumni who came up to volunteer, and all of our sponsors especially Jett MTB and Declare Custom.

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Rams Cycling Mountain Bike Festival

This past weekend CSU Rams Cycling played host to collegiate racing as the Rocky Mountain Conference descended on our venue at Beaver Meadows Ranch Resort in Red Feather Lakes.

Matt Fox (CSU) rode to an impressive 4th place in the Men's A XC

The team got up to the venue on Friday afternoon to wrap up some last minute details and make sure all the courses were dialed. I shuttled the downhillers to the top of the course for a few runs and got to check out some of their course. It’s incredible watching an experienced downhiller tackle a course. We used the term, controlled falling, several times over the weekend, and it’s a fairly accurate description.

After a somewhat rowdy night around the campfire I awoke bright and early to register the riders at 6:30am. WE had over 50 riders in the downhill event, and even more in the endurance races. Saturday’s racing opened with a bang, Zack Allison and Matt Nunnelly took a 1-2 finish in the men’s beginner categories. Its rather hilarious watching two seasoned roadies whoop up on the mountain bikers, but I don’t think that the conference officials found it entertaining, and made Zack move up to the intermediate category. We did just as well in the women’s beginner races this weekend, taking the wins in both of the women’s endurance categories.

David O'Day (CSU) riding to 4th in the Men's A DH.

In the Cross-Country race on Sunday, Matt Fox took a respectable 4th place finish behind the onslaught that is Ft Lewis mountain biking. Joel Finkeldei also took second in the men’s intermediate race, securing his upgrade into the A field for this coming weekend. We couldn’t have asked for any better weather conditions. It was a bit chilly, but the racers found it to be ideal. We look forward to the years to come. Thanks to C. Hall Designs for the awesome photos!

Joey Schusler (a Jett MTB sponsored rider) airing the 8ft drop in his final run Saturday.

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