On The Run

These past weeks I have been living on the road with the Gateway HD squad. To be honest I don’t mind

The Squad

The Squad

the traveling at all. I think it’s even one of the many cool parts about cycling. It’s like living each day like an adventure.

Anyways, I have been based out at Creed’s house for the most part and it is crazy, they have an awesome basketball court the we all enjoy playing on in our off time. Plus its great to hang out with everyone on the team. I can’t forget about the riding over there either, the routes are both beautiful and great for training.

On my first ride their I was fortunate enough to get to ride with Creed and our Castelli Rep. While Chris was showing me some routes and some nasty hills, I got to hear about some of the new products that are coming out to the public soon.

Castelli is Life

Castelli is Life

The stuff that I have been using right now is out of this world, but the newer stuff sounded crazy! Apparently they are going with a second layer of skin kinda thing. So it should be tight! Plus they made some new overall changes to the appearance of the bibs, which I am excited to try out in the future.

So I recently went up to the Quad Cities races up in Iowa for the first time ever. I was pretty excited to try my legs in a couple of their cool courses. Plus we had a solid team, which meant that we could walk away with some good money at the end of the week.

The event started off with a road race that on the flyer said it was 95 miles, but ended up being 105 miles. This ended up being the hardest race for me, due to it being a hard race with constant attacks and that I had the worst stomach ache from sampling some of the local cuisine. I literally threw up twice during the first half of the race. I ended up missing the winning break that went in the first half of the race due to my stomach problem, but I managed to salvage my day by bridging to it with one kilometer to go.

Unfortunately I was pretty cooked for the sprint and rolled in 19th. It was probably the worst course for the series for e so I wasn’t to mad about it.

The next race was the snake alley, I wish I had some pictures of it, but I can’t seem to find anyone with pictures (of me). I figured you all have probably seen or heard of it by now anyways. I was pretty fortunate to have gotten a call up thanks to my buddy Brian. This meant that I went from the eighth row to the front row for the race.

Unfortunately on lap two, coming up the Snake I got chopped in one of the switchbacks by a rider. Now I didn’t unclip, but I was in the process of trying to find a good gear that I would like to ride the snake and this time going up I was trying out my big ring. So when I had to stop pedaling and then start back up I literally pulled my left foot out of the clip. Watching riders fly by me as I tried to start back up on the climb was pretty discouraging. Yet, for some reason I decided that I would not just rollover and die and went after it.

Dennis and I

Dennis and I

Now I was probably about 80 riders back from the front at this point, which meant that I was just going to have to race my bike. One by one I would catch riders then attack to get to the next group and I continued this until I managed to catch the group behind the leaders group.

Right as I caught them I attacked and flew around them and got a good gap. At this point it was two to go and I was running out of time, but I was starting to catch riders who were falling off the leaders group. But at the end of the day I rolled in for a tenth place finish.

The next day was Melon Cities and it was a wet one. Still this didn’t stop anyone from showing up so the race went on.

Now on this course they have this fast descent that feeds you into the long hill and at the bottom is this huge speed bump. So for the first thirty minutes I spent my time trying to figure out how to handle it and then finally a stroke of success.

After growing the testicles to try and jump it, I flew across it, and at that instant I knew that I had one the race. Right as this occurred the rain started to fall and if you don’t know I love rainy crits. I just feel invincible in them. So right away I started attacking and getting in movies and just racing aggressively.

Melon Champ

Melon Champ

I eventually took all of the primes with the help of strong lead outs from Dennis and then ended up getting off the front with seven laps to go and stayed away for the win.

It was pretty fun.

The next day was the Quad Cities crit and after an awesome meal from the night before I was ready to rock and roll.

I knew that after winning the race the day before that I would probably have some guys watching me. So I made the decision to work for my teammates.This meant that I just sat up at the front and controlled the race. While everyone else was trying to get off the front.

Team After Quad Cities

Team After Quad Cities

Eventually Micha got away and stayed away for second and everyone else on the team finished top 25.

All in all a pretty good showing for the team.

The next week was Winston Salem and I did not feel great at all for this race. I didn’t optimize my recovery during the week prior and felt tired and flat for the race. I didn’t help that it was wicked fast too.

Carson and I pre riding Winston Salem

Carson and I pre riding Winston Salem

However, Dennis slayed it and finished top thirty in the road race.

Anyways, we are headed to Big Bear, California right now and from what I have heard from Dennis the place is beautiful. He told me that it is like a replica town of a famous city in Switzerland or something. So not a bad place to get some altitude training in before U23 Nationals.

Check out some of the Videos and Photos from the past week.

Castelli rep ride

Castelli rep ride

I rep that GHD

I rep that GHD

I caught the Wild Thing

I caught the Wild Thing

Using a Buffer for a Massage

Using a Buffer for a Massage

GHD Pizza Party

GHD Pizza Party

Bird Watching

Bird Watching

Wild Thing Stole My Phone

Wild Thing Stole My Phone

Eating After the Road Race

Eating After the Road Race

Smoothie Ride

Smoothy Ride

Smoothy Ride

Smoothy Ride

20150527_143214

Getting Work done on my Bike

Getting Work done on my Bike

Winston Salem

Winston Salem

20150529_150529

FOOOD

FOOOD #HostHouseLove

Advertisements

Live On The Wheels Die On The Wheels

It has been a bit since my last post, but now I have a little more time on my hands in order to recap all of the racing I have been doing lately.

Purdue Crit

Purdue Crit

I expect this to be a pretty long blog so stick around cause hopefully it will be entertaining.

I left off from my last team camp, which was absolutely awesome. After this I finished up the rest of my conference racing for Lindenwood, were I ended up doing the Purdue and Lindenwood races. Each consisted of a team time trial, road race, and criterium.

Now don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed collegiate racing and had a blast with my LU squad, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for those bloaks on the Marian team.

They just race super negatively and it is encouraged by management, but hey they won most of the conference races by utilizing that and their numbers. I for one have just never really enjoyed racing like that on either side of the spectrum. I prefer my races like I do my boxing; just a complete slug fest.

Here is an example; while I was at Purdue racing the road race, a break away gets up the road and both LU and Marian are represented, so it ends up getting like 7 and a half minutes up the road.

Brophy and I pulling around some basic Marian wheel suckers

Brophy and I pulling around some basic wheel suckers

So my teammate Brophy and I end up hitting the gas and getting in a break away from the main peloton with two other Marian riders. What ends up happening? They get the order to sit our wheels. Now understand that up the road are three Marian and two Lindenwood riders and some other rider from another school.

So obviously it wasn’t going to make that much of a difference. Let us not forget that they were seven minutes ahead of us and it is a collegiate conference race, not some prestigious event, if you know what I mean?

So me and Brophy end up pulling these guys around all day and while they enjoy their free ride as we end up bridging and catching the break away. Unfortunately for us a rider from Marian had already gotten up the road from the original break so we where out of luck, however, eventually as fate would have it me and Brophy get out sprinted by one of the guys that sat our wheel for 60 miles and that was that.

The sprint after giving them a free ride for 60 miles

The sprint after giving them a free ride for 60 miles

See you have to understand that I am one of those guys that believes that there is a bit of honor in this sport, and to sit someone’s wheel and let them pull you to the line, yes this may be a tactic, but in my opinion it is very dishonorable tactic. Which is why I can’t enjoy that kind of racing, but hey that could just be me.

Anyways, you have to understand that in the Marian is that team that shows up with 20 guys to a local race and acts like their some sort of world tour organization when they are really winning races because they have 20 guys to help out. Unfortunately for them they are gonna be out of luck next year with the new rule that has been put in place to eliminate that sort of shenanigans which will only allow a maximum of 12 riders in a conference race for a team. Tough luck for them I guess?

Then a week later we had our home race and it ended up pouring down rain in the crit. I got off with another rider and we get a solid gap on the field. In the crit there was this 180 degree bend and with the rain it made it really slick.

So of course I was going super hard through there to take as much time on the field as possible and eventually I ended up sliding out at 28.8 mph. At least that was the last thing my Garmin said when I checked it on my Garmin Connect and my Garmin goes from 28.8 to 0.

All beat up I jump back in and we end up lapping the field. The guy ended up beating me fair and square in the field sprint. But that’s fine, cause afterwards I headed over to due the Tilles Park Crit, where I could have another go at a win. I was pretty pumped because this one I got to ride with my Gateway boys.

Micha and I in the break

Micha and I in the break

Now I will admit that I was a bit tired and sore, but we had a strong team with us, so I certainly didn’t want to let anyone down. So the race gets started and immediately everything got shredded where I found myself lapping the field again with my teammate Micah and an SBR rider.

Unfortunately the day wasn’t ours and we got beat in the sprint but we did end up 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Even better we got all the primes, yet Ill admit I still got “Ian Stannard” in the end, but I guess that is kinda World Tour now.

After that race we were all getting geared up for Joe Martin. I hadn’t been on the best form yet and with my crash a week before I knew it was going to be a hard event for me. To make matters worse I had a horrible rash break out on my road rash from the Tegaderm that made my life hell for that race.

Devil's Den

Devil’s Den

I will show a picture at the bottom if you want to see it, but if you’re squeamish it might not be for you. So viewer discretion is advised.

Anyways, I finished that race with all the lead groups and ended up getting seventh in the U23 standings. Needless to say it got me on pretty solid form, and let me just add that racing a UCI 2.2 stage race will make you fast.

So anyway, I recovered for a solid week and then I headed down to North Carolina with the LU Hit Squad.

It is absolutely beautiful there, lush green colors everywhere with endless vegetation and crystal clear waters. Definitely an awesome place to live. It was just awesome, even our bus driver looked at me and said that it was God’s country out here.InstagramCapture_b7730913-cda4-4d69-9a63-e7eb22143ca4

Collegiate Nationals got started off with the road race. Now after reconning the course I knew it was a power course, but I realized how short the race was, which was only 72 miles! Thats about 50 miles less than every road race at Joe Martin, so I knew that I would have a pretty good striking distance on a course like this.

Right away on the first lap attacks were going left and right. I watched everything from the top fifteen riders for the first lap, just to observe what was going on and what sort of traits the peloton was developing for this race.

Once we finished our first lap we hit the first part of the climb and I moved up to the front and sure enough after the first switch back a move goes. I decided that it would be in the best interest for the team if we had a rider in the group. So I decided that I would be the martyr for this one. Once I got into the move, I took a look back to assess and noticed that the peloton was hesitating.

They just gave me fifteen free seconds!

Usually whenever I attack an immediate chase effort will start. So I was shocked to see nothing coming from behind. Seeing this I pounced on the opportunity and pushed the gap out to 25 seconds. This got their attention and they started to chase. For the next 10 miles we went from 20 seconds to 40 and back and forth until finally they snapped. The motto comes up to my break and shows that we have 2 minutes on the field.

The Team at the Road Race

The Team at the Road Race

So I told them that two minutes is good but not good enough. So I kept the pressure on the boys and we make it to the base of the climbs with a 2 minute and 20 second gap with one lap to go. Seeing this I couldn’t help but laugh aloud, because I consider myself to be a climber and here I am with one lap to go getting a two minute head start on the climbs.

I knew right there it was going to be a good day. So I end up holding the wattage on all the climbs that I know would increase and or maintain our gap and we ended up putting 4 minutes on the peloton.

I also noticed that the other guys are starting to fade now, but that’s ok because we already made it to the flat section and only had like 25 kilometers left to go. Finally one of the riders cracks with 20km left and says that he just wants to sit and he was content with third place. Then with about seven kilometers left to go, the other guy looks to me and says he’s had enough and that it is all mine.

Hearing this I took off like a bat out of hell and literally I can tell you that those last three kilometers were one of the hardest I have done. With cramps up and down my legs I pressed through the pain to keep my wattage up.

Finally relief came and I crossed the line to win my first National Title.

Lindenwood goes first and third

Lindenwood goes first and third (road race podium)

Crossing the line

Crossing the line

The next day was the criterium and we had the defending champ with us at Lindenwood. So obviously it became time to work for Monk. Unfortunately for the regular sprinters this would be to hard of a course for one of them to win. Lucky for us Monk isn’t just a regular sprinter. He is a bit like Sagan in that he can climb with just about anyone.

Anyways, the race starts and right away gets blown to smithereens.

Start of the crit

Start of the crit

There are two riders up the road with like a ten second gap and Monk, David, Chris, and me were just sitting in the main pack chillin. On the next lap David comes to me and says he is going to attack on the climb. Knowing how strong of a rider David is I made sure I was near the front to watch him fly away from everyone and see if I could catch a chase group.

Sure enough David burns the peloton and leaves a massive wake of destruction behind him. I followed a guy that tried to follow David and then realized that he had blown up. So I took a look back and on my wheel was Monk and a Lees Mcrae rider. So I pushed the tempo and we made our way to David and the break away.

Putting in work

Putting in work

This now meant that LU had three out of seven riders in the breakaway. Now I would like to remind everyone that in the criterium event teams are only allowed a maximum of four riders. So you could imagine how funny it was to see three out of the four of us are in the break. I looked back and just started laughing at the sight.

So a bunch of laps go by, while Monk and I are driving the break and of course the rest of everyone sat on. Honestly, I get it in this situation, so Im not complaining on this one. Anyway, we were doing such a great job that we just knew everyone was on the rivets as we started to shred most of the riders.

Taking the points primes

Taking the points primes

Eventually it comes down to four of us left, after a hard effort dropped three of the riders. This included David who was still trying to recover from his massive bridge. Somehow another rider makes it back on towards the end as we played a little cat and mouse to make it five of us left.

Then it happened…One of the motos comes up to us and says that we are “neutralized”.

He tells us that there had been a very bad accident in one of the fast corners, making it sound like riders were needing to be life flighted out of the race.

However, coming to the corner, guess what I see? Nothing! There is not a single person there. So I am like great now we are going to put our time gaps into the hands of USAC officials. Sure enough and get this with no one on the course it still somehow takes the officials about 8 minutes to get things sorted out, for what I don’t know but we finally start back up.

Keeping the pressure high

Keeping the pressure high

Sure enough right from the restart some jerk rider attacks from the restart, so I end up covering it and wait for Monk.

But get this, during the restart where we had over a minute on the main field the USAC officials mess up the time gaps and started the peloton close to our break, i’m talking only 20 seconds max away with 6 laps to go. So I have no choice now but to go to the front to keep this thing from coming back together.

Now after pulling for a full five laps I make the final corner and start the lead out process. Then a fresh rider with Marian, who had been sitting on our group the ENTIRE TIME, jumps early and unfortunately everyone behind him hesitated. Then Monk jumped and honestly had he not hesitated he definitely would have won. It was sad to see him barely lose after all the hard work from everyone.

On the front

On the front

However in a way it felt great to have done everything the hard way. We took control of the race, we drove the break away, we were the strongest team, and because of the neutral messing up everything, we lost.

Yet, the silver lining was that with my fourth place in the criterium and David securing a seventh place finish. David and I went first and second for Lindenwood in the men’s individual omnium. The really cool thing about this is that we were both first semester freshmen and roommates.

I also won the overall omnium with my teammate David coming in second

I also won the overall omnium with my teammate David coming in second

The final take for the week

The final take for the week

After getting my first jersey

After getting my first jersey

Lindenwood taking an easy ride in Tennessee on the way to #ColNats

Lindenwood taking an easy ride in Tennessee on the way to #ColNats

Joe Martin crit

Joe Martin crit

Joe Martin Road Race

Joe Martin Road Race

Super Gateway

Super Gateway

Gateway HD came to support Lindenwood at Colnats

Gateway HD came to support Lindenwood at Colnats

My horrible road rash with a real rash. (JOE MARTIN)

My horrible road rash with a real rash. (JOE MARTIN)

Awesome Meal With Lindenwood

Awesome Meal With Lindenwood

Eating Lunch at a Mediterranean Cafe (Lindenwood)

Eating Lunch at a Mediterranean Cafe (Lindenwood)

Finishing the crit for fourth at ColNats

Finishing the crit for fourth at ColNats

TTT finish #ColNats

TTT finish #ColNats

TTT

TTT

The Steed

The Steed

RR Finish

RR Finish

RR Finish

RR Finish

Crit ColNats

Crit ColNats

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit and these are all different laps

Crit and these are all different laps

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Crit

Team Standings

Team Standings

Chilling in St. Charles

Chilling in St. Charles

Goofin in Asheville, North Carolina

Goofin in Asheville, North Carolina

Josh Johnson....nuff said

Josh Johnson….nuff said

WP_20150506_18_04_03_Pro

The Squad Embarks On A Journey To The West Coast

GATEWAY HD In CALI

GATEWAY HD In CALI

This past couple of weeks I have been over on the West Coast, training and doing some races with the Gateway Harley Davidson squad. Its always fun to travel but one thing never changes and that is how crappy airports are.

Seriously, want a bag of nuts that’s 80 calories, that will be five dollars. Its just ridiculous how expensive everything is there and to me everything always seems a bit lower quality. The Subway sandwiches don’t taste as fresh or as good as they do in regular stores.

Don’t even get me started on bike box fees, basically you pay $150 bucks just to have a bunch of people throw your bike around and have TSA steal parts from you. Yeah, that’s right TSA loves to take things out of the bike box and not put them back in. It’s almost like you are paying someone to punch you in the face. It just sucks and last I checked it was called theft.

So we usually end up walking aimlessly around the airport looking for the cheapest healthiest options we can find. Sadly, Josh couldn’t find anything either.

All of our flights got in pretty late, due to us having school, we all seemed to be pretty tired when we arrived the next morning. It always sucks when you have travel legs and you have to do a time trial, but none-the-less I still enjoyed being in Cali.

Team Riding To The Race

Team Riding To The Race

The weather was hot! Really hot, we are talking 97 degrees outside, I felt as if I was suffocating. Kind of like sticking your head inside an oven and trying to breath. It was hot! Coming from cold weather too that was a huge shock to my system. I ended up feeling like I just could not get enough water in me.

Unfortunately, it felt that way all weekend long too, just unreasonably hot. So when it came time for the road race, it just seemed as though I couldn’t get enough feeds to keep me from overheating. At about the last quarter of the race I ran out of water. That’s when I exploded and just melted my brain.

Im talking throbbing headaches! I had to stop and pull over as I threw up in my mouth from the heat exhaustion. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant sight. I could see the other guys dealing with it too, just a painful way to take yourself out of a race.

This is why I believe everyone should train in the heat of the day, because when it comes time for a race; you do not want to blow up cause of heat exhaustion.

Road Race

Road Race

It was a shame really, cause I really liked the new changes to the course. They made it a lot more challenging and safer than it was a year ago and I was excited to race it.

The next day we all decided that we would go and climb from the bottom of the time trial course to the top of Mt. Baldy, that way we would be able to get some good training in.

The climb was amazing! It was long, steep in certain areas and made for a fun ride. We spent a little over two hours, with some stops, climbing. It made me wish that I had a mountain where I live cause it was just such a fun time.

Chilling At the Top of Mt. Baldy

Chilling At the Top of Mt. Baldy

We ended up stopping at the top for some water and food and it made for a pretty sight. Afterwards we had an hour descent that we were just railing and having a blast on. It made for great cornering practice.

I like to use descending to practice looking for the right lines in the corner, because they really make you go faster on the descent and who doesn’t like speed right?

After we finished the ride we headed down to the beach and hung out. It was fun to watch the people doing their crazy things, like whipping. Yes, thats right… there were a bunch of people practicing whipping??

Max Getting A little Help On the Climb

Max Getting A little Help On the Climb

Then we made our way to the pier and watched the waves slamming into the shore. I love the smell of the ocean too, there’s always something refreshing about it.

The next day we headed out to Phoenix, Arizona. We had a really awesome host house, thanks to Craig and Renee Keaty. They took such good care of us and where as always super cool.

While we were in AZ, we basically got to train all day and hang out for the rest of the night. It was so much fun, we would just joke around on the rides, quoting Durianrider and sometimes attacking each other when it called for it.

We even tried to hunt rattle snakes at one point, but there were none to be found. Craig and Renee also made some awesome meals for us, with the world tour help from Dennis.

It felt great to get back outside and ride for six hours in the sun too. I got a pretty nice tan from it too! We even did one of my favorite rides out there, when we road to the bottom of Bartlett lake and back. AZ has those steady grades that just go for what seems like forever too, so you can really come away with some great training.

All in all it has been a great week of training and I am looking forward to what is in the future for the team.

Chilling After A Long RIde

Chilling After A Long RIde

The Pier

The Pier

The Beach

The Beach

Gateway HD Stopping Half Way Up Baldy

Gateway HD Stopping Half Way Up Baldy

Putting In Work In AZ

Putting In Work In AZ

The Had a Tent Half Way Up Baldy With Fresh Fruit!

The Had a Tent Half Way Up Baldy With Fresh Fruit!

At The PIer

At The PIer

At the Pier

At the Pier

Stopping For Water

Stopping For Water

My Life Behind The Bars

These past two weeks I have been doing a ton of racing between all of the Tuesday Night Worlds Crits, Frozen Waffles plus Lindsey Wilson in Kentucky its obviously been a solid block of training for me.

So since there has been kind of a break in my blogging I figured I would catch everyone up on the past races.

Starting with my personal quest for the Frozen Waffle Maker down in Springfield, Missouri. Yes, the prize for first place was a waffle maker, and what better prize for a carbo-ravijour college student then a waffle maker, right? As you can see the stakes were high for me. I noticed that there was a team at this race with a considerably large amount of guys at the race. They will remain nameless for this, but just know they had a lot of guys.

Frozen Waffle

Frozen Waffle With Chris

I on the other hand had no teammates to work with so I had to start implementing guerrilla warfare tactics to try and get stuff done. Right away a move of ten plus people got up the road and since I noticed that the “big team” did not react well to it and were not represented in the move I stayed put. I knew well enough that move didn’t stand much of a chance and I was right, they ended up pulling it back so my hunch played out.

I have found that in a lot of situations where there is a big team you really only have to watch like three guys tops. So when I hear guys complaining about how unfair it is that there is a big team present, in my opinion it just makes it that much more fun to try and blow them up.

Anyways, the break comes back and a try a few times to test the waters but everything stays close. The “big team” decides to get their lead out train going for the finish and wouldn’t you know, I got stuck in a bad place and lost some key positioning. I was so poorly placed that I ended up screwing myself out of the win that day. I finally found a whole that opened up in the final 400 meters which had me

Frozen Waffles Podium

Frozen Waffles Podium

sprinting from 15 guys back to try and take the sprint. Unfortunately, that little mishap cost me the win and I ended up just getting nipped at the line. Im pretty sure had I had about 25 more meters that race would have been mine, but it was a good showing for SBR Quantum anyhow (oops).

Here is the video on the race I am in the orange and black, bike is orange too.

After that I did the Tuesday Night Worlds crit with the Lindenwood squad, and I must say it’s just a blast to ride with everyone there. Julie Carter (our coach/director) splits us all up and we just try and beat the hell out of each other. It makes for good smack talk during the week too.

It is such a good time so if you are in the area, you should come out and enjoy the pain with us, because the LU team has been hammering it and every strong rider in the area is there too. We are talking some serious firepower!

My first Collegiate race of the season was the past weekend and the LU hit squad was looking to take names. Overall, we had riders in every group lighting it up, but for starters the men’s A team got second in the TTT and in the crit we took second and fifth making it a brodium and in the road race we got third. Not bad for our first outing as we get to know one another and gel as a team.

Me And Max Slaying

Me And Max Slaying

During the races we could really tell that Marian was really timid on letting us up the road so much so that they were bringing moves back that had their own guys in it. Plus they had 16 guys in the field, which is why I can’t figure out why they were racing like a bunch of prima donnas that have their thumbs up their bums? I’m in the camp that when you got that much firepower, why not smash the race?

In the end, we all had fun though, which made for an interesting race. I will probably pick some stuff out to talk specifically on later this week. For now I will leave you with the wise words of Super Pro Josh Carter.

“Watch Listen & Learn”

Shout out to the #KobraHitSquad you know who you are.

Podium With Brophy

Podium With Brophy

I’ve Got Some New Tech!

I recently decided that I had enough with tearing up my cleats and I decided to go out and get some cleat covers for my shoes. I run with the Shimano clips, and I have always thoroughly enjoyed them, but there is nothing worse then having to replace a chewed up clip. Plus it can get expensive fast.

Yet, I seem to find myself in predicaments where I am forced to walk around in my shoes for a bit.

Whether that is because the car isn’t near the finish of a stage finish or when I am on a group ride and we go inside a gas station. Regardless of the circumstances I believe everyone finds themselves in a situation where they like me walk around in there shoes tearing up their cleats.

Kool Kovers

Kool Kovers On

So I finally got a hold of a pair of cleat covers, made by Kool Kovers, and I have to say that I am loving them. There is not a more relaxing and enjoyable feeling knowing that I can walk around and not feel like my soul is being chewed up by the sound of my cleats getting shredded by the pavement.

So if you are a frequent cyclist who rides all the time or even just a weekend warrior who does the group rides. I would get a pair of covers, plus it is really just a one time buy that will save you headaches in the long run.

Kool Kovers off

Kool Kovers off

Anyways, I also recently got a new stem for my bike and I went from a 120 to a 140, which is a pretty significant jump. Yet for some reason my body has really responded well to the new position. I feel a lot more powerful were my new hip angle is and I lost some pain that I was having in my lower back. I think this had to do with the geometry of the Trek being different from my Giant and my Argon 18. It also makes climbing out of the saddle a lot easier for me, due to me being further out I have more room for my legs to pedal more freely. Needless to say I love the new stem and it is carbon fiber too, which really I never thought about having a carbon stem, but I guess when it gets as big as 140 you are going to want to get a light version.

New Bontrager Stem 140

New Bontrager Stem 140

Shimano was kind enough to send the team some of their new sleek and tiny sport cameras that you probably have seen used by Giant Shimano in some of their videos with John Degenkolbe. So I should be able to start putting up footage of some of my races that I do.

I think that this would really be a cool start to introducing some new ways to spice up the blog. What better than just telling you about the race then being able to show you it as well?

If you read my last post you would know that I raced at Froze Toes this past weekend and apparently there was a bit of complaining in regards to teams blocking and someone taking hands off the bars to push people.

Shimano Camera

Shimano Sport Camera

I want to address blocking first, especially since I know it is hard in local races to draw the line between teams blocking. For starters, it is always good for a team to control the front of the race and or at least practice this at races like these. Why? Well how will you learn how to work as a team if you do not practice, right?

It is always going to suck when there is one or two big teams in a race and everyone else is dispersed among groups of three and below. This is why I believe that racing locally can suck a lot of the times. I know from past experience of racing by myself, that it is no fun to race with teams who are super negative racers. This is why I think that the best way is to follow attacks. Don’t just pull things back just because you can but use them as great chances to get another guy up the road or get up the road yourself. Yet at the same time I know its out of your control if a team decides that they are going to block. That is just racing sometimes and yeah it sucks.

As to taking your hands off the bars and “touching” someone, this is a bit childish for one thing so quit complaining…its just bike racing. I have taken people and pushed them with my hands to move their hips out of the way. In my opinion its much safer than taking the bars and slamming elbows into each other and even better you can control the force a lot better too. So when someone complains about being “touched” they sound like a kid. This is cycling and if you can’t handle the heat in the kitchen then maybe it is time to get out.

Connor Brown

The Drought Is Over

So I am back at it again!

Yes, I have decided that now would be a good time to start things back up again here on the blog.

Don’t worry though you really didn’t miss much over the winter. All that transpired was a lot of top secret winter training exercises that no one will ever know about. No, really, it was just a lot of base miles with a lot of winter garb on. So, I felt as though I would give you guys a bit of a recap to get everyone caught up.

Signing Day At Lindenwood

Signing Day At Lindenwood

As of now I am officially in college! I know your thinking wasn’t he in high school like a couple of months ago? The answer is yes. I decided to graduate a semester early so I could make a fast transition into collegiate racing. Plus, who could turn down a nice place like Lindenwood, right? Or maybe you might just be dumb enough to go to Marian instead? No, in all honesty I am loving the college life.

I wake up every day at 7:40 in the morning, as opposed to getting up at 6:00 a.m. sharp, and walk down to my class, which I only have until 10:30 max. After that I am free for the rest of the day. This means that I will no longer have to write about being imprisoned in school while the beauty of the outside world would grace me with a glimpse through the windows. Those days are officially over!

Plus the classes are super laid back and really interesting/useful as compared to high school. I have probably learned more in my Business Law class than I have in my entire semester of my senior year of high school.

Not to mention that there are a bunch of really talented riders on the campus, which makes training very enjoyable when you are riding with your teammates.

WP_20150207_11_01_06_Pro

Team Camp Break

Besides Lindenwood, I am officially a Gateway Harley Davidson rider for 2015! I am super happy to be part of such an elite program and to be surrounded by such a great group of talented riders and staff. We have such great sponsors and everything that we have is top of the line.

Team Camp In Phoenix, AZ

Team Camp In Phoenix, AZ

The bikes are the best thing that I have ever ridden. It is virtually weightless and stiff as possible, in fact I can say without a doubt that this frame is the stiffest that I have ever ridden. The carbon grade is spectacular and I can feel nothing being left out during the power transfer.

Let it be known that we are also rocking with Hammer Nutrition, Bontrager, Castelli, and HED wheels this year so for sure we have the best products to help support the team. Overall it is going to be a lights out year. I have huge expectations for sure!

The racing season also kicked off for me this weekend and I did two races.

The first was an old favorite of mine out in Kansas called Spring Fling. We had really nice weather and a good turnout. I ended that day with a second place finish and I helped my breakaway, which consisted of Kent Woerman and Michael Allison. Allison won the day and had a great show of early season form.

Breakaway At Spring Fling

Breakaway At Spring Fling

After that race I headed over to Froze Toes where I was racing for Lindenwood and we had a hit squad of five guys in the a race and two who were also there; just not in LU kit.

It was an aggressive race but once Monk got off the front after we pounded attacks down everyones throats. I turned my focus over to help the rest of the gang set up Iron Dom while at the same time we made sure nothing reached Monk or if they were going to give it a shot it wasn’t going to go without me in it. In the end,. I ended the day seventh after a sketchy finishing sprint filled with potholes all over the place.

Froze Toes

Froze Toes

All in all not a horrible start to the season, and even better it looks like my winter training really cashed in this season!

Hammer Products

Hammer Products

New Bontrager Helmets

New Bontrager Helmets

Chilling At Team Camp

Chilling At Team Camp

Cody Anderson Holding Things Together At Froze Toes

Cody Anderson Holding Things Together At Froze Toes

Monk Solo At Froze Toes

Monk Solo At Froze Toes

Wes Welker NFL Doper Gets A 4 Game Suspension; Good Thing He’s Not A Cyclist

So today I found out that Wes Welker had been given a four game suspension for the use of a PED/ amphetamine.

Looking at this from a cycling perspective, I can not help but to laugh. First off the NFL has some of the most lenient doping control on the planet and when they do catch some one its only a four game ban?welker

This is just ridiculous, I mean a four game suspension? Thats it? I know of a track rider, you may recall seeing this on Velonews in 2012, getting busted for having traces of THC found in a sample collected by USADA.

Here is a link if you would like to read an article USAC posted on the matter: http://www.usacycling.org/lopez-3-month-suspension-from-usada-jrs-track-results-revised.htm

They didn’t give this kid a four race ban, they took away his National champion title on the track and banned him for three months. That was just for THC! Think about what would have happened if he were caught with a performance enhancer.

The best part is that Wes took to twitter and was trying to say how he was totally innocent and that the NFL messed up. Just absolutely ridiculous stuff, sound a bit familiar too? Kinda Like a guy named Lance?

I also find it ridiculous that this isn’t all over ESPN and the talk of the town, because it seems like the only time ESPN wants to report on cycling its to bring up a new doping ban. But this gets the hush hush.

I am sure we all remember when Contador got his Tour and Giro taken from him because of clenbuterol being found in his sample, and he had a pretty good story as to where it could have come from. Till this day we still don’t even know if he did it or not, but he still lost his grand tours.

When will other sports, such as football (baseball, soccer & basketball), start to take on the actual challenge of being a clean sport?

I would love to see, right after a game ends, waiting at the entrance of the locker room, random doping control. No warning, just a straight up legit test, Im talking cycling style.

I bet we would see a big difference in the mindset of how people view their sport.

I challenge the NFL to actually make an attempt to becoming clean, and not just the NFL, but I challenge sports media to call for stricter dope control. Because the testing if there is any is mediocre at best.

Its my opinion that the only sport that is actually trying to clean itself up is Cycling and yet, the media treats it like its the red headed step child of all sports since we cant seem to get our act together. Seriously?

Connor Brown

Still Speedin

So my final race of the 2014 season has ended, which concludes my third season of bike racing. We have seen a lot this season, from my stay on the West Coast to European racing with the U.S National Team. All of it has made for one amazing season, lets hope that it can only get better from here.20140831_173259

I will say that after three seasons, it is almost sad to see another one put in the books. Due to this being my last year as a junior racer I feel as though a whole new section of my book has been started. As I am not one to dwell on the past, I just can’t help but to ponder on my racing career so far and think of how my life has changed since my first pedal stroke.

It just all happened so fast. I remember as if it were yesterday sitting in my bed at my first junior talent I.D. camp and wondering what would come of this in the next year or even week.

It is just crazy how fast time flies by and how quickly we can get caught in the moment.

Anyways, with this chapter ending there is always a new one waiting to be written. So to the future!

As far as the racing went it was insanely fast. I mean crazy fast. We are talking two races averaging almost 32 MPH. Seeing that this was my first real NCC race with all the big dawgs showing up it most certainly made for an interesting event. Obviously having the junior gears on (my average cadence was over 115 with max rpm’s over 160) when we were absolutely speedin it was not very helpful. But I guess I don’t have to deal with that anymore, which is nice.20140829_212158

All in all the racing was blazing fast and fun. A bit chaotic at times, but I didn’t seem to have a problem finishing any of the races with the upper half of the field. So I take that away as a plus.

Connor Brown

Disaster Strikes In Sedalia!

So this weekend I raced the Sedalia downtown crit; first time I have ever raced it. I was really excited to earn some money and get a good result that day. Unfortunately I wasn’t fortunate.

I started out the race with an attack on lap one and got some good distance and made everyone work to bring me back. I was going for the hundred dollar cash prime but got pimped at the line for it.

After that I got the next twenty dollar prime, at this point I was feeling really good and was trying to figure out my best way of winning the day.

I was having a really great sprint on this course, due to it being a false flat long finish. This allowed me to be in my highest gear and have a good fighting chance.

Cool Place For A Race

Cool Place For A Race

Then it happened… After sitting perfect all race, biding my time and feeling like I could blow the thing apart anytime I wanted I started to feel my left pedal hitting something. I thought it was weird because I was going perfectly straight. Then I looked down and I see it… My entire DI2 battery and clip was hanging on by the wire. I immediately knew that I was in trouble because I can’t ride let alone race with out my battery.

So I slowed down to make my way to the pit and when I got there they told me I could go back in, but I was a lap down. They said because the course didn’t cause it it was my fault. Like I was purposely derailing my race.

It is safe to say that I was pissed, in fact I am getting pissed writing about this right now. Anyways, I finally decided that I was going to go back in to help my friend win the race.

Right away when I got in I freaking hammered it, because I didn’t care and I was pissed. I immediately got a gap and drug two guys up to the two man breakaway. I then proceeded to drive the breakaway so we could sustain our gap.

Long story short, we end up getting away and I took another prime, then I gave Shadd lead out for the sprint which he won.

Thats it, a good day gone bad. Seems like I have had a string of them the last 5 weeks, but thats about to change!

Connor Brown

MO State Wrap Up

So last weekend was Missouri state Championships and of course I was wanting to win every event that I did. Unfortunately it didn’t go the way that I wanted it to go; it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t a win and thats all that really matters in the end.

It started out with my first ever 40 km time trial, which is the longest I have ever done. I ended up 5th place with a time of 54:27. It really sucked because the wind was flat going out and a slight head wind coming back, which lucky for the late starters it ended up dying down.

In the end, the best TT’r won the race so that takes a bit of the sting out of it.

The next day I had the criterium and felt that my legs were feeling very good through the whole thing. I knew that there were a few guys to watch and one in particular who ended up winning.

I will say that I find it highly annoying when the majority of the racers just sit on a strong dudes wheel. Its just boring negative tactics that are just not fun.IMG_8167883635959

See I try to play off strong players, but it is sad when I see a whole team just mark one dude and when they get in breakaways with him they don’t work.

The funny thing was he still won and they still lost, just goes to show that you are better off working with a move then being dead weight.

Anyways, no one was letting anything go, which pissed me off because I was in several moves were I felt that the break, if everyone would have worked, would have stuck, but thats just how it plays out sometimes.IMG_561985504248215

Eventually it came down to a sprint and I was sitting about fifth wheel on the last lap. I felt that I was in the perfect spot because by the end of the lap I would be sitting third or second wheel. That would put me in an ideal spot for a possible win.

But of course the front couple of riders panicked and got off the gas and the result was everyone swarmed, which got me pinched in a corner and pushed me too far back to actually contend for the win.

Honestly, looking back I should have attacked right when they got off the gas, but instead I hesitated and that cost me a good result, I ended up 12th overall and 8th in State.

Guess Ill have to wait until next year, right? But hey, I know one thing is for certain…it won’ sdft be long until I own both those jerseys for the Pro1/2 category and that you can take to the bank!IMG_8142583922825

Connor Brown