VOS Recap

So I tried to find time to do an update, but I was just so busy that I couldn’t find time to do it.

This will be a full recap of the VOS stage race!

Starting with Thursday:

I had to wake up really early to make my flight, so that I could arrive with enough time to ride. I did have the pleasure of sitting next to a bunch of friendly personalities and I think I made a few new friends.20140220_095902

Once I had arrived and built the bike up, I kitted up in the new CHAMPION SYSTEM kit! I have worn a lot of different kits and by far these new kits blow everyone out of the water. I didn’t think they could out do there bibs from last year, boy was I wrong.

It was definitely top notch sportswear, I will say that my favorite was definitely the skin suit. It is just really well made and in a time trial you really want comfort and aeroness, yet a lot of other products are just aero and don’t consider the comfort of a rider. Which is why I was so impressed by Champion System.

After I got a good team group ride in, we all got cleaned up for some team pictures. Once everything looked alright, we were off to go and meet Steve with Airpark Bikes, which is one of our sponsors and is located in Phoenix.

I was really impressed at how cool the shop is with all of the different bikes they carry and a wide selection to suit any riders needs. I was lost in paradise until we found the unicycle and we all had a shot at it. Austin was clearly the best at it and made us all look silly as he schooled us.

Once that was through we went and met with Endurance Rehab, which is the coolest personal training facility I have seen. They have had riders anywhere from the Jelly Belly Team to Chris Horner!

It was cool that they took the time out of their schedule to show us a bunch of things to do with how riding affects the body. One things for sure I am going to keep an eye on some new things and make sure that I am maximising my performance!

Friday:

So this marked the first stage of VOS, which began with a nice 20 kilometer time trial, which was an out and back.

I was pretty pleased to arrive and have the entire caravan of Winded stuff there, it was really cool!

I think the thing I enjoyed the most was being able to lay down in the bed in the team bus and relax before the time trial. It was really cool, my favorite part of the entire thing is the fact that it is ready for combat; equipped with missiles we are definitely ready to tackle any problems.20140222_101640

Anyways, once it was time to go I headed up to the start ramp and prepared to hit it. I always say that the hardest way to start your racing season is with a time trial.

Everything went fine I caught two guys right away and was about to catch my third by the time I finished. It was a really hard time trial because I had the head wind going out and when I turned around to head the other way the wind had shifted and I had the head wind coming back, which was awful!

I ended up finishing in twenty fifth, not the best result but it wasn’t bad, considering how many riders had shown up this time. I heard my coach say that this will be the second largest junior race other than Nationals, which was pretty cool.

The best part was I got to see some of my friends that live far from me, like Justin Griffin, Kyle Kato, Efren Flores, etc.856

Saturday:

The road race was going to be a very key part in the GC since everything is wrapped up by the crit.

To summarize this one, everyone on the team did there job to the letter Austin and Chaz road there butts off for me but I blew it and I ended up missing the winning break.

I am definitely not going to let that happen again, I will make sure of it.IMG_83648796613007

It came down to a group of twenty of the main riders at the end, no one from the top ten was in the breakaway, we were all together leaving the break that slipped away consisting of four guys. So I finished with the main group getting pack time.

This helped me a smidgen and I moved up in GC from 25th to a whopping 23rd.

Sunday:

This was the crit and we all wanted to step it up and get a result today. The plan was with two to go we were going to start setting up the lead out for Clayton.

The race was very fast and the course was shortened to a four corner screamer, which made it impossible for any breakaways to get more than five seconds off the pack.

I of course gave it a couple of digs, but I was well marked, so I wasnt going to get any help and with the speeds we were hanging with it was all for not.IMG_118437396580234

When it came down to it, with one to go we got separated, we had two guys on the right going to the front and two on the left. I had Clayton on my wheel and brought him up to about sixth wheel behind me. Unfortunately a surge on the right swept us a bit, but in the end both Austin and Clayton were able to get into the top ten.

Overall, I ended up with a disappointing 21st in GC, but in the end I give myself a B+ for fitness and power for this time of the year which isn’t bad considering that crappy weather we have had to deal with.

Learning lessons for our team as we get to know one another and learn how to communicate. It was good to see that we almost had it worked out because with a bit more riding together we are going to get it dialed in to perfection.

Overall the team was awesome, I was a bit stiff from all the time spent on the rollers, especially these last 30 days or so, but for my first race I can tell I am going to be on great form this season, plus the power checked out as well.

Next weekend I will be attending the Spring-fling and I can’t wait to bring some West Coast pop to the race.

Connor Brown

Man It Is Nice To Have Recovery Days

So today I had just a simple recovery ride to help my legs out after the hard work from the last two days of intervals and power workouts. My legs were really tight today, probably due to the lactic acid build up. So in order to flush that stuff out of my muscles, I did my best to spin my legs above 100rpms (thats a good recovery cadence).Connor Brown

It seemed as though it had warmed up a bit today, even though it felt colder because the sun was covered by the clouds. However, it felt as though there was no wind today, which is very ideal for recovery days. There is nothing worse then having shredded legs and having to fight the wind for two hours, which is a fairly typical ride in Missouri.

I think a lot of people underestimate the power of a 20mph wind. I remember when I did the Tour of Abitibi, the hardest stage, no doubt in my mind, was the crazy crosswind day. That day literally ripped the peloton in half and anyone who wasn’t strong enough or got caught behind had lost that race. The craziest part was the wind caused the split within the first fifteen minutes of the race, which turned that day into a very hard day of racing right from the gun.

Anyways, I got bogged down with homework tonight which really sucked and really cut into my personal life tonight. Oh well, it will be Friday tomorrow, and I can’t wait to knock this day out and start the weekend!

Oh, and congrats to Chris Horner, he signed with Lampre Merida today! The cool thing is Lampre is sponsored by Champion Systems, so now I am wearing the same kit as the world champion and Chris Horner!

Connor Brown

Froome Or Horner, Really Pinot?

Man its Monday and its freaking cold! I hate winter so much there is just nothing good about being freezing, well maybe one; I really like to sleep when it is freezing out. I don’t know why but its just so much easier to fall asleep when it is cold. The funny thing is that you can easily solve this in the summertime by using the air conditioning. So once again no point for the cold, I think I am just going to have to migrate South like the birds.Connor Brown

Anyways, I had core today and I felt pretty good, I can tell that the strengthening phase is working so thats a good thing.

Other than that I saw an interesting article on Velonews, it was a comment from Thibaut Pinot and he said that he thought Chris Horner at the Vuelta was stronger than Chris Froome. My immediate reaction to this was if he is correct that is insane and doesn’t make sense. Just food for thought.

Can You Believe This Weather? Seriously, what a day to be on a bike!

So I woke up early, had breakfast and headed out for my three and a half hour ride at about ten o’clock. It was early enough that it was actually a bit nippy with the wind so for the first time in months I was able to wear my wind vest.

The riding was pretty good, I ended up taking a weird course and went through Winterset Parks little off road (concrete) trail, which was pretty fun. After that I ran into another rider and road with him for a bit before I broke off into a neighborhood, which I bumped into a friend of mine in.Connor Brown

In the end it was a fun ride, but the wind was definitely kicking today.

When I finished up I had developed a little saddle sore because of my chamie. The problem came from where it has the little engraving lines in it. It basically rubbed me raw and now I have a bright red chamie tattoo on my butt man it hurts to sit down.

So I watched the Bamma vs. A&M game and man is Johnny football good or what? That kid makes his team so awesome, hes just exciting to watch. You just can’t count him out.

Once the game finished up I decided that I would head over to Rick’s house to grab a book called “The Secret Race” since I needed it for my English class project.

ScooterWhen I stopped in I turned the motor scooter off, came in and chit chatted for awhile and when I came back out the thing wouldn’t start.

The thing is that it was the first time I had taken it out myself and gone someplace other than around my neighborhood. So I was freaking out because I thought I had broken it. Turns out it was a fluke, we think a spring popped, the only question now is how to get it home?

So tomorrow it looks like I am going to roll out early with a group out of Gustos around 8:30 for a 3 ½ hour spin.

Oh man, I almost forgot…can you believe Chris Horner pulled off his first Grand Tour today? Im so pumped, nice Job Chris!

WAY TO GO CHRIS HORNER!

WAY TO GO CHRIS HORNER!

Connor Brown

Ole, Ole, Ole, Chris Horner…Just One More Big Stage & You’ve Redeemed America’s Cycling Reputation

Boy did I have a pretty good day today.

I started out with getting out of school for the weekend and jumping on my bike for a hard ninety minute ride, due to the fact that I had to get in a 15 minute zone four interval.

That was pretty hard for today because I needed to do it on an uphill portion to replicate some of the tests that I will be doing at camp and so I had the hill but with it came a very hard head wind that was coming straight at me and I hate having headwinds with intervals, even though it makes you strong like bull. It just makes you feel really slow because you’re pouring your guts out and you feel like you should be going much faster, so its hard to tell what you were really capable of.

After the ride I came back home and found out that Chris Horner was the new leader of the Vuelta today; what a stud!

Horner in Red

Horner in Red

I am not really surprised because I had a feeling that he was going to pull this one off. If you really think about it though Horner should’ve been in the leaders jersey yesterday if it weren’t for the six second time gap that the judges ruled in that one finish that originally took him out of the red.

Anyways, when I got cleaned up I headed over to my Uncles house to celebrate his 33rd birthday!

I had such an absolutely wonderful time being able to see all of my cousins and getting to hang out with my Grandparents. It was just so great, we basically just laughed and told jokes and stories the entire night and ate a delicious Italian meal that my Grandparents brought, it was just so much fun.

I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Connor Brown

Chris Horner & I Had Something in Common Today: Great Legs For A Great Day

So after the intervals yesterday, which were zone fives on hills, my legs feel pretty good today.

I was pretty surprised because like I said I had some tough intervals yesterday, but man there is nothing better than riding with good legs, and the temperature wasn’t bad at all because of the partial cloud coverage that would block the sun.Chris Horner

When I woke up this morning and saw the rain I was a bit worried, I had thought for a moment that I wouldn’t be able to ride outside, but by the time I had gotten out of school it was clear and the roads were dry.

On another note, did anyone hear the news today? Chris Horner is only three seconds out from the leader at the Vuelta, he dropped Nibali in the last kilometer or so and is so close to winning the whole show.

There are now just two mountain stages left and it seems as though Nibali is getting worse and worse. I think the Giro took a lot out of him this year.

Nibali admitted himself that he can’t hang with Horner on the climbs, he’s just too fresh.

I think Horner is going to get the win of his career by Sunday.

Somebody Pinch Me…95 Degrees and its September?

So I headed out for my ride after taking a day off.

Looks Like Its Still Summer To Me

Looks Like Its Still Summer To Me

I always find it interesting, the feeling you get ten seconds into your ride after you have had a day off, it just feels weird, kind of as if you haven’t ridden in years kinda of like you have to retrain yourself. This, as I mentioned, usually last like less then ten seconds for me, and then my muscles are right back into the rhythm of riding.

So for the rest of the ride my legs felt like they usually due on Tuesdays, they feel like they have power but its only like 70% there. Usually the next day (Wednesday)I have way better legs, which is why I have intervals tomorrow and I definitely can’t wait for some good hard intervals!

I am loving that we are in mid September and there are still no signs of fall yet, and its getting
hotter than ever. I think I just like it hot.

After that I headed out to go eat with my parents (Mexican-Taco Tuesday).

I cannot wait for the Vuelta to finish up and hopefully crown Horner the victor. They had an off day today at the Vuelta but action is definitely going to pick up again tomorrow, and I can’t wait to look at the results tomorrow on Velonews. Go Horner!

Connor Brown

Horner Is Gaining at the Vuelta, But Will He Have The Teammates To Finish?

I heard some good news about the Vuelta a Espana today. It appears that Chris Horner took back 22 seconds today on Vincenzo Nibali. Hes getting closer and closer to the first place.

It sure seems like an impossible task, but if anyone can do it, Chris Horner sure can.Connor Brown

The only question now is will Cancellara stay for the rest of the Vuelta to help Horner at the risk of his own results at Worlds, or will he leave just as Gilbert and Martin did to help prepare for Worlds?

I have mixed feelings about it. I would love to see Horner win the Vuelta, but I would also like to see Cancellara in the rainbow. Anyway, carma is a ______, you can fill in the blank, but I wouldn’t want to bail on a teammate who was in the hunt, if you know what I mean?

Anyways, I’m really just sitting here relaxing while I cheer my Fantasy football team on.

But I won’t leave you empty handed so here are a couple of videos I like on Cancellara.


And One More For Good Measure

Connor Brown

I Have A Warped Carbon Wheel Due To Overheating, Is That Normal?

Warped Carbon Wheel

I have this on both sides!

I am going to make this a bit short due to the amount of homework that I was bogged down with today; I am really just drained.

So lets get into this, I had a recovery ride for two hours today, on my ride I stopped by the shop and they looked at my Williams wheel and its pretty bubbled up/warped in the carbon so I am going to try and get through this season with them since this is my last weekend until next season.

What happened is I was descending Snow Bowl and my Carbon Wheel just overheated from the break pad. So much so that it warped the upper portion of the carbon near the tire. Its kind of weird and even stranger is the fact I wasn’t really riding my break when it overheated and blew my tire. The lucky part is I didn’t  wreck when it happened.

I think it was due to the new break pads Williams sent with my last order. I had just put on the Williams (light blue) pads and it was the first time I really used them for any kind of riding that would require using the breaks like I was doing.

The reason for the thought process is that I used these specific wheels with the Williams (black) pads descending a decent size mountain that was actually steeper than Snow Bowl and didn’t have any issues.

If anyone else has dealt with something similar to this leave me a comment below. I’m curious if its normal or if I should see if I could get a warranty on it?

Check out the chunks that came off the pads on that descent

Check out the wear/chunks that came off the pads on that descent

Anyway, I love my Williams wheels, I just don’t know if I shouldn’t have used them to descend on a mountain or if I just got a bad wheel?

After that I came back home for some really good and healthy fish tacos!

Fish TacosThen like I said I hit the books because my chemistry teacher thinks that high schoolers love chemistry so much that they want to do it all day.

Anyways, on the racing front I saw that Horner lost his leaders jersey due to a six second split in the field at the finish, man that sucks. That happend to me at Abitibi and I dropped like three places because of it.

You just got to be in the right position for the finish because guys get lazy and let gaps go because they have no real concern for GC and it can end up costing you big time.

Hopefully Horner gets it back, I’m rootin for ya Chris!

Connor Brown

I Got Some Awesome News Today!

After I got out of school today I found out some pretty cool news.

I found out I am on the roster for the USA National team camp! It will be at the San Diego Olympic Training Center, during October 9th through the 13th.Connor Brown

Man I’ve been waiting to get to this point all year, slowly making my ranks through the USAC development program and now I finally get to go to the National team camp.

Its going to be so cool and it this time USAC is supposed to be paying for everything too, which is even better due to the huge amount of money I’ve gone through this year in racing.

So that was my super awesome, exciting news for today.

Besides that I had my off day today and its a good thing too because my legs were in dire need of some recovery. Especially since the Gateway Cup is this coming weekend and I will be doing the Pro/1/2 and I can’t wait for a four day weekend of racing!

How about Chris Horner winning todays stage of the Vuelta, which makes him the oldest person to win a Grand Tour stage. Not only is he the oldest person to win a Grand Tour stage but hes also the oldest person to be in the leaders jersey at a Grand Tour. Thats right…Chris is on his way to winning the Vuelta and it would be from my perspective a much deserved win for one heck of a guy.

I mean, who doesn’t like Chris, right?

Chris Horner Podium

Connor Brown