Sunday, December 31, 2006

superprestige # 6

Diegem Belgium Nys wins!

1. Sven Nys
2. Bart Wellens
3. Kevin Pauwels
4. Erwin Vervecken

6. Richard Groenendaal
9. Gerben De Knegt
10. Sven Vanthourenhout!
11. Johanthan Page
20. Jeremy Powers
30. Barry Wicks
35. Erik Tonkin
40. Molly Cameron

with all this cross going on i'm finding the excitement for riding hard to put aside. the weather is terrible and we only have 1 out of 6 days that is nice. finding confidence during this time of year is difficult. i know i need to rest and i'm justifying this time as needed until i start thinking about building fitness again. i rode 2 hrs yesterday. it was just amazing. 50 degrees. gotta love that in the midwest. today is back to the norm. rainy and cold. i wonder what the conditions will be like for the worlds. i think the national championships will be equally important for the big pros. Gerben De Knegt will be looking to hold onto his dutch national jersey and i'm sure nys will want to keep the belguin national kit. italy - franzoi, french - mourey and lefebvre, CZE - dlask and stybar are likely possibly simunek in there, swiss - moos?. and of course the others that i did not mention. in a way i wish the U.S. series lasted just a bit longer like the european series. even the state series should go into december. the weather is fine and i think we have enough people wanting to race to justify.

Nys and Wellens do battle. it looks like wellens has found his late season legs. he has some nice wins lately and could be preparing for a run at the worlds. from the reports it sounds like Nys is suffering an illness and was uncertain on todays start. vannoppen is also reportatly sick with bronchitis. vervecken just recovered from being sick. the bug is going around.

its seems no matter the time of year there is some kind of cycling working to motivate me. i'm still excited about cross, not just because there is a nice chunck left in the racing season or the fact that i'm going to europe to watch the world championships and spend a few days seeing a part of the world i love so much but the way the calander works. in the late part of the summer and early fall i still am grooving in the road season. with tour de leenanau late it keeps my road interest, however with cross just on the other side of it, its hard to not think about hurling yourself over barriers and puking to stay with the leaders for the upcoming season. i do love cross but i think i have a strong love for road too. the season being longer with more time spent in the saddle day dreaming and tuning up form and fitness, road is certainly something i crave. then there is the mountain bike. over the past 5 years it has definitely taken a back seat. i still like to ride it, maybe do the occasional race but i just have more fun racing road and getting ready for cross. during this time of the year i'm slowly starting to think about road again. spring time is my favorite time of year. new life and warmth. i just don't like the cold perma gloom of michigan and the midwest. i really need the warm air and the beauty of the days that come with it. spring is the taste of what i wish i had during our long winters waiting. spring training camps, logging miles and sipping coffee with the group rides. the first races are fun seeing all who have been hibernating all winter. we're all back again. i need to be living in a warmer climate.

Friday, December 29, 2006

moving up

Middelkerke Belgium
Wellens wins!

1. Bart Wellens
2. Johanthan Page
3. Enrico Franzoi

12. Ryan Trebon
14. Sven Vanthourenhout!
24. Erik Tonkin

holy shit! Page rockin! i guess that shoulder injury and the rest was a good thing. treefarm up there too....just outside of the top ten. looks like guys are finding their legs. totally kick ass.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Azencross Loenhout

GVA trofee # 5 Loenhout Belgium
Niels Albert Wins!
tuesdays world cup - 16,000 spectators. in the middle of the week. lovin cross in belgium.

today's GVA -

1. Niels Albert

2. Sven Nys
3. Erwin Vervecken
4. Petr Dlask
5. Zdenek Stybar
6. Richard Groenendaal
7. Bart Wellens
8. Sven Vanthourenhout!
9. Gerben De Knegt
10. Davy Commeyne

20. Ryan Trebon
28. Jeremy Powers
34. Barry Wicks
43. Erik Tonkin
45. Troy Wells

DNF Jonathan Page

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

sylvester cyclo-cross

Torhout-Wijnendale Belgium
Vanthourenhout Wins!

1. Sven Vanthourenhout!
2. Gerben De Knegt
3. Davy Commeyne

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

UCI World Cup # 9

Vervecken Wins!
Hofstade Belgium World Cup # 9

what a great win for the world champ. i guess expereince has its advantages. see race report.

1. Erwin Vervecken
2. Petr Dlask
3. Thijs Al
4. Bart Aernouts
5. Sven Nys
6. Klaas Vantournout
7. Bart Wellens
8. Gerben De Knegt
9. Richard Groenendaal
10. Sven Vanthrouenhout!

18. Johanthan Page
25. Ryan Trebon
43. Troy Wells
44. Erik Tonkin

DNF Barry Wicks
DNF Jermey Powers

a kick ass day on the world cup. Fidea too strong for Rabo.

U.S. female Christine Vardaros 25th! awesome race!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

still crossing

Wachtebeke Belgium Nys Wins

Vanthourenhout and Groenendaal equal each other on the steps. could be one of their last races together.

1 lap later Nys leads them both. the rabo trio sweeps the podium. no fidea today.

christmas podium for rabo.

would you look at that, nys wins again. vanthourenthout 2nd!

1. Sven Nys
2. Sven Vanthrouenhout!
3. Richard Groenendaal

9. Johnathan Page
25. Molley Cameron
27. Barry Wicks
29. Bjorn Selander
30. Morgan Schmitt
33. Jamey Driscoll
34. Daniel Neyens

nice grouping with the americans!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

US nationals day 3 final wrap up

Overijse Belgium on Sunday a familiar sight

1. Sven Nys
2. Sven Vanthourenhout!
3. Niels Albert
4. Erwin Vervecken

i'm super happy for vanthrouenhout. i believe he only has a couple more races as a rabo rider. then on to the new team, sun web/pro job. good luck sven.

speaking of belgiun's nationally recognized christine vadaros flew in from belgium to compete at nationals hoping to place well and earn a spot on the US worlds team. she has been racing in europe and kicking some ass. great race christine.

on sunday i was thinking that i wouldn't be as excited for the giant strawberry mens elite race but when they starting staging again i knew right away that it would be just as good. ben jacques-maynes road awesome both days. on day 2 i saw him in the chase group with mccormack and baker. i was watching from a really good spot near the pits. when the trio came through they were looking good but when they made the sharp turn onto the gravel straight jacques-maynes washed out his front wheel and took a nice digger. the pair rode away. its not like they were going to wait. ben was in no mans land for the rest of the race. he shook it off and stayed in the race to finish 4th. pretty impressive.

tim johnson at the start. he was looking fresh and ready to battle after a flat the day before. i beleive if any of the elite men could have stayed with trebon it would have been johnson. tables turned as trebon flatted on day 2 and johnson rode away to vitory. he deserved it. great guy.

young stud troy wells had a great day too. hes not having any trouble following in the success of his older brother todd. hes a former collegete national champ. this year he placed 3rd. its cool to watch the best of the younger classes because guys like troy and jessee anthony will be the podium finishers in the future. watch out jamey driscoll!

this was the podium on sunday for the california giant strawberry cup mens elite race. johnson, mccormack, baker, jacques-maynes, and trebon. oh did i mention that tilford raced again sunday. damn the guy races all 3 days. wins the masters the first day, 11th in the mens elite the 2nd day and 9th on sunday. damn tilly! awesome.

after thinking about it and then watching all those races i totally should have raced again. i'm not sure what my reasoning was for that. all the other races i've done with back to back i've felt super strong the second day. next year forsure i'll be making a full weekend of it down in kansas city. looks like i was caught in the glut pretty good there.

always something to make you laugh at a big cross race.

so cross is officially done for us amercians. well for most of us. i heard trebon and vardaros as well as a few others flew back to europe today to rest and prepar for the next month of racing. some big races coming up. this weekend is the world cup in Hofstade Belgium. on deck is Middelkerke and of course to finish off the month the famous Superprestige in Diegem.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

US nationals day 2

Nys wins in Essen Belgium

bart wellens 2nd.

back in the states is was the most beautiful day with no clouds for the big race.

the U 23 race was so exciting i didn't think it could get much more intense than this. last year i watched jesse anthony race his heart out and this year he did it again. below he leads fellow racer jamie driscoll up the run up. behind was a very dangerous trio containing Bejorn Selander. he managed 3rd behind the charging morgan schmidt at the line. that U 23 race was the most exciting bit of drama i had seen in a long time. the intesnisty of anthony coming accross the line was chilling.

but after that i was in for the biggest treat of the weekend. standing next to the best cyclo-crossers in the country. this was the front line. holy shit was it tense in the seconds leading to the start. if you click this photo standing next to schouten, wells, johnson, powers, white, wicks, trebon and mccormack. holy shit! page was second row with some other big favorites, horner token etc. i grabbed as many photos as i could before they launched. i mean launch!

just minutes before the staging the representing blue wave studs old scar face himself and weinert were among the best in the country waiting to stage. i didn't catch their final results. great racing though.

ron kept telling me he wanted a really cool cow bell for these big races. i think this was the coolest cow bell i found on the day. this was one of the many weird ass images i had all day. i think you need a license to carry a bell of this caliber. hilarious.

so i'm waiting for the U23 race to be over and standing right behind me is US legend steve "tilly" tilford waiting to hit the course for the 2nd time in 2 days. he rode like a stud today and was in a great group. wow this guys just kills people at the ripe young age of 47 years young.

elite women tomorrow and collegete men. should be awesome.

Friday, December 15, 2006

US nationals day 1

Roger Williams Park Providence RI US Cyclo-cross National Championships

and the racing begins. this is one of the coolest parks for a a cyclo-cross race.

the course was identical to last year expcept for the conditions. the same run up, the same barrier section the same everything. being a spectator last year and not a racer, i was wondering what it might have been like to race. today i had my chance in what can be argued as perfect conditions for cross. i mean totally frick'n awesome. masters 40-44 dale knapp and a trio wrecking the field.

the coolest thing about going to a national event of any kind is you know that its a place where whatever it is people from all over the country and even the world converge to do what they do best. last year i bumped into an old friend of mine i worked with when i lived in wiscosin. today we saw each other again and it was just great. he raced just before me and then it was my turn. great to see you money! always a pleasure. tomorrow we will have the end of season beers while we watch the greatest cycling discipline in the world.

so we got in to Rode Island around 9ish last night. i was surprised how nice the drive was. some small traffic sections but for the most part easy. i woud reccommend visiting here to anyone. i slept really well in the king bed i was lucky to have so i was very rested. we had breakfast at the really nice restaurant in the hotel then headed over to the course. i was excited for the pre ride when i saw the masters racing when re arrived. i knew the course was going to be really great. at 12:30 the course was open for pre ride. while steve tilford accepted his masters award again for like the 12th time i was out picking lines and seeing what this was all about. oh my god. the course was tacky and fast. i told several people it was like riding on a peice of sticky tape. a few small greasy sections but really nice. there were 4 sections where i had to get off the bike. barriers, run up with wooden steps, cement steps and another steep dirt run up with a few wooden steps. totally frick'n awesome! i did 3 warm up laps. i changed back into civies and waited for the 2 masters races to conclude. during which 2 blue wavers made their presence known. it looked as though mr jeff weinert got a great start and i think was riding in 7th for a bit. he ended 11th. very great race jeff. meanwhile old scarface himself was sitting totally pretty when we saw him pull off quickly with a chain issue. it looked like he got it fixed but becuase this is nationals guys were flying by like fighter jets and he lost some valuable spots. either way he finished a great race in 35th out of 135 guys!!!! so because i registered like 2 days after it opened i was placed in the luxery of the back row at the start. i scanned the group and noticed just up towards my right was molly cameron. ok this is good because i know molly can throw down and he was just using this race as a warm up for tomorrow. since we had to plow through such a huge field i tried to fix myself with him during the start up the pavement as long as i could through the first lap. i knew i had a lot of work to do and a lot of people to pick off if i wanted any kind of a placing. so off we go and right away i'm locked on to molly. i though i was near the middle but i was farther back than i thought. i was comfortable and riding the race just doing my thing experiencing all these people and all these racers really enjoying myself. i was passing people but at the rate i was knocking them down it would take at least 90 min to get to the front. i just rode hard and tried to be a good bike handler. i never went down. as the race wore on i started to really pick some fast lines. some really hard sections i found i had the advantage with a lot of others and made up time and ended up dropping people who were with me. the run ups got really hard towards the end and my tank was running low. i think i may have lost a bit since our last race. not a big deal though. i was loving it. so many people cheering and yelling at all sections of the course. so with 3 laps left i'm with one other guy and we just rode in together. when we got done i had no idea where i was in the field or where i was in the country. i was worked. i pedaled back to the car and recovered. i felt pretty good after i got some food and water. the 30-35 class was the last of the day. just tonight looking at the official post on cyclingnews i got the goods on the rest of the days races and of course my race. we had 70 racers and i finished 41st. i wish i could have been a little farther up at the start. at the big races its super important. i guess the small town michigan racers with 12 guys is a bit easier. 55+ degrees! it was the best cyclo-cross course i've ever riden. flying ryan leech won and molly got 4th. i'm glad i didn't get lapped. so we've got 2 more days to watch some great racing. its cool to see the rihnos and cane creekers out from the home town. the big boys will be dancing tomorrow. can't wait. i saw tristan breifly in the elevator. i'm hoping to see how hes feeling tomorrow before the race. i'm ready to pass out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

east bound

east bound to providence RI

probably the coolest experience i attended last year. scar face himself after doing the deed for his men. this year will be even better since i'm racing. can't wait.

francis mourey ripping it up this year against the best in the world. he even got a win earlier in the year. he is quoted saying he wants to win the worlds. thats a tall order with the talent on hand during that event. big goals and big dreams. we'll see on jan 28th.

this kinda looks like providence last year! some good racing this weekend all over the world. Essen Belgium on saturday. Overijse Belgium on Sunday. then later in the month we have 2 huge races. world cup in Hofstade Belgium on the 26th then cap off the month with a superprestige race in Diegem Belgium on the 31st. totally kick ass.

i think nys has his sites on winning as many races as he can before the worlds.

predictions for nationals? talking with mr cross crazy himself this afternoon i came up with....

1. treefarm (its his year)

2. johnson (he won the USGP)

3. wells, wicks, page, schouten, mccormack, white (could be any of these guys!!!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

superprestige # 5

Superprestige # 5 Bollekescross, Hamme Zogge, Belgium
Nys wins!

Nys roars back after his 2nd place finish in Italy. Wellens in 2nd today. what a frick'n battle. Vervecken 3rd. from the report it sounded like both Nys and Wellens got sick in italy. it obviously didn't make a bit of difference. they are both still on the podium.

1. Sven Nys
2. Bart Wellens
3. Erwin Vervecken
5. Sven Vanthrouenhout!
6. Gerben De Knegt
10. Ryan Trebon!

Vervecken rocks. up there again. world champ looks good.

today was a beautiful day. i just had to ride. yesterday i felt ill and didn't do a damn thing except run around getting things done. i didn't sleep good and when i woke up i knew i needed to ride. i totally nixed the ohio race. scare face and the black ace went down. after looking at how far it was i decided that since i would be traveling out east this coming week it would be best to stay home and get some local riding in as well as some much needed work. i think i spent at least 3 hrs in the saddle today. i just rode easy and did some nice easy spinning with the sun on my back. who knows how long before i'll see that again. on my way home i stopped at the local park and burned a few laps on my cross course. it was awesome. snowy and muddy. i had to make sure i still knew how to ride cross for this coming weekend. yep i do. i can't believe that confrimed rider list for nationals. totally stacked. its fun to look at all the names that will be attending. trebon will be flying back from his recent european adventures. i think this is his year. its going to be just awesome watching these guys throw down.

Nys a bit happier today after his 2nd place on friday. now that is some belgiun beer!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Milan Italy

Wellens Wins in Milan!

Wellens wins in the elements. that is an awesome win for the former world champ.

1. Bart Wellens
2. Sven Nys
3. Sven Vanthourenhout!
4. Francis Mourey

7. Gerben De Knegt
13. Erwin Vervecken

Thursday, December 07, 2006


UCI World Cup Milan Italy Friday

as much as i favor Sven Vanthourenhout, Erwin Vervecken is a quiet favorite for me. he is always at the front. always. he is known as the best runner and loves the fast courses. seeing him win the worlds last year was just awesome. Wellens was there for the final fight but Vervecken proved the best on the day even at 34 years young. he can put it down!

its cool to see the 2 super power teams, Fidea and Rabo battle every race. some races Fidea sweeps the podium some days its rabo. the team is stacked. Vervecken, Wellens, Dlask, Stybar are just a few of the horses. Rabo fires back with Nys, Vanthourenhout, Groenendaal, De Knegt. its just awesome.

either way Vervecken is out there to make'em hurt.

Nys - a tricky rider always ready to throw down and out smart everyone. maybe he'll chalk up another world cup friday? the master of the elements.

but Vervecken, ready to battle with the best. a long successful career. its going to be a great world championship this year in Hooglede-Gits Belgium. Vervecken will be looking to defend and the rest will be fighting for the podium. 2 years ago it was a snowy festival. last year it was fast and sunny. mud this year? what will nationals bring? Ryan Trebon is coming back to the states. i'm very happy that he is attending. this is his year. i'll be traveling east bound 1 week from today. very exciting.

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