Friday, December 08, 2006

Time Trialing

First thing, make sure you fly down the start ramp. Don't Slip.Immediately get on top of the gear. But don't start too fast or your blow up.Then suffer your tail off until it's over. Inevitably some Belgian on Rabobank will take 2 minutes out of you, even if it's only an 8k TT. Oh yeah, this is just a dumb excuse to put up some pictures.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Off-season ending, base training begins

After the extending my off season by a few more weeks due to a broken collarbone, I am just back on the bike the last week or so. I'm about to kick off my first official block of training out in Colorado Springs with Jason Tullous, my Carmichael Training Systems pro coach. I'll be staying at the Olympic Training Center out there and working with Jason laying out my training plans for the year and doing some early fitness testing. Maybe I'll put up some pictures if I see anything cool. Until then...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Herald Sun Tour

Here is a couple pics from the race.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Update from Down Under

So I know I haven't posted anything in a while. After returning from Europe I did a few races back home getting ready for the race I'm doing now, the Herald Sun Tour in Australia. Leading up to this race I visited the Velodrome down in Atlanta to put a little bit of speed in my legs and brush up on my track skills. It went well there cause I won the points race, miss-and-out, and the snowball race giving me the overall win for the night. The track is a lot of fun and should not be overlooked by any cyclist. Valuable skills can be learned on the track that you just can't get from riding on the road. Anyways, then I did the Final GA Cup weekend of racing. That was a good time seeing lots of people I haven't seen all year. I winded up getting second in the crit in Buckhead, which I was happy with cause I had been training lots getting ready for the long days ahead of me at the Sun Tour.
Here's a pic from the crit in Buckhead. Yeah, that's white ducktape on my shoe. The metal string that keeps the shoe tight broke on the second lap. I pulled into the pit and they taped me up. No sweat.

After about 25 hours of flying time, I arrived with my new team, Healthnet Presented by Maxxis, in Melbourne, Australia. The first stage was a crit and Menzies got in the break. He winded up 3rd, and Henderson won the bunch sprint for 7th. The next day Menzies and Obee got up the road in a group of 16 and put 30 minutes into the rest of us. Oh yeah Menzies won the stage so he was now the overall leader. So now the fun starts for us. Stage 3 was a long day for the team, we spent the whole day on the front, making sure the break away had no GC contenders and didn't gain too much time. Stage 4 was more of the same. Stage 5 we were on the front once again. But this stage had a 20k mountain top finish, so we basically just wanted to get Menzies and Obee to the base of the climb and let them do their thing. We hit the climb and the front group rode away immediately. I haven't seen the results yet, but I think Menzies is now around 5th place losing a little bit of time to some guys. Tomorrow's stage is an 11k TT with lots of turns. This will be good for our two GC guys. Then the final stage is an 80 min crit to finish it up. It's been great down here with my new team, and in this cool country. If you get the chance to come down under, you should. I got a some pics but forgot my cable so I have to wait to post them 'til I get back.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Triptique Barrages 2.2

September 9-10
This was a pretty hard race. 2 days, 3 stages with the second day having a 16k TT in the morning and a 100k stage in the afternoon. The first day went fine. I did lots of work with Mike Wolf to bring a break back that we lazily missed. After that I got in the break just to get popped out of it on the climb in the finishing circuits. I actually went all the way through the two groups behind and lost a bunch of time. Oh well. In the TT I went pretty well to finish 20th. That was a good feeling. Oh yeah, Rabobank now have guys sitting 1st,2nd,3rd,5th, and 6th after the time trial. The Afternoon stage was a hard one with lots of climbs. I think I came off 7 times, chasing back each time. I think I was in the cars(caravan) more than the peloton. Finally I was popped with 10k to go and just rode in with a small group. My legs were pretty toast after that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Izegem Kermesse

Izegem Kermesse
The Izegem Kermesse was today, so Wolf and I decided to go do it.  It was cool doing race less than 1k from the housel.  In the race the first hour everything stayed together.  I drove it hard through one of the streets that had rough roads and it shattered the race.  That was pretty cool.  The front group was maybe 20 riders with me in it.  A Beveren rider got away with someone else with a few laps to go.  We didn't catch them.  A Lithuanian rider got away from our group right before the finish and I won the sprint for 4th.  I also got a bunch of primes so it was a good race.

Trois Province

Circuits de Trois Province France 2.13

Stage 1- The first stage started fast as shit. We hit 4 climbs in the first 50k and we were attacking before, during and after each one. I covered way too many moves and when the decisive split happened I was caught behind it. I think it was over one of the climbs but all I know is I couldn’t go with it. It was just gone. So I finished 14 minutes down on the main group of 50. Wolf and Crane came in with the front group at 17th and 18th.

Stage 2- The second day was another 140k with rolling hills. I think there were 3 climbs with gpm’s(mountain points). I raced today more conservatively, paying the price already for the hard day before. When we hit the circuits I was struggling pretty good. There was hard climb on the finish line that kept blowing the field apart. On the last lap I got caught behind and just rode in with a small group. I finished a couple minutes down on the front group of maybe 25.

Stage 3- With the morning stage started at 9am, it was an early day. The race was 100k in the morning followed by an afternoon 14k time trial to end the stage race. Today I decided I was just going to sit back and just kind of watch the race. I got in a break when we entered the finishing circuits of 4 laps of 9k. We stayed away until 1 lap to go. I got up in the sprint but started a bit far back. I winded up 8th. Wolf also had a good ride for 12th. I felt pretty bad for the tt, so I just rode it so I didn't kill myself. Keith and Wolf had a good tt at 9th and 10th.

Oudenburg Belgium 1.12

Oudenburg, Belgium 1.12

The race was 13 laps of a 12k circuit.  It was pretty much a glorified Kermesse.  After 50k there was a break of 13 up the road.  I was treating today as more of a training race, so I wasn't worried about being up there.  I was though going to make sure if another group went across that I was in it though.  Nothing went across but not without many failed attempts.  In the sprint for 14th, I think I was about 6th.  So with a top 20, it was a good effort and a great day of training.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tour De La Port Ocean- France

Immediately following my last race, (which went extremely well for me and the team) I came down with some sweet congestion in my head and chest. Just perfect timing really. I mean what good is riding well if something can't come along and screw it all up. Anyhow, the doc recommended a 3 day dose of antibiotics after only 2 days of bronchitis symptoms.

Ok, so here I am now in in Normandie, France at the Port Ocean 2.12 stage race. I felt ok on Thursday, so I decided to make the trip and just see how I felt in the race. Friday morning I was coughing up a storm and I realized I might have made a mistake in coming. Well, 15k into the race that realization was confirmed. I was just following wheels and then BAM! It wasn't my bike or a crash or anything. It was my legs and chest. I couldn't turn the legs over anymore, and I felt like I was breathing out of a straw. And not one of those big straws you get with a smoothie or something, I would compare this more to one of those tiny straws you get sometimes to mix your coffee. So I had to get in the broom wagon less than 30 minutes into the race. If that's not an acheivement I don't know what is.

So now I'm stuck in my hotel room while my roommate Mike Wolf is out with the rest of the team ripping the race up. Yesterday Nick Reistad made the break, or front group considering it was 26 riders, and got 7th(Hell yeah). Today they have double day with a 100k stage in the morning and a TT this afternoon. But I'll be here in my little hotel room. Awesome.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Victory in Vinkt

I won my first race in Europe today. It was a kermesse in Vinkt Belgium. Here's the report:
With over a week without racing, it was time to get back into it with a Kermesse today. So the boys(Wolf, Crane and Riggs) and I opted to head to Vinkt for an U23 Kermesse. After an hour bike ride out to the race, we meet up with Chris (AKA Fox) at the race to top off our bottles and get some race food. The race was 21 laps of a 5.3k circuit. It was windy, so the race was sure to blow up early on. From the gun we had all our guys at the front. Crane was the first to cover a move with two Lithuanian guys and one bodysol. I quickly covered the next move to go across with one bodysol. Riggs was the next to join our group. So the break was 7 strong, 3 of which were U23 USA national team. Everyone was pulling evenly to get away from the chasing group behind. After about 65k, we were hit with a torrencial downpour. Thunder, lightning and blinding rain didn't stop our group though. We just kept rolling and distancing ourself from the rest. With 6 laps to go, Crane covered one of the Lithuanian riders who started the attacking. That was quickly brought back, and I countered and got away with one of the Bodysol guys. We matched pulls for the next few laps, and got out of site from the rest of the breakaway. With two laps to go, I wanted to try getting rid of him though, so I started attacking him. After about 5 tries with no luck, I decided to wait for the sprint. On the last lap, I was leading with 2k to go. He definitely didn't want to do anymore pulling at this point, so I started going really slow. I mean we almost came to a stop with 1k to go. With the rest of the breakaway approaching fast, he had no other choice but to start leading out the sprint. Finally I gambled on something and won. He took me to about 150 meters and I just drilled it around him. It felt good to finally pick up a win over here in Belgium. With the last block of racing coming up, I'm looking forward to trying to rack up some more.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vuelta Tolledo - Spain

Stage 1- 30°C
I was in the break all day today. We reshuffled a bit and with 30k and had Crane, Switters and Rigges in the front. Switters and Riggs did a good job at the front keeping our small group of 35 off the front of the race. Crane helped me for the points sprint in the final 20k. I won it pretty easily. It is good because the guy who beat me in the first sprint was behind me. I don't think he could come around. He beat me in the first sprint because I didn't know it was coming and he already attacked hard. In the finish I was forced to do more work than I would have like. On the highway coming into the finish I found myself closing more gaps than I would have liked cause there were 4 guys dangling off the front. I had the legs to win, but I needed someone else up there to cover the moves. Then all the sudden there was 400 meters to go, and I was like 12 guys back. We were sprinting for the win, but I was so far back I could only get 5th or 6th. I feel strong and fast, so the race is beginning for me. I'm going for it.Stage 2- 30°C
Todays stage felt a little harder than yesterdays. To begin with, it was much windier than yesterday, and also the climbs were more sustained. I winded up winning the first Sprint Points and took the overall lead in that compettion. In the end, there were a few guys off the front. 8 I think. I winded up 15th on the stage, and now in the lead of the sprint especial jersey by two points. That is now my focus and won't worry so much about being in 12th place on gc. It's possible I can get closer to the U23 jersey, but I think it's best if I focus on the sprint and just roll with that. That will mean I am staying at the front of the race and thereby staying in a good position with GC as well.
Stage 3- 33°C
So today was my first official day leading the points competition. It started off pretty bad when we were got lost trying to find the start and arrived 15 minutes past the schedule start. Luckily they waited for us, so we were able to start the stage. I was feeling ok in the beginning of the stage. Crane got in a 3 man break that lasted 80k's. After 75k's we hit the 2nd climb of the day, and it ended my day. I survived until like 800 meters to the top, but Sheldon was with me to help me back on. Also Riggs was there so they both paced me back on the the group. The thing is that we had like 20k of crosswind, and I was just empty. I winded up losing touch with the front group and waiting for the next group. We had 3 guys there, including Riggs, Bolian, and Switters. I knew I was done, so I just figured we would roll through until the day was over. After a while, Crane winded up coming back to us too, exhausted from the break he was in almost all day. Sheldon Soldiered on and finished in the front group for a 11th.I lost the jersey by I think 1 point, so tomorrow I am going to give it everything I have to get it back.

Stage 4- 30°C
The final day of the race was gonna be a hard one. I was one point away from the sprint jersey, and there was a pretty hard climb before the first sprint. Actually it was the climb I got dropped on yesterday, so I was a bit nervous. Turns out, we hit the climb, and I was dropped with a big group. 25 guys rode away from the field. After less than 50k the grouppetto(dropped group) had formed and we were already going easy. So much for the points jersey. I gave it a shot but in the end I didn't have the legs to hold on to it. The front group actually dwindled down to 20 riders, so in the finish I decided I might as well sprint. If there were 20 riders up the road, I figured it would be with it cause they pay top 25. I was 2nd in the sprint, so maybe I finished around 22nd. I was ready for this race to be over and get some rest.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Today was a windy race, so from the gun I new it was going to shatter. It actually took a little while for it to blow to peices, but when it did it was destroyed! I came into the finishing circuits with Sheldon and I in front group. Beveren was the only othe team with 2 riders in the 15 man group. Beveren attacked on the first lap of the circuits, and really caught us off guard. I tried to go but couldn't do it. So it winded up being 6 guys off the front. I attacked out of the group, and went to bridge to the front group. Literally as soon as I got onto them, Beveren attacked again. Two of the guys from the break couldn't follow either. So I rode the next few k's with them. I attacked them on the climb soon after though on the 2nd of 4 X 10k laps. I got away and basically just TT'd my ass off for the next 20 something kilometers. I caught them right at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and Beveren attacked again immediately, and I couldn't respond. Back to TT'ing. So I held off the chasing group and finished 5th. It was a big effort, but a good race. I'm happy about it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tour of Vlaams Brabant

Stage 5-26°C
The last stage went better for me as it went on. We did 3 X 42k big loops and then 3 X 14k finishing circuits. The big laps had 3 mountain sprints so it was always fast over the topof the climbs. On the first lap, I was really feeling the day before and wondered if I could make it two more laps. I just kept eating and drinking. On the next lap, I felt better and the same on the next. On the finishing circuits, a group of 5 got away. We were sprinting for 6th. Crane was winded up getting 12th, I was 19th and Reistad was 20th. I winded up finishing 24th overall and got 3rd in the sprint competition. With 3 guys in the top 20 on the last day, it was a good way to finish our first stage race back.

Stage 4-34°C
So today was the day for me to try and take the sprint jersey. I went into the first sprint with all my teammates around to help me beat the sprint leader that I'm tied with. All the best efforts and I still couldn't come around him. I got 2nd place points. Then he got 1 point on the next lap, so I think I'm 3 points down on him now. The efforts from the past few days caught up with me though and I got shelled with 2 to go on the circuits. I rode in with a group of about 20, maybe 9 minutes behind. Oh well, Reistad and Crane got up there in the sprint. I think top 30. Tomorow will be an interesting day for me cause I was hurting today. I will with either be ok tomorrow or just totally crack. Just 3 points off the points jersey so I will be trying to gain back points all day.

Stage 3- 33°C
Today was a 14k TT. The course was loop around Galmaarden with one climb and lots of turns. I felt good but started a little bit too conservative. I had been hearing from my teammates that the last 3-4k are crucial cause it was a false flat headwind section finishing on an uphill for the final 300 meters. I rode a time of 17:33. I think the winner did 16:30 or something like that. Rabobank. I think I winded up 18, and moved to 19th overall. Reistad was 23rd, and Crane 28th.

Stage 2- 29°C
The next stage was 5 laps of 21.4k and then 3 laps of 14k. I made the break on the first lap. There was one climb on the big loop with mountain points over the top every time. We rode strong to a 4 minute gap 4 laps in. But with one lap to go on the big loops, the peloton started bringing us in. Rabobank, who had 3 riders in the 12 rider breakaway, attacked on the climb on the 5th lap. I couldn't follow, so I was with a group of 5 chasing the 7 just up from us. I was caught by the group on the first lap of the finishing circuits. It didn't matter, cause I didn't have the legs to contest the finishing sprint anyways. I did rack up some more sprint points and am now tied for first in that. The guy I'm tied with has the jersey though cause he won two sprints when I was second. Saturday my job will be to beat him and try to collect more points. Reistad, Crane, Riggs and Waite finished on the peloton as well.

Stage 1- 38°C
The 154k first stage of the five day stage race consisted of 2 X 39k big loops followed by 4 X 19k finishing circuits. We started the 190 person race with Nick Reistad, Nick Waite, Matt Crane, Adam Switters, and Eric Riggs. After the first big loop, there was a 50 person group that was riding away from the rest. Then that group split again and again until the race was broken into groups of 12 riders or less. In the end, 3 guys won the race off the front of 4 other riders. Next there was a group of 10, then followed by my group of about 12. I finished 23rd, about 3 minutes of the leaders. The group of 10 finished just over a minute in front of my group, so they are still in reach over the next couple days.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back in Belgium

I am reporting back in from my first morning back in Izegem Belgium. The weather here is pleasantly cooler than back home in the southeast. Maybe around 80 degree's. I start racing on Wednesday in a 2.12 stage race called Vlaams Brabant.

This morning making coffee with Andy Guptil, there was a little problem with the coffee machine. After a thorough inspection, we decided it just needed a new peice of tape... That's right, the tape holding the coffee machine together is worn out. So when the mechanics get here we'll be on that.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

U23 National Championships

U23 National Championships
Seven Springs, PA

Well, the U23 national team is back from Europe and is very happy to be in the states for a little bit.  I say the national team, but here in Pennsylvania all we have it John Devine, Sheldon Deeny and I.  It’s just the three of us with Noel and Andrew our Mechanic staying in a nice mountain cabin.  With wireless internet, laundry, and the cool mountain air, what else could you want?

So we have been riding the course everyday since we got here.  It’s a hilly course, always up and down.  With 4 laps of 44k, it’s going to be a long hard day on Monday.  Each lap with 3,000 feet of climbing, this is definitely not a course for hiding.  

I have also been riding the TT course the past couple days, and it’s not joke either.  The 30k course is always up and down, just like the road race.  It seems like it’s going to be a hard course to find a rhythm, and just trying to carry as much speed as possible into the short steep hills.  It should be fun.  And by fun I mean it’s going to hurt a lot.  Both the races will be hard and going to really show who is strong here.  We’ll see soon.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

IWT 1.2

UCI 1.2
June 28, 2006

With most our U23 national Team in Spain doing a stage race, Brandon McKeever, Winston David, and I headed out for I.W.T. The race was 172k with rolling hills including the cobblestone climb the Muur. For lack of better words, it’s hard. After 110k we hit the local circuits with 4 laps of 15k. Each lap consists of 2 cobblestone sectors, both almost 2k long. The first sector leads right into a 700 meter climb immediately following the cobbles. After the climb, there was 4k until the next cobblestone section. After the last section of nearly 2k’s long, we hit the finishing straight with 700 meters to the line.

The race didn’t start off so hard, so the group was together most of the day. With just a small breakaway of 6 riders up the road, the peloton just kind of cruised. That was until we hit the Muur. Actually, all hell broke loose with about 4k before the climb. Everyone was fighting for wheels and if I didn’t know better it seemed we were about to hit the finish line. Anyways, I did know so I came to the Muur top 20 and made it over with the leaders. The group didn’t split up much, but it was the first time the race got hard so many riders were popped off at this point.

When we came to the circuits, there were a dozen or so riders in the breakaway now. On the first lap of the circuits, the cobblestone section came up on me fast than I thought, and I was caught up in the middle of the group. When we finally came off the cobbles onto the climb, I was another group rolling away of about 18 riders. Damn, I was already hurting trying to move up on the cobbles. I screwed up. Too far back. All I could do is hope to go across with another group. I followed some wheels on the next lap and got away with 15 other guys. On the final lap, I tried to get away several times, but couldn’t stay away. On the final section, I drove it hard, trying one last time to get away before the finish. After a moment of hard effort, the group was still on me. So coming off the section I sat up, making someone else lead it out. A couple guys jumped so I jumped hard to get on their wheel. I guess the length of the race was getting to the other guys because when I came around and looked back, there was no one. Maybe they just didn’t want to sprint. Either way, we didn’t catch the front group and I got in some really good training. Maybe on Sunday I can have a better race and get up there in the front group.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Omloop Het Volk

1.12 Top Competition
June 24th, 2006
The team for this year’s edition of Omloop Het Volk was John Devine, Mike Wolf, Chris Stockburger, Brandon McKeever, Scott Jackson and I. The race was 172k long, with rolling hills all day. There was a 115k big loop with 2 X 28k circuits at the end. The race broke up early on with a group of 12 getting away about 25k in. We hit the Cappelestraat climb after about 60k. Devine and Wolf went across to the break with 18 other guys. Now there was a 30 man front group and we had two. In the Peloton, Chris and I were the only ones left. With 10k to go, the peloton of now about 50 caught the front group. There were 9 riders up the road, and the peloton now with Devine, Wolf and me. They were both hurting from a long day in the breakaway, so I did what I could in the 700 meter uphill to the finish. My legs were cramping pretty hard so it was all I could do for 13th in the field sprint. I was 22nd with Devine close behind in 33rd. Wolf rolled in just behind the peloton after pulling hard all day in the break as well as the final kilometers to the finish. It was a good race for the team so the motivation is good for the guys leaving for Spain on Monday. I’ll be staying in Belgium for two more races and then back to the US for nationals.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crashing Sucks!

Well, on Tuesday we headed to a race about 20k from the house. We drove there, just because it was a 156krace. It basically was a glorified kermis becuase it was 13 laps of a 12k circuit. The course was tricky with lots of turns and over 190 starters. We were tipped off that it was going to be splintered from the go, so we started in the front. As the gun went off, the pace was in fact blistering. I was at the front and throwing down as hard as I could. Just following everything and staying top 10 at all times. After about 10 minutes, I jumped with a group of 5 that looked promising. We went through an "S" bend turn, and on the way out of it I lost traction with my front wheel. In an instant I hit the pavement and slid into a ditch. An imediately numbness took over my left shoulder when I realized I couldn't move it. I almost couldn't breath. I laid there in the ditch until the entire field came by. When I finally sat up, "Pop," my shoulder went back into place. Wow, that was scary. My race was over. I stood up to check out my bike. It was fine. I hoped back on and limped it back to the feed zone. I had some road rash on my hip barely allowing me to pedal. It hurt with every pedal stroke.
It was short day for me, and most of the team had not such good luck either. Luckily I was the only one to crash, but Brandon McKeever was the only one to survive past 50k, making it until 3 laps to go when his group was pulled.
My shoulder is fine now, but it was pretty sore that night and the next day. Het Volk for amateurs is on the menu for me this weekend, so that will be cool. Then maybe a trip down to Spain for a stage race next week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bertem 1.12

Bertem 1.12
June 18, 2006

Well, this Sunday was the going to be one of the hottest days yet. With my srm reading 35 degrees Celsius, it was a scorcher. Matt Crane, John Devine, Pat McGlynn, Mike Wolf and I were all ready to go for the 147k race. With the heat we knew it was going to be hard, not to mention the 180 Belgians all looking to rip our legs off.

Devine and I had different ideas though, attacking after 2k and getting into a four person break with our good friend Chris (who most of the time acts as a stand in director when Noel is gone) and one other guy. We drove the break until we had about a minute then started to just cruise. Over the first climb, Devine crushed the mountain sprint and took the prime. We were soon accompanied by a group of 8-10 riders, including Matt Crane. We were now sitting pretty and everyone was rolling through.

Unfortunately, the shattered peloton of maybe 40 riders now were almost on us. I covered an attack with 7 other riders. With Devine and Crane in the group just behind, it was looking good for us. My group was still away coming into the finishing circuits, with almost two minutes on the next chasing group. That group included Devine so it was looking really good. Then there was an attack from a rider and it shattered our break. It formed two groups, one with 5 riders up the road, and another with myself and 4 other guys. The 5 riders stayed away and we were just pulling through to stay away. I finished the day 8th place, my legs aching from the long day in the sun. Devine came in winning the uphill sprint from his group for 12th. Crane was cramping due to the lack of water and had to pull out with 2 laps to go in the circuits. Wolf and McGlynn finished in the peloton, both finishing inside the top 40. We also took 3rd in the team classification, so it was pretty good day for us today. After the hot day, we will all be looking to re-hydrate for the race this upcoming Tuesday.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Some pictures from this week

Here are some pictures from Brugge. It's one of the most famous cities in Belgium. Devine and I spent the day there Monday. It's a really cool city.
On the beach in Da Haan, just a few k's from our vacation house.
This is Alex. He is our Souigneur while we are at the vacation house. He is a bad ass with his great cooking and awesome massages. The guys works ridicously hard so he gets his rest in the evenings while we clean up.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cras Avernas

So we headed out for the Cras Avernas 1.2 on this hot June Morning. We started the 200k race with John Devine, Pat McGlynn, Scott Jackson, Brandon McKeever, Winston David and myself. After a big 168k loop, the raced finished with 3 X 12k circuits. After 60k, the race had dwindled down from 140 riders to 75. Devine, Pat and I were the remaining national team riders in the peleton. As the race drove over the 5 climbs of the day, Pat and I were dropped over the last one, just 25k from the circuits. Devine got to the circuits in the main group with just 3 riders up the road. He was top ten in the group sprint. It was a solid day from Devine coming in 13th. Pat and I pulled out at the circuits just ready to be done with the hot day.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Coffee shop time back in Roeselare

So today we headed back to Roeselare to chill out for some coffee and maybe some pannekoeken(pancake). I had a pannekoeken and some cappuchino. The guys John Devine, Pat McGlynn and Brandon McKeever joined in for the coffee. Then after some good times at the coffee/Pannekoeken house, we headed back to our town of Izegem. On the way we decided to sprint for the city limit sign.Luckily I took it...
Tomorrow we are doing Cras Avernas 1.2. It's 200k's with pro teams like Lambowkrediet-Colnago, Unibet and Chocolade-Jacques. Should be a good time.

Roeselare Crit

With Cras Avernas 1.2 this Sunday, I decided it would be a good idea to get a local race in before to keep the leg speed up. Luckily there was a crit in the town next door to us in Roeselare. It was a 65k crit with 1.4k laps. I started on the front row and jumped with the first move right off the line. The 50 starters were instantly strung out. I never looked back for the first 30 minutes just following attack after attack. Once all the favorites were up the road with me in an 8 person break, the race was shattered behind us. After an hour of racing, 1 rider got away and stuck it to the finish. My chain was skipping pretty hard core from a 1970 watt effort halfway through the race. I broke one of my chain links halfway like it pulled apart. That limited me a little bit, but I was still able to go hard as long as I sat down. So in the sprint I wasn't able to go completely flat out. I was just nipped at the line in the sprint. It was a hard race so I was happy with 3rd.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Waver 1.2 Top Competition

Waver 1.2 Top Competitions
June 4, 2006

Fresh off training down in Monaco with my buddy Tyler Farrar, I arrived back at the packed U23 house in Belgium. I say it’s packed because we have 3 programs going for the U23 (15 riders), and 2 programs for the newly revamped junior national team program (10 riders). That’s 25 riders for a house that only has 18 beds. Yeah, pretty crowded.
Luckily 7 riders are in Spain racing so the house is just at 18 right now. Anyhow, Brandon McKeever, Ulrich Deyoung, and I were the national team riders for the Waver race. The race is 172k with 3 X 15k circuits at the end. With just a couple shorts climbs before the circuit, the race was basically just attack after attack. I was in several moves but nothing stuck. Once we hit the circuit, there were 20 riders up the road and we had no one in it. There was a 3k cobblestone sections just 2k before the finish of the circuits. After one lap of the circuits, I was sitting 15th wheel going into the cobbles. There was a big pile up about tenth wheel so I went hard right to avoid it. I almost did but just caught this guy’s wheel that jumped at me at the last second. I went down hard on the cobblestones. First my elbow hit and then my head. Damn, my head was ringing. I stood up and pulled the guys bike off me whose big chain ring had conveniently gouged into my left shin. Blood all over my leg. I got up and my bike still rolled freely so I got back on it. I rode easy until the whole peloton came by. With my head still aching I was pretty much just going to call it a day. After about half the caravan passed me before I finished the cobblestone section. Once on the paved rode, I took a sip of water and started feeling a little better. I decided to jump back in the cars and make a chase back on. After a few k’s in the caravan, I got back on the back of the main group. The 9 guys who were in front of the crash bridged up to the front group. Now there were 29 riders up the road and I was just looking to finish the day. There were also dozens of riders just up the rode from our group chasing the 29. I just rode towards the front and finished the race maybe top ten in our group. A few guys slipped away at the end so maybe I finished like 74th. I wasn’t hurt too bad but my helmet was from the crash. I guess it did it’s job though cause I cracked it in two places.

Next race is Sunday at Cras Avernas. I don’t know too much about it but it should be fun. Maybe some kermesses(local races) are on the menu for the week. Well see…

Monday, May 29, 2006

Paris Roubaix U23

Paris Roubaix U23
May 29th 2006
Paris Roubaix is my favorite and one of the biggest races for me of the year. It had been raining in Belgium and our neighboring France for almost the whole week, but for this Sunday, Sunny. It was a pretty warm 65 degrees at the starting area. The USA U23 National Team is now sporting our new kits brought to us by AMD Computer Processors. Our team for the day was Brandon McKeever, Sheldon Deeny, Ulrich Deyoung, Chris (Cycling Center).

The course is 185k with the first cobblestone section not until 50k in. After that, it’s 21 sections all the way to Roubaix. It was a hard start with bad crosswinds after about 30k. The field shattered during the 20k section of side winds. Unfortunately there was already a break of 20 riders up the road. I was in the first echelon with about 18 other riders. We were chasing the breakaway but couldn’t quite close it before the first cobblestone section. This is where all the fun begins.
I started the first cobble section second wheel. It was hectic at first, but dry so we all stayed upright. The cobbles were amazingly dry considering all the rain last week. After the first 4 sections there was 25k of paved roads before the next section. The group was pretty much sitting up getting some more food and drink before we started the next long sections of cobbles. The break was holding at about a minute, but with over 100k to go in the race, it was no time to panic. Every section over the cobbles we would bring back 15-20 seconds, but then we sit up in the paved roads and the gap would go back up. That went on all day until we hit the 6th to last section. Attacks started in our group and it exploded. I was feeling good and was chasing the leaders with 4 other riders. No time checks so we were just going. Eventually we were caught by maybe 8 other riders and we had more attacks. The thing is they were hammering at the front and were putting time into our chase group. I think that unmotivated our group because we stopped attacking and more just tempo riding. It was good for me because over section 4 I lost my rhythm and was lucky to stay with the group. I think I was paying for hard efforts earlier in the day. I was hurting and now had to just sit on. We started catching riders from the breakaway who had gotten dropped. I think the break up front dwindled down to 12 riders. With 10k to go, I was chasing 7 riders from our group with 3 other guys. We hit a small climb with maybe 4k to go and I was dropped by 2 of the guys with me. I chased back though and caught them with 1k to go. When we came onto the last cobblestone section (which is just brick) with less than 1k to go, one of the guys attacked. The other guys wasn’t chasing so I had to jump to try and bring him back. I caught him on the velodrome crossing the finish with 1 lap to go. Rounding the last turn I jumped hard and he didn’t respond. I crossed the line 20th, legs still cramping. So that was the end of a long day in the saddle. I am tired and looking forward for some rest then get ready for next week’s race. Until then…

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Recon of Paris Roubaix

May 26th, 2006Today we drove most of the cobblestone sections of the U23 Paris Roubiax. It was wet and damp, so we decided it's better to drive it and stay warm then risk riding. The race consists of 21 cobbles stone sections adding up to almost 40k. The race is 180k in length, so it's nice long race for sure. We started our reconnaissance at section 14 of 21. The sections count down from 21 so we saw the last 14 cobblestone sections. Section 13 was especially bad; and considering it's name "Des Prieres" which means "The Prayer," should tell you something. It was extremely windy and there were many puddles on the cobbles. It's gonna be gnarly.

We also stopped at the now world famous railroad crossing that got Peter Van Petegem, Leif Hoste, and Gusev Disqualified.

Friday, May 26, 2006


The weather for race was pretty bad. It was 50 degrees and raining. The race was 166k with a 10k finishing circuit that we did 3 times. After a cold start, I warmed up quick. I made a split in the beginning of the race with maybe 30 riders. It was eventually brought back but not before 5 guys could escape. They stayed away until the finish. On the local laps 18 riders broke away from the main peleton, and stayed away. I finished up like 40th. I was happy with the race especially because I just got off the plane on tuesday. I think it is a good sign for Sunday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day before Hasselt-Spa-Hasselt

So now I'm back in belgium and the racing commences tomorrow. The race is Hasselt Spa Hasselt which is a 1.2 top competition. The race covers lots of the same roads and climbs as Liege Baston Liege if that tells you anything. I think the race is around 160k with many climbs, probably 2-5k long. After being back home testing myself against the best crit riders around, this will be my last big race effort before the U23 Paris Roubaix on Sunday. I don't have any more to say really cause that's all I know. Until next time...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nalley Historic Roswell Crit

USA Crit #2
After an easy 1hr spin in Athens Sunday morning, I made the haul back towards Atlanta for the Roswell crit. After Saturday nights Twilight Crit, I was a bit hesitant to race today. But shit, what else do I have to do?
It was a dreary day, with the cloud cover threatening rains and storms most the day. Everyone seemed a bit tired before the race. Maybe it was from all the racing Saturday, or all the drinking afterwards; probably both. Showers were apparently holding off.

At around 6pm, the race started with Health Net’s Nathan O’Neill setting tempo on the front, daring anyone to attack. No one did. After about 15 minutes or so on the front, he finally pulled off and things started happening. Having no teammates in the race, it was another just sit in and follow kind of day. I figured with the presents of all the pro teams there wasn’t much for me to do anyways. Just follow the good guys. Simple enough right?The race was pretty uneventful with any break coming back within laps until about 20 minutes to go. Four guys got off the front including Tour de Georgia stage 6 winner J. J. Haedo (Toyota-United,) Viktor Rapinski (Colavita-Sutter Home,) Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) and the winner of Saturday's Athens Twilight race Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance.). In my book that’s a dangerous move, but it wasn’t my job to chase, so I just watched. Priority health and Health Net did a superb job to bring the break back just before the last lap. That’s timing if I have ever seen it. I jockeyed for position on the back stretch hill, and came into the last two corners 15th wheel. Too far back, but what can you do. I sprinted up to 11th, just meters behind the winner Gord Fraser. The leg speed is starting to come back…

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Athens Twilight

So the weekend of Athens Twilight is I think the most anticipated festival/race weekend of the year for most racers. With grid qualifying on the computrainer for the pro 1/2's, the greenway racing just outside downtown athens for the amateur events, and all the downtown crit racing, Athens is packed for this weekend. All the students from UGA are also out to celebrate the last big weekend before finals and the end of the semester. Put NRC points up for grabs in the Pro/1 crit in the darkness of 9 pm on Saturday night and your asking for a carnival for bike racing!

It all started for me with the computrainer TT on Friday. It was set up with 12 heats of 8 racers time trialing on a stage for just under 6k. For those of you who aren't familiar with the computrainer, is a wind-trainer that can change resisitance for hills and stuff. It also tells you your power(watts) and speed so you can race against your 7 competitors. From the 12 heats, the best 8 times qualify for the finals heat that night. Well, I won my heat with a time of 7:31 and an average power of 458 watts. Overall I was just a second behind 2nd place(Ted King from Priority Health), and maybe 5 seconds behind the winner(Matty Rice from Jelly Belly). Teddy King and I spend some time together over seas at the U23 team house last year, so it was cool so see him stateside. In the final heat, I was lined up next to Matty and Teddy, so after a bunch of technical difficulty, they finally started us around 9:15 pm. Ted set a blistering pace off the gun and pretty much rode away from us all. I did what I could but couldn't keep his pace. He rode away and put in the same time as earlier in the day of 7:30. I was slower with 7:45, but still good enough for 3rd place. Matty was second maybe 8 seconds behind Teddy. That's was a F*%$#%& hard effort. Glad to have that over.
Great, now that was just to get to the line of the race the next night. I did a short spin in the morning just to keep the legs a bit warm. Then a little warm up just before the 9pm start with my buddy Tim Johnson, we were set for the big show. They called up the big pro guys at the race then us from the computrainer finals. After that, we were off. I started up front and stayed there. All the time I was just staying on the wheels and at the front. I was feeling ok, but needed to wait until at least an hour in to see how the legs were really going to be. 40 minutes in I made an effort to bridge to a break that looked promising. Almost making it across my legs were screaming. With the field charging on me, I waited and they eventually caught break. I had a feeling at the point I might be in trouble cause usually I can just to moves like that without such an expense. Not tonight. I was back in the bunch and new I wasn't good. It all started adding up in my legs and I knew I had no chance for the finish. I finished my bottle, took a gel, and hoped for a miracle to have something for the end. Then I saw we had 29 laps to go, and I knew I couldn't race that much longer and still have something for the finish. I decided to cut my losses and call it a day. Hey, I am not racing to finish I am racing for top 5! As soon as I knew that was impossible I pulled the plug. Oh well.

I'm racing again today at Roswell to try again. Then I'll be traveling around the southeast for the rest of the USA crit series. I'm hoping that the combination of this racing and some extra riding I can be super fit for the U23 Paris Roubaix on May 28th. I'm heading back over to Belgium on May 16th, so I'll be looking to grab as much fitness as I can while I'm back home. Hope to have to have good things to report soon. Until then....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Early trip home

So I am writing this post just after I finished packin' my stuff. I'm headed back to the states tomorrow for a little bit of rest and recovery. I have been having some problems with my medial collateral ligament (MCL) caused by a crash Saturday in Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux. I saw a PT on Thursday when the pain still hadn't subsided; he said I had slight strain on my MCL and I needed to take 1-2 weeks easy until the pain is gone. So, its back home for me for some rest before a block of training for my return trip to Europe in May.

Check out Bicycling Magazine

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Please Send Saul Some Encouraging Words

I think that you already hear what happend with our friend Saul last monday in the race .
Saul was in a crash,with about 2km to go in the 193km stage from Mouilleron Le Captif to Saint Mars La Jaille, breaking his clavicle and one rib as well as suffering serious cuts and abrasions to his face.
Saul is in serious condition at a hospital in Angers, France due to injuries he sustained during the opening stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Saul , 23, “suffered a brain hemorrhage early Thursday morning, forcing doctors to induce a coma to stabilize his condition and reduce pressure on the brain
I am writing you all to ask for your prayers for a close friend of us and USA Cycling .
I know that miracles can happen which is what he needs now.
Saul is a strong guy and I now he is fighting hard in his bad postion in the hospital in France .
Noel our teammanager is traveling to the hospital to see Saul and his Parents .
Can I ask you to reply or answer this email with some strong words for Saul and his family .
So we can give Saul and his family courage in the hard coming days .
I'm going to collect all your words of courage and give it to Noel in France so he can give it to Saul's Family .
Hope that I am going to receive alot of emails !!!!
If you guys now more people that want to write something please feel free to give them the email address.

Kindest Regards

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux

Another race report coming from the U23 National Team over here in Belgium. Well, nothing good to say about the first stage. Rabobank U23 D3 is very strong. They man handled the race. We all missed a split that put us out of the GC.

The next day was 8.5k TT in the morning with a 120k road stage in the afternoon. Crane went well in the TT with 11th place. I rode the TT conservatively because I was already three and half minutes down on 40 riders. With my tt bike and complete aero set up, my SRM still showed an average power of 400 watts for 11 minutes 18 seconds. That put me 53rd. Lars Boom from Rabobank won the time trial with a time of 10 minutes 2 seconds. Just think about that power.In the afternoon stage, I crashed on the circuits and had to ride the last 30k in the wind by myself on my spare bike. That sucked. Devine did a good job finishing 11th place.

On the last day, Rabobank put it in the gutter 60k in and shattered the race. Devine was the only guy to make it in the front. Crane, Deeny and myself were in the third group that was pulled by the 100k mark. I was exhausted. Once again, Devine had a great day at the front and salvaged the national teams weekend by finishing 15th.

More to come this weekend, when we hit up Gaverstreek 2.12 stage race.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Trofee Van Haspengouw 1.12

March 26th, 2006
The weather here in Belgium has gotten much better over the past few days. With temperatures nearing the 60’s, it’s nice to finally start a race without full thermal coverage. Matt Crane, John Devine, Mike Wolf, Sheldon Deeny and I compiled the team for today. Last Year Crane, Devine, and I help Tyler Farrar win this race, so we know the course and once again have big shoes to fill. The race consisted of the standard big loop with a few finishing circuits. This race put us on a 120k loop before hitting the 5 laps of 7.5k circuits. The race started and finished in the town of Sint-Truiden Aalst.

The race started with a “Belgium” neutral section over the first few kilometers. I say Belgian neutral because there was a cobblestone section and we were still were rolling at 50kph over them. Belgians don’t understand neutral. When the race finally started, we hit some pretty heavy crosswinds. Cyclingnews Pro team and a couple others put everyone in the gutter and the race was shattered. Once we hit the first headwind section, the main peloton had shrunk from 190 starters down to 50 riders. Sheldon had just returned from Spain and was our only rider not to make the front peloton. Crane and Wolf immediately hit the front and started chasing the break of 9 that had slipped off the front during the crosswinds. We brought the break down to as little as 10 seconds, but I guess at that point no one wanted finish the deal. By the time we hit the circuits, the break was back up to 1 minute. After a hard couple hours of chasing, Mike Wolf got a flat just a few k’s from the circuit. He made it back on, but it took a huge effort and hurt him for the end.
The Circuits had a 600 meter cobblestone section that lead into a hard left directly into a paved climb. The Climb was about 500 meters with a 250 meter false flat on the top. With the wind, the false flat on the top makes it the hardest part of the circuit. On the first lap of the circuits, I went over the top with a group of 15 off the front of the peloton. We were chasing the break, which had dwindled down to about 25 seconds. We caught them by the cobblestones on the second lap. On the climb the second time around, 8 guys from our 24 got a small gap. Directly after the climb, Devine came across to our group with 5 guys. So with 8 guys just off the front, Devine and I were in a group of about 22. Crane was in the group just behind, watching for anything else that may come across. Wolf had been stuck behind a split in the main peloton that would later be pulled on the last lap.

Some other guys bridged and our group swelled to about 30. Devine and I stayed attentive and followed some moves. Unfortunately, we missed two different 4-5 rider attacks in the last 2 laps. We came into the finish racing for 16th place, and I was 3rd and Devine 4th respectively from our group.

That put us finishing 19th and 20th on the day. We were both happy to be racing at the front at the end of the race, but still can’t help being frustrated about not doing better. We have the legs to be in the top 10 of these races, but still keep missing it. Every race we keep learning and getting better, so we are both super motivated to make the jump to the top 10. Triptique Mont Châteaux is a 2.2 U23 stage race this upcoming weekend that we are both super excited for. Last year Devine was top 10 there last year, so we will be looking to get him a high GC placing. I will be looking for a stage win and help Devine to a high GC position. Wish us luck.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

GP Waregem 1.2 U23

Waregem is a 1.2 U23 race, which is one of the biggest races on our spring calendar. Our team today was Matt Crane, John Devine, Ryan Keels, Chase Renick, Mike Wolf and I. It was a chilling morning, with temperature barely over freezing. But it was a sunny day, so it was nice.

The race is 150k, with cobble stone climbs including the Aikenburg, Old Kwaremont, Patersburg, knoktenburg, and a couple others. The Aikenburg comes about 60k into the race, and after that we hit all the climbs in the next 30k. The After all the climbs, you hit the finishing circuits after 120k. They consist of two 15k laps with one section of 1k cobbled and two small climbs in succession. John Devine and I were supposed to sit back and wait for start of the climbs. Mike Wolf and Matt Crane were managing the breaks until the climbs, and were very active. Keels and Renick are here for experience, making sure to stay towards the front and hold on as long as possible.
Wolf and Crane did a great job following moves before the climbs. Nothing got away, so when we came into the climbs, Devine and I were getting ready to throw down. With 5k to go before the Aikenburg, the fight for positioning was full force. We all hit the climb in the top 20, and went over it without trouble. No major splits happen, so it was most likely going to explode of the Old Kwaremont and the Patersburg. It’s always a tough fight for the front on the Old Kwaremont, so I was aggressive to make sure I was there. Both Devine and I hit the start of the climb top 10, right were we needed to be. I wasn’t super on the climb, so I went over the top with a 10 meter gap to the front 8 riders. There was a small cobblestone section right before the Patersburg, and my group of maybe 5 riders bridged to the front 8 riders. Coming in the Patersburg, I was just recovering from going so deep for the last few minutes. I felt better on the Patersburg and passed a few guys that were going nowhere. The problem is the rider right in front of me, from Davo, let a gap open to the front 7 guys. When we came over the top, there was 15 meters between us. I immediately jumped, but with crosswind I was going nowhere. I had to sit up and wait for the next group. Matt Crane was in the group that came up to me. We hit the Knoktenburg 5k’s later. It was a paved climb, but still very steep over the last 500 meters. The front group swarmed to 28 over the next few kilometers. Crane and I were hurting missed all the moves that went across. I was hurting pretty bad at this point, so I just ate some gels and just held the wheel in front of me. As we were approaching the circuits, the break had 45 seconds. Roubaix cycling team had completely missed the break so they were chasing. Right before the circuits, we hit a cobbled climb. I attacked to break the group up and try to go across. Over the top of the climb, I was by myself and clear from the group. I put my head down and started to time trial all out. After 6k’s of chasing solo, a group of 6 riders caught me right after the start/finish line. There were two Roubaix, one Veneeu, one Pictoflex and another rider with me in the group. We chased break down to 30 seconds coming into the cobble stone section on the first lap. We hit the two climbs 2k’s after the cobbles, and apparently front group had started attacking and shattering. My chase group started to get unmotivated, so the time starting going back up again. We never caught the group, and apparently it broke into several pieces. After the first lap of the circuits, I was blown. John Devine finished 13th on the day, just a few seconds down from the front group. I was 36th, 4 or 5 minutes back. Today was an ok day from the team, but we should have had another rider with Devine in the front group. Thank for reading.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Trognee 1.12

March 19, 2006
We awoke for a race morning finally with a forecast to be in the upper 40’s. We were all happy because that is actually warm for us here in Belgium. After an hour and a half drive, we were discouraged by the car temperature gauge reading 32 degrees. Damn Clouds.
Our team was very strong today, consisting of Mike Wolf, Matt Crane, John Devine, Zach Taylor, Ryan Keels and myself. The goal of the day was to be very attentive from the gun and not let anything get away without at least one of us in it. Pretty simple. Today’s race was 150k with a few climbs ranging from 1-2k.

The race started hard from the gun, as expected. While some of our guys were struggling to reach the front in the strung out crosswinds, Crane and I were jumping with moves and being very active. A crash maybe 5k in put half our team in difficulty. John Devine went down hard in the crash, requiring a bike change. Zach Taylor and Ryan Keels were also caught behind. They were in the chase group behind the attacking peloton up front. After a few unsuccessful moves with Wolf and me in toe, Crane found the right combination and made the break of 21. We would have like to have had more, but were happy with Crane there. Our mission for the rest of the day was to follow wheels to go across to the break.

Soon after the first climb of the day, Devine finally bridged on to the front peloton, now consisting of Wolf, Devine and me. We immediately hit the second climb, and this was the longest and steepest of the day. All three of us were at the front to make sure nothing got away without us. I followed a move a few k’s later consisting of 3 other riders, one of which was Steve Cozza, my teammate from the national team last year. He is now riding for the Continental Team Colba. He had one teammate with us and there was one other guy. They were doing the majority of the work, so I was getting a free ride. Noel came through the radio a few moments later and said Devine was in a chase group on their way up to us. We needed more guys if we wanted a chance to go to the front group, so this was a good situation. When Devine’s group caught us, we talked for a minute and decided we didn’t need to work too much. The group had a well organized chase for the next 30k or so. The break had one minute and thirty seconds with around 50k to go. Our group kept rolling through, but we were not chasing at the rate to bring the break back. They kept getting more time, and by the time we hit the 3 X 7.5k circuits, they had 3 minutes. With less than 25k to go, it was surely gone.

On the last lap, Devine went with a group of maybe 8 or 9 riders. They got a gap quickly and behind we just watched them go. Devine finished maybe 5th or so in the group for around 26th place. I think I was second in my group for around 30th.
Up ahead, Crane was put in difficulty in the last few laps of the circuits. He was forced to try to bridge to a front group of 12 riders solo, which didn’t pan out. Once he was caught by the remaining 11 riders, he was blown. He held on, but was finished 20th. It was a great ride for Crane and without a couple of tactical errors in the last 20k, he definitely could have gotten a top 10.

Our team is looking strong for GP Waregem 1.2 U23 on Wednesday. We will be taking a day or two for rest and then back to work again. I think we showed we have the strength today and will be putting it on display again on Wednesday. Until then…

Saturday, March 18, 2006

With the Help of my Soigneur and Mechanic

Tomorrow we have our next race, Trognee. It's a 1.12 U27 race consisting of mostly rolling hills. Tyler Farrar won the race last year, so we have big shoes to fill for this one. We have John Devine and Mike Wolf just back from a stage race in Spain, both of which are going very well. We have high hopes for this weekend, with our strongest team we have fielded yet. With the help of our trusty soigneurs, Chris "The Fox" De Vos and Els, and our kick ass mechanic George, we will be looking for a really good finish.

Today we went our for our traditional prerace ride on the "Veldroute". It's a 50k loop that we usually go out and ride chill, knocking it out in 1.30-1.45 hrs. Today it was very windy, so we were pushing 1.45. After a couple efforts, we were ready for the race tomorrow. Our team is strong consisting of John Devine, Mike Wolf, Matt Crane, Zack Taylor, Ryan Keels and me.

This is the first race of 3 this week. On Wednesday we have GP Waregem, which is an 1.2 U23. It's a very prestigious race with all the best Espoirs in the world. Farrar was 2nd here last year, so it's another race we are really shooting for.

Next Sunday we have Sint Truid Aalst 1.12, to cap off a solid few days of racing. This week will be a true test for our team. We will be trying show the form that has been somewhat lacking over the past couple weeks.