Archive for January, 2007

Wow what a weekend for the US! First Danny Summerhill takes silver in the junior race then Katie Compton takes silver in the women’s race, and Jon Page takes silver in the men’s elite race. All three had a chance for the victory. Local Portland racer Rhonda Mazza rode to a very respectable 11th in the women’s race. Erik Tonkin (43rd) and Ryan Trebon (23rd) finished on the lead lap in the men’s race. Suggesting that three US riders would medal would have been preposterous so this was huge. There’s a nice bit about the race at Pez as well.

Page was helped by Bart Wellens’ and Sven Nijs’ woes. Wellens crashed in the second lap and broke his wrist and still managed to finish fourth. Nijs crashed into Wellens and then twice more before giving up and coming across in 11th. Video of the Wellens crash here.

Wellens is talking about sueing (perhaps Fidea instigated?) the Worlds promoters for negligence. He’ll miss seven races worth of start and prize money. Look at the video — the camera motorbike knocks a poorly secured barrier into Wellens’ path. Those camera motorbikes are a staple at televised races and the barrier configuration is probably pretty standard too. I think the case is pretty weak.

I know that this is probably the most circulated crash video of the season but I’ll link it here anyway. The weekend prior to the Worlds, the conditions at Hoogerheide were awful. Early in the first lap, there was a major stack-up at a nasty corner at the bottom of a steep descent. Watch it here. As Terry K. mentioned, that corner likely wasn’t new to them yet it ate up a number of the best cross racers in the world.

Las Vegas is going to host a UCI (site says C2 but the flyer says C1) race to coincide with Interbike. They expect to draw a great field since sponsors will be likely to send their riders to the trade show and to do the race as an add-on. Details here!

Also an article in the online Velonews here.

With worlds coming up this weekend, I’ll go on record:

Men’s Elite: I’ll go with the safe choice and pick Sven Nijs (Nys). He’ll shake off his disappointments of the past two years and put together a solid race to win. Look for Wellens to be the spoiler. Vervecken will finish around fifth.

Women’s Elite: Hanka Kupfernagel. She’s really on top of the WC races this year. Vos is clearly a talent but her her split focus on road and ‘cross is her ultimate demise.

U23: Lars Boom. Albert has ridden well all season but Boom looks to be stronger right now. This might turn out to be the most exciting race of the weekend.

Page: I think he’ll surprise and make the top ten. He looks to be very focused and strong after that long layoff.

Trebon: I say he also finishes top ten — right in front of Page. If he has gotten over his illness, he has the fitness and skills to ride with the leaders. He just doesn’t have the experience to fill out the podium.

And back to my very dry training diary … Yesterday I ran in the morning (felt good), rode to work, and then started working on my ‘cross practice course at lunch time. Lots of grinding and some stops to figure out where I went the previous lap. A few more sessions should have it run in well enough to see the path so I can work on speed a little more. Unfortunately, there are some blackberry brambles in the field and a thorn found its way into my front tire. I’ll have to run the Tuffy liners for a while out there.

This morning I ran and rode to work and will be working to run in the ‘cross practice course some more at lunch. I also expect to ride home this evening.

If you haven’t read Erik’s latest race report from Hoogerheide (2007), do yourself a favor and check it out. Compelling reading. The conditions were appalling but the Tonkinator checked in with a 25th placing in a WC event!

It’s time to fire up the blog again. I started it up for a while last year to keep me honest with training. I screwed around last year for about six months after the season and didn’t do jack. I really don’t want to do the same thing this year. Anyway, I only updated the blog last year for a month or so until I had the ball rolling. I hope to be a little more on the ball this year. I also hope to have more content than training numbers and really dry stuff like that. That said, it will be primarily a training log.

With that in mind, I started running over Christmas vacation and had been pretty good about keeping it up. However, it snowed last week and I haven’t been running since — like a week. I’ve hardly been on the bike either.

Today, I did a pair of 40 minute rides because I dropped off the car at the dealership for some service. I rode to and from work. It was fun to get back on the bike and I’ll be spendin a lot more time in the saddle from here on out.