Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I started in the very back of the pack, only 3 girls were called up after me! The course was a lot of fun while I warmed up - nice woodsy trails and soil like we ride at UCSC. It was flat and very fast. The start was very narrow and I just couldn't move up much - when I tried to pass a girl she tried to take me into the course fence, but I pushed back into her and stayed up. It was complete mayhem for the first lap, lots of girls running with their bikes and still crashing into each other! I ran a little and never crashed, but I was really
frustrated being stuck behind slow girls on the fun singletrack. I was impatient and tried to pass constantly, but the girls just took me into the fencing every time I tried to come by. When the course finally opened up, it was fast but there was a headwind, so I had a hard time moving up. By the 2nd lap I was riding in a group fighting for 25th - 32nd, but I was in the back and got blocked trying to move up. Matt VanWabbithout was in the pits offering me lots of encouragement, I was glad he stayed positive for me since I was feeling really frustrated not to be riding further up.
I had to fight for position the entire race, feeling like I wasn't making any progress. The muddy cow field races over the previous few days took something out of me, and I just didn't have a snap I would
have needed to jump ahead in my group. Only on the very last lap did I finally break free and get to tackle the fun swoopy singletrack in the woods by myself. I was able to put a good gap on the girls behind me
through the trails, it felt like riding at home and it was really a blast. I was hammered coming toward the finish, but I couldn't let up because there were chasers right behind me. I ended up 29th, which seemed disappointing, but my coach reassured me that he was pleased with my effort; I had moved up 10 places from my call up position on a course where no one was able to make progress forward. It was great experience, much harder than anything I will do in the US. I was so exhausted, I literally collasped into the car and couldn't walk after it was over. I still earned 32 UCI points for my effort, combined with 12 from Saturday's race in Lebbeke I did very well for the weekend as far as collecting points. I came away from it with a head cold, so now I need to rest up for the flight tomorrow, so that I can get well and kick some ass at the USGP in Kentucky! It will be easy compared to Kalmthout.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Matt decided that he had put in his time on Thursday trying to hold the wheel of the World Champ, so today he opted to help me in the pits. There was a small showing, just 14 women, though Belgium was represented well with former National Champ Veerle Ingels (a solid rider - she also scored a 5th in a World Cup last year) and last year's National Silver medalist Katrien Aerts on the line. The start was very tame and I got to the dirt first, and the gaps opened up quickly. For a few laps, 4 of us were fairly close to each other with some time on the rest of the field. It took me a while to figure out how to ride on the bumps efficiently, since in the US we typically see bumpy turf in short sections, but never for the whole race. Normally I ride in a bigger gear on bumpy turf, but after 20 minutes I found that a higher cadence was better.
Veerle Ingels went off the front riding with a cadence of about 120 in her easiest gear, according to Matt. I started with a psi of 25 but itwas too hard - I called out to Matt to reduce the tire pressure in my spare bike and I made the switch. Katrien took advantage of the gap growing when I made the bike switch, and I rode solo in 3rd place for the second half of the race. 4th and 5th were only 20 seconds behind me and working together, so I kept the pace up while trying to save something for the World Cup tomorrow. It was a course where another 20 percent effort would only yield 2 percent increase in speed, so I did only what I needed to in order to maintain my spot on the podium. There was a lot of fuss over our podium ceremony, and some very interesting prizes. The euros are my favorite prize, easy to carry around and very useful in the land of chocolate, waffles, beer, and don't forget, shoe stores. My other prizes include a trophy cup on a marble base, a very large beer in a champagne bottle, a loaf of peperkoek (sugar cake), and what else but a few kilos of fancy ham? That's right, Belgian Ham - a very close relative to bacon. One other nice thing about racing here - it only cost 3 euros to enter, and I was paid 8 euros for starting. Conveniently, Matt decided that 8 euros was his fee for being my mechanic today. Sarah
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Nick Purtscher had a really strong second half and Jeff Patton was having a super race until he crashed hard midway through the race and withdrew. The mens B race was perhaps the biggest field of the day and newcomer Alex Work finished a credible 5th and looked strong the whole time. Stella and Bettina got callups in the womens A race and Stella managed 5th against some really tough roadie women on a flat fast course. Julie Brothers finished her womens masters race retaining her top ten status overall. Frank Kalcic rode hard and then graciously fired up his weber at the tent while D.J. Snead spun discs on his portable turntable.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Photo Credit: Sarah Kerlin
Thursday, October 18, 2007
We got a few minutes with Josh and asked him some info on how things are going. READ ON....
Photo from Sacramento series. Permission to use photos By Mark Adkison
Copyright 2007 , Hors Categorie Photography - All Rights Reserved
RL: Earlier this season you were sporting a thick mountain man beard. Is this part of your game plan to get into your competitors heads to make them think you went Rocky Balboa on them and trained in Russia or something?
JS: I don't really know why I grew that silly thing. It was pretty sweet I guess, but I just think I'm the kind of person that just looks weird with a beard. Maybe that's why it seemed to get a lot of attention. Other guys have beards and nobody calls them Santa Claus! I guess I look like kind of a dork no matter what so it was good for a laugh.
RL: What are your season goals this year as compared to last year?
JS: I wanted to do as many races here in Nor-Cal as possible this year, and hopefully win some. I didn't race at all over the summer so I wasn't sure how fit I'd be able to get without that road racing base. 2 years ago, I raced well (12th, 14th finishes) at a few USGP races and was top 20 at nat's so my goal for last year was to better those accomplishments. Things didn't go my way and I was pretty unhappy at the end of last year. I didn't race at all after that and I just did other stuff over the summer to let myself find motivation for cross season this year. It was a good decision because the mental break combined with the training I did has left me feeling fit and excited for the races!
RL: How has the racing changed in the past year, new competitors, old ones getting stronger, some folks leave?
JS: There is a few missing guys- Haven't seen BJM, AJM was back for a minute but he had an accident and he's out again. No John Funke this year or much of last, I haven't seen Chris McGovern this year. No Clown yet (Wicks), but I bet he'll show up in Nor-Cal before long.
Justin Robinson is riding well and he's really hard to beat because of how well rounded he is. I expect he'll
get faster as the year goes on so he's basically our main competition since he's not leaving town much this year. When Chance Noble comes up he's a good teammate for Justin and another tough challenger, as is his Dad Mark. Cameron Falconer often plays a part in the race as well.
Our team is the new local force in the men's A races. Aron Odell is back after not racing last year and I'm real glad he's on our team. He showed on saturday's CCCX that he has the condition he needs to win against the best guys in our area. Dave Wyandt was great there as well, and he would have won that Fairfax race if he hadn't lost his chain on the last lap. He's riding strong now and has shown his fitness in several races this year after bad starts or mechanicals. On top of that, we have lots of other riders in the A race grabbing spots throughout the top 5 and top 10 (like Aaron Kereluk and Rob Evans).
It's the same story in the A womens race (Kerlin and Carey) and we have top riders in most of the other categories, men and women. We will try and win as many races and series overall victories as possible.
RL: Whats up with your racing Rig, did you change it up at all this year?
JS: It's pretty much the same as last year. The biggest change has been the switch to Challenge tires from the Dugasts I've been using for the last few years. The Challenge tires work great and they're tough, they're the best tire for this area.
It's hard to improve on perfection, I love my bikes!
From a mechanical perspective, our sponsors are hard to beat. Chris King, Paul brakes- these are parts that last a lifetime and I would buy these parts even if they weren't sponsored to me. Shimano shoes, Mavic wheels and Sheila Moon clothes all fall into the "I'd buy it anyway" category as well. Easton Scandium tubing is the best material for a cyclocross race bike, period. It's fun to be on product that I really like!
RL: Your leading the NCNCA Cup Series with 2 wins for 2 events, thats got to feel good. Whats your comments on it?:
JS: It's a new series and it fits my goal for this year- get wins in Nor-Cal. I really hope I can race well in all the different series, so I'll pursue the overall win in this series.
RL: Last year you were flying all over the country to race for UCI points. This year your staying more local, has this changed how you are racing at all?:
JS: It's a lot more fun racing here. I can usually line up at the front and race for the win. That doesn't happen at USGP races for a guy like me... Maybe a top 10 could be possible if I got lucky and had the best day of my life (after getting the points needed to have a start position within sight of the front...) ,
but not the win.
There's hard competition here, but it's more like 5 or 6 guys that are roughly my level or better rather than 30 or 40 guys in a USGP that are at or (way) above my level. I can't always win around here, but I can nearly always be in a position to try for it. So far this year, I've been on the podium at every race I've finished.
Photo from Sacramento series. Permission to use photos By Mark Adkison
Copyright 2007 , Hors Categorie Photography - All Rights Reserved
RL: You got a pretty solid crew backing you up at the races, and taking shots at wins when your out or down from mechanicals. Does this take the pressure off of you to know these guys are there?
JS: Any of us can win on any day. We just get the races started, and see what we can do with whoever ends up in the front. I've had a couple wins now as a result of racing as a team with these guys, but there will be plenty of days when I can work to help Dave or Aaron towards victory. There's plenty to go around!
RL: Any tip for newbie racers to take home with them?
JS: Doing races is the best way to get better at cyclocross, just do as many as you can and try to learn something each race.
RL: PBR or MGD?
(I prefer King Cobra myself)
Thanks again to Mark Adkison for the great photos!
For a little reconnaissance, they signed up for Kermiscross Ardooie with the likes of cross future and current Stars / legends.. Page, Wellens, Albert, Vervecken...
Sarah sent us an update on the event that sounds crazy fun:
Monday, October 15, 2007
Word is in for Sacramento Series, NCNCA Cup Series #2 Hagen Park, CA 10-14-07 .
A beardless Josh Snead snags yet another win! 2 for 2 is looking good.
Other HRS teammates pulled off some solid results for a HRS Rocklobster Podium Sweep.
Stella wrapped up an 8th place, after her win the day before.
These are the unofficial, but the word that was relayed to me.
More to come.
Photo from Flickr files of Godot321, please visit his pics.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The team is as solid as always with folks at the front at almost all of the events. Stella sored a huge and significant win against Barb Howe and Josie Beggs.
Scott Calley got a 2nd in the 45 B class in a large field.
Dave Wyandt and Aaron Odell got 2nd and 3rd in the mens elite race ahead of Justin Robinson, adding points to Dave's overall score.
You'll have to go to cccx.org for all the other results as the memories are scrambled after all of the events. Aaron Kereluk and Dean Poshard had mechaincals that pretty much put them out of the standings but rode strong anyway.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Rumors or Reality?
Hot off the rumor mill, Team HRS Rocklobster racer Sarah Kerlin will be racing with USA squad at World Cup in Kalmthout, Belgium on Oct 21.
Good Luck Sarah! Bring back them Frites!
thanks to Jon for capturing the great photos!
Monday, October 08, 2007
While the field results were missing a few people, the Bay Areas Super Prestige series are about as fast as they get on the West Coast.
Sarah handled the field finishing 1 minute ahead of second place!
Stella Carey took 4th and Betina Hold took 9th.
Steven Gile took the win for the Masters A race beating out some very tough competition.
Steven has been grabbing a lot of seconds and it looked like a win was coming his was soon.
On the Elite mens field front, Andy Jacques-Maynes and Justin Robinson got even and slotted Josh Snead and David Wyandt a few spots back. This is becoming an annual rivalry between teams as in years past its been HRS team nipping at the heels of the Strawberry boys, only this year HRS is missing a key component in Simon Vickers. Aaron Odell and Kereluck take a very respectable 6th and 8th!
As surprise to all, Michael Hernandez was back out on his new rig. Finishing 1 lap down to the winners, but considering his recent crash and recovery its a pretty impressive site! Welcome back Michael.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
HRS teammate Joe Walsh isn't racing cross just yet. He has been focused on Xterra events.
On Sept 29th Joe posted a 5th overall place at Xterra Nevada and won the 25 -29 age category!
Monday, October 01, 2007
After posting 2nd at White hill the day before, Sarah decided 1st was better and punched off for a win at CCCX #2.
You can see the grinder of a climb.
Heres what Mike blogger Hernandez had to say about it.
"Kerlin looked at ease on Sunday ... it's good to see her able to double-up on weekend races like that and hit her groove."
Looks like she's serving up her groove.
That puts the HRS RL win stats at 5 for the season so far.
Check out all the results for 2007 so far (link to your right-->)