Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nationals report, Verona Wi. 2013

 Dining at our host house on the first night, preparing for the cold days with hearty pasta and a couple bottles of wine. Our hosts J.P. and Michelle Ericsson have treated us like family for the last two trips-our home away from home. Other teams should be so lucky to have such gracious hosts and such a great home base complete with a fully equipped heated shop !
 The next morning we were witness to the cold that we didn't experience last year.
 Ellen just after her 5th place in the women's single speed race. Our first event and our first medal.
 Scott rode hard to finish in 9th place, not as good as last year but he would show some good speed in the coming days.
 Our first team podium with Ellen in 5th in the single speed race, carrying on the team tradition of killing it with one gear.Ellen narrowly missed getting another medal in the Women's 30-34 race finishing 6th.
In the evenings the team was trying to kill it at the bowling lanes with varying results........
Aaron Bradford getting second in the Men's single speed race, on the podium for the second year in a row.
 Nothing but pain on this course, especially for the old guys like myself. I could only muster a 35th place.
Pit duty would be pretty tough as the days got colder and everything on the bikes froze and would cease working. Lucky for us, J.P. knew the secrets to getting the bikes rolling again in short order. Also, our bike wash and lube sponsor Pro-gold provided us with all we needed to restore the bikes every evening back at the home workshop. The 'Extreme lube' kept the chains clean, even when the rest of the bike was covered in frozen mud.
Here's J.P. on the start of his race. He would go from the back to 39th place......pretty good ride in the harsh conditions.
Alex salutes after one of his three events. It was so icy and slippery that finishing without getting seriously hurt was heroic.
 The third podium was captured by Katie Jay Melina, 3rd in the Women's 35-39 group. Katie's ride was exceptional as the conditions at the time were perhaps the worse in the whole five days of the event.
 Scott riding to 11th in his first Master's event , the 30-34 age group. He would ride to 31st in the elite race, his personal best finish at the nationals.
 After the last race we stacked all the bikes up near the Red Cross tent, the site of a nice warm fire-the best place to be in the sub-freezing temperatures.
 Destroyed rear derailleurs were common on the last day. Cables, shifters and derailleur pulleys would freeze in less than half a lap.

On the last night the team got out and made for downtown Madison and the after party.....of course not until the bikes were in the boxes and ready to ship home.
The long flight home was mostly slept through. This arduous race week took a toll but the results are pretty amazing: Five elite riders entered, three podiums and total of five top-10's. I would say that is an excellent result.

This was only possible with the generosity of all our sponsors, out hosts the Ericssons , and of course the quality and talent of our riders.

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