Friday, February 13, 2009

Texas Training

Howdy Y'all,
only been here for a few days and the lingo is already starting to rub off. OK not quite but everyone here really does talk like that, and I have already got crap for not pronouncing my R's. I flew to San Antonio on Wed. the 11th of Feb. one week before the start of the KBS team camp to get some warm weather miles in. Our General Manager Ken Mills invited me to come stay at his house and train before and after the camp. A very generous offer and being from NJ he knows how rough the east coast winters are. My flight with South West airlines went super smooth and I actually arrived early into Texas(how often does that happen?!). I walked outside the airport and it was almost 80 degrees and I was way over dressed! We got back to Kens nice home just outside San Antonio and I hit the hay early. In the morning I set up my new Gary Fisher road bike. A quick note on the bike. I wasn't sure what to expect of it as I hadn't seen or heard much about our new team bikes before arriving. After setting it up identical to my Lemond (the geometry is the same which is great as I don't have to change my postion) Dave Veilleux and I went out for a 3 hour spin. To my surprise the bike felt the same as my old bike with the added springiness of aluminum. Yeah that's right the frame is full aluminum. We are going to have carbon bikes soon but for now this seems like a good crit bike and a real warrior. My race bike is outfitted with full Sram Red while my training bie has full Force. Bontrager provides great stem handle bar, tape and wheel selections while I ride my tried and true Selle Italia Flite Team addition saddle. It will really be an advantage for me not to have to switch all of my equpment this winter and I am super comfortable on my bike already. I'll let you know how it really goes once I do sprints on it. The training was really good, winds out of the south and really rolling terrain. It is actually just like the training I did in Chapel Hill last winter except 30 degrees warmer!! We rode a gravel road for 15km and crossed a pretty knarly stream! All of my cross skill are really paying off! I have some long miles planned for this weekend with some more specific stuff next week. More on the training later. For now I have to go put in the miles, check back for an update next week when our official team camp starts! See Ya!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank You All So Much

Luke and I are now back from Holland, and I'd really like to take this oppertunity to say Thank You to everyone who contributed to our fundraiser and made our trips possible. I was deeply touched at all of the support that both my friends and family and the cycling communtiy gave to our family. I hope that there is some way that I can repay the favor to all of you because you have given us the ability to take advantage of the oppertunity of a lifetime.

As most of you know. Luke headed over to Europe two weeks earlier than I did to race in the final round of the World Cup Series in Roubaix, France. Luke had a great start, but unfortunately he was tangled up in a crash, taking him out of the lead group, on the second lap. Luke rode strongly to finish up 14th place.

On Thursday I met up with Luke at the race Hotel in Riland, Holland, which is about 12km from the race venue in Hoogerheide. The hotel was really cool. It was an old abby that was converted into a hotel. After getting settled into my room and eating lunch, everyone headed over to the race course to get an early look at the venue. At this point the course was slightly slick and it was looking like it was going to melt even more and be quite sloppy. After riding home to the hotel to eat dinner, I pretty much passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

7:45 came way too early when the National team coach Geoff Proctor woke us up for his trademark morning walk before breakfast. We then proceeded to eat a breakfast of bread, deli meat, and pasta. Not your typical American bacon and eggs, but there's no reason to complain. I went out early after breakfast and did some intervals, hoping to wake my legs up after the long flight. I found a really cool cobblestone road that I went down, and it continued for as far as I could see, so I eventually turned around. When I got back I ate some lunch, and then I got back in my USA clothing to take some team photos. These photos never seem to surface, but it is always mandatory that we stand out in the cold to take them. The course had changed entirely when we pre-rode it again on Friday. It was very fast and there was no mud to be seen. I was getting pretty psyched and I was completely ready to race.

Saturday morning Luke was selected for a random blood test at 7:00. Unfortunately, Luke passed out when they took his blood, which would throw anyone off their game. The split of 25 riders formed on the first lap, and with Luke starting on the 4th row, he was unable to make the front group. Luke chased hard for the whole race, and he picked off most of the riders that fell off the group. He ended up finishing 13th place, which was an incredible ride considering the circumstances.

Still feeling the jet-lag I was in pretty rough shape when I woke up on Staurday, but I was so psyched to race that it didn't really matter. I started on the last row, but I was able to move my way up pretty quickly after the start. I was riding well, until I went by the pit and there was a huge pile up. I got stuck behind it and lost a lot of time. After that I couldn't find a group to get in, and on such a windy course that is basically a death sentence. I ended up finsihing by myself in 39th place, as the 3rd American finsiher. It was a bit of a dissapointment, but how often can you be completely satisfied without winning.

Sunday was a good time. We got to stick around and watch the Elite Men's race. Let me tell you, those guys are incredible. I cannot even believe how fast they were going. I was slightly dismayed when I was told that the kid who won my race was doing comparable lap times. It's crazy over there. After watching the Elite races, we headed to the airport hotel in brussels.

Luke and I woke up on Monday morning to find that our flight through London was cancelled. Apparently they can't handle a few inches of snowfall. I couldn't help but think how much snow it would take to slow down Boston, but I guess that's why New Englanders are just so amazing. Luckily, two of our travel companions had cell phone service, and we got our flight rescheduled for Tuesday. Ironically, Tuesday was a mirror image of Monday. Our flight through London had been shut down. I jumped into the Customer service line, and after being shuffled around for a while, I got our flight changed to go through Washington DC. We end up taking off ten minutes earlier than we would have going to London.

We finally touched down in Boston at 11:00 P.M. Now you would assume that this is where I leave you with the happily ever after of my tale, but the shuttle that we were supposed to take was shut down for the night, and with the road being quite treacherous with snow it seemed we were stuck for the night. We then proceeded to barricade ourselves in the corner of the International Arrivals terminal, and try to get some rest for the night. Morning came for me at 1:00, and I then entertained myself until the 6:15 shuttle in the morning with my iPod, prayers of Thanksgiving, and plenty of reading.

Talk about an adventure. This trip was absolutely amazing. Not only for the invaluable racing experince, but in every way. Everything from getting to see Luke race his last Worlds as a junior to sleeping in an airport terminal was absolutely priceless, and I just want everyone to know how incredibly grateful I am.


Friday, January 30, 2009

VeloNews Photography | Kelly Snow Camp: New Englander Matt Keough leads ... | The Journal of Competitive Cycling.

VeloNews Photography Kelly Snow Camp: New Englander Matt Keough leads ... The Journal of Competitive Cycling.

This really annoys me! If you are not a certain 7 time Tour de France, winner the media doesn't even care! This year it is my goal to make sure nobody ever forgets my name!


Kelly Benefits Winter Training Camp

Just back from our first team camp of 2009. I flew out to Winter Park Colorado, where our team Director Jonas Carney lives, on Wednesday the 21st of Jan. My flight went smoothly and showed up on time. It was strange flying to a team camp with not one piece of cycling apparel, just ski gear and warm clothes. I immediately met up with the infamous El Gato(Jonny Sundt). We sat down for a cup of coffee at an airport cafe as there was some time to kill before the others arrived. We met up with Cando, and Erker, and finally Scott Zwizanski came through for us with the rental car and picked us up right in front of the terminal, what service!! The drive out to winter park was long but scenic and by the time we got there we were starved. The other half of the crew was to come in later so we went out to eat with Jonas before meeting up with the other guys at the house. We hit the sack wondering exactly what kind of "team building" activities Jonas had in store for us over the next few days.

We woke up relatively early and were told that we were going to go conquer a Mountain on snows shoes. Being from wintry New England I had a distinct advantage over guys like Neil Shirley form San Diego who hasn't played in the snow for years! We got going straight away and hike for about an hour and a half to reach the summit. We worked as a team breaking new trail but as in any competitive group of guys we soon began a race. A few of the guys, Erk, Neil, Ryan Anderson, and Deja Vu, decided it would be best to climb straight to the top. The rest of us, myself Zach Bell, Gato, Jonas, Cando, Ried, Zwizza, and Bowman, all decided to tack back and forth across the face in order to move faster and use less energy. We made the first peak at about the same time but because our method put us further across we were actually a few minutes ahead. There was no rest and we continued at this juncture Dave and Randy bridged up to Zach Reid and Myself to make up the front group. We pushed ahead until Deja made a clutch decision to remove his snow shies on a particularly rock section. He pulled ahead of me and the gap was just too big to bring back by the summit. Dave summited about a minute ahead of me with Reid close behind. At the top we found a huge cornice and jumped off it into some waist deep powder. The trip down was not so much fun as going down in the deep snow with snowshoes just wasn't productive. Every step you took you had to take an extra 20 seconds to get you feet out of the snow. We made it down fine however and waited in the base lodge for Charles who had apparently made it most of the way up, a good distance behind us, and now for we new was lost on the mountain! He impressively made it down not far behind everyone and we headed back to the house to get warm.

Later in the day Dan Bowman and I decided to start the weekend long project of making the Death Sled jump in the back yard. We made the run in and first hit but the snow was too light to effectively work with so we decided to leave the rest for the next day, but not before Dan hucked off it and landed on a pretty huge stump!! We went out for Pizza with the whole team after Casey Gibson did some head shots for the Team Website.

Friday half of us went Classic Nordic skiing and the other half went snow boarding with Jonas. It was snowing pretty hard all day but the skiing was still good. I have been skiing a lot back home so this was really just a normal day of training. After we got back to the house and had some lunch Zach and I went out to work on the Death Sled Jump. The snow was perfect for building and before long we had the run in dialed with two pretty good sized doubles and a berm at the end. We rode it for a few hours with no serious injuries and plenty of close calls! All in a days work!

Saturday we split up again this time between skate skiing and snowboarding. I have only skate skied on my classic back country skis at home so this was a new experience. I picked it up relatively quick and got in a good hard work out. By the time we were headed back it was white out conditions and it took us a few attempts just to get out of the park! We got back and just chilled out as everyone was pretty tired. We had a team meeting and then went out to dinner together at a seafood restaurant. As an aside I have a general rule that I have developed after living 21 years on coastal Cape Cod- If you can't see the ocean, don't buy the fish!. Obviously at 9500ft there was no ocean within a couple hundred miles. After some debate with the waitress about the "fresh catch of the day" (I mean seriously, how fresh could it be!) I ordered the Ahi Tuna, it was decent although not Cape quality, we left with a full team snowball fight in the parking lot and headed home.

Sunday morning we had some team photos to do as well as some more death sledding. We got some pictures before flying out and headed over Bertha pass to the airport. There was some concern because the pass was closed earlier for Avalanche blasting. It was fine however and we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We hung out at the airport ant all boarded our flights on time. I had a bit of flight trouble, par for the course, the flight attendant broke one of the over head bins so a mechanic had to come on board, that put us out of the deicing line which in turn put us 2 hours behind. I arrived in Boston at 2 in the morning and Mom and Dad were there waiting! THANKS! Well that's it for this trip, tune in to here about our real Training Camp in a few weeks. I am heading down to Texas a week early to train at Ken Mills house. Should be fun, actually riding with all the guys but be assured there will be plenty of off the bike antics! PEACE OUT!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Long Season, No Posts

Post by: Nick Keough

The US cyclocross season has flown by, so much so that I haven’t gotten a chance to make a post the entire time. My season had some downs, a bunch of ups, and a few rides that made the ‘08 cross season my best ever. In September I laid out three major goals for this season, I wanted to podium at nationals, win the Verge U23 series championship, and be a consistent top ten finisher in the UCI events that I raced in. Looking back on the season I am happy to say that most races went well, but I feel like the ones that didn’t just added to my experience, making me a better bike racer. I mean seriously, who gets it right every time anyway.

Green Mountain Cyclocross (UCI C2) Verge Series Rounds 1&2

Coming into my first race of the season I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t stepped on a cross bike since nationals last year, I was riding on borrowed bikes, and my road season had just ended two weeks previously with the hardest bikes race that I’d ever done (Univest GP). I lined up on the front row and I got the hole shot, not being exactly sure what to do I looked back at my teammate Chris Jones who was on my wheel. I figured that I should just keep it rolling, I felt pretty good so that’s what I did. We started rolling and our group formed with Jamey Driscoll, Matt White, Matt O’Keefe, Justin Lindine, Chris, and myself. Unfortunately, about three laps later I flatted out of the group just after the pit. Let me tell you, that was not a fun jog through a Vermont XC skiing area, it was pretty miserable. I ended up making my way to the pit, and I finished up the day as the 3rd U23 of 3 and 22nd overall. I was pretty bummed, but I knew that I had good legs so it didn’t bother me too much.


At least I knew what to expect for the second day of racing, I came into it with some pretty solid confidence and I felt like my cross legs coming back underneath me a bit. I started off well again, making that front selection, but when Dan Timmerman attacked hard on the first lap I used my better judgment and let him go. Coming into the second lap Jamey hit it pretty hard to go after Dan and Chris followed him. I decided to sit back and race my own race. I felt pretty solid at first, but I think I over did it a little, and I faded slowly back to 8th place. I just held of Justin Spinelli who was closing on me the last three laps. I was pretty excited because that was my best result in a UCI race, and it was only the first weekend.


Erdinger Grand Prix of Gloucester (UCI C2) Verge Series Rounds 3&4

Gloucester is always one of my favorite races of the year, the venue, the course, the fans, it is just the epitome of a great New England cyclocross race. This was the first time that I had lined up with the real guys for the season, and as always there was a very solid field with riders like Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, and Jesse Anthony lining up just in front of me. My plan was to ride smart, and hopefully end up with a top fifteen finish, which would be respectable considering how poorly my race went there in ‘07. I had a good start and made it into the preliminary front group, I made a rather unwise decision of staying in the front group early on, but it was working out as I settled in and felt pretty good. On the third lap I got a rear flat coming off the pavement on the finish straight. I tried not to panic, but its your first reaction when you know that your race is over. I made it to the pit eventually, but it was just damage control at that point. I rode in as the 3rd U23 again and 25th place overall, I was very unpleased to say the least.


The course on Sunday was not typical Gloucester, but it suited me pretty well with the newly added soft run up and s-turn sand pit. It was a very hot day and I made the best decision that I had all weekend in bringing a water bottle with me in my back pocket. I had a much more tame start, and I settled into a good group with Matt White and Justin Spinelli, but unfortunately he had a mechanical early on and I was by myself for a bit. Eventually Jesse Anthony and I began to work together and we caught Matt White with a couple of laps to go. Jesse attacked pretty hard when we caught Matt, and I wasn’t able to stay with them. I worked my way back up to Matt after Jesse gapped him out, but he left me coming into the final lap. I was still feeling pretty solid and I had a big enough gap over the next group of Adam Myserson and Josh Dillon that I held them off pretty easily. I ended up finishing 9th place overall and I was the first U23. I was very happy with the race, and I ended up taking the lead in the U23 Verge Series. It was nice to put on the leaders jersey at Gloucester, especially since it was the first time that I’ve ever lead the Verge series in my career.


Granogue (UCI C1) and Wissahickon (UCI C2)

The next week after Gloucester Jesse and I piled all of our crap into my little Chevy S-10, with our final destination being the best Mid-Atlantic cross race in the US. I was pretty excited because I finally got my new bikes built up, but I was slightly worried to race in a new position. After more planning snafus that one would believe Jesse and I arrived at the venue on time Saturday morning. Because it was the biggest race that I had entered so far I really wanted to pull down a good ride so that I could gain some momentum as the season started to pick up. I made the second group after the start with Jamey Driscoll, Barry Wicks, and Andy Jacques-Maynes. I was feeling good, but a stupid mistake in a technical corner left my shoulder, knee, and hand meeting the ground in a way that I would have preferred to avoid. I couldn’t hold onto the bar very well at all, and I ended up pulling the plug to save myself for Sunday once I realized I was out of contention for any UCI points.


Sunday’s event was a half hour away from Granogue in Wissahickon, Pennsylvania. The course was very open and fast, the exposed venue was very tough as a result of the cold air and high winds. The race went pretty typically for me, I was riding very strongly in a group with Jamey Driscoll and Davide Frattini, until I got to a point where I was riding way over my head and I made a mistake. I got hooked up on a course post and my shift lever was ripped off. I was still in good position after taking my pit, but a front flat left me well outside the top ten. I ended up finishing the race in a pretty disappointing 27th place. The drive home got me pretty bummed that I traveled all that way for no result, but if you don’t try you’re not going to even have a chance to do well.


Cycle Smart International (UCI C2) Verge Series Rounds 4&5

Going into the fourth round of the verge series I was leading the under 23 category, and I only didn’t have a good hold on it as a result of my ridiculous inconsistency. I had impressively bad legs in the race, and I ended up finishing in 16th place. I’m still not sure what caused that ride, but I just didn’t have the legs on the day to get a good result.


The only bonus about having as terrible a ride as I did on Saturday is that you get so pissed that nothing is going to hold you back from getting what you came for on Sunday. After Jake and I messed with my position on the bike I headed to the start. I made the front selection with Jamey, Dan Timmerman, Andy Jacques-Maynes, Matt White, Davide Frattini, Justin Lindine, and Josh Dillon. Eventually, our group split apart into two groups with Jamey, Andy, Dan, and Matt up front and the rest of us holding about five seconds back. I was feeling good and I tried not to over do it, just rolling through to keep everything moving. On the last lap Davide made an acceleration that only Josh could follow, and I decided to wait and take Justin to the sprint. I took the sprint for seventh place, and I won the U23 race which put me back into the jersey yet again.


Plymouth Cyclocross

After a very large amount of deliberation with myself, I decided to take a weekend at home instead of flying out to Toronto to race the two C1’s that were happening this weekend. My teammate Matt Shriver put in a few very good rides out there making it onto the podium for Sunday in 5th place. Instead I raced my home event, put on by Bill Sykes in Plymouth, MA. I was very happy to see that Matt O’Keefe showed up because it was nice to have someone to race with. The course was a blast, and after hopping the two single barriers on the course I put a gap into Matt and I was able to keep it going for the rest of the race, despite the fact that my front derailleur broke and I could only soft pedal for ¾ of a lap. It was nice to win a race, despite the size of the event, it’s always good for the moral to cross the line in first place.


USGP Mercer Cup (UCI C1) Rounds 3&4

I was really psyched to race going into the USGP races in New Jersey, it had been a two weeks since I had done a big race and I was feeling really good. I had a really bad start position because everyone and their uncle came out to this race. Knowing that it was a long race I chilled out for the first couple laps of the extremely muddy race. I worked my way slowly forward, and with about three laps to go I was into the top fifteen and riding with Bjorn Selander. Bjorn and I were the third and fourth U23 riders, with about three laps to go I was coming up the finish straight when a gust of wind blew some mesh snow fencing into my right shift lever. I was thrown to the ground and I immediately rolled off the course to avoid being hit by other riders. By the time I realized what was going on there was an EMT standing over me telling me not to move. Naturally I ignored him, staggered back to my feet, and got back into the race. I still rode quite well but I lost about 30 positions while on the ground. I worked my way back up to about 30th place. After the race I went the EMT station because I couldn’t see straight, and they told me to go to the hospital if I didn’t get any better over the next couple of hours. They kindly informed me that there was a chance that if I went to sleep I wouldn’t wake up, that didn’t help me feel any better. I ended up suffering through the night, and obviously, since I am writing this now, I did survive and I did race on Sunday.


I woke up Sunday morning with a killer headache, but my legs felt surprisingly good for having raced hard the previous day. By the time the Elite Race came the course was a total mess, but it was slightly better that it had been on Saturday. I started off very poorly and I was informed the first time through the pit that I was sitting in the top 35. Now I know that when the word “top” is placed in front of any number it makes it sound way better, but we all know that it is just a cover up for the truth. I started picking riders of slowly, and by the end of the third lap I was being told that I was just outside the top fifteen. I was feeling great, I just kept thinking that I knocked something loose the day before that was making me ride better than I ever had. The next report that I received was that Danny Sumerhill, who was sitting in 10th overall and 2nd U23, was just in front of me. Just after seeing two laps to go I caught onto the group of Dan Timmerman and Danny. It was then that I went into race mode, you know, the point when all you are thinking about is what the most efficient way to cross the line before the guy you’re with. As Danny and I started to line each other up we were able to leave Timmerman. On the last lap I came to the front for a second and got a gap, but coming I rode farther on the uphill and Danny ran by me into the pit. We got slightly tangled in the pit and he got a gap on me. I punched it as hard as I could coming over the flyover, but just as I caught his wheel in the last corner I dabbed my foot and that was the only gap he needed. I finished up 11th place overall and 3rd U23. After the race I was told that I ended up a close second place in the SRAM most aggressive rider to Troy Wells. I couldn’t have asked for a better race, I knew that I was coming into my legs and that I was just improving as the season continued.


Landscaping Super cup (UCI C1) Days 1&2

After a short ferry trip and a bit of aimless driving around Long Island I lined up for the first day of the UCI Category 1 Elite race at the Whitmore Super cup. I had a great start on the day, as usual, but I ended up really struggling in the cold. I was having a lot of trouble with my lings, I couldn’t get a full breath. I went backwards pretty quickly, and I just finished up the day in 18th getting lapped in the last 200m of my last lap.


As my weekends typically go, Sunday was the best race that I’ve had in my life. It was still freakin’ cold, but I was more prepared. I had a good start, but I held back when things started to get tough. After losing contact with the front group, Troy Wells and I began to work together. About two laps later he had an issue with his leg, and I started to settle into my own pace. With five laps to go Matt White and I came together and started trading off pulls. We were moving forward pretty well, and on the last lap I came to the front and got a gap on the ride-up. I hit it and didn’t look back, knowing that I was playing my last card. I was able to hold a five second gap on Matt, and I almost caught Andy Jacques-Maynes on the line. I finished in seventh place, which was the best result that I’d ever gotten. It’s the best feeling when you cross the line, knowing that you’ve accomplished what you came to the race to do.


Baystate Cyclocross (UCI C2) Verge Series Round #6

This race was officially the worst ride of my life. I got the hole shot pretty easily, and I lead for the majority of the first two laps. Then Jamey Driscoll attack our group pretty hard, I ended up being the only person to follow him. The next three laps were like I was moving in fast forward. Jamey was just rolling it on and I was holding on for dear life, but then the best thing happened, he slowed down slightly and looked over his shoulder to check if I was still there. I was psyched because I knew that I had made it though the hardest part. That lap, on the run up, I put my foot down and my knee just completely buckled under my weight. I didn’t know what was going on, my leg was totally numb. After a lap of struggling to figure out what was happening Matt White and Justin Spinelli caught and passed me. I didn’t even have the ability to respond. Over the last three laps I was just trying to finish. After a visit to my chiropractor and my primary care doctor we traced the issue to my crash in New Jersey because my neck had been bothering me over the previous two weeks. Luckily as of now it still hasn’t happened again, but my neck isn’t 100%, but it didn’t hinder me in RI or at Nationals so I think I’m okay.


NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross (UCI C2) Verge Series Rounds 8&9

The last weekend in the regular season of cyclocross saw me finally figuring out how to ride my bike consistently. I started off the race conservatively, not following Jamey when he attacked on the first. Our chase group was eight guys, and I was planning on just sitting in and gauging my efforts. Everyone in the group gave it a go at least one time, but I just sat back, listening to the advice that I had heard a hundred times from a number of experienced riders, “sit in”. I picked my place to go for it on the last lap, knowing that I needed to lead out the sprint. I hit it hard going off the road at the top of the course, and lead coming off of the beach. After the effort the only person left on my wheel was Adam Myerson, and I knew that if I was going to win the sprint I would be best off not to let him get back to my wheel easily. I still had a gap coming onto the pavement, and I took the sprint pretty easily. I couldn’t believe that I had gotten second at a Verge race! I was pumped.


Sunday went very similarly to Saturday in that we had a very large group that was not breaking up easily. However, Jamey chilled out for a while and waited until three laps to go to attack, and that split the big group up a bit. Jamey got a gap on his own, while the second group consisted of Derrick St. John, Justin Spinelli, Adam Myseron, and myself. Unfortunately, I got a front flat on the last lap. I got to the pit still sitting fifth place, but I ran out of time and couldn’t catching the group of three that I was in. I still finished a very solid fifth place, and I took the win in the Overall U23 Series, which was something that I’ve wanted to do since I started racing cross. I was feeling great and with nationals only a week away, I felt like I was ready.

2008 USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships

After road tripping it straight from the race in Warwick the previous week, we made it to Kansas City, Missouri on the Wednesday before my race. The conditions on Friday were very slick and muddy, but by the time my race came around on Saturday the course was dry, but very tacky. While warming up on the course I had a big scare when my front tire rolled off the rim on a downhill corner. I was thinking that the day wasn’t going to go very well, but I got it all figured out and started my warm-up routine on the trainer. I was called up to the start line as the second rider because of my UCI standing. I took the hole shot, knowing that it was better for me to set the pace until I knew how everyone was feeling. On the climb Danny Sumerhill got tangled up on my rear wheel and Nick Weighall attacked pretty hard. I was able to follow easily enough, and that was the selection. We started rolling for the next couple of laps, until Alex Howes ad Adam McGrath came up to us. Nick attacked again and I followed, which got rid of the two of them quickly. Coming into the run up a lap later I felt my headset come loose drastically. Nick pulled a gap on my down the descent, and I got on my pit bike after loosing about thirty seconds. At that point I went into damage control, I knew that I could hold Danny off who was about a minute back. After settling in seeing four laps to go, I heard Luke yell, “you’re f’ing catching him, keep it up!”. I looked up and saw that I was riding back up to his wheel. I felt perfect. I settled in then came to the front and I knew that I was racing how I had wanted. On the second to last lap, Nick gapped me out coming off the run-up and he punched it hard. Over the next lap I chased hard, but I wasn’t able to make it to his wheel before the pavement. I finished second, and although I am never happy with a result that I know that I could have improved upon, I really can’t complain.


Happy New Season!

Dec. 31 2008

This Fall Kelly Benefits raced in a one day Pro Crit just outside Paris. It was a short trip but the team did really well. The course was all about a bunch sprint but unfortunately the janky french crit racers didn't want a bunch. We put Reid Mumford in the break and with about a quarter of the race to go he lapped up. I chased anything dangerous and tried to do a good lead out. The reason I say tried is because although Reid is unbelievably powerful he is a TT and break away specialist not a bunch sprinter. He did well to get 8th and the most aggressive rider prize! I was second or third in the bunch to get top 15 not bad for a sweet trip to Paris end of Season.

For 2009 I resigned with my current team Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling, and I couldn’t be happier with the group of riders, Management, and contract I negotiated. I really felt like I integrated into the team seamlessly this year ,immediately getting results and laying it down for teammates results, like Dave’s win in PA, or Cando’s 2nd at ProCrit. Next season should be epic and I have set my goals high as always. I have more specific goals, but my overall objective this season is to make the same leap I have in the past 4 seasons. Each year I have managed to deny everyone who has told me I will stop improving, and have made the same step each year. First going from learning to race as a Junior to winning and making podiums at big junior events, then making podiums at local pro races to winning those races and getting to NRC’s. Last year I knocked on the door of every top sprint I was in, and came up with a 3 professional wins with more than 15 podiums. For this season I want to convert those podiums to wins. Again most people I talk to tell me not to be disappointed when that doesn’t happen. For me that is fuel and everyday I train I use, it, and all those near misses to make me better. I am hungrier than ever and with my training more dialed than ever, I am looking forward to making those that doubt me look stupid.
Now that the cross season is finally over and the road season is just around the bend my training has been quite extensive and going very smoothly. With lots of time in the gym, multiple training sessions per day and trying to rest fully in between, my schedule has been single minded and focused on the season to come. Throughout November and December I have been putting in the miles both from my home base on Cape Cod and from Cross venues each week (Where I also play pit crew for my brothers). However after our trip to Hell, I mean Kansas, it has been nice to get into the routine of training strictly from home and checking off my training objectives as they come.
Now don’t get me wrong, our drive to Kansas for Cross Nats was quite productive, with two 2nd places finishes and Nick and Luke both going to worlds, not to mention some surprisingly great training roads for me. However if we were to drive 1500 miles in any direction from our house other than to Kansas, I am sure we would have ended up somewhere quite a bit more remote and desirable for bicycle riding! Needless to say I logged a good week of frigid training while traveling and we had some great fun! Christmas at our house was pretty chill this year and we just hung out. My bros got me a rad espresso machine so my daily training routine now involves pulling at least 2 shots first thing every morning! Last week’s weather was great for training being 40 degrees super windy, and pissing rain. By the way there is no sarcasm there! If the roads in New England are clear of snow and it is above 25 I am psyched and outside training! Unfortunately I ran out of luck and as I am writing this it is white out conditions outside.
On a better note I got my race schedule for the spring and it looks awesome! Lots of racing and traveling as always but let’s just say it has some uncharted territory for me, right in line with some of my bigger goals. More on that at a later. First on my schedule is our first team camp in Winter Park, Colorado. As you could imagine the training is not perfect for training there but that is not the point. The trip will be short, less than a week, to get to know new teammates, catch up to old ones, and have some fun in the snow. It will also provide the opportunity to nail down everyone’s goals and objectives and really start the teambuilding process. Two weeks later I fly to Texas for the formal Team Presentation, Photos, and full on warm weather training every day for 2 weeks. Because I am obsessive about my training I am personally looking forward to this camp more than the first. It will provide some great motivation as the weather will be nice and the whole team will be training together. The other important aspect of the second camp is that it should complete the team building process. Bike racers are much more comfortable on their bikes than any where else and long days training with teammates provides a good foundation both physically and mentally for the season to come. As I said stay tuned for more info on my schedule. Now I have to venture out into a blizzard to get my training done for the day!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008