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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

Sharpening Up; Moving Forward

June 11, 2009

After the first day of racing here in St. Paul it seems like the legs are starting to come around to the efforts which I am asking of them. With Monday full of travel, and then just trying to get things moving yesterday, I think today was when everything started to finally come around.

This morning after almost one hour of riding, I arrived at the start of the 10-kilometer time trial just like I wanted to; confident, hot, sweaty, and armed with a solid plan for how I would approach each of the following 10-kilometers. I was aiming to finish the first test of the week in 13 minutes and some seconds, even a 13:59 would have been “successful.” In my last time trial, I set a goal which would have placed me in the top 25 finishers from the previous year, and I beat that goal. So today, I was confident for the time trial and my goal. Unfortunately, I was never able to find my rhythm on the course, and ended up finish a long ways down, losing nearly 1:45 to the fastest man, Tom Zirbel.

With my race getting off to a rocky start, I rode from the time trial back to our host house in Mendota Heights. The 20 minute ride was the perfect cool down, allowing me to pedal a light gear with a good cadence as I cleared the lactic acid from my legs.

The middle part of the day was lazy and relaxing. After getting back, I made a quick lunch, before taking a nap. After awaking from my nap, I jumped onto the massage table for a quick rub. Off of the massage table, and I was back to the couch where I remained for the rest of the day. I passed the time by checking in on the news, and then picking up a good book. Off the couch, it was a light pre-race snack, and then back to the couch for a few minutes before kitting up for the evening’s criterium.

Kitted up and ready to go, I rolled out with my roommates for the short 25 minute ride into downtown St. Paul for the criterium. It is no secret, and I make no fantasies about my criterium racing skills. In the world of domestic stage racing, crits are certainly my Achilles Heal. Driven by the morning’s frustration, along with a host of other emotions, I managed to ride one of my strongest crit’s of the season. Although I really accomplished nothing of note in the race, I did manage to stay in what seemed to be the top half of the field, finishing within the main pack.

As the legs start to come around, I am still a long ways down in the general classification, and I am hoping to continue the positive trend, moving farther towards the sharp end of the racing, maybe even off the front in the next few days. We will see what the future holds, but for now, I have a few more minutes on the couch before I crawl into the sheets for some much needed sleep.

Thanks for reading. We are off to Cannon Falls tomorrow afternoon for some autograph signing at the library, which will be followed by an all out throw-down over the course of a challenging 107 kilometer parcours.

Keep the Rubber Side Down,


Stage Two: Downtown St. Paul Criterium

June 10, 2009

The Minnesota Bicycle Festival continues in downtown Saint Paul’s Lowertown district with the second stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

This is a wide-open course with a gentle incline to the finish line and is likely to end in a big pack sprint. With the time trial earlier in the day the winner may not claim the Nature Valley Grand Prix yellow leader’s jersey, but they should be able to don the Wheaties Sprint leader’s jersey.

The Downtown Saint Paul Criterium will favor powerful sprinters. Sprinters often struggle in the time trial and hilly weekend races, so this will be a stage for the sprinters to shine.

Event Schedule:

4:00 PM – Expo opens & Stunt Rider Shows
6:00 PM – Women’s Pro/Elite Race – 60 minutes
7:15 PM – Shimano/Hoigaard Tour de Kids fun race
7:40 PM – Men’s Pro/Elite Race – 60 minutes
9:00 PM – Expo closes