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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,


Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage 1 TT – Men’s Race Report

June 10, 2009

Bissell, OUCH-Maxxis Dominate Opening Time Trial of 2009 Nature Valley Grand Prix

By James Lockwood

While the order of the stages changed from 2008 for the start of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, beginning the five-day, six-stage race with the Saint Paul Time Trial did little to change the outcome of the stage. Bissel Pro Cycling dominated the standings, and Rory Sutherland came out of the stage in second place, followed by Peter Latham (Bissel Pro Cycling).

Unlike last year, though, Bissell hopes to use the momentum from the stage win and dominating presence in the top 10 to take home the overall classification this year.

“Last year, we did the same thing and didn’t finish too well,” said stage winner Tom Zirbel, who put in a blistering time of 12 minutes, 36 seconds and the 7.2-kilometer course, beating Sutherland by 13 seconds. “We have some stronger guys on the team this year. Hopefully, we learned from last year and will do better.”

Last year, Bissell came out of the time trial with Ben Jacques-Maynes wearing the leader’s jersey and his team dominating the top 10 standings. In the end, though, Jacques-Maynes finished fourth overall, losing time to overall champion Sutherland in the fifth stage Mankato Road Race.

That result had OUCH-Maxxis’ Sutherland pleased, if not overly happy, finishing second to Zirbel.

“I think we are in the best position,” said Sutherland, whose teammates John Murphy – second overall last year – Karl Menzies (2006 champion) and Tim Johnson also finished in or near the top 10, all within 30 seconds of Zirbel. “If it comes down to the climb in Mankato, I would rather be chasing Zirbel than chasing Ben. I think I am a better climber than he is.”

Sutherland cautioned, though, there was a lot of riding to do before getting to that point.

“There are 15 guys who could be in the yellow jersey after the crit tonight,” said OUCH-Maxxis’s director Mike Tamayo.

Among those 15 include Jaques-Maynes and his brother, Andy, and their teammates Frank Pipp and Peter Latham. Latham briefly held the best time before losing it to Zirbel 12 minutes later. He finished third on the day.

Cracking the top 10 and disrupting the Bissell-OUCH showdown was Team Type 1’s Mike Creed, a recent addition to the team after financial turmoil ended his tenure at beleaguered Rock Racing. Creed finished the stage in sixth, 22 seconds back.

“It’s unbelievable,” Creed said of his performance and place on the team. “I was really, really surprised. I just got the bike. It felt good from the start.”

Happy to be racing on the team, he said his expectations riding against the juggernauts of Bissell and OUCH-Maxxis are in check for the overall classification. “We have some strong sprinters on the team. Crits will be our focus,” added Creed.

Floyd Landis (Ouch p/b Maxxis) leaves the start house in Stage One of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Landis finished in 28th place among 144 men. (photo courtesy of Steve Pottenger)


Stage One: St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial

St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial

The time trial is often called “the race of truth”. There will be no hiding in the pack or drafting behind teammates as each rider must test themselves against the course alone.

This will be a no-frills slug fest, with riders flying up and down Lilydale Road in this individual race against the clock and back by popular demand is the finish on top of the Ohio Street hill.

Although the riders will complete well over 200 miles in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, this 4.5 mile race will likely be decisive. Losing just a minute in this time trial could cost a contender five places in the final standings.

Men’s Start List / Women’s Start List

Event Schedule:

8:30 AM – First woman starts (TT Start Times)
9:45 AM – First man starts (TT Start Times)
12:00 PM – Racing ends