Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race November 3rd

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Seattle boy McKissick shines at Criterium International

The early morning breakaway almost never suceeds.  However, in today's opener of Criterium International Rabobanks's Ten Dam made one stick.  He attacked after 2k and was joined by Seattle's Ian McKissick.  The former Recycled Cycle standout powered the breakaway and claimed the mountains jersey.  With 23k to go McKissick sat up and Ten Dam powered on.  He took the victory, holding the peleton off by 10 seconds.  They say that the peleton put so much into the chase it splintered the field and created smaller less effective chase groups.  The front split of 30 or so riders finished way up on the field.  Luckily it contained D. Millar and the Schleck bros.

I watched McKissick race two years ago at the Washington State Omnium Championships.  I saw him in the night crit.  He was impressive then and he's impressive now.  

That's a bummer about the Missoula T Race #2 being cancelled.  I guess Frozen Flatlands will be the next big thing.  I've heard rumors of a big Missoula crowd attending.  I'll be sharing my thoughts on the race all week.  I raced it last year and was impressed with both days.  It should be good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


After watching Milan SanRemo in it's entirety I came away with a better appreciation for sprinters.  SanRemo is always considered a sprinter's race but if you look little closer you'll discover that it's not only the longest race of the season but there are two tough climbs.  The Sepressa (sp), and the Poggio are no joke.  Especially after riding 200k.  After the Poggio Freire was still in the group of 12 or so riders.  Cancellara, Pozzato, and Hushovd were also there.  

In Oregon they have a great race called the Kings Valley Road Race.  It is the highlight of Oregon's spring campaign.  I raced the course in collegiate two years ago.  It's a circuit with some killer climbs.  Nothing super long, but definitely some leg breakers.  Last year sprint ace Kenny Williams (First Rate Mortgage) took the victory.  Kenny is a legend in the northwest, primarily known for his killer sprint in criteriums and on the track.

I think sprinters get alot of hype.  However, the majority of successful sprinters in the pros and on the amateur circuit are great riders.  I've seen Freire hop in breaks at the Tour de France and make them stick.  When those guys are on form they can drag themselves up any terrain.  I'm not saying their pure climbers like Cunego or Piepoli, but there great riders who deserve a little more credit for their overall abilities.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Missoula Hell Ride is alive and well

I just got back from my first Missoula Hell Ride of the year. It's the only ride that simulates race situations. I always forget that it's not just an ordinary training ride. I feel like half the battle on the ride is knowing where the sprints are. As years go by everyone has their own take on what signs you sprint for. I think that's awesome. On my first time no one told me anything. J. Wehyrich did a good job of pointing out sprints when he could, but most folks were still a little confused. There was a great turnout tonight maybe 20 or so. A group of ten of us did the Frenchtown piece.

If you haven't come out should. It's a great atmosphere, and if you were ever curious about racing or you want to judge your fitness this is the place to do it. While it's not a ride for people who want to chill, I think it's a great place to learn and see where your at.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cancellara can win anything?!?!?

Yesterday's Milan San Remo was amazing. Fabian Cancellara showed off his un-matched power by attacking from a select group with 3k to go. He won the race by 5 seconds over Pozzato and Gilbert. The racing was hot and heavy throughout the last two climbs. There were attacks by Bettini, Rebellion and Salvodelli. In the end no one could match to strength of Cancellara.

Last year Freiri took the victory in the sprint and the year before Boonen did the same. Typically San Remo is the sprinter's crown jewel. Cancellara spoiled the party. After and impressive Tirreno Adriatico victory and great ride in the mountains of Tour of California Cancellara seems primed to win Flanders and Roubaix. In stage 3 of Tirreno he finished tenth at the finish of a brutal 5k 20% gradient climb. If Cancellara can climb what's next? He's a force to be reckoned with.

Missoula Training Race #1 Recap

Yesterday was the first official/unofficial race of the 2008 Montana calendar. The sun came out and the temperature was around the 40's at the start.

There was a great turnout for the C race. I don't know the official number but there was easily 30-50 riders in the bunch. I heard there were a couple crashes but luckily no one got hurt. Sometimes the crashes happen. It's better they happen in a controlled atmosphere like yesterday's race. Thank you to the mentor riders for teaching the next generation of racers.

The A field started 8 minutes before the B's and finished 2 minutes behind at the line. I know Jason Ames the new UM Cycling President finished 2nd in the B's, but I don't know who won.

The A group had 10-15 riders. I was disappointed in the group's size but you can't complain. I had two teammates in the group, Steve Zellmer and Joe Chalmers. Both rode strong throughout the 32 mile course. Joe seemed to be covering all the mini moves and rode aggressivley. Bill Martin pulled strong on all the straightaways, but didn't have enough gears for the finish (cross bike). Frank G and Scott rode well. Scott had a good leadout in the last 1k, to launch Frank to a 3rd place in the sprint. Elliot Bassette surprised the group with a great sprint for 2nd, and Jared Nelson out of Bozeman took the win. Jared was the most aggressive rider in the bunch and deserved the victory. I sprinted to 4th in the finish, but didn't do much on the last lap. It was good safe early season race.

Thanks to D Russ, Jedzilla, KShannon (sweeping corners), Fred, JWeyhrich, Tamara, and everyone else who helped put the race on.

Photo by Erik Digby