Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vegas Bob's Vail Lake US Cup Report!

Hey Cap’n!

The 2012 season started in Temecula at the Vail Lake Resort. The dry and unusually hot weekend made for a very interesting inauguration to this year’s series. Earlier in the week I was wearing winter gloves and 3 jerseys, with arm and leg warmers for my crisp 45 degree morning rides. But on race day the temps soared to over 85 degrees! Thankfully there was a breeze doing some cooling, but it also added to the dryness out in the inland SoCal desert. Getting to the venue, Ara had already set up the SIGMA ez-up and had chairs and coolers ready. I registered and saw Claudia spinning around and I quickly jumped on my Tomac to get my legs going as well. All three of us then headed to the line for our 1:15 start. OH YAY! the hottest part of the day, thank you very much!

It was a fast start as always, but I started on the front row and there was plenty of room to maneuver over the hard-pack jeep road so we could sort ourselves out without running each other over. The climbing began straight away, with lots of very steep pitches. Quick, sharp uphills that then dropped off on the other side, with rocky outcroppings scattered about to keep you on your toes on the way to the next stinger uphill. Next came a more sustained long climb and the leaders were already gapping off the front. Ten minutes in I was already foaming at the mouth and had a misstep on an uphill rock section. The guy behind me hiked by and I let the next 3 go and jumped on the tail of their fast-moving train. It wasn’t long before they left me in the dust too, though. There wasn’t much rest on this fast course, as the next section was a super rollercoastery singletrack through the valley. Left, right, left, right twisties. Inattentiveness was definitely a hazard, even a second of it and your front tire was off the track in a corner and into the bushes.

A longer section of uphill switchbacks with some steep rollers followed and I put my nose on the stem and used the great grip on my Small Block 8’s to grind up them. The rest of the course had lots of little ups and downs before a couple of fireroad sections that led to back to the Start/Finish area. Humberto was Johnny-on-the-Spot with a water bottle exchange, which was great because I had already completely drained my Gel-Bot of water and gel, and half of another of Amino Vital.

The second lap it seemed to be hotter, and even though I doused myself with water a few times I was really feeling it, and ended up 7 minutes slower than the first lap. Ouch. Another bottle switch-out thanks to Humberto, I downed another gel and some more Amino and I was out on the third lap. The dryness was really getting to me, but the field had spread out so much that there wasn’t as much dust as the first two laps, which was nice. I really felt I was slowing this lap, but tried to just enjoy the fun course and keep pedaling. I felt some cramp twinges a few miles from the finish, but was able to stave them off till the end and hold off the few riders behind me that seemed to be inching closer and closer. I finished 9th and was more than happy to simply complete the race, since 6 guys just in my age group weren’t able to. Not the best first outing of the year, and I’m looking to improve at the next race in Fontana .


Monday, March 12, 2012

U.S. Cup #2, Bonelli!

Team Backbone Adventure Cycling was on hand for a beautiful weekend of US Cup cross-country mountain bike racing at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California. Claudia Espinoza made the podium for the second consecutive weekend with a 3rd place finish in 1:30.49 in the Cat 1 Women 19-29 class. Ara "Fuzzy" Movsessian finished 13th in the Cat 1 Men 30-34 class with a time of 1:58.01. Humberto Castro finished 10th in the Cat 1 Men 35-39 class with a time of 1:38.33, and Mark Thome finished 6th in the Cat 3 Men 50-54 class with a time of 1:14.13. Points for the Kenda US Cup Series should be posted later this week.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Fuzzy's U.S. Cup Rundown.

Race Report :

First race of the official season. Whether your ready for the race or your racing to get in race shape, it is going to hurt. It got hot and dry for the Cat 1 start at 1:15pm. Thanks to the Sigma EZ Up it was nice to relax and chit chat with fellow racers and feed Mark Thome. Knowing it was going to be a war of attrition out there in the heat, sipping constantly on Amino Vital Focus Zone Lemon was a key to be topped off on fluids.

As a 29 year old in my new 30-34 year age group in Cat 1 I knew these guys were fast. BAM! The whole field took off and never saw them again. Tried to stay on the wheel but was totally blown out in the first couple of miles. My trusty Sigma Rox 9.0 computer registered a staggering 12.3 average for the first half lap.

Only a few of us have a "vintage" 26er now at the races, but I still love my Tomac Type-X Carbon bike. Handles so well and accelerates like a bat out of hell with Ozzy on its tail. Kenda Karma 2.0 were gripping really well on some of the sandy turns and never slipped out on the steeps. Spinergy Wheels are still running true after three seasons. Xpedo pedals are just like new after a whole season of dismounting and smashing them during cyclocross. The KMC chain was bone licking dry but still intact at the end of the race. Ryder sunglasses held on to my face and didnt let the crowds see the tears.

First lap hurt, second lap was not that bad, but the third lap was hell. On two spots I had to dismount and walk to relieve the pain in my lower back. Cramps started in my hamstrings but was very lucky to have some Amino Vital Pro Performance left to get me to the finish. That powder does some amazing work!

All in all it was fun getting back out there and finishing the race. The greatest part was after the race where the whole team met at the base camp and had some nice cold brews. Reminds me of the good ol days. Helped Kenda at the end to break down, thanks for the cheers Rogers.

Greatest surprise were the screams and hollers of two random voices during the race, it was Randy and Kim Rush who drove up to support the crew. Huge shout out to Humberto who showed up and helped feed during the CAT 1 race.

Until next week, Smelli Bonelli time !


Claudia's U.S. Cup Opener Report

race report :

The competition was very challenging and the weather was very hot (like, 110 degrees hot). The track was fun and long... I'm used to doing more laps but shorter distances. It was very hard at first. When I started I was in 8th place... but I was gaining ground and moving up places until I found 3rd. I felt very tired since the weather here in California has been cold, but then was very hot the day of the race. I think for my first race of U.S. CUP it was a good showing! I think I can keep improving and I want to thank my teammates and Chris Sharp for being there supporting me! I also want to thank the sponsors for everything they gave me, I really appreciate it! ! See you at Fontana:)