Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Is Why You Will Never Be PRO

This is George Hincapie's collarbone X-ray which was taken THIS morning, 6 days after suffering the break en route to Le Grand Bornand during stage 17. Hincapie still managed to race over 560kms despite the fact that his collarbone was in two pieces. Ponder the fact that he still rode, no raced, nearly 350 miles including a TT in which he finished only 2:34 seconds off the winning time, and climbed to the top of Ventoux finishing just over 5 minutes behind Juan Manuel Garate of Rabobank. The next time you finish up a "hard" ride and consider yourself a hardman, think again!

Oh yeah and do you you know how George fixed it? He put some effing tape on it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This is no more important than on race day with fellow riders. It is equally important with your teammates throughout the year. Nobody should know all of the intricacies or subtleties of race tactics in the lower cats and if they do they are sandbagging. The reason I bring this up is while in the Chicago Crit I was in the middle of two in my opinion questionable moves. Seeing as how I have a penchant for going down I was happy to keep the rubber side down during the harrier of the two.
During the cat4 race before turn 3 a rider shot between me and another rider. This led him to bump into me and ricochet and hit the rider on the outside whereby the outside rider went down. Unfortunately this sent me into a tirade for lack of a better word. I did not see what transpired before this guy squeezed into the middle, but this is where communication if not common sense should take place. If there is no space don't try to make any and if you being in the middle are getting pinched off or the guys on the outside are getting tight, say something before you throw the elbows. Needless to say I liked the dynamic of the race pace with the pack flipping from the back to the front. I had a good sprint at the end but got pinched by the guardrail jutting out on the east side of the course behind a slower sprinter and came in 14th.
The masters race was tamer than the 4's. In the middle of the race I thought I was competing for a wheel and had it when all of a sudden I get elbowed. To my knowledge there was no warning before the elbow and I really did not see the guy on my side. This concerned me. Is an elbow on the wide open front stretch an appropriate warning? I really have never experienced this before. I think the appropriate response is talking and if not a hand. This keeps the rider a safer distance away and lets your elbow bend to absorb him coming closer. Unfortunately on the last lap I was out front. I kept the pace slow so as not to burn myself out. Around turn 3 and at the to of the hill I sensed a guy coming to my outside. I stood up and saw Elvis coming around me before turn 4. I didn't have the momentum going around it. Elvis ended up 7th and I came in 16th.
If ever there is any questionable tactics going on or just something you don't understand they should be discussed in a constructive manner. Something I am guilty of not doing at times. This will only better our understanding of this great sport and make it safer for everyone involved. I learned some valuable lessons in these races and am not above criticism either. Unfortunately I have also made some questionable moves but as long as we learn from our mistakes they will not be made in vain. Tony

Sunday, July 19, 2009

IN. State TT

It was a bitter sweet race for me. The day started off good enough, I had a good warm up and I felt good at line. There was no wind to speak of, maybe a 3-5mph head wind for the 1st 20k.. In other words, a perfect day for a TT. I went off with a bang, riding at 26 to 27mph for the first 2mi., But I seamed a bit sluggish. I slowed down and could only manage to keep a 21.8avg for the first 20k. My heart was at an avg. rate of 177 at the turn. I’m thinking in my head that I need to lay it all on the line. So I really pushed hard, my legs were screaming and my heart was pounding. I was able to maintain a 23mph on the way back, but still I was confused. What the heck was wrong? I didn’t figure out the problem till I was off the bike. My daughter asked me, why is water bottle was so dirty? I looked at it and I was puzzled for a few sec. Then I looked at the front brake and I could see brake dust everywhere. I was bit upset at myself because I know better. Check your equipment stupid. I missed getting a medal by a 1min 33sec.. Still it’s all my fault, and I have no one blame but myself. The only good thing is I improved my time by 4min 25sec form last year.


40k 1:06:55

Friday, July 17, 2009

Super Week? Not So Far

I'm a little reluctant to write this because so far my performance hasn't been up to par. The legs are there, the mind is not.
Blue Island was fine, up until I went down. No big deal, at least not for me. Jorge's tire went flat into turn 2 with 3 laps to go. I was directly behind him when he washed out. He said I hit his body. I ended up falling and then sliding on top of his bicycle coming out of the wreck with only a scratch on my elbow, nothing else. As for Jorge and his bike that's another story.
Richton Park looked good from the start with us having 6 riders in the field. With a little pre planning we at least knew what to expect from each other. The race was a good enough tempo when I got on a breakaway with 4 other guys. We stayed away for 8 laps. I think we could have stayed out longer, but didn't work as good as we could have together. After the pack reeled us back in, Bob went out. 2 riders bridged up and me and Elvis blocked. I think me and Elvis gave Bob as effective of a block as 2 riders could muster but it didn't last. With 2 laps left I was willing to lead out Bob and Elvis for the finish having a good postion on a guy I marked at the begining of the race. Man did he have some nice lines around the turns. And there I was right behind him. At the start finish line with 1 left I see somebody go off the front which was inconcequential but then my marked man starts going off, so I followed. No sooner than I catch up to him, he sits up. So now my dilemma. Do I sit up or do I hammer for a lap. With me and my mentality, which on do you think I did? So I hammer it going around turn 1 and 2 all by myself. Coming out of turn 2 I touch my peddal on the ground which sends me wobbling into the grass. Thankfully I didn't go down. More importantly when I came back on the course, nobody caught up to me yet. If they did and I was to come back on, that would have been a catastrophy. Ther's me not thinking again. Needless to say, my momentum was gone and everybody passed me going into turn 3.
My next race was the short course in Milwakee. A 2.2 mile loop which is situated right on their lakefront, then up a 80 foot climb, by some beutifull houses and back down to a very long staright away. I was talking to some guys before the race on what casette to us seeing as how I had on my 11-23. One guy from Chicago said he's going to a 12-26, but a Milwakee guy said It was a big ring climb in your 21. I'm glad to say I changed to the 12-26. The hill was graduall but the 26 allowed me to stay in the bing ring the whole race. With all being said, I expended too much energy throughout the race. I have to restrain myself from pulling so much when nobody else wants to. All the attacks were quickly reeled back in. I know I had decent positioning but on the last lap at the top of the hill a little gap opened up and i wasn't in the front. Knowing that this was the last lap, and all the other breaks were nullified really fast I decided to conserve myself for the sprint and let somebody else reel them back in . Well, nobody was willing to chase them down so here I go again. It was a break of 8 and I never did catch up to them. All I did was lead out the remainder of the field coming in 14.
What did all this teach me so far? I'm still trying to figure it out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In the Heat of the Moment

First of all, I would like to clear up a mishap at Blue Island Crit. In the final two laps I was towards the rear of the pack. The pack was squirrelly and riders were trying to position for spots all over. In a moment of haste I quickly came out to my right to catch on another rider’s wheel. My rear tire took out another rider’s front wheel and caused a serious crash. I even took out my own team mate (sorry Bob). I sincerely apologize for this mishap and my poor judgment. I went back to get some info on the rider that went down. A course marshal informed me that Chris from Naperville of Team ABD went down. I am sorry Bro. It was unintentional and totally not my style, nor is it our teams’ style or tactics. My team and I make every effort to race clean and fair. I wanted to address this matter ASAP so others may not misinterpret my actions. In the future I will commit to riding in a safer manner. I want all of us to come home safely to our families. We all want to do well but clearly not at that price…


Saturday, July 4, 2009

In The News

From Left: Jorge, Clark, Bob, Rich, Matt, Elvis, Damon, Tony