Archive for July, 2008

Euro Beat w/ Spencer

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, Racing, Road on July 30, 2008 by Sarns

As August nears, my race schedule fills and I near my return to Edmonton. The past two weeks have seemed like life as usual here in Le Creusot. Training, racing and watching the Tour have been the highlight as living alone can be quite dull. My roommate returns, however, on the 3rd and my race schedule is about to become a little heavier, so I have less time to be bored. I meant to make it to a stage of the Tour while it was close, but those plans fell through when I tried to figure out a means of transportation. My racing picked up again after recovering from the travel and resumed as normal. The weather here right now is considerably great with lots of heat and much less rain. All in all, France at this time of the year inspires a pleasantly relaxing feel. In accordance with this, the race schedule becomes thick with races to be found on pretty much any given day.

This past weekend I did two races. Saturday’s race, the Prix de la municipalite Frontenaud, was a Cat. 2-3-J race in the far east of the Saone et Loire. It was a circuit race with 16 laps of 5 km to total 80 km. From the start, Creusot set out to dominate, especially because we had the most riders of any team. On the first lap I attacked solo to start what I expected to be a large amount of early aggression, ultimately deciding the groups. I stayed away for another lap before being joined by two other riders, one of them my teammate Cedric. We worked together, pushing the gap over 2 minutes until at around 40 km to go, we received news of 2 more Creusot riders bridging up to us. We stopped working with the rider of a different team at this point for obvious tactical reasons and he seemed to understand quite well, driving the pace alone to protect his chances. Some laps later Cedric flatted, but got in with the bridge group, greatly aiding their work. With 10 km to go, the 3 Creusot riders made the junction and we began to work over the other rider. This was working well and on the final lap, I was feeling strong, but with 2 km to go, I hit a large crack in the road and flatted. What made it worse was that there were no more spare wheels. My teammates took 1, 2 and 4 on the day. I did not let this get me down, however, as the next day I had a tough race.

Sunday was the Elite Nationale GP Cours-la-Ville, a race in the Pay de Roannais. The course was difficult, featuring a 4 km Col each lap as well as a 1 km climb to the finish line and numerous false flat sections. At the start line were riders who will be professional next year after doing Stagaires with teams the like of Ag2r, Credit Agricole and Francaise des Jeux. From the gun it was a tough race. The climb proved difficult as riders used it to continually attack each other while the peloton tried to follow each move. The race went well for Creusot, with Jean-Cristophe Peraud making the front group of 12 and then winning. Jean-Cristophe is a mountain biker who rides for Orbea off-road and Creusot on the road. He recently won the French Amateur Road Championships in a solo breakaway and he is using these races on the road as a build-up for the Olympic mountain bike race. He also won the World relay championships with team France at this year’s World Mountain bike Championships. As for the others from Creusot, only Amyric finished.

Looking to the future, I have a race schedule full of races in the next two weeks and after that I am back home in Alberta. I am returning to prepare for Track Nationals in Burnaby at the end of August. After that I am almost immediately back at the U of A for another Fall Semester. Returning to the Track will be a great way to bring closure to a long season of road in France.



2008 24hrs of Adrenalin – Canmore, AB

Posted in MTB, Racing on July 28, 2008 by Sarns

The 24hrs of Adrenalin marked it’s 10th anniversary at the Canmore Nordic Centre with an epic day of racing!

This event brings MTB racing in Alberta to the masses as well over 1,000 competitors raced challenging and difficult 16 km course to see which team and soloist can complete the highest number of laps within the 24 hr period.

To mark the anniversary, Canmore played host to the 2008 World Solo Championships. Over 200 racers signed up to compete for 24 hrs straight – most without any sleep and very little rest. Mountain Bike legend Tinker Juarez was on hand to defend his world solo title. Fellow Albertan’s Cory Wallace and Dallas Morris both competed this year, challenging in the Elite category.

Santa was in the house…

The Deadgoat’s seem to really like their single speeds – so much so that they raced the Solo Single Speed Category!

Cory Wallace had a great race as he finished 5th overall and was the top Canadian as he completed 16 laps in just over 24.5 hrs.

Teams and soloists alike were able to complete about 3.5 laps before the sky opened up and it started to pour. Rain, rain, & more rain. The hourly cycles of hard rain then no rain repeated over and over all night long turning the course into a slop fest. All the roots were as slippery as ice and all the dirt was peanut butter mud. Lap times slowly increased as the condition of the course got worse.

The mud was too much for Tinker, as he got a chunk of it in his eye, and just couldn’t get rid of it. Upon the advise of the medical team on site, Tinker abandoned the race in favor of some medical treatment at the Canmore Hospital. That left the door open for Aussie James Williamson to take the win.

Along with Cory Wallace finishing 5th in Elite, other Alberta results included Dallas Morris in 8th place in the Elite field while Lonn Bate finished 2nd in the crazy category {single speed].

Full Results for both Solo and Team Categories can be found [here]

Check out the video of the Lemans Start:

Life Checklist Nordegg MTB Marathon

Posted in MTB, Racing on July 21, 2008 by Sarns

Results for the Nordegg Marathon can be viewed [here]

Report to follow….

Euro Beat w/ Spencer

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, Racing, Road on July 16, 2008 by Sarns

So, I sit here in my apartment back in Le Creusot after a two week return to Canada for the National Road Championships. The trip began after a difficult Tour Cantons de Mareuil et Verteillac. The espoir race was exceptionally tough not only because of the level of the teams, but the 36 degree heat. Unsatisfied with a DNF on the first stage (along with two teammates), I looked forward to the trip to Quebec where there would be friends, family and a familiar race scene. The excitement of this trip had been building for a long time and it felt relieving to finally see it through. Of course the trip itself was a painful experience, but so long as I got back to Canada I was happy.

Once I had landed, I went to visit family in Montreal and was soon off to Beauce to prepare for Nationals. To deal with the jet lag from a 6 hour time change and a 7 hour flight, I had arrived a week early. This way I could get acclimatized while finishing up my preparation in the region. As the Juniors, Paracyclists and Masters were racing that week, I saw bunch of old friends, which felt great, especially considering I had seen only three Canadians from January until that point. So, as I got acclimatised, I continued my preparation training, the highlight of which was the leg of the Tour de Beauce to Mt. Megantic. The time passed quickly and before I knew it, it was time to race the Individual Time Trial

The preparation for the ITT was covered well. My mom would be able to follow me with a support vehicle and my dad had all the equipment figured out so that I did not have to stress about any of the technical details or problems (which we experienced in abundance that week). So, I warmed up, checked my bike and waited to start, all the while exuding confidence in my abilities. As I started, I watched my power carefully so as to not go too hard and blow up. Up the hill and into the wind and I could see two of my minute men. I know this doesn’t mean too much as they could potentially be the two slowest on course, but it still feels good. My ride got a little more stagnant until the turn-around where I caught three riders in about 5 km. I had also put a large amount of time on the rider following me, so I was feeling good about my ride. I pushed through to the finish, wheezing as I crossed the line and was happy with my effort. My power was 15 watts more than last year over twice the distance. Despite all of this, a good result failed to materialize, and I was disappointed. At first I challenged the result as my SRM showed almost a minute exactly less the official time on the result sheet. The comissaires were helpful in showing me both the electronic and hand-timing numbers and re-doing the calculations which made sense. It was frustrating to have a ride you think is great, only to have the results tell you differently.

The next and my final race in Canada before returning to France was the combined Elite/U23 National Road Race. Using the same course as the St. Georges de Beauce circuit race stage in the Tour de Beauce, Nationals featured a 9.6 km circuit with a tough 1.5 km climb and few sections to really rest. We lined up for 18 laps totalling 172 km with Symmetrics taking control from the gun. The sun was out rather forcefully as felt through the humidity, making it tough without being exceptionally hot. My legs did not feel their best at the start, but as we worked into a few laps, they began to come around. Then on lap two a big surge on the hill as someone tried to get across to the early breakaway left me as one of the riders trying to get back on. It was not too difficult to do that, but that became a recurrence every few laps as the peloton whittled down. I would struggle low on the climb and then surge past people at the top where for some reason I felt much stronger and then rejoin the peloton with a small group. This happened three times in total. Then on lap 10 I began to cramp as well on the climb and this was the one that saw me go. At that point, the peloton could not have been more than 35 riders with a chase group in between us and the breakaway. This time I could not make it across and struggled alone, occasionally catching or being caught by other riders. I pushed hard alone until the 13th lap, when riding up the climb, I began cramping violently. With both legs, my quads, calves and hamstrings contracted forcefully and I was unable to move them. I tried pedalling softly to work it out, but would receive a kick of pain and another forceful contraction. I tried stopping pedalling, but the muscle remained locked and extremely painful. I didn’t know what to do, so I got off my bike to try and stop the cramping. This too proved a bad idea as I collapsed, unable to stand. So I pulled myself onto the curb, and then my bike and tried to de-contract these muscles so I could get back on and continue. As I lay there, the first riders on course came past and I was lapped. Like the other 100 some riders who were lapped or pulled out, I received a DNF. From counting the remaining Espoirs left in the race, I figure I was about 20th if I had been classified. I was fairly pleased with the day, however, as I definitely pushed myself hard. It was good to race with the best in Canada and my DNF doesn’t seem so bad considering the peloton was lapped and the chase group including Dominique Rollin and Charles Dionne just escaped being lapped.

The day after, I set out for another long day/two of travel to Montreal, then Paris and finally Le Creusot. I took a little detour into Paris between my flight and train, but was glad to arrive at the apartment that night.

Inaugural Nordegg MTB Marathon – July 20, 2008

Posted in MTB, Racing on July 14, 2008 by Sarns

The 2008 Life Checklist Nordegg Marathon MTB Race will be held south of town in the hills of Nordegg, Alberta. This MTB Marathon race will be held on some of the best mountain singletrack around. This Marathon MTB Race will be approximately 60kms in distance, held on a 10km course. Each lap will have lung-burning climbs and hair brain decents. We’ll throw in some fun twisty flats too. Be sure to stick around for Draw Prizes and a chilly cook off.

All information regarding the race can be found [here]

Registration closes Friday July 18 at noon. Register at Karelo [here]

This event is opent to everyone (no license required) & there is no field limit, so what are you waiting for – register today.

Devon Dust Up / Alberta Singlespeed Provincials

Posted in MTB, Racing on July 14, 2008 by Sarns

Provided by Steve Martins, Hardcore Cycling Club

Hardcore Cycling Club and the Town of Devon, Alberta hosted Alberta Cup #7 and the Singlespeed Provincial Championships on Sunday, July 13. It was a cool, partly cloudy 20 Celsius as riders took the line for a surprisingly climb-heavy course with constantly varying pitches ranging from steady to chest-at-the-bar steep.

Primes were given out to Darcy Kuss and Andre Sutton for being the first riders from each start to clean The Sidewinder, a new feature added this year that takes competitors up a steep bank around three “are you kidding me?” tight switchbacks. The remainder of the course featured roller coaster twisty fast singletrack and a long winding flat stretch along the North Saskatchewan River that had the One Speeders spinning furiously while tucking in behind each other and The Geared.

Peter Yez (Mud Sweat and Gears) won the SS championship in dominating fashion to earn the mandatory tatoo for the winner while Martha Handford (Different Bikes) was the lone racer representing the womens category to take the tatoo. Tom Brodzinski and Tim Brezsnyak (both Deadgoat Racing) rounded out the mens podium in second and third respectively.

In the Elite XC Tim Heemskerk (United Cycle) displayed the form that earned him a Canada Cup win in Canmore the previous weekend to take the win again in Devon, while Andre Sutton (Hardcore Bikes) and Brian Bain (CMC/Bow Cycle) battled it out for second with Andre eventually taking it.

On the women’s side Pepper Harlton (Juventus) cruised to victory with Loni Klettl (Freeskool Jasper) riding steady to take second in an abbreviated Elite Women’s field.

Expert Men saw junior Justin Middleton (Juventus/RVC/Kona) riding in front from start to finish to edge out Erik Bakke (Deadgoat) and Mike Sarnecki (Team ING/Long Sock Movement). The Expert Women traded blows all day but when the dust settled it was Katy Kurtis (CMC/Bow Cycle) atop the podium and Krystyn Ong (Juventus) second with Bridget Linder (Hardcore) third

With perfect weather for racing and the type of short steep ups and downs that come at you like a kick in the junk, another annual stop in Devon for the Dust Up concluded with some “bagged” racers who will surely yet curiously come begging for more next year.

Results can be found [here]

Lungsnot’s photo set can be viewed [here]

Stampede Road Race – Results

Posted in Racing, Road on July 14, 2008 by Sarns