Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
"Though described by many as a "rolling chess game," a bike race is much more than that. I would describe it as a chess game, boxing match, and stampede disguised as a sport encompassed by a lifestyle surrounded by a community on a never-ending road trip to the brink of bankruptcy."
Seriously great words.
Pick up the book written by popular race announcer, Jamie Smith and illustrated by world famous cartoonist, Jef Mallett.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
A little bit about Mark: He spent most of the 90s racing in France and Belgium. A long-legged and tall rider, Mark found himself racing in the Classic one-day races, rubbing shoulders with guys like Bjarne Riis and Johan Musseau. My memory isn't helping me now, I can't recall what race it was...but one of Mark's claims to fame is his 24th place finish in a Spring Classic!
Mark's a talented guy and one of my dearest friends. He taught me alot about riding and racing and after being dropped or having a tough day on the bike...Mark was the first to offer me words of advice and support. I've spent some time off the front with Mark and he is one strong rider and a good guy to have on your side in a race!
Happy Birthday Mark!
"Cycling is in mourning when you lose such a young talent, a guy like him," said cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who is the technical sponsor for the team.
Nolf turned professional in 2008 with Topsport Vlaanderen. The Tour of Qatar was his first race of the 2009 season. He finished 90th in yesterday's 141-kilometre stage four to Madinat Al Shamal, which Mark Cavendish won.
Directeur Sportif Jean-Pierre Heynderickx found Nolf dead this morning.
"I rode with the guys here earlier this week in Qatar. Yesterday, he was laughing and happy; he never woke up and died in his sleep," Merckx said.
Topsport will not start stage five from Al Kharaib track to Qatar's capital city, Doha. The remaining seven riders will ride to the start of the stage. The team announced it will also pull out of the Etoile de Bessèges, currently held in France.
Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) shortened the stage out of respect for Nolf. It will also be neutralised.
It's not the first time this type of occurrence has hit a cycling event. In 2003, 23-year-old French rider Fabrice Salanson died in his sleep during the Tour of Germany. Then-teammate Sébastien Chavanel found the La Brioche Boulangère rider dead in his room."
Monday, February 2, 2009
This weekend in DC looks and sounds like it was a helluvan event! It had everything that makes a good cross race a damn good cross race: mud, snow, costumes, old dudes with mustaches and ill-fitted lycra...you name it!
TOMette, Matt Bartlett said, "The conditions were nothing short of epic. We've had some snow on the ground and sub-freezing temps all week, but I think it got up to about 60 degrees on Sunday. That meant riding through snow and ice in the shade and mud everywhere else."
This, is, cyclocross!
Matt, despite crashing in the A-Race, finished in a solid fifth place and did so in, well, err, style I guess. Seeing as our jerseys aren't finished yet, the DC crew decided to take matters into their own hands and showed up to the start line wearing all black bibs, one arm warmer and electrical tape to keep their nipples from rubbing sore in the blustery winter winds. Unfortunately or fortunately, the race officials forced the guys to put shirts on and the end result looks something like this...
Matt also went on to race the Single Speed race, but he did it fixed. Hard. Core. Say it with me now. Matt ended up finishing in a solid eighth place overall and if you ask me, that's quite an accomplishment considering he had no freewheel. Rock on Matt!
Another one of our DC cohorts, Ryan Dudek, had a big hand in the event. Ryan helped design the course and was also out there in the freezing cold pounding out two-inch thick layers of ice to make the course ride-able. Unfortunately for Ryan, a tree got in his way resulting in blurred vision and what is clinically considered a concussion, but keep in mind, this is cyclocross. Concussions and wuss-bags need not apply in this fairy tale land. Ryan raced on! Unfortunately, reality set in and a barrier came out of no where resulting in the following series of events:
To be fair, Ryan was in fact attempting to bunny hop those barriers and if the abominable snow man hadn't ran out and hit him mid-hop...he probably would've successfully hopped the barrier and finished in first place. In all seriousness, considering all of the set backs and distractions Ryan had a great race and muscled his way to 20th place.
I'm really excited to have Ryan and Matt on board. These guys are all about fun. They love the sport and it shows. Along with Ryan and Matt, rounding out the DC connection are Bryan Billington and Nate Chenenko...two totally tubular fellows as well. Nate is at home recovering from a nasty shoulder injury so we're all wishing him the best of luck in his recovery.
For 2010, I can see a HUGE Team TOMS turnout at the 'Cross My Heart/Super Bowl Of Single Speed Cross! Bring it on!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Our man Sean O'neill from the warm and sunny state of Florida raced both days this weekend. According to Sean's recap, guys were going down harder than sorority girls at a pledge party. Fortunately, Sean was able to stay safe and respectively finished in the first half of the group on Saturday and if not for a crash that went down right in front of him in the field sprint on Sunday, he probably would have finished fourth behind a 3-man break that stayed away. Sean was relegated to 8th. Sean's form is improving week by week...thankfully I've timed our jersey order in such that he can't win until he gets a TOMS jersey. haha Just kidding. But seriously, Sean, don't win until you get a TOMS jersey! :-P Check out Sean, pictured below, going solo off the front!
I haven't gotten a full recap from the Super Bowl of SingleSpeed Cross in D.C. just yet, but so far Ryan has informed me that it was a helluvan event. Unfortunately for Ryan, he went huntin' off course and managed to crack his skull against a tree, resulting in a broken helmet. Thank goodness we have Rudy Project stepping in as our new helmet sponsor!
I hope everyone had a safe and good weekend. Will be following up with a D.C. and Fontana Icycle Race recap soon!