Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Iceman Cometh 2016

Iceman is always one of those races that can be absolutely terrible or the best day ever. It is November in Northern Michigan after all. Anything is possible. I went in with podium dreams based on what I knew from last years race but I was in for a big surprise. The weather this year had been beautiful so the course was as dry as it had ever been and as fast as it had ever been. This would not play into my favor. I would much prefer the weather to be terrible and the course to be hard. I ended up finishing in 1:50:45 which was 12 minutes faster than my previous attempt but the winner was 1:33! Crazy fast for a fatbike. You can see the ride here; https://www.strava.com/activities/767023703

Looking forward to some more cyclocross with the Battle Of Waterloo this weekend and the ultimate goal of state champs!

Rich Weis and his Old Man Winter mask

Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 Cyclocross

Here is my little recap of 2016 so far and whats to come. It is hard to believe we are 6 weeks into cyclocross season already! It has been fun but also been a challenge. I sacrificed my early season at some of the biggest races that the US has seen to gain some experience working in the pits for none other than Katie Compton. It was very rewarding, very challenging, and also very tiring. Who knew that taking 12000 steps on race day makes things not go well! The results are starting to improve and in the end what really matters, winning a state title, is yet to come. This weekend is the Sun Prairie Cup and Celtic Cross races which are two of my favorites. See you out there!

-Josh McKinney
Catching Katies bike at Jingle Cross
The logs run up at Trek CXC Cup

Giving Katies bike a wash at Jingle Cross

Playing in the mud Friday night at Jingle Cross

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Green Mt Stage Race Recap

Now a month removed from the Green Mt Stage Race, our minds and bodies have recovered enough (not from the racing so much, but all the great Vermont beer drinking!) to post a brief race recap!

Mike and Eric were making their 4th appearance in a row at the stage race, and Heavy G (Greg) was "convinced" to join us.  And by convinced, it means we were all together at a party, Mike and Eric got Greg a bit drunk, and next thing you know we have a laptop out (not what you expected to hear - and who doesn't have a laptop at a party!) and he is registering on-line for the race. He claimed the next day he had no idea what happened!  We also were lucky to have our 1-person cheering squad, Diane, along for the fun. 

The race consists of an uphill 10k time trial, a circuit race, a road race (with a ski mountain finish with gradients up to 20%!), and a downtown Burlington, 6-corner crit. We were putting all our money on Mike given he had been tearing up the WCA road scene! 

With 51 guys starting, Mike was well placed after the time trial, sitting in 7th, with the top couple places going to a former Canadian masters time trial champ and a former pro hockey player turned bike racer). Next up, the circuit race, which was a relatively rolling course with one KoM each lap. On the first lap we went for the KoM with Eric leading Mike out, and he just missed out on taking the max points as someone came around him at the line. Shortly after the KoM, the attacks started coming fast and furious, and unfortunately we missed the move that stuck, with a group of 7 getting away, and then a field sprint finish for the rest of us. Heading into the road race, Greg was worried about a time cut given his VT-beer diet did not help get him down to his climbing weight (but he made it "no problem")!  The course has two major climbs, one about half way in and the other at the finish. For some reason, both Mike and Eric struggled on the first climb and were dropped by the leading group. They did manage to work with a few others to chase and get back to the group not far from the start of the final climb. And then the fun starts as the climb is about 10k of mostly climbing, again with a finish at 20%! Mike had a good finish and took 8th on the day, while Eric and Greg were glad when it was over! (And Diane, just for fun, ran up the back side of the climb to watch the finish!)  On the final day, the crit ended with a field sprint, and Mike held on to a top ten overall finish, taking 8th place on GC after 4 tough stages.

So how does one spend recovery time during a stage race you might ask, take some advice from some experienced racers: (1) by laying together in bed watching the Vuelta (it was tough to keep Greg from wearing his PJs!); and (2) by making award-winning documentaries (see https://youtu.be/8LEuYlQzD5A). Oh, and did we mention drinking VT beer (I think we spent more time picking up local beer than racing!).

A final word of advice, do not let Mike and Eric invite you to a party the weekend before the stage race (unless you want to find out you are now registered!). 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

Wisconsin State Championships coming to the Madison area!

Next weekend, August 13-14, the Wisconsin State Championships - time trial, road race, and criterium - are going to be held in the Madison area. And four local area teams are promoting the races, Trek Midwest, Brazen Dropouts, Great Dane Velo Club, and MadCity Velo.

The championship weekend starts off Saturday morning with the time trial in Cottage Grove, followed by the road race Saturday afternoon in the Middleton area. And the culminating event of the weekend is the spectator-friendly criterium on Sunday on the streets of downtown Middleton.

All three events will be fun to watch, but be sure to come out for the crit on Sunday as 300+ riders contend for the various state championship jerseys! The start / finish is right in front of the Capitol Brewery in downtown Middleton.

See http://wicycling.org/2016-road-calendar/ for the specific race schedules and locations.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Downer Ave

One of my favorite races of the season is the crit on Downer Ave. in Milwaukee – part of the Tour of America’s Dairyland. I’ve watched it with family and friends for years hoping to one day to race it. The racing is fast throughout the day and the crowd scene is always fun and energized.

Thanks for all the cheers from friends and thanks Sarah, for being the annual host. It’s always good to hang and catch up.

Good job to the other Trek Midwest racers and congrats Tim on earning your upgrade points!

Thanks also to Trek and Colectivo Coffee for being official sponsors of TOAD.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hillinois Omnium race report

TMT was well represented at the Hillinois Omnium weekend of racing  - the Masters 50+ crew of John "Life Coach" Riley, Greg "Undertaker" Ferguson, Mike "PD" Meteyer, Eric "El Cap" Knuth, and Jim "Beer Meister" Merrifield, and the women's team of Diane Schlipper, Amanda Mack, Heidi Ploeg, and Lisa Harms - enjoyed a great weekend of racing. The three stages included an 8 mile time trial Saturday morning followed by a hilly (and brutally hot) circuit race in the afternoon, and concluded on Sunday with a very hilly road race.

After the time trial, Mike and Greg were well positioned in the standings, 4th and 5th respectively, with GDVC rider Dean Lazenby taking 1st (he recently finished 6th at Nationals in the time trial!).

The circuit course suited our team racing style of attacking as it had a 9% finishing hill which we would pass 7 times during the race. We decided to wait until the 4th lap to 'start" the race as we wanted to see if others were ready to play. Needless to say we rode the first 3 laps as a group (no one came out to play!), and then the 4th time up the finishing hill Mike went hard, opening up a gap over the top with just Eric and 2 others (including the first and second place finishers from the time trial) able to follow. We monkey'd around a bit allowing two others to bridge up, and then the 6 of us were off. As seems to often be the case in a lot of masters races, 3 of the 6 in the group did not want to work, despite our cajoling them to do so. We opened up a big gap with John, Greg, and Jim blocking, and started plotting for the last lap. With a little less than half a lap to go, Dean (GDVC) attacked, Mike and Eric hesitated responding waiting to see if the others would chase him down, and with no response Mike set off after him. Given Dean's time trial prowess, the gap was now too big to close, and Mike was brought back to the break away group. Eric attacked twice in the last stretch forcing the others to chase (with the intent to soften up the guy currently in 2nd place overall), with the last attack leading to the finishing hill. Mike and Dave Stone (Scarlet Fire) went mano-y-mano in the sprint with Mike just missing out on second (see pic - he also had to get around a lapped rider from another field!). Eric took 5th (of course beaten by all the guys but one who did not contribute to the break!), and Greg, John, and Jim finished with the field.

After the circuit race, Mike was in 3rd place for the overall, and Eric was in 5th. The goal for the road race was to get Mike into second (first was out of reach at this point), so as the team mathematician, Eric went to work developing several algorithms as well as booking time on the Cray super computer to determine how the race had to play out to make it happen. Simple enough, all calculations led to the same conclusion: Mike had to win! The road course consisted of three 18-mile laps, with each lap including 4 challenging climbs (3-5 minute climbs). On the second climb, Dean (GDVC) went really hard, with Eric on his wheel, and Mike letting a gap open to see if Dave Stone (Scarlet Fire) could follow. When Dave could not respond, Mike bridged up and a 3-man break was underway. We  went hard the rest of the first lap trying to establish a big gap, and got it up to a minute after the first lap, over 2 minutes after the second, and as it turned out, 8 minutes by the end. Fast forward to the final climb of the last lap, Dean drives the pace dropping Eric at the final pitch of the climb, but Mike is right on his wheel. The motorcycle official reminds Eric to get up there and help his teammate, but the official is unwilling to let him draft behind his motorcycle! On to the finishing straight, Mike launches his attack at the final corner and sprints to victory and to second in the omnium!!

It was a great weekend of team racing, and we were also so lucky to have the support from our beautiful podium girls.

Although the official podium pictures seemed to take forever as we waited for the final results, we did have a good time waiting on the podium!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Great practice crit last night

It was beautiful weather for last night’s practice crit. We’ll be on again next Wednesday as your last good training before TOAD hits!