Team Giant Report, World Cup #2 from Germany Tuesday, April 28, 2009
By DRHS Alumni Adam Craig - Offenburg 2009: Felice and I made it out of Africa on Election Day, which was something that the locals had given us mild concern about the prospect of.
The African National Congress party's man, Jacob Zuma, was determined the clear victor just as we were crossing the northern border at 39,000 feet. He's got a bit of a task ahead of him, maybe even more so than the average national leader these days…
It was nice to land in Frankfurt the next morning and be in familiar territory again, I knew where the rental car shuttle was taking us and exactly where our lodging, the legendary Frienwonhung Worner was located.
The Frau, Rita, met us at the door and handed over the keys with only a “Voo ist Elke?” (where is Elke) offered as idle conversation, she knew we had a handle on things.. (Elke is in Durango, just finishing up some classes and getting ready for a pleasant summer away from the bike circuit)
Warm sunshine was forecast for the week and we settled into good living with a trip to the Grocery store for all kinds of fresh good stuff to cook up and snack on. Cleverly avoiding getting sucked into the wafer aisle.
Joe arrived with a shiny new bike frame to build up for me to race in the name of testing and progress. We'll just say it's a really sweet new bike with shocks for the time being. It's shiny and has a few hardware advancements that make me really happy when I ride it in the woods.
This happiness must have spilled over into Sunday's race because things worked out really really well. The kind of good that Josh Edgar had to casually remind me would take care of itself as we skied the winter away. He was firmly in support of not really properly training much, reminding me of the year we attended The University of Maine and rode roughly none, kayaked roughly a ton and I had the season that prompted Giant to hire me.
He assures me this kind of thing is going to happen this year too. Except I'm really happy with Giant after this new bike delivery…
It all seems to be on track. I started with number board 49 and ended the first lap somewhere in that region, as it's pretty challenging to pass tons of guys early on while they're busy riding like dicks and crashing.
I did note good sensations in my legs from the gun though, and was able to investigate these prospects on lap two as I settled into riding fast through traffic and having a generally good time.
I caught up with Beckinsale and Sam Schultz at some point and asked them how things were going.
Oli was pissed that he didn't think to respond: “Put a Donk on it” in a nod to our morning www.vbs.tv viewing. This trend of riding forward continued, during which I noticed that the lead group was closer and closer on sections of the course that doubled back.
Hmmm. Kind of like last year. Except last year I was a bit fitter and a bit closer, thus able to make contact. My rise through the field eased as I caught Ralph Naef and Wolfram Kurstacht (who would charge on to 5th and 2nd) in around 11th place.
Wolfram was slowing us up on the descents a bit and affecting my jump trajectory so I figured I'd ease off and have a better time. And get re-passed by Kabush and Jaroslav. Sam eventually caught up again too, which was pretty awesome to see. He and I were battling for 41st position here two years ago.
He got the upper hand and had his best World Cup result to date. As we came into “The Snake Pit” together once again with a lap to go I told him it was just like old times… Then I kind of put the wood to the youngster, gotta keep 'em honest… Aussie Chris Jongeward did me in the last kilometer for 13th as a dose of my own medicine…
Sam ended up 16th, a career best again and a damn fine ride from the next youngster to come out of the US Olympic Center Residency program that ushered me along. High Five. Some guy named Julien Absalon won for the third year in a row, I guess he lives nearby…
Unfortunately, the UCI doesn't seem to have Josh's faith in my casual winter training program, they've clearly been visiting my website and figure there's no way I could possibly be riding decent having recreated a ton and completed only one twenty hour week of training and one interval session thus far this season.
So I've been the “Random” doping control at the last two races.
Really? Maybe it's a compliment, they know I've got better things to do than cheat so are testing me to keep the prospect catching an actual cheater unlikely… Either way, it sucks having to try and produce a “sample” after racing, sweating and thoroughly dehydrating your body for a few hours.
All joking aside, I'm glad they're testing three riders from each World Cup as a solid deterrent for those who are looking to take the easy way out. One of these days they've gotta buck up and let us publicly stone anyone who gets caught. Or maybe have a skidding contest on their face.
This new bike does sweet skids…