Team Giant Fall Update Saturday, November 12, 2005 |
By Corinth resident, Bike Race Adam Craig - So far this fall has been treating us well over here in Giant North American Racing land. We’ve been doing a bunch of random stuff in a bunch of random places, and will
continue to do so, as it’s quite entertaining, refreshing and is keeping us in shape until the skiing gets really good. A brief synopsis of the last month would include the first four rounds of the USGP of Cyclocross, a random local cross race in Eugene, OR, the Iceman Cometh in Michigan and the Red Bull Road Rage in LA. Here’s a little tidbit
from each of those events.
USGP of ‘cross Round #1 and #2, Portland, OR and Tacoma, WA
Fresh of Carl’s victory at Star Crossed the weekend before we were thinking having both of us in the mix would be a good situation. Turns out Barry and Ryan thought that about themselves as well. First day saw the twin towers rolling off the front as I was stuck in traffic and Carl was stuck in traffic even more. I chased the whole race alone, wishing I had someone in a matching kit to help out, as I’m sure Carl was wishing as well. Third for me, 9th for Carl.
The next day in Tacoma we liked the idea of a faster course and more tactical racing. I was hoping for a repeat victory from this race a year prior, or one for Carl. Due to UCI rank and ensuing callup deficit for
Carl, he again was in traffic as the lead group formed on the first lap and got a big gap. Most of the players were there and it turned into a slugfest on the horrifically steep 80 meter runup on the backside of the course. Attacks went all the time and came back all the time. I didn’t like the odds of a sprint finish with six guys so I had a solid go with three to go. Somehow Mark Mccormack stayed on my wheel on the twisty descent, even though I’m sure he couldn’t have ridden that fast alone he somehow followed me. I wasn’t about to tow him to a win so I sat up and went back for another go. Never got the chance. The runup split it and I ended up sprinting with Wicks for 5th, he got me… Carl worked his way up into 9th to have an even weekend.
Psycho Cross #2, Eugene, OR
Genius Idea: Borrow a truck, load up the SuperMotards (dirt bikes with road slicks!), leave really early, stop and go for a sweet Motard ride, then hit a cross race in the afternoon. Leaving early was tough, especially for Carl, who took the previous night’s “Cocktail Party” a bit too seriously. Riding motos on roads that are still burning the dew
off the moss, which happened to be the case on Quartzville road, a 1.5 lane ribbon over the Cascade crest for fifty miles of curves, happened to be tough too. Fortunately it dried out and warmed up and we had a damn good time. Loaded up quick and took off for Eugene to find out what their local series was like. Turns out it’s pretty low key, but has sweet barriers for bunnyhopping. We got some great technique work and a solid workout with the ten other “A”’s racing that afternoon. We rode together for a while till Carl came up short on a barrier hop and
flatted, then it was each man getting his own exercise for the rest of the hour. Between the sweet morning ride, the case of Red Bull I won and Baja Fresh Burritos on the way home it was a successful day.
USGP of Cross #3 and #4, Gloucester, MA
Ah yes, back to the east coast, unfortunately, no bags arrived with me. Simple solution, grab some old boating gear from Grandma’s garage and go kayaking for the two days leading up to the races while you’re bags are
“located”… Got in some sweet boating and picked up my luggage, Frank and Carl on the way to the race on Friday night. We woke up Saturday and finished building bikes just as it started to snow. Sweet. Didn’t stop till after dark. Turns out racing in the snow is a really good time as long as you’re not someone’s hands or feet. If that’s the case then all sensation is definitely gone. Carl put Dunkin Donuts bags in his shoes and wore my kayaking gloves, keeping warm enough to only crash in the rapidly deepening snow a couple times on his way to tenth place. I
elected to wear a bit lighter garments and froze my extremities off, the worst part about sliding out in turns was having to put your hands down in the snow… After a bunch of bike swap shenanigans and riding deep in
traffic after a horrid (40th place or so) start I got my groove on and passed lots and lots of people until someone told me I was in second place. Unfortunately Tim Johnson was long gone and I settled for where I was at.
Sunday’s race was the Mr. Hyde of the weekend. Sunny and 60 with a nice breeze off the water to help appreciate how beautiful a venue Stage Fort Park is, perched on a hillside right on the Atlantic Ocean. The
rapidly melting snow left things a bit wet by the time our race rolled around, but not bad considering. I actually got a decent start and thought the lead group was intact with me controlling things, turns out Ryan Trebron was already so far off the front that I couldn’t see him. By the time we started racing hard he was off in never gonna catch me land for good. Our group of four worked each other hard but no attacks were sticking. I turned it up a little with two to go and only Wicks came with. Remembering his sprint demolition of me from Tacoma, I let
him bobble in one of the slick turns and got a ten meter gap, which I held to another second place finish. Carl upped the ante in his “somewhere around top ten” streak and rolled in 8th. I guess I’ll have to stay in shape for nationals now, and hope for a snowstorm. I kind of like the idea of that actually.
Iceman Cometh, Traverse City, MI.
We’ve got a sweet new race bike, Anthem. I’m pretty fired up on it. I decided that a good outlet for this would be racing on the new race bike. Turns out I had the Iceman weekend free. I’d always heard what a huge season cap-off event this was, 2500 rider field limit filling up the previous winter and huge prize money. I’d also never been to
Michigan so the stars seemed to be aligning. Friday night was an Expo at the Resort so I did some time at the Giant booth talking with people and taking it all in. The most common question I was asked went something
like this: “Are you really going to RACE it?” Turns out some teams have forced big name riders to do the event for publicity and they’ve taken a dive and finished last or so. I’m not down with disrespecting events just because they’re not a world cup so I informed everyone that I’d be trying my darndest and anyone who didn’t should be stoned. Hopefully JHK and Travis Brown felt the same way, the locals sure do. Turns out I had to try really really hard during the race. The course was a superhighway, mostly hardpacked sand doubletrack with a few short
singletracks thrown in for good measure. This meant breaking things up was impossible. I went once and was getting reeled in so I acceped the situation and played the waiting game. We ended up having to wait until
the last two climbs and 1k singletrack leading into the finish. I gave ‘er up the second to last pitch, railed a little singletrack with some sweet jumps, then attacked one more climb to come into the final ribbon solo but with two regional Trek guys in sight. Fortunately there was enough time for a finish line wheelie, the Anthem does great wheelies. The highlight of the day for me was just being handed a bottle of bubbly on the podium, which happened to be adjacent to the finish line as my hostess for the weekend Kelli Emmett rolled in victorious, I uncorked
it and gave her a solid dousing for her effort. The photo was on the front page of the paper the next day! $2000 for my effort, from a local race. Hopefully NORBA steps up… Sweet ice sculpture trophy too, it almost made
it through the night…
Red Bull Road Rage, Santa Monica, CA.
Carl is a skinny guy, you may not believe this judging by the consumption of take and bake raspberry pies in the winter, but he is. At 158 pounds, he was the lightest guy in the downhill road race by at least ten pounds. Even his sweet custom gravity road machine, complete with fairing, ballast (bottle of pennies in the cage) and huge disc
brakes he was outgunned by the more gravity oriented riders. Pretty much what I’m saying is that Carl got smoked, but he didn’t crash and die, which is a huge step in the right direction. Lots of other guys did.
Giant alum Myles Rockwell didn’t though, he took the Time Trial of the 2000 foot in 2.5 miles around 49 corners event and went on to win the four up elimination as well.
Carl is back in Bend staying in shape for the final rounds of the USGP in San Fran. I’m going to the health clinic tomorrow to get Malaria and Yellow Fever vaccinations for a trip to Zambia and South Africa to do some kayaking and the Red Bull Cape Town Man adventure relay. Then we’ll be at Cross nationals in RI on Dec 10.
www.adamcraig.net is close to being online as well, check in sometime.