2009

Hi, my name is Brent

And I made it through my last block of racing with no blog updates. Blitzed through my first belgian races of the year. Spent a whopping 10 days across the pond the first week in March and have since been recovering, training and hangin at home. Spring has arrived and the weather has been downright dreamy for my past couple easy days. Downside is that everything is blooming and flowering. Especially the mucous factory in my head. Allergy mania!

Out to Cali today for San Dimas and Redlands. Then back to chatt for a week before heading back to europe. Looks like I will get my first go at the big nasty which is paris-roubaix. Oi! Exciting that BMC got the invite to such a prestigous race. One of those races I remember watching as a kiddo in my mountain bike days. Gonna be wild and brutal!

BMC boys got a good roll going last weekend with Chad Beyer winning the Tour of Murrieta. Looking forward to keeping that flow going the next two weekends. Gonna be fun to hit San Dimas since its been a while since I’ve done that one.

For now, its back to the airport slog. Wholesome fun for the whole family!

for the very first time…

I’m not sure where to begin.  The past week has been one for the books.  No, I didn’t win the lottery, didn’t notch any bike race wins, didn’t even meet any crazy movie stars.  I did however get to sink my teeth into a race I’ve been admiring and looking to since I knew bike racing existed, that being Paris-Roubaix.

It was big for our team to get an invite to such a prestigious race, and it was then equally exciting when I got the word that I was on the teams roster for the race.  As always, I don’t think you can fully appreciate a race or happening without experiencing it first hand and looking back at the past week, I can’t say how much that applied to my experience at P-R.

Yea, its a long race at 260km.  yea, its a brutal one with 60km of gnarly cobblestones (let me add that these are not normal cobble stones, but especially jaw rattling, crash causing, tire blowing cobbles which in my experience are found nowhere else in the world).  P-R also has a world class field, but I can’t put into words out all of these pieces fit together to create an incredible race.  Such high stress, energy and tension within the pack.  Even greater energy lining the sides of the roads.  Thousands of fans, unlike anything I’ve seen before, and crashes, crashes, crashes, everywhere.  I was caught up in 3 of them, but only had some lost time and a bent chainring to show.  Normally, 3 crashes in one race would be terrible luck, but I learned that Roubaix is not a normal race in this respect.  We had 2 teammates sacrifice their bikes, another a wheel, another double flat, another injure his hand and another finish the race with a concussion after an eager fan stuck a flag poll through his front wheel! So all things considered, my ride went fairly well and next time I get a shot at doing the race I’ll start that much further up on the learning curve.

its a shame the early kms of the race don’t receive more coverage as they were by no means uneventful.  Of course the part of the race with the biggest amplitude of insanity and chaos was the forest of arenberg, closely followed by the Carrefour de l’Abre.  Rolling into the velodrome was also a big moment.  It was a great feeling to have made it through the previous 260km of chaos and be arriving on the drome.  My first time ever riding on one!!

ok, enough talking.  some pics…

That’s all I have for now.  Currently, I’m hanging in Nivelles, Belgium.  A week and change until we head to Switzerland for Tour of Romandie.  Trying to kick a bit of plague out of the lungs right now, but a couple days of downtime were in order anyway.

see ya

They make roads out of what???

We rode the first 10 pave sectors today. Pave is an interesting word for them. I’d prefer to call them “body thrashers”.

I was surprised to see how “unflat” the route in general was. Lots of gentle rollers, up and down. The cobble sections that have a rise to them are gonna be leg breakers. Imagining the race w 260 km of that, it’s easy to see why “sturdy” fellas usually excel here.

We got our bikes geared out with a few PR trick parts. Different forks, chainrings, pedals, and of course wheels. Thinking about sliding some padding in my bars too.

Gotta love hanging in french hotel rooms. All of my stuff is literally never more than an arms reach away.

Gotta rest the wrists.

send me the power, please