Monday, January 28, 2013

Louisville 2013 TV and Internet Broadcast Schedule

The World Championship races will be streaming live via the UCI youtube channel - see attached link for all the details, including the times! The U23 race will be on Saturday at 2:30 EST.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Power of Dreams

I think it's valuable to dream and strive for goals that you can work toward in both short and long-term time frames. We each have different goals that we try to achieve in our personal/professional lives and for those of us who ride, goals within cycling that we work towards.

Three years ago traveling home from a 'cross race, Nicole Borem and I discussed the announcement that the 2013 Cyclo-Cross World Championships would be held in Louisville, KY. Our conversation sparked a dream - That dream was to race the biggest race in cyclocross that would be coming into the US for the first time in the history of the sport.

At the time it was long-term goal. As time has progressed, I have gained more knowledge, strength, and opportunities to prove myself in cycling, specifically in 'cross. These experiences have prepared me to race at a competitive level nationally allowing the chance to compete internationally. As the 2012/13 season unfolded, I began realize that my dream had the potential to become reality.

Many of you know that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to race in Belgium as a part of the EuroCrossCamp program. This offered me a good chance to race with the best U23 riders in the world. It was also a solid block of racing to prepare me for Nationals.

During my mental preparation for Nationals I knew I would need to have solid races to successfully earn a spot on the Worlds Team. I was able to use what I learned at EXC to help me race in the muddy, sloppy conditions that we saw in the U23 race Saturday, finishing top 5. On Monday I received word that I had made the U23 squad!

I am a proud member of the Marian University Cycling Team. I believe in what the program stands for and promotes through racing. Dean Peterson, the head coach (my personal coach) has an incredible amount of vision for the team to continue to grow and develop for many years to come. It's pretty neat to be a part of a community of athletes who work hard in school and in cycling to achieve overall team success, as well as individual success. 

Marian will be sending three riders to Louisville 2013: Drew Dillman (Dizzle D), Kaitie Antonneau (Little Badger), and I (JoJoNoFingers). It’s super exciting to have three of us make the selection!

My trade team Bissell-ABG-Giant has played a huge role in my development on the road and they have given me the support to make this 'cross season by far my most successful! The other members of the the team have been supportive of my goals on the road, they have also offered their encouragement throughout the 'cross season. Our team director, Declan Doyle, has done a great job of making sure the details are taken care of so we can focus on racing bikes. 

I want to thank Dean and Declan for the coaching and mentoring they've provided me with during the last year and a half! 

Over the years my family has supported me as an individual, giving their support to whatever interest I was pursuing at the time. In my cycling, they've been supportive and understanding of the time commitment required to race and train at a high level. I couldn't do it without having their backing to accomplish the goals I am striving for. 

My girlfriend has been nothing but supportive of my cycling. I know it's hard on her when I leave different times in the summer to race, or when I was gone over the holidays racing. I'm thankful that she will be in Louisville cheering me on!

This past week (as you just read) I have reflected on my cycling career thus far and those who have invested and helped me reach success in the sport. Success can be defined merely by results, but to me it's more than that. It's one thing to ride a bike fast, it's another to ride fast and still value the importance of the people who make racing. It doesn't just happen. Cycling is a sport that requires a great deal of support... from family, friends, peers, and the list could go on. In addition to that, it's not inexpensive to race bicycles.

I choose the long-winded answer to convey the message that I'm thankful and blessed by all of you who are taking the time to read this right now, those who have invested time and effort into me as a person and as an athlete. You may never fully understand the impact you've had, but I can assure you that it has made a difference in my life.

I am very fortunate to have great support from companies who believe in what I'm doing. I would like to take a brief moment to recognize them for their efforts to help young riders continue to develop reach their potential.

Bissell is a longtime supporter and advocate of Professional cycling. They are locally stationed in the Midwest, basing their operations out of Grand Rapids, MI.
Giant Bicycles is a global company with the mission to promote health, wellness, and enjoyment through riding a bike. "Ride Life. Ride Giant"

SRAM offers quality bicycle components with a grassroots, close to home feel. Main HQ located in Chicago, ILL.
Zipp is located in Indianapolis, IN. They are dedicated to providing you with wheels and components that give you the technological advantage and confidence needed to perform at your maximum potential.
NUVO is another Indianapolis based company. They pride themselves in covering stories that are unique and interesting to read, time and time again.

Thanks for reading - See you in Louisville!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here, There, & Everywhere In-between

The past few weeks have been a blur... I've been here, there, and everywhere in-between. I arrived back from Europe on the 2nd, was home for a week, then headed to Indy to meet up with the rest of the Marian Cycling crew to make the trip to Madison, WI to race in the ever changing conditions at Nationals. Now I'm back in Indy, Monday was the first day of this semesters classes.

My trip to EuroCrossCamp allowed me to learn and grow as an individual. I was able to be fully immersed in the Belgian 'cross culture, the "motherland" of cycling. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to push my limits on challenging course with death drops, steep run-ups, long muddy power sections. Many of the experiences were new, and pushed my comfort zone, which increased my skill-set, equipping me with the preparedness to face courses and conditions with more confidence.

I want to take a brief moment to thank Geoff Proctor for all that he's done over the last ten years to help the development of the sport. This year was the camp's tenth consecutive year running. That's ten Christmas' away from family and friends to help young up-and-coming riders have this wonderful experience. It's appreciated, Geoff!

For me personally, the camp fulfilled a goal I created a couple years ago as a young, naive rider to race in Europe with the Belgians. It has also led to the fulfillment of other goals I've set for myself (I'll touch on this in a future post).


After returning from CrossCamp, I took it easy, only incorporating a few hard efforts to keep my body primed and ready to go! The week leading into Nationals I had been feeling pretty tired (I think my body was still adjusting from the time change). I knew it'd be important to manage the amount of rest and recovery I was getting, especially the few days before the first race. That was my number one priority.

I was able to preview the course on Thursday afternoon. It felt good to get out in the fresh air after traveling all day and being cooped up in the bus. The course was almost identical to the layout of what we raced last year. The weather ended up creating similar course conditions both days (Saturday: U23; Sunday: Collegiate) too.

This year I was able to acquire enough UCI points to earn a front row spot. I was happy to have the start position I did, it allowed me to take third in the holeshot, setting me up to steer clear of traffic. After a quarter of a lap I found myself riding in fourth, I kept a steady pace and began to reel-in Drew and Skyler who were riding in 2nd and 3rd. It wasn't long after Drew dropped Skyler that I made contact with him and proceeded to push ahead to Drew. I eventually caught-up to Drew midway through the race, rode with him for a bit before he opened a gap on me. I continued to ride in my rhythm, finding smooth, fast lines. Tobin caught Skyler, and they both closed within a few seconds of me. Going into the last lap I pitted (it was so muddy most of us pitted every half lap!) and drilled it on the straight coming out of the pit and on the steep climb. This immediately opened a sizable gap, only to come crashing down when I hit and ice patch going into the backside stairs. I quickly got up and got going again still maintaining a slight advantage, but when I remounted I saw that my stem had gotten turned 45 degrees to the right. I managed to make it down the descent after the stairs and struggled around the next corner before I had to dismount and straighten my bars back to center. By this time both Tobin and Skyler had passed me and were rocketing away on the road climb. I did my best to chase them down, but the damage had been done. I rolled across the line with a solid ride landing me the last spot on the podium in 5th. I was pleased with my race, but disappointed with the last lap mishap.

My goal for the race was top 3. I had been riding there most of the race. That gave me a sense of accomplishment knowing that I had the ability and was carrying it out throughout the race.

Giving a few high-fives as I came through the finish area.

U23 Men's Podium

Cyclocross Magazine Report
Cyclingnews Report

D1 Collegiate:
Last year I stood on the podium with a 4th place finish. This year I was looking to improve on that and race for the win! Off the line I was third around the bend on the pavement start/finish straight, forging ahead around the turn I took the holeshot onto the frozen, rutted course. I knew the race would be fast due to the fast, frozen circuit. There was only one good line through most of the course making it hard for other riders to advance their placement. I led into lap two and was able to open a gap over Kerry Werner (Lees-McRae), working to increase my advantage. After the barriers I was going through a turn and slid-out, allowing Kerry to catch me and open a gap of his own. I was back on my bike quickly and chasing after him. I was steadily gaining ground on him, but had another mistake... I hit a rut wrong, launching me into a wooden stake and snowy bank. This really set back my chase efforts. I needed Kerry to make a similar mistake, or it wouldn't be any easy task to win the race. He didn't make the same mistakes I did and rode to the win. I maintained my position, and went on to finish 2nd, one spot away from the stars-and-bars.

My goal in the collegiate race was to put myself in a position to win the bike race. I did that. I knew whoever took the title would be the one who made the least mistakes, that was Kerry. He rode the race you have to in those conditions. I risked pushing the pace early, which narrowed the race at the front down to two riders. Unfortunately, I was the first one to make a mistake. Nice work, Kerry!

D1 men on the trying to stay warm on the start line.

Frozen ruts.

Werner & I battling early on in the race.

Rolling across the line in 2nd.

D1 Podium.

We successfully defended the title to claim Marian's 2nd consecutive overall D1 Collegiate Team National title in Cyclocross!

Cyclocross Magazine Report
Cyclingnews Report

Stay tuned for another update in a few days - Thanks for reading!