Friday, July 24, 2009

Tahoe Camp & Nationals wrap up

All I can say is, what a trip! We are all so thankful for the opportunity to have experienced our adventure, which started with 10 days of magnificent mountain biking in Tahoe, along with yoga by the lake daily, good food and good company, then racing the Downieville Classic and taking the top-two podiums spots in both junior XC categories and the Sport All-Mountain title. The altitude training was paying off...Then it was on to Colorado for the big show -- the Mountain Bike National Championships. We did everything right leading into the race, and embraced the challenge of racing with the best riders in the country. Coming away with multiple top-10 finishes and a national title were simply icing on the cake.

A huge thanks goes out to our supporters and sponsors of the camp. To the Velo Development Foundation and generous donors, we couldn't have done this without your support. To our fantastic nutritional sponsors, GU and Can Do Kid for providing the best sports nutrition available. GU gels, chomps, brew and Can Do Kid bars are outstanding cycling fuel! To Trek and to Specialized for stepping up in our time of need. To Northwave (thanks, John!) and to Sunshine Bikes. Last but not least, to Elemental Herbs for providing two essentials: sunscreen and herbal cool arnica spray for sore and tired muscles.

We look forward to another great experience and perhaps more top results next year!

A few videos from our trip

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Super - D & Short Track

Today was our final day at Nationals. Max Houtzegar and Will Patterson took 6th and 7th in the Super-D, while Nick Newcomb placed 13th in an extremely competitive Junior Cat 1 - 15-18 field. We packed up and hit the road immediately after and made the drive to Park City, UT for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is the long haul across Hwy 80 all the way back to the Bay Area. See you soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

MTB XC Nats - Two days down, one to go...

After two days of racing, the Whole Athlete team has racked up some good results, despite some bad luck with flats and mechanicals. On Friday Will Curtis took a strong top-10 with 8th place in an extremely competitive Cat 1 17/18 field. Nick Newcomb was on a top-10 ride as well, but a final lap flat foiled his efforts. Alec Kassin followed with a 5th place podium finish in the Cat 2 15-18 race, despite tearing his rear deraileur off on the last lap. Today, Tony Smith took 6th in the Cat 1 15/16 field, while yours truly won the Cat 1 40-44 title (video of start). Tomorrow we have the Super-D and short track races, so I hope to share more good news then!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nationals XC course - Heart of the Rockies

We are now in the heart of the Rockies. The terrain is incredibly mountainous, green and inspiring. The vistas are indescribable, so I hope the photos provide some idea of the grandeur we are experiencing.

After arriving in Granby, CO and settling into the Inn at Silver Creek, we rode up to the Sol Vista Resort/Bike Park to pre-ride the XC course. USA Cycling created two XC courses, a 4-mile loop for the pros, U23s, Cat 1 17-18 boys and Cat 1 girls -- and an 8-mile loop for everyone else. Both courses start at >8500 ft and climb to or above 9000. The 8-mile course is mostly above 9000 ft and tops out at nearly 9400 ft!

Max and I pre-rode the 8-mile course together and fond it to be an outstanding XC course -- very balanced, lots of climbing, singletrack and fun descents. Our races start tomorrow (Friday) so stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Park City ride - Then onto Colorado!

A big thanks to our shoe sponsor, John McKone of Northwave for showing us the fantastic trails of Park City, UT. It was a real treat to get in such a beautiful ride prior to the long drive to Granby, CO on the twisty, panoramic drive east on Highway 40 through Colorado...

Heading East - The long, straight road...

Tahoe to Park City - Highway 80 across Nevada.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Downieville Dominance!

The Whole Athlete team came to Downieville XC with a mission: to ride well and have fun. After more than a week of excellent training in Tahoe, they accomplished even more than that -- taking the top two steps of both junior podiums, first overall in the all-mountain XC sport, and four other top-five finishes.

The Downieville Classic is indeed that - a "classic" MTB race where the whole town becomes the race. A fun expo and hundreds of people having a good time. The XC race course is one of the most challenging I have ever ridden in more than 20 years of MTB riding and racing. A true MTB XC course.

Junior Expert
Tony Smith: 1st
Nick Newcomb: 2nd
Riley Predum: 4th
Will Curtis: 5th

Junior Sport
Alec Kassin: 1st
Bobby Zidek: 2nd
Roman Brockley: 5th

Pro Men (XC only)
John Bennett: 4th

Sport All-mountain
Max Houtzegar: 1st overall
(2nd XC & 1st DH)

Junior Expert All-mountain
Will Patterson: 4th overall
(3rd DH)