Monday, April 21, 2008

Grandstay win and Hed Ardennes

This past Saturday was the area-famed Durand Road Race. The weather held off with the wind and rain. From the gun, teammates Dan Swanson and Brian K. were off in a 4-man break with Jordan from ISP Corp, and Greg Brandt from GP. That left ourselves, GP, and ISP Corp with nothing to do other than to patrol the front and frustrate others. What few attacks that took place were quickly covered. All I could do was patrol, and sit-up the front. Towards the end of the second-to-last-lap Greg came back from the break after getting caught up in a crash with a lapped rider and one of our riders in the break. Bummer but he is on good form. Brian was caught on the big climb in back and it was down to Dan and Jordan. By now their 4 minute gap was down to 30 seconds. Grandstay had everything up front with a damn good blocking echelon. Confusion set in because it was getting too close. We came into the final straight and I honestly thought it may get caught. Doug jumped out the field which was good in case Dan and Jordan didn't pull it off. I waited to jump just to not drag anyone to close to Doug or even worse, but by the time I jumped Danno had it. Doug was third, I was tenth, and three other riders from Grandstay pulled out top 20's. 3 guys in the top ten, and 6 in the top 20 is alright by me. Everyone, I mean everyone, on the team looked great. Our toolbox is happily full and covered for this season. And Dan holding a 70 mile break is far too cool, and I knew he had the sprint. Great job Dan!
It was nice to see some of the new teams out there. Now Sports, Brone's, and all the others riders that I haven't seen since last fall. It was like a big family reunion.
After scraping worms off my bike and pulling off the newly glued up Hed Stingers, I had a solid day out on the new Hed Ardennes yesterday. First impressions? Damn, the tires look wide. The wheels ride stiff though and there is absolutely no lateral play in the typical clincher tire. Everyone will tell you that they ride more like tubulars. Well, that is what they feel like.

I was fortunate enough to roll around on a prototype pair during the Nature Valley weekend last season. At that time I had nothing but smiles for them. My teammate at the time, Frankie Dierking, was in agreement. "Get us a couple pairs!" The wheels are holy-crap light as well. Stiff, light, clean looking, reflective labels, affordable, and the functionability of a tubular but in a clincher. Perfect. These wheels will corner sharper than you can even physically corner on a bike. They track like no other wheel. The tire/rim matchup gives you a clean air flow over the tire and rim. Typical tires are so much wider than the rim the sit on causing disruptions in the air flow on the windward and leaward edges. Get on them. or your local killer bike shop.
Well, I would have a photo of my own but the history of my camera remains. I am patiently waiting for my new Nikon that I ordered. Some photos of the team after Durand would have been great. Photos soon!
I need to get this mountain bike set-up. Errr. My XTR front der. won't clamp without the rear tire hitting it. I am hoping a traditional clamp will solve that. Cheqfest should be memorable this year. Keep your ears to the wind. Find your lodging now.
Great job to Jenna Zander out at Sea Otter. She is ripping it up! Good luck to Tom Zirbel at the Tour of Georgia. Next up? No Saturday racing due to a wedding for some close friends so most likely it will be Sunday at the Old Capitol Crit. in Iowa City. We'll see were gas prices are at before I commit. We set another record already this morning for oil. What gives? Well, you know....Ciao -Ian

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