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Cyclocross Year-end Wrap-up

Team Hungry was well represented throughout the 2010 regional cyclocross scene. Thirteen team members, some veterans and some newly joined, raced more than 85 races combined, making it to the podium thirteen times.  The main focus was the increasingly popular Ohio Valley Cyclocross series (OVCX), consisting of fifteen races from mid-September through early December, including the epic three-day UCI3 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival, three state championship races, and two days of the USGP.  The team also dabbled in the Cap City Cross series out of Columbus, and two members even made a special appearance at the last two USGP races in Portland, OR.

We all know what CX is about, riding the orange-red heart rate train of pain for 45-60 minutes, making friends and rivals, laughing, heckling, beer, falling, getting back up, mechanicals, and most of all -fun. But it also includes a lot of travel. Long days were made out of racing in Louisville, Indianapolis, Lexington, Cincinnati, Yellow Springs, and Columbus. A summer draught made its mark on the first two-thirds of the season making for fast, dry, hot racing eventually referred to as  “dirt crits.” By December, at great relief to racers and spectators alike, venues changed over from “dust bowls” to the wet, cold mud and ice fests CX is known for. All said, it was worth it, we all made it out alive, no busted bodies that can’t be healed, no beat down bikes that can’t be repaired (except for one cracked frame).  Team Hungry members put a lot of effort into racing hard and fast -we race hungry every time. We challenged ourselves and others, made more friends, and got to have a blast in one of cycling’s most open and exciting disciplines.  A special thanks goes out to the organizers, sponsors, fans, and supporters that make cyclocross so much fun, cheers! Following are attendance and result highlights from races attended.

Kings CX Weekend: Season Opener and OVCX#1

The first races of the season were dry, dusty, and fast – characteristics that would not change for nearly two months. Michael C, Kerry N, Eric P, Jamie W, and Zach C tested the new skinsuits on day one. Michael snagged 2nd place in the Cat3’s, while Kerry took 3rd in the single speed category. In the Cat4’s , Jamie got 9th (still in QCW colors), while Zach plowed for 5th in his first ever cx race. Day two was the first of the OVCX series. Michael was labeled “sandbagger” overnight by the masked man behind the Ohio Sandbagger blog curtain. No matter, Michael was hungry, knew he had the legs, and began his non-stop campaign in the Elite123 category taking 16th. Alex S, Scott P, Kerry, Eric, Zach, Jamie, Michael S, and Matt H all raced their hearts out and tried to minimize the damage to inside 30 places.

OVCX#2 – Tour de Louisville – Louisville, KY

Alison D, Michael, Alex, Scott, Kerry, Zach, Matt, and Andrew S all threw down on this hilly hard race. Lots of off-camber turns, ruts, one climb, not a flat meter anywhere.  It may have been early in the season, but people were racing all-out. A couple of us hit the deck, but no problems overall. Best race of the day was from Ali B, rocking to 3rd place in the Women’s Cat3/4 race.  Andrew had a great first cx race, carrying his bike over the barriers like it was a full baby diaper, but using his pure power to take 12th in the Cat4’s.

OVCX#3 – UCI3 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival – Devou Park, Covington, KY

Day one of the pro-level cyclocross festival was held at the epic amphitheater bowl course in Devou Park. Mad ruts, dusty, fast, off camber and suited for mountain biking, as Kona’s Ryan Trebon proved in the Men’s Elite race. Team Hungry represented with Michael C, Alex, Kerry, Eric, James O, Jamie, Christa Z, Matt, and Andrew.  Men’s fields were packet 100+ with racers from all over the region, so Micheal’s 8th place in the Cat2/3 race, James’ 5th place in the Cat4 35+ race, Andrew’s 8th place in the Cat4’s and Matt, Jamie, and Eric all making inside 20 places in the 4’s made the team proud.

OVCX#4 – UCI3 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival – Sunset Park, Middletown, OH

Day two of the UCI weekend was in the relatively flat, but highly technical Sunset Park in Middletown, Ohio. Huge fields and huge dust clouds along with tree roots and fast racing mark this race. Michael C, Zach, Kerry, James, Jamie, and Matt took it all on. Michael had another strong day in the 2/3’s with a 15th place, and Matt went big in the 4’s by getting 11th place. The big news of the day came from James’ 1st place, by laying down a dominating ride in the Cat4 35+ race.

OVCX#5 – UCI3 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival – Harbin Park, Fairfield, OH

Day three, huge fields, sun, big, fast, rolling, and diverse course, lots of spectators, two big power sucking sand pits: hard, exciting racing. Team Hungry set up camp on the hillside next to the course to offer up some motivational speech to teammates and other racers. Michael, Kerry, Alex, Zach, Scott, James, and Matt showed up to the bike fight. Biggest fields yet and Michael delivered another impressive ride for 16th in the Cat2/3’s, Scott busted a dusty lung for 7th in the Cat3 35+ race, Alex raced strong to 11th in the Cat4’s, Zach and Matt each made the top twenty in the 4’s and the hard reality of a rolled tubular shuffled James from lead spot to an honorable 21st in the Cat4 35+ race.

OVCX#6 – Bloomingcross – Bloomington, IN

The Ohio Valley Cyclocross series made its way west to Bloomington, Indiana hot off the heals of the UCI3 Cyclocross weekend. Form was starting to take place in the cx peloton and series points hunters were down to business. Matt and Andrew lined up for battle. Matt took a healthy 19th place while Andrew chased the top ten for a nice 12th place spot in the Cat4’s.

Cap City Cross #1 – Columbus, OH

While Matt and Andrew threw down in Indiana, Michael, Kerry, Scott, and Alex decided to make the shorter trip to Dublin, Ohio and race the first of the Cap City Cross series races. Needless to say, the hard competition south prepared us handily for this flatland grass crit. Team Hungry went out with all guns blazing, stealing four podium spots. Kerry took 2nd place in Single Speed (and 9th in Cat3’s), Michael snatched 3rd in the Elite123 race, Scott railed it for 1st place in the Cat3 race, and Alex schooled the Cat4’s for 1st place. Bam, bam, bam, and bam!

OVCX#8 – Derby City Cup#2, USGP#4 – Louisville, KY.

The eighth race of the OVCX series was the fourth US Gran Prix race and a UCI2 event -big time pro and amateur racing. Massive fields and an epic, world-class course (future course of the World Championships 2012-2013). Team Hungry took this weekend off. However, Matt H braved the odds and faired incredibly well with a 15th place finish in the Cat4’s. To be clear, Matt was still riding for QCW and was formally invited to the team the following weekend.

OVCX#9 – Storm the Greens – Louisville, KY

This fast and fun course had plenty of technical features including six sandpits that could all be ridden (assuming you weren’t too gassed to hit the right lines) and an existing railroad tie step runup. Michael, Scott, Kerry, Alex, Andrew, and Matt made it to the show. Scott and Kerry say “thanks to whoever handed up those great microbrews.” Best results came from Scott with a 5th place in the Cat3’s, Andrew making 10th in the Cat4’s, and Michael hanging tough for 13th in the Elite race.

OVCX#10 – Gun Club – Milford, OH

Ah yes, the beloved Gun Club race did not disappoint. Excellent racing conditions that included single track, some mud, sand and barriers. Spectators were all over the course, especially crowded around the creek crossing spectacle. Team Hungry Hecklers Scott and Kerry hung out on the 25% grade runup planting ones and fives in the dirt, the bushes, and even the trees. Dozens of riders chose to forgo the cash preems in hopes of catching wheels or were too crosseyed to see money in their face.  Lead riders eager for an extra buck snatched the cash without missin’ a pedal stroke.  Alex, James, Michael, Kerry, Jamie, Matt, and Eric showed up to the shootout. Michael bested his previous race with a 12th in stout competition in the Elites and Alex flexed his quads to a 7th place in the Cat4’s. James was crushing in the lead when his tubie spoke again and he had to let the spots slip past.

OVCX#11 – Cap City Cross, Infirmary Mound – Columbus, OH

Ouch! Headwind and singletrack called for aeropower, agility, and tactics. Scott, Andrew, and Matt represented. Andrew outsprinted junior phenome Spencer Petrov for a 2nd place finish in the Cat4’s, consoling the young champ afterwards, “I am a strong road racer who can sprint, give it time young grasshopper.” Matt got 10th in the Cat4’s while Scott attacked his way toward the front but got outsprinted for a 3rd place finish in the Cat3’s, in which his adversary explained, “don’t feel bad, I’m just faster than you.”

OVCX#12 – Kentucky State Championships – Lexington, KY

Michael, Kerry, Alex, Matt, Andrew, James, Scott, and Jamie all paid to play in the Kentucky State Championship race. Ironically, the organizers turned a couple ball fields into a fairly interesting and challenging technical course. They said it was flat, but race day proved otherwise. A serious headwind shook things up a bit to the advantage of Scott who won the Cat3 35+ race by attacking headlong into the wind out of the pace line and never letting up. Kerry took the 8th spot in the Cat3’s, James got 7th in the Cat4 35+ and Andrew repeated his magic with a 2nd place in the Cat4’s. Matt and Alex raced like they were haulin’ quarter barrels of bourbon on their backs -oh wait, could that have been the result of too much celebration of the bourbon trail in the Reser/Hungry house stay?

OVCX13 – Ohio State Championship – John Bryan Park, Yellow Springs, OH

The cold rain and snow set the stage for some classic cyclocross racing for the Ohio State Championships. This popular race offered a bit of everything and a whole lot of slick mud. Bikers down gotta get around was the order of the day. Michael, Kerry, James, Matt, and Andrew answered the call of duty. James O’hhh set the record straight and became the Ohio State Champ of the Cat4 35+’s, Kerry had a great race for 11th place in the Cat3’s, and Andrew gave a strong ride for 5th place in the Cat4’s.

OVCX#14 – St. Mary’s Cross – Ft. Harrison, IN

Snow… Storm. Cold slop and snow and Matt Harbaugh went to work. Only Matt knows as he was the only Hungrian to make it to this race, but reports suggest hard conditions and great racing. Matt apparently lives for racing in everything, as he has raced more cx races this year than any other Hungry member. 15th place in the Cat4’s, great work!

US Gran Prix – The Stanley Portland Cup #1 and #2 – Portland, OR

The last two races of the USGP were held in Portland, OR, also known as cyclocross mecca. Two hungry boys bellied up to the line to race in classic cyclocross conditions, cold and muddy and huge field of cross-eyed crazies looking to join the ranks of USGP ranks. Michael and Alex flew out to fight it out. They set themselves up with single speed machines for the two days of racing and represented the team and the region quite well. Michael raced the Single Speed category both days, a feat quite impressive, as single speed is the holy grail of cyclocross for Portlanders. He clawed away for a 31st place finish on Saturday and came back swinging for a 22nd place finish Sunday. Alex raced his single speed straight up in the Cat4 race. The boy had two loaded guns and put down enough Ohio watts to land him an 11th place on Saturday and a crowd pleasing 4th place spot on Sunday!

OVCX#15 – Brookside Cup – Indiana State Championships – Indianapolis, IN

The OVCX season finale took place under perfect cyclocross conditions. There was snow from the previous day, (St. Mary’s) freezing mud, some slick as snot, some tacky, hilly terrain, plenty of technical sections, and an epic 40+ step run up after a hard slick off camber switchback. Kerry and Scott were down to clown. Kerry raced fast and seemed to be in his element at the front, playing foot out to stay on the hunt, but he bit it hard going down the long down hill off camber section; his derailer out of commission, time to walk it in. Scott decided to play his hand in the Elite Masters category for his final race working good lines on his 22psi tubies and laid down a hard sprint attack on the uphill paved section that gained him several spots before working up to 7th place.

Snowedout


Now that I’m a real adult and do things like go to my friends’ weddings, drink top shelf, well-crafted bourbon, and use a nose hair trimmer I often think of the word “snow day” as an excuse to bitch about having to clean the snow off my car for my one mile commute to work. Well, when that “snow day” falls on an off day…what’s there to do than realize that I’m actually nowhere near the adult stage of my life and get totally rad on slushy streets and frozen wading ponds?!

Michael roused me from my slumber at noon and said, “Snow ride!” That means: snow pants, too many layers, cold hands, brickfoot, and NO BRAKES! Seriously…if you don’t have disc brakes, good luck coming to a stop at a reasonable distance after barreling down from Mt. Adams.


As you can see, our bikes are stoked to be at the top of the world and may or may not plunge over the retaining wall in The Celestial’s parking lot. We were hoping to trudge up some unplowed streets, but we realized that a good deal of Cincinnati’s tax dollars come from this neck of the woods and the streets were perfectly clean. We settled for pushing our sleds up Hill St. (K: 22×22, M: 32×18) and going down the hill sans brakes. After all, we need to practice our descending for next spring season in order to beat Glenn Wolf down those sick KY hills.


Hungry For Base Miles!

Saturday marked the first day of the new season.  Ok I know technically its still 2010 and its early to start getting base, but we just couldn’t resist.  We started from PPB (Purple People Bridge) at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  It was quite chilly that morning, but everyone was much too excited to care.  The ride was organized by Adam.  I can safely say that this next season is going to be phenomenal.  The turnout was just spectacular.  I guess its the new ambition of the new members.  We had Scott P, Eric P, Adam, Mc Chewnimser, Jamie, Matt, and myself.  That and 50 miles of trust old Kentucky made for a great ride.  I fell off the back a couple times to take some pics!  We ended at Coffee Emporium for an excellent meal!

Ride Stats:

Time: 04:01:11
Distance: 56.15 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,290 ft
Calories: 2,070 C
Avg Temperature: 42.6 °F
Elevation Gain: 2,290 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,244 ft
Min Elevation: 528 ft
Max Elevation: 938 ft

Team Hungry Grows for 2011 Season!

Thats right!  Team Hungry is happy to welcome the addition to 5 new hungarians.  These are all people that we believe live and breathe the Hungry lifestyle.  Words can not explain how excited we are to have all of these wonderful people on our team for 2011 season.  Here are the names.

Anne Mcdonald, Blaire Barter, Jamie Williamson, Matt Harbaugh, and Adam Noderer.

First and foremost I must say how excited I am to have Anne and Blaire on the team.  Anne has been on the “Thursday Night Hungry Buffett All You Can Eat Ride” and absolutely smoked me.  Very strong rider indeed.  I haven’t personally had the chance to meet Blaire yet, but i have heard some great stories about her abilities.

I first met Jamie at Gun Club Cross a few months ago.  I was taken back because a stranger came up to me in the plaid nightmare that is our skin suit and introduced him self.  I could already tell this guy was an absolute kind heart and incredibly strong on the CX course.  He is also very close with James, Anne, and Blair.  Unfortunately that means they are all going to work together on the Thursday Rides now and crush the rest of us!

Where do I begin with Matt Harbaugh.  At the start of CX season I knew I wanted him on Team Hungry.  He never missed the Thursday Night Devou Park Hotlaps and also never missed the opportunity to drop me.  Thankfully he has already been intiated so he is settling in quite nice.  I can’t comment much on the initiation other than there was lots of great beer, bourbon, home cooked dinner, and two Hungry riders almost finishing dead last at the Lexington CX race the next day.  Matt was one of those.  I’m not sure who the other guy was ;) (yes thats an emoticon).

Adam Noderer… I don’t think I went on a single ride all year that Adam wasn’t on.  I was first introduced from Glenn.  At first I thought oh great he is a friend of glenn.. I already know his riding style.. super proper, quiet, rides 150 miles at a time without flinching, excellent goatee and hair grooming before and after riding.  HA  Far from it!  Adam is a great rider who had some serious miles under his belt last season.  He is also radstoked to race next season and we are radstoked to have him.

Ladies and Gents’ prepare your selves for a long season of beer, food, pain, long rides, and jokes.

-radstoked

Portland USGP Photos Cont.

Found some great photos from USGP Day 2. Alex is holding first place wheel for the first 2 laps. MC looks strong through the twistys.

Portland USGP

A few weeks ago Alex called me – “Wanna go to Portland USGP?” – of course I did!

I barely have a job, and my bank account is diminishing since my high roller days in an office, but it doesn’t matter. When a buddy ask you to go race in Portland, you just have to make it work. The opportunity to race through the infamous mud and roaring crowds is something that a cyclocross racer cannot turn down.

We arrived in Portland Friday and stayed with an original Hungarian – Brentus Momentus. He hooked us up with his single speeds to race with so that we didn’t have to pay the exorbitant shipping fees for our own bikes. We went to the veloshop to build up the bikes. This is Molly Cameron’s shop so we got to drool over her indy fab bike with DI2. This was real Portland, and the reality that bike racing is a way of life here was quickly evident. The air stunk of embrocation. The sound of roller intervals filled the hallways. I am immediately intimidated – how are we going to size up to these die hards?

The Portland USGP is a two day event. Both days Alex and I woke up at six am so that we could ride to the course on time for his 8am start. The course was at the Portland International Speedway (PIR), which was about 5 miles from where we stayed.

The course was the craziest I have ever seen. Part of PIR is a motocross venue, which means that we were getting rad on those huge jumps you see on the X games. The event organizers had us tearing up and down these things in every direction imaginable. Going down at speed was scary because of the deep mud you hit at the bottom of every flat, going up was impossible because of the steep ankle deep mud. Check it:

Apparently this was dry for Portland. But unseasonably cold and windy made for a long day of being outside. Finishing the OVCX season with little no no mud, this was still a swamp fest through our eyes.

Single Speed Cyclocross in Portland is way different than in the ovcx series. Guys here live for sscx. Looking at everyones bikes at the line, I was shocked to see how many custom frames with carbon wheels I saw. I somehow landed a front row call up but knew that the 60+ people behind me were there for blood. In ovcx, I am usually 3-4 minutes behind the winner in the elite field, but here I was 6 minutes from winning, how fast is that?!

Despite our dusty midwest roots, We got RAD! Alex raced the Category four race with about 100 other guys and had two really good results. 11th on Saturday and 4th on Sunday. He crushed dudes on his single speed! I on the other hand had two OK results. 31st on Sunday and 22nd on Saturday. My goal was to break into the top twenty, but I was still happy with my result after I realized how effing fast single speed dudes are in Portland.

What a great way to end the 2010 racing season. Now for those lovely winter base miles.