lauantai 31. lokakuuta 2009

Superprestige Hoogstraten, Nys vs Albert

First the videos.

ek hoogstraten veldrijden from jef cleemput on Vimeo.

RTV Special Hoogstraten from jef cleemput on Vimeo.

Another weekend and another round between the two favorites. The king of cross is being challenged by the prins of cross yet again (just wondering if belgians know what prince albert means). Last weekend Nys took what was his. Maybe the King had some help from lady Fortuna who made Albert get tangled to the banner on first lap and had to get back to the head of the race from the last spot.

Tomorrow the course is quite different from Koppenberg with less climbing which seems to favor Albert. Especially if the weather stays nice and dry, it should be Albert's race but if you add little bit of rain in the mix, the tables might turn. If the weather is fast there is also a chance that someone like Stybar might get away early on and hold off others till the end. However if Nys wins tomorrow, it will be his 50. victory in Superprestige so he won't give up the win easily that's for sure.

Albert is my favorite for the race but I would really like to see Stybar and Pauwels try to go at it. Stybar has been up there at every race and Pauwels has been doing really well too. So far the pure strength of Nys and Albert have made it impossible for anyone else to snatch the victory. Being a fan of underdogs, I would really like to see some new faces on the top ladder.

Quick search of online betting agencies shows that both Nys and Albert have odds at around 2, Albert having lower odds with most bookmakers. Stybar has third lowest odds at around ~10 with most bookmakers. My money would go to Albert and Stybar...maybe 5€ for Stybar and 10€ to Albert.

VT4 will broadcast the race live starting at 14:00 CET. The race should be live right here, but if it changes, I'll try to post the change ASAP.

About the European Championships. Belgians are the favorites in juniors and U23. In Women's race there are other strong riders as well.

Superprestige Hoogstraten start list:

Belgium: Niels Albert, Sven Nys, Klaas Vantornout, Sven Vanthourenhout, Kevin Pauwels, Bart Aernouts, Erwin Vervecken, Rob Peeters, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Jan Verstraeten, Ben Berden, Wim Leemans, Kendric Van Grembergen, Mike Thielemans, Quentin Bertholet, Tom Van den Bosch, Jan Soetens, Tim Van Nuffel
Netherlands: Gerben de Knegt, Wilant van Gils, Thijs Al, Eddy van IJzendoorn, Thijs van Amerongen, Bram Schmitz, Jerry Kallenfels
Czech Republic: Zdenek Stybar, Radomir Simunek, Petr Dlask, Lukas Kloucek, Martin Zlamalik
Slovakia: Milan Bareyi, Martin Haring, Robert Glajza
Italy: Enrico Franzoi, Marco Bianco
USA: Jonathan Page
Poland: Mariusz Gil
Great Britain: Ian Field
Luxemburg: Gusty Bausch
Germany: Philipp Walsleben
Hungary: Tislan Zoltan

tiistai 27. lokakuuta 2009

Cross-Tastic Recap

So two to go after Cross-Tastic. Cross-Tastic was the first hammerfest of the season with long straightaways and not too much technical sections. The weather was nice and not too cold with no wind. Because of good weather and fast, not so challenging course, the race stayed together for the whole race. Or the top-6 stayed together riding peacefully without too many attacks and sprinted for the win. Run up and down the hill lowered the average speed somewhat but at the end the average speed was somewhere between 24 and 25 km/h. It was a good race.

lauantai 24. lokakuuta 2009

Southern Cross video

Short movie from the Southern Cross. Click the title for HD.

Southern Cross 2009 from dnb on Vimeo.

GVA Trofee Koppenberg

One of the classics of 'cross races will take place tomorrow in Oudenaarde. Koppenbergcross is the second race of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee series and the race has traditionally been very tough test of man and machine. And if nothing else, the race will be hard fought between the two Belgian cyclocross superstars, Sven Nys and Niels Albert. Albert won the first race of GVA Trofee in Namur with fairly large margin, but Sven Nys wants to take his sixth straight victory of Koppenbergcross so if Albert wants to keep his clear track record, he has a taunting task of beating Sven Nys in his own game. It will be an exciting race.

The weather forecast calls for some rain showers overnight so the race course may very well turn into mud bath yet again. The course looks dry in the photos shot of Albert training on the course, but bit of rain can change this overnight.

You can watch GVA Trofee Koppenberg live at GVA Trofee website. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 15:00 CET on Sunday October the 25th.

This works very well for Manitobans. Get up at 7 AM, have some coffee, watch pros race, get pumped up and head to Whittier park and race yourself.

perjantai 23. lokakuuta 2009

About the old man Marian

As some of you might know already, my team mate Marian Pyszczek won Canadian national championships road race in Masters C (50-59). And if you met Marian at the beginning of the summer you must know that he was extremely confident about winning the race and he made sure that everybody knew that he was going to win the race. He was even kind enough to let his competition in the race know that he was going to win the race. I kind of doubted Marian's chances even if it was clear that he was in super form in June. When Marian won the race, it wasn't a surprise to himself. It was a bit of a surprise to me and definitely a surprise to "cycling experts" and to the race favorites. I happened to stumble upon a discussion forum where some of the frustration was vented just weeks after the race. The forum is Florida club Windermere Roadies' forum.

RR was on course that is too flat to create any selection in big strong deep field-couple of long climbs but very gradual-all big ring 53x15 type stuff so going fast and so draft is there-tried again and again to break it up but just way too many strong guys so it came down to big field sprint with nearly all of us still there-got 4th but must admit when winner jumped I knew I couldn't out sprint him and I just cruised last bit not caring about anything except win that was gone. Guy who won was some unknown ( to us guys anyway) who quite literally sat on my wheel for the whole 50 miles-every time I went he just sat there-never put his nose in wind until last 100 m. I was marked from first pedal stroke by the whole peleton and on that kind of course result is inevitable. I guess fair to point out that I was not feeling at all well after Sutton races-got very badly chilled the Fri night and never got over it-didn't ride at all on the Mon or Tues and only for 30 min on Wed before TT-sinuses, sweating, not sleeping, massive headaches-just felt like shit so slept and drank and took aspirin and Claritin D and then I really buried myself trying to make up for the flat in TT so perhaps I was not as strong as usual in RR-still frustrating. results here( Masters were Thurs and Fri) I am Vet C in Canada 50-59yrs -move to Vet D next year and with a 4th and 6th maybe that's where I belong!
Since Marian's main weapon is his sprint along his sharp and calculating cycling supercomputer, and he has used these successfully at Canadian nationals in Masters A, B and now C and in numerous US races, he stuck to his guns and took what was his. I'm still fighting the temptation not to post on that forum and let them know that Marian was much faster before his heart attack. If Marian would have my dull racing wit, he probably would have ripped the legs off the other guys much earlier than 300m (not 100m) from the line and then proceeded to getting beaten by some TT guy in a slow, tired, old man's sprint. I still remember this motor pace session in crazy wind we had in June. Once Arlene peeled off to wait for dropped riders, I hammered for another 5-6 km with Marian and every time I pulled off the front he flew past me going 55-60km/h. You can be fast even if you're suffering a handicap of not having regular contact to high level racing, you just need to work harder.

And little birds are tweeting that Marian has his aim set at 2010 nationals in Edmonton. Hope he won't get much stronger or I can't train with him anymore.

Another weekend of 'cross

So there's another 'cross race coming up this weekend. All the locals should know the most important details already. The race will have some awesome draw prices. Main price will be a complete set of TRP EuroX Magnesium 'cross brakes. Another prices will be jerseys and other clothing. I've been saving my good luck for this race so I hope to be able to write up a test report of the brakes in couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing how the race course will be because Whittier is very challenging place to organize 'cross race at.

And me...I thought that my racing is done for now when I hit the tree last weekend, but maybe getting a good hit on my left side helped to get my right ribs better. Funny how it works. Or then it's even worse...I don't know because I haven't been on my bike since Sunday. Oh well...I won't stress about it.

And on to another subject. I want to congratulate Teemu Viholainen for getting a spot with Johan Bruyneel Cycling Academy. Good to see that Teemu got his form together after injury ridden spring and managed to get the results he needed to get the contract. Also Tommi Martikainen signed a contract with the same team so the team will have two Finns next season. Johan Bruyneel Cycling Academy is formed on foundation of Cycling Center and JBCA has racing team in addition to offering accommodation for American riders who wish to cross the pond to Belgium. I raced at the same races with Cycling Center team couple of years ago. It seems that the team is much stronger now than back in 2005. Link to Cycling Center and JBCA website

torstai 15. lokakuuta 2009

Talvi tulee

Tiivistyy fiilikset aika hyvin tähän Viivi ja Wagneriin. Vapaa-aikaa varastava ajanviete on hanurista, keli on hanurista, fiilis on hanurista, treenit on hanurista, selkä on taas hanurista ja kutakuinkin kaikki muu paitsi yläkerrassa nukkuva pikkutyttö ovat hanurista. Sekin on hanurista kun ei ole aikaa leikkiä sen pikkutytön kanssa. Jos olen vakuuttanut haastattelijat ja muut päätöksentekijät riittävän hyvin, niin ensi viikolla saattaa duunipaikkaan tulla huomattava kohennus.

And for those unfortunate ones who don't speak the most beautiful language in the world, I'll try to translate the comic.
"Geez this life", "What's bothering the pork?", "I wish I knew, maybe my biorhythm is out of whack?", "Now the beer doesn't taste like beer! Call the doctor...No! Call the doctor and the priest!"

To open this more to those less culturally savvy friends of mine, I'll post this link to elaborate on swine and a woman

Southern Cross, Altona, Cyclocross #6

And the next one to go is the Southern Cross in Altona. Always a good course with lots of climbing. I'll be there.

I did the race the first year and it kicked butt. The course was really good with soft sand pit and all. This year it's supposed to be a killer course that will tear off legs of anyone who dares to try their luck on the course. Even the mayor shows up to witness the sufferfest but tries to cover up his true motivation by volunteering.

But joking aside. It will be a really good race and the weather should help. Forecast is +10 and sunny.

sunnuntai 11. lokakuuta 2009

We had mud!

(Picture stolen from FGB blog)

So it was muddy...very muddy.

To recap my race. Tried to gap the others on first lap but had to slow down after half a lap. Got passed by what seemed like half the bunch while taking it easy. I found my own pace on second lap and started catching the others. Cruised the rest of the race and got 4. at the end. Went down only once and didn't rip my derailleur off. Daniel beat my by half a day though. It's not easy to race if you can't breath deep.

Pictures tell the story much better. So check out David Lipnowski's photos here

perjantai 9. lokakuuta 2009

Belgian Club Classic, Cyclocross #5

So tomorrow the hammer will go down and veri punnitaan like we say in Finland. It's not quite like winter war, but snow flakes keep falling and everything will be frozen come tomorrow morning. It will be a tough, miserable and especially extremely entertaining race. The start at the Belgian Club is always fast and fight for positions is hard in the first lap. I might even take it seriously and bring my spare wheels and trainer out for warm-up.

Olympia guys are stepping the game up quite a bit though with race announcer, DJ and jewellery etc. I was perfectly happy with just the Belgian Club, but this is even better.

And what's even more important for me is that I have no back/rib pain today. I hope the course is slow enough that certain rider on his 29'er won't just disappear into the distance.

GVA and Superprestige

Gazet van Antwerpen and Superprestige series are starting this weekend.

GVA is in Namur on Saturday and Sporza has live broadcast starting at 15:45 CET (LINK). That would be 7:45 central time. Official website is at

Race course seems suitable for strong guys.

On Sunday it Superprestige at Ruddervoorde. VT4 will broadcast this race starting at 18:00 CET, 10:00 central time. (LINK) Official website is at Not too much information available about the race course or anything else.

Found a cool video of 2008-2009 Superprestige series though. Hopefully Niels Albert won't get injured this year. He will kick ass this season.

Superprestige overzicht 2008-2009 from jef cleemput on Vimeo

torstai 8. lokakuuta 2009

Battle of Bourkevale Park

So fourth cyclocross of this season is done. I sucked, or actually my back/ribs still sucked. I started at the back and lost control right at the start and couldn't bridge to Dylan who hammered away at the front. I sucked wheels in a group with Greg, Don and Craig and decided to save what there was to be saved and decided not to be the bastard who sucks wheels all race and beats the group in the sprint. It was a good training though and without the race I wouldn't have ridden at all.

David Lipnowski has some pretty cool pictures. Good photographer makes it look much faster.

On Saturday we will have a classic at the Belgian Club. It will be cold, muddy and miserable, but all the mental and physical wounds will be healed by couple of Duvels after the race. There will be some trials demos and DJ and everything, so it should be good. I hope to do much better than last weekend, but will see...My legs arenot there.

sunnuntai 4. lokakuuta 2009

Cyclocross #4

So it's the fourth cyclocross race of the season today. Weather is more seasonable than before, meaning that it's +5 and raining instead of sunny and +25. I haven't been training at all since last weekend's race because my back has been killing me and I've spent my week popping different pills and seeing chiropractors and massage therapeutics. Apparently the problem was with four ribs joining to the spine and problem there caused my muscles to spasm. It seems to be much better now so riding should be bit easier today.

Since I had a week long break and I won't be doing any out of province 'cross races, I was planning to start my winter training tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just set-up my training station in the basement and start using that on Tuesday. I just need to get the huge roll of old carpet and a hot water tank out of there.

Here's a video of the Menno cross. It even seems kinda fast at times. Click the title to view the video in HD.

A MennoCrossection 2009 from dnb on Vimeo.