Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It must be a slow week in cycling news

since for some reason there were two articles written about me this week. I'm especially excited about one in a Portuguese cycling website which you can see but probably not understand here. The second one was a real surprise since I do remember speaking to Lyne from roadbikereview.com at camp a few weeks back but didn't really think she was going to do something just on me. Well here is that one.

I finally installed goodgle analytics. Thanks Adam Rotberg for your help on that and I was a little surprised by seeing how many people are coming to the site. I was prompted to install it since a few weeks ago at a meeting in Detroit one of our clients from Saab whom I hadn't met before said he read my blog. What do you mean you read my blog I asked? Apparently he found it on google and it kind of made me wonder who else outside of my father, mother, wife (now reading it since I bug her about it), Brawley in Chicago, Wootton in LA and Tom Cromie was reading the blog. Apparently there is a whopping 100-200 of you out there on a daily basis. Would love to know who you are and please either e-mail me joao.correia@rodale.com or post what you would like to read on the blog since I am always lost for what topics people will actually find interesting. But remember it has to be relevant to me since the blog is about me and no more of this back on forth on the posts about other things or people like Cromie and Chodroff did a few weeks back.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Week in Review and Today's Prospect Park Race

I love racing at home in New York. Or at least I think I am going to love it until I have to get up at 5:15 for a 6:30 start. And folks that's 6:30 a.m. This morning I did my first race in NYC this year and it was nice to see some friends out there. Notably absent was Dr. John Lohner who was stuck at the hospital doing what was probably a double shift. I was disapointed since I just really wanted to ride hard and with John that's always guaranteed. The race was a little slow and since I was getting sick I probably should have stayed at home anyways, but it was my first chance to race in NYC this year and I just couldn't help myself. I made a few attempts to get away being careful not to attack too hard so as to at least have a group ride off. Nothing was really sticking until 5 to go on the hill I managed to get up the road with three riders including the series leader and we caught the remains of the break including one guy who had a 2 minute lead and had been out there since lap one. It was a windy day and I was super impressed by how strong he was. I think his name was O'Donnell and he might even be a Cat 3. Although I wanted to win the race my main goal was to just ride hard when in the break and I tried to take long hard pulls. I made one attack from the break with half a lap to go but couldn't shake them so in the sprint I was easily beated by Rashad the series leader. It wasn't really a contest. We were almost doing a track stand accross the road and when he took off I could just hold the wheel. Oh well second it is. I'll post some pics as soon as I can.

This week I had been meaning to do a little week recap to kind of show people what a typical week is like. Monday I was still in LA and had a full day of sales calls before getting on the Red Eye to New York. From the moment I landed in New York on Tuesday morning until today it has been a real blur. On Tuesday however thanks to daylights savings time my boss Chris and one of our reps Jason and I managed to get accross the George Washington Bridge for a ride (here is Chris and Jason riding accross the bridge and Chris and I)
The rest of the week was really just a blur. Usually when I get up I spend some time with Liam before leaving for the office. He likes it when I ride bikes with him in the hallway but I can't get him off the Red Flyer and onto the Jamis that Carine Joannou gave him a few months ago At the office it was meeting after meeting and although I was hoping to take Good Friday off it didn't happen. I ended up rolling out of the office for a ride accross the bridge at 4 in the afternoon only to get back at 7:30 to make sure that my inbox was clean. Still had 60 messages in it and I hate having messages in my inbox. Can you say obsessive compulsive? Although after that night I did roll over to La Maseria for a proper dinner. Pino was in fine shape making me 3 fish dishes that were to die for. As I write this its Sunday night and I am back on the road in Salt Lake City. Tomorrow I'll test with Max before going to Denver for work. And for those of you who lust after business travel here is what my next 14 days looks like. Salt Lake City, Denver, New York, Washington DC, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Germany, Belgium, Italy and finally back home. And if that wasn't bad enough for the first time I get to enjoy back to back red eyes. One from San Francisco and then another that evening to Germany. There is one good thing. Delta is still upgrading me to First class so that's nice.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Visalia Criterium - Sequoia Classic

Today's criterium went better in terms of place than yesterday's Time Trial but ironic enough I didn't feel much better. I had absolutely no snap in my legs and while covering the few moves that I managed to cover (and trust me they weren't many) I was barely hanging on to the wheels and thankful each time we were quickly brought back, surely helped by the fact that I couldn't really pull through. The criterium was fast (46Km/H Average Speed) and long 50 miles. At 71 laps and 6 turns per lap I almost got dizzy. Coming into the last 10 laps I moved to the front and took position within the first 10 riders. Ben was up there as well and since I didn't really have any speed in my legs it was best to sweep his wheel and make sure notbody got on it which I was happy to do. Ben came 4th out of the last thurn and I came 5th and while Ben managed to hold on to 4th I got pipped close to the line by Karl Menzies. I suppose if you're going to get pipped at the line by somebody Menzies isn't a bad one to loose to. I finished in 6th place and in the overall 99 Series in 3rd place believe it or not. Still not sure how that happened but Ben won teh overall, Borajo from Colavita was second and I was third. It was a good weekend for Bissell and my friends at Colavita. Tomorrow its a full day of meetings in LA and then a red-eye to New York.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Exeter Time Trial - Sequoia Classic

The good news is that Ben-Jacques Maynes won. The bad news is that I was really awful today. Here's the sad part. I didn't think I was so awful. That's when you know your in trouble. Even you don't realize you suck. I ended up finishing in 21st place missing the money by one place just to add insult to injury. Ben killed it beating second place Rory Sutherland of Health Net by 49 seconds. Into me he put 4:30 (that's four minutes and thirty seconds). That's enough time for him to literaly have a cup of coffe AND a muffin. I had three other teammates here. Scott Zwizanski was 7th and passed me (one of two who did). Now its not that I minded Scottie passing me, he's a good Time Trialer and all but he didn't even say hi when he did it. That hurt. Aaron Olson was 19th and he didn't feel all that good either. Aaron and I rode the course this morning and it was a beauteful ride. I am glad that we did that since I don't remember seeing it all during the race. If you guys are ever looking for a great place to ride try Exeter, California. I will upload pictures as soon as I get them. There were at least 5 photographers out there and I grinced each time I passed one so they should be pretty good.

On a seperate note you will see that Kirsten Armstrong won the women's race. By a wooping 4:17. This was an NRC race for the women's field and it was a great field. It's nice to see women's cycling getting the respect it deserves.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Merced Weekend

This past weekend was the first race with the team and it was a good weekend for us. Ben Jacques-Maynes was third in the criterium and 2nd in the road race. For me it was the first race where I had a role to play outside of follow the wheels and finish as high as possible and ended up placing top 30 both days. My father also came out to California with me since he hadn't seen me race in over 10 years so it was special. The criterium started well until 10 laps in I had a minor mechanical problem that ended up causing me to be left out of the front for a crucial 4-5 laps and therefore missing the move.
Fortunately for us we were well represented with Ben and Richard England both making the move and Ben being one of three riders to lap the field going into the last 3 laps. Unfortuntely none of us were wearing radios and therefore weren't communicating with Ben and that may very well have cost him the win. In the end I rolled accross the line in 28th place. Sunday's Road Race was better although again I got caught with my pants down, literaly. The first lap we threw it in the gutter to see if we could break the race up but unfortunately there wasn't enough cross wind to do any real damage. The road race was 200 Km so it would be a long day and for the next 100Km we followed the moves and innitiated a good amount of them ourselves. I found myself in a few promising moves that never seemed to stick.

During lap 3 I was peeing in the back of the peloton and as I'm looking up I see a group of 20 riders or so riding off the front. It seemed to me that they just rolled but apparently there were a few groups that got together to form it. We were well represented with 3 riders, Ben, Aaron Olson and Morgan Schmidt so for the rest of the race we sat in near the front and once the break was established we just rolled around. Coming into the sprint I mixed it up a little bit to help Garrett Peltonen but as he said it got a little too hairy for no places so he backed off. I like a little jousting now and then so I took my position in my leadout train (thank you rock racing again) and this time did manage to come around them. Field sprint for 24th. I'll take that. Its not what I wanted but we got second and the field sprint was a nice consulation prize for me. The good news is that the legs are feeling good, recovery is good and the season is under way.