Archive for March, 2010

כדימא!!!

March 28, 2010

So here’s a few updates from the past few races

Tour of Dimona (Crit, TT and RR)

The criterium started early in the morning with an epic facepalm (EFP)… (first of many for the weekend)

Can you spot the slow cameraman?

This was shortly followed by another “GET THE @#%! OUT OF THE WAY” moment staring yours truly and the same camera man on the back of a motorcycle.

We were entering a traffic circle turnaround and the motor cycle was going extremely slowly, blocking me and causing a few to brake and the inevitable crash a few guys back. EFP. #2

The rest of the race was routine, besides the massive amounts of little kids on the sidelines of the whole course, chanting “DIMONA DIMONA.” Super awesome.

Feeling very “meh” with a midpack finish I went to rest a bit before the TT.

The TT went ok, beside my lack of bibs for this race. There weren’t enough team bibs, so I had to wear these black shots. A skinsuit and aerobars (permitted for this race) would have been quite nice as well. In the end of the day I was left with a nice burn on my lower back in between the shorts and my jersey. EFP #3.  

The scenery during the TT was quite nice though.

Road Race.

We had our pre race team meeting  the  night before in Hebrew, and naturally I didn’t understand all of it. This was the first of my problems. I thought I understood the bulk of it, but I guess not. Chase down breaks without team members in them. Water from car. etc.  One think I didn’t understand was the very strong headwinds at around the 65km point in the race. This is right around I went to get water and 10 min before I was off the back.  It seemed to be going as routine, get the water from the left, a min or so until the car arrives. did a little bit of work while getting the water from the car and keeping pace. turn back to the peloton and see a 20 m gap… oh man. I pushed an average of 370W for 3 minutes, not gaining any ground on the peloton and then sadly faded without making it back into the group. Handed all the waters back to the car. EFP @!#^%!%&$ #4. Lesson learned, get better at Hebrew so I understand the instructions… oh and dont wait 2 meters behind the peloton when getting water.

In other news, Steve arrived in Israel about a week ago. We ended up racing in Ashdod this weekend. I won’t talk to much about the boring details, but it was super oily and super wet most of the race. I ate it in the first roundabout and decided to chase back on. I wasn’t hurting so bad, so I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t quit unless there was more rain or another crash.  Caught onto Steve and a few others and worked for a bit. Some ECCC tomfoolery started to show though. Steve tried to high five some people and somewhere in the mix we caught a nice picture together.

post crash #1 (Steve is happy, I am not )

After 5 more laps it started pouring again and I ate it in 2 seconds in another turn. back to the car…

This was the last race with Niv and Ran from Israel Go Pro. They are heading to Spain and Switzerland respectively to go race for a few months. I’m sad to see them go as they were really fun to race and hang out with, but maybe I’ll catch them before I go back to the states in June. I think Steve and I are on our own for the rest of the season, but I’m sure it will still be pretty cool.

Have a happy passover/easter/spring festivus…

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update…

March 15, 2010

The season is in full swing!

I totally love my new team, “Israel Go Pro”

Ran and Niv, the two main riders from the team, are doing really well. They won Eilat on wheels and the Tour de Israel. Every stage… every race. I on the other hand, have been hanging in there despite some pre race bee bites, 2 broken derailleurs, 4 broken spokes, 2 broken chains and my lack of ability to produce the 6000 watts I would need to win a race…  I’ll just go through some pros and cons of my time here racing and post tons of pictures as to not scare you with a big block of uninterrupted text.

Things that are great:

Friends on other teams: The last few races I have cultivated some alliances with other riders from other teams. This is especially useful because while my teammates are off winning the race I can be suffering with someone else closer to my ability.

Yuval is my main man. Check this rare sequence of a never before caught on film altruistic water bottle handoff…

 

Purim: On Purim, a Jewish holiday that comes with a drunken Halloween style party, we raced the Chaim Yoav Road Race. Just like cross race on Halloween, people are often festive in the peloton. I suffered, but in the good company of a stuffed rat on a fellow racer’s back.

Weather: Its sunny and nice. Not rainy and cold. That is all.

Traveling: Through these races I have explored interesting parts of the country I had not seen before. Here is a picture of Machtesh Ramon, the largest crater in the world.

 

Awesome Teammates: Even though I am not quite strong enough to be in the breakaway with these guys, Ran and Niv thank me for my contributions after every race, even if it is just fetching water from the team car during a feed zone. Niv even supplied me with one of the two derailleurs that I destroyed!

feed from the left with the left hand in the air... at least thats what I think they said in hebrew during the pre race meeting...

 

Things that could be better:

Broken bike parts: My pulley exploded out of my rear derailleur during the Eilat road race. I alone was in the middle of the desert with little water and a broken bike for a terrifying 20 minutes. Thankfully there was a chase bus, but unfortunately this meant I had to ride in a bus for the last 60km…

didn't work so well with just one pulley...

The second time was even better 

The Weather: Its really hot, I get up at 5 am to ride… blessing and a curse

Language Barrier: The pre race meetings are extremely confusing and I usually need a recap in english to understand our tactics. I keep missing important rules. The last lap is worth double points!? I keep screwing this up…

Tel Aviv: The Yarkon Park has a nice 1.15 mile loop to train on with few interruptions from pedestrians and no cars. However, without a car it’s hard to get to nicer rides and get in a long day. Thankfully I have met some nice riders who have driven me to their triathlete “I think I’m going to take it easy so I can run later…” rides and to some nicer areas in Nachshon and Latrun (awesome hills and amazing sceneries).

nice bikes, even nicer people!

Steve: Shopopengartenaganer is coming to Israel. This should be in the “things that are great” category, but of course I put it here because he seems to beat me a lot in the mud during cross season and it hurts my self esteem… Looking forward to your arrival Steve.

 

This weekend I head off to the Negbah Race. Another three race weekend with the crew. Wish me luck!