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‘Cross worlds were crazy this year: the fans didn’t disappoint, the track was similar to the Leguna Seca raceway and the weather was pretty reasonable too. Thank you to all the people who came out and cheered on their fellow countrymen and women and especially the ones who cheered for me.
It’s an amazing experience to be racing thousands of miles away and to hear so many people screaming your name. I was diggin’ the vibe in the morning watching Katie Compton give the ladies field a real leg whippin’. She rode strong and left it all out there on the course.
In my race I was a little disappointed with the result, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. If nothing else, it’s something to build on in the coming years. Even though I feel like I know racing pretty well, I always like to learn something new. The lesson of the year for me involved discovering how to spread myself evenly over a very long season. This last weekend of racing left me with a need to focus more on planning what races to miss so that the last weekend of January is one of the biggest priorities.
I’ve been writing about a vacation for awhile now. However, I’ve been putting in the miles/hours heavy these last couple days, but not just on the bike this time around. For me it has been on the Boeings and Airbuses of United Airlines from Belgium to my place in Massachusetts, then back on the plane two days later to Chicago, Los Angeles and finally I’m here south of San Diego with the same weather I left behind in Belgium: wind and rain. The good news is I’m with the Jelly Belly troops and it’s already been a blast. This season is going to be ridiculously fun and successful with the group of guys we have here, no doubt about it.
After the director picked me up at the airport I was pretty much on auto-pilot, walking around like a zombie, tired from all the flying and moving around recently.
When I got to the top secret training grounds of San Marcos everyone was celebrating Brad Huff’s birthday with a bottle of cheap champagne.
This camp is the second of two training camps the team is having before the Tour of California. Even though I’m not here to train, I’m meeting all the new riders and staff and getting my bikes and clothing all fitted up correctly.
Our new mechanic, John Sessa, has been building up the fresh bikes, mounting up tires and just workin’ like a dog before camp ends next week and the first race of the year, Tour of California.
One of these nights coming up, the team is planning on going rock climbing, go-carting and some other character-building stuff to get the morale right and everyone excited about the season. I found Brad Huff and Bernie Van Ulden on the trainers and got a couple questions to keep the lightening rounds alive. Enjoy!
Jeremy Powers: You guys want to do an interview?
Huff: Ohhh Mr. Junk in the trunk is back!
Bernie: Nice shoes, Powers
JP: They are Safety Joggers, the title sponsor of the cyclocross world cup.
What kinda watts you guys throwin’ down right now?
Huff: 116 Watts, I’m killin’ it
Bernie: 124 BPM, also killin’ it.
JP: What you guys do during the off season?
Bernie: Snowboarding in Tahoe was my favorite time.
JP: Did you crash? I always do and I kill my wrists. Wait, do you wear a helmet, Bernie?
Bernie: Yeah I do.
Huff: Powers you should wear the Rudy Project TT helmet while snowboarding …
JP: I love the off season, but I also get sick the whole time I’m off, did you guys?
Bernie: I got ba-aad food poisoning one night …
Huff: I’m a man, I don’t get sick.
JP: Alright what about shopping, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods? I’m personally a big Whole Foods fan.
Huff and Bernie: Trader Joe’s.
JP: How often you guys brush your teeth? My friend just got an abscessed tooth and watching him has changed my thoughts on dental hygiene. I’ve been really crazy with it lately.
Brad: I had an abscessed tooth, worst pain I’ve ever been in. My buddy’s wife came over and gave me eight shots of Novocain and it didn’t help at all. I had to get a root canal.
Bernie: You been flossing, you need to! I also had an abscessed tooth but I didn’t feel anything or even know I had it!
JP: You guys like Facebook?
BH: I hate Facebook, even though you wanna get on there and check out hot chicks, I had to get rid of it.
Bernie: I’m not on facebook, I’m off the market.
JP: Alright, let’s talk some talk here. Any particular day where you guys think it’s it going down at Tour of Cali?
Huff: Everyday. Any day it’s going uphill it’s on — which ends up being every day.
Bernie: Stage 2 is gonna’ be a form-blaster for sure, everyone in town has been saying Ben Jaques-Maynes is gonna win it.
Huff: I want Taylor Tollenson to win.
JP: Besides me, who’s your favorite rider in the domestic peloton?
Huff: Karl Menzies.
Bernie: My favorite is Brad Huff, but I’m gonna miss Mike Sayers this year.
JP: Alright, now have either of you guys seriously considered racing a little cyclocross?
Brad: I could win the whole shot … You think the promoters can they put a ramp up for me? I want the “Huff ramp” on the left side so I don’t have to get off and run.
Bernie: I want to race CrossVegas like Justin England did. Did you know I’m the 2005 California “B” champion?
JP: No, I didn’t.
Brad: Wow, good job Bernie, “Hey guys, I just finished winning the Pro 1,2 at Redlands and I’m gonna do the B national championships.”
JP: Ha ha. Good job Bernie.