Latest Press Release on Cycle Nation

Check out my latest press release on Cycle Nation:

http://www.cyclenation.co.za/index.php/road/road-news/news/item/10433-the-going-is-good-for-wolhuter-in-us

 

Off to North Carolina for the Crossroads Classic this afternoon, a 6 day omnium with 5 criteriums and 1 road race. Check out the event website if you’re interested:

 

http://www.crossroadscyclingclassic.com/

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Bulking up my Wardrobe

I finally managed to win another leader’s jersey! I’ve only had one other in my cycling career, the leader’s jersey from the Magalies Adventure Mountainbike Stage Race back home, so it was cool to get another one in my closest.

Over the past weekend, the team raced the French Broad Classic in Asheville which also doubled up as the next stop in the SRS series. I decided to register for the omnium, and as I explained last week this involved me doing the Mercx style TT on the Friday.

Considering it was my first TT in a good few years it went off pretty well. I was a bit disappointed that I had to take off my bad ass helmet cover that I had created the evening before! It was a work of art!

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Getting ready to start my TT.

Image Credit: French Broad Cycling Classic

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Badass homemade aero helmet cover.

With the helmet cover disappointment behind me we lined up for the 100k road race the next morning. Although 100km may not sound too far we would be taking in close to 2000m of ascent on the day and this would make the course selective, perfect!

The attacks came thick and fast early on and I made sure to cover anything that looked dangerous. Nothing seemed to stick as some guys had interests in the omnium for the weekend; along with SRS overall points to think about, it meant that the absolute right combination had to go off the front for anything to stay.

Eventually a soft move went clear some 50km in and we were represented by Dilly and Chase. Chase managed to hang on to the tail end of the surviving members of the break to take 9th in the day in a tough finishing course with two big climbs nearing the finish.

In the main peloton, matters heated up and boys were getting popped like popcorn. A small group of just over 10 riders went over the first major climb and swelled as guys re-joined on the decent. With Brian in the KOM jersey and Junior Mint in the Leader’s jersey I had to try and set them up as best as possible going into the final climb which was also where the finish line was. What a better way to do it than launching a number of attacks off the front forcing the opposition to chase me down? The flip side of this was that when we hit the final climb I was toasted and limped home.

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Having a dig off the front.

Image Credit: Ash Smit

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Chase celebrating his top 10, who knows what he will do when he wins a race?!

The last day of the omnium was a fast technical 7 corner crit with a 180 degree turn into the finishing straight. There would be more than 100 riders on the course and thus hanging out at the front of the race was critical.

I had a surprise in store on the day as Ash borrowed a car from good friends of ours Clive and Cris and drove up to watch the race with her sister who has been out visiting. It was awesome to have my super supporter/photographer/soigneur girlfriend there!

With J.Lo still wearing the sprinters jersey and the mid race points prime approaching I had a dig to take the points away from the other guys and got 2nd with Winston down the road. It looked as though for a second we may be able to get a group going through the gaps created by the sprint but we were pulled back  a short while after.

With the high speed it didn’t look as if a move would go clear, so I started to position myself for the run in to the finale. Without even knowing it I was wrong, two guys had indeed managed to sneak off the front and as we kicked around the 180 degree corner into the finish this confused me slightly to see them just ahead of us. Anyway, Chase did a great job of dropping me off into the final corner and I managed to get 3rd in the bunch kick and 5th on the day and with that I had netted a chunk of points to move into the PEZ Cycling News sprinters jersey for the SRS series, gotta keep it in the team!

All in all it was a great weekend of hard racing and one that I really enjoyed. Really wish there were more road races, with more selective courses.

At least J.Lo and I can hit the town wearing the same jerseys now… #badass

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Image Credit: Ash Smit

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Railing the 180 degree corner.

Image Credit: Chris Constantin

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 The crit.

Image Credit: Ash Smit

A weekend off in Greenville

As I mentioned in my last blog I thought this blog too, would come to you as I soared in a steel bird above the earth’s surface. Alas, due to some travel plan confusion I would not be on my way to Utah for the Crushar in the Tushar.

Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise and I spent my first weekend at home in Greenville in as long as I can remember. A quick look at my calendar confirms the last weekend at home was the 18/19th of May!

It was good to get in some training on the fantastic roads in and around Greenville. They really are world class! Last week Thursday I headed on an epic ride out to Brevard with Brian, Alder and Butler. We did the Caesars Head climb followed by the Parkway climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a hard but nonetheless fun day out.

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Old water wheel on the outskirts of Greenville.parkway climb

At the top of the Parkway climb with Butler and Alder.

This coming weekend it’s back to business at the SRS Asheville – French Broad Classic. The 3 day omnium kicks off tomorrow with a 16km or 10 mile Mercx style TT, followed by a 100km road race with two big climbs and finishes off with a crit on Sunday. A Mercx style time trial for those not in the know is one in which you have to ride a normal road bike and helmet. The idea is that it evens out the playing field as it does not favour the guys who own TT bikes and aero equipment. It should be an interesting day out with it being my first TT on the road in a good few years. An omnium is similar to a tour but the overall race is calculated on points and not time. I am really looking forward to a good weekend of racing!

Eddy-Merckx

Mercx style, just like the legend himself.

Greenville really has become a place which feels like home to Ash and I. We have made some great friends and enjoyed many fantastic times here. I will be sad to leave come the end of the season, although hopefully we will be back next year.

Next week’s blog will come from ground level once again!

Until then, ciao.

Racking up the Voyager Miles: ToAD and the Big Apple

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Dilly making ice coffee on the go.

With this blog post I now join the ‘club’ of athlete writers/bloggers who have scribbled away at 30 thousand something feet. It makes sense though doesn’t it? With travelling to so many events across the country and even the world sitting in a plane, provides a good opportunity to knock out a few words on our latest happenings.

 

With last week being my mid-season break, my blogging too decided to take a holiday and hence the delayed report back on the Tour of America’s Dairyland, or ToAD. ToAD is an 11 day tour, run omnium style, compromising of 9 crits and 2 road races. As it was an omnium you could choose which days you would or would not like to do, and with our presence at the last round of the SRS series we would miss the first few days.

 

Our first race would be the Altitude Sports Fon du Lac circuit race. I was excited to be getting in another road race under the belt, and racing on a circuit which I felt suited me compounded this. The circuit was rolling and had some wind. I got myself into a few strong looking moves only to have my race abruptly ended some 60 km in. I had crossed the centre line to follow a move and was promptly disqualified from the race. I was shocked; the bunch had been guttering down the left hand side of the road as well as attacking and using the left hand side the whole race so far. Additionally the centre line was not visible for more than half of the circuit.

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gutter

 Images Credit: Tour of America’s Dairyland

With that disappointment behind me, we lined up the next day at Road America for another circuit race on a car racing circuit. Luckily this would mean there would be no further DQ’s, but I didn’t make amends and missed the main move off the day. Fortunately the Doctor was in the move and had a solid ride to place in the top 20. My fellow Greenville training partner and good friend Joe Lewis took 2nd just missing the win by mere inches.

 

Our last two races of ToAD would be the Commonwealth Classic in Fon du Lac and the Downer Classic in Milwaukee. With the heavens opening in Fon du Lac on Friday night, I lowered my tire pressure and smiled smugly to myself. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Stan’s Tubeless system is awesome. The lower pressure makes corning a pleasure in the wet and I had a blast when almost half the field dropped out. I had good positioning coming into the final kick but botched my shifting and took 14th in a pretty solid field, a satisfactory result.

 

I still wanted my top 10 and would have to do it at Downers, a race synonymous with a particularly large bar prime. How it works is that the spectators of the race all basically contribute into a pot and the bar decides when to call the prime, and then you sprint like crazy to try and get it. Another curve ball is that the line is not actually the start finish line, but outside the bar itself. It is a fantastic concept and was taken by Bahatti from Sharecare Cycling Team. I kept on fighting to try and have a go in the final, only to go down in a crash which took down a good number of guys 6 laps from the end. Free laps had just ended and that meant the end of my race.

 

After a good 12 days of racing in June and a busy season to date I was off to the Big Apple for my mid-season break. A couple of days off the bike and enjoying the city as a tourist was great, mentally and physically refreshing! Ash and I were fortunate enough to take in many of the sights and sounds of the big city and had a fantastic time with her sister joining us mid-way through the week. A big thank you to: Des and Coral, Doctor J.Lo and Dan and Maria for having us and showing us around the city.

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The Aussie-Saffa lunch with our make shift roofing.cake boss

Enjoying a chocolate brownie from Cake Boss.

This week I am back in Greenville for a couple of days before I head of to Beaver, Utah for the Crusher in the Tushar. A unique half tar road/half gravel road race whereby you can ride on any bike you wish. I’ll be on a cross bike for this interesting event.

 

Until next time, when I’m sky high, scribbling out a few more words, ciao!