Tuesday, October 26, 2010

USGP Derby City (dust bowl) Cup

The USGP Derby City Cup has come and gone and I would say was a great success. It was the debut of the new Eva Bandman park and I have to say, it is a very nice course. Very euro, wide open course with some very challenging features. Props to everyone involved to make that happen.

Like two weeks ago at UCI3, the unseasonably un-cyclocross weather continued with highs in the 80's and dry dusty conditions. At the start of every race, a huge cloud of dirt emerged as riders went from the paved road to the grass. I cleaned my ears this morning and it was absolutely filthy from the two days of running around in the dusty conditions.

One thing could basically sum up the races, BIG FIELDS! Every field was huge. As a consequence to the large fields, riders were being pulled. Especially in the Pro race where less than half finished the race.

As in any race, it always seems a group of 5 or so just ride away from the fields. Happened in the 4's race, happened in the 2/3 race, and the masters races. If you started in the back, there was no real hope to get any good placing.

The 2/3 race was dominated by a 15 year old Jordan Cullen. Yup 15 years old, yup two wins. Looks like he earned a Cat 1 upgrade this weekend. Rounding out the podium on both days were Mark Parmelee and Andrew Coe. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Jordan can't race the UCI Elite race just yet since he is a junior (correct me if I'm wrong though.) I would say he is a prime candidate to attend the Euro Cross Camp later this year.

The Elite women's race was pretty much a repeat of UCI3, except with Georgia Gould in place of Katie Compton. From lap one on both days, Georgia got the holeshot and never looked back. The fight for the podium proved to be much better entertainment as valuable C1 points were up for grabs on Saturday. Natasha Elliot rode into 2nd place while the battle for 3rd was hot with Van Gilder, Antonneau and Miller in the mix. Meredith Miller had an impressive ride. She got caught up in a sandpit crash and found her self in the back half of the race. She gave it her all and finally got into the 3rd place podium group in the final few laps and settled in for 5th place. I thought for sure she would get the SRAM most aggressive rider award but she didn't.

Sunday was a pretty similar race with Georgia going off the front and Natasha Elliot chasing. However Natasha burned too many matches trying to solo bridge to Georgia and got spit out of the chase group once she came back to it. She later recovered, got back to the group and settled for 4th. Meredith Miller and Laura Van Gilder rode together for most of the race until the last few laps when Miller dropped Van Gilder. A wise move since everyone knows Van Gilder is very hard to beat once on the pavement.

So when are we going to see America's best battle it out at one race? Well I don't think we will until Cross Vegas next year. I would love to see Katie Compton, Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould, Sue Butler, Amy Dombroski, Meredith Miller all battle it out.

For the men, it was a three man show. Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, and Jeremy Powers. That was your podium for Saturday and Tim and Jeremy swapped places on Sunday. The blistering pace those three men set only allowed 16 people out of 73 to finish on the lead lap on Saturday and 20 out of 70 on Sunday. It was amazing what the Pro men did because everything was bigger and faster. Some of the riders, such as Barry Wicks, were riding an almost unridable hill "The Louisville Slugger." You went down this super steep rutted downhill, did a quick 180, and went up a similarly steep and rutted uphill where 99% of the people ran up. It was a bit easier on Sunday since there was a longer run-in to the hill but those riding it on Saturday was insane.

I would also like to wish speedy recovery to our local OVCX fast man Mitchell Kersting. He went down in the first corner in Saturday's race and hurt his knee forcing him to abandon and sit out on Sunday. Its really unfortunate that these things happen but it is part of bike racing. Watch out for him next year though, he'll be hungrier than ever.

With four races left to go, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers sit on top of the leaderboard with 174 points each. Todd Wells sits in third with 107 points, Tristan Schouten fourth with 98 and Trebon fifth with 94. But anything can happen. One bad day and the rest of the guys can sneak up into the lead. It'll be exciting to see what happens at Fort Collins and the finale at Portland.

Since there was some more cross racing going on around the world, Stybar wins the World Cup, Van Paasen wins the Womens, with Nash coming in third, and Adam Myerson wins his first UCI Cross race!

Oh on a side note, looks like I got the ok from the wife to plan our trip over to WORLD CUP #3!!! Time to use those vacation days, get out of the country, eat some frites, and watch some cyclocross!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's USGP Time!

Yup it's that time again, the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross will be in Louisville, Kentucky at the new Eva Bandman Park this weekend! 1351 people preregistered to race over two days, so about some 670 racers flooding into the city. Throw in your significant others, family members, cheer leaders, vendors, staff and volunteers, probably upwards of 1500 people flooding in for the race.

Will you be there??? I certainly will. Why would I miss one of the marquee cyclocross events in the Mid-west. Now will you spot me? Will you see me with a camera, stopwatch and notepad taking notes? Will I be in your race bumping shoulders with you?

Well that will be for you all to find out. The only clue I am going to give you is I will be there.

Since this is such a big event, I can't cover everything. Send me an email with pictures or video to ohiosandbagger@gmail.com or twitter @ohiosandbagger. If you are using twitter use the hashtag #OSB

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sandbagging Statistics

It was suggested to me through email that I should start doing more statistical analysis on sandbagging. The emailer said I should take lap/finish times of the riders and then do a Z-Test to find out who falls out of the Gaussian distribution

WHAT? Did I lose you? Yeah, I kinda lost myself too. I took stats in college but I never did like that class.

I suppose I could to statistical analysis of the finish times but that would involve A: Finish times provided by the ref/promoter, B: Me or someone else taking times, C: The timing actually be accurate, D: Me doing more work. Doesn't seem like a lot of fun on my part.

Sure I can punch in the numbers into Excel and it would do it all for me. I would still have to put in the times (unless it is provided on a website), run the tests, do analysis, and write about it.

Then this site will just be another boring stats page. Where is the fun in that? I would just rather point the finger and see what happens. I mean, if Zdenek Stybar showed up to a Cap City race, we wouldn't need to use statistics to figure out that he would simply crush us with one leg.

No offense to you the emailer, but I think most of the readers want to see more point the finger, see what happens, rather than a cut and dry here are the numbers blog.

But hey if someone wants to be my statistician, you are more than welcome.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cap City Cross Coffman Park

The second round of Cap City was in Dublin at Coffman Park!

I guess someone didn't get Andy's memo of NO JERKS rule. He didn't mention in his email but I'll do it for him.

Chris Grisvard got in a fight with someone DURING THE RACE!!! I've seen fights post race, but very rarely do you see shit go down while you are racing. I wish I had my camera and posted that on YouTube. I'm sure there will be repercussions, most likely resulting in fines and suspension for a few months.

Huge numbers for the 4's race, some 40+. NICE! Also seeing some of those 4's doubling up and doing the B race and doing quite well. Maybe its time to just race the B's?

TONY! Good Job. You even skipped the B's and went straight to the A's and did pretty damn well. Probably be the last time I'll be mentioning you here.

However I'm not done with Double G. Glen rolled away and won the Cat 3 35+, then rolled another win the the Single Speed.

Personally, I think cyclocross is the hardest to double up in. If you are pulling double podiums, then you are seriously not racing the correct category.

On another note, the NEOCX series up in the Northeast had NO sandbaggers according to a reader email. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Stop #6 of the OVCX series stopped into Bloomington, IN for BloomingCross. BloomingCross kicked off with a FREE Saturday Barry Wicks cyclocross clinic followed by a great bonfire. What's greater than learning tips from one of the best, then setting things on fire eating S'Mores!

As expected, Barry took the win but more interesting was Sherer over Knapp. I would have bet Ryan over Mike, but Mike has had an excellent season with a huge win at Glencoe Grand Prix earlier this season (sorry thats not cyclocross but huge none-the-less.)

 I'll first start out by saying congrats to Elizabeth Cobb. I called her out and she has done the right thing and move up to the Elite Women.

Seems like we had a new winner in the Cat 3 race. Always good to see a new face up on the podium. We also have a new sandbagger alert with Jason Monk getting up on the second step on the podium. With that second place, he's also sitting pretty second in overall points behind Ray Smith. Ray didn't crashed but managed to recover to finish 8th and now sits on top of the points.

But do the math, Ray has done 6 races with 334 points and Jason 5 races with 282. Average it out and Ray has 55.7 and Jason 56.4. Very close. Third place isn't too far off either at 56 points.

Now lets move onto the Masters categories.

This came though the OVCX mailing list today from Fred Rose and I have to say it's great that he's saying it.

Speaking as someone poised to take advantage of this curious practice myself as of next season, I would simply like to say that (IMHO) the practice of having a separate (read additional) pay out for the Masters 45+ is needless, silly and should end.

It makes no sense and is needless extra work for Barb and other race officials. One race. One pay out. Separate points for OVCX standing.


My major beef with the series is do we really need Cat 4 35+, Cat 4 45+, Cat 3 35+, Cat 3 45+, Womens 3/4 35+, Elite Masters 35+ and Elite Masters 45+??? Seems like a nightmare for the officials and scorers just so people can feel good at the water cooler talk at work on Monday. "Yeah I won my race on Sunday!"

How about Cat 4 Open, Cat 4 Masters, Cat 3 Open, Cat 3 Masters etc...

Now Corey Green. 2nd in the Single Speed race, then you got 3rd in the Cat 3 35+ race. Its hard enough to double up, but to double up podiums? On top of that, the top 4 Cat 3 35+ (Corey Green, Shane Nalley, Peter Hills, Brian Collier) and top 3 Cat 3 45+ seem to be running away from the rest of the riders.

Cap City Report Tomorrow so bookmark this site and check back.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloomington and Dublin

Two races this weekend with OVCX going to Bloomington and Cap City in Dublin.

Unfortunately I won't be racing either of them since I did battle with the pavement and lost. So I'll need the help of my fans to get the scoop so I can write something on Monday. But depending on my schedule, I may pop in one of the races to spectate.

Also I hear that Barry Wicks is gonna dominate at Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Leah Halloran and Peter Hills


I don't know how that slipped through the cracks at registration. Maybe you didn't put that upgrade sticker on your license and thought you can slip by. BIG TROUBLE COMING!

And to satisfy my female readers, since they keep nagging me about it, Elizabeth Cobb. Wins at Kings and Fishermans. Time to move up to Elite Women.

Peter Hills, it is time to move up. Two wins at Kings Cross, 4th at Fishermans, 3rd at Dark Horse, Win at Java Johnny's, and 3rd at Harbin. Quit sandbagging and move up to Elite masters.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have witnessed the greatest sandbagging feat of all time...

wait for it...

wait for it...

Katie fucking Compton!

Katie simply dominates all the women who race domestically here in the United States. She simply has no real competition but herself. She sits around for a half lap to a lap and just launches an attack. Then she is gone. She was even riding her B bike all weekend with the heavy SRM and still beat her competition. Whenever she races here, the real race is for second place and it's been that way for 4 years in a row. Maybe if Katerina Nash toed the line, she can give Katie a run for the money.

What do you expect for a World Class athlete though. She should be battling it out with the likes of Vos, van den Brand, Kupfernagel and van Paassen. But I guess you have to make easy money sometimes and she cleaned out the promoters a nice $3339. Not bad for three days of easy training.

But now on a more serious note, what is up with the almost 200 man Cat 2/3 open/masters field!!! The officials complain about how big the field is and how hard it is to score and the guys in the back complain about having very little chance to get to the front (especially on the Saturday course. It was absolute carnage out there.

The field is big enough, if Mitch, Doug, Nick and Joan (yeah the USGP 2/3 field is just as bad) are reading this, maybe its time to split that field up. Make a separate Cat 2 field, make a separate Cat 3 field and maybe even a separate Masters 3 field (or just lump them into 3 Open.) Having a Cat 2 field will let those guys not good enough to mix it up with J Pows and TreeFarm, but too good for the 3 race have a chance to shine. Yeah it sucks to stick around for an extra hour or two, but it will make things a bit easier don't you think?

But what do I know about promoting races, I'm just a guy sitting behind the keyboard and monitor criticizing.

A few other things I noted during this weekend. Don't be that guy that ghost rides the race. Yeah, Glen Gardener jumped in the race without a number or signing a waiver. I hear its punishable for up to 6 month suspension. And Tony, don't get frustrated and throw your bike and helmet cause you slid out on an off camber turn and couldn't catch the Juniors in the Cat 4 race. It's just bike racing. Also finally, don't be the millions of guys that didn't have the correct category on your license and had to try to get day-of upgrades by calling Andys or Kirk. Seems like the people checking licenses were turning away tons of people for incorrect categories. I'm all for anti-sandbagging, but please do it right, gather your results, and submit for an upgrade.

All and all, a great weekend for cyclocross, except with un-cyclocross weather. Excellent announcing by Two Johns Podcast crew, good food all weekend. But I could have done without the dueling drum solos at Harbin Park. Thanks to all the sponsors to make this happen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cap City Cross Big Run

I love Cap City! It's a nice low key race series that while promoting good cyclocross, it promotes having fun while you are at it. Run by none other than Andy Johnson, he's put in hard work to make the series as good as it is today. He's not too bad of a tattoo artist either.

The great thing about Cap City, is the built in anti-sandbagging measures. You don't make any money by racing B's or C's. That's right, no money unless you race with the best.

This race was held at Big Run park. A very nice park with lots of off camber muddy sections and showed who was the best at riding their bike. Cold and rainy most of the day but cyclocross racers are the most BADASS hard core cyclists right?

Now onto the sandbagging commentary:
Tony, Tony, Tony... You raced the C race and just ran away with it. No one was close. You could have stopped by the Trek Store tent, grabbed some Frites, and still won the race. With that performance, you would still have been top ten in the B race. Good thing all you probably won was a water bottle. Second place was not too far back either and should also have raced B's. But Tony at least you attempted the B race, but results show a DNF. Not sure what happened there.

Now in the B race, it was a two man show off the front. I guess the B race is also the Masters race, but also just shows as Cat 3/4, broken up into 35+/45+ for overalls. I hate to really put Rudy in the sandbagger category and I won't. He's been there and done that and a phenomenal rider (I guess I didn't eat my crushed glass, nails and brewed cat piss this morning)

As we head into the weekend, we look forward to the great UCI3 CX Festival. Three days of UCI racing on tap, show casing the best. One of the few chances you all get to see Katie Compton too so don't miss out.

Just a reminder about upgrading procedures. TWO WINS IS AN AUTOMATIC UPGRADE! So all of you racing Cat 3's in OVCX, you can't really win out the series. Well that is if your upgrade guy is being proactive.

I guess there isn't any provision for an automatic upgrade by points like in road. The only way to get an auto upgrade seems to be by winning two races. So the sandbaggers can just ride away from the field, wait at the finish line, and come across second to avoid the dreaded auto upgrade.

Points awarded for Cyclocross Races

Number of Starters





























Requirements for upgrading via points:
4-3:      Experience in 10 races or 10 points in 12 months
3-2:      10 points in 12 months (two wins is an automatic upgrade)
2-1:      20 points in 12 months (two wins is an automatic upgrade)

Ohio Sandbagger Modified points structure
4-3:      Experience in 10 races or 10 points in 12 months (15 points is an automatic upgrade)
3-2:      10 points in 12 months (two wins or 20 points is an automatic upgrade)
2-1:      20 points in 12 months (two wins or 30 points is an automatic upgrade)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OVCX #2 Fisherman's Park

Well well, look who won the Cat 3 race at OVCX #2 in Louisville at Fisherman's park. Ryan Kiel! Ryan took a win and second place at Kings Cross. Maybe its time to move up the Elite category. I'm sure you would do fine and steal some prize money from me!

Another name that sticks out to me is Cory Swihart. If I recall correctly, he was racing the Elite Category last year. So what is he doing racing down this year? To take easy money from the hard working cat 3s.

I'm gonna give props to Luke Haley, a phenomenal Junior racer for moving up to racing Elites. He took a win at Kings and did the right thing and moved up. Guess what, he did very well too taking 8th. Keep it up and you'll see yourself on the podium this year. Same goes to Drew Dillman. He moved up to Elites from cat3 last year and has stepped on the podium.

Now its hard for me to call people sandbaggers in the Elite race, but I definitely can call out those just clogging up the race (brought to you by Joe.) Now the four of you who got beat by Nikki Dallaire (phenomenal rider and she did TWO races), you need to go home, train harder and harden the fuck up.

Cap City report coming in a few days. There were some sandbaggers... stay tuned