Thursday, March 7, 2013
It is amazing, only the first week of March and already the first race of the season is done. Many more months to go till November and I will have a schedule up on the home blog soon, www.nathanguerra.com.
Pre-ride went pretty well, with how technical the course was I swapped out some skinny raceface bars for some wide next sl’s. Also, Kenda hooked up some new tires which showed up at our cabin where we were staying in Texas the night before the race, so I got to rock Kenda karma’s and test out my skills this new sponsors rubber. This course is nothing but broken and jagged rock with dirt mixed in here and there, with so many riders with flats on course I was really glad I went with something so super reliable!
So race day last Saturday and it was time to see how my a demo bike I just jumped on and my indoor trainer only fitness fared against the best in the nation, although the field consisted of many well beyond our borders just looking at the start list! UCI C1’s attract so many International teams.
Start went well and I kept the effort in check knowing I would pay dearly for too much effort in the red zone since I have had no efforts there so far this year, although not being on the front leaves ya blind in a cloud of dust on a Texas course.
Conservative racing only lasted about 1/4 a lap. If you know me on the bike or off, I am an “all or nothing” type of personality. So after the first major climb I was pretty blown up and needed to recover for a bit. I started reeling people in the last 3 laps but a ton of damage was done in the first 2 with me going way too far into the red. Plan was to use my strength in threshold power that I know I have right now but that plan suffered a bit, not sure it is really a practical way to race a UCI C1 mountain bike race anyways, since these mountain bike courses are full on bursty climbing followed with recovery by UCI regulation.
So 38th and a mid pack finish with a few kinks to work out for early season racing. Came in with no expectations and was able to learn a ton about racing the 1st week of March and how to prepare for next years season opener.
I want to thank everyone who has made this great early start possible. RaceFace, Kenda, Powerbar, Champion System, Concord General Store, SNR Remodeling, Dr Mcgillicuddy, and Kona. You guys made this trip possible, so thank you!
Next up on the Pro XCT circuit, Fontana and Sea Otter!
Friday, March 1, 2013
Anyone who follows my twitter or facebook posts knows that “it” began about mid December last year with all the Cycle-ops uploads every day, but that first ride on the trainer in the basement back in December was looking forward to this weekend and the next couple of days of racing at the opening Pro XCT race at the Mellow Johnny’s Classic.
It has been a crazy past 24 hours, yesterday I got one last ride in on the trainer with pretty much my first VO2 max/2 min type efforts followed by a couple 15 min lap simulations just to prepare the body for what is about to come. Jumped off my bike, took a shower, finished packing and out the door at 5 pm from my home town in Oconomowoc WI to meet up with my buddy Scot Nyland from SNR Remodeling out in Madison, WI. From there we headed to Iowa City, IA. We crammed all our stuff in the RaceFace reps (Matt Knowles, also All Spoked Up & Norway) suburban and started the long trek to Dripping Springs, Texas. With Nate Knowles tagging along to get some early season racing in, he passed out way before me on the back seat, and being the nice guy I went looking for somewhere to sleep and not bother the kiddo. Looking for anyway I could to get some good recovery sleep in on the 24 hr drive down laid out some jackets over the bags and bike stuff in the back and dazed in and out, Nate was nice enough to swap mid morning though and I slept into the afternoon.
Around 8pm we arrived at our destination, got unpacked, and Matt went straight to work getting my bike dialed, a demo bike from Kona who was nice enough to borrow to us for the race till we get setup later in March. This guy has been up for almost 48 hrs and first thing he does when we arrive is tells me to get my shoes on and starts swapping out my Race Face Next SL bars and fitting me etc… Talk about dedication to the cause!
In the dark with headlights working on set up!
I was all apprehensive on the way down about having a bike I was not familiar with at all. Luckily the He He is a sweet ride and within a few minutes I was rippin around the yard feeling like I was ready to race this machine!
I don’t have any expectations for the race at this point in the year, I have literally been on a trainer all winter, but I have been doing big hours and my power numbers are better than ever at sub-threshold and race pace. We’ll see how one can fare amongst the best in the nation straight off the basements of Wisconsin! It is early season and like most the focus is further down the road, but best way to get ready is to open up with those you plan to be racing well with when peak time comes.
That is all for now, need some sleep, will update after pre-ride tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Then it was onto a double header weekend that was the muddiest sloppiest weekend ever in my experience of racing. Saturday was Peak to Peak in lower Michigan. High 30’s and pouring rain! Sloppy mess and no brakes at all half way through the first lap. Since the course is very sandy everyone’s brake pads were completely gone after 1 lap I was not having the best day, pulled the plug after 1 lap and the race was called after 2 as it was such a mess out there.
Next day was the WORS season finale in Sheboygan. It had rained the entire day prior and all race day. So here is what the race looked like most of the course.
Nice shot of the mess in Cyclingnews.com’s write up.
And a little Vid one our new team members shot.
I had amazing legs but just kept making big mistakes that cost tons of time in the mud. I was taking bad lines forcing me to run stuff I could ride twice as fast and I had quite a few crashes, which is not like me at all in the mud, but I was in chase mode from the start. Into the first single-track I hit a stump that was buried in mud, so from there I was taking bigger risks than usual. Sometimes this pays off and sometimes it just makes the gap bigger. On that day it was the latter, I fought back for third and a good paycheck for the day still.
Pro/Cat 1 Awards Sheboygan
We all washed off in 50 degree’s and raining afterward in the lake!
After Sheboygan I was not sure about Iceman, took a week off and then got a little motivated. Did a few intervals and went for a chance at the $, but also to meet up with a bunch of people in the industry, thank sponsors, and grow Vision. The start at the Iceman is everything and I knew mine was not going so well when I found myself shuffled behind a Fat bike in the PRO field! I chased hard and almost latched back onto the lead group, but quite a few mistakes were made in front of me in the 1st single-track and from there it was game over. I didn’t have the best fitness going in anyways and I would have had to have a royal flush in terms of the dice roll on race day to pull off my goals.
As far as the WORS series, the overall result was just short of my goal, but an improvement still. 2nd overall is not too shabby, and with a major illness mid-season I would say it was all I could have pulled off with the cards dealt. Here is my interview from the Banquet.
616 Fabrications Fat Bike fully decked out in RaceFace and their new Fat Bike crank set(s). I want to thank them both as sponsors for making this happen. With winter being so long here and so much time on the trainer it is awesome to get out and a huge resource for training as nothing indoors can simulate the needs of race fitness like an off-road ride! I am continually amazed at how this frame rides more like an XC bike than a traditional Fat Bike. Absolutely fly’s through the layers of snow on the trail right now. Can’t wait to race it a few times to get the legs ready before my first Pro XCT race coming fast early March in Dripping Springs, Texas!
Even with the fat bike, on the bitterly cold days I am still doing quite a bit of riding indoors, had a promo video and commercial made around that theme recently. Well done to Marty Tank on these productions!
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Nathan Guerra 12/13 by Mountain Bike Radio | Blog Talk Radio
Will be talkin Vision, off season, and 2013 racing plans tonight. Listen in if ya have a chance.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
First up was the WORS Bear Paw race, which usually rains like crazy, but this year the best was saved for last in the WORS series…more on that in the next post.
There are courses that are technical in terms of tight & twisty and knowing the angles and speed to take in the corners, maybe a few trees and rocks,what I would deem mid-west technical. Very hard riding in its own way, especially when it comes to being FAST. Then there is mountain type riding which brings a whole other level of technical with many more rock obstacles and lines which have to do with carrying speed over and through things in the path of intent. Bear Paw is a tad bit more like Mountain riding than Mid-West “twisty speed” riding. I love this type of riding as both strength skill on the bike shine enormously. If ya get bogged down from lack of skill a high price is paid. It tends to give huge rewards for being good at everything mountain biking and not just one aspect of riding a bike.
From the word GO I went to the front wanting to be in the mix for the hole-shot but had a bad start due to a cold that had settled into my lungs.
Chasing Cole house up the 3 tiered start climb.Fell back to 6th at the start and probably a 1 minute or more back. Once the fireworks were over, all the base miles I had laid down the last 3 weeks took over and I had freight train speed through every line I intended. 2nd lap I chased very hard and found an amazing rhythm both in power through my cadence and creating lines through the forest.
Testing my Bontrager 29.1’s edge on dusty switchbacksBy the last lap I had caught Tyler Gauthier and took over second position. I was moving really good and knew I was gaining time fast! Last half a lap people started giving me 10 second splits and I saw Cole House on the switch backs up the last climb., but knew it was too late. 10 seconds down.
2nd place and in good companyHacked up massive amounts of green the next week or so, very good thing I raced and assisted in getting this all out. If I would have rested it would have probably taken longer. I was told by lapped traffic and spectators I was wheezing so hard through my lungs that you could hear me coming from a pretty long ways off!
Here is my post race interview with bad helmet hair
Peak 2 Peak and Shevegas, oh and maybe a cross race thrown in the middle!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading!
Monday, September 17, 2012
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Not much to talk about except getting sick for a prolonged period of time. Not much for racing results. Instead of stating the obvious over and over I decided to wait till things got better and give a quick recap to cover all the races that can be chalked up to illness. From the first week in July through the last week in August I was not able to ride much due to a MAJOR stomach bug. I lost about 7lbs in the span of 2-3 weeks. I have gotten over it, but it has left an impact on my digestive system. We are still in the rounds with the doctor, but I am able to train well again and my fitness is on the rise.
So every WORS race from July-August has been lack luster, I was good for about a lap of any race and then suffered hard! It seems I was only able to store enough glycogen A.K.A. sugars in my body for about a laps effort and then I would be running on fumes. I was able to fake it for the last two laps pretty good at the Palos Meltdown though back in August and pulled-off a Podium in a sprint with Mike Phillips.
I was so pumped full of anti-biotics I have no idea how I pulled that one off. That Sprint pic. of me was the first of many that started scaring me with how skinny I was starting to look.
Subaru Cup Pro XCT went ok, but still nothing near my expectations coming into this season. Again 1 lap and then just surviving the race, but still awesome time with the best fans in the world!
Here is an interview from my Cross-Country race.
Russell had a mishap off the line and half the field was out the race before it began. Moved up the whole race and fought with JHK, Cole House and Colin Cares for the last few spots in top 20.
A little later that day I was able to pull off a podium where the skills are more of an issue than the energy stores. 4th in the Super D was a nice highlight for the weekend!
Those were really the only two races from July and August I was able to put much of anything together. In between racing I spent a lot of time recovering from each effort as it was very taxing on my body. I was riding/training, but well under anything that could really maintain the fitness I had built up in Spring and early Summer. Having missed so much quality training time it was finally time to rebuild. Once I was confident my body could handle the training again I got at it!
Just one 27 hr week of solid training and things were heading back toward normal the first week of September!
WORS Treadfest was the first test to see if I would bounce back quickly and we were pleasantly surprised.
last year, but in the mix for a win and moving in the right direction!
A few more weeks of solid training to rebuild what was lost in those 7 lbs. and everything should be back to normal. Should be a good Fall for racing!
Thanks for reading!