The cycling world lost a great person last week when Steve Tilford was killed in an auto accident. I first met Tilly back in 1996 when we were teammates on the Specialized Mountain Dew Team. He was an awesome guy and a great person to show me the ropes of the racing world. We traveling together for the 96 and 97 season. He taught me a lot about being a pro and we shared some great times from tooling around the US to racing Cactus Cups over in Japan, he was always excited to race. He inspired a lot of people as he got older to keep pushing their limits and even though I didn’t see or talk to him much since our days on the team together I’m going to miss him. He was a true pioneer of the sport and one of the good guys, RIP.
I spent the week between Bonelli and Fontana with Finsty, Myron, Coop, Meg and Winston up in Big Bear. I am doing a little altitude block before Sea Otter/Whisky and that was a perfect time to head up for some thin air. It was a shock to the system after spending all winter in Tucson to be riding around with snow on the sides of the road but it was nice to go up there again. There is quite a difference between “tent” altitude and “actual” altitude. I think you can get the same benefits in the tent but it takes a longer period of time, needless to say I was feeling it up there.
Altitude didn’t seem to slow this guy down at all.
We loaded up and headed down the hill on Friday morning for some hot laps of the Bonelli HC course. It was nice to get back to some big oxygen and warmer temps. I was hoping to redeem myself after my bad luck in Fontana but it wasn’t to be. My bad luck in was replaced by bad form and a stacked field that had me of the back foot from the start. I suffered like a dog but never got going eventually crossing the line in 17 place. I never seem to put together a good race in Bonelli, not sure why but it’s not from lack of effort.
We did get our new kits for the season, TLD and Cuore out did themselves with the design and quality. Cuore has this new hot weather suit that is incredible, it’s so light and cool, can’t wait to put it to the test in some hot races.
Sunday was the STXC and between a poor race the previous day, a sick dog that evening and not much sleep I didn’t have very high expectations. The one thing I had going for me is that course is very tactical and requires using your energy at just the right moment. I hit the top of the last climb on the front and lead out the grass uphill sprint eventually getting 3rd with Blevins blasting by for the “W” and Cam Ivory pipping me on the line for 2nd. If I had it to do over I would probably try to hit that uphill headwind into the finish 2nd wheel but Blevins was going so fast the result would most likely be the same.
We made it home before midnight and it felt great to sleep in my own tent:)
Bike Setup XC: Scott Spark 135 psi rear, SID 100 mm 92 psi, Maxis Ikon EXO front 24 rear 25, Eagle 36 chain ring.
STXC: Scott Scale, SID 100 mm 98 psi, Maxis Pace front 27, rear 28, Eagle 38 chain ring.
I’ve got a week and a half at home before heading out to Sea Otter. I think Maghalie and I are doing a FaceBook live at Epic Rides next Monday at 4 pst. Sure the info will be on their site, tune in if you can.
I wonder if Sergio thought he was ever going to wear that green jacket……..