Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall time = Fun time!

First day of fall and 29 degrees!? Yep that's why we live in the Okanagan, can't get enough of this place.

Well MTB season and has now transformed into Cyclo-Cross season. My other love in the sport of two wheeled pedal comes the adult trikes. I took little rest time after my trip home from Worlds, but it turned out to just be a 'get over the jet-lag and learn to mount and dismount my CX bike again'. I had a unreal package show in the mail from my team Rocky Mountain Bicycles and in there was this:
We on the Factory RMB team are luckily enough to have the best sponsors in the world with Shimano drivetrain and wheels, Easton cockpit(because you need something good to grab-a-hold of and Maxxis tires to keep me up and of course Fi'zi:k saddles to get my special place safe.

I made the decision for 1st CX race of the year to be Starcrossed, and Rapha-Focus GP, two UCI C2 races. Definitely the right decision as I surprised myself with a 9th on Day 1 and not quite as stellar 13th on Day 2. I was beyond pleased with the weekend, as I now know with some real training I can be right up there. Fox Racing Shox, one of our other wicked sponsors, put up a nice race report: highlight of the weekend was taking the holeshot in Starcrossed ahead of Bart Wellens, Rob Peeters, Ryan Trebon, Jon Page, Todd Wells etc...! And if you watch the video you can see I almost didn't make the first turn!: I had a little bit of an explosion after that and it took me a while to recovery and fall back in the field and then caught the 2nd wind and rode back in for 9th. I've gotten close to mastering my 2nd stomach, where I can really push the human food eating limits. So now I just need to apply some of that to racing.

Decided to take 'cross a little more seriously this year, so I have booked for the Fort Collins USGP on Oct 8th-9th. Exciting, as it seems to be the most MTB style course according to Mr Kabush. Just need to find some way to deal with breathing up in the sky. And now its internet official according to Evan Mcneely we have decided to grow mullets and moustaches for 'cross Nationals, so look out for a Moustache/Mullet attack from Evan2, that is Evan Squared incase you didn't didn't get it..

I've enjoyed getting back to work at, the bestest place in the world, The Bike Barn. One of my great supporters that is gracious enough to give me a job when I am at home. We have a great crew at the shop, we even have them aussie's around to keep it light. We are currently planning our Movember ideas.. We also have also have a big deal triathlete, Jeff Symonds, you may have head of him. He just got 3rd at Ironman 70.3 Worlds. World Championship medal is alright I guess...

Right now I am thinking back on all the Tim Bits I had today, I had a good 4 day streak there of no sweets but caved badly today. Now I'm eating a massive salad to try and make myself feel well balanced on all levels. Tomorrow is our first local CX race, which is part of Catharine Pendral's BC Interior 'Cross series. We have a ton of local's coming out and some great people that have put together a great course with what they had to work with. And on Sunday is a race we are trying to get everyone in town behind, The Test of Humanity, a great way to help support and raise awareness for Canadian Humanitarian efforts in Ethiopia. In its first year there is 188 entries, going to be a fun exciting day.

Other than that life is rad, weather's good and its almost time for me to start thinking about sunny weather in January/Febuary for some pedaling.

Here's a couple cool shots from Starcrossed:

Evan out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 MTB Season a Wrap.

Well 2011 has been great, met me goals for races to be at, never met the goals of how I wanted to place. But its a great start from a nothing year of 2010. This year I needed to make it back to racing at the international level, that I achieved after consistent early season Canada Cup. Afetr a somewhat dissapointing World Cup showing in North America and a average Nationals race everything came together at the Canada Cup Finals in Edmonton where I took my first pro win. From then on I was thinking World might be a possibility now and I was all ready to train for it, but a nice sinus infection took the best of me for 2 weeks, with having lost that form that I was hoping would take me to Worlds for a good results I was just trying to stay healthy, keep rested and get the stoke level up to a 10/10. With everything achieved except for rest..I was ready to go when I got the Worlds confirmation email. It was 6 U23 riders, the biggest U23 team Canada has had since 2006 I believe. So it was great to have so many high end riders with many opportunities of seizing the day for Canada. With a great Junior womens day, 7th in Team Relay, solid junior mens day it was time for the espoirs to put in their digs. It was going to be tough as the U23 World Cup champ was lining up along with a consistent top-10 Elite World Cup rider. After the start loop I was sitting near the back of the field, having not raced in almost 6 weeks and having no snap in the the legs it was shaping up for a tough day in the saddle, I slowly worked up a little gaining time on the technical areas and the descents, but loosing more time on the steep climbs. If only I was able to climb somewhat better than a cadet sport rider I was maybe have had a great day. But our racing is about fitness not technical ability, although this course is the most technical course on the circuit next to Monte-Sainte-Anne, QC the ability to suck suck while going downhill over roots and rocks fast did help me have an average day with flat feeling legs. We had some amazing support from the Canadian Juniors and U23 women, I was definitely able to put on a little bit more of a hurt face while riding past them, and tried to slay the downhill for them to make it somewhat interesting when watching the riders near the back of the field come through. Jeremy Martin and Leandre Bouchard of QC both had stellar races, Leandre was the first U23 Canadian to crack the top-30 at Worlds since Raph Gagne was 7th in 2008. There seems to be a bright future of U23 coming through, as I was the oldest at Worlds as a 2nd year U23 riders, I was 2 years left and all the others have 3! Crazy I know, but it is the best way for things to be, as the development will be crucial. And with having the CCA(Canadian Cycling Association) and such great staff for these projects there is no reason why Canada can not have future World Champions in any cycling discipline. Having a DH World title with Lauren Rosser in 2010, and now an Elite XC World title with Catharine Pendral. We as Canadians I think are now hungrier than ever. Also can't forget to mention two Bronze medals for Dh with Lauren Rosser in junior women and a huge Elite women DH break through with Claire Buchar in I know.

Catharine's ridiculously excited cheering squad at the podium:
Thanks to Rob Jones @

Had an awesome celebratory night for Catharine with some Pizza this past Saturday night with all of Team Canada. There was lots of emotion flowing through the place, I was hardly able to talk as I had to used all my voice screaming for Catharine during her race. I was speechless after, as its something she and coach Dan Proulx have been chasing for a while, and I was so glad to be there and able to in some way be a part of it. It will be with us all for a long long time.

Cheering on our Canadians, Emily rode a solid 8th place. I swear we were cheering louder than the Swiss crowds!

We enjoyed a great post race day ride with our southern friends from the USA. Did a wicked ride up and over the tail end of the alps into the land of french speaking people. Did a quick photoshoot and rode back in time to watch our Canadian girl become World Champ.

We were lucky the CCA had us in such a great location, minutes from the course, beside a grocery store and near some of coolest areas to ride I been to: