Blog

Adam after his first heat race at Bear Ridge Speedway

Adam & crew chief Travis Michaud lined up and ready to go!

1/28/2011 By Marilyn Ruseckas

This year Adam and I returned to Belgium to defend my 2010 championship in Mol at the UCI Cyclocross Masters Worlds. Our small team’s hard work and training paid off and we came home with the 2011 rainbow jersey and gold medal.

We based ourselves out of Mol, renting an a-frame right next to the race course. It was off season for this lakeside resort, so it was very inexpensive. We took day trips from there. Everything was only an hour drive or so.

There were endless opportunities for good training from our house. Bike paths run along every road and there are maps that detail a numbered bike route system.

Non-technical single track trails in the woods and back roads were perfect for our ‘cross bikes. We found our way around without any trouble.

On Sunday, January 16, we traveled to Bakel, NL to race in the Rabobank Dutch National event. There was a field of about 30 women.

I started in the last row, had a terrible first lap, but managed to pull off a fifth place finish. I caught and passed so many young, blonde Dutch girls, it gave me great confidence for the next weekend’s race. At the start, an official noticed I was wearing a masters worlds skin suit and he asked me about it. When I came through the start-finish every lap, he announced my name and that I was a masters world champion from the United States of America, in Dutch of course!!

Despite a last row call-up Adam’s race was going great that day, too. Unfortunately, he got a flat tire towards the end of the race. The pit was pretty far away, so the wheel change came slowly, but he was able to finish and get a good workout.

One day we met with our friend, Hugo, who took us on a very cool ride. We rode through an industrial area near Antwerp. We rode to Doel which is mostly abandoned because they are going to dig up the entire town to make a new harbor for shipping. They will take the rubble from Doel and fill in another harbor that is not being used. It is a very controversial issue. In the meantime, graffiti artists have gone to work painting the town. There is a nuclear power plant very close by adjacent to an antique windmill. It’s a very surreal setting.

This Dutch girl was the winner of the 30-39 race.

It was a relief for us when it was over, but Adam still had his race to think about later in the day. He was the only American in his field of about 50 guys. Some of the top finishers in his race have won national and world titles all over Europe and in other cycling disciplines as well. Adam finished on the same lap as the leaders in 30th place.

Thanks to our Belgian friends, Hugo & Paul, for coming out to support us at the races!

The next day, we went to watch the elite World Cup in Hoogerheide, NL. It was such a spectacle. We saw lots of friends and racers that we know. The course was very difficult and all our Americans did well. Pictured is Katie Compton, the women’s winner.

Tim Johnson going through the start-finish in 3rd place.

On our last day there, we went back to the track where we rode with Filip and met Hugo last year, the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx. This year Hugo was able to ride with us instead of instructing from the sidelines. The track was full to the limit of 100 riders that night, 98 guys and 2 women. It was extremely nerve racking when we first arrived and had to move up on to the track in traffic. Thanks to Hugo for coaching us as we went. Before long, Adam and I got used to it and were hammering around with the rest of the field.

If we had a velodrome like that nearby, Seven would have to make us a couple of track bikes!

We don’t know when, but we would would like to go back someday.

Thanks to our sponsors, Seven Cycles, NoTubes.com, Fit Werx, and Whitney Tree Service for helping us to achieve our goal!

This is good training for our trip to Belgium next week!

Marilyn solos in to win the 45+ New England Championship

Marilyn solos in to win the 45+ race at the New England Championships!

Gold medal & N.E. Championship Jersey!

I had a flat in Saturday’s 35+ race and finished mid-pack in Sunday’s 3 race.

Marilyn also rode to an impressive finish in the elite race placing 40th out of 97 finishers.  And that was with a last row call-up!

There were no shortage of icy puddles out there

This years course featured a huge fly-over with a pedestrian underpass.

The mud was a little deep

I had to race a time trial the day before my masters race to determine my starting order. I finished 47th out of ninety or so guys with a time of 6:51.

This was a run-up on the first lap but I was able to ride it the rest of the race.

There was no shortage of ICY puddles to ride through

The stairs!

I was able to finish 40th out of 97 finishers (same as Marilyn)

Did I mention MUD?

Marilyn Ruseckas 1st place Pro Women New England Velo ‘Cross 11/20/10

On the BMX portion of the track

Adam on the chase

Over the barriers

The start of the Mens 3/4 race at Shedd park in Lowell, Ma 11/21/10

Start of the Pro Womens race in Lowell

Marilyn on her way to a 5th place finish

November 19th, 2010

Check out this link to see the first lap of Putney CX 2010 (Cat 3-4 men’s race) It’s not Marilyn’s race or mine but it gives a good perspective of the race track from the riders point of view.

Tearing through the woops section at the 20th Annual Putney West Hill Shop Race

Marilyn on her way to an 8th place finish in the Pro Women’s field

 

Marilyn with her Mom & Dad at the Paradise ‘Cross Frenzy – Harpoon Brewery, Windsor, VT

Adam follows Jacob Harris in the Pro Men’s race at the Paradise ‘Cross Frenzy

The Masters 1-2-3 field go over the barriers in Putney

The famous run up out behind the West Hill Shop

I love this picture, Marilyn coming across the finish line with our race rig and her parents cheering in the background.

Marilyn and I had a good weekend at the Verge cyclocross double header. I finished 29th Saturday and 23rd on Sunday. I finally reached my goal, finishing in the top 25 in the Masters Elite field!

The ride up

Marilyn was happy with her results finishing 16th both days.

Marilyn launching over the tracks

Marilyn launching over the tracks

The weather was perfect

There is always good compition in Northampton

Tight competition! I rode with this guy for the whole race but he nipped me at the finish.

Marilyn shouldering her bike on the run-up

The ride up starts to get hard after a few laps

Marilyn on the downhill

Marilyn in the sandtrap!

Marilyn looking strong at the front of her group

Cyclocross season begins!

October 10th, 2010

We have been all over New England racing ‘cross lately. The first doubleheader was the Green Mt. Cyclocross weekend at Catamount in Williston, VT on 9/18-9/19 . We both finished better than mid-pack both days.

Marilyn in the 2010 Masters World Champion Jersey!!

On 9/25 we raced the Nor’Easter at Loon in the White Mountains. Marilyn placed 11th in the Pro race and I was 5th in the Cat 3 race. The following day we rode on the Kancamagus Highway. On 10/3 & 10/4 we were at the Gran Prix of Gloucester. I placed 30th on day 1 in the Master’s 1-2-3 and 41st the second day. Marilyn had solid finishes both days finishing 23rd and 26th in the Pro woman’s race. Our new Stan’s 340 wheels have been working out great. We’re running them tubeless using the Raven tires at low pressure.

Adam on the run up at the Nor’Easter

Adam heading out for the final lap.

Marilyn on the run up at Gloucester

Over the table top at Catamount

Marilyn over the barriers at Gloucester

Our race rig is well equipped

Headin’ into the barriers at GP of Gloucester.