Sunday, May 22, 2005

Bell's "Big Hurt" Two-Times His Competition

Racing to win on back-to-back days is generally not something done by cyclists. Sure, occasionally a road rider will manage to win back-to-back stages of a multi-day stage race, but this is rare. Racing a bike is taxing on the body. If you go hard enough to win on race day, the next day is commonly reserved for recovery -- a time to give muscles a time to repair in order to begin the next round of training. Since the Bell's Team is anything but common, it may come as no surprise that our rider Mike "The Big Hurt" Simonson went 2fer this weekend -- winning the Oakland County Parks Addison Oaks XC Race on Saturday and coming back to win the Michigan Mountain Biking Association's Championship Point Series Race #4, the Pontiac Lake MTB Time Trial, on Sunday.

The wins were Simonson's second and third mountain bike wins of the season. Especially noteworthy, was Mike's perfomance at the Pontiac Lake MTB Time Trial, where he completed two 9.5 mile laps of the course in just under 1 hour 11 minutes. That's an average speed of over 16 mph -- incredibly fast for a tight, twisty, hilly and 100% offroad singletrack course.

Next up for Mike is next weekend's 24 Hours of Boyne, where he will be competing in the 4 person open class team with fellow Michigan MTB racing pros Scott Quiring and Chris Goddard. My odds on that team winning? Well, let's just say they aren't exactly a dark horse (no offense intended toward Marshall's Dark Horse Brewing and their fine mountain bike team).

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May Day Assault on Fort Custer

The first of May, or, "May Day" is known around the world as the international holiday of the worker. However, on May 1, 2005 in Augusta, Michigan, the Bell's Beer Team served notice that:

1. we don't take days off; and,
2. we aren't opposed to hard work.

On this day "The Fort", or, Fort Custer Recreation Area was overrun with half the Bell's Team looking to storm the Annual Fort Custer Stampede XC Race. At first, it looked like the storm would be on us, as the weather forecast called for intermittent showers and an unseaonably cold, blustery day. Although the rain held off for the Bell's riders in the Pro/Elite and Expert races, it was certainly cold out. But, it didn't matter because the Team was "en fuego".

Although the Pro/Elite win at The Fort went to former UCI/NORBA travelling Pro Scott Quiring (Quiring Cycles) who attacked on an early climb (nice job, Q.!), the Bell's duo of Derek Prechtl and Jason Lummis showed a blue-collar work ethic, toiling together throughout the race to fend off the competition, finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The race was especially taxing for Lummis, who had been under-the-weather with a sinus infection of sorts for the better part of the last month. Lummis credited Prechtl for motivating him to keep on his wheel. Lummis looked spent and close to passing-out as he crossed the finish line to secure two-thirds of the podium for the Team, but was quickly brought back to life with a cold bottle of Oberon Ale and a small cup of water.

Making a late push in the Pro/Elite race was Bell's Master Blaster John Meyers, who nearly caught the 4-5 racers breathing down the neck of Lummis. John ended up with a solid 6th place. Not bad for his second Pro/Elite mountain bike race after a three-year hiatus from racing!

Finally, in the Expert Race, Bell's "Best Bartender in Detroit" (three years in a row, as voted by the Metro Times Weekly), Mr. Dan K., worked his magic for a fifth place medal in the very tough 30-39 age group.

That's it for this week, but just in case you are keeping score:

Number of MTB races the Bell's Beer Team has competed in this year: 3
Number of podium spots earned by the Team: 3

Batting Average: 1000