May 13/02 12:31 pm - The Shep Report
Posted by Editoress on 05/13/02
The Shep Report NORBA #1
Haro Lee Dungarees rider Chris Sheppard gives us an insiders view
Hello everyone just letting you all know what's been shaking over the the past weekend. I am already at home in Asheville....relegated to the couch after much pain/suffering from racing and the red-eye flight I dragged my ass onto last night. Racing at Big Bear's dusty elevation can almost be compared to making a visit to a race abused port-a-potty. Enter and exit as quick as possible, fear the blue splash (in this case the altitude), and of course limit excessive breathing for fear of burnt lungs. I kid you not!
Cross country day was finally a good time. The organizer put some thought into the course and gave us a four lap, single track filled, altitude (7-8200) suffer-fest. To escape the lack of oxygen we retreated to our low-land, host familly refuge: the Duscay's down in Redlands. Going up last minute tricked our bodies into thinking there was air but we all started conservative as a safeguard. Ziranda punched it hard on the first lap with a substantial gap forming by the top. Kabush rode the Dh fast and overtook the turbo rider by the bottom. After the first lap it was Kabush. Rollie and Ryder chased with JHK in tow. I sat in a group that contained 9-14th riding well within myself so not to blow like every other year since I started doing this race.
The two R's made contact with Rolland going off the the front. No sooner had he established a gap when suddenly his cleats came loose. Off with the shoe, out with the allen key and twenty places later he was on his way. Rollie threw it into 6th gear and worked past everyone once again-while establishing a winning margin of 1:10 by the end! Ryder was now battling Ziranda causing them to drop JHK and Kabush. Bonilla, Swenson, Wells, Brown and the other Costa Rician blew apart with the later three coming back towards me. I moved past them except for Brown whom I engaged in a very slow moving battle. Shamoe was riding in a group behind me with his semi broken wrist causing him angst.
Using every fast twitch muscle fiber in his 110lb frame, sprinting power house Ziranda edged Ryder for second. The next two would also finish sprinting but JHK took a chance on the inside pass and hooked his bars on the metal barricade. Kabush in fourth, Bonilla 6th, swenson, brown, yours truly, and mexi friend Barriga with a best ever 10th. Seamus rolled steady into 14th, Wedge in 19th.
Woke up feeling good at 6 am for the second day in a row. Short track day is always a source for much excitement but it was probably due to the fact that we were going to a greasy spoon for breakfast.
Front row start meant no bar banging at the back. Usual crew appeared with Seamus, Ryder, Rollie, Kabush, Swenson, and Bonilla all switching on and off over the first 8 minutes. We all tried fliers but nothing was sticking....concerned about the chasers the pace rose for three laps shedding JHK, Kabush and Swenson. At this point Rolland crashed in the hairpin damaging his rear derailleur (i'm pretty sure) and most likely adding some trauma to those big ole legs. Wells hooked on after the crash and then tried to go solo. In response, Ryder slammed the door hard with Seamus countering with two laps to go. This was the one. The gap increased fifty feet on the second to last climb while Wells shot off the back. Hitting the top gravel corner Seamus poured on too much heat and went down into the fence. Back on the bike to lead the last lap where Ryder, Bonilla and I attacked and passed the escaper (Seamus in 4th) finishing on each others wheels in that order. Kabush took 6th, Swenson 7th, Dre in 13th, Toulouse in 14th, James V in 16th (great ride from the back) and Wedge in 19th.
Can't wait for the low land events in a month! Going to Europe on Tuesday with Dre, Seamus and Yury the national team coach. First stop in Madrid then over to Belgium. Weekend was podium filled for the Haro Lee Dungarees crew. Kurt used the power of the mustache to take the US National Dual Champs with King rounding the podium in 5th. Aussie Mad man Mick hooked up 5th in the DH. Good on us!