Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hk retires from the cross season


read this honorary tribute from Keith
http://crossbabble.blogspot.com/2009/11/henry-kramer-retires-from-racing.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Silver Mining, Colorado Mtb Champs


The trip was great and so was the race. The course had a lot of single track which was fun but made passing while racing difficult. I took the lead and had a good gap at the top part of the last lap of two, but then got stuck behind 3 slower riders and had to wait till near the top to pass. This cost me half my lead. Keith, the local, knew everyone on the course and they cleared out of his way, as he passed me on the upper descent. Dehydrated from the altitude, the cramping in my legs made the technical descending more precarious. Keith had come by Hayles and I at the bottom of the descent on the first lap. I dropped both on the climbing of the final lap and figured if I maintained my gap to the top of the climb, I would have it. Traffic is always an issue in these big events and this time it probably cost me a fourth title. Keith had a great race. He was clearly the best descender in our group. My climbing once again was superior, but mountain biking requires excellent descending skills especially when fatigue sets in. The races all seem to finish with a down hill which usually ain't paved. This was a great event and fun course and I guess Natz are in Colorado again next year. We'll see.

Monday, May 4, 2009


just a few laps before getting caught in a crash and taken to hospital
compression fracture L1, on the mend

Monday, January 26, 2009

Master worlds update

2009 master cyclocross world championship, held in zilvermmer, outside of mol, at the same venue for 12 plus years, brought no great surprises. For the eight years that I have attended, a duplicate par-course, with a notoriously long sand section has challenged every international rider. Advantage locals, as they spend a good part of their September to February season racing in a mix of sand and mud. To be a world class crosser, one must endure racing the fields and forests of the heartland of cross, Belgium. Every weekend from September to February, there are as many as 6 races in the flat corn fields of west flanders to the forests of the northeast. Mol offers a particular challenge with its huge sugar white sand beach that is sure to humbly bog even the strongest rider. Here in Belgium, it seems not speed, but power and fortitude carry the day.
This years race held no real surprises when American women scored, not over shadowing the accomplishments of Kathy's second championship and Trina’s repeat silver performance, the American men battled for field results. Starting in the middle of the day, left little time to watch others, so my story tells only of my event. The biggest drama of each start is the call up, which is random, drawn from a hat or however the Belgium’s tea leaves read that day. Never having the first two rows, a forth row start means looking for the opening and sprinting for them. It worked ok on entering the beach, as I change my direction several times on the in run. The jam was normal in the sand, running the outside made sense to the first turn, where some ones chainring tattooed my calf. Got off the beach an sprinted by a couple of riders into about 10th. Now at this point, there is a lot of windy single track and there are limited places to pass, but you have to stay after it, because there are always some really fast guys already clear and charging. This means you have to go harder then them just to catch up. There is the rub. Now the Belgium champ was called up first and last years world champ second, and they were already clear. I had raced the Belgium champ just last weekend at kasterlee and he is strong. So here goes everything. And that seems that’s what it took to get up to a chasing group of four. Attacking on the start finish stretch, put me on the front, but Scheemaeker caught me off guard. (he was the champ when I finished 2nd in’07) He ran the sand and pinched me while I rode to the corner. This forced me off the bike. Willems flew up the side, attacking the water front. ( Willems won in ’06, when I was of the front with him and my wheel got taken out on the beach in a break). Guinle, the Frenchman won last year, stayed close to the departing Belgiums. With my momentum slowed, there was no response. The others reacted, and separated from me. I tried hard to chase the last lap, but encountering lapped riders slowed my progress in many of the difficult sections.
The raced is scheduled for only 30 minutes, very short, about four laps. Fast laps are between 6 and 6.5 minutes. We ended racing 6 laps, 2 more than you might figure. The winning time was just around 37 minutes. These guys are old, but they are not slow. My 7th place kept my top 10 consistency alive, though disappointing, kept 8 year streak alive. The only trepidation is the unrecognized call up process, that has kept podium finishers from returning to race. Just remember what Jacob said, “if you don’t start, you can’t win”. So maybe one day…………..

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wilrijk



this is classic Belgium cross. some short hills with lots of undulating turns, throw in some mucky field grass and a bit of pavement. you get everything and and an announcer to boot.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blah

Well, that was yah ok worlds and it didn't go to well. the tweaked me. they called up the belgie champ first (yah fair) and then last year champ, a random draw? that is why a lot of people don't make the trip a second time. I got called up on the forth row, bitter, bummer. got going ok and moved myself
past a small group into forth spot on the second lap. into the long sand section, got pinched at the turn on the beach and lost contact with them.
made a couple of mistakes getting round lapped riders and managed to hold on to 7th.
disappointing to say the least. thanks for the support, will race
tomorrow at wilrijk, a hilly muddy super tough venue, and try and get some mojo back. all the best, henry