Best part of the weekend was definitely the Duct Tape wallet that was the prize from Day 1!!! Who doesn't need a duct tape wallet.
Back to the beginning of the week. After L'Ville I opted for the short drive to Athens, OH for some hang time and mom and dads. Travis and Chloe joined me for a week of training, brisket BBQ, and some soon to be announced Momentum Endurance coaching plans. It was pretty awesome!
Friday after a good ride in the AM we made the drive down to Hendersonville, NC. I was pretty pumped for my third trip to the NCGP.
Day one: A front row call up, a good start, and to the front of the field on the first pavement section. There was a pretty big group starting lap 2. Lap 2 I opted to ride the steps and it seemed pretty fast. The group was splitting and then reforming and I made sure to always be in the top 3. Soon Ben Berden put in a big move that shattered the field. I was right on his wheel and it was going to be a battle! Half way through the race I bobbled attempting to ride the steps again, Ben has been at it for a while and he is a smart racer. He was on the gas immediately. I was in chase mode and bridged the gap 1/2 lap later. We ended up going back and forth attacking each other the remainder of the race..cat and mouse, fast, and slow. We approached the wall the last lap and Ben took the lead w/ 400 meters. I was comfortable going onto the pavement for the sprint on his w heel, but didn't have the power to match his sprint. A solid 2nd place ride.
Another cool thing about the NCGP is the excitement in the air of the end of the season. I'm not talking about hanging it up...I'm talking about going over to Belgium. It was in NC three years ago that I was planning my first trip to Belgium. This year it was cool to watch the GVA and the Superprestige the morning of the races, to race a Belgian, to talk with R. Knapp about going on his own, and to talk with Jake Wells about his first EuroCrossCamp...maybe even cooler though was learning about my Gear Grinder teammate Lionel who was selected to represent WI as a junior and head to his first EuroCross Camp....check this out and help him if you can. Lionel Rocheleau Supporters click here! The future of WI cycling!
The drive home was long, rainy, and foggy. Back home to mom and dads house by 10:30. I'll be here for another 2 days and then finish up the drive back to Sheboygan on Wed. Thursday Packers - Lions and then Jingle Cross weekend.
Lots of interviews and race highlights thanks to cyclingdirt go check 'em out.
To stick with the theme of Thanksgiving and being appreciative of all my opportunities and my cycling lifestyle, I'm going to skip the sponsors today and thank all the other people who give so much to the sport. The NCGP crew reminded me this weekend of how a small community can put on an awesome race...it got me to thinking of all the race promoters, Brent Walk from Fun Promotions, Don Edberg, from WORS, Steve Brown, Gary Crandall, Scott Tuma...without these guys and all their volunteers I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. My family, Andrea, Mom, Dad, Hildebrands, Grandma...couldn't do it without the support. All the local bike shops that help out along the way, the fans, fellow racers...etc I'm really lucky to be where I'm at, I love it and I'll keep trying hard to get faster and faster!!!
More sponsors love tomorrow!