I almost opted to skip this race, but I'm glad I didn't. It turned out to be my best result! I was a little under the weather all week and hadn't ridden a bike since Sunday in North Carolina. I wasn't sure if being fresh was going to over power being sick. My plan was to blow out the bad stuff Friday night and then be ready to go for Saturday and Sunday...next thing you know I was mid way through the race almost closing the gap to the National Champ! I felt great! I had a good start and the shock factor was pretty high on the first 2 laps, but then I settled into a good rhythm. I was running Mt. Krumpet good, I was hitting my lines good, everything was firing...I couldn't believe it...as I was catching Todd, Troy and Matt Shriver were catching me....Todd saw a group of 3 catching him and picked up the pace...at about the same time Troy took a bad line in the mud that made the contact with Todd impossible. I ended up sitting on Troy for a lap before sprinting him for 5th!
After the race I had a full on coughing fit....I was really hoping that would be the end of it....
I was feeling pretty normal....a little tired like day 2 of any cross weekend. I didn't want to make the same mistake as I did in Ft. Collins...being afraid of getting dirty and cold....so I got in a few laps on the course. Everything was good. They said go and instantly I was in a world of pain....I kind of don't even remember the beginning of the race. I was struggling on the long climb up Mt. Krumpet and didn't have the snap that I had on Friday night. Shriver caught me midway through the race, but I dropped him a lap later on the off camber downhill section behind the bleachers. It was kind of a cold lonely race. 90% of the time I was solo...by the last lap I was catching Berden and Wicks, but I was out of time...7th place.
I felt like I had a little more motivation and snap today. I was a little better on the run up Mt. Krumpet and the climb after. The first half lap got me though....Tristan came out of his pedal 50 meters after the start and almost crashed with Berden...I had to do a major brake check not to pile into the back of them. I felt the right side of the race go by me....a pretty bad start....time to make up some spots....I started going good and then crashed on a U-Turn in the gravel. Oops. Had to pass all the guys again....By the time I was going up Mt. Krumpet for the first time I was in 9th with nobody in sight. After 2 laps I caught Barry Wicks and battled with him the rest of the race. Nobody else was even remotely close to us...I felt like I was stronger that Barry except after the first time through the pits and the descent off of Mt. Krumpit. Barry could put 15 seconds on me each time down the hill. Each time it would take me a half lap to close the gap. On the last lap Barry rocked me on the downhill and then stayed on the gas....I finished 9th...not really what I wanted.
And I'm spent....Iceman, L'Ville, NCGP, Jingle Cross.....thats a big month and a lot of miles in the car. I'm ready for a little time at home and a weekend off of racing! Time to chill.....I mean rake leaves! Huge thanks to Tim for all the support on the race weekends. Also thanks to T-Wag for the spare pedals and the extra help in the pits and of course Jessica and the MWI crew for their hospitality and the hot bowl of chilli post race Sunday and to PodiumInsight.com for the photos!