A mixed bag of emotions on this one. In the end though I know its not what I wanted or its not what I'm capable of so I'm calling it a dissapointing race.
I am however happy that the season is over and I can call it one of my best. I feel I was very consistent and had better results than the any other season.
The race itself went down like this....an early departure from Sheboygan Sunday morning. A stress free drive and an early arrival to the race course. The conditions were a little different than Wednesday when I had pre-rode but I was expecting that...
I set up camp under the Trek tent thanks to my good buddy Demo Ken! He had prime real estate on the infield, close to the pits, and just past the finish line. He also had a nice warm trailer that I could stand up in a get changed!
I headed out for a pre-ride and felt pretty good. Not fantastic, but not horrible. I was hoping for a clean first lap and then I thought I would be good. I chilled out a little, pinned my numbers, and then headed out again after the womens race to see how much the course had changed as the temps were rising and the ground was thawing. I didn't think it chagned that much.
I swapped clothes did a little time on the trainer and headed to the start line. I was second row. GO and I was off...a good start! A little chaos in the first 4 corners but I made it unscathed. I was sitting in 8th or 9th at the top of the first climb. I finished up the lap and was sitting on Chris Jones wheel in 7th or 8th place. Perfect...I felt like Chris was going to be my free ride back to the top 5. I relaxed and as soon as I did I went down hard. I got up pretty quick, but I was a little rattled. I jumped back on the bike losing very little time, but in a cross race that early on I went from 8th to 14th in a split second and Jones was gone. I was now in a battle for the top 10.
I thought I was OK and planned to sit on, change bikes, and then get going again. I knew it was going to be a long hard race, but they legs never really go going. In fact it started to hurt more and more. I suffered to stay in contact with 9th and 10th, but I couldn't. Soon I was in 11th and 12th. I crashed again. Confidence was going out the window. I lowered the tire pressure, but it wasn't enough and I could never steer the bike like I could in Chicago.
45 minutes into the race I though we would have 2 to go, and when I saw three to go it crushed me. My energy was dissapearing fast and soon I was in 12th all alone. I started going slower and slower so I didn't crash again. It hurts. With 1/2 lap to go another guy caught me and I tried to drop him a few times, but I couldn't and he easily outsprinted me. 13th place at the finish.
This was not a course that you could hide on if you were having an off day. I was hoping to feel as good as I did in Chicago or better, but it didn't happen. There are a few reasons why I think this is the case and hopefully I can work on it and be better next year!
The fans were amazing. The pit crew of Tim, Elicia, and Andrea were awesome! I couldn't do it without the support of all my individual sponsors. Thanks everybody for a great season. Time for a vacation!