Monday, May 07, 2012

Mixed Feelings

WORS #1 is in the books.  First race of the year and first win of the year!  I am pretty pumped that the training is going good, but the week leading up to the race was one of the hardest yet.  Our dog Rosco had a seizure last Monday morning and we had to take him to the emergency vet at 4:30am.  Tuesday he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he is not doing well.  It was a very emotional week and very hard to even walk out the door to head to Iola.  Luckily the med's he's on have reduced the swelling in his head just enough that he has moments of being the old Rosco, playing Kong and causing trouble!  He was doing well Sunday morning so Andrea opted to skip the race and stay home w/ Rosco and I headed out for a muddy mess....I knew Rosco would have had a blast...he used to love to play in the mud!
Rosco playing Kong & gettin' muddy in Eagle River 2006!
I honestly didn't think Iola was going to get that muddy so I was more concerned about the brand new tires I had just mounted on my bike not holding air.  The front tire was solid, but the rear was down to 15 psi Sunday morning after being at 40psi Saturday night.  I brought Andrea's bike along just in case thinking maybe I would just swap rear wheels.

I arrived at Iola and it was pretty great!  It was like coming home from a long vacation.  I was happy to be back on the race scene.  Friends, coaching clients, Jr. Mtb campers, and competition!  I registered and took a quick look at the course and was pretty surprised at the amount of mud.

Back at the car I wasn't confident with my back tire losing air, nor was I confident with my front tire choice that was holding when in doubt just ride your wife's bike....

Yep it was just easier to swap pedals and take to the start line on an old school (2011 Top Fuel 9.9) bike that was a size too small!  The smaller bike handled awesome in the mud and the beefy Bontrager XR2's were just the ticket!

Don yelled GO and we were off.  Shriver took off from the 3rd row and I was pretty surprised to see Mark Lalonde coming out of retirement and passing me on the first climb from the 5th row!  A little stumble from Shriver and Mark and I got a gap...I think Mark was in shock that with a bit of running, some skills, and just a little hard pedaling we were gapping everybody on the first lap.

The initial shock of race pace hurt me, but I settled down pretty fast.  I was feeling good on the bike and knew I wanted to be at the front.  The group came back together starting lap 2 so I went to the front and went hard for 10 minutes and was alone the rest of the race.  Then I just started having fun and ripping the descents and sliding the bike through the singletrack.  Maybe a little too much fun though as I burped my front tire - stylin too much on some jumps and had to finish the last lap cautiously on 15 psi...good for the flat muddy sections not good for the cornering.

Final thoughts from the race....again it was awesome to get the first race jitters out of the way and come home with a WIN.  I didn't realize this until this morning, but my brand new Bontrager RXL shoes were amazing.  You know a brand new pair of shoes is good when you don't even think about them during a with all that running I learned they are going to be killer come cross season!


Coches Corner: it was a toss up this weekend for my coach's pick of the its a tie.  Congrats to Bill Street for 3rd overall in Comp and congrats to Mike Carney 2nd age group in Sport!  Last weeks coaches Corner was another tie  Congrats to Corey Stelljes who won the Joe Martin Stage 1 TT and to Tom Payn for a 2nd place at the Pontiac Lake TT. 


Anonymous said...

I have been following your career from afar, congrats on the win. So sorry about Roscoe. Have just recently gone threw a similar experience with my 12 year old LAB. Things are going to get harder for you w/regards to Roscoe. Be strong and make sure he doesn't suffer. Time will heal. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about Roscoe, I lost my guy last June, super bummer. Check out the University of Minnesota Vet clinic they are the best in the country. They maybe able help out Roscoe.