Jingle Cross is always a tough tough weekend. This year was no different, but it did help that we had amazing weather. Hopefully its never like that again....
After Iceman/Cincinnati & Louisville weekends I wasn't exactly sure where I would be. You can't get in a ton of training with all the time spent driving in the car and recovery has to become more important. So I showed up Friday night feeling pretty good.
The race started and I could tell maybe I was a little too fresh...in fact maybe I was a little stale. I watched as the lead group rode away during the first 1/4 of a lap and there was nothing I could do. Before the finish of Lap 1 Tim Johnson had crashed out. Half way through Lap 2 I found myself riding Mt. Krumpet and riding through the group of 6th - 10th who were off their bikes and running. I descended Mt. Krumpet at mock speed to find myself in no mans land. The lead group was long gone and nobody was behind me. I made the decision that chasing hard would not be in my best interest for energy reserves that needed to be saved for Sundays C1 race. I rode conservatively the rest of the lap and then Cody Kaiser latched on to my wheel. Same thing though next time up the climb...he was running and I was riding and putting 10 second into him per lap. We continued this pattern until the end of the race when Alan Krughoff started catching back and we had to push the pace a little more...I finished 5th
Saturday was a little bit of a deeper field with a few guys who couldn't make the Friday night race in attendance. I had a great jump off the line, but again the first 1/4 lap saw me getting gapped off the lead group and riding in a spot where I was not really happy. I did most of the race in 10th position and towards the end was able to catch and drop Candelario, Shriver, and Krughoff. I finished 7th
Sunday was the big race, with the big points, and the big money. I did a much better warm up on my new Saris trainer, but was feeling the fatigue of the previous 2 days. With a little Shot of caffeine I was on the start line for the 7th time in just over a 2 week time frame. This time I had the mental strength I needed to fight. My Trek Cronus was rocking...its amazing how much better a bike can feel when you are confident. I was crushing the hard climb up Mt. Krumpit and bombing the downhills. After a Lap I was with the lead group and the sat up into the wind...so I took my chances and went to the front. Maybe not the smartest move to pull into the wind, but hey - you gotta give it a go if you get the opportunity. Timmy J attacked me in the muddy section before the fly-over and Mt. Krumpit. I was hurting a little from pulling into the wind. I drifted from 2nd position to 7th up the climb so I could stay within myself. The gaps opened on the descent on the chase was on. Tristan did the majority of the hard work with Driscoll sitting on his wheel. Next time up the climb I just latched onto the lead group again. I pretty much did the same multiple laps and was just dangling off the group. I suffered but was rewarded with another top 5 finish and some valueable UCI points.
Now its break time. A little rest a little recovery and then Portalnd, North Carolina, and Chicago. Thanks for reading and a huge thanks to all who kicked off the holiday season in style at Jingle Cross!