The 2 weeks at home was really huge though...lots of training and more importantly lots of rest. I left home on Thursday with the crew from Trek to head to Iceman. We arrived just in time for an awesome dinner with the Buermans and the Masseys at Traviso's. Friday was the standard pre-ride from Williamsburg Rd w/ Trav & Chloe.
Race day was also pretty much standard operating procedure. It started with a fresh layer of snow on the ground. A good breakfast at the Grand Traverse and a long wait for the 2:30 start time.
The race itself was great. I felt awesome and prepared about as good as possible. I had a good start. I was never in trouble. My bike was perfect. - TREK Elite 9.9 w/ 26" wheels. 2.0 XR2 tire in the front and 2.2 XR1 in the rear. Full confidence in the sand and the mud! Old school!
Game on started really late this year in the race. Kabush made the first hard move and Troy Wells was quick to close it down. The group of 10 or 11 was starting to shatter on the last few rollers of the Vasa trail. With less than 2k to go I was starting to hurt a little and didn't have the punch to battle for the last singletrack section. I went into the woods in 4th wheel. Coming out of the singletrack Mike A pedaled .001 seconds too early and slipped just a little in the mud. I went around him and crushed it up the final IceBreaker climb to close the gap. Unfortunately that didn't leave much for a kick in the final 300 meters. It was really a race to the last left hand turn because after that there was no passing. I tried, but I think my brain was experiencing some major oxygen deficit and I just couldn't get around Sam & Geoff. All and all pretty happy with another Iceman podium!
|post race interview w/ Michigan Youth Cycling|
Before I knew it I was lined up again but this time on skinny tires. I knew I felt great as soon as I started to pedal around with Tristan during warm up. I was a little bummed to get #9 thinking I would be on the 2nd row, but luckily someone wasn't present and I got a front row spot. I took full advantage of the front row and easily sat 2nd wheel the entire first lap. I went to the front a few times and was racing really strong as the lead group was dwindling from 10 or 11 guys to 7. Then I crashed...pretty hard too, on a pavement crossing that was more like ice from the mud that was being dragged across. My shoe buckle broke and I thought I was done for...I could hardly pull up on the pedals, but I had to close the gap and get back in contact with that lead group. 1/2 lap later I made contact and on the start finish stretch I was able to somewhat fix the buckle. I went right back to 2nd or 3rd wheel as I didn't want to get spit out the back when things started lighting up. Then with 4 to go Zach took a pretty good spill and I was gapped off again. I closed the gap again, but right as I made contact the fireworkds started and I had to sit on Berden's wheel as he let the top 3 ride away. I think we were both hurting. Zach eventaully caught us with 2 to go and with 1 to go they opened up a small gap that turned to 5 seconds by the end of the lap. I sat up in the final straight to finish 6th.
Now I'm in Athens OH healing up from my crash at Mom and Dad's house and getting ready for the USGP in Louisville this weekend. Huge thanks to everyone who has played a part.