Monday, September 16, 2013

From Frazzled to Five Timer at The Fat Tire

WOW - Can't be much happier than I am right now after the weekend up in the Northwoods.  I think I race well up there because its so relaxing.  It's just my kinda place...

3 bikes - 1 cross race???
 2 weeks ago my cyclocross bikes started to arrive.  I was pumped and thought I would be able to get them together in time for a local race before the real season starts.  In short...I did, but I didn't and it was really really frustrating.  Lots of small issues turned into a major cluster of a day, however I managed to throw 3 bikes on the roof and make it across town for the first WCA race which was luckily in Sheboygan.  I won, but it was one of my hardest efforts of the season.  I had issues with both cross bikes(this years and lasts) and had to switch to my mtn bike for the finish, but even had issues with that after building it that morning from Grand Junction.

Lk G rock drop

After the ugliness on Sat I wasn't that confident heading into Sundays WORS race.  I had fixed the issues with the MTB(saddle about 1" too low) and was ready to give it another go.  I had a good start and mentally was back in the game.  Physically however I wasn't in top form.  I was already dehydrated from Saturdays cross race in the upper 80's and although the temps were low at Lk Geneva I was drenched in sweat from the humidity.  I was riding well technically, but the legs were starting to cramp.  Tristan attacked on the last climb and with CHEQ looming I was not willing to go too deep and risk major cramps.  I settled for 2nd.

I think the craziness of the weekend forced me to realize I really needed to rest up for 7th weekend in a row of racing.  During the rest something flipped mentally and I became hungry for the win!  I dropped everything and was fully focused on doing it right.

We drive up Friday morning like always.  The lady at the Phillips Subway coughed on my freaked me out.  We arrived and joined up with Tyler G and crew for a pre-ride.  All standard.  We stayed in a new hotel, but it was much improved of the traditional place we used to choose.  I shined up my Superfly 100 after the preride, we had a homemade meal Andrea cooked and brought up with us.  She is awesome.  All was perfect.

Race morning was also pretty standard.  Some coffee, some oats, some granola.  I tried not to eat as much as stomach was a little full at the start of Grand Junction and I didn't like that feeling.  Had a great warm up with Trav and told him I was mentally ready.  He said something like - sometimes that what it just have to will your way thru things -  Awesome that it worked out the way it did...
Cheq Start - Calm before the Storm

The race started pretty standard until the quads took off around corners number 1 and Cole House stood to accelerate and broke his chain.  Of course mixed emotions going thru my head already.  Cole is a great rider and for sure was my biggest competition.  I hated to see him go out, but at the same time I was already mentally preparing for drastically different race tactics, and was now putting even more pressure on myself to win.

RACC Rocking thru Rosies
Things were slow thru Rosies field.  That was fine by me.  I stayed at the front and stayed safe.  I finally looked back after the first few rollers and realized the lead group was 150 guys...uh oh.  So I put in a hard effort and followed by Jason McCartneys hard effort we were down to 12.  Pretty standard from there across OO and then it got crazy.  Around a right hander on the Birkie Trail a quad high sided and took out 4 or 5 guys including Trav and Michael Olheiser.  I couldn't beleive it...I was pretty mad because earlier in the race the quads were screwing around on the leadout....totally not cool.  We slowed things up and let the guys who crashed latch back on, but then immediately another crash.  Then I got scared.  Something weird was happening and I needed to get to the front and go a little to avoid this section of carnage.

By the time we hit firetower I'm guessing the lead group was 8 or 9 guys.  I climbed pretty good up firetower.  Started in 5th at the bottom and finished the top in 3rd wheel.  I was ready for the birkie, but was getting some cramps.  Not good.  Luckily when we started pedaling hard they went away.  JMAC put in some short attacks, but nothing ever snapped the group too bad.  5 Over the top of the Birkie, but guys were latching back on down Telemark Rd.

Cresting the final climb.
I knew it was coming down to the last few climbs.  I stretched things out on one of the final descents.  Trav came around and attacked to the final few climbs.  He was leading into the last climb and ripped that left hander to instantly gain 10ft.  I was pumped and thought he would win.  I was following JMAC ready to counter if JMAC bridged to Trav.  Half was up the hill JMAC dumped 3 or 4 gears and had to sit down.  I went around him and sensed a swarm so pedaled hard.  Trav must have been fading on the top half of the climb because I went around him pretty fast and instantly knew win #5 was in the books. Chequamegon Winner again!

After the finish I was pumped to hear that Momentum Endurance riders also went 1,2 in the short and fat.  Won the short and fat single speed.  Then we watched Chloe come across the line in 1st and Andrea in 10th.  Couldn't have been any more perfect for me!  Super impressed by Trav's never give up ride of the day!

Again very proud of Andrea who had been having a killer season.  There are some really fast girls up at CHEQ and for her to score a top 10 two years in a row is pretty great.

Chequamegon Victory  #5 
My 29er!!!  Superfly 100 was flawless all day.  It's definitely the right bike for the race.

Next up:  CHINA!  Ha - Can't believe that one...better get to work.

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