Monday, January 21, 2013

Last Hurrah

CX Nationals.  The last race of the year.  After a pretty solid race on day 2 in Chicago I was confident I had the form and fitness for a good result at Nationals.  I didn't have much pressure on myself for the race because I wasn't about to let an entire season of hard work and good results hinge on one race.  So I think I was in a good mindset all week.

On Friday I went to the race course to watch Elicia race, but I chose to leave my bikes at home.  I knew the conditions were going to be ever changing and didn't see much point in thrashing the bikes before Sundays race.  I made the right decision.  I had a blast watching Elicia race.  She finished 5th in some pretty nasty conditions.  Not bad for a California Girl!!  After the race I went over to Machinery Row for a pre-race meet and greet w/ a bunch of the other pro racers and lots of WI superfans.  It was a pretty cool atmosphere!

Saturday I opted to stay at home, get in a good quality ride, and watch the Packers play...too bad they got crushed by the Niners.

Race day.  The frigid temps arrived.  The drive over started w/ about 2" of solid ice all over everything on the Lakeshore.  It was about 20 degrees.  We made the 2 hour drive over to Madison and pulled in the parking lot like rockstars.  It helps to be local and to have the support of Trek!

I went out and got in a few laps on the course and even though it was 20 degrees the course was thawing out with the sun shining.  The frozen ruts were getting softer which was awesome because it was really bumpy, the bikes were caking w/ mud then freeezing which was not awesome.  Bikes quickly were pushing 35-40lbs w/ half of the weight being frozen mud.  Nothing you can do in conditions like that though except laugh and perservere.

By the time we raced the sun had gone down and in my opinion the conditions were about as ideal as one could hope for with the temps still in the 20's and wind chill in the single digits.  I dressed perfectly for the race which I was happy about.  My bikes worked pretty darn good  considering the elements.  I had times that the shifting and brake lines were frozen, my pedals/shoes froze up everytime you had to dismount to get over the barriers, and the worst was probably my freewheels freezing up which would cause my chain to slack and then fall off...that happened twice...luckily pretty close to the pits. 

Everyone was having some issues and the people who did the best worked out those issues and kept charging.  Congrats to JP on the win.  Much deserved.  I had a good start, but a few early crashes and issues had me pretty far back after 2 laps.  I started to find a rhythm 20 minutes into the race.  Towards the end I was picking off groups of 2 and 3 per lap.  I finished 12th.  I was charging on the top 10 when I dropped my chain one last time and lost site of Wicks, who ended up sprinting Isaac for 10th.  My pit crew was awesome, Karl, Jake, and Tim.  It was pretty sweet having 3 guys who were really pumped to be in trenches fighting every inch of the way with me.

In the end not the result I wanted or was capable of, but it was the best I could do right at that given time.  The season itself was a success with better and more consistent results than ever.  Thanks everyone for all the support.  Already looking forward to 2013!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Relaxed New Year & CCC

Welcome to 2013!  We rang in the New Year like most with Dick Clark in Times Square.  It was pretty sweet this time around watching it on the 13" tv up at the Cabin in Eagle River!  I remember many many year watching Dick Clark over at Andy's house in the old neighborhood!  I think I'm getting old now though....I was watching Justin Beiber and The Wanted and I thought they were aweful.  I laughed a little when Pitbull came on, but it was definitely the best when they showed highlights of Madonna, Donna Summer and M.J. rockin' old school w/ Dick Clark.
first ski in 3 years

We spent the weekend pretty low key up in the River.  I left the bikes at home and brought the XC ski's and the winter boots for some skating and a rocky style run through some deep snow...I think it did the trick because I raced alright this past weekend at the NYR in Chicago.

I had the best CX Superfans of the weekend!
Day 1 I wasn't sure what to had been a while since I last raced.  I had been training in a 2 square mile radius area and was getting over a head cold for most of the 2 weeks after North Carolina.  I did a short warm up with no real effort to save all my energy for the race itself.  Unfortunately I didn't have the legs I had the year before, but I wasn't really expecting to either.  I had some issues in the first 2 laps and fell as far back as 15th place, but once I got things square I was ready to start moving forward and finished 8th.

Hoping to battle with this crew again next weekend.
Day 2 was much better.  I was still pretty relaxed about things.  No structured warm up, just out testing tires and tire pressure.  I fought my way to the lead group and then was pretty much there the rest of the race.  Marion and Driscoll rolled off as we were playing cat and mouse and we never saw them again.  With 2 to go Tim J blasted an attack and I responded, but it was 1% more than I could handle.  I ended up riding w/ Yannick as Page and Johnson took 6 seconds out of us per lap in the last 2 ronde's.  I had just enough left in the tank to hold a 2-3 seconds gap over Yannick to the finish line for a top 5.

Final recap of 2012.  WORS Champ & Podium at all 3 Triple Crowns.  Solid CX results all season long.  10,350 miles on the bikes 645 hours.  Lots of travel and lots of fun!  Can't wait to have another great season in 2013...things started good in Chicago...hopefully the trend continues in Madison next weekend!