Saturday, December 13, 2008

masters nationals cyclocross 2008

..Master’s Nationals has come and gone. In some ways it is a relief and in others I can't wait for next year. It was killer… everything was perfect. I fell in love again with cross.... tons of cow bell... my dad made the trip from Iowa... my wife was there... Ken Lefler....from Iowa city and tons of other...friends were screaming.... it was rad!

First... I must say if you had to a design a course that screamed my name.... well Kansas did. Tons of climbing. TONS... Not very technical.... the way cross should be.... and DRY....( just my opinion) I love the mud...but race better when it’s tacky. It was super tacky.... you’d could have ridden road tires and been OK. The day before it was so muddy you had to walk most of the course. Today the WIND picked up to 30+ MPH and dried it out fast. IT was perfect. ALMOST like riding SLICK Rock in Moab.

So standing at the start..... I wanted to make some excuses ……but had none. Front row... Perfect course and weather.... Ok I was super sick this week.... but felt great... I took a Z-Pack... and felt like a crisp $100 bill.

The start went well... not great.... I was off the LINE fast, but didn't get on the gas hard enough and went into the first corner in 10th... I needed to PANIC and didn't. I knew there was a ton of climbing coming up and thought I would be OK.... Big mistake. It was the only thing I did wrong. I normally think it is best NOT to PANIC.... BUT when Andy Macaroni & CHEESE.....
is there and the wind is blowing 20+ MPH.... I needed to be in the front group... I was 5 meters back. I felt great... I was in 10th or something.... I jumped on the gas on the climb and moved up a few spots but was on the tail end of 3 0r 4 guys. We were riding hard, but they were riding harder and faster. I topped out solo in our group but just couldn't get across. They hammered the downhill..... and opened it up a bit.... I soloed down and got caught by a group of 3. The next time up the climb I hammered it hard. 100%.... I was able to ride away from the riders that came across….. and catch and drop one of the guys from the front but was in 4th.... over the climb and was 15 seconds back.
Yankee Doodle dandy… was way!!!!!!!!! off the front…….2 guys were in front of me…. And 4 chasing. I did everything I could to get across the gap…. I just couldn’t. I was in limbo for 30 minutes…. I felt great … the problem was that the guys in front of me…..were just as fit as me. Ali Goulet made the split early and wasn’t about to give me an inch….. I literally threw the kitchen sink at it and I couldn’t close it down. The last time up the climb I BROKE myself. Everything.... I brought it down to 12 or so..... Not good enough.... They were gone. I wasn't going to catch them on the down hill... I had a huge gap.... I enjoyed the last 1/2 of lap and gave myself a huge pat on the back.... I had a great ride.... I gave it all I had. Congrats to ALI... he road a great race. Congrats to Weston... He killed it also... See you guys next year.

How do you close a gap to riders that are just as good or better? I sat at 12-18 seconds for the entire race. I was able to open up a nice gap on 5th…. but I really wanted to get across to the Weston and Ali… I sold my SOLE several times ..But I just couldn’t get across.
Overall I felt great and raced great. .........I was certainly in the hunt today and it felt great. If you get rid of the Noodle I was right there. It felt great. Tons of hard work and I could tell it paid off. To be only 15 seconds back most of the race from 2nd…. For me is incredible. A small part of me wishes I would have gotten across on the first lap. But to be honest... if I could have.. I would have..... and I didn't....

BUT damn…. Today was a great day…Oh how I wished I had my A.K…..