November 7, 2011

Nationals Weekend

So this was my biggest weekend of racing since worlds 5 weeks ago, the national cyclocross championships. This is a discipline some of you may know I am (was) national champion in. On the start line I got the first call up which is always nice and managed to mess up the whole shot which I am usually a master in, because I assumed we would get a warning but alas we did not. Luckily I was clipped in, not flat footed and reacted quickly enough to grab 4th wheel in the line of 20 riders. Not panicking I held my spot through the woods until the riders behind me decided to run the deep mud on the inside as oppose to riding it on the outside where it was thinner which I tried to do. Now starting to panic I hopped off the bike and was sort of in a 3 man wide tie for 4th position. As we went to hop the log I was farthest left and on the other side of the log in the middle of the path was a large pothole. The rider aimed at it of us three then jumped the log diagonally in my direction, pushing me at speed into another vertical (still living) tree. My wheel hitting the tree propelled my bar/stem into my face turning me away spraying profanities, as some riders told me that I have no memory of, probably too focused! haha. I was holding my balance but it was hard as riders were running into the back of me. I hopped back on to discover my wheel wouldn't turn, problematic. I hopped off, observed my break callipers, fiddled with them, pushed my bike, no luck. I then thought to open my rear skewer and upon pushing down on my seat I discovered that my back wheel was not in properly. With the time it took to fix this, my moments in the haywire of being pinned to a tree and the obvious loss of momentum, a minute was gone. I heard the announcer saying all race I was coming back but sadly I never reached Yohan who was leading. I managed to go from dead last all the way to 3rd place passing 17 riders and still somehow maintaining the 2nd fastest lap times, except for the last lap where I didn't pass anyone and rode the fastest lap of any juniors that day. This was a nice consolation prize, the knowledge I was the fastest rider on the day, but I was still utterly devastated as I crossed the line. This was not how it's supposed to happen! That was my jersey! Devastated I spent the rest of the day moping and irritable. I still congratulated Yohan to be a good sport, but I had feelings of bitterness on how my race unfolded. I look back now and still see my loss as a disappointment but I gained value experience on how to be a better sport and how to better myself to deal with adversities such as this for the future. With anger still in my belly I returned the following day to get my revenge (at the appropriately named Nationals Revenge Race). I knew it would be hard, seeing as Yohan was a master of the technical courses and this was practically a mountain bike course but I managed to prove what I had hoped to do the day before, I won. Early I couldn't drop him I just made sure I was ahead of him in all the cornering areas so he couldn't attack me and after the 20minutes mark I just killed it up every hill and I never saw him again. I learned a lot this weekend and I wish Yohan the best of luck in Europe with the National Jersey as I will not be going to Cyclocross Worlds this season.

Next Weekend The DERBY CUP USGP in Kentucky!

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