November 14, 2011

USGP Kentucky

So sadly I had another poor showing on the cross bike this weekend. Day 1 in Louisville I had a second row start which other than worlds last year is a first for me but I see myself somewhat as a whole shot artist so I figured I could make it to the front quickly. I had a great start and moved from 13th all the way to 4th wheel by the first corner and continued to progress forwards. On a quick S-bend I began to pass a rider just before a large BMX roller that we cross over and sadly I went over it on a higher part and had too much speed. I landed on my front wheel and went over the bars. I got up quickly but discovered my rear derailleur was very badly bent. So I ran about 800m to the pits and switched bikes and then switched back. By then I had lost a gratuitous amount of time and decided to pull the plug on my race. I have only decided to quit once before and it followed the exact same logic, crash-break something-lose minutes-only thing to gain a workout-race next day. So in hopes I would be good for Sunday I stopped racing. Saturday was better however, I was given a front row call up, last but who cares. I went out hard and picked up the whole shot hoping I could dictate how fast we hit the BMX roller. I finally relinquished my lead after having led for about 600m of the course but I now regret it as I got gapped by some better handlers in the wooded section but closed the gap as I got on the pavement to complete 1 lap. In the lead group of 5 I was feeling very comfortable and not feeling at all tired, I was very excited to unleash my attack and see what damage I could inflict but sadly while in 2nd wheel I began sprinting up a steep hill and something happened with my rear wheel, I think it was the hand straightened derailleur hangar in combination with a sand filled drive train that caused my gears to be misaligned but as I put down the watts my chain was a little off and ripped out my back wheel. I stood there, rushed to put my wheel back in and soon discovered my hangar was rebent. With a little ridding I found a good gear that wouldn't skip lower in the cog and just worried about my front rings for the remaining 25 minutes. I made my way back up to a group of 3 that was riders placed 8 through 10. I soon rode by them and progressed to catch the next guy on the road. I never did catch him but I am happy that I managed to finish 8th despite my mechanical problems. I learned a few things this cross season by means of disappointment, always have a spare hangar and how to lose. Next year I want to have two equal bikes because I have nothing but confidence with my Trigon and in year past in road, mtb and cross I have had stupid bike issues but these bikes have been flawless just things breaking due to crashes happens and the difference between a sram red 15 pound carbon bike and 105 2007 kona 20lbs bike is massive. Next year I will make sure I have 2 equal bikes, how good they will be depends on what it will cost but that's the only way to go all out for cyclocross. I am happy with the physical aspect of my performance from the weekend and I know I can duke it out with the best of North America between the tape.

You may of noticed in the news that I have joined Team CHCH and I was surprised it got on any websites! It's a great team where I will get to work closely with my coach, Rick Lee, and a huge group of volunteers and cycling enthousiastes of all ages. Enough of that, just read the press release :P.    

Now a little, well needed, break from racing :) I will make a season re cap once the homework dies down.            

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