Well that was a quick little trip, with very little to show for the whole thing except some time with my team and family.
I flew into Louisville on Friday afternoon, went straight to the course, built my “B” bike and headed out for a couple of laps with Joseph. The course was ripping FAST! Lots of open straights to rev the throttle up, and lots of fun, twisty, pump-tracky sections too.
My race was early Saturday, and thanks to a lack of rain or bad weather I didn’t have to deal with the added stress of rebuilding everything on my bikes in a hotel room. I was able to get up Saturday morning and take my time getting ready as Behind the Barriers played in the background. The course was essentially the same as it was the day before. No change in the moisture levels or anything. I took the start in 3rd row, about 20 riders back in a 140 riderfield. I got a bad start and came off the pavement further back than where I started… Not how I usually roll. I started moving up a few riders at a time, but came to a complete stop at the bottom of the Stanley Fly-Over. Then I flew, passing several riders going through the sand as I used my bike as a wrecking ball. I jumped around 5 more guys in the stretch on the backside of the course, and was posed in 2nd. Then a rider attacked, I let him go, and he proceeded to ride away and take the win… DOH!
Meanwhile, I was in the first chase-group. 2nd through 6th place all throwing bows in every corner. I was firmly attached to the back, and still feeling confident in my sprint even though I’d been losing speed all day. Teammate Adam Mills was just a bit further up in the group and pushing the pace in a lot of spots on course. Going into the final run/ride up I rode full speed in hopes of dismounting at speed or making it over the top without dismounting at all. Instead, my front wheel hit the bottom of the incline, dug into a softer dirt spot, and I flipped over the bars landing squarely on my back. Alder Martz (Marian University) had been dangling in 7th and capitalized on my crash moving me out of the group chasing a podium spot and into 7th. Not a great end to the day.
Sunday should have been better, but after spending a ton of time trying to limber up after my race, my body was wrecked Sunday morning. My back had been spasm’ing all night, and I was debating what I was even thinking getting kitted up in the hotel room. Once I got on my bike and turned a couple of laps on the course, my back started to feel better and began to think that I could stick it out for the 40 minute race. I got a great start, moved up 20+ spots in the 200m before the first turn, and was sitting in 2nd or 3rd for all of the first lap. Then hell broke loose. I had to dismount twice and get my chain back on, and my back locked up in the process. Pain was shooting down my legs, and I dropped anchor. I probably got passed by 30 people in the last 2 laps. Miserable.