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!
Mills and I tag-teaming it with 1 to go. Alder leading Colton in chase.
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.
The last week has been a blast of work from school. I didn’t get down to Colorado Springs for the USAC cross race on Sunday. Partially because my back wasn’t feeling awesome after a long ride with the CSU hoodlums Saturday and partially because I wanted to get some homework done and hang out with Dylan for his 21st b-day.
So, now I’m trying to get ahead on my HW before I head to Louisville, KY for the third round of the USGP of CX. This should be a great weekend. The weather is looking warm and dry for this weekend, a big change from my last race, which was 4 weeks ago here in Fort Collins. Training has been good, but with the racing here not really lining up with my school work and training I haven’t been able to take a start in a race. It isn’t an all badthing either since I will be spending much of the next 2 months living out of my suitcase and my double-bike-box.
After this weekend in KY, I’ll have 5 days in Fort Collins. Then home for family time and I’m doing a Bubba Memorial CX race, a race series that was formed as “the only cyclocross series in memorial of a not-yet-dead-dog.” After the Thanksgiving festivities I’m heading to Iowa City for the Jingle Cross races. Then back to Fort Collins for a few weeks of school and racing. I still need to make sure I get in a Collegiate CX race after Jingle Cross so that I am eligible for Nationals. Then wrapping up school, and flying back home.
Hopefully, I remember to take some good video from this weekend. Then over the Thanksgiving break I’ll get around to editing everything I took from Collegiate MTB Nats too and I’ll get some more entertaining material on here.
Cross is hard work for a lot of people. Every team on he circuit has a whole clan of workers and groupies. Almost, a Cross Circus, if you will. I’m lucky enough to be on a team where we may not have the largest team of mechanics but we have a big team of riders who are all willing to help one another. Which, is awesome because we’re all better friends because of it, but it makes the days at the races that much longer.
Bill looking on from the pit during Day 2.
Tom Price and Bill work their tails off from the beginning of the weekend to the end. Plus they both raced and pretty well at that! My body’s still a bit worn down from the weekend myself, and I didn’t work as much as either of the those boys.
I don’t think I’ll be racing for a week or two now. My back is still not 100% from the herniated disc and stress fractures. I was still supposed to be resting last weekend, but I had been training for a week and half and felt great. Not the best test, but I didn’t care. The race was in Fort Collins, and I couldn’t miss it.
Now, I’ll get some real time on my new Fuji Bikes and be flying by the time the Louisville USGP rolls around. Can’t be more excited to be back doing some real CX training!
Images credited to Mountain Moon Photography
The second day of the New Belgium Cup here in Ft. Collins promised to be TOTALLY different course conditions for every field throughout the day. For the races early in the morning we had mud in the corners and fast straight-aways, a huge change from our bone-dry and bumpy course the day before.
I got to the course and Tom had both bikes dialed and ready to rip the course. For the first time I was able to race on the new Challenge Limus mud tire. I had a front row start again today, pretty awesome being able to get clipped in and ride my own race from start-to-finish.
I was second on the hole-shot and held position for the first climb before dropping the leader and then looking back to see him picking himself up off the ground. I rode solo for for the next couple of laps, but my back started to seize when I saw 3 laps to go. The winner from yesterday was gaining quickly and took 10 seconds out of my lead in one lap.
Chasing in 2nd
I suffered to hold the leaders wheel when he came past, but managed to at least get a bit of a pull from him. The next person to come by was the Boulder Cycle Sport rider and him and I battled until 1/2 lap to go and I fell apart at the seams.
I punched it to hold 3rd from a hard-charging 4th place. My parents said that I won the popularity contest for people screaming my name on the tape. The MidWest Trek guys, the FCCT guys, and the smattering of Rams Cycling Guys were a huge support out there.
I’m wrecked after today. I was the earliest race for the team at 9:30 this morning. So I woke up at 7, got embro’d up and rode down to the course. You can’t beat having a UCI weekend in your backyard. I can literally go out my back door and ride bike path all the way to the venue. It was a long day working for the KCCX / Fuji presented by Challenge crew. Did lots of powerwashing.
The course didn’t get any moisture before my race so it was just as bumpy as ever. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with the dust, but I’m sure our 60+ person field churned it up. I started front row. I was 2nd into the hole shot and then took over for the descent, only to slam my saddle on the run-up and have to pit. Not an ideal start but in less than a lap I was back to the front and attacked our group of 4. Our small lead group would let a rider go then we’d close it down and this went on for a while. I ate it into the barriers on lap 3 of 5. Picked myself up and ran over the railroad ties, only to hear people yelling “your pedal!”
Not the time I lost my pedal, but it was at this run-up on the course.
My pedal had pulled out of my crank arm, which is what caused my crash too. I had a temporary slip of composure but I put myself back together and ran it up to the pit from the bottom of the hill. Got back on my A bike and finished out the race. Mostly just stayed in control but with 1 to go I ran into Brian Holcombe (VeloNews) and it was game on again. We took it to the line swapping blows the entire lap. I ended up edging him out by a wheel. 17th on the day. Better tomorrow.
The battle between Brian and myself during the final lap was AWESOME.
There’s a lot going on right now in the land of LVB. Well I should say that there is as much going on as possible without any actual cyclocross racing taking place, yet. Though I’ve learned plenty of times that the preparation and lead into ‘cross is much more stressful than actually racing. Luckily,running the CSU Rams Cycling team is much less stressful than it was 3 weeks ago, and that’s all thanks to the help I have with the team. I’m lucky enough to have about 4 people on the email list that I can count on to get all these little projects done. So, that I can handle “Big Picture issues,” insert Michael Scott voice here.
This weekend will be my racing debut (finally) with KCCX/Fuji 2011. Which is awesome, but I’ve yet to finish building either of my Fuji race bikes. Luckily, I think that teammate (and temporary roommate) Joseph is going to try and get my back-up bike running today so that I can take it out to the AIC Cross Ride tonight. Its kind of a scramble, but when your physical therapist says your spine is healed enough that you can race, you hurry and up get READY TO RACE. On top of the bike building shenanigans I’m also trying to coordinate our CSU Cycling Team Sock fundraiser. We’re selling a pair of CSU team issue socks and a raffle ticket for $10!!! The ticket will be worth some great prizes down the road as we continue to sell them leading into our Spring Fling Fundraiser. Which means I need to get a Silent Auction / Fundraiser organized by then… I shouldn’t let people know what I’m thinking, then noone would know what to expect.
O, and I just volunteered to get a tattoo reading, “Ram It!” if the team sells all 120 pairs of socks. Again, I shouldn’t be allowed to speak. Stay tuned for updates from the USGP of CX races here in Fort Collins, and I’ll try to get a video going too.