So I see it's been a while since the last post and there are a variety of reasons but mostly I've been uninspired so blogging was put on the back burner.
So a little rewind. After the DK my left knee decided to wig out and my riding came to a screeching halt for the better part of a month...in that month I managed about an hour of trainer time to see if I could ride and of course the answer was HELL NO!!! At this point my march toward CX season was put on hold indefinitely. The plan there was to start build that foundation in July and August and come out swinging in September...needless to say this did not happen.
With a ton of stretching, foam rolling and the like I was able to get out and ride, which was better than nothing but I wanted to put down some power but my knee wouldn't allow it...so "just riding" is what I did until September.
In the "down time" I decided it was time to build a traditional CX machine. Which I did, mostly out of curiosity, I wanted to see if the similar riding position to my road bike would produce more speed...as of now the verdict is still out on that one. Here's a pic, It was complete but not dial in by any means...hence the bars being rotated up...
Moving on...so with a new bike and the ability to "train" again I started the march towards a good CX season...I had decent fitness going into this period but zero intensity, so I was a little nervous when it came time to do intervals. To my surprise they weren't as bad as I thought, actually easier than I anticipated!! BONUS!!!
On to the first race of the season the Buffalo Bill CX...
It was either up or down...not good for me and my low fitness level but race I did. The race went ok, I could tell the depth wasn't there but I wasn't disappointed, after all I want to be going good now not back in September!!
The next race was the Oakley Night Cap in Des Moines.
I highly recommend this race to EVERYONE!! I had a good week of training going into this race but still not where I wanted to be...stupid knee!!! Anyway, I had a good ride and managed a 5th, even with a knuckle head t-boning me 3 turns into the race and eating a bug about a minute later...those 2 incidents had me loose contact with 1st and 2nd...it also helped me burn a match or 2 trying to get back to 2nd wheel...it was fun and I will go back!!
Next up was a race in St Joe.
I knew this race would be tough due to hills but it was a well thought out track and it had 2 sections of single track. Combine that with some mud and you have a good CX course...for skinny people!! Anyway, I managed a good start and got the hole shot because I DID NOT want to be behind anyone going into the singletrack...I ended up 4th on the day, the hills finally beat me down...a good effort nonetheless.
2 days of Joules Cross was next...
These races were a good barometer of where I am compared to some really fast guys...I gotta say I was a little bummed at how I did but was happy at the same time knowing the knee setback will pay off at some point in the near future. Part of my problem was a lot of climbing once again...oh well...I still had decent races on the weekend.
The Colavita/Boulevard CX weekend was up next. On Saturday I scored a big fat DNF...due to my freehub seizing...LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME!!!!!!!!! I was in 3rd at the time and the 3 of us were riding away from the field and I was feeling good!!!
On Sunday I was out for redemption and was going to go blind trying...which I did!! I managed to finally get on the podium in 2nd.
I think I might have been able to fight it out for 1st but I started really hard and kept the hammer down too long and paid for it...oh well...I do it at least once a year!
And finally the GP HPT...
At the gun I got the hole shot, I was a little worried about this because my starts aren't as good on the new cx machine but I managed to get there first anyway. As we entered the dirt track for the first time I eased up and let a guy on a dual suspension mtb that was determined to lead the race take hold of the reins. I got in the draft and recovered.
I decided to follow the mtb through the infield grass because it was technical enough that no one was going to come around but once we hit the dirt track again I drilled it and took the lead. I guess my pace was good enough to ride away from all but one and after one lap there was at least 15 seconds to 3rd and growing.
On to the 3rd lap. I decided it was time for Travis (the guy that finished 2nd) to take up the pace making. At first this was a good idea, but with a few small bobbles here and there and Travis accelerating hard out of the turns it was starting to backfire. A small gap opened up but I managed to close it down before it got too big. At this point I decided I need to be in front and make him race my race.
As we left the dirt track and headed for the steps over the wall Travis kinda fumbled his dismount and I took advantage of it, got back on the front and drilled it. He eventually got back to my wheel but had to earn it. This is the way it stayed until the last lap.
As we entered the dirt track for the last time I kept the pace high enough that he wouldn't come around and protected the inside line on top of that which worked until we hit the last stretch of dirt track that lead to the outside. Travis launched an attack and the drag race was on to the next turn. Initially he got a half a bike on me I grabbed a gear to even it up and once I realized he had no more I clicked 2 more and took the lead again and got to the next turn first.
From then on, about a half lap, I turned the screws and kept the pace high. I knew at that point it was going to be a sprint for the line. As we came to the last complex of turns, I made sure I was in the big ring well in advance of the last turn. Once we hit that it was a head down drag race to the line and I got him by about a half bike length.
I never really suffered until late In the race and that was my doing to make Travis suffer too, even then there was still enough in the tank to get the win!
It's been a while since I've had to race wire to wire, it made the win that much better!!!
That was a lot of writing...now you know!!