Sunday, November 04, 2012

blood, sweat & cyclocross: mid-season review

It has been a really good cyclocross season so far. 11 races in, one podium and some good competitive racing overall. Frank Overton, owner of Fascat Coaching, has me going pretty good this year. Not much junk mileage, good structure and recovery has me feeling pretty confident in my fitness. Was disappointed at the USGP wknd in Ft. Collins once agin, raced pretty hard each day but finished 21st both days. Not quite my top 15 goal. Then at the UCI Boulder wknd races, the CO Cross Classic and the Boulder Cup, I again came up short of my top 10 goals there. The first day out at the Rez I was pretty flat but was having fun battling hard with Keller and Wisner. Rode decent last lap for 14th. On Sunday out at Valmont the mud tacked up nicely and we were once again treated to a fairly buff, high-speed venue. Rode really well for about 45min, but in the last half-lap I faded from 9th to 11th by the finish. Doh!

15+ years of mountain bike and 'cross racing has taught me well. Well enough to know it's not all about the results, though they sure help! My mindset is good, I have a freakin' blast every time I pin on a number, and after every single race this season, as soon as I cross the line I think about the next race. With two sets of A race wknds behind me (USGPs, and UCI Boulder wknd), my remaining goals revolve around State Championships (8a for 35+?!) and the overall Colorado Cross Racer Cup standings. A top 10 at States or Top 5 overall in the Cup standings would be really nice.

Yesterday out at Prairie Center in Brighton was a surprisingly fun course. Lots of dirtwork, a super legit flyover, some power sections and some tricky corners had me loving the course during warm-up. Holeshot and then settled into 3rd place for most of the race. On the hill leading up to the finish line, right before hearing the bell lap I dropped my chain. Instantly went to 6th as Faia, Ward and Tarkington all rolled buy. Threw the chain on and got right back into the race, with a sole goal of holding on to 6th for the finish. Had a good sized gap on 7th place behind me, so knew I just had to ride smart and smooth and it would be no problemo. Heading into the stairs on far side of the course, I crashed going pretty hot into the first stair. Dropped my chain, threw it back on only to have a spectating junior tell me that my rear brake pad was jammed below the rim sidewall. Thanks kid! After fixing that up, I was back in the teens and had to swallow some of my own poisonous words before hopping back on to finish the race in 17th. Bummer! After the finish I walked over to FirstAid and was lucky to get well attended to by a volunteer EMT from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Thank you for cleaning up my wounds. Was great to see Mary Topping out shooting pics, she came by to chat and snapped the photo below. Check out Mary's great work on her ProVelo Passion blog. Mary is also a big part of Golden's Local Organizing Committe (LOC) for the Golden stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
She loves cycling and it shows!

Gonna take a week off from racing, headed out to Moab with the family next week. Looking fwd to red rock scenery and enjoying some trails with Helen & Alina. And really stoked to ride Mag7 again, esp with my new Fox DOSS dropper post! Training has been fun, and "easy" in that it's almost all been outside in nice weather. It is November however, with Breck opening next Friday, so I am ready for some real snow to stay, and for some great skiing!

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