Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom I'm Changing Majors!

Two Part Post - Wisconsin State CX Championship Race Report and some news!

News: Mom I'm Changing Majors!

Well it's official folks, for next year I have decided to tailor my studies to major in Cyclocross with a minor in Road Racing. I just love cross so much more, it only makes sense for me. I'll just be starting my training a little bit later this winter and enjoy some more varied sport time (read rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, and anything else that I do to stay off the trainer) before base building. Racing will start in June instead of March with Quad Cities in Illinois, but then I'll be staying local for a few select Dairyland and Superweek races to tune the engine for CX season.

Race Report:

It all came together. The morning of rituals, breakfast, the warm up, all went perfectly today. 3rd row start, which was not exactly where I wanted to be, but I was on the inside lane and got clipped in immediately. Shot up the inside and got to fourth wheel for the first corner. A little too much hesitancy (I really don't know if that's a word, but I'll roll with it) from a couple of riders in front of me in the corners let Nate Labecki (EXPO Racing Junior) slipped away almost immediately. Them damn juniors.

I moved up pretty quickly on Lap 1 to second wheel after a couple crashes from 2nd and 3rd place riders, who I was in a group with. Biffed the uphill double barrier re-mount on Lap 1; just missed the pedals enough not to get clipped in and started loosing momentum. Lucky for me 3rd, 4th and 5th place fellas were still there, so I used one of them as a post and leaned on him with my shoulder to get situated. Thanks guy!

Picked up the two spots I had lost fairly quickly on the straights coming into and out of the start finish and for the next two laps I maintained 2nd place with a slight gap. I was getting word on the course that Nate Labecki (EXPO) was 14 seconds ahead of me with one to go and was making mistakes (later found to be that he crashed several times).

Bell Lap and I was starting to slow slightly. I got passed by Travis Gruchow somewhere before the finish coming into the bell lap - maybe the uphill barriers? So I'm now sitting 3rd and chasing 2nd. Legs are getting heavy, but lucky for me there were several dedicated MWI Superfans on course cheering me on. Couldn't have turned the pedals any faster without their support.

I mustered up my last bits of energy to close the gap on Travis in 2nd and was coming hot into a right - left greasy chicane. Braking, braking, braking..... too much speed! Oh chican't! Went down and was passed immediately by Marc Ano (IL). Got up, mounted my steed, but wait! I can't ride with my bars twisted 70 degrees off center! Pounded them back and off I went again.

I knew two guys were breathing down my neck, Larry Gundlach (MadCity Velo) and Jesse Collins-Davies (MAGNUS), so I had to play tactically. I knew Larry has got a great kick in open sections, so I needed to make him tired before the finishing straight. I went hard into every technical corner and then scrubbed nearly all my speed in the apex before sprinting out. Making it twice as hard for Larry and Jesse to come back up to me. I attacked the climb and threw caution to the wind on the twisty decent. Larry was still tight on my wheel over the barriers, but he choose to run the hill instead of remounting. I nailed the remount and was to the next corner before he was on his steed, but he caught me again when my front wheel started to go out from under me on the uphill off chamber section. Played tactical again through all the trees as I was in front still. Hard in, nearly full on stop and sprint out. Four more times. I thought I had him.

Over the foot bridge for the finishing straight and I'm givin' her all that's left. Shifting, down in the drops, I feel someone coming around on my right, Larry. 25m left to the line and we're rubbing shoulders and bumping elbows. Got 'em. Nope. Pipped at the line. 5th Place (4th if you exclude Marc Ano from Illinois).

This year has been excellent for me. Totally found my niche with cross. Many thanks go out to the whole MWI Team and Sponsors for their support this season. I may not have had this awesome of an experience without them.

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