Wednesday, July 22, 2009

National Championships Recap

I have always had a love-hate relationship with the national championships and this year did not disappoint. The weekend started off on Friday for me this year with a short day trip up to Sol Vista Ski Basin to pre-ride the course and watch Macky's U23 race. After pre-riding and wishing I had a dual suspension I quickly grabbed my bag and started on the recovery process while watching some awesome racing action.

Unfortunately for Macky it was not quite the race he was hoping for. The climb turned out to be a little long for him and he wasn't able to hold the blistering pace that Robbie Squire and Colin Cares had set.

Back at the car and on my way I was feeling good, though a little tired. I made it home, relaxed with my feet up for the evening and made it an early night for bed.

Saturday morning, up, watching the tour, eating and then loading up the car for the quick drive to Sol Vista. 2 pm start for me today, making it easy to sleep at home in the comfort of my own bed. After spending the morning trying to get my stomach to stop acting up on me I finally got on my bike for a warm up. Even with the stomach being queesy I was feeling good. The legs were light and felt ready to fly. Apparently this was not the case. The 18% starting grade in a mass bunch was quite problematic for my last roll call up. Bars hooked, foot down, and I was only half way up the first pitch. After this I kept trying to push it and really hit the climb hard but the legs were not turning around the way they should have been or were the week before in Winter Park. And then the descent....

I absolutely love my new Yeti A.R.C. It is by far the best hard tail I have ever ridden. Super smooth, super stiff, and spot on geometry for fast mountain bike riding. Unfortunately there are courses out there that prefer dual suspensions in order to ride fast. With moon dust filled braking ruts all the way down the mountain the hard tail was not in the mood to ride downhills fast and was honestly a little frustrating, but that is bike racing.

After racing for 3 laps in an embarassing fashion I was pulled and was able to go sit and watch the rest of the pro men's field continue their rides around the 4 mile course.

Made it back home Saturday evening. Ate some delicious food and then went to bed. Sunday morning rolled around and I was ramped up to race Short Track (odd since I am not a big fan of short tracks ever!). The legs weren't even remotely sore (probably due to only having to race for 3 laps). Only problem was my stomach was worse than the day before. Fortunately I had a left over bottle of coke from Saturday and set about drinking it as Shannon drove up Berthoud Pass.

Feeling better and spinning around for my warm up things were looking good. The course was exceptionally difficult with a LONG climb, something that absolutely suits me in Short Track races. Threw down a few laps, tried riding Adam Craig's wheel down the descent (doesn't work so hot when he is by far one of the best bike handler's in the world and I am still young in bike racing/riding years).

Once again I had a last row call up, but was able to find a wonderful spot on the outside in order to move up quickly. Well the gun goes and all you can say about Short Track is OUCH! Fortunately though I was feeling smoking and was railing up the climbs and riding the descents as smoothly and quickly as possible it is to do on the side of a bumpy ski slope.

Nationals has come and gone once again and now it is time to get back to training and a big trip back east to see how my year at altitude will affect my ability to ride fast at sea level up Mount Snow and up Windham.

Till then.....

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