Wow, it has been way too long since I last posted. I apologize for my silence, but will now update you all on what I've been up to for the last couple of months...
First, I should mention National Championships. I was hoping to win. I had been racing well and was hoping to get to duke it out with Colin Cares at the front for the all-expense-paid trip to World Championships, but it wasn't meant to be. I ended up starting good and strong and rode the first lap (of 5) with Colin, but after that, I just didn't feel it. My legs felt sluggish and slow and I didn't have the intensity that I should have for that time of year. I ended up finishing 4th (still on the podium - see photo below) after Colin Cares, Robbie Squire, and Stephen Ettinger. I want to congratulate all three of them on a stellar race and I'm just bummed that I wasn't able to give them a bit more competition.After Nationals, I decided to go to the World Cup race in Bromont, Canada because Marc Gullickson, who works for USA Cycling, told me that going to Bromont would improve my chances of getting a spot on the World Championships team, which has been my goal since the beginning of this year.
So I headed home for about a week, then headed to the East Coast for a 3 week cycling adventure (Bromont, Mt. Snow, and then Windham). At the Bromont World Cup (my first World Cup ever and my first time racing in Canada) I finished 80th of 120 or so starters. I was called up almost dead last, so I was pleased with my result because it meant that I passed 30 or so people! The race was completely chaotic because it was raining and muddy, but I had a great time and enjoyed seeing some of my Chilean friends that I had met during my time in South America last winter.After Bromont, I raced the final two US Pro XC Tour races in Mt. Snow, VT and Windham, NY and I finished 30th and 33rd, respectively, in the Pro field. Certainly not up to par with my earlier results, but still top half.
It was during this 3 weeks on the road that I realized how tired I was. My legs never felt good and I didn't have the intensity or power that I had had earlier in the season. It took me a while to figure it out, but I eventually realized that it was simply due to having had such a long season. For the first time since I had started racing, I had trained seriously through the winter and my first races were a stage race in January and then Continental Championships in March. So I had been racing for almost 7 months!
I also found out around this time that I had not been chosen for the U23 World Championships team. I was (and still am) disappointed, but I worked my hardest to be chosen, and when I spoke to USA Cycling, I was told that I was next on the list. I understand that USA Cycling does their best to choose racers who they think have a good chance of doing well, but they chose to only bring three (3) U23 racers of the seven (7) they were allowed to bring! Seems like a bad idea to me, but what could I do????
So now I have decided to take a break from cycling for a bit. When I got back to NM, I brought my girlfriend, Victoria Henry, to school and am now back in Taos with my family. I have about a week to hang out with them and then I head back to Middlebury College for another 2 years of school. Once I get back to school I am planning to start preparing for the collegiate mountain bike season and for CYCLOCROSS, which I am REALLY excited for!