I'm falling behind again, but now it's time to catch up a little. Two weekends ago was the St Louis Gateway cup, and my first race with the team in a couple weeks....this work thing is really getting in the way of my riding!! Finished up my friday workday, hopped on the 9 pm flight out of Victoria and somehow survived the red eye flight into Toronto.....the nice little first class upgrade definitely helped with that. Landed in St Louis at 10:30 am absolutely cooked, my only saving grace was the saturday race was a night race :) Passed out for a couple hours and really had to struggle to pull myself together to get myself ready to race.
UCI points from last year gave me a second spot call up, yippee! Off the gun, I hung with the leading group for the frist half of the race. The flat, untechnical course created a full on dirt crit style race, and lots of drafting. I was feeling better then I should have, and hung onto the back as the fifth in the breakaway. Half way through the 3th lap, things started falling apart a little. I couldn't match the accelerations and popped off the back of the group. Struggling in no mans land for a couple laps, I was really happy to see my teammate Amanda Carey gaining on my quickly. Three of us in the chase group worked really well together, this gave me just enough of a brake to catch my second wind. At one point, we managed to pull the lead group to within 30 second. Coming through the final couple corners, I put myself into a good spot and pinned it, putting a gap between myself and 6th place, finishing 5th in my first UCI race since Vegas....definitely happy with this.
Halfway through supper at Whole Foods I completely cracked, having slept maybe 3 or 4 hours total in 2 days really caught up to me hard! Thank goodness Sundays race was a later start as well, as I don't think I moved in 15 hours!
A nice slow start on Sunday was exactly what I needed, though I definitely was struggling with the fact that I had to race again...haha, amazing what a dramatic lack of sleep can do to the body. Again I had a good start, and found myself in the lead pack again. The pace felt a lot faster this day, and I popped off the back again... so I was really thankful when I noticed Nicole Duke coming up behind me. I was a little unsure of how things would play out, but we managed to work very well together and pulled the lead group to within 8 seconds! Going into the final lap I found myself out front pulling, and it was obvious Nicole had not intention of going around me, so I just kept the gas on. With only a couple corners to go, just accelerated past me, but I managed to hang on and grab her wheel. Coming out of the last corner onto the final straight away I pinned it, passing Nicole and taking 4th place by maybe half a wheel length....that hurt!
My Ridey X-Fire and Stan's Iron Cross wheels were as always to most amazing equipment to race, I am always so happy when I ride these bikes! Kenda has released a softer version of my favorite Kommando tire, which really feels like a tubular tire. It's amazing, you actually get that kind of squirrelly feeling in some corners that you get with tubulars. My Oakley Radars with clear lenses and Lazer Genesis are always my favorite choices for cross or mountain or road.
I had a special thank you to send to Absolute Black for their CX chainring!! This thing is super cool technology and I am totally sold! I have almost never used my large chainring in a cross race, except for starts, but the prospect of the single ring has kind of scared me.....I know, I have some werid fears. The narrow-wide design of the ring holds the chain really tight so there is no need for a chain guard or chain guide. I've tried it out with the SRAM X-9 mountain derailluer with the clutch and there was zero issue, but I also ran it in St Louis with my SRAM Red derailluer with not even a though about the chain or ring while racing. And to top that off....I dropped over a pound off my bike :)
Just finished a couple 80 hour work weeks in Kitimat, missed BC Provincials (not very stoked on that), but I have 3 weeks to get myself in top shape for Canadian Nationals....OH MY!