Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tis the season of small knobby tires again...

Cross season has started with a bang and some high speed drag racing in Vegas with the most amazing equipment on the circuit.  This year we are running the uber light and sexy Ridley X-Night , slightly more racier geometry then my beloved Ridley X-Fire, with Shimano Di2 (finally hydraulic disk brakes that actually work!!!!!  Now I need to learn how to use these properly) and of course my favourite Stan's NoTubes Wheels!!  That one is always a super fast late night adventure that always leaves me feeling sick….not sure if it's the early season effort, the heat or the late night.  No Island Cup races to prep me for this torture this season, first cross effort of the year was straight to the biggest race of the year. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel and off the gun I actually felt not too bad.  Almost 2 blistering laps I hung with the lead group, and then I popped…….and I mean really really popped.  Struggling with the finish, thank you to all the hundred of people out there cheering and heckling me to the finish, I managed my worst Cross Vegas finish to date…21st, haha, I'm pulling up my socks for the rest of the season for sure!  On a flip side, teammate Jake Wells absolutely rocked it with his best ever Cross Vegas finish, 13TH!!!!

Off to Boulder for the first double header of the season and the first snow of the season.  Here we got to meet up with new teammate Chloe Woodruff, I'm super stoked to have this really nice and very fast lady apart of the team, starting the season off with a 3rd place :)  Day 1 in Boulder was a flat rough course with some good sand pits, nothing super technical but rough enough that it was tough to get any flow. This was a good battle for me, up in the lead group, dropped back to 13th, battled up to finish in 10th.  Day 2 at the Valemont bike park was a steep hard course, lots of steep climbing, steep descending and off camber corners.  I had a wicked started and going through the first sand pit I was pushed into the tape.  By the time I was able to sort myself out, I was 20 seconds off the back :(  But I do like chasing :)  Worked my way back up to finish 16th, picking off girls slowly the whole way around.

Huge thank you to Rick Boethling from RAAM for whisking me off to the Denver airport after my race!  Grabbed an ice cream in the airport (I had a craving I just could ignore) and was eating it as I was boarding the plane….doesn't cut it much closer than that!

After almost 2 and a half years of a full time (often more than full time) job and multitasking, it's finally caught up to me….not enough training and definitely not enough recovery.  It was a tough gig while trying to maintain a life.  After some long hard discussions and a look at my life, I handed in my resignation to my job after returning from this trip…it was time for a lifestyle change (even if that means being broke again for a while….thank you so much for the support Regan!).

After finishing my last day at work this past thursday, I hopped on the red eye flight to Boston, first time heading to Gloucester for the GP.  I have never had the opportunity to do these far east coast cross races and I was really excited to experience the east coast cross love!  It was absolutely amazing!!!  Course, fans, racers.  65 women registered in the pro field, only a handful less than the men!!!  Though it was substantially dryer and hotter then I was expecting !!!  Kenny Wehn , despite still trying to figure out which button shifts which way, had a strong 5TH podium place finish on day 1.

Both days played out pretty similar for me, sufferfest!!  I'm holding on a little longer each race, and not fading back as much….it's getting there.  Day 1 I found myself in a 4 person sprint finish for 10th place…an uphill drag race against the likes of Laura Van Gilder are always a hard battle and I finished 12th on the day.  Day 2, I found myself settling in an uncomfortable position early enough to not fall far back.  Sitting in 10th place about half way through the final lap, I was almost knocked off my bike and out of the course by a bad pass, and wasn't able to recover the time of position.  With a large gap behind me, I was able to save the day for 11th place.

Thank you to our most amazing hosts in New England for the hospitality and inviting us to stay the week.  I totally got schooled today by our hostess on the trails behind her house :)  Prepping for the Wednesday Night Weasel tomorrow night, have to partake in cross holy week fully, and Providence cross races next weekend…this is going to be awesome !!!!