I just did a lot in what feels like a short period of time. After the East Coast adventure I decided last minute to jump into my 2nd road race of the year. Race the Lake, it was a good early morning workout, but after that I felt the fatigue from the 2 MTB World Cups and needed a break… A trip down to Athens OH to visit mom and dad was the perfect way to get going again on my bike. I love the riding down there and the weather was great. I returned from OHIO and jumped into a WORS race in Lake Geneva the next day. After leading most of the last lap I finished 2nd to Cole on a hot hot day.
Then it really started to ramp up…CX season arrived and after doing a great clinic in Manitowoc on a Wed evening it was game on…
4 races in an 8 day time period including 2 local CX races, one in Manitowoc and one in Sheboygan, both of which I pedaled to the start line from home and back. Both races were really great courses and perfect prep for the World Cup in Vegas!
Vegas was not originally on the schedule, but roughly a week before the race I got an invite….and couldn’t turn it down. I knew it was going to be a busy week and maybe not the best prep for Chequamegon, but I couldn’t pass up on the very first UCI CX World Cup on US Soil….even though I’m not sure you can call that grass in Vegas soil! I flew out late Tuesday night. Went for a great morning spin thru the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area after checking out the course on Wednesday morning Then it was the long wait for the 930PM start, which is actually 1130PM Wisconsin time….past my bed time!
The race has such a buzz that it really doesn’t matter if you are sleepy or not. Once you arrive to the venue you can feel the electricity in the air. I was called to the line 49th out of 70 or so riders…the best in the World. I played it cool at the start and survived the first lap chaos. I was following Adam Craig around, partially for the entertainment factor and partially because we were moving forward! My mishap came on lap 4 when my chain fell off just before trying to bunny hop the 4th step of a run up. With no chain my half pedal stroke w/ no resistance caused me to go OTB and lose the group I was with. I got going again and was able to fight back for quite a few spots and finish 38th. I’ll take it for the first big cross race of the year….knowing without the crash things could have been really good!
After 3 hours of some light sleep and lots of pain from the crash I was up and at em and heading back home Thursday at 5am. I made it home by 5pm with just enough time to unpack, have dinner and repack so I could leave for Chequamegon Friday morning. I wasn’t even sure I was going to take to the start line because of the injury to my left leg. When I crashed in Vegas my left thigh landed sqaurly on the barrier….I couldn’t even pedal a circle out of the saddle Thursday night….Luckily the heated seats in the new car and heating pad on my leg for the 5 hour drive up north loosened it up just enough to be able to pedal!
During the Fat Tire 40 I felt no pain which I thought was pretty amazing considering how much it hurt after Vegas….I still thought I had a good shot at winning my 7th Chequamegon, but Jeff Hall had other plans. He wanted to win, while the others in the lead group just wanted to watch me! Kudos to Jeff for laying it out on the line and winning his 2nd Fat Tire 20 YEARS LATER! That’s amazing! Jeff launched an attack that was pretty fierce pretty early in the race, Tilford, Jesse and I knew it was for real….I did all I could to pull it back and work with the others but it wasn’t meant to be. My energy was draining quick and by the time we got to the Firetower Climb all I could do was hang on and watch Corey and David take off in pursuit of Jeff. I had a good little sprint with Tristan in the end just for a few extra ounces of pain and fun and I finished up 5th!
Time for some serious R&R I’m tired!