After Jingle Cross Doug and I were graciously invited to spend Monday-Wednesday in Chicago, hanging at the Tenspeed Hero Studio. Luke, of Tenspeed Hero showed us a rad time. We ate a good deal of great food (including the meat sweats at Publican, highly recommend the charcuterie) and saw a lot of the sights!
I also kicked off my modeling career and I am currently accepting agent applications…
We left the Chicago skyline in the review and headed to the Trek HQ in Waterloo, WI on Thursday. After setting up at the venue I got a quickie sunset spin in followed by dinner at the host house.
Friday was a C2 at 3:30pm, undeniably the hottest part of the day. I had an unfavorable start and pitted halfway through the first lap. The course was so hard and bumpy my chain was bouncing everywhere, which coupled with the sprinting caused my front derailleur to twist.
I was further back than I wanted to be at this point and thus put some efforts in to bet me back up to a group fighting for 8th. This, however, was a mistake.
The explosive efforts in the heat took the same toll on me as previous experiences at altitude had. I was in the red early and quickly found myself going backwards with nothing much I could do but soft pedal. The heat, which was already causing elevated heart rate, should have cued me to change my racing style towards more conservative and consistency. However, I was peeved with my start and didn’t want to miss the early gaps so I made it happen all at once, which pushed me over the edge. I found that out about 3 laps in.
I was chuffed, new word I learned from Helen and the Brits which means frustrated, to DNF on my own accord. Though, after I started going backwards I immediately shifted focus to Sunday afternoon making more sense to save it for the world cup rather than finish for pride’s sake.
Doug and I headed home to a dinner of burgers and roasted veggies, provided by our hosts, can’t thank Peter and Connie enough. I even managed to beat Doug in pool though he put many more W’s on his record. So the day wasn’t a complete disappointment.
Saturday I got out on the World Cup course, which was much better than Friday’s C2 setup. A few more off camber sections, a mandatory run up, and some tricky nose wheelie turny bits!
I tried to minimize time outside so after riding we planned a big multi team movie night. Kingsman 2 came out so we invited a bunch of people and went to a swank movie theater with plush leather recliner seats, push button food/drink service, and air conditioning, for only $11!
Sunday I was feeling good and ready to rock. We took a lot of icy precautions, stuffed many panty hose with ice to put inside the skin suit for warm up and race time. Lots of ice cold water for pouring everywhere. Sitting in the start grid it looked like we were at a water park! Everyone doing their best to stay cool in the sweltering sun, hiding under umbrellas and passing around cold water to pour on ourselves.
I managed to sneak past a crash at the start and found myself come through the first lap in the mid 20’s. I worked my way up slowly and eventually was in 18, rallying with Stephen Hyde and creeping up on Tobin, Americans uniting for Euro domination.
However, about half way through I lost some traction on a corner that lead into the pit entrance. I corrected and didn’t unclip but this put my trajectory wider on the exit and I hooked the pit entrance pole with my bars. I should have ran backwards on course to enter the pit and get a new bike, my bars were “turnt!”. However, something about racing and always going forward caused the though to never cross my mind. I did a half a lap with my bars pointed at 2 o’clock until I got a new bike.
I would like to take this time to apologize to Stephen. He was on my wheel during this slip up and crashed as well. He managed to claw back into the group and even finished at the front of it. If only I would have pitted…
I lost some spots doing this and found myself in the midst of shattered souls and those determined to keep on fighting. Fragmented groups of 2 or so hanging on by the skin of their teeth rather than the big group of 5 or 6 I was in, which was focused on top 20 placing.
I held it together mentally and didn’t continue to go backwards. So I finished 26th. Not too shabby but I was confident I could have finished better, which nagged the back of my mind.
The last two World Cup weekends were awesome. It’s always great to have the world’s best come over and put on a clinic. I am also happy with where my fitness and psyche is coming out of it. Really looking forward to next weekend in Thompson, CT at the KMC Cross Fest where temps are expected to be high’s in the high 60’s! About time, still no rain though. But it is a start.
As always big thanks to Dougems for keeping things running