I apologize for the lengthy absence of a blog entry. My computer had crashed just before leaving for nationals, and we have just gotten it back today. Here is how nationals went:
Day 1- T.T.
The time trial, not my best event, was more of a hill climb then anything else. Most of the course was gradually uphill with a slight descent toward the turnaround and then back up a little ways to the finish. The climb wasn't too steep, but definitely enough to hurt the legs. I felt pretty good about my ride, and placed much higher then I thought I would. My time was 30.49 which gave me 46th place out of 102 finishers.
Day 2- Crit.
After finding out that the reigning national crit champ was not going to be racing, due to a broken collar bone he got in Canada, I became pretty excited about our teams chances for a jersey! A major setback though was that Alex Wick became ill with strep throat and could barely talk or even breathe. A-Dub gave me a short talk about how I was the strongest sprinter out there now and I could come up with the goods to win if I was in the right position... Well I guess the pressure got to me and my mind was not in the game at all during the crit. I ended up riding in the worst possible position ever imaginable in a narrow sketchfest in the Angel's stadium parking lot with 130 crazy 17 and 18 year old punks. With one to go a break of 4 got up the road and stuck it... as for me, well I came in somewhere in the middle, sketched out, full of brake dust, sore from a long crit, and a very sore head beating itself up for doing so poorly. To make matters worse my dad decides to rip me apart afterwards. Man does he know how to make someone feel horrible.
Day 3- Rest Day for me
Went out to ride the road race course with Taylor and Jimbo after watching Zach crash out of the 15-16 RR in the second lap. Crazy descents after the start are just too intense for us youngsters to handle.
Day 4- Another rest day
Rode the course again and decided I may be able to hang in for this race!
Day 5- 17-18 RR 7:00am
The start time was looking pretty early on paper, 5:30am breakfast and arriving by 6:00, but it turned out to be better because the heat wasn't as unbearable as it was in the crit and TT. Taylor and I had set a game plan of just sitting in and following wheels while watching out for the favorites. Alex had decided to race despite still being very sick and managed to hang out for quite a long time. We rode the first two laps according to plan, but there was a break of about 8 up the road 45 seconds ahead of us. With 2 to go the break got gobble up and another went up the road. A couple people bridged up to them including Taylor and eventual winner Evan Huffman. Now my goal was to wait for the final climb and sprint it out in the finish for a top 15 or 20 spot. The group of 7 riders stayed away with Huffman outkicking Taylor in the closing meters of the climb. As the rest of the bunch hurled up the feed zone towards the finish, a minute behind the winner, my legs caught on fire but I managed to finish in a very solid 19th place.
For being my first ever nationals I am happy with how I performed and intend on improving on my placing next year in the U23 race.
Oh and I also just received and E-mail from Casey K. letting me know that my upgrade to Cat.2 has been approved... So I'm doing the winters road race with the big boys the Saturday, should be a blast.
Don't have a cow, man.
10 hours ago