18 July 2009  |  Race Reports

US National Championships: Race Report

It was bad.  It was good.  Luckily it never got ugly.

I had a good breakfast, I got a good warm-up, my legs were feeling good, Waldek put a piece of tape that said KYHOOYA (keep your head out of your ass…) on my stem- everything was shaping up for a great race.  The gun went off, and I got the hole shot.  And then my shifting stopped working.  My chain was skipping, and I tried every gear, but whenever I started pedaling hard it would start skipping again.  Heather and Willow passed me.  Then Katie passed me.  Then Mary passed me.  Then Pua passed me.  I passed Pua on the downhill, but then I dropped my chain on a short climb and I let her by as I ran the rest of the climb.

I came into the tech zone in 6th and told Chris I was having shifting trouble, but I couldn’t really isolate where the problem was coming from- front or rear derailleur.  Chris quickly figured out the problem was with my chain (it was in the process of breaking- some fluke thing). He quickly took the chain off and replaced it with a new one, and I was on my way.  I was probably somewhere around 15th, but I was able to pick off a big group pretty quickly.  There was plenty of passing on the climb, and I was feeling great, but there were already pretty substantial gaps between the riders in the top 10.   I moved up steadily and eventually finished 4th.

I was disappointed, sure.  I also had great legs and was riding well, so I am happy about that.  So I had a fluke mechanical- that stuff just happens- I am just lucky that Chris was able to figure out and fix the problem quickly so I could get back to racing.  I’ve got 4 races in a row coming up- 2 world cups and then 2 US Cup races, and I am looking forward to some good races!  I’m about due I think…


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