9 October 2009  |  Race Reports

Cross Racing Begins

I did have a long drawn out blow-by-blow of my races in Vegas and Madison, but since that is already almost a month ago, it seems a little late…

No matter how you are feeling, ‘Cross Vegas is going to kick your ass.  Waldek and I flew in the morning of the race, went to the show for a few hours, and then headed out to the race venue.  I wanted to get there early since I hadn’t ridden my new bikes yet, and I hadn’t actually RIDDEN my bike since Champery (in hopes that a little extra recovery would do my body good).  As far as expectations for the race go, I thought a podium would be great, but mostly I just wanted to feel decent.  I had a good start but was dropped pretty quickly by the leaders.  My legs weren’t feeling super snappy, but I could at least ride a steady hard pace, so I was psyched.  Then Kelli caught me, and it was a battle all the way to the finish.  I managed to hang on for 3rd (behind Katie and Katerina), but Kelli put up a great fight and made me suffer.  It was definitely a shock to the system- ‘cross racing is HARD!  But I had a blast, and the race was exciting.  I even had the anaerobic lung-burn after the race- that’s how you know you dug deep.

2009 Cross Vegas podium

Cross Vegas podium. Photo: Ken Conley

I spent the next two days at the bike show, and on Friday afternoon Katerina, Waldek and I headed out to Madison, WI for the first 2 rounds of the USGP.  The races went well, I finished 3rd both days (again behind Katie and Katerina), and both days I spent pretty much the whole race riding around by myself.  It seemed like there were good crowds out for the races, and the venue offered lots of different options to make the courses challenging and interesting- hopefully we will get to race there again next year.

I got home Monday, and on Friday I headed to Napa Valley, California for Clif Bar’s annual Epiphany Ride.  This year I decided to do the 50 miler instead of destroying myself on the 150 miler, and I had a great time chatting and riding a mellow 50 miles in sunny weather and warm temps.

So that brings me up to now.  I have a few weeks at home before heading to the next 2 rounds of the USGP in Louisville, Kentucky.  I am looking forward to those races- there are some awesome spectators in Louisville.  I hope Superfan comes out to heckle us.  That guy is awesome.


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