Tuesday, September 28, 2010

USGP Sun Prairie WI

This picture pretty much sums up Sundays race. Hit the deck 4 times, twice on both sides. I must of slid along the ground enough to push my shorts up my legs so I spent the rest of the race like this.

So it's been a few days since the races and I'm really not sure what to think of the weekend. I guess my emotions ran from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Saturday I rode well and won on my birthday which was really cool. Sunday I rode poorly and fell 4 times, major bummer. I did manage to hang onto the leaders jersey which was a consolation prize of sorts. Overall the weekend was good for the team as everybody that was there rode well. Joe had the ride(s) of his life coming from the back of the field to finish in the top 25 overall both days and 3rd U23. Bill started in the last row both days and fought his way up to the top 25 on Saturday and 19th on Sunday.

Here's a high, winning on Saturday and standing on the podium with Troy. I got a good start and led wire to wire with a winning margin of over a minute. Everything was clicking, loved the technical nature of the course, and I felt really good on the bike. Not too shabby for the first time out on the cross bike for the year.

Unfortunately that's about if for the good stuff. After the race I got back into mechanic mode to get the guys set for the Elite/U23 race. After a while I could tell I was tired, not race tired but weary tired, like I was so depleted of energy I was ready to fall down. I never even saw the Elite Women's race and spent the Elite men's race in the pit working for the boys. After the race we got loaded up, got an early dinner, and headed for our host house. The guys surprised me with a birthday cake and then it was off to bed with hopes that I would recover.

Sunday dawned and we got out to the venue and got set up. Since I'm the first to race of our group I need to get set up and get ready to pre ride the course right away. So warm up went OK, but the changes that they made to the course didn't favor my riding style. The course went from tight and turny, to longer power straights. Still, it was a good course for everyone. At the start I got into the lead with another rider and within 2 laps we hap pulled out to a 15 second lead. Half way through the lap I was leading when I carried just a bit too much speed into a turn that transitions from grass to gravel. That 2 inches over from my line took me off the dirt and into the gravel which had me slamming the ground in an instant. I got up quick but had a stinger to the hip and shoulder. To top it off the chain was off and once I got going the bike wouldn't shift. By now I was in the chase group for 3rd through 5th. I could tell from the beginning of the race I had dead legs but now it was even worse. A few more bobbles and falls brought me to the last 2 laps where I was feeling a bit better. With 2 to go I attacked and got rid of the 5th place rider. Now it was just the 2 of us fighting for 3rd. Going into the hairpin before the run up I tried to go inside to block the other rider but he saw me coming and threw a block of his own. I ended up going over the bars, smacking my face on the fence on the way down. I get up, grab my bike and jump over the barriers as I see 3rd place is running up the hill. As I set my bike down to run I find out that it won't roll, the back wheel is crooked in the frame! Ahh, I have to release the skewer, straighten the wheel and then start running. I look up again and see 4th place at the top of the hill and jumping back on his bike. With 3 turns to the line there is no way to catch him and I end up with 5th.

If it could go wrong it did. Bad legs, crashes, and broken bike parts. They say that you are bound to have bad race in any series so I hope this is mine. All in all I really can't complain too much. To come out the first USGP weekend with the leaders jersey is pretty good for a guy with zero cross specific training. I know what caused the fatigue and it can be resolved easily and my coach is ready to start the training cycle this week. I think I'll be a different rider in 3 weeks time.

Enough about me, how about Kate Compton. Here she is warming up for her race. No big team truck, no mechanics or team manager hanging around. She just does her thing and then goes out and smokes the Elite women's field.

Overall the weekend was a success. The team is still working out the kinks from a unexpected transportation glitch but we are finding a way to get it done. With 3 weeks before the next USGP I think we should be ready to relax and roll. Right now I just need to heal up and sleeeeeeeep.


sda said...

Awesome Tom, nice!

Ted said...

Great job Tom! Way to represent KC!!