Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And so it begins........

Cross season has finally started for me and it really came in a rush. After a short blast out to Interbike and Cross Vegas we had a few days to prepare for St.Louis and the beginning of a long road trip to the first USGP in Madison, WI. We were still scrambling to get our bikes and wheels prepared for the season so Bill and I got a early start to St. Louis while the rest of the team headed out later. It was a smart move, we were at the venue in plenty of time to set up our tents, ect... and then get ready to race the masters race. I figured it was going to be a pretty interesting race, riding a bike that had never been ridden before with no pre-race warm up. Lining up in the back made the start a little crazy but I managed to work my way up to the front pretty quick. It was about then that I really began to feel that lack of a warm up and really started to fade. Lucky for me we had a group of 8 off the front and the pace backed off for a bit. Not long after that the pace picked back up and by the end of the race it was down to 4. Going into the final sprint I had figured out where I needed to be in the sprint and it worked out and I won the sprint. The first race of the year ended with a win and then it was time to get to work setting up bikes for Ashley and the women's elite race. We had Kelly and Ashley in the Woman's race and Matt and Kevin in the Mens race. All of the riders had good races and we were off to a good season.

Ashley rocking the new KCCX colors!

The Telnet-Fedia riders hanging out in the KCCX/FUJI team tents. Wish I had more time to hang out and check out what they were up to but it was not to be.

Ashley got the Miss photogenic award for the weekend. Pictures of her popped up in photo galleries all over.

You know we are in St.Louis when you see a Fritz's Root Beer Sign. Since I don't drink the real deal I really could of used some Root Beer late in the night.

Day 1 at the USGP, so clean at this point.

Collecting dollar bills on the run up.

Joe and Kevin working the mud Sunday.

Yea, it was that sloppy for the women and even worse for the men.

We arrived in Madison early Friday to get the trailer set and start to prepare our area. Bill and I wrapped up prepping our area just about the time the course opened up to pre ride. The rest of the team arrived and we rode for a bit before wrapping it up for the day.

Saturday, Day 1 of the USGP and from the beginning we were just a bit off. I have no idea why but if it could go wrong, it did. I guess it had me a little off balance and just not mentally prepared to race. After a so-so start I was riding in the lead group and occasionally leading when my bike started shifting funny. I wasn't happening all of the time so I didn't take a bike but before I could get back to the pit the rear skewer came loose and the rear wheel started locking up. I hopped off and ran to the pit but lost a ton of time getting a new bike. In the end I made up a few places but ended up 6th.

Sunday we were entering the venue and noticed that I had rained overnight but at the moment I was dry. That was about the only dry time during the day. Most of the day it rained and at one point the races were delayed by lightning and hail. For me, the rain was a good thing as I'm a little better in the mud than others and it helped even more that they had changed the course and added in a few more technical features.  The rain stopped just in time for my race to start and off we went into the slop. I got into the lead soon after the start and was able to ride a few areas of the course that others were running and that allowed me to get a bit of a lead. It was a good thing, I'm way behind in fitness and the lead was getting smaller in the end. I'll take a win any way I can get it and it moved me up to 3rd in the overall standings.

Everybody on the team had good rides during the weekend and as a team we are off to a good start. Hats off to the whole crew for pitching in all weekend. We have more riders, a bigger rig, and way more equipment than ever before and it took the whole team to keep it all up and running. Time to get a little training in before Ft.Collins in 2 weeks.

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