As I sit here in the sprinter rolling back home from Cross Nationals I’m not sure how I feel about how the week went. On one hand the whole Trek CXC team had great results and on the other had I’m injured. I really do love the whole team aspect of cyclocross and the icy, cold conditions showed that a great team brings great results. 3 National Champions, 2- 2nd , and a 3rd is proof that it works. The riders that didn’t podium showed up, rode hard and scored top 10/top 20 results.
Results are great but that’s not all there is to cyclocross. Working the pit for other riders is something of an art and it’s something that every rider should do. Believe me, working the pit in a dry condition September race is nothing like what we just went through in Madison.
This is what went down for us in the Elite Womens race. As a team we had Katie, Ellen, and Abby. Of course our focus was to get Katie the National Champions jersey but we support all our riders the best we can. At race time both Abby and Ellen had 2 people in the pit for them with their 2nd bike. Katie had 4 people and 2 bikes. Course conditions at start time were partly cloudy with temps in the low 20’s. The sun was melting the top layer of ice on the course making for slimey mud on top frozen ruts. From previous races we knew that the mud was going to freeze on the bikes so the riders were going to pit often. Our plan was to not wash the bikes because everything was freezing as soon as you walked away from the washer. To our surprise we were told that there was no water before the race even started making it a moot point.
So the race starts and Katie got a great start and was leading before she hit pit 1. At this point I have no idea what’s going on with Ellen and Abby since I’m pitting for Katie along with Jay, Mark Legg, and Matt Shriver. Katie starts taking bikes going through pit 2 and will continue to take a bike every half lap the rest of the race. At first we went with the no water plan but half way through the race the washers were back running and they had hot water. I think the temperature was dropping as the race went on because the ice/mud build up became impossible to get off the bike unless you used the washers. Here is where pre-race prep comes in. Mark Legg tunes Katie’s bikes and sealed cable systems along with a few other Pro touches ment that we could use water and not worry about cables freezing. We started washing bikes halfway through the race and using deicer on contact points, derailluers, and pedals.
In the end Katie had no bike issues and won her 9th National Championship. Matt Shriver was soaked from washing bikes and Mark Legg, Jay and I were a muddy, frozen mess. Was it worth it, you bet it was.
It got even better after the race when I found out that Ellen ended up 16th (2nd U-23), and Abby was 18th. Pretty incredible rides against a fast field in tough conditions. Kudos to the rest of the guys for keeping Ellen and Abby rolling with no issues.
Results for CXC:
Katie Compton: Elite Woman National Champion
Ellen Noble: Jr 17-18 National Champion, 2nd Singlespeed, 16th Elite Women(2nd U-23)
Matt Shriver: Masters 30-34 National Champion
Mark Savery: 2nd Masters 40-44
Issac Neff: 11th Elite Men
Jay Thomas : 22nd Masters 40-44
Matt Tillinghast: 22nd Masters 35-39
Abby Strigel: 18th Elite women
So, a great weekend for the Trek CXC team. As you can see I am not in the results due to a injury. I have a pulled/torn calf muscle that keeps me from running. On the day of my race I was doing my last course recon lap before getting on the trainer. I took one step on the stairs and felt a pop(seems like I heard it as well) in my calf. It took a long time just to be able get back to the car. Once there we did everything we could to allow me to race but it was just too pain full. It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in a long time but there was nothing I could do. Sure did take a long time to pull off the kit and change into street clothes. Over the past few days it has been feeling much better, at least I can walk now. But I'm going to get some expert help to see if I will be able to do worlds in 3 weeks.
So we have just rolled through Iowa City so I’ll just have to post once I get home. More after I get some news from the doc.