Archive for 26 October 2008

National:   (October 11, 2008)
Because Nationals was in my home town of Edmonton this year, I was able to keep the routine pretty basic in preparation for the BIG DAY.  Went to work on Friday like normal.  Decided to pre-ride the course after work at around 6 and as the course is basically a 2 minute ride away it isn’t hard to get to.  I still hadn’t really felt 100% yet, so I wasn’t quite sure what i’d come up against in the race.
Race Report:
So I managed to get 3rd call up behind Geoff Kabush and Mike Garrigan as a result of my finish in last year’s Nationals and my UCI points from last year as well.  I really wasn’t paying too much attention because when they started the race I was totally surprised.  A little too much that I let me nerves get to me and I wasn’t all that calm as I usually like to be.  It showed in the first 100m as I went from front row, to probably 3rd by the first corner after cliping out of my pedals like 2 different times.  Talk about pulling Sven Nys (only I can’t correct it in the end and come away with the win quite yet)
After getting caught in the mass amount of traffic that there was in the back of the race, I needed to look for an opening to pick up some more spots.  I ended up getting on the front of the group I was in right before the technical section in the valley (about 1/3 the way through the race) and figured I’d try and make an effort to bridge to the next group, then my chain dropped off the inside and I had to stop and fix it before I could get going again.  I managed to easily tag on to the back of the group but the stopping and starting again was starting to make me a little tired.  I was very luckey to have Chris McNeil in the group with me as the next time we came through the technical section he let me go on the front and I threw in a bit of an attack and he basically sat up just behind me.  The little bit of a boost gave me a HUGE boost in motivation and I was off to try and catch the next bunch of racers.  In the next few laps, I managed to chase back about 4 or 5 guys after finishing my strongest race of the year in 10th spot.
I know I was a bit luckey with everything that happened at last years Nationals, but the cometition this year was VERY intense and a bunch of strong guys came out this year including the man himself ‘Geoff Kabush’.  I was a little bummed about the race afterwards, but I know that it’s just one race, and one race doesn’t make a career.  I also know how important it is to keep it cool and calm when the race is on the line.
Jim Horner:  (12 October 2008)
So after a long night of well needed sleep and recouperation, I was pretty bummed about the result from Nationals, but I know that I needed to keep it cool and get some good results in the UCI races, in order to get some points for this year.
After a VERY uncool move by the UCI officials, who wanted to start the race on time no matter what!!!!  They even pulled some of the women who were still racing in order to start the mens race on time.  I rolled up to the bike check and the lady was checking to see if my bike was okay when they called me up to the line.  I told them that I was here and just trying to get into the start area and they proceeded to call up everyone else to the line.  Even Kabush and Garrigan were left with back row starts after they pulled this move.  Geoff ended up arguing with the commissaire and was going to not start the race if they weren’t going to honor his call up.  Eventually they decided to let him go after fining him a bit of money.  I didn’t even want to argue myself as there was some bike racing to be done, so I ended up just taking the 3rd row.
THis time the start went REALLY well and I moved up no problem and got myself into a pretty good position by the first few corners.  Pretty early on, I was basically the first guy after the main lead group (7th) and the group behind me was playing games and not wanting to pull through or attack really, so for basically the whole race, I was on my own chasing hard.  I was also being chased hard by a VERY large group full of some really strong guys: Mike Garrigan, Shaun Bunnin, Kris Sneddon, etc…  On the last lap, Garrigan threw in a big of an attack to get rid of his group companions and came VERY close to catching me, but I was really starting to feel better, and I held on to 7th spot!
After the race Mike and I caught up a bit and shared some future plans with eachother and I even took him out for some Ice Cream on Whyte ave!  It was pretty cool!
Anyways, That’s all for now!  More Alberta cross updates to come!