Archive for November, 2012

There aren’t many times that I start a cross race with a full on smirk from ear to ear, but this year’s National Champs was one of them. Thanks to the weather gods for allowing us to pre-ride the course in the dry and warm (well warm compared to Edmonton weather anyways). The week leading into Nationals I was on the skis almost everyday for a week and a half. Good prep? Must have been, I felt on fire!

Sure enough, the cyclocross gods upened up right when the Elite women started. I don’t know what it is, but the women tend to get the worst of the weather and it typically eases up for the men (most notably the Hoogerheide World Cup in 2007 when the women got full on painful hail, and all the men got was torential downpour – I was lucky as I raced the U-23 race in the morning).

Wasn’t entirely sure of my form as I hadn’t raced in the States in a while, so I really wanted a good start to kick things off. I got it and on the first lap nearly ran over Geoff Kabuch on one of the first few corners. Last time he did that was back in Starcrossed 2007 when he got the whole shot, crashed on the first corner and by the time he got back up he was at the back of the pack. He then proceeded to drink a boat load of beer.

Back to the race: I was sitting quite comfortably in 3rd with Chris Sheppard doing the brunt of the work when I slipped out on the major off cambre section of the course and my rear wheel popped out. Took a while to sort it out as I couldn’t really feel my fingers at the time, so I had to struggle to get to the pits with a wheel that was falling out any time I picked it up. Luckily the barriers were really close to the pits… Got it sorted and then re-organized myself. Sitting in 7th, I knew that all I had to do was pick off 2 guys to be in the top 5 and qualify for the worlds pool. It took a few laps, but I stayed calm and pulled my way back bit by bit. Watson was looking pretty rough when I went by but apparently it was from his endo on one of the corners where he folded like a pretzel (Pic on Canadian Cyclist). Finally with 2 laps to go I latched onto Craig and Jette. Tried attacking right away, but the zap was gone a bit from the legs and they were both quite strong riders technically, so it ended up being a super battle to the line. I decided to pit one last time with a half lap to go and to get a fresh bike for the sprint, but in the process I ended up tripping on my front wheel and biffed it pretty hard while doing the bike change. Got back up and Craig was putting the hurt on. Luckily Cam was having issues and crashed a few more times before the lap was over and I luckily capitalized on it to take the 5th and long desired spot for worlds pool selection.

And no, this is not swimming, it means I am in the pool of riders they select to go to worlds. Of the 5 currently in the pool, they wil select 5. So fingers crossed I make it.

Regardless, it’s business as usual, and I’ve been uber busy sorting out the big 2 month trip to the States, Belgium, then back to the States again for final prep for Worlds. I’m getting pretty excited…

Many thanks to Derek Chipping from Redbike for sorting out my bikes and keeping them running smoothly. Also to Norco for the pit help and Rob Pryor with Sri Importing for making my travel happen this year.

Next up, CXLA.