CX Nats, Dry Courses, and WHY AM I CRASHING?!?!?

Posted: 12 November 2014 in Uncategorized

Better late than never right?  Well, it’s pretty hard to write a blog post about something that didn’t go according to your expectations.  Now that I’m back in Germany and slowly getting back to my regular routine, I finally have some time to reflect on what seemed like a whirlwind of a trip home.  Even though it was over a month long…

Because CX Nationals is always one of the most important weekends for me, I wanted to come in ahead of time to get acclimatized and fully over the jet lag before heading to Winnipeg.  So I flew in about 3 weeks in advance and it just so happened that the Rochester weekend was going on the first weekend after arriving.  It was some fun racing with an ‘ever getting faster’ American field even though my results weren’t exactly up to snuff, I felt that showing up was still important because of the points on the line.  At least I was able to practice my Cody Kaiser hopping skills.

Rochester UCI Weekend Photo: Dave McElwaine

Rochester UCI Weekend Photo: Dave McElwaine

Then to top it off with a full on DQ on the Sunday’s race because I took one to many steps in the pit without a bike left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, and only to tell me that after the race just added to the embarrassment.  Oh well, it’s all training for Nats right?

Onto the last weekend of racing before Nats finishing it off with a bit of a more fun/less serious race with the O-Cup in Niagara Falls.  I was able to T-up with an old cycling friend of mine Nick Friesen to head to this race, and it ended up being a fun one!  Again with dry conditions the competition was pretty fierce right off the bat and even though I tried a few times to up the pace, I just couldn’t shake the two younger NCCP riders, Will and Ben.

O-Cup Niagara Photo: Jeremy Allen

O-Cup Niagara Photo: Jeremy Allen

Then after a crash of my own accord, followed by a very lovely turned disastrous encounter with a cool looking German Shepherd after a spectator scared the crap out of him, I was again on my ass picking my  bike up off the ground.  Apparently the young guns decided to wait for me after what happened, even though I wish they didn’t, which was very nice of them, but this is CX racing, and according to the fitness I thought I had, they needed all the help they could get.  Sure enough, I was on them pretty quick and with no time at all I was back at the pointy end of the race taking advantage of the way they were excessively running one section.

O-Cup Niagara Photo: Jeremy Allen

O-Cup Niagara Photo: Jeremy Allen

I rode it like the veteran teaching the kids a lesson.  And I’m pretty sure they learned a few things from it.  Will was on some pretty good form and even followed that weekend up with a second place finish in the U23 at Nationals, nice one!

Nationals:

Onto the big event.  With the organizers doing such a good job and the venue being pretty hard to compete with, I knew this one would go down in the history books as setting the bar really darn high, and they definitely did so.  I was even loving the course with all the technical bits in it, and changes of terrain so often it was a real treat to race it and a real CX course to boot!  Unfortunately I must have been a bit absent minded when it came to tire selection because thinking that file treads ahead of time were the tire of choice, came down to not being the right decision.  I ended up slipping out on the first real off camber section of the race which put me pretty far back, then following it up with another slip out on the same spot just a few laps later basically ended my hopes of being on the top step.  Not only that, but using the tires that I did meant that I was a bit sloppy and it gave me the feeling of riding on ice when I went over some of the gravel sections.  None of which were a concern when pre-riding the course at speed.  Oh well, another one for the knowledge of learning book. At least they got some good photos…

CX Nats Run up Photo: Stirl and Rae

CX Nats Run up Photo: Stirl and Rae

I also love when nats is towards the end of October or early in November because then I get to wear the poppy!  Anyways, I ended up charging hard from behind in the end the day in 4th, but far away from the podium still.

CX Nats Sand Pit Photo: Stirl and Rae

CX Nats Sand Pit Photo: Stirl and Rae

On Sunday I was extra motivated to somehow salvage a result after travelling all this way.  I swapped out the Clement LAS file treads for my favourite tread the MXP, and the whole day went so much better.  It didn’t take me long to kind of end up just off the back of the leading group, which sometimes I prefer, so I can ride things at my own pace instead of the pace of someone else’s.  But the whole day I was riding much better and with about 4 laps to go I finally made contact with the leaders but only for a quick second before riding the sand section like crap and being thrown back again once more.  Finally on the last lap I made a really big surge to catch the leaders and at the top of the sand pit area, I was finally on their wheels.  Only to have to loose the sprint handily because I was so gassed.  All in all, I salvaged a podium, and my dignity in the Can CX world.

Nationals Day 2 Photo: Peter Kraiker

Nationals Day 2 Photo: Peter Kraiker

Again, a really big thanks goes out to the organizing crew and volunteers with the CX Winnipeg 2014 this year, It really does set the bar quite high…

Nationals Day 2 Podium UCI C2

Nationals Day 2 Podium UCI C2

Don’t those lightweights look good on the podium like that!
Next up, European Champs C1 and C2 weekend!

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Comments
  1. Congratulations, Aaron.

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