This is only, obviously, from my perspective. You can read about the blow by blow at cyclingnews or wherever.
There is only one place at Elite Cross Nationals. And Todd Wells got that place. Every other place is losing. There are guys with personal goals for the race or season, but those are the guys that never had an opportunity to win this race in the first place. I know that sounds a little elitist, but that is the mindset of all the guys that legitimately have the ability to win.
I never was going to have the opportunity to race. But, I loved the race all the same. The carnage the first lap is indescribable. You’re just as gassed as you raced full on the whole lap, but you weren’t moving for what seems like a couple minutes. The amount of dismounting and then not moving is crazy. I didn’t ruin any equipment, as far as I know.
My race went like this. I’m not sure how I got called up. Maybe around 130th or so. It seemed like there were a bunch of guys behind me, but I stood there forever as they called the random numbers. It does create a very non nervous start.
I passed maybe 40 riders on the road. Missed the huge pileup 50 meters into the mud. But, there was another huge clog on the first mucky grass switch back area. I refused to run 75 meters in the mud, so lost a lot of gain I had initially made. The first count I heard was 68th. I moved up into the 50’s somewhere in the first lap. I rode pretty good the next lap and then on the 3rd lap I augered my knee into the ground when I fell on some loose gravel. Go figure that. I’d been riding all week in mud and there is dry, loose gravel in a corner. That is cross.
That set me back. Somehow I got stuck in my big ring. It not that big of a ring, a 46T, but it hurt bad over on the slow, grass section with the flyover and hill. I was gassed. I kicked my front derailluer a couple times and finally shifted it with my hand on the pavement. I rode the rest of the race in my small ring.
I finally got going good with 3 laps to go. I moved up into the 30’s and was passing all the most of the guys that were dying. I can’t blame them. It was super hard. I got up to 35th with 2 to go and was riding through the start area and the UCI ass pulled me. Totally took me by surprise. I knew where Todd was on the course and he wasn’t anywhere hear lapping me. I sat there nearly 2 minutes before Todd came through for his final lap.
I’ve never been pulled in a cyclo-x. I don’t really care. I do care that I didn’t get to race the last two laps today. I’ll have to wait to see the finish times and lap times before I go on a complete rant, but it left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. I probably wouldn’t of passed more than 5-10 more guys in the final two laps, but it seems if this is the National Championships, they should be able to figure out the times much better than they do. It is so small time in that respect, it is a joke. You can click here for the full results. I think the first 34 places are sort of accurate.
Other than that, I had a great day. I’m a bit worried it takes me 40 minutes of racing to get going fast nowadays. I was super lazy warming up today. That is because of no goal or motivation I think. Plus, I wanted to watch the women’s race and soak up the surroundings. It was a good trade off I think. I’ll try to post some short videos of the whole venue some day soon. I’m not sure how to do that in short time.
We’re eating with Paul Biskup now, going to the post race party and driving back towards Kansas sometime tomorrow. I’m going to stop in Steamboat Spings to visit Kent Eriksen and ski a bit on the way back.