Friday, December 12, 2008

Nationals Day 2

Well, day 2 is in the books and my cycling season is offically over. It ends with mixed feelings.

First, some great news. Chris Walker dominated the womens 45 - 49 race to the National Championship. She was impressive.

Second, some good news. Tanner road very strong to finish 18th in what the annoucers and cyclingnews called the best junior field in US cyclocross history. He struggled a bit with the speed of the start, but fought all race to work his way back to the top 20. I was a proud papa.

Finally, the not so good news. I had great legs yesterday and the worst legs of the year today. I got a great start off the line and was in the top ten into the first corner. That was the highlight. I was then taken out in the first corner and lost about 30 places before I got up and going. I quickly got back to the top 25 but then my legs stopped working. I spent the next 45 minutes watching countless guys pass my each time up the hill and couldn't do anything about it. At that point, my only goal was to avoid getting lapped by Tilford. I made it, but just barely. It's amazing the difference 24 hours can make.

However, all things considered, I'm not too disappointed. Yesterday was the most fun I had in a race this year and today I gave it all I had. It was cool just to be in the race. Also, the 45 - 49 group is crazy fast.

The hotel internet connection is very slow, so I only have the patience to post a few pictures.

The course was very muddy for Tanner's race. It rained over night and the track was like abode, mud with grass. It completely clogged bikes and made some of the hills unridable. The downhill sections were very slick. Kevin did a great job in the pit to give T a clean bike every lap. If you didn't change bikes, you could not finish. Your bike would just stopped working and weight about 35 pounds.

Tanner rode the slick stuff really well.

Here's Tanner's bikes at the finish waiting to get strayed off. Each has the mud of only one lap. Dugas Rihnos are really expensive tires but pretty much required today. You could tell watching the racers who had them and who didn't just by how much they were spinning out or not.

Dr. X made a showing and was going good until his heart rate problems resurfaced. Kind of a bummer. The course changed completely in the 3 hours from the end of Tanner's race to the start of the 45 - 49. It dried out and was soft but not muddy. My bike was pretty clean at the finish and no bike changes were required. However, the climb was very difficult due to the soft turf. There was no hiding. Either you had the power or you didn't. I didn't.

One of the two run-ups. While the course kicked my butt, it's the best cross venue I've been to. The course is challenging, fun and fair. Only a complete rider will win. The course is great for spectating with about 80% visiable from many vantage points. In addition, the facility nicely accomodates all the vehicles, team areas, etc. It's just too bad it is a 1,000 drive from home.
Tomorrow I get to watch the racing and work the pits. A bunch of Utah guys are racing so it should be fun. I'm looking forward to it.

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