Monday, October 29, 2007

USGP#1&2: Louisville, KY, October 27-28, 2007

This was the big weekend of truth. All of our point chasing and training thus far was for this weekend, the first U.S. Grand Prix weekend of races. The USGP is essentially the national series for cyclocross and this was the first of three weekends throughout the season that Wendy and I will travel to test ourselves against the best of the best! Our focus and goal this year is to make the U.S.A. Cycling Cyclocross team for worlds in Italy in January. It is good to have a dream to chase, but now I believe this dream is truly within our reach.

RACE DAY#1: Saturday, October 27th
It is always hard to travel to the east coast with the 3 hour time change, but we managed to muster up some energy and get up early enough to spin out our legs in the a.m. Race time was 1:45. The weather was crisp, but nice and the fall colors were pretty spectacular. It was hard to not be happy. We got a late start getting to the venue. Somehow time got away from us, but we registered and were able to get on the course for 45 minutes prior to our race. A perfect warm up. The course was fun with some mud sections, lots of sand and plenty of twisty turns and straightaways.
The call ups were quick, with Wendy on the front line as #7. I was back a bit at #12, but was still in the second row. A nice change from last year. We were getting wise to the game. The gun went off and the pace was plenty rich and the field did not take long to separate. Katie Compton out front, the Canadian trio followed and Georgia Gould chased them down. When she came by me, she was flying. I can't really recall exactly what happened the entire race, but I was riding with Rachael Lloyd and Kerry Barnholt for a while. Rachael got away and I rode most of the race with Kerry, trying to chase her down. Well, I couldn't do it, but I did finish in 8th place. My best finish at a USGP ever. Wendy was just 20 seconds back in 9th place. 2 top 10 finishes. We were pretty psyched!

Getting 'er done on Saturday.

That would be me in front of Georgia Gould on the 'green monster'. A brief moment of glory. She blew by me and I never saw her again. Oh well.

RACE DAY #2: Sunday, October 28th
Another beautiful day in Louisville. We started our morning with a nice sunny spin through the park we were staying near. I could tell it was going to a good day. We arrived earlier and the course was open again prior to our race. They changed it a bit, making less out and back straight aways and more twisty turns and sand. Yahoo. Love that sand! I had another good start, lining up behind Wendy Simms again. Wendy was in the front row, so I quickly worked my way up to her wheel. Again, Katie was off the front and we were much closer to the chase group for a while. Kerry Barnholt, Wendy and I made a nice little 3 pack and raced most of the race together, changing leaders only occasionally. On the second to last lap, I got fouled up in the sand pits riding too close to Kerry and had to run and then lost Wendy and her. I chased back on, but that was pretty much it. With a lap to go, there wasn't much fight left. They were both much quicker on the run ups and on the last one, I lost some time flubbing up getting back into my pedals and they beat me up the 'green monster', the awesome over under we had both days. By the time we got down from that, the race was pretty much decided. I chased hard, but Kerry got both of us by a few seconds and Wendy finished 7th, 3 seconds ahead of me in 8th. Again, great finishes and nothing to complain about. We are both right where we need to be!

The River City Duo on the chase...

The "green monster" from the side.

RACE AFTERTHOUGHTS: I really love racing my bike. It was a fun, social weekend with great racing and it is exciting to know we are in position to accomplish our goals. This was just the start. There is a lot of racing left this season, but the time seems to be just flying by. I guess traveling almost every weekend will do that. Off to Boulder next weekend. Stay tuned.

After a weekend of great racing...

1 comment:

PiP said...