Monday, December 15, 2008

Hard luck in the heartland: USAC Cyclocross Nationals, 12/12 - 12/14, 2008

Disappointment is the one word I can use to describe how I felt after my race. I knew I was capable of a podium finish and this was a day I wanted everything to come together, and it did in a sense. I felt great, but it came too close together and I was caught in a crash within the first minute of the start, after my too timid of a start, getting boxed out and not being aggressive enough. I was pushed into a stake and the tape and down hard, not really knowing how it happened, only to lose 30+ places. Hard luck, but I crawled back, willing my body to push back up to the group that still had podium spots left, but the dropping temperatures made it difficult and on the last lap, when I thought I could at least do some damage control and claim 7th, I lost my chain. With my cold hands, I did not set my bike down very nice, apparently, and I was not too speedy getting it back on. I lost another 30 seconds instantly. It was quite a let down. I felt that I had disappointed not only myself, but also everyone else that believed in me. And I know I could have been there. It was just a little case of tough luck and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But that is only one story of the weekend. The rest of the weekend was not so bad!
We were staying with Chris & Sonja, Tim's brother and his wife, and our three darling niece and nephews! We definitely had the cutest cheering squad out there. And Tim's mom and dad braved the temperatures and also cheered me on. Friday the weather was quite enjoyable, as was it Saturday. Sunday it was looking to be a pleasant day, but on our drive to the venue, we saw the temperature gauge drop from 61 degrees to in the 30's. When we left after packing bikes, it was 21 degrees. This does not take into account the wind. And it is windy in Kansas.
Friday, I was the pit crew for Wendy and Emily, as Wendy claimed the national championship in the 40-44 race and Emily finished 2nd in the 30-34. It is fun to pit for fast girls!
Wendy with her 2nd national championship jersey.

Emily on the podium at her first natty's.

Good times.

And then Saturday I cheered for Tim. I started in the pits but was too nervous. watching and cheering, knowing he was not where he wanted to be. Davey took over and I went to cheer him on. He had a disappointing race, finishing in 15th, but again, he had the cutest cheering squad, with his nephew Grant cheering for him louder than anyone!!! And really, he has one of the fastest master categories. I guess when you know you could have done better, nothing is good enough.
Tim.Grant ringing the cowbell.

Tim got some good hugs and kisses from his smallest, yet biggest fan!

Payton was excited to be there too!

We arrived back home to snow and ice and now the anticipation starts. Will my 9th place finish kill my chance to go to worlds after by best season yet? I am still leaving on Wednesday to go race some world cups and hopefully stay through worlds, but alternative plans will go into effect if that does not happen. Tim will join me on Christmas day and we will get him a taste of racing in Euroland too! It should be a great Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed that USAC will see beyond my crashed out performance in Kansas! Next blog from Belgium...

Ran into the Monavie crew at the airport. Bart Gillespie & Matt Ohran!


Garren said...


Good luck in Belgium! I'm sure you'll have a better day than Nats. Pretty random running into you at Dulles on your way over.


mtbjay said...

From the looks of your last photo, Sue, you might have done better if you only had two arms! Seriously though, you've always looked sooo strong out there. Good luck with your bid for worlds... and have fun regardless!

Krista Park said...

You are having some cross season! Have fun at the World Cup races.