Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The shortest cx season ever! Ending with a rainbow! Louisville, KY, Jan. 28-Feb. 4, 2013

LET SKI SEASON BEGIN!!! This may have been the shortest cx season ever, but it felt really long. 2 races, 2 wins. Although the season actually began back in August with shattered dreams and lots of tears, I salvaged my season and accomplished what I set out to do. As some have pointed out, this may be the first time in history that someone has raced only nationals and worlds (masters) and won them both. It wasn't easy. It was a lot of work. More tears. Lots of self doubt. But in the end, hard work and perseverance has paid off. I am proud to say I won masters world championships for age 40-44.  I will now always be a world champion. There are too many people to thank, because without the positive energy I choose to surround myself with, I would not have even attempted it. Goals are good. They make you focus. They make you dedicated to recovery. I am lucky it was possible.

Just a little race recap (or week recap):
Arrival in Louisville, we were greeted with temps in the 60's. Tuesday's pre-ride, we were sweating in long sleeve jerseys. It was a shocker. But it would change fast. Wednesday, a super early wake up call for Tim's heat race at 8:30 a.m., temps had dropped, but not too much. Rain overnight with high winds, tornado warnings in the morning and sloggy conditions, it was 2 hours delayed, but 10:30 the gun went off and Tim placed 2nd in his heat. Front row start for Friday. We were off to a good start. 

Tim having a great qualifier. Leading Don Myrah, who would eventually be the only one to beat him in the heat.

Success!!! Front row for Friday! Pit person is happy. (that's me)
Thursday was my race day. 2:45 start. It didn't freeze solid overnight, but conditions were a mess by the afternoon. I didn't even bother to pre-ride, but watched others slog through the course. That was enough beta for me. I watched Studley's race and knew what I was getting myself into. Course conditions worsened by the hour. I would like to say my race was 'fun', but it wasn't. You could hardly pedal. Running was sometimes faster. It was as un-fun as it could get for a cx race and worse case scenario for me. 15 minute laps. A true slog. Heavy bikes. Slow motion racing.
I was determined to get the hole shot, having a front row start for the first time this season. :) I did and once we hit the dirt, it was like the brakes were on. I could not separate myself from anyone. I didn't pit going by the first time, but did every time after that. It was the slowest race I have done since the Mercer Cups in New Jersey. Kristin Weber was running faster than I was riding and on that second lap, I was getting scared. One mistake. One small mechanical. It could all be over. Anything could happen. I had to stop and clear my front fork to get my front wheel to turn. I couldn't get going after the barriers. It was miserable and K. Weber would put 10 seconds back on me by running sections I rode. I didn't know I had it until I hit the tarmac to the finish line. I have never run uphill as fast as I did that second lap. I wanted to win sooooo bad, and I was going to chew my arm off to do so.  I worked my ass off and in the end, I did it. What a relief! World Champion had a nice ring to it.

My first holeshot of the season.
Friday was Tim's race at 12:30 and my turn to pit. It was horrible. I didn't see any of the race, b/c my head was buried in a frozen drive train, chunking off mud, trying to get a bike ready for him to pit every half lap without pressure washers and only the bucket of water I had brought. It was camaraderie in the pits. Folks that had peeps so far back out of contention were helping me get Tim's bike ready. Even after their people got pulled, they stayed to help. I did my best with Drew's help. And in the end, Tim finished 6th. He got shoved into the tape on the start, but got back in and never gave up. I wish I could have cheered or seen a bit more. I was super proud of him, but wouldn't see him until much later, b/c I pit for Tre the race after. Another total shit show. I think I was more sore and wrecked from pitting on Friday than racing Thursday. 

Good thing I brought my 'b' bike too, b/c he ended up riding it. Pit was truly epic.
So, with all said and done, it was a great cx season. I wish it would have been different. Watching the elite races on Saturday was amazing. Racing would have been amazing. It was history being made. And even on the other side of the course, I was proud to be a part of it. Now bring on the snow!!!

Ryan would sure look funny with Tim's body.

Hanging with Solana for the race! Being super fans.

Our awesome host, pit person, etc: Drew Hartman (& Michelle)

1 comment:

wojtek said...

I have some clips from 45-49 final race:


.. and Sue Butler herself: