October 22, 2006

Granogue - Wissahickon Report

This weekends two races were somewhat humbling, but also reminders of just how hard it is to make it to the top. I must say, going into the weekend I was hoping for some good results and strong racing from myself since the races in Michigan and Ohio went so well and I felt like I was riding stronger than I had been all season.
Saturday's race in Granogue was bad. The start was a long uphill cement dragstrip and starting between Wicks and Trebone on the front row left me nowhere to hide as we hit 30+ mph off the gun. It was very strange, but apparently I blew up no more than 3 minutes into the race and I started going backwards fast. I couldn't recover at all, my chest felt like it was going to burst, my legs refused to go in circles and my head was dizzy for oxygen. I guess the unusually hard start did some serious damage and it wasn't until about 45 minutes into the race that I began to feel like my breathing had slowed down and my legs had caught up. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but I was quite disappointed with my performance.
Sunday in at the Wissahickon race things went better. I new I hadn't actually ridden that hard the day before since I spent about 40 minutes recovering and not racing and my legs felt much better. Warming up was night and day difference and I felt much more confident plus, the course was very technical and I thought it suited me better than the previous day so I was pretty excited to try and make up for yesterday.
The leadout was much shorter and I actually was able to ride with the lead group for a lap, then some guys like Wicks, Wells, and Powers rode through me, and finally I got dropped and raced against Fratini and Troy Wells, both of which beat me in the end, but at least I was able to hang on for 10th and a little respect after yesterday.
Both races were eye opening after racing at the front for the win the last few weeks. It's easy to start thinking you're at the top of your game until you line up with 90 of the top guys in the country and Trebone and Tim Johnson ride past you like you're being lapped. I quickly remembered I was no longer a favorite to win, more like a favorite to crack the top 10.

The speed at these races are much higher than anything I have done previously so I think after a few more I can do better. Today I felt like I had given it my all and had had a very solid race and I ended up 10th so that is encouraging. I'm pretty sure my leg speed and intensity will improve from each race and it's well within myself to gain some strength as the season progresses. This weekend was good to put myself in perspective of where I am at and what I need to do to get better.
I should at least feel good that I was riding with Geoff Kabush mid race and was able to drop him through the start area which was pretty rad, not too often do you get to do that to a NORBA XC champ.

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