All photos WORS.org
The last couple of seasons June has been a good month for me fitness wise. I come home from 3-4 days of racing in Iowa for Memorial weekend and about 2-3 weeks later I am flying. This year has been really similar. At Wausau I had the best legs of the year and state road championships were really good too. Greenbush RR for TOAD (Tour of America's Dairyland) happened to be on Monday last week and being only 5 minutes from my house on all the roads I train on I couldn't pass it up. Again, really good legs. I don't even train for long road races but I rode 79.5 miles off the front in an 80 mile race and barely hurt the next day. Ended up 5th behind J. Cantwell, never missed a pull in 3.5 hours of rotation and was climbing really well.
When I start riding like that I loose a couple pounds too and going into Subaru Cup I was about 143lbs on one of our scales and 145 on the other. That is really light for me. I stopped all sugar for 1 month before which was really hard, especially for an oatmeal eater, but after a week I seem to adjust and an apple and raisens stop all my cravings, but no sugar is still really hard. I figured I lost about 1lb a week just doing that.
So, going into Subaru Cup I had aspirations of riding top 5, I thought that was possible if things went my way and if I had super legs. I didn't. I had ok legs, but not super. Things also did not go my way very much. I knew before I got there that I would be dissapointed in the call up and I was, 40th. That pretty much takes you out of the race unless you are super. Last year I got lucky at the start and had really good legs. This year the bottleneck at the top of the climb hurt everyone outside the top 10 and I was just not good enough to make up the huge time gap lost on the first lap. I rode behind Sam Schultz, last years winner and he was in the same boat. Last year he won, this year he was bogged down in 20th with me and was no faster than anyone else he was around. A perfect case in point of how critical the start is in a big race. But, going into it I knew that would be the case because I choose to chase points around the country for cyclocross instead of mtn bike so more or less after lap 1 it was just a race for WORS points and I resorted to that early on.
I will say the course was a true mtn bike course and if I could choose to race mtn bikes week in and week out it would be that style of racing. Punchy climbing, short somewhat technical descents and fast pace. I really like that and it is very challenging. It was good to be challenged above what we normally do for WORS, what a contrast between Wausau last week and Subaru Cup this week, one is wide open throttle start to finish and one took some serious skill and technique. Very fun.
The short track was a bit of a disappointment as well, but not totally a bad result. Warming up I was completely dialed on my Felt 6 hardtail and ready to kill it up the steep climb. Then, 5 minutes before the start we all found out there was a mistake and the climb was not in the mens race. That blew my whole game plan and focus. That hill was to my major advantage and partly the reason for the no sugar diet. I was going to crush that climb. So, I quickly swapped to my Felt Edict that I just got because there wouldn't be that much climbing and a lot more bumpy pedaling. Perfect for the Edict. That is until Brian asked where my # plate was 30 seconds before they called my name for call up. Luckily my car was 100ft from the start so I rode over, swapped wheels and made it back on the hardtail with my number plate, but I missed my call up and was 3rd row. Things didn't go much better from there. I was way off of making the front group like last year and the hard climb I was hoping for wasn't there. I picked off some riders, but didn't really feel like I had given it my all being stuck between groups the whole race. But, that is short track racing and again, without really being part of the national series a top result doesn't really matter in the end and due to Matter's bad luck with course tape, I got top WORS points for the short track too, but definitely not what I was looking for going into the weekend.
So, it was a so-so weekend of racing depending on perspective. Awesome course and WORS does a fine job, it's exciting for everyone to watch the big pros race and it is really great to have so many people out cheering for me. I really appreciate it so thanks. In my mtnbikeracenews.com interview a couple months ago they asked me about Subaru Cup and what it means for us WORS racers. I think I might have made a self fulfilling prophesy concerning all this, but it is what it is and I'll be looking forward to coming back next year and looking for that result I've wanted at a NORBA for the last 10 years. I think it's possible, there are just a lot of things that have to go right and bike racing is not the most predictable sport. That's what makes it so exciting.