Photos from Michael Janikowski
The weather here in WI has not been very fall like the last two weeks, it's been more spring like with lots of overcast and rain. That is not fall in WI normally but it's about par for the year I'd say.
I started the cross sesason out last weekend by traveling to StarCrossed in Seattle, WA where my team Cyclocrossracing.com is based out of. I had never raced in Seattle before and with big cross races going along with my team being from there it was a great way to get there and see what Seattle is all about. Unfortunately some overbooked flights and lost luggage on Frontier screwed up the weekend and I suffered the raw end of the deal on little sleep, borrowed bikes and not very good races. It was a still a fun weekend despite and the guys out there really take care of me so it was good to spend some time with them even if I had to use a borrowed helmet for the races.
On to the big races and the USGP season opener in Madison. The last few years I seem to have found awesome form for these races so I was sort of expecting it to happen this year since I am basically on the same plan. That didn't happen at all and this year with the rain and muddy courses there was no hiding at all. You either had it or didn't. I knew 500ft into the race on day 1 that I didn't have it and despite giving it everything I couldn't go harder than 70% it felt like. I lost ground the whole race, couldn't ride with anyone and felt off balance in every corner. It was ugly and very frustrating as I was hoping to ride a bit better on the home course. Sunday came and so did the wind, rain, thunder, lighting, and hail.
By the time we raced at 4pm the course was well beyond destroyed with a 2-3" layer of mud and slippery slimmy corners. I had a good tire selection with the FMB Grippo XL at about 25psi, and the legs were much better, I could sit down and feel the tire hooking up, but I still didn't have the horsepower to move forward. It was funny because Brian Matter passed me 1/2 way through the first lap
and no one passed me the remainder of the race and I didn't pass anyone else . I couldn't see anyone in front of me and only Weighal and Wicks were behind me loosing ground - I finished 15th. It was a difficult day to be off, but I'm glad I was better on Sunday and the conditions could not have been worse.
So, the season is now in full swing and this coming weekend I am flying out to Hartford, CT with Jamie to stay at my friends and host house of the 2006 and 2007 east coast cross campaign season the Pulvers. I'll do the GP Gloucester out there, then come home and get ready for round #2 of the USGP in Ft. Collins October 8-9. It's going to be a stressfull two weeks coming up with lots of packing, unpacking, bike work and regular work but it will be fun to do a little travel after a season of just WI racing.
Big thanks to my sponsors Cyclocrossracing.com, Blue bikes, Lazer helmets and Rolf Prima wheels. I have excellent support and I wouldn't be able to race at this level without them.