October 12, 2011

Time is going quick these days. I have raced 5 or 6 weeks straight and lost track. I have flown across the country for 3 of the last 4 and usually arriving in Milwaukee on Monday with barely enough time to punch in by 3 at work that afternoon. That usually makes about a 20 hour day after racing twice and a 20 hour day on Friday leaving for the race.
That has left Tuesday - Thursday for unpacking and repacking and two days for training, if you want to call it that. Luckily, last weekend in Gloucester I seemed to have found my legs despite the long days at home and the horrible travel situations I have been in. Of my 3 weekends for flying, 2 of them had cancelled flights and one of them I lost my bikes. It was a rough start to the season but since Gloucester they have been getting better.

This last Saturday and Sunday I found myself in Ft. Collins, CO for round 3 and 4 of the USGP. My training during the week has not been ideal which means day #1 at the races I don't really know what to expect since I am not able to do some of my openers and workouts during the week that I would normally do to come into Saturday ready to rock. Last weekend in Gloucester it seemed to work out, this weekend in Ft. Collins it did not. I was flat, off balance on my bike and was just not able to get over 60% and in the mud/rain and that just equaled a horrible ride. It was actually my worst USGP since 2008 when I flew into Philly and made it to the race only 1 hour before the start and rode my bike to the start for a warmup, that is bad.

Well, cleaning bikes till 9pm in the hotel, driving around till 10pm doing laundry, eating a burrito, pizza and a blizzard from DQ while I contemplated quitting racing SAturday after the race somehow must have gotten me back in the groove because Sunday morning I woke up and stepped on the floor and knew I had good legs. Two laps on the course for warmup and it was confirmed - I was going to have a good day. Complete 180 from Saturday both physically and mentally. I had no tiredness from the day before and the legs were quick and strong. I also had the perfect tire set up with the FMB Sprint tires which hooked up so good on the dried out course it was amazing. I have never ridden file treads before but these were the ticket on the day and I am really fortunate cyclocrossracing.com hooked me up with a pair.

Long story short I made the lead group for one lap, got gapped when Jeremy and Trebon started attacking on lap 2 or 3. I rode solo for about 3-4 laps until Tim Johnson caught me. That was actually a good thing as he helped pace me a bit and gave me a rest. He really surged a lot and seemed like he was trying to drop me all over the place but I felt well within myself for all the accelerations and I was having no problems in the tricky sections staying with him. With 2 to go I seemed to gap him a bit on the climbs but 1/2 a lap later he was back. I led the last lap and expected a hard attack but it never really came. With maybe 500 meters left Tim passed me but couldn't drop me. We opened it up for the sprint and I didn't have a hard time coming around him. I am almost still in disbelief that one day I could be so bad and the next day have the best ride I have had on a national level in a long time, maybe ever, and it almost seemed easy.

I'll have about 3 good weeks now to get in some solid training and catch up around here a little bit before November kicks off with two weekends of traveling to Iceman and Louisville. Hopefully I can gain some fitness and get back to some consistent racing, although I'm not sure I would trade consistency for one bad day if there was also one really good day again. At least I know it's still in there.


Greg said...

Hey Tristan, I'm a former upper midwesterner who has done a number of WORS races and such over the years. I met you a time or 2. I'm now living in Boulder, spectated at the Ft. Collins USGP on Sunday, and all I can say is that that was an AWESOME PERFORMANCE by you!!! CONGRATULATIONS on your huge day!!!

Kurt said...

Huge result on Sunday! I'm looking forward to seeing what you're able to do in November and December as your form really starts to come around.

Anonymous said...

It's still there all right, and if it weren't for having to keep your day job we'd be seeing more of your good races and less of your bad ones.

Mark said...

So, Tristan’s tip to get to Top 10 at USGP is DQ Bizzard’s the night prior.
Got it Thanks.
Now I just have to find out if it was vanilla or chocolate ice cream and what kind of blizzard.
I was thinking Bryers or Jeni’s Ice Cream, but I am down with DQ.