|Photo: Niki Cyp|
Following the weekend of USGP Madison I flew out to Boston for the Gran Prix of Gloucester (pronounced Glaaasta if you're fromt Baaaaston) and had a great time out there. We stayed in great place right on the coast in Rockville, MA, had some fish n chips and raced bikes in the sun and rain.
The fields this year have been a little bigger and a little more stacked and it seems like everyone has upped their game a little bit. The racing has been tight and I feel I am riding pretty good right now, but maybe not at my very best. I think normaly I would have finished a little better even riding how I am, but this year it seems like 3-4 guys I normally beat when I am good, are beating me 50% of the time and a few new guys are now competive too. I didn't have any huge results in Gloucester, but I did improve on my races from Madison quite a bit and my legs felt a lot faster and up to speed. I think I was 12th and 9th, probably raced better than those results but I'd rather be a little more aggresive and lose a spot or two than passive and just ride to the finish.
Following the 3 day trip to Gloucester I had a quick flight home and a full day of work on Monday which turns into a really long day. Not being able to get home and relax has been a bit tough, since by Tuesday I am already trying to plan out the following weekend but I still have dirty laundry from the last weekend. So, last week I had 3 days to turn around and fly back to Hartford, CT where I stayed with my CT host house Family and race the cyclocross race in Providence, RI Sat and Sun. I have been staying with the Pulvers since 2005 when I first stayed there during my east coast cross campaign of 2005 and 2006. That was also the first year CX nationals were in Providence and I think the first year I went to CX worlds. Anyway, I always have a great time with them and the racing went better as well. Saturday the course was tacky and fast. I had a decent start but never saw the front of the race. I ended up riding in the 2nd group the whole race which was fighting for 5th place. I made a pretty hard move with about 3 to go, but I wasn't able to break the group down any smaller and in the end it hurt me more than helped. I suffered a bit the last lap and ended up last in the group for 11th, but still my best C1 result this year.
Day 2 seems to go better and again this week it rained pretty good for about 3hrs leading up to the race so the course was super slick and technical. I felt totally comfortable letting the bike do what it wanted underneath me and eventually worked my way up to 5th. I was riding pretty comfortably with Ben Berden (Clement/Raleigh) when I pitted for a clean bike and that is a bit when things starting going backwards a bit. Bike #2 had too much air and Iwasn't comfortable on it at all. I switched back to bike #1 but lost Berden in the process and maybe a litle steam. Yannick Eckman caught me and I rode with him a lap but lost him as well. I should have pitted again but decided mentall I like the bike I was on despite it being super heavy and I rode it out the last 3 laps. I didn't really notice it but Driscoll was coming up on me the last lap pretty fast and I was still lugging my heavy bike around. He ended up getting me with about 300 meters to go and I ended up 8th. In hind sight I should have pitted more and kept taking light clean bikes, but mentally I kept thinking I liked how I felt on the bike I was riding and just stayed on it.