October 17, 2012

Ft Collins USGP Report

Optum Pro Cycling race report and photos

It was Optum Pro Cycling in full effect last weekend in Ft Collins at round #3 & 4 of the USGP. Full support staff, mechanics, the full mens team and also a full womans team meant a lot of racers and a lot of bikes in a small area. It was really fun to be a part of the team, it's not something I am use to, nor is having 3 tents and a mechanic on hand to hang out in. It really changes the feel at the races and we had probably the biggest pressence of any team at the race. You can click the link below the picture and read about it on Optum Pro Cycling.com
I had the best weekend of racing I have had in a long time and for sure this season. I'm not sure what it is, but I seem to race really well at altitude. I haven't figured out why, but I've had some of my top cross results ever both in Ft Collins last year and Boulder last year and this year was no different. The last few weeks I have been building and finishing stronger each week but this weekend I was going really well.

Saturday was really a good race for me. I was riding the HED Ardennes SL wheels with Griffo tires and it was a great setup for the course since the ground had that perfect hero dirt tackiness to it. The course also  has quite a bit more climbing to it than most courses, maybe that helps me a bit as well, but I was able to sit in the front group until about 1/2 way through the race and that was a great feeling.  It finally came down to Danny Summerhill (Chipotle), Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement), and myself in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th with under 2 laps to go and I was pretty sure I'd be able to at least have a chance at a podium or worst maybe 5th place. Something went wrong with my front derailleur mid lap so I pitted and lost the group but was still ok, unfortunately the air valve on the rear wheel must of been leaking a tiny amount on my 2nd bike and when I got on it it maybe had 10psi in it. I rode a lap on it, but barely hanging on since it was washing all over in the corners, I lost a spot to Mitch Hoke and Geoff Kabush before I could get my A bike back the following lap. I ended up only 6 seconds back from 6th and 10 seconds back from Kabush so it was pretty disappointing to have bad luck with such a great result that close, but I'm pretty lucky to still manage 7th with all that going on and I think I can still build off that ride.

Sunday I had another good day. The course was much dryer and faster with a lot of groups forming during the race. I chased the front group maybe 5-10 seconds back all day and picked off riders as they came off one by one. I never quite made contact with the front group, but managed another top 10 with 8th on day 2 and I am pretty happy with that.

It was a great weekend to hang out with the team and meet some new people. We had a couple team dinners after the races and it was great to hear all the war stories the riders have from a full season of road racing. I think the big reason we all race is so we can all sit and talk about the races when we are done.

Next up is Boulder Cup. Till then I'll get in a couple days of rest, and then a good solid block of training again. Hopefully I can build off the last few weekends and start working on some top 5s!

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