US Open of Cx and Down Time in COS

After Madison I spent the week at my new residence in Greensboro, Nc with my little Emmy Shields. She is in grad school at UNCG and has an apt just by Brandt Lake. Bike path access to the local MTB trails and I scouted out a good coffee shop 2mi away.

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I have been racing for the past 8 weekends straight, Rochester-Boulder. With that in mind training becomes a little tricky sometimes. Luckily, I have Jim Lehman to keep my mind at ease. He instructed me to motor pace on Wednesday, which I like. Motor pacing is good because it is a longer effort, 60min, and has a wide range of efforts, threshold, tempo, and vo2, all the while keeping your legs moving fast, which is really beneficial for CX. Plus, it doesn’t take as much of a toll to motivate myself for the workout. Interval workouts are much harder to get motivated for especially in between race weekends. 

I flew to Denver on Friday and met the team for a team dinner at our Head Mechanics house, James Sullivan. It was nice to go to a house and relax instead of being in a restaurant. Much better vibe in my opinion and it brings the team closer together. 

Saturday we all set out for a team spin together then it was off to the races. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the race. The field was a bit smaller, some racers were in Europe at Valkenburg world cup (mostly for the women’s field) and some were racing another UCI C2 weekend in New Jersey. I had my eyes set on the podium but after a good start and making the front group I quickly found the effects of altitude and struggled through the middle of the race.

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I got spit out the back of the front group and then rode with a small chase group until the end, when I finished 9th. I wasn’t too happy with my result but altitude racing is often time unpredictable. Jamey ended up taking the win, so did Caroline, and Fernando finished 5th in his first UCI CX race of the season so the team still had a good first day!

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Another fun team dinner at James house, this time instead of cooking ourselves, for convenience James ordered Yellow Belly Chicken (a restaurant in Boulder) for dinner! Fried Smashed Potatoes! 

Sunday we hit the bike path again and the consensus from everyone was that “the legs were in rough shape.” But chances are if you feel like crap a lot of other racers do too.

Caroline couldn’t quite seal the double W but ended up 2nd and took 1st place in the ProCX overall. Rebecca finished 6. 

I found myself in the front group again this time on a more technical, slow moving course, which I think suited my racing style and stunted the effects of the altitude on my body.

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Fernando, Jamey, and I were all in the front group of 6 so it was pretty cool to see us riding together up there. Unfortunately, I only lasted until 3 laps to go when I faded back and finished 6. Once again Jamey had a great race, 2nd. Fernando finished 3rd, which was great! Two Raleigh-Clement riders on the podium! Lance had a much better race on Sunday as well but still is having a hard time securing that 1 UCI point to help his start spot.

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With the work over it was time to play! I went to Colorado Springs with Caroline and made plans to ride Moto’s with Russell and Keegan in the Wet Mountains on Monday then do a moto ride in the Cheyenne Canyon on Tuesday, right from town.

I got up early Monday morning, went to Dunkin Donuts and got a dozen before heading to Russell’s, loading up the moto’s then it was off to the trail. About 1.5hr drive south and it was go time!

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The trails we started out on were so freaking hard! Steep, ledgy, loose, switch backs, etc. I started to get better as the day went on but my chicken wings (cycling arms) were struggling with the worse case of arm pump I have ever experienced.

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That is probably mainly from holding on for dear life while trying to navigate the most technical terrain I have ever ridden. I probably would have had a hard time hiking this stuff… In the end I survived and was smiling ear to hear the whole way back to the springs, though I could barely shower that night because my arms were fried.

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Tuesday Morning was the same deal. This time Caroline came with. We convened at Russell’s house again and set out for the canyon, about 10min drive. Then we rode some easier trails, but still really fun. Caroline and I packed it in early while the rest of the crew continued to ride some trails similar to what we did on Monday. In hindsight I am glad I pulled the plug because my arms were shot and I would have ended up sending it off the side of the mountain. 

I pedaled over to CTS for a bike fit. Jim hooked me up with a quick Retul fit. Good news is that I didn’t have to change my position. I haven’t had a bike fit for 6-7 years but apparently I have my fit down just by feel.

The moto gang met at Kelli’s for group dinner of tacos and followed by an impromptu radiator surgery on my moto. Turns on out I cracked it. Figures I have a super slow speed tip over crash and I do damage to my bike. Not to worry though a new one is on the way! 

I was supposed to leave today but I write this blog from Caroline’s living room (I have been staying with her since Sunday night). My plane had a mechanical. So instead of taking the flight that got me in super late tonight I just told them to rebook me for tomorrow morning. Looks like I am hitting the incline this evening! Back to training… 

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