DCCX Day 1
3rd place. Challenge Limus front, Clement MXP rear, 29/28 psi. 42 tooth chainring with 11-32 cassette.
Today makes everything worth it. All the stereotypical thing you hear from people who sacrifice everything for a dream. This is the feeling we all chase. Words can describe how amazing to day was.
But I'm gonna try.
A lot of things went into today to make it happen. Things like only an hour drive, being surrounded by the friends who have seen me suffer and strive to get to this level, a course that I love, the hunger to make it happen.
I had another first row call up, which will never ever get old. Focus. 30 seconds. Whistle!! Clip, shift, shift, hole shot!! Wall of noise!! Magical.
I did my best to not go any further back than 5th wheel. With a course as fast today's, gaps could open very quickly. I just wanted to be present and ready in case anything happened. We managed to get a group of 6 off the front, but with 5 to go, the group slowed and there were guys trying to make contact on the back, so I went to the front and stretched it out. Less people, better odds. This split the group into 4, Ben Berden, Cameron Dodge, Dan Timmerman, and myself. We played cat and mouse for a few laps, each of us taking digs, but with no separation.
With one lap to go, Dan was stretching it out, game time. He dug a pedal and hit the deck! WOAH!! Cam made it past very quickly, and I did everything I could to get to him. I couldn't quite close the gap, and Ben Berden came around at the very end. But man, I've never felt so good to get on the podium.
The crowd was a huge reason I was able to ride today. I heard so many familiar voices, saw so many familiar faces and to be able to show them how far I've come from the first time I raced DCCX (4 years ago, 13th in the Cat 4/5). Every time through the start finish it was a wall of noise and its something I will never forget.
Tomorrow is a new day, and I feel that I can climb one (or two) steps higher on the podium, but now, sleep!! Enjoy the pictures from Noa Smallwood and Doug Graham.