Never give up...never giving up!

DCCX Day 2

Fifth place. Challenge Limus front, Clement MXP rear, 25/26 psi---> Clement PDX front and rear, 28/28, 42 tooth chainring with 11-32 cassette

In my pre ride, I tried to get a little fancy on the flyover, and almost ate it. Hard. Like season ending hard. About pooped myself. Moving on. 

When I want to show someone what cyclocross is, and actually have them like it, I say, "you need to come to DCCX." Every year I've participated or spectated, it has been perfect, sweatshirt weather. The crowds have been amazing, food and drink are on point, and it's such a well run, party for cyclocross. I was fortunate to have some amazing friends come to the race to see why I am so tired all the time and they loved it. My Dad and Stepmom made it out and all my friends in the DC and surrounding area yelled so loud at me! It was a very humbling experience.

Photo: Noa Smallwood

I'm going to get all misty eyed about the importance of never giving up for a little, so if you want the race report, you can skip all this motivational crap to get the play by play. This season, on my road team, Kelly Benefit Strategies, we would tell each other to "NEVAH GIVE UP!" in our best Murray impressions (the team director) and it stuck. I've had to write posts about how important it is to never quit this season. Those were more of a "this is what I'm supposed to say" or "even though there wasn't a result, at least I never gave up". But today, it actually paid off. They say practice makes perfect right? I do it for my sponsors, my supporters, and myself because I've worked too hard at this to not finish a race. 

So today, I had very tired legs, too little tire pressure, and had to pit, and wanted to ease off pedaling hard because it just. plain. hurt. But, never give up right? It ended up working in my favor as I went from 8th (possibly worse) to 5th in the last half lap. So, never giving up is important, no matter what the race is because it WILL pay off. Either in actual results, or as and investment for the next time it could pay off. And it just feels better than quitting. On to the race report!!

Holeshot! Photo: Noa Smallwood

Holeshot! Photo: Noa Smallwood

I managed the holeshot again today (Loud. Awesome) and led through the difficult off camber "W" section, trying to avoid all the carnage behind. I settled into 2nd, then 3rd, then 5th wheel and had to come to terms with my legs being pretty cooked from the yesterday's race. That, combined with going very deep to stay with the front guys and a tire pressure that was just too low had me slip back to 7th, with the gap up to 5-6th growing. I had a flawless bike change from my main man Myles in the pit and slowly worked my way up to Tristian Cowie (MOB) and we rode together for the middle 3 laps of the race. 

Photo: Noa Smallwood

Photo: Noa Smallwood

As the race wound down, Robert Marion (American-Classic) and Dan Chabanov (Richard Sachs) were closing in on us. I REALLY didn't want to race 3 other people for a 7th place. Putting on the gas through the barriers in the 2nd to last lap, I was able to get a few seconds. Head down, all-in. Running away from the guys behind me. It was never about moving up in the standings, just securing the position.

Until

I look up, and 5-6th place (Christian Favata and Kerry Warner) are in reach, and coming back! Head down, all-in (still running away from a charging Robert Marion). With half a lap to go, contact is made, take a few breaths, and figure out how to get around these guys. 3rd wheel into the twisties before the stairs. Favata washes a little bit, and I am able to come around. 2nd wheel into and over the flyover. 

Photo: Noa Smallwood

You know how you should always learn from your mistakes? Yesterday, Ben Berden attacked me on the rise out of the fly over, in the last point on the course to make a pass. Had I protected the line a bit more...who knows. BUT, I learned that it was the last point in the race to pass. Back to the story.

I set up outside and gave it everything and passed Kerry in the same spot, 24 hours earlier I was being passed and was able to get 5th! In a UCI race! The best part was doing it in front of family and friends at my "home" race. Super special.

My favorite picture of the weekend! Smallwood clan, Dad and Stepmom, and mechanic, Myles. My team!

My favorite picture of the weekend! Smallwood clan, Dad and Stepmom, and mechanic, Myles. My team!

Until next time, keep it rad, and thanks so much for reading.  


Ben FrederickComment