8 for days.
NCGP Day 2
Two days, same result, totally different races.
But first, a whole lot of gratitude. This blog is coming to you live from Athens GA!!! Thanks to my buddy, Matthew Eurchill, I have the incredible opportunity to train with with Matt, Adam Meyerson, Scott Smith, Jack Kisseberth and Alec Donahue, some serious rockstars. At home (around DC) I am always training solo, so to be able to have a focused week of serious training with serious dudes is going to be so amazing.
Only because people have been so generous, have I been able to make this trip happen. The donations and encouraging messages are my lifeline to keep pushing myself in training and out to realize this dream of racing at the highest end of this sport. So THANK YOU!!
Fans. I thought they were just reserved for the likes of Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. So when I was deep in the pain cave on yesterday, and I looked over and saw Alex (who had introduced himself to me the day before) wearing a beyondCX supporter shirt, I was so humbled! It allowed me to dig that much harder to stay in the front group. Alex, you are the man, thanks for your support.
I was also able to meet Matthew Reeves and Rhys May this weekend. Not only are they rad people, they are part of the Loose Nuts Cycling Team. They are also on the Ritchey Swiss Cross! Ritchey helped them get on the best bikes in the land as part of a grass roots sponsorship. Im so happy to be a part of a bike company that 1. makes a rad bike and 2. helps people get on their rad bike.
On to the race report.
Saturday’s race left a bad taste in my mouth. I knew I was capable of riding with and in the front group, but crashes (my own) and bad tactics didn’t allow me the opportunity to ride there.
Coming into Day 2, I made a plan to ride with intention. Have a plan, and stick to it. The changes to the course added a serious amount of pedaling (to an already pedal-y course) and some more off camber. There was a serious head wind going along the back of the course, so being in the group was crucial. If you missed it, you could lose 5 seconds in the course of a straightaway.
The start, fast, crazy, hectic. Slot into 15th-ish, breath. wait. Sit in on the headwind road section, move up in the tailwind sections. One place at a time. Breath. Move into the top 10. Follow follow follow. Draft. Breath. Move up when possible, don’t touch the wind. Fight fight fight to stay in the group.
By the second half of the race, the group had shrunk to 8. I would put myself in the best position I could before any technical sections and fight to be on the wheels before the headwinds. I erred on the side of being cautious when it got technical so I didn’t take myself out of the group, but after getting gapped, then closing it a number of times, it got to be too much. In the last 2 minutes of the race was a STEEP climb, followed by a few twisty off camber turns, then some serious off camber sections. We hit the bottom of the climb and I blew sky high. I gave it everything, but the guys in front of me were just that much faster.
Coming in 8th was…okay. The big takeaway is that I was there. I wanted to be in the front group and I was. I raced as best as I could on the day and 8th is what I got. So yeah, I feel okay about that. Do I want to be better? Absolutely. Do I want to win, more than you know, but its all drops in the bucket of experience
Lastly I want to thank Noa and Myles for coming with me this weekend. It means so much that you would give up your weekend to spend time in a hotel room with a diva who can't walk too much and has to be in bed at 10:00 and can't go out. Your constant encouragement and good vibes made this weekend the success it was. Im so glad to have you as part of my team. Thank you.
Only two more races left this season. Kingsport (Jan 2) and Nationals (Jan 10th). Lots of training before now and then. Thank you all so much for taking this journey with me. Keep an eye on my social media’s for highlights of my week of training here in GA. See you out there!