Where this form is coming from, I don't know. I'm a little afraid that one of these times the bottom is going to drop out, but none of the warning signs of there and I am having more fun than ever racing my bike. I won my first Missouri NORBA series Elite race on Sunday and I am more than pleased to have accomplished another one of my seasons goals.
I was a little apprehensive about the course for the Cyclewerx Crankfest race and in my head envisioned riding around in a field which really didn't sound like that much fun. When Scott, Nate and I headed out for our pre-ride I realized how completely wrong I was; the course was tight, fast, and a 11 on the rad dial.
TK and I talked to Travis a little bit about the course and he told us that he owned it like Donald Trump and held every course record. He's a confident little fella. I got my front row call up and lined up for the uphill start next to TK... There were some comments from the peanut gallery about how sexy I was looking in my skinsuit and Atomic Orange Limited Edition Radars, but I was feeling pro as hell and ready to ascend space monkey mountain. Thanks to Pfood for the proof of my looking good...
Go time... Chris first, TK next and I went around them both on the left and got the hole shot. I was railing the shit out of the dirt track and the three of us broke away with John Rhines and Travis in pursuit who caught up to us pretty quick... Some more railing and then a missed turn on my part and a skip of the needle during the face melting solo shot me back two spots. Travis ended up catching us and then dropping all three of us in the maze section... I was a little worried but it amazes me how my focus and confidence changes between a day with good legs and a day where I am just trying to hold on. Last weekend I wasn't feeling very good and it seemed as though all I could do was focus on the negatives. Sunday the legs were great and I wasn't looking over my shoulder of thinking about losing spots at all... Forward motion.
Travis was gone on lap two and Chris, John and I were riding at the same place. The skip in the record sent me into the dirt twice on the second lap, but I managed to catch up to them both times until Chris got away and John and I started to slowly work on each other taking turns in the lead. I was really feeling good going up the starting climb and was feeling my 7 minute LT intervals at Lost Valley paying off like never before.
Lap 3 was more of the same and I jumped John on the starting climb and held the lead until I went down again in exact same spot as lap 2 and he passed me. Not too long after that he got tangled up in a tree top at the top of the first climb into the MAZE and I think that was the last time he was in the lead? It was time for some Rooster Booster...
I don't remember anything about lap 4 and John was riding strong and nipping at my heels so I maintained my focus and kept going. I was riding really well and was able to recover from the short steep stuff with ease and started to get a handle on the flow of the maze section and what was around the totally blind corners, some of which were 90* and some of which were uphill 180's... Awesome.
Then it happened. I started to see Chris and Travis and Drewby told me I was about 15 seconds behind and Travis had cracked and given Chris the lead. Cracking is something I had never counted on the two of them doing and realized my persistence and consistency was paying off. I was pretty stoked but held my cards close and didn't put down any more heat then I had to.
At the base of the starting climb on lap 5 I saw Travis up ahead and Chris not to far in front of him as I entered the field. I set the gearshift to the high gear of my soul and went to work. Business time bitches! I caught Travis and knew if I could get around Chris before the singletrack I would be looking even sexier. I passed him just at the crest of the climb, shifted to the big ring and was amazed that he didn't respond as I took off into the woods for my second fastest (not a record setting, just a race winning attack of a lap... It was good.
I had some major daylight by the last lap and knew that I just had to play it smart... I was really digging (like the 9 yards of dirt I shoveled in Jens and my new back yard on Friday, but with far fewer blisters) the trail and truly couldn't believe that I was on my was to win my first Missouri NORBA Championship Series Race, with big names in attendance, in a solid fashion. I was stoked. Oddly enough as I stood up on the last little climb I felt the crabs in my legs; the onset of cramps that I haven't felt since the State Road Race in 2005 and realized the last that I have barely been drinking during the last two races... It's not CX racing yet. Focus on that grasshopper. I came across the line and got the hands up. I can't tell you how good it felt. It's good to win at home. I was surprised to see John Rhines come in next and grossed out as he coughed up a bloody lung... Then the reporters swarmed me... 20 minutes of my life wasted on the worst interview ever!
What a sick weekend for the Mesa Off Road Team! Keeven tore up the 6 hour race at the rapture with Zach in tow who took 3rd overall!! Big props to them! I got over the $300 first place prize for the 12 hour solo race there this year when all I got last year was a stinking backpack last year when John Dodd handed me $150 smakerooos... and I only had to race for 1:40 minutes for it!! Ha Haaaa! What a great event, thanks to the Cyclewerx crew!
Nate had the most scrumptious looking old news July Blizzard of the month, while I opted to be more progressive and got the current Blizzard, Oreo Cookie, which was delicious but not minty green freshness. Jen and I took my prize money right to Lemongrass and then I doubled up on the DQ and split her Girl Scout thin mint blizzard and washed it down with a G&T while we admired our dirt... Keevens the grass master is bringing the green tomorrow though!