I haven't had the "night before Christmas feeling" since our family used to visit Toys R Us in the nineties. I was siked for Bend. Pro riders, bike parts, top notch racing, and bad food. Anyone who knows me might say those are my four favorite things. I almost forgot I was racing........well not really since Prodigy and I arrived at the venue on race day at 6:45am! Check out the pic.
The second person in the parking lot was a lady from the midwest who's bike hadn't been un-packed from her flight. Our tent and ghetto toolbox gave her a false sense of mechanic's skills. She asked me to put her bike together. It was 0 degrees and I was putting together a cross bike as the sun rose. My hands were frozen as I jumbled with parts. It was not a good start to race day.....
I jumped on the trusty Major Jake with my down jacket, ski pants, and mittens. I looked like I was preparing to ride across the antarctic. The course was icy and the track was twisty. I was excited for the bad conditions. I thought the MT training would pay off.
I knew my name was third on the registered list and so I thought that meant first row. It did not. Cross Crusade organizer Brad Ross actually invented a fair call-up procedure. He holds up a number 1-9. If your bib number ends in that number then you roll up to the line. My number was 7. As the numbers ticked by I looked over at Jdoll. We both knew that I was going to be fighting from the back. Luckily, there were only 60 or so riders. I was in the last row. I tried to stay positive, but I was worried about a quick sprint on the iced over pavement. Deep breaths, a clearing of the head, and off we go....
Up the pavement and into the first corner. I jumped off my bike and tried to run around people. Traffic, traffic, traffic! No one is moving! Go, go go! I see the leaders go through the second corner and begin to get frantic. I jump on the bike and look behind to see only a handful of riders. Ugh! Around the second corner and crashes are happening left and right. The B races had a single foot and a half wide track in the snow. It was similar to riding the trails between the Kim Williams and the river. Riders would try and pass in the powder and get tangled. On the next straight I could see a huge crash coming. I jumped off my bike in preparation. I leaped a dude's bike and mounted as quick as possible. It was like the seas were parting. I looked up to see nothing but empty single track. What a perfect situation. Time to start working. Still on the first lap I rode the s-curves as quick as possible. No Ali Goulet tripod, just straight up living on the edge Alex Lussier style. I fell through the 180 and quickly got up. JDoll yelled 17th and I was surprised. Yes! I was so pumped. I poured it on and tried to pass everyone I could before the stairs. Up and over the stairs I was 13th and hungry for more. The course was super sketchy and I fell frequently. There was a run/ride section that most people rode. I couldn't ride it. I don't know why....I kept thinking that Bob would be disappointed in me (he always rides things). Every lap it was costing me. I got up into 7th before a nasty spill on a descent. From there it was good ole cross eyed cross racing. The only thing I can remember for the rest of the race is almost eating it on the descent and having a spectator say, "nice save bra."
I finished in 13th place. Of course I would have liked to do better, but I'll take that result. I worked hard for that 13th place and I'll never forget it. I was so impressed with everyone from Montana. It's inspiring to see Montana riders racing with the best of the best. Although my 45 minutes was quick, I'll be back next year. Not because I was disappointed with 13th place, but because it wasn't 1st.
See you at Physclo Cross 2010.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Posted by Shaun Radley at 1:58 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Lindsy Campbell finished 2nd in the D2 Cyclocross Nationals race. While Campbell has impressed on the road bike this is a breakout result on the dirt. Her goals for the road season include Collegiate Nationals, and U23 Nationals.
On Sunday afternoon in Bend, OR I put on my favorite kit... the one I wear when it's time to rip legs off...
It was a beautiful day, sunny. The snow and ice had melted off of the course and it was muddy. I was incredibly nervous before I got on my bike but as soon as I started warming up on the course every worry I had melted away: it was nice out, I was dirty, and just down-right having fun riding my bike.
They started the D1 women a minute before us and a primal drum beat could be heard in the distance. The gun went off and I sprinted. Everyone was left behind except for me and Dartmouth girl...Arielle...my sprinting nemesis. I edged her out in the Collegiate National RR but she bumped me off the podium at the U23 National Crit by the width of a small insect that is so small it actually lives inside of another insect. Anyway, I knew what was going on because I knew Arielle. I stayed with her for a half of a lap but it was inevitable... she could just put time into me on each corner. No matter, I was having the best race of my season riding in second and I didn't let her get more than 40 seconds ahead of me in the 40 minutes of racing that we had that day. (I'll be ready for Madison...I hope Arielle will be ready for me, too)
So for some freak reason I just felt like a total beast. I kept thinking I was getting tired but then, a couple seconds later, I would feel good again and stand up and put in some good stomps after the corners. The energy from the crowd was unreal. Imagine 5,000 people yelling plus a marching band, plus flags waving in your face, plus horns, plus costumes, plus one guy dressed as a pirate playing a saxophone. I was happy a lot of people recognized my kit and cheered for the Montana Griz. I had so much motivation it was incredible. I just kept going and going...picking off D1's and eventually into sixth or seventh place in their race.
Then the race was over. It felt good to be on the podium. A good way to end a really good year! Also, I got to meet Andrea Smith: a UM alum who got sixth in the elite women's race. Really, as far as I can tell, anything is possible, you know?
Posted by Shaun Radley at 8:41 AM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Nationals ended with a bang yesterday. Seeing Tim Johnson win his third national cx title was sweet, but the real action was happening with the Montana Cyclocrossers.
Amy Frykman and Lisa Curry were representing in the ladies elite field. Frykman had a good start after an ok grid position. She passed people the whole ride and finished in the top 3rd. The results have her in 54th but she was well ahead of that. After a great start in the mid 20's, Lisa flatted her rear tubular and ran to the pits. Bill Cochran and Freightrain were working the pits. They quickly got her on the B bike and she was off. With a strong will Lisa battled to finish 38th. Rolling Thunder all star Kris Walker was 26th. Earlier in the week she defended her masters national championship jersey.
Next up was the collegiate race. Lindsy Campbell represented the Griz with a storming ride. They started the D2 race 1 minute after the D1 race. The gun went off and so did Campbell. She put together the best cx ride of her young career. Up and out of the saddle after every corner. She finished on the podium in 2nd for the D2 ladies, and worked her way up to 7th in the D1 field. Wow.
In the men's elite race FrankG and John Curry were repping MT. Both riders had solid rides. With the short course riders were getting pulled really quickly. In the end only 33 riders 120+ starters didn't get lapped. Curry rode well. He solidified himself in the top 40 early on and was riding with the likes of Molly Cameron and Jonathan Baker. Erik Tonkin and Sean Babbock were tearing through the field. I tried to warn John they were coming so he could jump on their wheel. He did his best and lasted to 2 laps to go in 45th place. Frank was holding is own in the middle of the pack, but ended up DNFing. I thought John rode an excellent race holding his position that long. He's right on the edge of that first group of pro riders.
Tim Johnson's legs.
Lots of people.
Amy at the start.
Lisa looking for John amongst her fans.
Campbell on the second step of the podium.
I've added all my photos to the picasa web album.
Posted by Shaun Radley at 11:37 AM