This past weekends cross race was absolutely brutal. I still raced the Pro men, but with the barriers being to high to bunny hop and the course having many long flat sections, I knew this was going to be a painful day. The race started off really well. Between me pushing the pace on the technical sections and barriers, and another guy putting some power down on the flat, the group turned into a 3 man breakaway after the first lap. From here I could feel my whole body feeling pretty tired from my new/ upped gym workout sessions this week and i figured the best way for me to win this race was to sit in and conserve all I have and only go on the front during the barrier section which was one of my stronger points. The two other guy I was with were two super strong road racers who had fairly good tech skills and flew on the flats. With three to go I through down a short attack on the longest technical section thinking I could get them a little more tired before the last lap without having to do much work. It went great except for once the fastest road guy caught me he kept the pace insanely high on the flat section resulting in dropping me and the other guy. Luckily, I still had some gas in the tank and I was able to ride away from him, but unfortunately I just didn't have the legs to catch first. I had to settle for second, but based on how I felt and the competition I was going up against, I felt like I raced a pretty smart race. The second place put me in the leaders jersey for the pro men. Now there is only a few cross races left before I take a little break and start the 2012 Worlds MTB Campaign again. Last year I was super stoked to get on the US National team and go to Germany and North American World cups, but this year I plan on not breaking another collarbone and making it all the way to Worlds. Man I love cycling!
TREK 24 Hours of Fury
The 24 hours of Fury is one of the best races we have in Arizona. This year was looking to be on of the hardest stacked 4man catagoy. I was the first to go and I was stoked. I looked across the start line and saw all the top AZ races along with the great Tinker Juarez. I was in my new US national champion jersey and was ready to race my bike for 24 hours. Right off the bat I got the whole shot and spent the better part of the lap drilling it hoping to drop most of the competition. Half of the lap in it was two super fast AZ guys, Tinker, and I. WIth it being at my home course I took the lead for most of the lap thinking I could put most of the hurt on the other guys with just my knowlage and smoothness with the course. With about a mile from the finish I put in a strong attacked and dropped Tinker and another. For the last mile it was just my teammate and I working together putting some sweet time on the other teams. I used my Oakley Radars with the Photochromic (transition) lens because it was a little over cast, but the sun was starting to peak out. Thats what is great about those lenses is that they are amazing in all conditions. That was also the first time I raced my new Trek Superfly without additional outside trouble such as with a broken collarbone or flat tire. I couldn't believe how amazing it felt. It flew on the uphills and when I struggle on the downs its right there to pick me up. My next lap was just as exciting. My teammate came in and handed me the timing chip and I started my lap a minute down from first. I put down a solid pace in order to catch first early in the lap and be able to sit on him resulting in a little more recovery for the next 20 hrs. It all went exactly as plan except... I caught him fairly quickly and was able to stay on his wheel, but with three miles from the finish I unfortunately received a rear flat from the Bike Gods and had to quickly change it. Of course, its was the slowest flat change ever, but I got back on my bike and floored it back to the exchange tent. The rest of the race was brutal. One of my teammate dropped out due to a knee injury creating a 3 man team resulting in all of use going from drilling a single lap into surviving double laps the whole race. This was insanely painful, but it was an amazing experience. Even with the flat tire and injuries, we held on for 2nd, and just a few minute behind the winners. Another thing I was pretty stoked on was that my nutrition was dialed. I race every lad with one bottle of Hammer Heed/ Fizz mix and took 2 Hammer Race Caps Supremes ever two lap. I didn't cramp once and was able to put the power down. The entire race I wondered why in the world I signed up for this, but every day after I just kept saying how I couldn't wait for the next one. Funny how that works. Now, off to finish my Cross season and start my base leading into my 2012 MTB worlds Season. But first, I think I will take a day off the bike.