The opening National Pro XCT race went down in the first weekend in March. It was hard for me to rap my head around the fact that we already are starting are 2012 season. It all happened in Dripping Springs, Texas, just outside of Austin. The course was super techy and the atmosphere was awesome. It seemed like all of the people of Austin pedaled on out to spectate and race the awesomeness the weekend had in store for us. I flew into Austin with my new teammate Jack Hinkens and most of the Subaru Trek team. It seemed like everyone was in Tucson AZ, getting ready for the gnarly season that was upon us. That night we just settled in and had a amazing team dinner at Torchy’s Tacos which easily was the best thing in the world. Considering my race wasn’t until Sunday afternoon I was able to get away with eating a few tacos.Friday we all woke up to some good breakfast, and then got on to building our brand new BMC mountain bikes. Jack went with the Four Stroke 26in full-suspension bike and Kerry Warner and I went with the Team Elite 29er hard tails. Both bikes were ridiculously light and fast. Plus, they looked absolutely amazing which never hurts. After a morning of bike dialing in, we headed off to the course and hit a few laps up. After a few laps I was a pretty nervous going into the race due to not knowing exactly where my fitness was on a national level, as well as getting my head mentally focused. Pre-riding the course on Friday and Saturday was challenging to me because the whole time I was riding I felt super tired mentally and wasn’t flowing anywhere close to what I normally was rocking. Even with a few hick-ups in the pre-race rituals, I knew no matter what went, or was going to go down, I just had to got as hard as I could.
Race time came and I was super stoked. Bike was finally dialed and legs felt like they were ready to go fast. I lined up on the first row and looked back to see about 40 other JRS as well and a 50+ other cat 1 racers. In no time it was 10sec till race time, then go! As soon as we hit the first climb my legs totally locked up and stated to cramp. Unfortunately, this was how the entire first lap went down with the addition of going shoulder first into a tree. I defiantly ate something the 24hrs before my race that made my legs felt like they already had rode a marathon, but luckily it all went away a few minutes into the second lap which meant it was full on business time. I went into the 2nd/ final lap in about 11th and put on a sold time trial to get my self back into the front of the race finishing what was a solid 7th considering a few mishaps. I of course wasn’t totally stoked on the placing, but I was glad to see all the training I had put in the winter months has come along resulting in some super great legs. Now if I can only ride like I did my last lap the entire time in my next race which just so happened to be the next PRO XCT in San Dimas, California. Time to bring it........ but first, I think I will enjoy some Texas BBQ.