This past weekend I raced the Swiss Trophy Bike race which was not only one of the sweeter courses I have done in a while, but one of the muddiest races I could remember (of course that is coming form a kid who has done a good chunk of his racing in Arizona). The Wednesday prior to the race we made the 2+ hour drive to Switzerland to do a little pre-riding. Going over a race course in Europe is a must due to the fact that they always have some sort of crazy sections that you don't want to be surprised with on your first lap. In the US, 99% of the time you could race without any overlook on the course and come through the first lap doing fine. If you took this same thought over to Europe, well lets just say you wouldn’t be coming through your first lap or any laps for that matter.
Race day called for a 4:30am wake up call at our home base in Germany where we quickly threw a breakfast together and hit the road for the 2hr drive to the Swiss race. After a bathroom break and driving all through Bern, Switzerland trying to find the entry to the course, we rolled up to the venue with about an hour before go time. This was actually fine considering it was pouring rain outside and none of us had trainers to warm up on. My game plan was to hit the road about 30 minutes prior the the start and knock out a few solid efforts followed up by a delicious Vanilla Cliff Shot. This combo had me dialed and just like that I was lined up on the start line next to the son of Thomas Frischknecht and the JR Swiss National champ ready for a hour and a half of racing/ running threw the mud. Start gun blew and off went our field around the start loop which luckily allowed me to move up into the top 8 quickly. The next three laps consisted of a full on sprint up the flats and climbs, and getting off and running a good chunk of the u-turn corners and the steepest of climbs. My shoes would slip on the mud a few time a lap and getting back up off the ground seemed like it took minutes. My legs were so tired for the harsh combination of riding in the mud and running. An hour cyclocross race in these conditions is hard, but when you tag on another 30 minutes on and throw in some crazy descents, you have yourself a Euro mud fest.
With a less than 2 laps to go, I was sitting in 5th place going all out to catch the lead three. As I went for a pass down one of the sketchier descents, I found myself sliding out in the corner causing a tweak in my front chain protector which would lead into not only a constant chain suck up every climb, but a tweaked chain. This package of mechanicals caused my finishing of the race to be impossible. I watched as the field passed me on my way to the pit and just like that my day was done. Man I was bummed I had to end this amazing race like this, but it was sure good to know that I can hang among some of the fastest Jrs in Europe. This helps the confidence for sure leading up the the Canadian and New York World Cups that are to come in the next few weekends. Now, I'm back home in Boulder and have a nice two weeks of training before I hit the road again for 6 weeks of what's sure to be the most fun racing I could ever ask for. I just first need to get over my depression of no longer being able to walk 5 minutes and get the most delicious waffles in the world. Life is so hard in America :)