Wednesday, August 15, 2012
In case you haven't heard, the USA Pro Challenge is next week and Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies just happens to be taking part! I'm thrilled to be a part of the race this year. I was bumming hard sitting at home last year while the race traversed the state. In no way does this race suit me as a rider...unless they add a Clydesdale jersey award, but that hasn't tempered my enthusiasm for the race any. And to be fair, the final day's Denver TT suits me very well (not quite as well as the net downhill prologue last year but who's nitpicking?) so I will be feeling a hefty amount of pressure for a result that day if I'm able to make it there in one piece (peace?). So, bringing events up to the present - I took a nice break after Nature Valley which included a week of mtn biking or nothing at all! Then, I started ramping it back up for my home town race in Clear Lake. Winning the crit in front of so many CL'ers was a thrill for me and definitely washed away the bitter taste that I had from the previous year. It was a fun weekend catching up with classmates and seeing Rebecca transition seamlessly into the cat 3s. Next up was Cascade, where I was just a little off of form for whatever reason. My guess was overdoing it slightly in training leading up to the event. The positive side is that I got a big bump in fitness following a rest after Cascade and came into Elk Grove feeling reeeeeaaally good. It was one of those times when you feel so good that you are hesitant to talk about it lest you jinx yourself. I put together a really good TT (good power and good cornering) under a lot of self-induced pressure so that brought feelings of relief and elation. The very next day, however, was one of those days when I question my ability to succeed in my profession. How things could go so poorly a day after going so well is still mind boggling and maddening. But then the sun shone on Sunday morning and all was forgiven! We executed a near perfect lead out for our super star Ken Hanson and he won yet another race. This guy has been amazing all year long. I humbly submit to his dominance. For awhile, we had a friendly competition for results but I'm getting slaughtered so it's not even fun anymore! Anyway, even though I screwed up the overall, winning all 3 stages at Elk Grove was a success for the team and very satisfying. Since then, I've been resting at home and trying to make the final preparations for Colorado. It's been difficult not to overdo things but I keep reminding myself that the "hay is in the barn". Now it's time to sit back, relax and be thankful for being allowed to take part in such a fantastic event! Hell yeah!