What a blur! What a weekend! What a trip! This weekend was a serious roller coaster of emotion...all over. With the saddening passing of Amy Dombroski you could tell in the air people were sad and doing the best they could to hold in their emotions. While I was never given the opportunity to meet or know Amy, it's very clear how much of an impact she made on the cycling community as a whole. My condolences go out to her friends and family, she will always be remembered and truly missed.
Saturday was welcomed once again by the amazing crew from Gloucester. They are the best East Coast family out there! Thank you, once again! Not only was I welcomed by my new family, but also warm temps and sunny skies, yet again another dry race! As much as I love mud (which I do because it's a lot more fun to race in), sometimes I welcome the dry weather because it's such an easier clean up, and I know how I could potentially fare against the other women! With mud, there is this sense of mystery, I don't know how everyone else handles their bike in mud in comparisons to myself. Last year, I didn't get to race many UCI races in the mud, I believe the only race was in LA, what a shock!!!!! So, even though I love the mud for cross, I can't lie and say I wasn't disappointed with another sunny day (I mean another suffer fest). After my first lap on course I knew I needed to get a 2nd lap in so I could dial down the lines, the course, and all those corners!
Once again I lined up 2nd row and had a terrible start. I think by the first couple of turns I was 15-20 spots back. I fought my way through the girls and ended up in a group of 4 by the end of the first lap. Going into the 2nd lap we gained another rider, and then another, so our group of 4 turned into a group of 6 and I wasn't into that. The only thing that kept running through my head as we were riding in this little group was "the bigger the group the more people I have to contend at the end and the more rubber-bandy-feeling this race is going to be". I wanted to go through each turn at my pace and through my line and all these wheels in front of me where in my way! Guess what I decided to do? I attacked the group at one of the only straight sections on course! Yea that's right, I used some individual tactics that day, and once I realized I had a gap, I pushed harder to make it a little bigger! Then I went through the start finish and saw "3 to go" and my first thought was (excuse my language) "FUCK, I should have thought about this before I made that attack to solo the rest of this race". I didn't think about how many more laps I had to do, so I started regretting my decision to ditch the group. Basically I worked my tail feather off to hold off the group-o and finished in 10th! Top 10 on a C1, no complaints here!
Sunday was a different story, I woke up in a total funk. Lets back track to Saturday...post race I was happy with my result, as the night went on I started to get down on myself, for multiple reasons I wont list here. So fast forward back to Sunday morning. I woke up in a funk, missed home, missed my husband, didn't want to race. My head wasn't there, I sat in my hotel bed holding back tears from loneliness and homesickness. My head was in no state to race. I decided to walk over to the window to see what the weather was doing...it was pouring. That's right folks, pouring rain all morning long. While I welcomed the rain because sliping and sliding in the mud is always lots of fun, it made me nervous.
Once at the course I learned that just because it's raining 6 miles down the road, doesn't mean it was raining everywhere else. The course was hardly muddy!!! Yes, there where slippery sections when I arrive, but there was also still dust!!! I did one pre-ride (maybe it was 2?) as close to my race as I could since I knew conditions where going to change by the time I raced. Turns out the course wasn't all that slippery or muddy. Turns out, the course was slightly tacky. I went about race this day in a very different manner. My head wasn't there, and I just didn't care. I was lucky enough to line up behind Katie Compton, so I knew my start coudln't be THAT bad! I had a great start, made the first couple turns in the top ten. Rode with a groupp-o that turns out was slowing me down, attacked the group in a techy section and rode forth. Caught 2 more girls up the way from me, rode with them for a lap, attacked them, and then guess waht...I was in 5th. From here I rode in 5th until the 2nd to last turn of the race when Meredith Miller caught me. I rode her wheel for the last turn and onto the pavement when all of the sudden...she accelerated and turns out...I didn't!!! I didn't have th response in my legs for that power, so I came across in 6th. 6th place! 6th place in a very stacked field, I was extremly happy!!! I guess all I need is an "I don't care attitude" and a little mud. A lot of the mud wasn't all that slippery, just a couple of sections, then the rest was either dry or tacky, I would actually say they where quite fantastic conditions. I got done with the race a very happy girl!
I'm so thankful for my husband who tried to cheer me up and is always rooting for me no matter where I am. For Dave who told me to ride like no one cares, and for all my supporters back home. Every weekend I feel your energy and I am so grateful to have such a loving community of people at home.