Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Off to Bend

The end of the 2009 cycling season has come and it is time for my last two races of the year. As I write this, I am flying west with Doctor W. for the cyclocross national championships in Bend, OR. The racing should be awesome in Bend and I am sure the scenery will be equally as grand. While in Bend, I am going to attempt to do daily posts about the racing action and the experiences of the trip. But, first, I need to give a brief race report from the last race of the Cleveland Lake Effect Series at Broughton Farm, which was near Akron, OH.

My individual effort at Broughton Farm was nothing to write home about, finishing 5th overall in the elite race. I was hoping to have a great race before nationals, but like last year at Broughton Farms it was not to be. I was third overall in series points before doing the race and needed a race win and for Shawn Adams to have a bad race in order for me to move up to second overall in the series. My pre-race plan was to go hard at the beginning and shoot for the win, but this plan disappeared pretty quickly after completing the few laps.

Matt Weeks took the hole shot at the start and never looked back, taking the win with a 2.5 minute advantage over second place - Paul Martin. I rode a lap or so with Paul at the beginning, but trying to match his power in the soft muddy conditions stole any remaining energy from my legs. Shortly thereafter, Dan Quinlan caught and passed me. I was then joined by Shawn and rode with him until there were about two laps to go in the race. Eventually he got a gap on me and rode it in for fourth place in the race. After determining my legs were not up for taking the win and that my finish was not going to change my series standing, I must admit that I started racing pretty conservatively. The last thing I wanted to do was trash either my body or my bike with one week remaining before nationals. Nevertheless, I cannot account for why my legs felt so flat at the start of the race. Last year I raced on my single speed at Broughton Farm and thought this was the reason for my bad race. This year I can only blame my lack of peak fitness.

Even though I don’t have the fitness level I think that I should going into nationals, I still feel pretty good and will do my best to put out two last super hard efforts in my final two races of the year: the open single speed and 40-44 master men races in Bend, OR. At this point, there is no more time for preparation. I am where I am fitness wise and hopefully it is enough to allow me to at least finish higher than the 9th place I had last year at nationals. But, even if I don’t have a great race, I am sure it will be a great time. Happy Trails, Gerry