ICEMAN 2012- Going in I was planning on the big 'W'. The pre-ride from Williamsburg on Friday was great and the body was ready to go. Saturday morning and everything went well from breakfast to warm-up. Lined up towards the back and was waiting for the gun. Blast off!
Rode smart and kept pace. Didn't sit in too much and kept moving forward but quickly my luck would change. I went from 20 mph to 0 mph on a section of two track while attempting a pass. After sliding for about 10 yards, I was able to get back on and continue racing. I gave chase for the next 9 miles but wasn't catching and now my motivation was starting to fade. Once to Williamsburg my 'race' now became a 'ride'. I lost all motivation and just wanted to finish. If I wasn't going to win I didn't care how I finished. Rolled in a bit over 2 hours and it looks like a wave 3 start for next year. The goal will be the same but coming from wave 3 my work will be cut out for me.
DERBY CUP 1 and 2- I've never done a USGP before and was very excited to check it out. The car ride and company were great, having been with a couple veterans (Osgood and Goerlich). I was told to relax and enjoy the weekend and that's what I did. I did have some reservations going into day 1. I was racing the cat 2,3 race and Osgood kept saying how crazy it would be and that Masters was the better race. Oh well let's see what happens. Gun goes off and we sprint like mad for the first turn. I started 48th of 120'sh so there were a couple bodies around but I wasn't uncomfortable just having been at Iceman. You just hope that everyone stays up. That didn't happen though, crash 1 happens at the end of the straight and takes out about 8-10 guys. This doesn't slow too many guys down though, the pack quickly heads downhill on the grass and is heading for the 3 foot speed bump (jump). Crash 2 is on the other side and this sucks in another 8 or so guys. Around and full speed ahead for the first run up, 50 foot? sand pit then 300' to the green monster. This section of the coarse was brutal and kept the heart at max. Once over the Monster the race thinned out a bit and for the next 5 laps it was all about gaining spots and keeping the effort high. Ended the Day in 36th and had a great race. Laps were consistent and effort was all out. Would Day 2 be better or worse?
Day 2- Morning routine was the same but the coarse was tougher. The long sand section was now slightly uphill and followed by a short punchy climb. Starting spot was the same and pace was just as fierce but today the group stayed up and crash free. The race was going well until we hit the sand section. I attempted to ride and that proved to be a mistake because a guy went down in front of me and that caused me to crash. I lost valuable time and additionally got sand crammed in my shifter. I couldn't shift for over half the next flat section and was passed by 4-5 more guys. I was able to knock it out and regain full use of my gears. Over the next 3 laps I would catch small groups and take short breaks. When someone would launch or come around I would latch on. On lap 4 I felt my rear wheel bottoming out and thought I was getting a flat. With no spare or pit bike I had no choice but to keep going. The straights were fine but some turns were tentative. The wheel held and I was able to finish. Day 2 didn't run as smooth. It seemed like I had difficulty clipping in after every dismount, I bobbled on several occasions and I couldn't settle into any rythme. I finished 40th and 10sec behind a 36th. My times were still consistent but I had to do a lot more work.
It was a great weekend and I would like to thank the Wolverines for the 'home' base. Osgood, Goerlich and Payn for the conversation and many laughs. And Thank you to the rest of the Michigan guys and girls for cheering. It was awesome hearing my name at many different times during the race. I will be going back in 2013. I will be more prepared and looking for better results.
Time to finish off the cyclocross season and see what happens.