Monday, September 26, 2011

USGP of Cyclocross - Planet Bike Cup - Madison, WI

What a great race series. I can't get enough of these. To race against some of the top talent in the country, See some of the best pro racers in the World go at it, and just be apart of a very festive well run event is awesome. This was the first time I did the Madison races. And I was not disappointed. The really cool thing that was even better than the Louisville races which are incredible year after year was the the WISCO fans really know how to party, cheer, make noise, heckle. Call it what you want, but they love their 'cross!

The weekend went very well for me. The goal was to try and take a top 10 in both days in the always tough and unpredictable single speed class. The course were very different each day, and mother nature decide to make it interesting on Day 2. But Day 1 was a very fast, twisty, course with well placed straight aways and punchy climbs. It was a course the suited single speeds very well, and suited power riders very well. So I was feeling good. I was on the front row, and punched it right off the line. I grabbed the hole shot and took a good lead going into the course. I controlled the flow for about 3/4 of a lap, and then the really fast guys began to pass me. But I was still rolling well, and picked off most of the Master 55+ class that started ahead of us. As I continued along. I started to pull back one of the single speeders that passed me earlier. I was struggling to get around some of the slower riders in the Masters class, so I could never pull him back. But lap after lap, I was continuing to distance myself from the rest of the class. In the end, I finished a very respectable 7th out 18 and felt great. This was my best USGP finish to date as I finished 9th last year in the single speed class in Louisville.

Day 2. As we woke up the clouds were gray and looked angry. We got to the course and within a few minutes. the sky opened up and dump ton of rain. It poured. It Thundered! It hailed! as the races continued, the entire course was a mud pit. 4 inches deep in some spots. This would be my first true in the rain, complete mud race, and I was getting really excited. I also, was nervous because I really didn't feel prepared as I was going to do this on a single speed, and I was running fangos. A tire I only raced on 1 time before, and that was yesterday! But I couldn't wait to get on the course and let the mud fly. Same as the day before I tired to grab the hole shot, but was just edged out by a wheel. But Sitting 2nd wheel was a good spot to be in as we all hit the mud at full speed. I powered ahead as I slipped and slid around. The top 5 guys soon came around me and I could not hold on. But there was also no one else behind. I forced the bike in corners. Rode the tape from side to side, and had an awesome race! As I continued to plow through the muddy course Curt my team mate was at the top of the Stanley Run Up informed me that I was closing in on 5th place. As I got to the top of the hill, I could see him. I started to push harder and took more risk in the off camber sections and turns. However, I ran out of laps, and had to settle for 6th place out of 21! Again very happy with the result and improvement. But even more happy know that I will be able to go toe to toe in the mud at any race.

My hats off to Jim Goerlich my team mate for finishing 7th on day 2 in the single speed race as well. He really stepped up to the muddy challenge, and let his mountain bike skills shine through!


BrAdLaKo said...

This is yoru year bro! Keep pushing your limits! Awesome job to team TSB....


nice work