Josh asked Jesse "What do you feed that guy?" or something like that
The week after Battenkill was a slow week of riding. I only got in 2 good rides and they were both on the MTB. Pushing that 2:1 gear around really made my legs react weird and Saturday before the race I spun around for an hour on the Cross bike. My legs felt really crappy. I worked in the Garden alot on Saturday too and planted some strawberries and raspberries with Jesse and her sister Miriam.
So all day on Saturday I drank lots of water with lemon in it to keep me hydrated for the race the next day. I think it helped but it sure didn't seem like I was very hydrated the way I was sucking down the water during the race. The night of I went out to Senior Poncho's with Jesse's sisters Miriam and Rachel and Rachel's boyfriend Chris and had a steak enchilada with beans and rice. I love Mexican food. I didn't want to bonk out again and made sure that I ate plenty the day before. Afterwards we when back to our house and ate frozen strawberries. We were bored so we played a game called the Dictionary game. It's like a fortune telling game. So of course I wanted to know what my strategy should be for the race. So I asked the dictionary and Rachel opened it and Chris pointed blindly to a definition. It said "tea poy"- a type of stand for a tea service. So I thought how could this help me and realized that I needed a new water stand.
So the day of I built this stand and it worked awesome! At hopbrook I lucked out and it was cold and rainy and didn't need that much water. Farmington was just the opposite. Every lap I downed a bottle and it felt like I needed more. My bottle would be gone by the downhill sand/mud/dumb section. So I chucked the bottle way before I got to my stand and slowed a little for the grab. Bam! perfect height and everything and It didn't slow me down much. If you still don't believe in the Dictionary game I asked another question about the race and it said "point." I got 36 points for 9th place to put towards the root 66 series in the pro class! The trick with the game is that you have to all concentrate and believe.
So I got there a little later then I wanted to be and rushed around to get my number plate and set up my tea poy. I got to the car and saw Seamus Powell warming up on the trainer like a real pro. At hopbrook I beat him but this time he would destroy my time. I got on the bike and didn't know what to expect. I pre rode the course last Thursday so I knew it well so I didn't need to do a whole lap. I was amazed at how strong my legs felt. I thought it was a mistake. I kept trying to make them feel week by sprinting up the starting hill but they were rock steady and my breathing was normal. Sweet!
I wasn't feeling very warmed up but because of the heat I don't think I needed to be any warmer. I saw the official walking over to the start line and I when right over. Got in the front row. I really felt out of place. I looked around and all these really good riders were behind me and I looked forward at the sand and thought that I must have made a mistake lining up first. I should just go to the back right now because that's were I'm going to end up. Then I looked over and saw my wife lookin' good in her bikini top and relaxed a little. My goal was to get the hole shot. I got the hole shot! And super happy that I was right in front. I know that in a cross race the start is everything and this felt no different. They guys behind me had to fight for the single track and I was able to relax and not over stress myself. After a hard start I tried to settle into a groove that would keep me below redline. Because it was so hot and this course can really blow you up I had to hold back on the climbs and not kill it.
After the second lap I was praying for a flat! I wanted to quit so bad. But fear of regret and having Jesse's family there cheering me on changed my mind. I caught on to Scott Feltmate and rode behind him for a while. I guess he had some surgery done a few days before the race so I don't blame him for dropping out. I'm sure he will be back killing it soon. Sean from Bethel was there also on a single speed. He caught up to me and he didn't sound too good. I did get a boost of energy knowing that I was able to keep him at bay. But he's had it rough with 2 new babies. God bless him! So then my team mate and mechanic Josh Wilcox was with me for most of the race. We went back and forth. On the climbs I would do well and get a lead on him and then get caught on the flats. He was riding his Ti IF with gears. Josh can really rock it out on the Single speed too. I just kept drinking and maintaining a good pace and trying to keep it smooth. Any wasted energy that day was going to cost me so I just waited until the last lap to give it all. I'm really not that good a sprinting for finishes so I wanted to make sure I was well ahead of anybody. I was very happy with my 9th place finish. I think there were 24 guys to start and 16 finished.
Thom parsons killed it on a 34x15! He's Amazing! I know his bike is part of the reason he is so awesome. If you compared our bikes you would think it was impossible that I can even be in the pro class. My bike is steel and weights 23 lbs and is ridged. His bike is full carbon, and 20lbs with 29" wheels and a front shock!
I don't know how long I'm going to wait for Salsa to make the Selma. I really like it though. Sean from Bethel dropped off my new Arches and spokes at the race on Sunday! I just need that frame!Thanks to all my family that showed up to cheer me on. It gave me the extra boost that I needed. I love you all!