A three week racing block.

Building up for Nationals. A couple of top 10‘s and on the podium in NC.

As the US race calendar quickly comes to an end it has been a mad scramble to better my starting position for Nationals by grabbing as many UCI points as possible. I’ve been able to get in some quality training here in the Colorado high country as November was full of dry roads and mild temps.

NCGPcx photo credit Pete Hyman

The last three weeks have been a bit of a whirl wind to say the least. A lot of airport time and time on the road with not much time at home. But as the saying goes “this is when the rubber meets the road”

Here is a brief breakdown of how the last couple of weeks have played out:

Saturday December 1st;

11:00 am, flight from DEN to LAX.

8:30 pm, race (Cross After Dark final) Finish 14th

Sunday December 2nd;

1pm, race (Socal Cross CXLA) Finish 10th

4pm, watch team mate, Mical Dyck, win the Single Speed World Championships

7pm, catch a flight from LAX to DEN

Friday December 7th;

7:00 pm, catch a flight from DEN to Bend, OR

Saturday December 8th;

3:30 pm, race (USGP Day 1) Finish 24th

Sunday December 9th;

3:30 pm, race (USGP Day 2) Finish 30th

Monday December 10th;

9:30 am, breakfast at CHOW

2:00 pm, catch a flight from Bend to DEN

Thursday December 13th;

12:30 pm, flight from DEN to Greenville, SC

Friday December 14th;

Ride Mtn Bike trails on Paris Mtn

Saturday December 15th;

1:45 pm, race (NCGP) Finish 10th

Sunday December 16th;

1:45 pm, race (NCGP) Finish 3rd

Monday December 17th;

7:00 am, flight from Greenville to DEN

Surprisingly both of the races in L.A. were muddy and slick. The field was solid and the racing was pretty intense. Luckily I had a great pit crew and the ideal setup for the weekend. I was happy to finish in the top 15 both days. I even squeaked into the top 10 on Sunday and grabbed another UCI point.

Bend was the final stop for the USGP for the season, and for a lot of folks it was their last race of 2012/13. The Bend course is a blast to race, but the first half of the course is pretty tight and technical so it is really difficult to pass. Both days I got off to a ‘less than ideal start’ but was able to keep fighting and ended up in the top 30 both days. One of the best parts about racing a national series is the friends you get to see and catch up with throughout the season. Not to mention that Bend is a pretty cool little town.

I traveled back to the South East this year of the North Carolina Grand Prix. This is a great little UCI race in the mountains about 30 min South East of Asheville. I love going to this race. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Arkansas, but I really like the people in the area. The race is at Jackson Park which provides a good venue and is put on by a great staff.  I finished on the podium here in the rain a couple of years ago. So, after being a little too impatient on the first day and getting worked over on the last lap, I was psyched to find myself with good legs and in a great position after the first couple of laps. The Ridley XFire Disc and the IronCross/Kwicker tubeless setup was definitely the difference maker on the greasy off camber sections. I was able to fend off a late race charge from Dan Timmerman and ended up 3rd and on the podium.

Now that I’m back home and getting back into the swing of things, I’ve got a couple more weeks to train and eek out that last couple of watts. Then it’s off to Nationals on January 13th in Madison, WI.

Post Race interview with Cycling Dirt is here NCGP Post Race Interview and the highlights for both days are here NCGP highlights Day 1 and here NCGP Highlights Day 2