Friday, September 27, 2013

Trek CXC Cup

Last weekend was the Trek CXC Cup and also my very first race with a UCI license. I will admit I was pretty nervous to be lining up next to some world class pros...but I was also pretty jacked to see how well I would do against some of the best competition in the country. Waterloo, WI was definitely the place to be seen last weekend.

I was also beyond stoked to be racing on my super freaking awesome brand new FOUNDRY HARROW!!! I have always loved my Auger and my Broadaxe, but this Harrow is one bad ass machine and I could tell instantly how lucky I was to be able to race on it. More on my tool later this week...but for now let's just say, this bike is rad!

Tom and had a slow start getting out of town on Friday and rolled in to the Madison Red Roof Inn about 10 PM. I had joked on facebook that night that I was pretty sure this was the place where the Gingers were supposed to stay, ha! This was the next stop on this years Sketchy Hotel Tour and I won this room on Hotwire for $38/night. How bad could it really be right? Well, bad enough to wake up Tom up Saturday night to some lady pounding on hotel doors screaming for help and then the cops showing up a minute later. So yep, next year I think we'll opt for Sun Prairie instead. April 10, Hotwire 1. meh.

Day 1:
Saturday morning we were up early. Tom bundled up for a 4 hour ride and I headed out to Waterloo to check in and check out the course! On my trek out to Trek (ha!) I ended up pulling out onto the road right behind a pick up truck with two matching black bikes! "Those have to be Augers!!" Turns out they were and the truck belonged to my Foundry Teammate Mackenzie Woodring! She's a super fast and super cool chica from Grand Rapids, MI (apparently the GR cult breeds fast biker chicks, right Danielle?). It was awesome to meet her in the morning and to also be racing with a teammate!

I went to check in for the race and turns out when you race a UCI race you have to go through a special check in process. Fancy. And also, since I don't have any UCI points I had to draw my race # and call up. You control your own fate..eeek! I reached deep down into a bag and pulled out race # 21! For all you football fans...Tom says I drew "Prime Time."

My warm up went pretty good, the course was super greasy from the morning dew and seemed to be super freaking bumpy compared to our smooth Tuesday Night CX Races, but otherwise it was a lot more technical than the video seemed to show with a ton of 180 degree turns. I was stoked! I spent most of the day messing around with the bike fit on my new ride and finally by the time the race rolled around I was ready to rock! #21 meant I received a 3rd row call-up. They called me up, checked my tire width and then we all waited about 10 minutes for the start whistle like a bunch of caged animals.

I had a fairly good start with the exception of almost killing myself over a sandbag. The first lap was fast as all get out and I thought that maybe I was sitting in the top 10 coming through the start gate. No way!?! Well that was short lived as I was riding off the back myself and was soon passed by a blazing group of 5 or so women including Mackenzie! I tried to grab on but my legs did not respond. I reminded myself that there was still another 4 laps and that's a lot of racing left. I was holding my position fairly well through the 2nd lap right close to some familiar fast ladies, Amber, Emma, Jen and Linda. I was feeling pretty good and was able to ride the hill that most racers had to run up

Chasing the Linda/Amber train!

Unfortunately mid way into the 3rd lap i dropped my chain and had to get off my bike to fix it. At this point they all went wizzing past me. Ugh. I fixed my bike, and fought like hell to catch back up. pretty sure I've never suffered that bad in my entire life. Linda/Amber and I battled all the way to a finish line sprint where I was able to come in 18th place Elite 2 seconds back from Amber. WOW!! That hurt so stinking bad I instantly thought "I can't believe we have to do this again tomorrow!"

Day # 2
I decided to skip the morning pre-ride today and sleep in. Tom went to get in a long run around Lake Monona so took my bike for a little spin near the lake to loosen up the legs and on my way back stumbled upon the Willy Street Fair. So much fun, they even had a parade. I love parades, always so much shenanigans going on!

Oh and I even did some shopping by bike. Turns out if you put a Bike on T-Shirt...I will buy it!

Finally we headed back over to Waterloo for the 2nd race. I was pleased with my warm up and suprised that my legs actually felt better than the previous day.  I enjoyed chatting with the fellow MN ladies Carrie, Jen, Corey and Terra before the start. I had a 3rd row call-up again and lined up next to Linda, another friendly and fast MN racer. If you find yourself in a race next to Linda you know you are riding fast. So at least I was starting in a good spot!

The whistle blew again and I had an awesome start, was really stoked to be right on some fast pro wheels after the first run up. I didn't have enough juice to hold that spot for too long, but that was fine as there was a ton of other fast ladies right there with me. This race was a bit of a cluster for me with another dropped chain and then a crash on one of the dusty corners. Bull strikes again! In reality it was however a blessing in disguise because the cluster gave me no choice other than to suffer more than I thought was possible once again to bridge back up to Corey and Linda. I had great legs on Sunday and was able to make up almost all of my lost ground coming in seconds behind Jen who had an amazing race!  I finished 17th overall Elite!

Jen on the chase....she got me!!!
What a blast! I had so much fun racing and mixing it up all weekend long with some really great racing friends.  We are so fortunate in MN to have so many fast and dedicated cyclists. I admit I have really caught the cx bug and just typing this post has me all jacked up to race again. In cross life is simple.  "Is snot running down your face? are you breathing so hard that you can hear nothing other than your panting breathe? Are your legs burning so bad that they are swearing at you? If the answer is no, you should go harder.

1 comment:

  1. You are a rock star, April! You are crushing everything you race! Cannot wait to see what you do next :) Your bike is bad ass and so is that bike t-shirt!