I just got an email that my account hadn’t been used in a while so I figured I should probably do a little update. Here’s what’s been going on since the Olympics:
Some athletes go on a big holiday after the Olympics since their sports are completely centered around the Games. Cycling isn’t one of those sports so right after the Olympics I went home for 2 days and then straight to WI for the PROXCT finals. It was a hard trip because the last thing I wanted to do was race again 5 days after the Olympics but it worked out alright, I managed to lock up my 2nd ever PROXCT overall XC and win the STXC the following day.
From WI I went back to Durango to take a short break and try to prepare for Worlds a few weeks later. That prep didn’t go so well and I could barely find the motivation or power to ride for even 1 hour the week after WI. I don’t know if it was the big post Games let down, all the jet lag catching up, the altitude or whatever else but it sucked! That left me about 1 week to get back on track for World Champs.
I knew Worlds was going to be rough. I didn’t have very good form or power before I went. I was about 6 lbs over weight and I didn’t have the motivation to make myself suffer. Throw a eight hour time change, 15 hr flight and my 5th or 6th trip across the pond this year on top of that and it was going to take a miracle. That’s why we line up though because you never know when you are going to have that miracle day.
I didn’t have it at World Champs but it was great to hang out with the team and see a new area in Austria. Austria is beautiful and those mountains never seem to get any less stunning no matter how many times I see them. The Worlds party is always great too so I was glad I got to go to that as well. I managed to ride part way up one of Austria’s biggest climbs with Jaro on Sunday before he got a call that he was signed up to do the Eliminator and had to start. We had to TT back for about 1:30 hrs so he could make the start. That didn’t feel very good.
So then from Worlds I flew straight to Bend, OR for Marathon National Champs the following weekend. Bend is an awesome town and a great cycling community. They have tons of rad trails and the National Champs were 60 miles and about 58 of those were twisty single track. Meg and Spider Monkey met me in Bend so the gang was back together before the race. Spider and I played some golf before Meg got there. The Show Air guys and Adam Craig showed me some of the trails and Ryan Trebron let me use his house and shop as my shipping and bike building station.
That race went better then worlds and I wound up winning the title after spending almost the entire race riding with Craig he cracked inside of 10 minutes from the finish. That was good for me since I started cramping about 400 meters from the finish and a hard charging Carl Decker overtook Craig in the end as well.
Trebrons new girl friend had a birthday party after the race with an underwear and sports jacket theme. I’ve never been to a party with that theme but it was great and good to see everyone way from the race course. Bend has such a cool vibe.
Meg and I flew out at 6 am the following morning bound for Maui! Niether of us had ever been to Hawaii before and it was awesome. We stayed in Kapalua, I snorkeled, played golf and we both read the Tyler Hamilton book, “The Secret Race”. We had an awesome time but we only had 4 days of vacation because she had to get back to work and I had to start preparing for Langkawi and La Ruta.
I was excited to get back to training once I got home and logged in almost 2 weeks of big miles. I also raced the Road Apple Rally last weekend. It’s the longest running MTB race in the US and this was it’s 32nd year. It takes place an hour from Durango in Farmington, NM on what I consider to be the worlds largest natural pump track. The first time I raced it was back in 95 I think and Ned, Tomac, Darly Price, Grewal, Furtado, Ruthie, HB and just about every other stud of that era lined up. This year 4 of us broke the old course record, one of the riders being Ned. That guy is timeless and I guess you can say the new 29ers are the perfect weapon for that course.
After that I hoped 5 planes to Langkawi for what amounted to about 35-40 hours of continuous travel. That is the longest trip I’ve ever done, even longer then going to S.A..
Langkawi has been awesome, an exotic tropical island. There are monkeys everywhere, a beautiful beach and plush accommodations. The race this year has attracted a bunch of the top European World Cup guys so the racing is full on everyday. And it’s HOT. And HUMMID. Like sweat from the time you step out of the room. And it’s muddy, this is monsoon season. But with all that said the place is beautiful, the organizers are great and the people are super friendly.
I’m hoping I come out of this race with some good form for La Ruta in 2 weeks. I can already tell you this race is much muddier and hotter then La Ruta. The stages are shorter but they’re intense. A lot of the trail is just freshly cut jungle and with all the rain they’ve had some places its axle deep.
I had a pretty good prologue yesterday taking 6. Today Max Knox and I rode together in 5 and 6 for most of the day until I punctured 6 KM from the finish. I dropped to 8 and lost quite a bit of time in today’s 65KM stage. Tomorrow we have a 45KM point-to-point stage and I’m hoping for some better luck.
I wonder what Meg and Winston are doing right now……