Meg, Winston and I packed up the truck and headed out to Cali early Thursday morning for the Fontana PROXCT. It’s only about a 6 hr drive from the Old Pueblo so we had a full day planned on Thursday. We almost left at our predetermined 6 am time but I had forgotten to update my USADA so I had to do some Iphone update from the parking lot before we left which put us a few minutes behind schedule.
The trip was smooth, we made it to Fontana, met up with the Specialized crew, I did an easy ride, got a Juice It Up smoothie and we were checked into the hotel by 2:30. That was only the first part of the day though since we were headed down to Oakley to hang out with Blick and check out the Dirt Lab pump track. The traffic here is crazy and even at 3pm a 14 lane highway is stacked up in both directions. When we got there, Winston wanted to get his picture taken in front of the building.
Blick gave us the full tour and since Oakley is named after a dog Winston was loving it. Greg Minnar is a pretty tall guy but he is living really large at Oakley. If you ever have the chance to go check out the HQ, do it, the place is amazing. Just roaming the offices you see so many posters, pictures signed equipment from all the best athletes in every sport from Eli Tomac’s number 1 plate to signed Rory Mcilroy stuff.
Probably the coolest part about the place though is the Dirt Lab. It consists of a immaculately maintained pump track and line. There were about 15 people there sessioning it when we were there including Brain Lopes. Lopes goes around that track like he’s on rails, amazing to watch. I was creeping around but having a great time.
We finally made it back to the hotel around 9:30pm after a late dinner and I crashed out hard.
Saturday was the XC and I wasn’t feeling that great heading in. I have been having great training in Tucson this year but have managed to get myself sick right around the races the past few weeks. Not quite sure why but I was pretty frustrated to get a cold for the 2nd time in 3 weeks at the worst possible time. I have had some of my best races when I’ve been sick but it still makes them that much harder.
Early on I found myself off the front with Bishop and Jette and soon after that it was just Bishop and I. He attacked at the beginning of the 3rd lap but I was able to hold him from between 10-30 seconds until midway through the 4th lap when he broke his chain and I was able to grab the lead. I would have preferred to win on strength but I have had my share of mechanicals over the years and it’s just part of racing. Lucky for me I’m on the best team in the world with the best equipment so I was able to capitalize on his misfortune.
We have the STXC today and then it’s back to Tucson for a few more weeks of warm weather training before Sea Otter.
I wonder how Rude’s training going in Durango…..