Settling into CX Season

img_6460It has been a crazy couple of weeks. It was so nice to go down to La Paz and race through Mexico a few weeks ago, seems like it was months ago already. I arrived home to Durango to temperatures barely breaking the freezing mark. We had a Community Cycling Celebration celebrating all the athletes, FLC, Trails 2000 and people that make Durango such an amazing place to ride bikes. It was nice to get the cycling community together for a night out and see everyone in civilian clothes instead of our normal spandex gear. No sooner had the event ended then I was packing my bike and heading out to Oklahoma for some more UCI CX racing.

Having never been to Oklahoma before I didn’t know what to expect other then what I’ve seen on the news when tornadoes rip through and devastate an area. Touching down in Tulsa I was surprised to find a bustling metropolis and a really cool CX scene.

Saturday was the last C1 of the year in the US so most of the big hitters where there minus Hyde and Page, both over in Europe racing right now. It was a nice warm up from Durango with temperatures in the upper 40s and  bit of rain. The main feature of the course was a uphill/downhill sand pit we rode both directions. It also had a lot of tight turns, some ditches to navigate and set of log barriers in a beer tent, what more could you want. I had a 3rd row start which i was happy about until I lined up and saw there were only four rows. Oh well, made the lead group in the first third of the race, stayed tagged on the back for the 2nd third and popped off when the race really got going in the last third. I rolled around in that last third in a group of 5-8, I ended up 8th. Not great but progression.
Setup: Scott Addict CX CX1 44-11/32 Icefriction chain, front/rear tire mud 28/30 psi

Sunday we lined up again to race the course backwards and I had a much better day. I made the lead group immediately from that same crappy start position. Instead of tail gunning the group I was at the front helping make the race, it was awesome. We were a group of 4 most the race, I ended up 4th in that group. Again, not great but progression.
Setup:ScottAddict CX CX1 44-11/32 Icefriciton chain, front/rear Maxxis Raze 28/30 psi

Again I was back on the plane and bound for Durango, this time I was greeted by warmer temperatures and some nice sunshine. I didn’t have much time to ride though, as soon as I landed I went to the dentist, loaded up the car and we made our move to the desert for the winter. One of my favorite experiences is driving out of Durango on a winter morning and later that day seeing the giant saguaros, sticking my arm out the window and feeling that warm air.
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It sure is nice to be back in Tucson. I went from taking 20 minutes to get dressed in all my gear to having to stop and fill up my bottles after an interval work out since it’s so warm. I wasn’t in Tucson very long either before I was back on the plane headed back to Texas, this time Dallas for the last UCI CX races of the year. Some people like to train into shape, I like to build a big base and then race into shape. With this being my last chance to score some good UCI points to move up the start grid and test myself against some of the nations best I was excited to see how the form was coming.

It was quite a shock to leave warm Tucson and arrive in Dallas to 32 degrees, grey sky and 15 mph winds, brr. Troy and I did our preride and I couldn’t feel my toes or fingers by the time we were finished and I wore a buff nearly the entire time. The course was awesome with a lot of long open power sections and some really fun mtb/bmx style stuff in the woods.

Saturday it was still cold but had warmed up to mid 40s, the wind was still pumping and I had yet to see the sun. This time I was on the second row and found the lead group straight away. I got to the front pretty quick and we worked the group down to three by the midway point with Van den Ham, Driscoll and myself. Driscoll got a gap with 2 to go that ballooned up to 8 seconds but Michael and I shut down to 3 by the finish. I managed to out kick him for 2nd after sitting on the whole last lap and got my first CX podium of the year with one race remaining.
Setup:ScottAddict CX CX1 44-11/32 Icefriciton chain, front/rear Maxxis Raze 30/36 psi

So Sunday was my final chance of 2016 to win a UCI CX race and I seized the moment. I again found myself off the front with Van den Ham but instead of Driscoll joining up this time it was Lindine. We worked well together on another super windy but warm day. Niegther of us could shake the other until the very end when Van den Ham put in a big dig and gapped Lindine slightly. I was able to jump around him right at the finish to grab that elusive CX victory, it felt great!
Setup:ScottAddict CX CX1 44-11/32 Icefriciton chain, front/rear Maxxis Raze 28/32 psi

I decided after the races this weekend I’m gonna go to CX Nationals in Hartford and give it shot. I haven’t been to Nationals since back when they were held in December. I have essentially 3 weekends to hopefully build on my form so I can be competitive there. I wish there were more big races but I’ll hit the AZ state champs in Phoenix this weekend and then focus my training on the Tucson group rides. The Shoot Out and Tuesday morning ride offer ample opportunity to suffer on the wheel, great speed work and cold temperatures since it’s even cold in Tucson at 7:30 in the morning. Either way it’s a great way to end a 2016 that far exceeded my expectations. Thanks for reading.

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I wonder how excited Winston is to get a haircut….

 

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