Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jingle Cross Rock

Mile marker 5780 - The dream season continues. After back to back wins in Lincoln I thought I'd have a pretty good shot at winning in Iowa City as well at the Jingle Cross Rock. I didn't quite know what to expect since the parcours in Iowa City are pretty unique. Mt. Krumpet as it's known is a monster of a hill and with the always damp conditions it's a bit of a crap shoot.

As race day approached I did my now typical scan of who was registered. I'd be up against Scott Mclaughlin and Lou Kuhn on Friday night, then joined by Lou's teammate Kevin Klug and Michigan rider Jay Moncel. Although I'd had the upper hand on these throughout the season Mt. Krumpet has a way of leveling the playing the field. I'd also be started from the 3rd or 4th row so I'd be in chase mode from the get go.

The conditions where so selective it pretty much came down to who could keep it upright and smooth everyday. Friday was dry for the most part but there was one mud bog that chose to be decisive. I kept it clean all night and was able to capitalize on others mistakes. Saturday the rain came out. I told Anne to expect me to pit every lap. She handled the pits like no other. Holding and catching bikes by herself and washing them perfectly throughout the race. Saturday was decided on the descent of Mt. Krumpet. I crashed twice but was able to extend my lead on it every lap. Many others were forced to run it. Sunday's conditions were still damp and this was the only day that fitness played a roll in it for me. I was able to shed Lou on the long uphill soggy drag to the mud bog and then ride the bog which established my gap. The rest was up to just riding smooth and keeping it upright. I'm a mudder and it worked out perfectly.

Matt had two awesome rides on Friday and Saturday joining me on the podium in 3rd place. Liz got two 3rd place podiums too to finish out her Cat 4 season. Rafal got his single speed podium on Sunday behind the uber fast Curtes brothers.

Outside of the post race mud clean-up it was an awesome weekend. I enjoyed hanging out and finally meeting all the guys from The Pony Shop in Chicago. Got to also meet Matt Shriver team liaison for the Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek team from TREK.

From here on out it's all about training. I'll take a bit of time off here to recover and then hit it hard for 4 weeks leading up to Nationals and Worlds. I took the plunge and registered for not only the Masters race at Nationals but also the Elites. It'll be fun to see where I actually slot in.

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