The blank Word doc has been sitting on my desktop for a couple weeks now. The end of 2015 was a blur with three weeks of UCI racing in OK and TX, followed by a short week in the office, and then off to vacation with the family. Before I knew it, 2016 had arrived and it was back to reality.
To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to write or share. Before the break, I was exhausted after three straight weekends of hard UCI racing. Looking back on that experience now I will be honest and say it didn’t go as I had planned. I was able to glean some valuable ProCX points and race against some of the top racers in the country. But I had been targeting the Southern Cross Series as my “last chance qualifier” to get that all important UCI point, which remains elusive still.
A family vacation to Aruba gave me a good chance to reset and take a mental break from everything. No work to do or cold to battle. And although I was in the gym every day, I’ll be honest and say that I was pretty lax with my diet. Not my best decision with just a week to prep for Nationals when I returned. But I was able to enjoy time with my family and reflect on the year as a whole.
So here we are… getting ready to race the USAC Cyclocross Nationals in Asheville, North Carolina. If you had told me I would be here back in January 2015, I would have probably agreed with you, while remaining uncertain on the inside. On the whole, this ‘cross season has provided more than I could have hoped. From being a part of the first World Cup in Las Vegas, to racing Providence and traveling around the country to several top Pro CX events, there were many lessons learned and experience gained.
I won my first ‘cross event in two years and continued to rack up wins and podiums in the local Texas races. Outside the Lone Star State boarders the results varied from back row starts and narrowly missed opportunities, to top 10s and strong races against stronger, more experienced competition. Sure I didn’t get the UCI point I was searching for, but that’s part of development. This sport is not going to come easy and the results won’t arrive just because you gained one more season of riding and racing the year before. To be good at cyclocross, cycling, or anything really, it takes time, it takes effort and it takes dedication.
Now, more than ever, I feel ready to dedicate myself to cyclocross. That’s a bit scary to say, but as I stand on the edge of my first ever Elite Nationals race and ready myself to jump into the deep end, I want more of it. I want to go back to September, do it all over again and still arrive at this same point with a smile on my face. Sure I’m nervous and worried and second-guessing my preparation (and maybe a few cocktails I had on the beach) but that’s part of it, right?
Now I’m here to face the gauntlet that is laid before me: a hard, gut-busting, technically challenging course against 52 of the fastest guys in the nation.
No choice to play it safe.
No reason to take it easy.
No second day of racing.
It’s time to lay it all out there and go as hard as I can on the laatste ronde of the 2015-2016 season.
See you on Sunday!