Nationals is always a crap shoot. We train from May/June all for the big goal on January. Along the way you dodge sickness, build form, avoid mechanicals & a host of other problems that arise... Coming into this weekend I was in good shape. My legs felt good. I was confident in my bike driving. And I felt like the practice I put in all year readied me for the race this weekend. Nationals is JUST another race but it's also THE race people look at the most.
There's nothing better than competing in front of your home crowd. It's even better when it is the final UCI cyclocross race of the season! The Resolution Cross Cup has steadily cemented itself as a staple of the late season calendar. Offering a warm climate, miles of country roads, and lots of southern hospitality... I think most people are starting to realize, the course and the event as a whole isn't one to miss!
The annual Ruts N Guts race in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is one of my favorite races of the year. Held at the South Chisholm Trail Park, the race has definitely come into it's own in the past couple of years... The secret is getting out, Ruts N Guts is a legitimate contender as one of the best races in the country.
In just it's third year of existence, Cyntergy Hurtland has quickly gained a regional reputation as a fun race with solid payouts... it's been fun to see it grow from a one-day local event to a UCI race attracting some big names in such a short amount of time. That's not to say the Hyde, Compton, Powers of the 'cross world are making their way to Tulsa, but there is definitely an increase in those riders chasing UCI points.
Thursday rain storms left their mark on the course as riders were slipping and sliding around the track during pre-ride. The aforementioned hills provided some unnerving moments on the bike, and the steep uphill slogs required you to come prepared with a box full of matches ready to burn.
Suiting up with pretty much every layer I had in my bag, I rolled a few laps of the course in the pre-ride session. The rain overnight had softened things up a bit and there were now a number of ruts criss crossing in multiple directions. Now more than ever, the race would become a question of who could ride it and who would be forced to run.
Over the years, I've grown accustomed to kicking off my season at this classic race. The Charm City course offers a balanced parcours and a fantastic venue in Druid Hill Park... It is, in my opinion, a classic cyclocross track.
The number of times I sat down to write an update could be counted on one hand. The number of times I thought about what to write, how to say it, and when to post it, though... those are too numerous to count. Here we are though, back again!