This year's track nationals are in the books, and, for all intents and purposes, my race season is over. There is the possibility of a cross race, or a trip over seas, but these are low on the likelihood scale, so we'll call it here.
The year started off great, working with Jamie Staff and the US National Developmental Team (yup, concise right?) at the LA Velodrome 3-6 days a week, lifting regularly, and constantly improving. Training with these amazingly talented men and women pushed me to perform at, or as close to as possible, the top of my game everyday, and for that I am stoked! Through the summer I had a few rough patches, traveled a bunch, raced all over the country with mixed results, crashed, and had a great time with people that I don't get to spend much time with.
Without a doubt, the highlight of my summer racing was heading to Minneapolis, MN to race the Blaine Velodrome. This track is SOOOO FUN, and everyone involved made the out-of-towners feel really welcome. I'm definitely looking forward to next summer's Fixed Gear Classic.
As things wound down, and the final big push toward Elite Nationals came, Interbike did as well. I had a great time meeting some of the people that have helped me out along the way, from 3T, Rotor, Hold Fast, Vittoria, Selle San Marco, City Grounds and helping out at the Ritte Racing booth for the indoor show. My favorite part, by far, was the reaction the Ritte Racing X Moth Attack track bike received. People were going NUTS over it, which I get, but it was cool to see Spencer (Ritte Racing Director Sportif) and Megan (Moth Attack owner/builder) get the credit they deserve for such an amazing bike.
After the show, with my training taper in full effect back in LA, I sat around, and went to the track a couple of times, just to keep the legs moving.
All the hard work payed off on day 2 of nationals, when Daniel Walker, Sam Milroy and I finished 4th in the team sprint, with a time that would have won last year! The times were smoking fast this year, and all the top 4 teams trained directly with Jamie Staff throughout the year, coincidence? Day 3 of nat's was a little tougher for me, and I didn't qualify for sprints, but made up for it by finishing 5th in the keirin minor final on day 4. I bettered my result from last year by 1 place, in a much more competitive field, confirming (mostly to me, alleviating a good deal of self doubt) how much my training and commitment have payed off. Day 5 only had a kilo in store, and I finished off 8th overall, besting last year's placing by 3 spots
Overall I am super satisfied with my performance, but by no means am I going to get complacent! The level of competition, across the board, was so much higher this year than last, that I can't wait to see how high the bar gets, and how much higher I can push my own limits.
Now it's time for a bit of relaxation, reflection, and looking forward to next season.
Thanks to Pat Benson and Brian Hodes for the RAD images!