Two weekends ago now, we were posed a nice option of staying with our recently transferred Boulderite friends- the Morrissey's, along with being able to do the USGP's just up the road in Fort Collins. Colorado is pretty much the coolest place ever so I knew we couldn't go wrong. I have only done the Louisville gp's once before but once was enough to know all about how highly attended and well run events the usgp has to offer so this trip really was a win-win (besides the actual racing part that is)
Anyway, this year I am racing my last season as a junior for cross and wanted to start doing some bigger races since I want to have a killer later part of the season. Originally, the usgp series was put on by exergy. Exergy pretty folded though due to bankruptcy so some of the events were cut back, including removing the UCI portion of the elite 17-18 category. This essentially whittled down the field of the half dozen super, super-fast kids that need to scoop up UCI points for freaking WORLD CUPS. So, I was only left to deal with the fast kids of Colorado, but considering everyone is a P-R-O in Colorado, I had my hands full. And I didn't even mention racing at altitude for the first time!
The first day it started pouring right before our race. I got a boss start from the second row for once and everyone kept crashing so I was for real sniffing out the front of the race before the course really got treacherous. Since everyone is a P-R-O in Colorado, everyone cool switched to their mud-tired bike after the first half lap and my handling skills were instantly, not only neutralized, but counter-acted as everyone's real deal tires cut through my perfect dry tire lines. Then I started crashing my brains out. People I talked to after the race would be like, "oh, I went down over there" and another would say, "oh, mine was a little after that section" and I could say "so did I" to every single section of the course. I guess my lack of mud racing on dry tires finally caught up to me. My head wasn't in it the last few laps after my crashed but I still pushed hard enough not to get caught by any more juniors.
Day two I was determined to not back down after the start. I think in our local hour long races, after about 20 minutes, there is a good lull for about 20 minutes, then it is picked back up again in the final 20 to make sure your place isn't lost. In fact, I know this is true since I KEEP STRAVA IN CYCLOCROSS, haha. Anyway, I crushed myself for the full 45 minutes (elite junior races are2 only 40 minutes- but when you are ~3 minutes down on the winnner...) and literally was at the limit the whole race. But I ended up with 11th place, again. I am going to blame the altitude for my best effort of the year.
Here are the time splits from Fort Collins of day one's mentally checking out vs day two's "staying in the game" for the full race.
(I am too lazy to mess with the formatting but you get the idea internet friends)