It's currently 1:15 am in Colorado, I'm sitting in the United lounge in Tokyo/Narita airport, filled to the brim with Sushi and missing my girls already!
Also still feeling the effects of Saturday's Schoolyard Cross which despite the warm , dry conditions might go down as one of the most enjoyable races I've had this season. I didn't experience my typical "2 to go fade" in fact it felt as though I ran out of real estate and time. The course was predominately flat and non-technical..read: FAST, stupid fast and requiring a massive wattage output. This is typically not my style of course or conditions ( warm, sunny ). Despite having a pathetic points standing, I still received a call up and slotted into the 2nd row. Whistle blows and the rider in front of me slips a pedal and does a couple of swaps/tripod moves in before regaining control. By now, a good third of the field was up the road, I got pimped in a couple of turns as the course narrowed and I was immediately relegated to the middle of a 80 rider field. Time to chase and pick off as many spots as possible.
Super thankful for a few things that worked to my favor: 1 ) the double rings up front as I spent a considerable amount of time in the 46T. 2) a mud pit, while we had a hefty dose of summer on the front range this past week, the race organizers took it upon themselves to break out the hose and water down a long straightaway, I was able to pick off a few spots every lap through here. By 2 to go, a Crossniacs rider and I were sharing an epic battle for who knows what placing but you'd think it was the last chance for the green points jersey at the TDF. A few gentlemanly passes on both our parts. With 1 to go he was clinging to my wheel as we headed up what was easily the toughest long uphill bumpy grinder of a climb with 2 barriers at the top. We both exited the section cleanly, jumped back on the pavement for the finishing straight. I've never possessed any type of sprinting skills whatsoever but I was fired up for this one and besides, Dave Towle was announcing and whipping the 5 spectators into a frenzy, I barely kept my spot on the line, good enough for 19th spot. Past the line,we both congratulated each other on a job well done and then Mr Crossniacs went over to a nice shady, patch of grass to puke.
Love this sport.