Early Season Wrap Up

The ‘early season’ has officially come to a close now that the Whiskey 50 and Tour of the Gila are in the history books. The Whiskey was an awesome weekend despite flatting 40 minutes into the XC. I felt reasonably good at the time when I gashed open the sidewall of my front tire. At least I was able to fix it up and continue pounding out the big loop!  I was still making good time, but a flat tire does a number to the motivation factor. I was suffering, but not nearly to the degree that I normally do in a big race. There’s always next year…

Tour of the Gila quickly became plan B after flatting out at the Whiskey. Starting just three days later, this five day long stage race is my favorite road event. Fortunately it’s just a short drive over to Silver City, NM and I had the good fortune to hook up with one of the local teams for lodging and transportation. In ’09 and ’10 I raced the Cat 2 event. This year it was a Cat1/2 race since there’s now a dedicated UCI race for the super-pro roadies. I was pleased to ride relatively strong and put in some decent stage results. Stage 2 (Inner Loop RR) was the highlight for me. I went in just about every break that got off the front (five of them!) and the last one stuck. Four of us rolled off the front while descending the big rollers on HWY 180 heading back towards Fort Bayard. We shared the workload nicely and came into the finish with a slim advantage over the bunch finish. I was the top Cat 2 rider on the day so that’s a psuedo stage victory of some sort right?!  

The week after Gila was a good chance to unplug and get some extra rest and recovery. Chloe was off to Europe for the World Cup so a quiet house made it easy to do a lot of nothing aside from catching up on a number of tasks around the house. I’m now in that transition between taking a break and getting back into gear. Kicking things off with a MBAA race in Flagstaff this weekend ought to be a good way to do it. The focus is squarely upon US Nationals and I’m pumped to put in some good work between now and then. With a more race-specific approach, I’m gunning for a strong result there. Instead of chasing the World Cups out east for the two weeks preceding Nationals, I’ll be training and resting instead… Last year I was tired before Nationals even started so a different approach ought to do the trick. As a bonus, my Nationals training ought to serve as a great start towards two big races in August – the Ore to Shore and the WORS Subaru Cup.  Though it’ll come later this season than those previous, I’m already excited for the trip back to Wisconsin!