It was a true taste of the coming of fall this weekend here in Colorado. We pinned up numbers at the Frisco Nordic Center for the annual double weekend at Frisco Cross…a traditional season-opening race for many Coloradans who are getting their season kicked off. The Aspens were blowing up and the hint of coolness in the air for the 35A race (~ 55 degrees) had me reaching for the first time this season for the Northwest Knee Warmers Embrocation (review coming soon).
I’d been feeling pretty OK. The legs turning well in training and I knew I’d only be doing 1 of the 2 days so I wanted to get some deep hurt on. And I’d accomplish that mission fo shizzel. I had my teammate Tim Faia with me who is always going well no matter the season. My plans were simple: Start hard, race hard and flow. No goals….just flow. I’m still a bit freaked about pushing the envelope. I constantly hear the sound of my collarbone breaking in my head and I’m just getting used to trusting rubber again. I had a quiver of tires with me but I ran the Hutchinson Bulldogs as they simply felt ‘right’ over this pretty brutal Colorado course. There is a ton of woodchip and rock covered terrain to deal with and I felt best on this tire.
The start was classic me, pushing the pace super high for the first lap…starting up a gigantic twisty paved climb...with a lot of matches burned early. Fast forward and I’ll get to the punchline: Took 8th place and could not stay in contact with the lead group. Timmy won brilliantly with a last lap attack over Robson and Hogan with great performances by Mr. Yoder, Clay Harris, Brian Maslach and a surging Pat Gallegos. Here’s a few minutes of the race before Mr. Yoder lays down his obscene power causing great discomfort to us all:
The 10K feet of altitude, slow ramp up of intensity this early season and not being smart on the gun kept me out of the nosecone of the bullet train up front, but I accomplished a massive amount of training depth which was sorely needed. I also really fell in love with bike handling again. I don’t know what it is but while not tubulars, those Bulldogs just felt…right. I’m giving them the crappy-conditions-tire award for good handling over truly bad elements.
More season building this week I am stoked for. Still taking this season literally one day at a time. One watt at a time. One corner and dismount at a time. I am so in love with it all again it makes me weepy.