Entries in 2014 Cross Nationals (4)
YES!! The fat lady has sung! That's it...the end of the 2013/14 racing season. Smiles abound as it has been an absolutely incredible and so fulfilling season for the Keller boys. Let's digest the last two weeks, shall we, as we led in to the US National Cyclocross Championships here in our home town of Boulder, CO. It's been an amazing build up the last few months with a nervous excitement in our town preparing for the nation to come and...as we hoped...would be blown away. And the last two weeks blew the top off....
Altitude Adjustment CX - Longmont CO
The weeks leading up to the Nationals were spotty in terms of precip, and for the true cross nerds here in town, we stood outside, craned our necks and asked the weather gods to let loose. But it was capital C cold...and so, a lot of das trainings were relegated to the basement...
The weekend before Nationals, at a prep race weekend put on by Cross Vegas maestro Brook Watts, Altitude Adjustment Cross brought the good white stuff from the skies above. My weeks leading up had been good. As good as I could have them in three-part-teeter-totter land. I put in the early morning trainings to try and find tune whatever I could possibly fine tune especially given the bad weather. I felt great, was healthy, and knew that if it stayed crappy and cold, no one could touch me in the 40-44's. I raced well at the 5 degree Rez race and felt markedly better since then.
From the gun I tore off like a banshee
Patience. That is a virtue I have to fight to achieve. Interesting struggle there, huh? But alas, breathing, closing the eyes and believing in what I can do actually...worked. I had a string of good ones in this ending chapter of the 2013 cross season. No victories, but plenty of confidence building and fun.
Green Mountain Sports Cross - Littleton CO
Photo by Yann Ropers.
We'd waited and waited for precip. And it never came. And I mean the WHOLE season! The course in Littleton was truly fun and fast. Cornering for days which was good for me but by most definitions a crit. Not my favorite kind of race. This was an unusual day too as our best friends and my old team mate, Joe Ball and family, were there. Our kids raced together and it was amazing to see given we'd raised our kids at the edge of course tape up and down California together. Now they were racing together!
My race was the last of the day. Sun in the eyes yet still gorgeous out. From the gun a phenomenal group formed which I stayed part of, battling all the way until the end. We had some minor separations in the final lap but I was super satisfied with my driving and my fitness. Joe was there and that ballistic cheering at me was deeply motivating. He knows my highs and lows with this sport and knew exactly where to be, lap after lap, and exactly what to say in those moments. Thanks man. Kudos to my boy Scott Upton who took a well deserved 'W'. Taking one for the dads against the young "35" masters. I took 6th and it was a well earned place.
Cyclo-X - Boulder Reservoir
Photo by Terri Irsik Smith
Within a week the real winter decided to show up. From 55 and sunny a week prior, we dropped to 2-5 degrees and snowy. Indeed I salivated for the conditions. Again, the 35's raced last race of the day with the open men. We were staged 2 min behind their start and from the gun, Michael Robson and I decided to take a flier. Lap after lap we flowed like school boys in the ice rink, rapidly catching most of the open field even with the 2 min gap. Lots of fun chicanes on this course but mainly it was the ability to tolerate the cold (e.g. good equipment and clothing) and stay upright. We pushed hard for the 50 minutes and I only conceded two spots, taking 4th on the day. Again, super happy with the results but moreso happy to have survived that epic day comfortably.
Colorado State CX Championships - Castle Rock, CO
Photo by Bo Bickerstaff.
Love. Hate. Love. Hate. That is my relationship with this course in Castle Rock. But when I pull back, it's always my head, not the course that is to blame! It's an intimidating course with massive elevation change but I will say unconditionally, it's one of the finest courses put together for us by John Haley and a great crew down south. I was hungry for a good results and my placing (16th) was a function of me absolutely screwing with a course that I should not have screwed with. What I mean is that the plan I had which was to peel off a group early and stay out of the melee worked initially, but the fitness and endurance I needed to maintain that was totally vacant. So the radical fade came in to play with no real depth in the engine to help me sustain that. So be it. I tried and left every possible thing out there that day.
Now it's the Christmas Period. No, not the one in Belgium, I mean the one here at home...avoiding all the snacks and holding on tight to the motivation to train and keep believing I'll open up a can of something here in Boulder for the 40-44 event on Saturday. We're incredibly excited for the nation to come in and see this great town of ours...filled with the most passionate crossers on earth. More to come on this here blog so watch this space!
Really looking forward to seeing everyone here!
Have a look at this great video to learn more and get your stoke on for the kids at Nationals. If you are on the fence about this being the year to bring your kid to a national-level event, THIS IS THE YEAR! We're pouring as much as we can community-wise into making teh event most especially awesome for the kids. The sport is growing by leaps and bounds with their participation. They deserve to be supported with extra care and stoke in January. C'MON AND HUP UP PARENTS AND KIDS!!!
More information and registration info can be found here on the USA Cycling Nationals Event Page.