John Meyers, Erin Vicary and JOBERON attended the National Championships in Vermont over the past weekend.
2008 Mountain Bike Nationals Mt. Snow, Vermont.
I raced this past Saturday morning at Nationals and placed 11th. of about 40 - 45 riders. The placing was not what I had set as my top five goal. I believe that with training and schedule that I had put together had me on target for that week. To pull off a big win at nationals this year it was going to require that I dial in the bike as well as the course. So when we arrived on thur. evening Mike and I threw our riding gear on and checked are tire psi and we were off for what we hoped would be a good solid lap on the course and if time permitted we would do two. We finished the first and then cut off the start climb out and went back out for a second lap. The rough downhill denture rattling section was 90% dry and dusty. I felt much better on this lap. Early the next morning back up and out for two more laps.. These laps were intended to be easy but sometimes the pace and heart rate is just not controllable when you are going up. Two laps done and ready for some work on the bike. The small 22 tooth appeared to be giving the problems with the chain suck and jambed chain clear back to the Lumberjack chain break.....off to find a new chain ring. I found one and took Mike's advice in removing a link also. So late that night not remembering to lubricate my chain I begin the process and notice a problem with my chain....damm it's bent! I should not be messing around at 10:30 p.m. the night before my race but better than during the race.
Race day started great! About a 45 minute warm-up to see how the previous evenings thunderstorms affected the course...things were greasy but not so bad. The climbing up the start hill would be important because of the grass and possibly only one lane.
As I was waiting for our wave #6 to take off I had just enough time to reflect and say a quick prayer for success and we were off. Off the front line I went and damm I did not get the hole shoot....instead my left foot would not clip in....damm I was getting caught in the middle of the field....damm I charge up part of the first hill and just get my foot clipped in. As we came over the top I think I made it back into about 4 or 5...feeling a little better I held my ground until we got to the down single track section.....It was 100% crazy, yelling, bitching with riders being lapped from the waves ahead off us.....lot's of crashes and angry aggressive riders behind wanting behind....struggling with this I let numerous go by.....big mistake.....I lost contact with the race and the top five goal that I had established. Mr. nice guy was the wrong mode to be in during the race. The second and third laps were much of the same except on the second lap I did have some chain suck and jambed into my chain stay....off the bike to careful free things up. A few riders went by and I had to play chase. The additional two times down the technical down hill were much less negative and not so congested. I kept things moving but somewhere in the third lap I new that I was not were I needed to be no matter how hard I went to chase down more riders I would finish out side of the podium.
I did finish but discouraged and frustrated. Over the past few days I have processed things that I will not do before a key race in the future.....
1. No extended 3 1/2 group rides 72 hours before Nat.'s with the final 40 minutes time trialing home to beat a thunderstorm.
1a. The taper down takes place many days before and it's better to be under trained than over trained and tired.
2. two laps on the race course 48 hours before race time. one is enough.
3. two laps on the race course 24 hours before race time. one is enough.
4. Repair and replace parts on a bike less than 24 hours.
5. Replace a chain on race bike less than 10 hours.
6. No new cleats put on shoes with out 7 - 10 days worth of wear.
7. Stay in the front or one or two places back at the most.
8. No more Mr. Nice Guy in the single track.....So what if someone wants to get by....tough to bad....wait your turn bro!
9. Rest....Rest....Rest and more Rest!
10. There's always next year.
Overall it was a great experience and had a great time with Mike, Mitch, Joe and Erin. We will have to do it again soon.
Next race is Nationals #2 August 1-2 in Wisconsin. I will be participating on a powerhouse four man team that Dan Jansen has formed. We will be heading to wisco next friday! Just maybe the stars will align for us on that day and we can drape ourselves with a coveted national jersey.