That is all she wrote, not that you know what I am talking about, but that is just because I haven’t written. Well, I am talking about my ‘cross season. I am on my way home from National Championships ready to take a soft five and relax for a bit.
My last post was a couple weeks after my mountain bike season finished up when I had some time for reflection. The truth is I have really just been putting this ‘cross season together as best I could with the time that I had and I really couldn’t take time to write between school, travel, training, racing and life. Also, I am not too worried, it is nice to have a break and feel refreshed and excited to write and share my stories.
It really was a pretty quick ‘cross season. For me, start to finish it was 5 weeks and 9 races. The back to back weekends of travel to the states for Gloucester and Providence were pretty serious. In Gloucester, my Norco Factory teammates Evan and Haley and I were hosted by some amazing people Heidi and Coley. I had my best result at Gloucester this year, then the next weekend in Providence, in a heavier field, bested that result. Providence put together an amazing course, so much flow, technical and it made for some great racing. I got a shout out from @BTcxBTV a for some innovative work off the start line. Check out the video here at 0:51.
Next it was a inter-provincial self-constructed double weekend with Fit Works Muddy Wheels in Dieppe, NB Saturday evening and then Cyclesmith ‘Cross in the Halifax the next morning. Two days and two wins for me, including the biggest payout on the east coast with $500 for the win and $100 for the winner of the first lap in New Brunswick. The next weekend was simple with Cyclesmith ‘Cross on Sunday. While warming up for the race I broke part of my A bike, fortunately the “pit” (my house) was not far. I ran to a borrowed vehicle and drove back to my place and ripped back to the course on my B bike. Everyone was waiting for me on the start line, they held it a couple minutes for me; sooo east coast. (In hindsight it would have been beneficial for them to start). Another win but not without some challenges along the way.
Then comes the big game, the final to the season in Winnipeg, Manitoba, National Championships. It was just the boys out for this race, McNeely and I and support from the one and only Kevin Haviland. McNeely and I had numbers in the field and we intended to use them to go for a podium position for either one of us. My first goal was to make the start hard to put pressure on the favorites. I started hard, got the holeshot and then Garrigan and I opened up a gap in the first half lap. I went well for the first few laps but after that it was clear to me that it was not going to be my day. However, McNeely was positioned with the chase group and looking strong; our next goal was met. McNeely had a strong and consistent race and went on to finish 5th. Although neither of had the legs to go for the podium, we both did our best, together, and had a lot of fun doing it.
The next day was the Manitoba Gran Prix of Cyclocross where I looked to make some improvements from the day before. I decided to start a little more conservatively and ramp the effort up throughout the race. I made the lead group of 6 off the start and was feeling great. I was able to ride strong from start to finish. I rolled in 8th, happy with my effort and the amount of fun I had out there. Every time through the pit I was treated to comments from Havi like, “Could you go a little faster please”, that is when I got to smile.
Overall, the weekend was great in Winnipeg. The organization team really crushed it and put together a really good event. It wasn’t just a bike race, it was a festival and the atmosphere was electric.
This weekend there was some massive support from Halifax. Thanks!
I am planning on doing a couple more local cross races this fall and I might make an appearance at Ontario Provincial ‘Cross Championships to defend my not-an-actual title. Check out some photos below from some of the ‘cross racing I did this fall.