Results don’t show it, but that was my ride of the season. Photo: Kevin Tamura
In a season that’s included CX Worlds and CrossVegas, I’ve written about the importance of starting the race, finishing it, and breathing. Last weekend at MFG Woodland, those topics combined with blowing up. Lap one went like, I’m in, I’m in, and then boom. That I finally have the fitness again to go that hard is great, to blow on lap one of the biggest race in Seattle well; it’s what Jacques Anquetil said, “There are no races, only lotteries.” And in that lottery, it takes lots of luck to not crash, as many did in the elite fields.
You know in a techno song, there’s always some kinda high-pitched noise like a siren? That shrill sound syncopated with my pedaling after a warp-speed start. It indicated a system failure was approaching, but I kept pushing towards the max, hanging on at the back. As the pack rode away from me, I got angry, because the space that separated us was just a gap that I couldn’t close. Damn gap.
Concentrated now on finishing, I eased up, settled into a manageable rhythm, and regrouped. When the leaders lapped me, I went into the race zone again, and a few laps later crossed the finished line with nothing left.
After the race, Anthony Dickson who recently upgraded to the elites and raced with me said
“Damn, racing with the 1/2s is hard. Why did I ever upgrade and subject myself to this pain? Cross is anticipation, exasperation and elation, all in that order. Can’t wait to do it again next week!”
Yup and later he also said, “it helps to train if you want to race cross (and do well) - learning that this year.”
I’ll add to that advice something Matt Hill would say, “In training, you push to learn where your max is, so in racing you know when to back off, lest you blow at the worst time.” On the same intense lap, Matt blacked out in the pits from an acute asthma attack. Had that randomness not happened, he would’ve likely podiumed.
Ed. note: Date night has turned into a date weekend with the Seahawks today. Mark V raced with a report to follow.