…and just like that, Nationals is over. USAC and the Biltmore really did a great job with the event this year – the course was fantastic, we were blessed with rain, Asheville is a rad city, and the elite races had by-far the biggest crowds I’ve seen in American cyclocross. But, as climactic as Nats is, with it comes the bittersweet reality that the season is over. Months of training and racing summed up by one forty-five minute race. Certainly half the point here is to get to the prediction-postmortem wherein I owe resultsboy two coffees, but first let me talk about some feelings.
My race Sunday did not go as I hoped it would. Last year I was blessed with several tailwinds that blew me to my best ever elite finish. This year my race was over within two minutes, after getting hit from behind on the pavement and crashing ultra hard. Note: pavement is much less forgiving than dirt.
Race result aside, it was an incredible weekend. Jeff Kiplinger, founder of Averica, flew down to watch us in action. If you missed his three-part blog this week about the return on Averica’s investment in our team, please go back and read it here. We are so lucky to work with Jeff and Olga at Averica, but the relationship is so much more than that. They have become part of our racing family, they’ve become friends, and we feel so supported by them. Teammate Julie and I were lucky enough to spend all week in Asheville after racing in Tennessee last week. And we owe so much to mechanic and man-of-the-year Gary for driving our bikes to and from NC, fixing everything I broke, and living in a house full of women for a week. My sister Rosie and her boyfriend Taylor loved pitting in Austin so much that they couldn’t wait to come to a second championship event. My sister Laura spent all week with us, hanging out, cooking food, and making this rad-tastic sign. My lady Julie, and teammate-Julie’s husband Drew flew down to support us in the million ways partners do. The cheers from so many NECX’ers and other cx-friends stood out from the crowd at every turn of the course. It was unreal.
So when I hit the pavement, full speed and with a crunch, I did what any reasonable person would do considering the above. I got the F back up. It took a minute, and I couldn’t pedal hard, but the only thing weaker than my pedaling would’ve been bailing on the ability to ride that course, with those people, on that day. And then I cried, because that wasn’t how I wanted the season to end, or the show I wanted to put on for friends and family. But such is the cruelty of sport.
The good news is, other people raced REALLY WELL and totally destroyed our predictions. Airport wifi meant I could watch the replay and see so many friends ride like total bosses. NECX crusher-of-road-dreams-2015 GoFahr stomped to a 6th place finish! Wuuuuuut! KFC defended in her biggest challenge yet. Georgia Freaking Gould said “LOL RACE PREDICTOR” and stomped to 2nd after announcing all the masters women’s races on Thursday. What a dreamboat of a human. Antonneau rode in no-mans-land for 3rd all day, reminding everyone that she is the heir-apparent. And the return of Elle Anderson – proved me super wrong and stomped to 4th and a return-trip to worlds. Race predictor postmortem:
- Amanda Miller
- Crystal Anthony
- Georgia Gould
- Georgia Gould
- Kaitie Antonneau
- Elle Anderson
- Rachel Lloyd
The men: to be fair I admitted I know a lot less about the men. I know now that I owe Colin two cups of coffee: one because he bet on Travis Livermon in the top 5 and I said he was crazy.
Travis finished 8th, and Zach McDonald finished 19th. Colin and his “data” were right.
I stand behind the ZMD pick because DID YOU SEE THIS VIDEO??
And oh yea, Powers defended, as champions do. Logan Owen stood on a podium in his first Elite Nationals, and something unexpected happened to Danny Summerhill. Timmerman had a cleat fall off mid-race. Basically my non-podium predictions were all wrong:
- Kerry Werner
And thus we end the 2015 season.