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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nationals 2012

We drove out to Nationals again this year, but had some exciting company for the drive! Mary Maroon, and Chris & Garrett Marking are now official road warriors! Instead of renting a hotel this year, we rented a lake house, that had kayaks and canoes, along with two golf carts (Sadly, we were all tired so did not get the chance to kayak or canoe, but we drove around in a golf cart before we left)! We saw some interesting things (A guy walking out of walmart with his hand on fire), and ate at interesting places (Walmart parking lots). We also learned some interesting stuff (That Walmart is where all the cool kids hang out, its like the mall! And it's the best place to buy fresh produce in the Mid-West)! Yes, the whole trip seemed to revolve around Walmart and the next bike ride, but we made it out to our lake house with good speed!

We stopped to ride in Arizona, Arkansas, and Alabama along the way. We were so lucky to ride in such beautiful places. We rode down some epic switchbacks on the way to Sedona in Arizona, we were chased by dogs in Arkansas (Everybody has dogs, and all of the dogs chase you), and saw the most adorable cows in Alabama. We rode by the 'Chat n Scat' Gasstation, and my Mom descovered the Piggly-Wiggly Grocery Store and found out that it did not suit our dietary needs, but thanks to Walmart we had fresh produce the whole trip! Everything we saw, and did, and all of the people involved really made this trip remarkable.

The weather this year in Georgia was much better than last year, it was still humid (thats a given though), but nothing I couldn't handle. All of my races were slightly cloud covered so it was not too hot. My first race was the road race. It was 55k, very short, but the course was fun! They changed the course, from last year. It was not much different, but I preferred it over the other one. The only difference was there were more rollers, which was great, perfect for attacking.I felt great throughout the race.. there were attacks on the rollers, but no one got  away. The lead pack was whittled down to about 15 riders at the end, and I finished 11th.

There is not much to say about the Time Trial, except I did pretty good for not practicing my Time Trialing much. I took 14th place. This is something I will work on for next year. The Crit was like the road race, just a little faster. The first lap started out with an attack from the line, I was stuck in the back but soon was able to move up towards the front. I had good positioning through the race, especially on the last lap until the last two corners. I let people pass me and was pushed to the back of the peleton. I finished mid pack in the end.

I am very happy with my road race result this year, I feel that road racing has been one of my strong points. I have always loved the challenge that road races give me, and I can't wait for some of the upcoming  races this year. Nationals has left me with important lessons to think about, and has had me recognize the things I need to improve. I was pretty bumbed that I did not do as well on the TT this year, so thats something I will improve on, along with pack skills, and riding a little more agressive (so I don't get pushed around). I am excited to do long slow distance work, fun mountainbiking, and more racing! I also will try out Cyclecross this year...

I have really enjoyed this trip, especially since Mary Maroon joined us... I feel that it was very cool to have a pro with us. She taught Garrett and I many things, like how to get the best room in host houses along with treating your hosts well so you can get an invite for next year, and that your behavior is very important, she also gave us some race tips. Mary was just so fun to be around. She took away some of the nerves, and gave me many things to think about. Better yet, she treated me as a sister. It was just awesome to spend time with Mary and get to know her better during our adventure to Georgia and back. I am so grateful to be around such awesome people right now! Thanks to everyone in the cycling community and all my friends and family who have helped, and supported me throughout the years. Thank you Edd at Chico Sports LTD and Specialized for being on it with my bike, also thanks to Mark Wade at the Bicycle Wheel for being so awesome to me. Big thanks to the best Director Sportif out there... my Mom, and my coach/Step-Dad!!! I could not have made it without you two!

Will keep everyone updated! :)