Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Training

  I swear, this has got to be one of the craziest January's I have ever had. Aside from the unpredictable weather that has been snowing and freezing one week, to now being almost 50, it's been a big month of change for me. I normally mean what I say, and say what I mean, so when the new year started I really did start up a new life, sort of. So after a few months of doing some property management and snow removal with my buddies, Jason Anders and Sam Stevens, I decided now was no better time than ever to go back to school and work on my degree. So after almost half a decade, I'm back in the classroom, this time, chasing a Computer Science degree. While I do sometimes kick myself for not just knocking this out long ago, I have to remind myself that it's only till recently that I have uncovered my inner computer nerd, and fully embraced it to the point of pursuing it as my hopefully soon to be career. It's been quite the shock to the system going back to class, and is funny since this time around, I'm the older, if not oldest person in the classes. But I haven't let that become a deterrent and it's really cool having the change of pace.

A very common view for me now

So aside from spending even more time stuck behind a computer and my nose buried in a book, I have been putting in some solid work on the bike and on the nordic ski's getting ready for the race season. Luckily, the weather has been pretty great for riding recently, and I've been making a few trips down to Colorado Springs to train with great friend, Kalan Beisel. They have some of the best group ride's on the weekend's that are basically like mock road races. You usually finish them pretty worked with some great miles in the legs. I've gone down the past few weekend's, especially with the X-Games going on in the valley, I figured it would be a great time to miss the masses.

Not really too much more to report on. Although I'm astonished it's already the end of the January. I guess it's true, when you're having fun and staying busy, time truly does fly by. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ski Season

Among many things, a resolution for 2015 was to keep this alive and updated, so here we are. Not too much has been happening for me. Lots of work and training, and wrapping up lots of fun end of the year items. The holidays were pretty hectic for me with both work, family and training, but was stoked to get in some great days already on the Nordic skis. We are so lucky and privileged here to have so many great places to ski up and down the valley with the  showpiece being Spring Gulch just above Carbondale. I've been skiing there since high school and still love it every time I'm up there.

Usually in December it's hard to get good consistent days on the ski's here, but we've been getting hit pretty hard with snow in the valley. It's been great! So nice to truly have a white Xmas and New Years here. New Year's was pretty uneventful for me once again, but I have come to really enjoy the low key start to the year. Once again, can't say how excited I am for 2015 and this years mountain bike season, but before that happens, still have lots of sweet snow to ski.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

New Challenges and Big Changes

I've really got to get better at posting. Normally I don't post when there isn't that much to tell, but since my last update there's been a lot to share. Starting with the biggest piece of news is that back in October I left my position at Honey Stinger, and effectively my spot on the Honey Stinger/Bontrager race team. This was a decision that was not taken lightly, but something I have been been thinking about for a while. I do want to say thanks to Honey Stinger and Big Agnes for the past 4 years, and all that I have learned and gained from them. It was quite a ride, but the time had come for a change and some new pursuits in life and also racing. Today I just signed a contract with a new team which I couldn't be more excited to be involved with. But more on that to come.

Like, I said, that wasn't a decision taken lightly and can't help but thank everyone at both companies and also all the team mates and team sponsors over the years. Trek, Bontrager, Adidas Eyewear, Westone Music,, Voler, Primal, Osprey Packs, Smartwool, PlanetFoods. All of them and many more have been a huge help over the years and and provided me with some of the best equipment for racing and training.

Bonelli Park Pro XCT 2013

 I can really honestly say the Honey Stinger/Trek program has really helped me develop as a racer, and have lots of great memories from past races.

Aspen Circuit Race XC where I beat Lance Armstrong

Breck RME Podium with great friend, Jesse Swift

12hrs of Mesa Verde with Kelly Magelky and Jen Gersbach
Aside from the career and team changes, I have been mostly laying low this fall. Last year I really hit the cross season pretty hard after a good mountain bike season and then paid for it a bit last spring. This year I really focussed on resting up, and getting things for 2015 all set. I've also taken full advantage of the great fall to get in lots of sweet mountainbike and moto rides.

Since I've had a bit more time on my hand's I've finally been able to get in more riding with good friend Sam Stevens on the moto. After smashing the WEBE Enduro Series this year he's also been training like a mad man for next season too. It's awesome having someone else around who is also super motived. All in all I'm super excited for all the new changes all thats to come.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Coming Back to Life

Wow! I feel so lame for letting this lapse for so long, but really this whole summer has just been a blur and flown by so quickly. It's also crazy how quickly things change. Let's see, last post was early May. Quick recap since then, went out to Firebird 40, had a great time, finished 13th? Cool event, wish I would have pre-ridden the course, but was cool. Went down to Durango for the Iron Horse, got rained out. Came back, and was faced with some life stuff. Finally took care of the final estate items that have been lingering since my Dad's passing, and got many things put to rest. That was good. Also became single again after almost a year, so that's been a bit of a shock to the system again. Along with cleaning up leftover messes and dealing with relationship woes, I've really had to put racing on the back burner. A huge disappointment since I really do enjoy it so much. But, with all things, it's never a waste if you come away better and strong from it. Which I have. 

Since then I've really tried to jumping back to my life. I use to refer to it as my old life, but it's not old, it's just simply me. It's what I care for and it's what I want to be. I'll take my most recent race result after not racing for a few months as ever proof of that. Normally long races are a huge challenge for me, but somehow I was able to come out of last week's Power of Four Mtb race with a 4th place. I had to say I didn't expect it, but I really didn't. But no complaints for finally have a race I'm proud of. With that being said, I'm really looking forward to the Grand Junction Off Road at the end of the month. I've never been to the Whiskey 50, but with the huge following that race has, and the hard work Todd Sadow puts into events, I'm sure the Off Road will be an awesome race. In the meantime, I'm enjoying being me, and being back to me. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Back Up to Speed

 Finally I have this thing back up and running. After taking some time off from posting during the winter, I also let my domain expire, which was a huge pain in the ass to get sorted, but finally I have the blog going again. Normally I try and keep the blog updated as the season progresses, but that's always easier said than done. After coming back from California, things have been super busy. Between work and doing all the springtime chores and work associated with the house, getting out to ride has been a bit of a challenge, especially when looking for windows in the weather. 

Back in April we had our annual team camp in Fruita. Despite the stress of planning and managing all the logistics associated with the camp, it's always great to get out there and ride. I always have fond memories of riding in Fruita, and no one can dispute how fun the trails are. 

 After the camp, I've also been working hard to improve my weaknesses before the next Pro XCT's in Missoula and Colorado Springs. As proud as I am with how I did at the California races, I am not really all that satisfied at all with the results. While it's easy to say last year's races were lighter in competition comparatively to last year, I also know what I am capable of and that it wasn't really shown in California. So it's been fun to ride with a bit more of a mission than usual. Although some days I do wish I was able to just ride carelessly, it's cool looking at the progress and hopefully seeing some time melt off in certain areas.

Aside from riding the mountain bikes and road bike, I've been consistently riding the moto once a week. I'm still quite the beginner, but that's most of the fun. Plus, it's still quite the workout. I really do think a lot of people underestimate how physical fitness it requires to ride the dirt bike properly. 

Hopefully the weather will stabilize here a bit more, because I've got nothing but two wheels on the mind. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Aloha Shaka Cross

Normally I wouldn't do a post devoted to a local race, but this one was really a super cool race and I had so much fun. With it snowing the whole day before I was getting really excited. I usually always have great races in the wet and mud, but you never know. Especially since I haven't done any cross races this year in the mud, I was hopping for the best. Luckily I had great legs and really felt great out there and walked away with the win. 

Nothing like sleeping in your own bed and having an awesome race on an awesome course! Once again, huge thanks to Aloha Mtn Cyclery for putting on such a sweet race!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Front Range Crossin'

 What a fall it's been here in Colorado! The weather has been pretty amazing, still. Although it's been far from proper Cross weather, it has still provided great riding weather. Been enjoying the cross season/off season pretty thoroughly right now. All the races have been super fun, and also been really fast and challenging. Pretty cool how low key the Colorado Cup CX series is here and yet we get really good competition and get to race super fun courses. It actually makes me feel a bit guilty for taking so much time off after getting sick. Luckily there is still plenty of racing left and has me somewhat hopeful of making the long run of racing at Nationals in January. We'll see how I feel though come January. Pretty hard to say you'll be motivated for that now when its still 50, sunny and beautiful out. At any rate, I'm really enjoying how things are going. Aside from training I've been making sure to keep on top of all the fun winterizing projects at the house, like raking leaves, cleaning gutters, sealing windows etc. I've also been super on it and got my wax bench and accessories sorted for when it does snow.
All in all things are going good and just enjoying the fall. Needless to say, its been an awesome way to wind down whats already been an excellent summer.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Adventures

 Pretty hard not to love the fall around the Roaring Fork Valley. It's pretty much turned into fun time all the time now since racing has dropped off a bit. I initially planned on racing a pretty full cross schedule right after the Trek CXC cup, but ended up coming home to strep throat and the flu so... Kind of put a damper on those plans for a bit. Not so much just getting sick, but also dealing with the after effects of the antibiotics. Ugh! Those almost made me feel worse than the flu. So I've decided to not fight my body and give it some rest, sort of.

Instead of formal training I've been riding my Trek Remedy and getting out and enjoying all the sweet trails I've been dying to ride for most of the season. Although I'm usually pretty good at hitting all the high country rides long before the off-season, its easy to just go out and knock out your training on the trails where you know you can. Instead the emphasis has purely been on enjoying the trails. 

Of course, I've been making regular trips to the skate park. Still been so much fun, and really loving the process of trying a new sport that's completely different from what I've been doing for so many years. It's funny how you forget how hard it is to do something different. Almost take it for granted that every day you'll feel awesome and be riding near or close to your best. But when you're beginning, that's definitely not the case.  Some days you hit all your lines, skate super smoothly and nail lots of new tricks or things you've been hoping, and others... not so much. Aside from being really fun, it's been extremely humbling. I feel like you can't have too much of that, makes you appreciate everything you do. 

Which is also why I've been super excited to ride my newest toy. A week after I got back from Wisconsin, I ended up pulling the trigger on something I've been looking at for the past few years. I bought an 04 KTM 200 XC-W. Like I've known in the past, its no walk in the park to go ride the moto out on the trails and on the track, but its surprising how different all the muscles are. Been having a few days where I find myself pretty sore and pretty tired. I have found the ultimate day involves both a sweet mtb ride and some moto shredding. 

Aside from all the sweet riding and skating, I think the highlight of the fall is me making it to the Cult of Luna concert a week ago in Denver. I've been dying to see them ever since I first heard them 4 years ago. Pretty cool to be able to see them since they don't really do many shows in North America.

Aside from the music being incredible, they had an amazing show that was not gimmicky, but all about the music.

So far my little vacation this fall has been going great. I am looking forward to getting in some more CX racing in once my body gets recovered. Plus with Cross Nats being in Boulder this year, might be good to take a break now and try to hit that up. Well see. Either way its going to be good.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Interbike and Trek CXC Cup

 With a flash, Interbike has come and gone. Gotta say, pretty fun event for a trade show, and it is much better now that you can go to some CX races the first night, and then hit up the crits the second night. Makes it more of a spectacle. This year, My buddy Mike Shea and I teamed up for the Cruiser Crit. Although we didn't have luck on our side, it was super fun to do. Especially since we got to do the race at night.

I was also lucky that I was really only in Vegas for about 30 some odd hours, then I flew out early to crack open the CX season at the Trek CXC Cup in Madison, Wisconsin. Super fun event that was on Trek HQ. I have never been to Wisconsin before so it was really cool checking out a new state, and especially being able to race there.

The first day went super well seeing as how I had just come out of Interbike, but after a good warm up I seemed to blow out the legs half way decently. Ended up finishing 21st. Pretty stoked! It was my first CX race of the season so I was pretty curious to see how the body responded. Seemed to go pretty good considering I moved up the entire race.

Unfortunately I wasn't as lucky the second day. I got a really good start, and had already got myself into the top 15 in the first few laps. I might have got a bit too hard to stay there though and ended up fading. On the 3rd to last lap I was pretty worked, and so when I slid out in a corner and twisted my shifter I pretty much knew that was it for me. By the time I got it back somewhat to level at where I could ride it again, I was already about to get lapped. I ended up pulling out since it was inevitable and I was already short on time to catch my flight back home. Pretty bummed, but that's racing. Was super fun to get out there and also good to have such a great weekend of racing to kick off the CX season. Looking forward to more!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seasonal Change

I can't really believe it, but it's Cyclocross season again. Pretty excited. Last year was the first year since college that I raced cross again and it was super fun. Although the fitness wasn't really there, it was an awesome spring board. So needless to say I'm looking forward to racing a lot more this season now that I am fit. Also pretty stoked when looking at this years CX bike. So light and fun!

But more than anything right now I just can't believe it's mid September already! I guess that's the sign of a really fun summer. You can also tell the fall is right around the corner now since I can't just ride to work in the am in shorts and a T shirt and more and more trees are starting to change. Normally I start getting pretty bummed when I see this, but it's a pretty welcome change from the crazy heat we'd been having.

In more exciting news, min svenskt kompis Calle Friberg has been on a tear lately. First he won Swedish Marathon Champs a few weeks ago, and then this past weekend he took 28th at World Cup Finals in Hafjell, Norway. Way to jack it!

Of course with the new season, it means a change in music taste. Not really sure why that happens, but it does. So what has been making up my Spotify playlists? Been taking a step back to my old punk days and listening to a lot of Millencolin. One of my all time favorites!

In addition to that, two of my favorite bands, some members from two other favorite bands, Isis and Deftones, came together to make Palms. Really good sound with a more softer side than I'm used to listening to, but good music is good music.

And lastly, been enjoying a lot of Atmosphere, along with Eligh and Grouch. I was lucky enough to catch the show they did up at the Belly Up in Aspen recently so that's sparked a lot of it.

Aside from Cross, I've been doing a bit of running lately. Partly for cx training, but also just to mix it up a bit. Kinda nice to get off the bike sometimes but not feel like I'm getting lazy. Still tons of skateboarding too. Been going so much more now than ever. It's been super exciting and humbling since you forget how hard it is to jump into a new sport or activity after focusing on one for so long. Plus with all the skate parks in the valley, its really hard to not take advantage of them. Now really my only problem is finding enough time to do all the things I want to for fun!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Long Overdue Update

I was on such a good roll there for a while keeping this updated, then I get back and it just falls off. Luckily there has still been lots of good stuff going on. So backtracking a bit, After La Clusaz, which Calle won btw, we drove back up to Frankfurt, Germany for the last leg of my Euro trip. Was really cool for me being able to driving on the Autobahn. It's been something I'd always wanted to do and being such the fan of German cars I loved it. The next morning I hopped on a plane back to Colorado. Normally I've had pretty good luck with my transcontinental flights being pretty easy going, but right on takeoff we had a tire on the landing gear blow up and made a pretty big explosion noise right as we got into the air. The woman sitting next to started crying and actually again when landing. Not the best send off. Either way we landed a-okay, but I'll probably never flight Delta again. And lets just say the blown tire was the least annoying piece of my Delta experience.

Anyways it was a really cool experience doing what Calle and I did for the month. However, coming home felt really good. This is actually the biggest difference from my previous trips over to Europe. The last few times I was over there I remember walking to the plane thinking, why? Especially last year... I had a hard time really rationalizing what it was I was going home to. This time however, I was really looking forward to being home and everything that was back home. Well maybe not everything, but for 98% of it. It was a really good feeling for once. It also showed me how far I'd come in in year.

So what did I do when I got home? Duh, slept a shit ton during the day because I was jet-lagged like crazy! But still rode my ass off. I did come home with a bit of overuse injury, ended up being some Piriformis Syndrome, but got some rehab and was back on the bike rather quickly. For the first time ever, I understood what people meant by feeling the altitude, but luckily that went away quickly. I did some local racing and it was really cool to be back racing with no stress whatsoever. I then headed over to Keystone with my buddy Wade Newsom to partake in the Snake River Challenge. It ended up being quite the challenge to say the least, but it was a super cool race, pretty similar to the old Mountain States Cup course that I really enjoyed. Ended up taking the win there while doing more than 3/4 the race solo off the front. Not exactly what I intended, but it worked!

After that I had some family come out and stay for a bit. Was really cool having them out and having the house full again. I also made it out for some camping with my good friend Mike Thomas. We hit up some pretty cool spots near Minturn and escaped the summer heat this July. Always good times hanging out with him and his pup Hallie. This was also a good time to get in some trail running and hiking. Normally I try to shun away from running, but it was pretty fun getting out and mixing it up a bit on the "training". After July, I usually enter into a pretty hectic time of year for work, with the Outdoor Retailer Trade show, Tour of Utah, The Steamboat Stinger and then finally the USA Pro Cycling Challenge all coming one right after another. Pretty hard to handle all of it, but really rewarding when its all said and over with. Especially this year for the Steamboat Stinger. Probably one of the more challenging years for me personally in regards to work, but we came out with another great event. Once again, race promoters are truly underrated and under-appreciated. Lots and lots of work goes into putting on an event, and that doesn't even necessarily mean it will be a good one! Just remember that when things are less than ideal at your next race you go to. The biggest bummer of the race this year, was that, well I wanna race it! After all the rave reviews and seeing all the smiles I kinda wish one of these years I was able to get out and race it myself. Oh well. Probably the coolest part of the event is watching people have so much fun during and after the race. It's also cool to because I got to see all my friends smash it, and once again Russell Finsterwald won it. Always sweet watching good friends kill it!

After that it was straight back home for the Pro Challenge. Once again, a lot of work, but extremely considering some of the sports biggest names come out to race on roads I've been riding on most of my life and going through my home state. I got pretty lucky this year too since I only had to be on the road for the first stage to help at the booth and get people in the Bontager Team car, and then got the sweet opportunity to ride the second stage from Aspen to Breck with some good friends.

7+hrs of riding and 127 miles made for quite the epic ride.  During most of August I usually take a pretty good amount of time off the bike, so this was a bit of shock to the system being the first ride in a few weeks.
But was super fun and was sick watching all the riders come over the KOM right before dropping into town. Super impressive watching how fast they were going!

Since then I have been back to riding pretty consistently and also hitting up the skate park a ton. Normally I try to shy away from hitting the skate park during the summer, but this year I have been going as much as I can. Even if it's just 20 minutes at night before it's dark I've gotten my ass over there.

As I sit here and type this I can't believe the summer is dwindling. Seems like just yesterday I was boarding a plane to Austin, Texas for the Mellow Johnny's Classic. But Ill take that as sign of how much fun I've been having this year. This year that's really been my ultimate focus, enjoying and taking advantage of every opportunity I have for fun this year. Of course that's always easier said than done and especially now as I still have more responsibility than ever, but anything worth doing always takes work, and sometimes you gotta work hard to maintain that fun lifestyle. One of the things I admired the most about my Dad was how he handled responsibility and still fit so many things in his life. Once again, stoked to have had such a great model for my life!

Friday, June 14, 2013

La Clusaz, France

View from our hotel room.

And we've arrived in beautiful La Clusaz, France for the Roc Des Alpes races. Pretty cool event! They have a lot of different formats of racing here, Marathon, XC, Enduro, DH, Pump Track, you name it they've probably got it. After a short ride yesterday in Biel to spin the legs and take in as much of Switzerland and Biel that we could, we loaded up the Audi and heading over here.

I have to say it's pretty unreal in Switzerland. The mountains, the food, the water, everything. Really an amazing place to come and stay. Will for sure have to come back and ride some more. But back to France. Sadly after the Bike Four Peaks race, Långa Lugnet and also the marathon worlds preview, my body is in need of some rest and will not race this weekend. Riding easy I feel pretty good, but when I start to turn the screws I really feel things a bit more. If this was a more important race to me or at the end of the season I'd probably say screw it, but I've got an international flight right after and plenty of more really fun, more important races once I get home. Gotta admit, pretty hard to sit it out, but an 82km race with 3000 meters of climbing isn't a race to go into when you're feeling a bit fatigued etc. I've done that before and hasn't gone to well ;-) So instead I've just been riding easy and really relaxing. Truly treating this as a holiday and will go back hopefully very recovered.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Marathon World Champs Recon and more Road Tripping

Me, Calle and Thomas Dietsch a top some of the mountains in Neukirchen, Austria.

Karl Platt and his buddy who tagged along on the ride too.

After Bike Four Peaks wrapped up, Calle and I tagged along with Team Bulls Riders, Thomas Dietsch and Karl Platt to check out the Marathon World Championships course. It was in the same area where we race on Stage 2, coming up a huge climb near the Hahnenkamm, a very famous and VERY steep ski run. After racing for four days, it does sound a bit crazy to do 6000 more feet of climbing and 3hrs of recon riding, but it was actually not too bad considering you were able to ride the climbs at an easy pace. FYI, that means easiest gear almost since all the climbing is very steep.

Calle and I going to the top on one of the very long climbs.

It was pretty sweet checking out where the World Champs will take place. I will not be racing, thankfully, but Calle, Thomas and Karl will be in three weeks. The course will be 94.5 Km (60 miles) and 4,400 Meters (14,400 Feet) of climbing. As you can see from the course profile too, its all very steep. A lot of the climbs are on very fast gravel roads with some sections of Single Track downhill. I say some because some of them are all washed away from all the rain that Germany and Austria have been getting hit with. Then on the last climb you come up the same climb we did on Stage 2, and also go down the super fun downhill singletrack section too. That part is really fun! Also pretty steep in sections, with lots of roots and some stones. It flows really well and will be very difficult to ride fast and smoothly after so much climbing etc. I don't think this will really affect the race in the sense that with all the climbing this race will be more about survival that far towards the end. At first, I thought about trying to see if I could qualify for the worlds, just for experience, but that is not the race to do it at. And I'm quite happy I'm not fast enough!

After checking out the course, Calle and I headed over to Switzerland to check out some of the trails here in Biel and also see some old friends.

We stopped in Rapperswil to have some lunch and coffee with Florian Vogel who lives there. It's a very beautiful city and looks like a great place to be a mountain bike racer, just like most of Switzerland. Now we are in Biel, close to Solothurn, a town where I raced the Bike Days back in 09. It's also extremely beautiful with awesome roads and trails for training. We are staying with Calle's old host family who are amazing. We've had the most fresh delicious food and best accommodations.

Over looking some wine fields and Lake Biel from a famous church.

After a few days here its been very to stay settled a bit. Since leaving Sweden, we've been staying somewhere different every night. Really cool, and in someways the best way to see so much that is here, but also a bit tough to feel settled. But like we have been, we are about to hit the road today, heading over to La Crusaz, France for the Roc Des Alpes. Another epic Marathon. Can't wait to check it all out!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Bike Four Peaks Stage 4, Kaprun to Neukirchen

And that's a wrap! What a cool, but super hard day!
We started off on the flats of the valley, and before hitting some super steep climbs. Luckily last night I was able to get a massage from Bart Wellens personal massure, Gery Delanghe. Both super funny, super nice guys! Was really fun getting to race with Bart and his brother Geert. 

Not too much else too say about today other than all out! From the get go it was full gas on the flats and then the final climb was a bitch. I tried to hang in as high in the placings as I could to see if I could make up some ground, but wasn't able to. It was super hot and I was for sure feeling the effects of the previous days efforts. I ended up finished 57th again, but held onto my 49th overall. That was the most important part. 

Normally I'm not into finisher medals, but this one goes on the wall for sure. Finishing in the top 50 behind guys like Christoph Sauser, Alban Lakata, Karl Platt etc is really special for me, and something worth being proud of. I'm not really planning anytime soon on switching full time to Marathon racing, but it is really fun, and such a brutal test, especially here in Europe. Ideally, I'd love to be doing more Swiss Cups and Bundesligas, but that requires so much more and at my level, I'm not quite there yet. So this is a good compromise, still a very high level, but lots of racing and lots of experience to take in.

Calle Friberg also had a great race this year finishing 7th overall! Super awesome for him! He's been having a hell of a season so far and this really showed this week! 
He's been blogging and sending reports about us on Bicycling Sweden. You can check em out here!

Well, thats a wrap and now I'm off to down some Wienerschnitzel and some beers! Huge thanks again to all my sponsors, Honey Stinger, Bontrager, Trek Bikes, Adidas Glasses, Craft Clothing, SRAM etc for making this all happen. Also, but thanks to all the guys at Team Bulls for helping out with feeding etc! 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Bike Four Peaks Stage 3 Kirchberg to Kaprun

Wow! I suffered a lot today! Today was the queen stage of the race, and one where I really suffered. It was 83km long (52 miles) with 8000 feet of climbing. We started off in Kirchberg and had a few kilometers of paved road to begin. Really this was super helpful since it helped open up my legs and also helped me get in a good position for the first climb. I tried to hang in the lead group for as long as I could. I figured why not, either way strong riders from behind would catch me somewhere and help pull me along to the valley to the last climb up the Kaprun ski hill.

Once we started to get higher and higher up the climbs, we hit more and more snow. It was truly an epic adventure. We were well above tree line and having to run across big patches of snow and mud. Was really crazy! Also really fun, and kinda cold! After a good kilometer of running across the top of the ski station in the snow we descended down some gravel roads and then hit some good single track. I really tried to maximize that to my advantage and opened up a good gap on some riders. Then we all came back together before the last climb. 

In the sections in between climbs, they were mostly on paved roads and they all played out like road racing. pretty fun, but also really hard. 

On the last climb they sent us up some crazy steep ski runs, and then around the top of the mountain. I never was really able to get the legs I had from the day before and couldn't settle into any type of rhythm so I lost a few riders and ended up coming in 52nd on the day. I dropped back down to 49th Overall in the GC, but still okay considering. 

Last stage is tomorrow. Going to have to get really going for this to keep my top 50 overall.
Now, some food and then rest!