Well, it's hard to be stoked on this years nats, but I am not necessarily disappointed either. But to start from the beginning. About a week before nationals, I was suffering from some serious leg soreness that made riding damn near impossible. I did a few short painful road spins, quickly followed by some lengthy river sits, also quite painful, and lots of stretching and massage. I was hoping to race in the Blast the Mass mountain states cup before as a "tune up" race, but that was not possible. Luckily, Monday I was able to ride for longer than 45 min and by Tuesday go for a normal bike ride in almost no pain.
I drove over on Thursday hoping for the best, still wondering how the legs were going to react. The pre-ride went well. I was a little bummed on the course, it was pretty man made and didn't suit me quite as much as the typical Colorado course would, but I have ridden much worse. The legs felt good though and so did everything else. All my data looked good and I was excited for a good ride.
We started at noon under a very hot sun. Something around 96 is what my car said for temperature. The start went well, I got a decent start position and just kept calm for the first lap or so. I was moving up, and then on the third lap of six, the nose of my saddle took a dive and I was forced to stop and fix it. Right there I lost 6-7 spots. I had to stop one more time before getting my saddle level, losing more spots. I chased back on for the rest of the race, and then mid way through the last lap I blew up and was only able limp it back to the finish.
Overall, I rode well. I am happy that I was able to race, and it was fun. I mean, a sufferfest, but fun. The result to me doesn't reflect what I know I am capable of, but I bet most of the U23 field feels the same about their result. I did get to see some good friends this weekend, and Tad Elliott took the title once again. I think that's his 3rd National title this year. This weekend capped off the finish to the first half of my season. Now it's time to relax a bit, drink some beer, and hit up the skate park some more. I still haven't been skating enough this year. Yup, a week off the bike is just what I need. After the XC I had already raced more this year than I did last year, and I still have plenty more fun to come. Thanks to everybody for the support and the cheers on course!