I really want to go back over and race my bike this season. (possibly because it has been cold and raining for the last 6 months straight, reminds me of Europe.)
There is something addictive about riding against the best in the world. I know these are not races I will win. I know these are typically races I am battling to finish on the same lap as the winner.
It is a long shot and a lot of work but, it is a dream to race the Cyclocross World Championships.
Let me be a little more specific:
A: I’d love to be in condition to race Cyclocross Worlds. (keyword = race. not ride)
B: That means, I’d like to find the time, energy and money to bust my ass, find the form and earn the selection to race Cyclocross Worlds.
C: It makes no sense to head over and try to race the “X-mas week” races (Worlds un-official selection races) in December en route to Worlds if I am not even fit enough to finish on the lead lap.
All three times I’ve been back to Belgium, I’ve gotten completely destroyed. Lapped. Shattered. All three times I’ve headed over I’ve been coming off of sickness, broken bones or dealing with a bunch of business and relationship shit. “no. it is not possible.” as Paul Herijgers told me. “you cannot be a real veldrijder.” Too much on my plate.
I’ve never had a good race at US CX Nationals either. Not once. I’ve been showing up in December running on fumes. And then bouncing over to Europe for a month running on empty. And we all know you can’t do anything on empty.
I know I’m capable of some decent rides. But, I also know I’m not a huge talent. That is the easy part for me. Overcoming the ego in bike racing. I’ve got loads of ambition but, I know better than to let the cycling head game get the better part of me. And, I am a realist. I know there are a dozen faster riders all looking to race Worlds too. So all this planning and scheduling may be for naught if there are ten riders with better legs planning the same thing. I guess that is the nature of it. There is always someone faster.
I reminisce this, staring at the cold rain coming down in Portland. Dealing with a little head cold, not riding at all.
It is easy to remember those races as good times, a year later, when you are not in the midst of sucking lots of wind.
Check out this footage from Tervuren. Catch a few glimpses of me sucking pretty hard at the tail end of the race. Powers had a great ride there. I’ve said it before, he has been a consistently solid performer over in Europe.
Now that cyclocross season is upon us. The UCI releases new rules and updates and the internets are abuzz with criticism and witty insights.
For myself, these rules change nothing. Disc brakes will never be light enough for top professionals to run. We may see the likes of Wells, Decker or Craig on something special from their sponsors but, introducing disc brakes will not be game changing. Even the barrier height and obstacle rules are irrelevant. Cyclocross is hard, really hard. No matter how many barriers, sand pits, and obstacles there are (or are not) out there, the racing will always be challenging and dynamic.
I’ve raced huge World Cups and sketchy little podunk back yard cyclocross races and they all had one thing in common. You go as hard as you can and it f’ing hurts. A good cyclocross rider will be good at racing cyclocross on any course.
Take it to the next level. Zef style:
I L O V E Rutger Hauer. Remember Ladyhawke? Bladerunner? And now this…
Speaking of LadyHawke: