Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Last time I checked in I had just returned (or was returning?) from the South African Central time zone (+2hrs) to MST… I’m back in it now… or the European equivalent at least. It was a quick turn around after SA… I had 36 hrs in Bozeman to sleep, unpack, do laundry, ride, and pack and catch another flight, this time to Austin, TX. That’s the same amount of time it took me to get from Pietermartzburg to home.

In Austin I had the opportunity to sizzle in the heat, eat some delish taco’s and get a flat tire. It was a quick weekend, which felt good, out Thursday, back Sunday… The Mellow Johnny’s classic went well, I was raced the Mexican national champion (Ill call him Turbo) for 5th place after spending the first half chasing from 30th. I had a poor start compounded by a burped tire. At the end of the day, that tire had just lost too much air, I rolled it and went down 4km from the finish, Turbo got away from me, Spencer caught me and proceeded to pin it. Who knows what could have happened.. that could have been my first ever Pro XC podium.

Turbo went uphill pretty quick, so maybe not. The race finished on a climb. But anyways, I finished 7th and proceeded to put it behind me. I feel like Austin and Lance’s ranch was just a side not in a whole lot of bigger more important shtuff. However, downtown

Austin is amazing… Daimo, Mitch and I went out moderately big on Saturday night and started some dance party’s downtown. It was crazy… a twenty-block strip of downtown (Sixth Street I think) gets shut down and people go nuts, including us. I hadn’t been out until 2am in a long ass time… it felt good. I was with two good friends and we danced in the streets and I’m sure all the bro’s with popped collars were thinking ‘how lame are they!’ while their girlfriends were probably like ‘I wish my man was that self confident…’ Even if they weren’t, we had nothing to loose.

After another short stint home, I think 60 hrs this time, I was on another trans-continental flight.

I arrived in Germany for the first time comfortable, confident and relaxed. This is my 3rd rodeo here, and I am feeling like Kirchzarten is becoming a home away from home. I know these roads well now and I know what kind of ship Marc runs.

We kicked things off with the Solothurn Swiss Racer Cup. This was the 3rd time I had ridden there, my resume including two near DFL’s and a flat tire. I got lapped both times. The third time proved to be the charm however, because after a good start I settled into the lead group and spent my day witling away at the group I found myself in, until only myself and Giger of Rabobank remained fighting for 10th place I think. He decided to put the hammer down on the final climb, I was expecting it, but couldn’t really react, but his skinny ass did help get me up to Litscher (who was 2nd at U23 Worlds last year) and then he and I did some battle. At this point my legs decided this would be a good time to cramp, so he caught me, and passed by when my chain took another disastrous bounce (the same move it pulled in SA)… but either way, I had 2km to go, and I just rode it in. I finished 12th.

This has got to be one of the best rides I have ever put together… and one of the best an American U23 has done in recent memory. When I look at the results list, I am completely blown away. I think at least 3 of the guys in front of me have World Championships bars on their arms.. these are some of the modern day legends of the sport… its incredible.

I finished the weekend up with another short, but tough race in Witneau, just south of the house here… I won, which is sweet, it was a fun little race, lots of family fun out there. It was cool to rep the US win again, this was the third year in a row, I follow Tad and Rob, and Marc was stoked too. So much pressure for that one.. haha, not serious there, but it was hard, especially after Solothurn, and it was tough to get my head into the game for it. But whatever, it was cool. First win in Europe!

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