Nationals Madison WI.
Weather in Madison was unseasonably warm and there was residual snow and mud on the course. I was able to pre-ride the course on Friday before my race on Saturday. While a few webpages hinted that the course was lame, after riding it I was not convinced they were right, it was a challenging course with sharp steep climbs, stairs, sand, twists and turns and barriers on an uphill runup.
On Saturday, after some initial line-up confusion, where I was moved from the 27th call up to the 60th or so call, I started in the third row. But the nights in Madison were cold and that cold combined with warm muddy ruts from races and pre-riding the previous day, we were greeted with deep, rock hard frozen ruts, making the riding very technical. Combined with 60 odd guys trying to occupy the same spot and something’s got to give. Crashes were everywhere, hoping to avoid crashing I ran the a frozen rutted stretch of 50 yards passing guys and avoiding carnage. Then I slipped on some ice and my race became one of survival.
After recovering from several crashes avoiding others, scraps with course tape. I was able to finish 29th.
On Sunday, I participated in the Elite race. Participation is about all I did, after an OK start, I noticed my left shoe had a little too much float. I got to the pits, thought about quitting, then thought, “what the hell, I’m here”. Went to the neutral service, tightened my cleat and pushed off again. On the next time through the start I was pulled, but finished 82nd or so. But got some good points!
Worlds, Louisville, KY
After a couple more days in Madison, I headed to Louisville. Thanks are due to the NoTubes CX team for taking my bike and a bag in their van.
Louisville was also experiencing warmer than usual weather and rain, with snow in the forecast. We were able to get on the course on Wednesday for an hour or so to ride. Mud. Lot’s of it. Up and down the side of a steep short hill, one run-up with stairs. Most racers ran basically the whole stretch, about 150 yards or so.
On Thursday there were seeding races. Just as the 45+ field was about to start, it started to snow. Each seeding race did 2 laps of 2.8km course. I was 10th in my seed race putting me in the third row for the race on Saturday. Once again, we were met by frozen ruts, but the course was shortened which meant more of it could be ridden. Heading into a field after the start straight, I hit one of those ruts and found myself sliding on ice and mud. Off to a great start. Back on the bike I was able to pick of a few riders but was only able to finish 33rd.
All in all it was great and I’m already planning for next year.I would like to thank our Colavita Southwest sponsors for helping me throughout the course of this year and Pete Shirk at Cottonwood Cycles in Farmington for outfitting me in parts and sundry items throughout the course of the year.
I would also like to express my gratitude for the assistance that I received from Stan’s NoTubes CX team, home of new world Champion Shannon Gibson, and their mechanic/driver/all-around good guy Richie Rich, and the Fort Lewis College cycling team. Both unselfishly let me use tools, trainers, and gave me moral support over the course of the various races. All in all the support all of us from the Durango area received was certainly appreciated from this neck of the woods.
—Tino Sonora, Colavita SW