The end result wasn't impressive. Last year I came in 6th in the Points Race at Worlds and this year 15th. 15th from 6th sounds like I sucked it up but that doesn't tell the story.
Frankly, I think I raced a much better race then last year. Much better. Last year I won the first sprint and hung on for dear life the next 90 laps. By the end, I was seeing stars. Somewhere in there I ended up with points in another sprint for a total of 6 points and ended 6th.
This year, I followed more stuff at the beginning but tried to be "smarter" about how hard to sprint. I missed out on points in the first sprint by one place and got 1 point in the second sprint. it took me a bit to recover from those opening 20 laps meanwhile a bunch of 4 lapped the field. After that I was setting myself well but not keeping that position... maybe setting myself up too soon? Maybe not physical enough to hold it? But, the key, was that I was thinking things through. I knew what the hell was going on... who were the players... what wheels to go with... etc. It just didn't work out. But, this statement doesn't end with the typical cyclists' statement, "that's just bike racing." No, champions are smarter then that and I will fight until I learn.
All the data was similar to last year. The difference was that last year I spent a winter racing my bike. This year, I spent a winter dedicated to trying to make the Team Pursuit squad. No regrets at all! But, I am happiest racing my dang bike and tonight I got the rush. The adrenalin hit me hard. Like a junkie, I need more! Luckily I have the Scratch tomorrow and I am stoked!
So cool seeing a high school friend, Scott Gillies, out there tonight. His new hometown is Melbourne and he has caught the cycling fever. Can't wait to have a chance to actually chat!
Super big thanks to the best USA Cycling staff ever. Alec and Woody are the best mechanics I have ever worked with... James, even though he is Australian :), is a perfect soigneur... and of course Neal and Ben keeping me level headed. Oh, before I forget, thanks to Dotsie (couldn't miss that voice), Lauren, and Jennie/Brandon for coming out to yell. I value your support. For all of you... I wish my result was more so we could rightfully celebrate. Tomorrow?
Ok... I think I will drown this brain with a sleeping pill so I'm not up for another 3 hours.