The week before, I had the opportunity to go home and race my bike for the last time this summer. My hometown has had a Stage race for the past six years, and I have always love to go home and race. This was a great opportunity as we had some intensity on the schedule and its good to keep things mixed up. The first stage was a Time trial. These time trials are very hard to do very well in, as you are in a completely different position then just riding a bike, but also the ability to pace yourself throughout the whole race is very challenging. I knew I wouldn't have too much trouble pacing myself, but being comfortable in the low aerodynamic position with strong wind and wet roads always presents a strong challenge. I was very happy with the result finishing 7th out of 40 some riders and I put myself in a great position for the rest of the weekend. The second stage was a 80 mile road race with over 6000ft of climbing. I was really looking forward to this as I knew some riders would move up in the overall and some backwards. I thought I had a good shot at moving up and getting closer to the podium. I was really happy with the result, as I was with the leaders all the way to 5 miles to go, when the one move I didn't cover got away and finished 30 seconds ahead. I finished with the main group and move up to 5th in the overall. The last stage was a criterium in downtown Steamboat Springs. The race is super fast with a short loop so it is very hard to make up time. I decided my best shot was to sneak off the front at the beginning and try to lap the field. To make this happen, I have to average a couple more miles per hour faster then the field for most of the race. I got away at the beginning and had a lead of almost a minute. Unfortunately, I didn't have the power to keep it up as I was doing all the work on my own. They ended up catching me with just a couple laps to go in the 60 minute race. I finished 5th overall in the PRO 1 category, which is a very good result for me!
After Steamboat, I came back for and had a couple jumping sessions and cross country sessions. I was feeling very good on the endurance side, but my jumping wasn't so sharp. Following the week after the bike race, we started our intensity camp. During the week, it was all about intervals. Most days we had two sessions a day except when we had a time trial. The purpose of weeks like these is to build up your speed and threshold so you can withstand these efforts in races and be able to push yourself for the whole race. I was very happy with my sessions as I felt like I was pushing it but not pushing it over the limit. We had one competition during the week that I won. I wasn't very happy with my jumping, but I was close enough to the leader to be able to pass him and take the victory with some room to spare. The last session of the week was a uphill time trial that was close to 10k. In this time trial you really needed to pace yourself because it was close to 40 minutes in length. After a week of intervals your body gets pretty beat down and tired. I pushed myself very well, but the workload from the week, didn't allow me to increase the pace when I wanted. It was a solid time trial but wasn't my best. I know with some rest, I could do much better and set a new time!
With that week over, it is time for some rest and recovery, and to focus a lot of energy and passion into the jumping. I am very close jumping well, but I just need to be more consistent and raise the average of my jumping. I am very confident that I can do it and can't wait for the challenge!
Until Next time!