Monday, October 13, 2014

USA Pro Challenge prelude

I haven’t wanted my only recorded thoughts from the USA Pro Challenge to be ones regarding my accident. I’ve been feeling better every day, the fog has lifted and memories have returned from the race so I wanted to make sure that I have record of the positive things as well. 

It may seem strange but I still have good memories from this race. No doubt the crash on the last stage was life-changing but I am a competitor and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to test myself at this level. In fact, my friend Benny and I were talking about things I could focus on while my brain continues to heal, and he suggested competitive Sudoku as an outlet. Since I’m still on the easy section of my brain exercise book, it might be like trying to race the USA Pro Challenge as a category 4.  Yes, it has been almost 8 weeks since the race, which might set a record for me for longest time between race report blog and race, but I have good excuses. Let’s get going!

I spent almost two weeks prior to the race training in Boulder, trying to turn my sea level lungs into high-altitude capable lungs. Turns out that riding at zero feet your whole life doesn’t prepare you for mountain passes above 11k feet. I stayed with my friend Rhae, and spent most of my time either riding or watching episodes of Eastbound and Down. This means that half of my time was spent well.

After feeling better and better riding in Boulder, I headed towards Aspen with my teammate Carson to meet up with the rest of our teammates who had just finished the Tour of Utah. We spent the week prior to the race staying in Snowmass Village, going on awesome rides, watching bad television, and preparing for the big race.

The team presentation kicked off the race festivities and we packed into a gondola for the trip down the mountain. We signed lots of jerseys for the race to give to sponsors, and then headed out on stage to be presented by Phil and Paul. Important to know: I hadn’t brought clothes that matched our team’s dress code for the presentation. Oops! So if there are photos on the Internet that my pants look extra tight in, it’s because they were. They were Carson’s spare set. Luckily, Paul stood in front of me the whole presentation while he interviewed Matt Cooke (2013 KOM winner).

Tomorrow I'll post the actual race report. 

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