Yes, I am officially a wimp. I skipped racing in Chicago this weekend because it was -5 in Madison on Sunday morning. Actually I made the decision on Friday when I saw the predicted high temp of 20. That and my tweaked lower back made it a pretty easy choice. With the two biggest races of my season coming up I don't need to risk getting sick or making an injury worse. So I found myself on a trainer instead - not exactly ideal but sometimes a necessary evil. My parents were in town too so it was nice to not rush out on them. I commend all of the tough racers who showed up in Chicago though!
It's a winter wonderland in Madison right now. All of the area schools are closed up for the day after waking up to maybe 5 inches and more on the way. Dave and I shoveled the driveway this morning and luckily our awesome neighbor got out the snow blower and cleared our sidewalk. Looks like we'll have a great base for skiing once I'm done with the cross season!
Last Friday was the Wisconsin year end Cyclocross banquet. Taco bar, free beer, and homemade chocolate cake. We have such a fantastic cyclocross scene here in Wisconsin and this photo pretty much sums up who we owe that to. All banquet photos are thanks to Jamie Young.
Renee is the queen of cross and she works so hard to put together races, clinics, banquets and has madcross updated with the latest race pictures and reports. JPE is always working behind the scenes as well to make sure Wisconsin racing is top notch. And Planet Bike is the largest sponsor of the WCA race series and their support of cyclocross has helped ensure the success of racing in the state.
It was fun to see such a great turnout of folks at the banquet. Here's a photo of the Women's overall podium.
l-r Kaitie, me, Anna, Amanda (missing teammate Patti in 4th)
Superfans were out in force and the cowbells were ringing throughout the night. They even charged the podium during the mens 1/2 award presentation and gave Lyle a beer hand up in the form of a skull and spinal cord. It was pretty sweet.
I leave tomorrow morning with the Planet Bike entourage for Kansas City and Cyclocross Nationals. We've got 7 people and 12 bikes loading up the van and trailer and making the trek to Missouri. It should be a great time. I had so much fun last year being a spectator and racing. Weather actually looks like it might be fairly mild with temps in the 40s and even 50s predicted. My first race will be on Friday since I am officially a master in the eyes of the cyclocross officials. They base your age on when worlds takes place (in January of 2009) and thus your official racing age is your age on December 31, 2009. So even though I'll be 29 at the time my racing age is 30. It's bizarre but I'll take it. It will mean I'll get to do two races and a chance to better acquaint myself with the course before Sunday's elite race. It also gives me a better chance of actually winning a stars and stripes jersey as I know my odds against Katie, Georgia, and the other fast girls are ridiculously low. I saw last night that a few late additions to the womens 30-34 race will make for some very tough competition. I hope to be posting several updates while I'm there so be sure to check in here and at the Team Planet Bike blog.
The press release for Team Kenda for 2009 just hit some sites in the past day or two - Daily Peloton and Triple Crankset. Some changes for next year with the roster and with our name (no more Tire!) Plenty to be excited about and I forsee it being a great season.
We'll see what evolves with women's racing for the year. A few teams have gone under with sponsors pulling out and it was announced last week that the anticipated 3 day Womens Tour of California was cut back to a one day criterium. Pretty frustrating and kind of a slap in the face for womens racing. There is a new 11 day race series coming to the Midwest in the middle of June which has a lot of potential - the Midwest Cycling Series (check it out - I even made one of the pictures!). The promoters have done a fantastic job the past two years with the Grafton criterium and they have always worked hard to have a large prize purse for the women. My fingers are crossed that they'll continue that commitment. The racing starts 4 days after the Nature Valley Grand Prix so if the money is there I think many racers will consider it worthwhile to stick around the Midwest for the events.
Time to start packing and getting the bikes ready! Thanks for checking in!