Nationals and Canada
Let me just spoil the plot and climax of this blog. I’m going to London!!!!
I finished up the trials in Augusta, GA with a huge smile on my face. I started off the trip with a layover in Chicago to speak with college students attending a work shop with BP. Fun group and good times in downtown Chi town.
I then made my way south to Augusta. To my surprise the weather was quite manageable. That didn’t last long but I was at least not in the heat for the entire trip. The first event was the TT which is the last qualifying event for the London Paralympics. I had multiple opportunities to ride the course and plan a strategy for the race. Good news I stuck to my game plan, great news I went one full minute faster then my optimistic goal. This was great because with that ride I secured my spot on the team. For the women’s team thing were pretty cut and dry. There was one spot up for real contention out of the six slots we earned through the previous season.
The men’s team on the had was not as easy. For some reason unknown to myself and others they selection committee only selected six of the eight available slots. The final two slots were to be filled by two separate ride offs. The crazy thing is that these ride offs were never apart of the selection procedure and came out of the blue for a couple of athletes. I felt for those individuals because what should have been a simple announcement turned into a confused state of chaos for the whole team.
After all of the team selection issues were cast aside there were still races to ride including the road race there at nationals and a World Cup in Canada. I rode the road race and managed to beat myself 🙂 and got to ride with couple of cool peeps.
After the conclusion of my nationals I hung around and watch some of the U23 men’s race and the Pro Women’s and Men’s race the following day.
After nationals I got to hang out in North Carolina with our team mechanic and ride new awesome routes in the mountains. Yes I will call them mountains for they were long and steep climbs. NC’s western region does not know what flat is. I don’t think I rode a single flat section my entire time there.
My next adventure took me up to Canada northern region along the St Lawrence. A place that could be lost off the map and no one would know but also a beautiful country and community to ride in. The World Cup was the final international race before the Paralympics. I got one more chance to rise against my competition and to practice racing before the big show. I had a lot of fun. Did the Merck’s style of time trialling, raced on my road bike and not my time trial bike. The course is predominately up one the first half and then really fast technical down on the other side. I had fun on my road bike for sure. The road race was two days later on the big loop course. I got to ride with my teammate, not usual, which helped me push myself beyond what I thought possible. She encouraged me when I thought I was done and help me ride to another successful ride. All in all I won both my races and finished the season ranked 2nd, I didn’t compete in the World Cup in Spain which set me back to 4th. With the conclusion of the this World Cup the only thing left to do is polish up my track racing skills and get ready for my SIXTH Paralympic Games.
London here I come!