Paracycling Road National Championships

I was well on my way to writing this a few days ago, but decided to wait and give it a few days. I think it was better that I reflected on what happened and came back with a more level review.

The first thing I’d like to do is thank USA Cycling for giving us a Road Race and a Crit. The first race was a Road Race; our field was small (9 riders), but we have to start somewhere and I’m hoping to see the numbers grow in the coming years. The race was a very tactical affair because everyone had Thursday’s Time Trial/Worlds Selection race in mind. The course had a stairstep hill that Sam K. and I took some slight digs on, but it just wasn’t long enough or steep enough to break things up without redlining. Everyone was jostling for position on the final run-in when Justin made the first jump from 1k out, Sam and I jumped on his wheel and waited. Sam jumped hard with 600m to go and I chased, but he held the gap to the line and I rolled across second.

There was talk of a slow crit happening because the Time Trial was the next day, but when the gun sounded Sam took off with me on his wheel. Sam pulled more than anyone else, I was a couple laps shorter in pulls, and Greta pulled for 2 laps, but none of the other guys wanted to do any work. Sam attacked with 2.5 to go and I chased, but wasn’t making up enough ground. The guy behind me refused to pull through until the last lap when he jumped me for 2nd. Now, you may say he raced smarter, but I raced the way I did for the sake of Paralympic Cycling in the United States. If Sam and I had been content to ride 14 parade laps and sprint at the end everyone would have seen it and lumped us in with the Special Olympics. The last thing I want is for people to watch us ride around and think we are the poor crippled kids riding our bikes. If you really want to say that the guy who would not take a pull the whole race and jumped me on the last lap is a better bike racer, go ahead. His style of racing does no favors for the program or disability sport.

On to the TT. I needed to be top 5, I was 7th. It was the best TT I’ve ridden all year. I need to suck less.

Despite the disappointment I am motivated to go train as I have track nationals in a month. I managed to set a new 30 second peak power number that is 12% higher than my previous best, and I have set new power records across most durations of time this year so it looks like I am heading into track season with whole lot of new power. I am looking forward to the opportunity of defending my national title.

This is a free piece of advice: When your celebrity cycling crush asks you how you’re doing, telling her how horrible your day was may not be the best plan of action. A simple “ok” would probably suffice even if you did miss the World Championships Team.

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