I wanted to thank everyone first for the emails and txts about nationals. Was pretty bummed for a few days and I kept playing the race over and over in my head.. if I would done this, or this... but bottom line I didn't so I will just learn from this year and give it another go next year.
Also wanted to thank everyone for their concern with my mother. Was a pretty crazy post race for me as my emotions were already all over the place and then to have my mom trip and fall was just crazy. Having to send my mother off in an ambulance then jump on the podium for the awards ceremony was pretty tough but thank god my wife was there so she could ride with her to the hospital. Everyone was awesome during this crazyness (except the 1 paremedic I almost knocked out, but we won't talk about that).... including the race organizers, the announcer and even USADA as they worked with me to be with my mom and still get my drug test done. Thank you everyone!
My mother is doing much better. She ended up cracking her humerus bone right by her shoulder. She is healing up well and it looks like she will not need surgery. So that is good.
onto the race...My mindset was as always for this race this year. I was pretty sure the legs were coming good but not 100% sure. I did a bit of an earlier warm up on Sat so I could relax on Sat night which I think helped a ton. My original plan was to chill at the back of the race for the 1st half.. which I have done alot in the past.. but Sunday morning I woke up and said, I am making my mark at the front early and I am gonna stay there. So I started at the front and probably only left the top 20 for about 5 laps or so. The legs were great and I was having a blast floating around and staying up front. We were short manned with only 4 of us but we still had a good plan. Matt was to try for breaks all day and I was to chill and make sure I was good for a field sprint. We also wanted to try to scoop up the mid race prime which was $500 bones. Matt got away for a prime and was by himself with a good gap.. he only had about 6 laps to the mid race and field was just kinda chillin. So Matt kept it down and Rich and I tried to interrupt the chase as much as possible so he would stay away. He did a great ride and scooped the mid race prime and then came back to the field to chill.
A big threat came when Roadhouse and Giant got 2 of their strongmen away together and somehow they quickly had 30 seconds. Rich did a great job riding tempo and keeping it close and Matt hit it hard to try to get across and the next thing we were all back together. The last 10 laps were crazy as Roadhouse, Giant, and Bianchi all had trains of 5-6 guys wanting to be at the front. I was a train of 1 and parked myself right in the middle of all 3. I fought my ass off to stay there and roadhouse finally took over with 2 to go. Matt had done a great job to stay with me and he protected my wheel. I was nestled nicely on the roadhouse train as they started peeling off 1 by one. Over the hill and on the downhill I thought for sure I gonna win. Giant jumped over the outside going into 3 turns to go but roadhouse still had the inside lane. Giant got over em with 2 turns to go and chad from roadhouse jumped on the 2 Giant guys and I was glued to chad. Thinking back now I should have takin the Giant train... damn! About halfway down the 2nd to last straight away Hanson jumped with Chad and myself. Chad started going inside which was great and I was licking my chops as we were coming into the last corner. It was a bit of a headwind sprint so I wanted to be 2nd or 3rd wheel out. All of the sudden Chad changed his mind about inside, kinda sat up and tried outside. This gave Hanson about 2 bike lengths and when I got around chad going into the corner Hanson probably had 3 or 4 bike lengths on me. I tried my best to close it but could only get within 1 bike and that was that. Oh so close to a championship...
I have been somewhat close before but this was a true taste of it. This will be a huge motivation to me and I am already planning my attack for next year...
Wanted to say congrats to my boy Rahsaan who won the pro race... We talk every year about both winning on the same day and we almost pulled it off this year.. guess we'll try again next year:-)