Before I even knew if I'd have a cyclocross bike to race, I booked a flight home from the World Championships in Hafjell, Norway not to Arizona but to Denver, CO for the Boulder Cup weekend. I was motivated to figure out how to race one of the biggest cyclocross weekends in the country in my hometown of Boulder, CO; and ultimately, teaming up with Stan's NoTubes is what made it possible.
So let's jump to spoils--I raced my way onto a podium at the US Open of Cyclocross!
I'm going to list a few things that contributed to a great ride for me in Boulder:
Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team - As a last minute addition to the program, and Kenny Wehn and Chris George had their hands full building up my lil' Ridley X-Fire in time. If it weren't for their support, I wouldn't have made it to the start line. Plus they also had to deal with me griping about wearing pink ;-) Plus it was great to spend some time with my teammates, Mical and Jake.
Amy D - As expected, my friend had quite the presence at these races and I wanted to be there to feel it and to to help support the vision of the Amy D Foundation. Amy's dad, Ed, brother, Dan, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew were all there for the weekend and busy supporting their three racers wearing the Amy D colors. One of the highlights of the weekend was having the whole Amy D crew over for dinner after Saturday's race.
World's fitness - The weekend prior to Boulder Cup I had just had one of the best races of my life at the World Championships in Hafjell, Norway. No matter what I did in the week between events, there was no way I wasn't going to have some residual fitness.
No excuses - I didn't actually ride my bike once between World's and the evening before the US Open of CX. In Norway, I woke up the day before the World Championships with an itchy throat and congestion, the dreaded sign of a head-cold. I doubled-up on fluids and Zinc and spent an astounding 14 hours + in bed that day and kicked it long enough to get through World's. Then I woke up with the cold again the day after World's and spent the week recovering while on a mini-vacation in Norway. I had 1.5 hours of pedaling the evening before the race, which was enough time to learn which button to press and when on my new Shimano Di2 setup. But it didn't matter that I was jet-lagged and hadn't pedaled a bike in six days, and in fact, I didn't even tell anyone. What's the point? I was still ready to race.
Sweet bike w/disc brakes - In addition to the Di2 setup, which is an electronic shifting group set by Shimano, I was thrilled to have the Shimano R785 Di2 hydraulic disc brakes on my bike. The stopping power is incredible and the hydraulic levers enable someone with small hands, like myself, to brake confidently from the hoods of my bikes. I was also impressed to learn that the Stan's NoTubes tubeless setup would allow me to run tire pressures as low as a tubular tire with the added benefit of not worrying about the Goatheads, which are notorious for puncturing tubulars on this particular course. My full race-setup is pretty much a bike that I can drool over: Ridley X-Fire, Shimano Di2 shifting/hydraulic disc brakes, Stan's NoTubes Valor wheels with cyclocross tubeless conversion.
Now for some race pictures: