Early Season and Training Camp

About a month ago before embarking on a trip to the east coast for training I hit another DORBA 6hr MTB race at Erwin Park. I got the hole shot after the Le-mans start. Immediately I was challenged by Chad Haga who seemed to know the course in and out. After a back and forth battle it seemed as though I might have finally broke him, as he said nice racing with you(of sorts) as I attacked going into the next lap. But, he keep the throttle on and here he comes again. Back together! At this point I didn’t know what to do, then I felt my left foot slipping a bit…Sh*t! My cleat came loose…should have used lock-tight. In panic mode I watched him ride away. When I got going again it was 1.5 min. they said. I pushed it and already a 4 hr into the race I was hurting. I some how managed to bring him back, but I was really felling tired at this point with a lot of miles still to go. Chad again turned it on! I could only watch as he rode out of sight. I battle with the cleat staying tight 2 more times and bonked big time! Chad went on to win by a big margin. I held on to 2nd because of the huge gap he and I opened battling in the early part of the race. I have some work to do after that! Great race Chad! Maybe he will start racing on the dirt more with a W on his side.

Then it was off to Clemson to do my base block. While I used to do 2-3 months of base training, now I get about 2 weeks between my cross and road season. Basically I put as many hrs as I can in 10 days. The first 4 days of riding I was joined by Jeremiah Bishop and Kelly Orr. Jeremiah who has a baby on the way and couldn’t stay for the whole camp. Kelly who I just signed on the developmental squad was putting down some good riding, but also left after the 21hrs that we put in the first 4 days. This 21hrs wasn’t base time either. Kelly was doing testing so this was some serious paced and sprinted riding. Along with doing the Greenville training race/ride made for a fun 4 days. After 2 days of recovery I hit 4 more days with 23 hrs of riding and lots of climbing. I did my personal biggest solo ride 120 miles, 7hrs, and 12,500 ft of climbing. 44hrs. in 10 days, thats my base!

Back in Texas for the season opener of road racing for a crit on Saturday and a road race Sunday.
After chasing a break of just a few riders almost the entire race we caught them at the line. With the perfect wheel to follow ( Will Ross) I hesited to jump and got caught watching the sprint. Somehow still getting 5th I was pretty happy considering how flat my legs were. The road race was a painful loop! With crazy wind and good hills this race shattered! I found myself alone early then finding Wally Grouda and Drew Hill. We 3 worked together. Pushing the pace we picked up and dropped off 50 riders or so. We trooped on for 60 of the 75 miles finshing 16th, 17th and 20th. I know 16th, but let me tell you if I had a power meter this day, I would have set some serious personal best marks.

Now to this past weekend. We had the the Alsatian stage race with time trial and crit on Saturday then a road race Sunday. This would be my first true TT on a TT bike and helmet etc. I definitely felt alittle weird, but was happy with my 20th place. I averaged 193Heart Rate for 21min 45 sec. for the 10 mile course. The crit was later in the evening. After lunch and coffee with new Elite Team member Loren Dodson. We headed out to the crit. Everyone seemed to be riding well. We were hitting 35+ MPH on every straight. Attack, attack, attack the race was super exciting. But, with the super high speed nothing was getting away. With 400 meters to go I was third wheel and maxed out digging deep I was in perfect postion going into the final turn. Travis Brandt leading it out for Rodney Strange and I was on his wheel. As we whipped around the turn Travis pulls out enough for Rodney to slip by then cut down on the turn. I jam the brakes and hope nobody stacks it. We all slipped by somehow. Rodney took the win, I held on for 2nd. Sitting 4th because of the points GC, I am hoping to have a better race then last week. Again a tough course, with lots of wind. I manged to break away early with just one other rider Ian Dille. He and I opened it up to 2 minutes at one point to get caught at mile 40. Once back together the race slowed a bit and on the rough road with wicked head wind Justin Wallace had a small gap, I jumped up to him and again I was off. Then joined by Russ Walker we were moving. 1.5 minutes 25 miles to go. I pushed everything I had for 15 miles, but my legs were fried. Then I sat on, encouaging Justin and Russ. I really thought we had it! But, at 5 miles to go I look back only to see the whole Super Squadra team and Pat Mccarty on the front. Needless to say, I gave it all I had! Only to finish at the back of the group in the long uphill finish.

On a positive Note, my new shoes and wheels felt awesome! Mavic really put it together this time. Shoe are super stiff, but feel like bedroom slippers and the SLR Cabones were flat out fast!

This will be a short week as I head to the desert for Mas O Menos Marathon MTB race. Should have good legs. So pretty excited to see how it goes. 5th-2 years ago, 3rd last year, this year?

Thanks for reading, Bryan

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