After a few weeks of getting back into race shape, I started to feel good on the cyclocross bike this past week. Real good in fact.

Drilling it off the front:

Last weekend, the Gates Carbon Drive crew headed up to Frisco right outside Breckenridge for 2 days of racing. With my folks in town, I figured I’d take them up to Breck for the day and they could check out one of my races since they don’t get to see very many. After a few warm-up laps, I was sure it was going to be a good course for me.

The start was a long drag up a dirt road climb. After being in the second row on the start, I had worked my way into the top 4 heading into the singletrack. For the first lap, I just sat in and did my best to establish the front group. By the second lap, I had a gap on the front to the second group of chasers with a strong Scion rider. I went to take a pull for him and looked back and he was gone. For the next 3-4 laps, I rode off the front with visions of winning. With 3 laps to go, I noticed my teammate Carlos and another guy gaining on me, so I eased up a little. My thinking was to let them catch me and then Carlos and I could tag team the other guy and one of us could take the win.

Then Thompson came through very fast and took the lead from me, but Carlos didn’t make it up. I figured I’d just sit on and then jump him for the win. I went to take a bottle and it felt like he attacked me. Before I knew it, I was 30 seconds down. Ouch.

Thompson in tow:

He put at least 30 seconds – a minute on me and my dreams of winning started to vanish. With 1 lap to go though, I caught him going into the singletrack and Carlos had caught both of us. At that point, it was our race to loose. Carlos and I didn’t even need to say anything to each other. We both instinctively knew the plan … Carlos attacked first and got a gap, but a bobble in the sand took him out of the lead. Going into the last run up, the other guy was still in the lead and nearly dropped me running up the monster hill, but he didn’t. Once I remounted, I drilled it, passed him and rode home for to win it!

What a great feeling. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while since I’ve won, but man I hadn’t forgotten that feeling. I was racing on another planet and super determined. Let’s hope this is the start of some good things. For now, I have some great memories of Frisco winning in front of my girl and my folks. It was a hard fight and an exciting race, but my legs and luck finally aligned. My Gates Carbon Drive worked flawless and my Spot frame and Easton wheels again performed great!

As a team, Gates Carbon Drive had another great day! I wouldn’t want to be racing single-speed this year on any other team.

Ben finished 8th, Hutch 4th and Carlos 2nd!

The next day, our team took the win again with Mitch coming in for first. Needless to say, Gates Carbon Drive is terrorizing the single speed cyclocross category this year. Hopefully, we can bring home a world title in a few weeks at SSCXWC.

I can’t say I can think of a time in recent memory when I’ve had so much fun on the bike. Loving cyclocross this fall. I was worried it would burn me out after a long road season, but it’s done the opposite! I’m full of motivation and having a blast!


One Response to “Boom!”

  1. 1 Susan Riley

    What a great race. I wish we could have seen it in person. The photo crossing the finish line – your winning smile – made me smile! I’m so very happy for you. Remember the taste of victory! Lots of love, M

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