The…..The…..The Change Will Do Me Good-Jake’s Blog

CX Nationals 0122013 was a year of change.  Our move to Reno redefined our racing Team and season, a late move in June had us training hard on our Mountain Bikes for XC Nationals.  I had about 20 Road Races packed into August & September and had a totally new experience with Cyclocross racing in October, November and December. I even had one race at night and one race in the snow!  2014 is going to be exciting with a full year of Road, XC and Cross and a few Championship Races.  Plus, we’re going to race at least one Enduro and the unique Downieville Classic.

2013 was a totally new ball game; our first XC race was in St. George, UT. One of my favorite courses, I started off the season with a 1st in the mens Cat 1 19-29!  We raced in the Sea Otter Junior men 15-16 Road Race and Junior men 13-14  MTB Race.  In the MTB race I placed 4th. It was a hard race as the older competition was so fast that year!  In the Road Race I raced in the 15-16 age group, which was the youngest age category.  I held with the peloton until the pace motorcycle pulled off and on the first climb, I was shelled right out the back. The 15-16 year olds are sooo fast, near pro level! In the end I placed 38 out of 43.  Knowing all of the fastest racers were coming out of road riding, our family made a big decision in June to move to Reno, NV for more NorCal Road Racing and year-round training.  With California having 35 million residents there is definitely more racing competition!  Living in Reno enabled us to compete in races in California.  We raced the local (road) Boca Reservoir and Air Center Criterium races which taught me a lot, such as how to ride in a peloton safely and communicate with other riders.  The local races also prepared me for the NCNCA Road Race State Championships in Dunnigan Hills and one of my favorites, the Winters Road Race.  The course was so cool, you started off on County roads which ran alongside produce farms.  Next you climbed up a beautiful oak treed canyon and descended off a ridge which almost made my stomach churn it was so fast, and then rode 8 fast miles to the finish!  I had such a blast!  I love racing in CA, it’s such a beautiful state and there a lot of cool people to meet and befriend.

In the fall we did our second ever Cyclocross race in Truckee, CA promoted by the Reno Wheelmen & part of the 5 races Sagebrush Cyclocross Series Races.  I had two new adventures racing CX.  One was my first ever night race which was awesome!  It was so cool because it felt like I was riding in my own sphere of light and the shadows it made were so eerie!  My second was racing in the snow, that was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.  Imagine you’re on a frozen lake with a bike, what do you think it feels like?……it’s so slippery, that’s what it felt like out there and that’s why it’s so darn fun!  In 2014 we raced in the California State CX Championships.  The course was 2 miles long and we had 2 run-ups, ranging from  20-45% grade.  At the end of the race I was stoked for the win!  I was so proud of Nye, he did incredible!  He kept up with a 14 yr old and muscled his way to 3rd; he kept up with me for a while in the beginning of the race!!!  Our fitness was so high we felt we had a great chance to podium and win at CX Nationals so our family made a last minute and big decision to make the trip to Boulder, CO. A special thanks to the Reno Wheelmen Racing Club for supporting us on our trip to Nationals.

When we arrived at the venue I was so excited, it being my first ever Cyclocross Nationals.  The course was really fun with two stair run ups and an off camber hillside.  It could have been better though. The officials cut out 2 technical sections of the course.  Those sections had barriers and a very steep uphill and downnhill, really fun and challenging obstacles.  On race day, from experience I was going to line up right behind the 5 called up racers, but then we found out that every racer was to be called up by USAC points rankings.   Our local Cross races were unsanctioned, therfore I ended up 58th out of 62 racers.  I didn’t think it was fair having finished 3rd in the local Mens B Cyclocross Series, winning the California State Cross Title and having a very good racing resume!  So I raced as hard as always, and I passed 38 racers, in a race which finished in less that 18 minutes. Isn’t this proof I should had been given a fair start position?  It was tough situation for me as I watched a racing friend place 2nd (7 seconds off the National Champion), that I have handled comfortably in 4 other previous National Championship races, knowing that my start positon could get me no better than 20th!

I’ve never before started my season with a State Championship and a National Championship race.   2014 is already off to an exciting start and my expectations are high!   I have the NICA High School League, Pro XCT races like Bonelli and Sea Otter,  XC Nationals & Junior Road Nationals in my sights for 2014 to win in this year.  I’m really looking forward to racing all the local Road and Mountain races and traveling to California to race against the top competitors!

Thank you to all of our 2014 sponsors : DT Swiss, Shimano, Panaracer, Jamis, Yakima, Full Speed Ahead, Sidi, Primal Wear, Ergon, Osprey, Uvex, Light & Motion, Xpedo, VDO, Five Ten and Feedback Sports.  They really mean so much to us and we are so proud to be part of their team.  It’s an honor to be riding and racing for them!  I can’t thank my Mom and Dad enough for making all of this possible!

I wish we could of kept all of our sponsors from 2013, but for lots of reasons that’s not always possible.  Thanks to our 2013 Sponsors and all of them that still sponsor us for helping us with our wonderful 2013 season!  We appreciated all of the past support: Enve, Magura, Body By Design, Finish Line, Headsweats, Honey Stinger!