It may only be half way through the month of April, but we are already in the thick of cross-country racing here in the US. After a short and sweet 10 days in Colorado Springs it was back to California for round 3 of the US Cup in Bonelli Park. This was our second time racing at the park so far this year, but this time it was categorized as a HC level UCI race; one below a World Cup. This meant plenty of international heavy hitters would be attending and a large amount of UCI points were on the line. Scott Tedro put together what I thought was the best course we have raced thus far in Bonelli. As always, there was plenty of punchy climbing but this time the course transitioned better from uphill to downhill.
Last time in Bonelli, I was coming off a stint with Bronchitis and struggled in the 90+ degree heat. I was looking for a little redemption this weekend and had everything on my side to do so. Temperatures were calling for mid 70’s, I had some good altitude training in me and my Superfly 100 was in tip-top shape thanks to the man Joe Devera. I scored some solid points at Pan Ams in Colombia which moved me up to the second row here but I still managed to have a less than ideal start. I found myself in around 20th after the start lap so I went all in on lap number one to get myself further up. I was able to make it into the top 10, sitting in a group of 5. As the race went on, I moved up some and found myself battling it out for 6th place amongst the other Trek guys. I ended up fading a bit the last 1.5 laps but held it together and rode in for a 10th place finish, which was my goal for the day. 17 of the top 50 guys in the UCI rankings were in attendance making this one of the most competitive races we’ve had in the US, with the exception of the World Cup in Windham.
I’m happy with how my fitness is coming along. Each race I feel better than the last so I am hoping to keep that momentum rolling through Sea Otter this weekend and into the first World Cups come May! I arrived in Monterey yesterday and am looking forward to getting back to racing Friday in the short track! This will be the first time having the whole SRAM | TLD crew together in awhile so it should be fun!