Nationals 2009 has come and gone.
It was my first Elite Nationals Championships to compete in with realistic expectations.
The road race was the same course as the last day’s circuit of Cascade. We did an additional lap, so it was 4x17miles. I have never been very good with math. What impressed me the most about this race is how Team TIBCO raced this race as a TEAM. Sometimes with Nationals, people have their own goals and agendas in mind (which is completely understandable), but in order to secure the Stars and Stripes jersey within our team, we needed to do what we do best. Be a team. We started off with some early moves, even launching AFR for 60k solo off the front. WIth all our aggressive moves, the peloton was forced to react and work accordingly. Finally, with a TT1 girl off the front, it was none other then our own Meredith Miller to launch a bridge up to the solo. MM ended up in the final break. The break that would stick to the finish for the Nationals RR. I was nervous. MM attacked with 1.5k to go, and soloed over the line. She could cross the line with style and grace. It was priceless. There is no other more deserving champion then our own, MM. She has been a selfless teammate for many years to just about everyone in the peloton. She isn’t scared to be aggressive, to work hard, and to neverbe concerned about her own individual performances, but instead, puts teammates before herself. She made the move to cover and attack, just like she always does, with perfect timing and execution, and she ended up with a National jersey. Stars, and Bars baby. No one deserves this more. I had tears in my eyes, chills running up my spine, and of course, I was screaming my head off for her. Team TIBCO retains the National Jersey.
The TT was yesterday. With such a good performance at Cascade, I had some high, yet reasonable expectations for my performance at Nationals. I wanted to see where I am at in the nation, and also to establish myself. The day started out good, it was a a warm one. Bend was 100 degrees. The time trial started on a nice climb, but my day was pretty much downhill from the start. The course contained the first 22.5k of the TT course at Cascade, and then added an additional 12.5k to that. My focus was there. Or so I thought. This was the first Nationals TT for me to compete in. Actually compete. I had a chance to podium, if not win the thing. That blew my mind. My team believed in me. They told me so. But, did I believe in myself? Maybe it blew my mind a little too much. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself. Maybe I over thought it. I tried to stay relaxed. I told myself to loosen up, it was no big deal. I had nothing to lose, right? I guess I did. I didn’t podium. I topped off the top 10 though. I finished 10th. In the Nation. AFR finished 4th. Two riders in the top 10. Which isn’t so bad, right? It wasn’t my best day, what can I say? I gave it my best effort for yesterday, and I’m trying not to be too critical. However, this is difficult because I know my potential, and I know what I can do. Why couldn’t I do it when it counted? Who knows. I have a lot to learn.
Looking positively, last year, I was just trying to complete races, and now I am competing for a podium spot at the Elite Nationals. So much has changed, and I am becoming stronger, and hopefully smarter. New goal for next year, and as ever, looking forward to racing more, learning more, and developing.