Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mr. Robinson's View of 30+ Nationals and Beyond

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" -Pete Townshend

Justin Robinson was kind enough to send his Nationals Report in for public enjoyment. Congrats to Justin for a great race and being a super-dad, worker-bee, and a great guy in general. By Robinson standards Justin had a mediocre season, but for the rest of us, another District and National Championship is a stellar season. Justin has repeatedly shown that he knows how to win when it's really on the line, pummeling riders that on paper should have been the favorites. My friend Matt Kraus from Boston (who had a break-out season this year) found this out the hard way on Saturday... -JF

Mr. Robinson's view of 30+ Nationals and beyond

To begin with, the Nationals venue was top notch. The course was professionally constructed and laid out. Hands down, one of the best courses I have ever raced on anywhere. With that said, the weather had a huge part in determining how all the races played out over the weekend. Treacherous ice, snow, and mud greeted everybody depending on what day and what time of day you were racing. Although I personally never crashed over the course of the weekend, many people hit the deck multiple times and it took it's toll.

Staging was a little scattered, with a weak number grid and no call up by name. The whistle blew and I got the hole shot to the first corner. The lead group was pretty quickly established. Matt Kraus, Johs Huseby, Chris Mcgovern, and Myself. The technical conditions made the gaps open up very quickly, and on the first lap Matt and Johs came around me and were drilling it. Sometime in the first two laps Simon Vickers made contact with the four of us and I thought he'd roll through and make it even harder up front. The conditions and his legs never made that possible, so he hung on for a while and then lost contact. Overall the main protagonist of the race was Matt Kraus, but on the second lap or so Chris Mcgovern went to the front. Chris came through so fast and effortlessly that I honestly believe if he had kept his bike upright, he would have won the race. Unfortunately on the second lap we came through the pit and a crash happened. Just as we exited the pit there was an off camber left hand turn. Krauss was leading, Mcgovern was second wheel, Johs was behind him and I was in fourth. Mcgovern got completely sideways and Johs T- boned his back wheel. They were both down on the ground and as Johs got up I bounced off him on the low side and barely made it around. Mcgovern had tacoed his wheel, Johs and I had been gapped by Krauss and in a split second that crash had pretty much settled the race. It took me about 1/2 a lap to truly catch Matt, and Johs was still off by about 5-10 seconds back. From there till the last lap I basically did everything I could to stay with Matt. He would bobble in a technical section and I would come around him. But on every pedaling section I was groveling and fighting to simply hang on. On the last lap Matt and I rolled through the finish line together. On one of the more challenging long off camber ice sections I took a superior line and went around Matt just before the pit. I rolled through the pit and my crew(Willy,Rich,Gannon and Anthony) told me I had a gap. I went around a few corners and over the barriers and I heard I had 5 seconds. I drilled it from there on out. I wasn't sure that I had enough in my legs to hold it for 3/4 of a lap but apparently I did. I was able to relax on the final sketchy descent and roll up to the finish line with the appropriate salute. It was far from the cakewalk last year, and definitely more rewarding the second time.

I started mid pack and it was ugly. I would say about five major crashes that caused me to come to a complete stop in the first two minutes. Once I truly got rolling I felt pretty good considering it was my second race of the day. I finished the first lap and was told I was already three minutes down after all the crashes and traffic in front of me. I picked quite a few people off until about 45 minutes into the race. At that point my back locked up and I suffered through the rest. I was pulled on the last lap in @ 40th place but was scored a DNF. Hopefully the results will get fixed.

Liberty Cup
I got a front row call up and went into the first lap 4th wheel. I came out of the pit second wheel behind Todd Wells and from there on the race was a slow fade. Technically I was hanging with anybody, but physically I don't have the fitness. I ended up 13th trying to hold off Chris Horner but he had a little too much power for me on the last lap.

All in all I had a great weekend and am very happy about my results. I couldn't have done any of it without the extreme support of the Cal Giant crew, especially the generosity of Anthony Gallino.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure J Rob won the 30+ race because he is a BAD ASS!
I will just keep trying to handle my bike better
Congrats to Justin

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Man, you are and will always be one of the reasons myself and a lot of others race cx. I'm stoked for you!!! Rich Maile

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich, thanks for the kind words. I realize that budget, time and life get in the way of racing, but a technical wizard such as yourself would have killed it back at nationals. You were missed.


8:02 PM  

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