Jingle CX is always about strength. The strongest survive and the weak fade. The course and the competition are always at their highest levels and this weekend I was looking forward to it. As much as I wanted to compete in the World Cup, just getting a chance to race on the same weekend and a similar course was amazing.
Year after year I have had some of my best races at Jingle CX. It might be the course, commonly frozen or muddy conditions, or unmatched support from local Minnesotan’s and my family making the 4.5 hour drive down to Iowa City. Jingle CX has always represented a milestone for me each year, whether it was my first UCI race, first UCI points, or first top 15 C1 finish. This year with some great form, I looked forward to the opportunity to raise the bar yet again in my CX career.
After hearing about my sister and mom’s awesome results, I felt like I was prepared to take on mud-ridden course. With the help of Heather’s photography, I was able to keep writing to a minimum and post up some awesome photo’s below. Enjoy!
Jingle CX just isn’t complete without the inclement weather, and this weekend had endless mud.
Friday featured me battling against my toughest competitor, myself. I battled stress and mechanicals before the race which made preparation difficult. 3 different bikes (thanks Jay and Bill for lending your bikes) and a top notch support/ pit crew kept me fighting for every pedal stroke no matter what happened.
A common scene at any CX race- the pit. The pressure washers were pumpin’ so much water Friday night because the conditions were an absolute mess. Couldn’t have had a better pit crew with my sister and dad throwin’ me a spotless bike every half lap.
Utterly defeated. 2 derailleurs, 3 derailleur hangers, and 2 wheels were the casualties during my race. My last mechanical happened a half lap from the finish and I was fed up and sure I was going to quit. After I snapped my last derailleur, I walked to the course tape, lifted it, and then turned around and chose to walk the half lap to finish for everyone that supported me that day. Surely the most difficult mental battle I have had on any single race day. Looking back, I’m very happy to have something to give back to everyone who supported me during that night
Warming up for day 3. Bikes were set, and after watching the World Cup the day prior, I felt my head was in the right place. The mud was drying out a bit which made for a fast/ tacky track, and I was really excited to race the World Cup course. Hoping to redeem myself after Friday I was set to start.
Rallying with good company to move up after a bit of a slow start.
Settled in a group racing around 25th place.
Jingle CX really had everything to make an amazing course. Elevation, off-camber, mud, lots of running, fly overs, and even a sand pit. Hats off to John Meehan and the Jingle CX crew on one of the best courses of the year.
The run up Mt. Krumpit
Starting to feel the hurt as I crested Mt. Krumpit. My mind wanted to attack every hill but my legs had a different story each time I tried.
After giving the race my all and things not clicking, I realized that this weekend is just not the one for me. Focusing on attacking all of the technical sections and riding within myself during the straights, I attempted to redeem myself and have some fun during the remainder of the race.
First time racing with Mark McConnell and it definitely won’t be my last. I have a feeling that we will be competiting in some of the same races during our European campaigns. T-minus 1 month for me, debuting with Koppenberg Cross.
The finish line was definitely a welcomed sight today. Lot’s of pain this weekend and not much to show for it. I suppose they call those character builders. Things could have been worse today, so I made the best of it.
With a really difficult weekend in the books, I looked forward to some rest and relaxation! A weekend off, lots of leisure time, coffee shops, and spending time with Heather was a high priority before I start traveling again. Looking forward, I’ve got just 2 more race weekends before I’m flying to Belgium! AHH! It’s coming up so quick and I hope to make an impact before I leave. Next up, I’m off to Baltimore, Maryland for Charm City CX. Stay tuned for more photos and updates.
Thanks for reading!