Friday, December 12, 2008

USGP Portland - Pair of 5's

Portland. The heart of CX racing in North America. Maybe I am a little biased because I am from the West Coast but from what I have seen, it really is THE hot spot of CX culture this side of the Atlantic. Rabid fans that come out in the worst possible conditions to wag their cowbells at you, inventors of "the windmill of death" and the only place you will see a full drum corps belting it out while hurricane winds threaten to blow them away. So when the weather called for sun and balmy temps it was hard to believe the usual mudfest might not happen. Huh?

Since I missed the first USGP weekend in Kentucky I wasn't really in the running for overall series standing. In fact with all the issues my belly was throwing out at me Portland was more of a tester to see if I would be leaving for europe as planned. I was starting to feel better but my training had taken a bit of a hit. Its pretty hard to throw down hard efforts when you are surviving on rice, applesauce, yogurt and bananas. I don't know how vegetarians race...I was craving red meat and feeling oozy for lack of...No meat makes Wendy a useless feeb.

Me leading out eventual winner and overall USGP series winner Katerina Nash (LUNA).photo by Russell Anderson

Sunny skies on Saturday or rain and mud on Sunday, the outcome was the same. I had great starts and managed to ride with the leaders for a couple laps but just could not hold it. Once the pressure was applied I slipped. A bit depressing yes, but deep down I knew it was a good sign that I at least had something in there to play with. It didn't last as long as my 40min race but it was there and I didn't want to puke after the effort. Euro was a go. I had taken a hit but I could only get stronger - right? Nothing like the world stage to get your ass in gear quickly.

Me, in the Portland mud pre-fade. photo by Russell Anderson

While I was squeeking out 5th place finishes, Norm was the one piloting his Major Jake like a pro as he finished 3rd on Saturday and an easy FIRST on Sunday! Impressive, most impressive. The best part was that every lap he passed the Kona tent he looked over and had a HUGE grin on his muddy face! He wanted to make SURE that I saw his dominating performance.

Norm Thibault and his muddy 2-pack after his big WIN at the USGP in Portland. photo by Joe Sales

We decided to skip the after party and head North. When we crossed the border the guard asked us where we had been and as usual, we replied with the generic "bike race". But then he asked us if we had been at a road race or a CYCLOCROSS race! Norm laughed and asked him how he knew about cyclocross and he replied "it's my job to know everything". You know the sport is growing fast when the border guards know what it is.

So while the US crew are racing for the stars and stripes jersey this weekend I am packing up for a long haul in europe. The doctors called back and finally figured out what was making me feel like crap for so long - apparently somewhere along my travels I had some undercooked sausage and one of the bad guy bacteria started the party. Stupid pork.


Anonymous said...

OK back to the land of those Chocolate boat pastry things... You will rock! Get a few of those in ya as soon as you get there!!! oh and remind Saint Nick of your change of address.....


rumon said...

Wendy, supes glad to hear you're on the mend and that, even with pork-belly, you're still able to hang with the Ameri-best (no surprise).

Buuuut, to take nothing away from your efforts, MAD props to NT for such a throw-down. Damn, fella's fast!

Over and out from Kauai, where they should be holding a CX race given it's hella wet and muuuuudy.

Wes said...

Listen here, I know you had a fight, but I don't want to ever hear you saying mean things about pork again. Okay? Okay.


Wendy Simms said...

Don't worry. I am having "make up" bacon tonight.

alison said...

"No meat makes Wendy a useless feeb."... hmm, sounds like your undercooked sausage - meat (sort of) last time I checked - is what made you the useless feeb! Ha ha - have a great time in Europe.

Dave Shishkoff said...

heh - we vegetarians and vegans eat a *bit* more than that -- don't forget to add some tofu and kelp. =P

And yeah, seems like the meat did you in...doesn't happen nearly so much from broccoli and applesauce...

One thing to consider: if meat isn't helpful when sick, what's to say it's particularly useful when healthy? Just a thought. ;)

And fantastic racing, you're a Canadian superstar in my books!!!! =)