- Dec. 19, 2006
- Jesse Anthony recaps his cross-nationals victory
More from Cyclocross Nationals! TCB Cyclocross rider Jesse Anthony shares the details about the effort that put him back into the Stars & Stripes:
Wow, what a weekend to cap off a very dramatic season! The Cyclocross National Championships in Providence, RI became the only goal for me mid-season when I realized that the US Grand Prix was out of my grasp. After 3 weekends of 'cross racing, I realized that I was still really fatigued from a long road racing season. I struggled through so many races this year, starting with the 2nd day of the Gloucester Grand Prix, and ending with the Portland USGP finals.
In the middle of it all, I tried everything from taking chunks of days off the bike, to different training methods. In the end, what worked was the motivation that the national championships always brings me to focus, put my head down and do everything possible to deliver my best performance on the one day that counts the most in the US Cyclocross season.
On the day of nationals, I was super-nervous but managed to consume an entire waffle in the hotel restaurant in the morning. I packed up and headed to the course with my younger brother, Silas, who was most of my support crew for the weekend. I was camping out at the Mavic trailer, where I had an entire area to myself which was key. I had the trainer set up inside, so I could carry out my warm-up with no distractions.
The course was laid out exactly the same as it was last year, but instead of mud and snow, the surface was grippy, hard soil. We could pull some serious G-forces through some of the turns, which made it really fun.
At the start of the race I led for a little while, and I tried to set a hard pace right from the gun. Bjorn Selander also contributed to the pace-making early in the first lap, but I was intent on controlling the race as much as possible. After one lap, there was a large lead group, and Jamey Driscoll threw in a strong pull at the front to narrow the group down.
Jamey was the rider that I feared most, and I think he put in one of the biggest efforts of the day. After his massive pull, I continued to apply the pressure, and eventually I broke free of Jamey and the other chasers.
With four laps to go, I found myself solo with a small gap to 2nd place, and I began to second-guess my urgency to attack off the front. Four laps seemed like a long way to go considering the effort I already put in, but I kept the focus on being smooth and trying to extend my lead. As the laps ticked down, I extended my lead to over 30 seconds, but even with a large cushion, I kept charging full steam ahead all the way through the last lap.
During the last lap, I was starting to get very excited about the finish, and I had to force myself to focus on not making any mistakes. I made it through the last few turns safely, and enjoyed celebrating all the way up the 300 meter finish straight. I was super-excited about winning nationals in front of the New England crowd and after finishing second last year, this win was really sweet. The crowd, by the way, was one of the loudest I've ever raced in front of, and definitely the most supportive one.
So that was the best way I could have ever possibly ended the season and my last year of cyclocross as an under-23 rider. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my sponsors this fall who stood behind me through a tough season. So thank you to Clif Bar, Orbea, Mavic, Shimano, Syntace, Reynolds, Giro, Voler, Mountain Hardware, Fast Freddie Coffee, Light and Motion, Bank of America, Fi'zi:k, Pedros, Adidas, Oakley and Cyclocrossworld.com.
Until next season, thanks for reading.
- Posted by:
- Le Sensation American
- Team Clif Bar