So I'm sitting in the pits. Slumping, actually. Tired, wrecked, overall exhausted from 2 weeks of hard racing and endless travel. It's round 2 of the kierin. By this point I've had a dissapointing Nationals. My legs feel like they've quit, like they're already back in Colorado on my couch, leaving me a stressed out legless torso with a lot left to prove. When the first round rolled around, I reverted back to my brain and elbows. The safest way to make a dangerous living? Maybe. Not sure what really happened in the first round aside from a great fight with a young Rock & Republic rider. The moral of that story was toestraps are good and don't ride a 2000 dollar front wheel in a kierin with a frustrated sprinter who can see you coming. Anyway. So it's about 45 seconds before round 2 and I get a text message from Kacala that says "Kay says either you win something or don't bother coming back." Kay is the owner of the bike shop I work at back in Colorado. Awesome.
By the time the kierin wraps up, I'm not in the place I want to be, but there's not much else I could've done. Tuckerman would've been proud. There was chaos, there was violence. Not quite the "hosing all the blood off the track" scenario that he wanted, but I couldn't get kicked out before the team sprint...
Which went as well as it could've. Teamed up with Kelyn Akuna and the freight-train Jimmy Watkins. I rode first, got caught in the gate (of course), had an average first half and the best first lap of the day by a half second. We end up winning by over a second over the second place team. Finally! After about a billion 4th and 5th place finishes at Nationals, I got to stand up on the top step, get a sweet jersey and a chunk of (fake) gold. Brian hugged me so hard he almost crushed my larynx. It was brutal.
As for what this says about my future, it's uncertain. at a low 47 seconds we didn't do a world-class time, and missed the qualification time for a world cup by a half second. We could probably still make "coaches' selection" since we were the winning team, but the problem there is funding. Namely, we'd be on our own. We'll see what happens. Most likely scenario is that the Training Center starts picking up my food bills and I concentrate on the Christmas Carnivals in Tazzy. Anything after that? Well. It's all in the air. The coaches are either scattered across the country or in cardiac surgery as we speak (good luck Des!). After everyones out of the hospital and back in the springs we're having a meeting, but until then I'll assume that Tazzy is the end of the season and cross my fingers.
Spanish Kierin round 2. Prepared to stomp.
2 years ago