The Hendersonville UCI Cyclocross weekend was full of mud! So much mud! It started raining Friday night and continued raining all day Saturday. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold with the temperature in the high 40s, low 50s. I was a little nervous about the weekend since I had been feeling not quite up to par lately but, I knew the impending mud would make the racing more technical which would be to my advantage. Saturday, I had a good start and found myself in 4th place on the first lap. With so much rain it was a very wet mud and I didn’t need to pit as much. Unfortunately, I had a minor mechanical and dropped back to 6th but was able to hold on to that place for the finish. I was thrilled with my result. That night, I was wrecked! Thank goodness our wonderful host house had made butternut squash soup because that was exactly what I needed after a wet, cold day. For the rest of the evening, I lay on the couch at our host house and watched the Purina dog show.
It was windy Saturday night all through Sunday morning. I was worried that all the mud would dry up and it would be a fast race. When we arrived at the venue, I could tell immediately it was going to be another muddy day! The mud had turned to peanut butter. It was super thick and hard to ride through. I had another good start and found myself in 3rd. I was thrilled and wanted to try to hold on for podium. There was so much mud it was necessary to pit every half lap! (hard day for the mechanics). Unfortunately, my legs had a different plan for me and I could tell I could not hold on. Everything hurt, my legs, my stomach, everything! I went as hard as I could and finished 7th. I was exhausted afterwards but happy with my effort as I put every ounce of energy I had into that race!
Overall, it was an excellent weekend! Hendersonville is my favorite race. I started racing it as part of the North Carolina Cyclocross Series when I was 10 years old and I don’t think I’ve missed it once. Tim, the promoter, is a great course designer and makes the courses fun no matter what the conditions are like. It was amazing and motivating to see how many people were cheering for me out there! It definitely made me push through the pain and tiredness. Thanks to Mo, Jon, and Colin; I know the muddy races are the hardest of all for you guys! I am excited to have a few weeks at home to rest and get ready for Nationals and then off to Europe to race for 2 months. Thank you to everyone who supports me through the Amy D Foundation.