I'm a little behind on the blogs, but it's not like anybody else is helping out here.
Last week the 3 day Jingle Cross Cyclocross spectacular was my first UCI Elite level race. This year I paid an extra $90 to get my UCI license so I can do races where I'll get my butt kicked really badly.
How did it go? I guess as expected. Never before have I gotten my ass kicked so thouroghly and yet felt so good about the races.
All the Chitown support, my team helping out in the pit crew, I really felt like a PRO.
Michael Young said it best when he said, "this is a nightmare of a race brother, It is a small field and everyone out there is seriously fast."
It was an honor line up with guys who competed in the Olympics, were former MTB and Xterra World Champions, and represented the USA at the CX World Championships the last few years.
On the second day, I got a second row call up and they announced my name after all the big shots with UCI points. I even got called up ahead of the legendary Ned Overend. Haha old man, learn to be faster with your computer when registration opens up next time.
On day 3 I even rode on Ned's wheel for the first 1/2 lap. next time I'm just going to sit there and let him pull me to the front :-o
On day one I won $19, day two I took $3 in hand ups, and day 3 I took 2 or 3 beer hand ups (supposedly one of only 2 elite racers to take the beer. In the SS division everyone took a beer :) )
Even though you can't tell by my results, I felt like I was doing things at a higher level than ever before. Hopefully it will carry over to Montrose.
In conclusion, is it worth it to put in all the hard work to get to this level even if you are going to just get your ass kicked? For me I would have to say heck yes it is.