Homeboy Espaсa: Savours A WIN!
Our Homeboy Espaсa battles the cold northeastern winter – and kicks butt at the PA State Cyclocross Championships and then questions it all – ! Fear not – as his Spanish Sweetie is due to arrive and his plans to return to Spain become clearer- he bounces back…!
Well November has come and gone, and it’s been a roller coaster ride, which has seen me go from having my best UCI sanctioned race finish, to winning the PA State Championships for cyclocross to falling into a bit of depression. No worries though as I think I’ve got it all under control now.
Let’s start back at the beginning of November with the Westra Classic cyclocross race. I had just started racing for a new team for the remainder of the cyclocross season – Evolution Racing, sponsored by Evolution Pro Bike Shop (in Buckingham, PA. I finished 15th, which is my best UCI sanctioned race finish. It was a strange race for me as I actually found myself racing in a group.
It was me, Gunnar Shrogren, and a guy from Brooklyn, NY. The guy from Brooklyn was driving the group pretty hard and Gunnar was sitting in third wheel for quite a few laps. I tried to attack a couple of times because I really didn’t want to come down to the end with Gunnar. Every time I attacked, the guy from Brooklyn would get back across and bring Gunnar with him, so I sat back in and waited. Then exactly what I expected to happen… happened.
With about a quarter of a lap to go, Gunnar attacked from third position and I jumped on his wheel. We got around the Brooklyn guy and got away from him probably since he spent so much energy pushing for so long. I thought I might be able to get Gunnar in the sprint as I had his wheel pretty tight but then as we hit the gravel covered pavement my wheel slipped starting my sprint and Gunnar beat me. I was really happy to have a good finish but the more I thought about it I wondered if I should be really happy to finish right with an ex age group national cyclocross champ or want to hang up my bike because I had just been beat by a guy who was about to turn 40. I opted for being happy because even though Gunnar could race the 35+ races, he’s still going strong in the elite races and finally catching him shows my improvement.
I Actually Won!
Next up was the PA State Cyclocross Championships. I actually won! Now, before we all get too excited I guess I have to put a bit of a disclaimer with that. The very same weekend there were some big UCI races in New England so the “big guns” that I normally race against were off trying to show the guys from the north that the Mid-Atlantic folks know a thing or two about ‘cross. Not to take away from guys I raced against, but the field was quite small.
We lined up and I gave it all I had right from the start. I had a gap going into the first corner and it seemed as if the other guys were thinking, is this guy serious? As the first lap ended I had a 15sec lead over Bobby Lea (ex kilo national champ) and his Fuji teammate. Then as the race went on they fell back a little and my lead just kept increasing. Wes, the guy who earlier that day won the intermediate state champ race caught Bobby and his teammate, but my lead kept going up. It was the strangest feeling racing like that, being out front and racing all alone, knowing I was winning. I felt so smooth and I thought, wow this is what Todd Wells or Ryan Trebon must feel like at the UCI races I do where they just ride away from the field. When I finally crossed the line my lead had gone up to about one and a half minutes. I took the time to savor my win and raised my arms and smiled. It was such a good feeling to win again.
Just When You Think You’ve Made It…
Now’s when things started to spin out a little for me. The next weekend were the two toughest races of the season. Not only were they part of the Mid-Atlantic series but they were also part of the Crank Brother’s U.S. Grand Prix of ‘Cross. This meant the who’s who in American cyclocross other than Jonathan Page would be there. I had a disastrous race on Saturday with 3 technical mistakes all in about 5 minutes with completely blew my race. The next day I faired a little better, but it was some tough competition and a hard slog through the mud.
This is also where I think things went a little down hill for me psychologically. Two tough races then getting up the next few days straight at 5am for work, then lots of traveling over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and then more getting up at 5am for work. I started feeling down and that I just wasn’t getting anything accomplished, which I wasn’t because I was putting things off because I just didn’t feel right.
I even began really questioning my future and what I’m doing and where I’m going. Not the best time for all of this. I don’t think that fact that we’re pretty short on daylight hours now is helping much either. I finally got 10 hours sleep this past Monday night and some good rides in on Monday afternoon and on Tuesday since I was off work and my attitude is improving again. It’s tough to get things under control as you feel yourself losing your grip on the few things you control. I started to get worried about my form as a result of my head and that I’ve got two more races and it started to turn into a bit of a vicious cycle.
So now where to? Well, I’ve got the last Mid-Atlantic ‘cross race this weekend in Reston, VA and then it’s off to Portland, Oregon for the U.S. national cyclocross championships. Then I’ll finally be able to take a rest. Just in time for Christmas and when Irene gets here on the 28th of December.
One final note this time. I’d like to take a moment and thank all of you for reading. I’m always happy to hear from you and that you enjoy reading my diary entries. Hasta la prуxima.
P.S. Special thanks to my sister, my buddy Don and Keystonebiking.com for this edition’s photos.
Nathan Deibert is a 27 year old young American back home in PA for the winter. Next year he hopes to return to Sevilla, Spain, riding for the Campos Lorca Elite-Sub23 cycling team, and living the dream every day. Drop him an email at [email protected]
Gratuitous Sponsor Plug Thanks to:
Campos Lorca-Miсa Car: My new team sponsors. Campos Lorca is a great local bike shop in Mбlaga, Spain.
Mike Kuhn: My coach for the last 3 years and counting. If you’re looking for a great coach in the central PA area or around the world, send him an email: [email protected],
or take a look at the website: www.endurancenetwork.com
Holmes Cycling and Fitness: The best bike shop in all of central PA. They’ve got everything you need from serious race equipment to great recreational equipment. Check them out at: www.holmescycling.com
My Parents: for never telling me I was crazy through all the years of chasing this dream.