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National Championships

August 4, 2010

Hey everyone,

This year Jon, Jordan and Nate ventured east to Colorado to par take in USA Cycling’s National Championships at Sol Vista. Here is pro rider Jon Wilson’s words of the adventure:

Here is the best overall recap from the 2010 National Championships – From Jon Wilsons Blog Site:

“I’m still beat from nats, so give me a day and I will tell you about the broken necks, backs, ribs, scafoids, scapula, spasm-convulsing unconscious bodies, 45 foot double to ejection, non stop care flights rides, and the three non stop ambulances that compromised the weekend. Never in 20 years of racing have I seen so many jacked up people carted off to the hospital and walking around in slings…one word: EPIC!” & I could not agree more.

Jon, Nate and I left Reno late Wednesday night and headed out on our 14 hour drive 1/2 way across the country. We drove in 4 hour shifts so the drive was really not that bad and it allowed everybody to a least get a little sleep. We arrived in CO on Thursday afternoon (3:30pm) and after reg and settling in we were not able to practice.

DH:

Photos Courtesy of Vastaction.com, go get your copy today.

Friday Morning Jon and I headed out to get a look at the DH track and I was amazed at the level of “Man Made” obstacles on the Pro Course. The top section of the course was rough with fast flat corners, rock gardens and several hip jumps into berms. The middle section was all man made and BIG – it started with a 12′-15′ drop into a berm to a double to a large step up to a triple. Then the course opened up to several high speed corners and then a bid 40′ double with a run around (that was just as fast). the course ended up with a table top to a couple of berms to the finish line. Overall the course was a great ride but the “Man Made” sections gave me trouble from the beginning. I felt really good, fast  and consistent on the top and bottom of the course, but I seemed to loose my groove from the beginning drop to the finishing triple of the middle section. My problems really started with my first crash of the weekend which came on my last run of the day on the drop off. I over heated the landing of the drop and turned the berm after the drop into a jump. Doing this caused me to bail down the hill and tumble through some rocks bruising my left shoulder and my legs.  Saturday Morning the Pros had a 45min practice time and on my first run down I was feeling good, I cleaned the drop and as I headed into the step-up hip I was confident that I would have a good run and be ready for the following days seeding and race. Yet, as I hit the lip of the jump I had the horrible realization that I was not going fast enough to clear the gap. I front tire tapped the landing and I was catapulted down the landing and I landed on my RH shoulder which drastically softened up my previous 2009 season ending injury. As I got up and rolled to the bottom of the hill I came to the brutal realization that due to this crash I was not going to be able to race in the DH on the following day. This realization really hit me hard and caused me to become very disappointed with myself and my prior practice runs. So many thoughts run through your head when you pull your self out of a race…but deep down inside I knew that my softened up shoulder could not handle what the course could dish out.

Super D:

Photos Courtesy of Vastaction.com, go get your copy today.

Throughout the weekend I was able to get in 7 strong practice runs on the Super D Course and I was feeling confident that I would have a good result. The course was fast, tight and had a brutal gradual hill climb in it that would definitely be the tipping point and where all the passing would be in the race. On Sunday morning as the almost 50 racers lined up for the run and mad dash to the single track I felt ready for the competition. As the whistle blew and a ran to my bike I realized that I positioned myself in a spot to have a good start. Like all Super D races there was definate mayhem in the start. I heard of guys getting punched (by accident) to the ground and I was involved in mayhem of my own. as we were springing to the single track the guy in front of me got tangled up with a fellow racer and went down right in front of me. I had no time but to pick up my front tire and roll over his bike from back tire, across his frame and over his cranks and roll off his front fork. After this I stood up and continued to sprint realizing that I was in the top 10 and at the front of the crowd. As I pushed hard towards single track my right leg jolted forward and seemed to be floating in mid-air. I quickly looked down and realized that I had snapped my pedal shaft off mid pedal. With this happening my race was over. I got out of the way of my fellow racers and walked back to the USAC officials and let them know that I would be needing a DNF (Did Not Finish) for the race. I rode the chair lift back down the hill and had just enough time to watch my teammates Jon and Nate finish their runs. I was definitely disappointed that I could not race because I felt that Iwould have had a top time…but there are some things that are out of ones control and this was definitely one of them.

Short Track:

Yep, you read right, I raced in a Short-Track event while at Nationals – while back in the Condo after my Super D debacle my friend (who will remain nameless) said “since I injured my knee, do you want to race in the “Cat 1 Mens 30+ Short Track” Race?” I replied “sure, why not”. Mind you that I am 26 and the 30+ group is no laughing matter, most of these guys are ex-pros and who like to go out and kill themselves in a XC ride at 8,000 feet. As the race started I immediately felt the elevation (8,800′) more than any other part of the weekend. The theory of this type of race is  simple – “don’t get caught by the fast guy from behind”. I tried with all of my strength to stay with the lead group for a majority of the race and I ended up lasting all but the final 3 laps at which point I got “Pulled”. I finished the race in 13th of 30 and in the words of my injured friend – “you killed it”

Photos Courtesy of Vastaction.com, go get your copy today.

Jordan Lopez

Overall National Championships was a great experience and I am excited to bring back this experience to my local trails and races

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