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Life as a bike jockey: Going, going, went for it

The U.S. Olympic bid came to a close last month in La Bresse, France. It was World Cup #4, and the last of the UCI races that USA Cycling would be using to make their selection for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team.

It’s been a week, a trans-Atlantic flight and more than a few handfuls of Ibuprofen since the race. It’s also been a little decompression time and a chance to process the last few months of fighting for a spot at the Olympics.

Hitted it

When I wrote back in February that I was going to take my shot at the Olympic team, I had an idea of what the next few months would look like, but it was just an idea. I knew the places I’d be going, but I didn’t know what would happen once I got there. It’s funny to look back on how things played out.

The start of my season was encouraging and exciting: a win at the Teva Winter Games Snow Bike Crit, second at the Mellow Johnny’s Classic, a 32nd at the first world cup in South Africa from a back row call up. Things were looking up and I was feeling pretty positive about the flight plan.

Then there was World Cup #2 in Houffalize and my Alcapulco high dive act off a log stair. That was a bit of a downer. The following weekend at Sea Otter was poor in the results too, not to mention less-than-stellar cruising around with a new black eye and missing tooth.

I thought my luck was turning around the following weekend in Arizona at the Whiskey 50. I was riding strong and sitting in third place with a chance to win enough money to buy a new tooth. But then I double flatted and came in eighth. That was also sub-optimal.

World Cup #3 in the Czech Republic was a mixed bag. I wasn’t feeling strong, but my 39th placing had me optimistic about the following weekend for the next World Cup.

But then there came that next race in La Bresse, France.