Durango/Pan American GamesOctober 17, 2011
Just on my way home from Mexico where I raced the Pan American Games held in a super cool mountain village called Tapalpa at 7,000 feet.
I spent 8 days in Durango getting some cool riding in hoping to get a little altitude training. The weather was not the greatest at first with a lot of rain and even some snow. It eventually got better and managed to get in some awesome mountain bike rides and even a day in Moab with Ned and Snyder.
After a great week in Durango, I flew to Guadalajara and met up with the rest of the Canadian Mtb crew. We stayed a night in the athletes village then drove to Tapalpa about 2 hours away. The first couple days were pretty rainy with the effects of hurricane Jova looming. By race day, the course was in mint shape and the weather just perfect, like the Mexico I had hoped for.
I didn't have any real expectations having not trained properly since prior to the world champs. I knew I was capable of a medal but pretty unsure as leading up to the race I was really feeling the altitude and humidity especially when going hard. Fortunately on race day, I felt pretty good warming up. The race started fast like a typical south american race. I played a smart race and stayed in 3rd place for a while letting Bishop and Paez battle it out. Paez put in a big attack at the end of lap 4 and I was able to go with him. Come last lap, I took the lead on the last climb, but it was just a little too long and paez got around me with a mostly downhill to the finish. Paez is a super rider and was definitely the strongest in the conditions so to snag the Silver medal was pretty damn sweet. He's pretty hard to beat in SAmerica and the guy has been in the top-5 at a world xc champs as well.
I raced the 29'r S-Works Epic for the first time and it was unreal. I am going to train on the bike this fall/winter and I'm thinking it might be my main race bike in 2012. The home trails will have to approve that first though :)
Going to a games was a really awesome experience. It has really fuelled the fire to make the London 2012 team, to be able to participate in the Olympics would really be something.
Pretty sure my season is actually finished. It's been the best ever by far starting winning back in March and keeping consistent.
Was amazing too finally capture the maple leaf jersey as well as the Pro XCT series overall.
First year part of the "S" Team and a lot of 1st's this year, coincidence? I don't think so.
Thanks to everyone for their support and to all my sponsors and mainly Specialized.
Can't wait for 2012, it's going to be a great off-season.