Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brentley's Race Report: Nationals

Brentley Campbell
Junior 13-14 year old

25th Place Time Trial
27th Place Criterium
32nd Place Road Race

The USA Cycling National Championships where held in or near Seven Springs, Pennsylvania for 2007. The Team rented a condo located in the Hidden Valley Resort just outside Seven Springs. My dad and I flew into Pittsburg, PA, about an hour or two away from Seven Springs. After flying from San Francisco, my dad rented a car and we drove to Hidden Valley. The Team condo was not ready and the Gerber family offered to let us stay at their condo for the night. We accepted gratefully and we stayed the night. The next morning we got the keys for the Team condo and shortly after the Goto family arrived. Sometime that afternoon Ethan, Tyler and Ethan’s Mom Sarah arrived. The only person not there was Ryan and he came with his dad Bill later that night.

After a day or two the Time Trial start times were posted and I was to start my first TT sixth to last out of about sixty or seventy Men’s 13-14 riders. The morning of the TT I got on the trainer and warmed up then went to roll-out, passed and then went to the start ramp. The riders were going out every 30 seconds and soon I was on the ramp. With one second before my start the man holding me let go and because of that I got a bad start. It only cost me three to five seconds but that was two or three places.

Then I started going pretty hard and glanced at my speedometer and I was going 35 or 36 MPH on a slight downhill. At the first 180 degree turn I took it two slow; one reason may be because I crashed the night before while practicing my 180 turns. I was turning and my front wheel went into a storm drain. I got some road rash on my elbow but nothing to serious. Back to the TT, as I went through the half-way turnaround my legs were already toast. I was caught by the guy who started 30 seconds behind me and then finished with a time of 17 minutes and 14 seconds. It was an okay performance as it was my first TT and I was reasonably satisfied. Later in the day Ashlyn got second in the Women’s 13-14.

On the morning of the crit I had to wake up earlier than Ethan, Tyler and Ryan which was difficult as we all were in the same room sleeping on bunk beds that made LOTS of noise when you would move. After I warmed up the race began and I was at the back of the pack with 60 guys in front of me. I stayed with the peloton for a while than I almost got dropped but my friend Andrew Lanier helped pull me back up. I moved back to the front but with two laps to go I was bumping bars in the middle of the peloton. I got on the wrong wheel and within 30 seconds I was in the back of the main field which was about 30 riders strong. I could not move up and ended up beating Amir Merali who got third at Track Nationals. After my race Ashlyn won her race and Ryan raced in the pouring rain and had a lot of fun.

Later that afternoon we watched Nathan Miller race the U23 crit and then my dad and I had dinner with him. Nathan then spent the night at the Team condo and got a ride to the airport with Ryan and his dad Bill the next morning. Nathan is an awesome guy who has a large future of pro racing ahead of him, I am very glad we got to talk about racing and his experiences as a pro on BMC Racing Team.

The Road Race, the final event started similar to the crit with me in the back. After we started I had to pass a bunch of riders to get to the peloton. I was with the peloton on the first descent and then got dropped on the next climb. I tried to get back to the pack but never made it. At one point I caught up to my friend Joe Christiansen. He soon dropped me and on the final climb I went 110 percent. My eyes were only half open and my mouth was wide open getting as much oxygen as I could. I passed two guys in the sprint and then got off my bike and I got into the roll-out line and fell over my bike having no energy left. One of the officials asked if I was alright and I said yes and resumed my position over my bike.

After roll-out I gave my dad my bike and I rested on a rock. I drank some water but I could not keep all the water in my mouth as I was so spent. Eventually after eating lots and lots of Pasta and drinking lots of water and Gatorade I recovered and watched Ashlyn race and she won with a great performance. Stanley Goto raced the boys’ 10-12 year old race and got 8th place which is a very good result.

Overall it was an outstanding week and even though I did not win it does not mean I can not win the tour some day. Max Testa said that at my age I should just have fun racing and as I get older I should get more technical. It was a great experience and I hope to go to Nationals again in the future

Race Smart,

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