It is a big week for so many cyclo-cross racers. In fact for many this is the week they’ve been thinking about, dreaming about and training for – for quite some time. That’s right it is World Cyclocross Championships week. Yes week – the action kicks off on Tuesday Jan. 29 with the Masters World Cyclocross Championships and wraps up with the final races on Friday Feb. 1. Then the Elite World Cyclocross Championships start on Saturday Feb. 2 with the juniors and U23 categories and the elite women and men racing on Sunday Feb. 2.
A week when emotions will be at an all-time high. It is one of those times when you’re so excited to race but also a little bit freaked out about it all. After all this is the race you’ve been thinking about all season. To just be racing at World Cyclocross Championships is a thrill and then when you start thinking about a possible result or outcome – well things can get a little bit crazy.
It has been a while since I’ve raced at such a high-level of competition but I do know what it’s like to deal with the stress, anxiety, fear, self-doubt and overall “circus like” atmosphere of a World Cyclocross Championship…
In my opinion the best thing you can do is to do your “thing”. If you like to eat steak the night before the race do it – even if someone else is telling you to eat bowls of pasta. If you like to put embro on your feet do it – even if someone else thinks you’re crazy. If you like to run your tires at 18 PSI go for it – don’t change just because your buddy runs his tires at 23 PSI. If you have a warm-up that you’ve been using all season, stick with it – don’t make changes the week of, day before or day of.
Quite simply – stick with what got you to Louisville. Trust your instincts. And most of all soak it all up and enjoy every moment. There are no “shouldas”, “couldas” or “wouldas” – just go out and race.
You may never ever get this chance again so make the most of it. Have fun and remember that there are lots of people who wish they could be doing what you’re doing right now. However the race ends up, be proud of it – you trained hard, raced hard, made sacrifices – and you got to be out there having fun on your bike.
(Yes, I’m a little bit jealous of all you folks who are racing this week and weekend. I’ll be cheering for you.)