Going to Nationals everyone wants to be on their best form to get a good result. Everyone dreams of putting on the red, white & blue jersey to wear after winning a National Championship. I was fortunate enough to have ridden this same course a few years ago for the Collegiate National Championships so I knew what it was going to take to have a good day.
Race day I knew what I had to do and that was to be in a breakaway. Since the finish is on a climb I knew my best chance for a good result would be from a breakaway. The race started fast with attacks from everyone but no one wanted to let anything go. After a couple of laps an attack went leading into the climb and I followed some wheels and there was a handful of us that had a lead going into the climb. I was fortunate to have my teammate, Shane, in there as well and if it stuck to the finish we would have a good chance. The next time around up the climb the field caught us near the top and a counter attack went; since I was there I followed again and we hammered on the downhill and the flats to get a gap. There were about 8 of us that got away and we were working very well together. A lap or two later two guys bridged to make it a 10 man break which put more fire power into the break and helped our odds. With it being a very hot and humid day I tried to drink and eat a lot. I grabbed two bottles and an Ice sock every lap to try to stay ahead of dehydration. Despite all that, the second to last time up the climb I started cramping really bad and thought my day was over; somehow I pushed through it and made it over the climb with the break. On the last lap I tried conserving by drinking and trying to stretch the legs because I knew the last climb would be hard. The 10 of us stayed together until the base when a few guys attacked; I knew I had to ride my own pace if I wanted to stay near the top. 3 guys had a good gap halfway up the climb and the rest of us were doing all we could to get up the climb. With 500 m to go on the climb I attacked and gave it all I had to try to get a podium spot but in the end 3 guys came around and I had to settle for 7th. Still a good result but of course I wanted the win.