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At the elite level you have to be on your 'A-game' both mentally and physically if you are expecting a good result on race day. Getting sick not only takes a toll on your body, but also the mind. Jamey Driscoll knows all about this leading up to the Ruts n' Guts UCI weekend in Oklahoma.

"Unfortunately, my wife and i got knocked out by a 24-hour bug on Wednesday and I was seriously doubting if I would even race," said Jamey. "I was feeling much better by Friday morning, but I know I was not at 100% for the weekend."

Saturday’s race was a fast one and Jamey tried to hang on. "It was pretty quick, and I was in good position at the start," Jamey went on to say. "I just didn't have the quite enough horsepower to stay with the front group like I normally do and they slowly pulled away from me." Despite not feeling 100% he would still finish 7th on the day.

Our Sunday Jamey got caught up in crash at the start and was chasing throughout the entire race. "My chain guide got twisted and started rubbing a lot so I knew I had to pit and get a new bike. I just tried to stay calm, and ride smooth so my bike would make it to the pit in one piece. Pedaling at 80% is still way faster than running at 100%." Jamey would not be able to make contact with the lead group, but still managed an impressive 9th place. 

He will be heading to Scottsdale, Arizona over the holidays to get in some high intensity training.  This will be a similar program to what he did last year leading up to to CX Nationals where he earned a silver medal.

It was an great opening day for Lance Haidet. "Saturday was an awesome race! It felt good to finally be at front and fighting for the podium. Cross is way more fun when you are racing tactically for a win rather than being in pure survival mode the whole race," said Lance.  "On the final lap, I was in good position and was feeling relatively comfortable, but in hindsight I should have been more aggressive and taken a chance to get the win."

When you are going full gas on the last lap the slightest mistake can cost you a few precious seconds. "I didn't ride one technical section as well as I should have and when the fireworks started to go off I was quickly out of contention for the win." Lance would have to settle with fourth place, just a few seconds off the podium.

Sunday’s race certainly did not go as well for Lance. At the first corner he found himself on the ground in a pile with five other riders. After he picked himself up and got his bike back in order, he was dead last and way off the back. "I was definitely angry at myself, but tried my best to catch as many people as I could, hoping to finish in the top 15." Lance would just miss the mid-race goal he set for himself and finish 16th.

Lance left Oklahoma feeling confident in his fitness and knows he is doing the right things to prepare for Nationals in January.

Fresh off a trip to Europe for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Camp, Laurel Rathbun had high hopes for good legs in Oklahoma.  "Europe was incredible. I loved the courses and was able to get in some great training," said Laurel. "I had really good legs in the races and felt as though I really thrived in the awesome European bike racing atmosphere." 

Traveling to Europe to race is always a gamble. You never know how your body is going to react after you get back to the "real world." Unfortunately for Laurel a bit of jet lag, overall fatigue and studying for college finals does not always make for the best legs on race day.

"I had really high hopes and it was overall a huge let down for me," stated Laurel. "A few costly mistakes plus just being tired didn't lend itself to the best races for me, but on the upside I think I found my new favorite U.S. UCI CX course. Ruts n' Guts was a ton of fun and it was very well done!" 

Ruts n' Guts was Laurel's last race of the year. She is ready to finish up school, get back to Colorado for the holidays where she will reset, refocus and prepare for Nationals in January!

Rider Tire Selection, Pressure and Course Conditions

Course conditions report from Head Mechanic James Sullivan:
The course was mostly dry with a mix of dirt short grass and some pavement making for a very fast track. However there was some riding through a creek bed with standing water making for some slick spots in between the high speed sections. There were also some tricky sand pits to navigate. Overall the course was smooth and the riders wanted a firm feeling on the high speed sections and the faster sweeping corners. Sunday brought some changes to the course and the creek bed crossing was a little trickier due to earlier races in the day.

Tire Selection and Pressure

Laurel Rathbun

Front: MXP / 24 psi
Rear: MXP / 25 psi

Front: MXP / 24 psi
Rear: MXP / 24 psi

Lance Haidet

Front: LAS / 24 psi
Rear: LAS / 25 psi

Front: LAS / 24 psi
Rear: LAS / 25 psi

Jamey Driscoll

Front: MXP / 25 psi
Rear: LAS / 26 psi

Front: MXP / 24.5 psi
Rear: MXP / 25 psi

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Team Schedule

Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY 
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IO
CrossVegas – Las Vegas, NV
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI

KMC CrossFest – Thompson, CT ( Jamey and Laurel ) 
West Sacramento Grand Prix – Sacramento, CA ( Lance )

Charm City Cross – Baltimore, MD
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincy CX Festival - Cincinnati, OH

Derby City Cup – Louisville, KY
Pan Am Championships - Louisville, KY

Los Angeles, CA (Nov 18 + 19)
Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK (Dec 2 + 3)
USA National Championships – Reno, NV (Jan 9-14)
UCI World Championships – Valkenburg-Limburg, NED