It was the final race weekend before US Cyclocross Nationals in Louisville, KY. and Lance Haidet and Laurel Rathbun were both looking to sharpen than sword with just a week left before the big show. Lance took his game on the road to Tulsa, OK. for the awesome Ruts N Guts race, while teammate Laurel Rathbun stayed home to finish up coursework at Marian University and train locally.
Coming into the Ruts n Guts weekend, Lance was confident in his fitness, but since he had not lined up at UCI race for several weeks he knew the intensity would be a bit of a shock to the system. And, it was in more ways than one.
"On Saturday I had pretty awful positioning for the first lap after coming out of my pedal right after the start," said Lance. "For some reason I was struggling to handle my bike and was making tons of mistakes which forced me to keep closing gaps and work much harder than I should have been." With about three laps to go, Lance had an unfortunate mechanical issue forcing him to pull in to the pit for a fresh bike. After swapping bikes he was sitting by himself in 10th, where he ended up finishing.
Sunday was a much better day for Lance. He had an awesome start and was riding second wheel for the first two laps. "The lead group was fairly large until things started to light up," said Lance. "Pretty quickly the group was down to five of us and then by the midway point of the race, only four of us were left on the final two laps."
Lance dug super deep on the final laps to try to get on the podium, but ultimately finished four seconds behind third place.
"I feel really good going into Nationals and am really looking forward to battling for the Stars and Stripes!" said Lance.
Laurel Rathbun stayed home this weekend to finish up the semester at Marian University, but she still put in work. "We had a mini practice race at Marian this weekend which started out as frozen ruts, which turned into a slip n' slide and then pretty much became a running race!" said Laurel.
It looks like this could be some great prep for Cyclocross Nationals as the forecast calls for heavy rain on Friday and in to the weekend. Laurel will be competing in collegiate events on Thursday and Saturday, and then will be gunning for a top ten finish in the women's elite race on Sunday.
Rider Tire Selection and Pressure
Lance Haidet (Sat.)
Front: MXP/ 23 psi
Rear: MXP / 24 psi
Lance Haidet (Sun.)
Front: LAS / 23 psi
Rear: LAS / 24 psi
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