Ending on a High Note – A Column by CX Pro Jesse Anthony
Jesse Anthony has been racing ‘cross for ten years and has won an impressive seven cyclocross national championships. Jesse wrapped up his ‘cross season with a big fourth place at the national championships in Kansas City. His previous column is here, and his last column of the season is below.
Happy new year! It always amazes me how busy the Christmas season is, but it’s finally settled down and I think I’m ready to charge into the 2009 road season.
I can’t think of a better way to finish off the ‘cross season that by having one of my best races of the year at nationals. After an inconsistent late-season streak and DNF’ing the last day of the USGP in Portland, OR, I was lacking a lot of confidence going into nationals. Thankfully, I was able to pull it together for one race, and it was a very satisfying way to end the season.
Looking back at it all, I was really excited to start things off so well coming straight off a broken wrist. At my first race in nearly 3 months, I finished 3rd at the Gloucester Grand Prix with a taped up wrist. A couple of weeks later I notched two 2nd place finishes at the opening weekend of the USGP, and walked away with the leader’s jersey. I was amazed that I was riding at a much higher level than I ever had before.
After a flying start I ran into tough times at the Boulder Cup, dropping out of the first day, but working things out to finish 5th on the 2nd day. The Mercer Cup edition of the USGP mirrored those results with a 5th place on Saturday and no finish on Sunday.
Coming into the home-stretch I pulled together 2 solid finishes (6th and 4th) for the Southampton GP in Long Island, and then hit the final weekend of the USGP with good form and rode to 4th place on Saturday. Sunday was a different story and I once again pulled out mid-race wondering how I could ever be so inconsistent.
I used that frustration as extra motivation at nationals to help prove to myself that I do belong out here in the ‘cross circuit. Nationals was the big finale to my season, and I wanted to leave 2008 with an excitement and hunger for next ‘cross season. I did just that by riding my best and securing a good result that still has room for improvement.
Over the last few weeks I enjoyed spending a lot of time with my family and friends and my girlfriend, Michelle. I’ve been digesting everything that happened in 2008 and preparing myself for 2009. I can’t wait to start things this year and jump back into the road circuit with Team Type 1. My biggest goals are to stay injury free and take another step forward in my career. I see lots of opportunities ahead and I can’t wait to take advantage of them.
Until next time,
A huge thanks to all my sponsors:
- Champion Systems
- Clif Bar
- TRP Brakes
- Cape Ann Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy
- Carmichael Training Systems
- Ola Loa
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