by Jesse Anthony

The 2009 cyclocross season is completed, and I am taking the next few weeks to digest everything that’s happened this year.  My mission this fall was to ride as hard as I could in every race, train as hard as I could, and do everything in my power to get healthy and back into the form I know I can achieve.  I never did get back to full strength, but I accomplished a level of mental toughness that I have been working at for years. Overall my season was a success, and I have a lot to take into the off season and the year to come.

Jesse looks ahead towards more cyclocross greatness. photo: Rob O'Dea

Jesse looks ahead towards more cyclocross greatness. photo: Rob O’Dea

The National Championship in Bend was a really awesome race. The course was technical, rhythmic and fast.  The crowd was loud and excited, one of the best crowds that I’ve raced in front of in recent years.  I rode the entire first lap with adrenaline pumping from the energy of the fans, it was crazy! I don’t feel like I ever settled into a temp, more like I put my head down from start to finish and never let up. I had a clean race, didn’t crash or make any major mistakes, and I was kept up a steady speed the whole race.  In the end I finished 14th.  While I was not excited with the result, I was definitely satisfied with my effort.

This whole season I was more focused on what I was doing and how I was doing it rather than what the outcome was.  I learned a lot about how to work hard, stay focused and appreciate some of the more controllable aspects of this sport. I learned to appreciate the people involved in all facets of cyclocross and bike racing in general.  We are involved in so much more than just racing and results.  There is an awesome group of people putting a lot of energy into each other. Everyone does their part to keep bike racing going and make it better and more fun and rewarding.  Noticing and appreciating this network makes me want to put my best effort in the mix and add my own piece to the pie.

Well, for now I am just resting and decompressing and appreciating everything I learned this fall.  I get to enjoy time with my friends and family at home, and apply the lessons I have learned in bike racing to my everyday life.

Thanks for your support not only of me, but to this entire sport.  I hope I can inspire people to do there best in everything they do and appreciate the efforts of other people.

I owe a special thanks to all the people who were a really big part of my experiences this fall: My brother, Silas, for putting in countless hours working on my bikes and making my life easier at the races, and for being a great travel companion.  Steve Fairchild at Jamis Bikes for spearheading my sponsorship and being the man behind my mission. Tim Johnson and Lyne Bessette for offering their invaluable advice, experience, support and friendship. Rob and Adria O’Dea for their endless efforts to look after me.  Jodi Llacera-Klein for her generosity in keeping my body functional throughout the fall. Gord Fraser, my coach, for making me want to throw up during training rides and helping me get the most out of my body and mind.  My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for loving me beyond comprehension.

Thanks to my awesome sponsors: Jamis Bicycles, Mavic, Sram, Giro, Oakley, Champion Systems, Fizik, Ritchey,  Clif Bar, SwissStop,   Rob O’Dea Photography, Cape Ann Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Carmichael Training Systems, Ola Loa,  and Dugast USA.

Thanks for reading.