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Cyclocross Racing

Behind THE Barriers Director’s Cut: No regrets

Jeremy Powers talks about regret and his lack of them after the 2013 U.S. cyclocross national championships

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Jeremy Powers, on regrets:

Nationals. The big one. As long as I’ve been racing nationals, it’s always been the one event where you can’t predict the weather. It’s the one event where the course conditions are always constantly changing. More than anything, it’s the one event where the winner always deserves it.

The facts are there. Only five men have won nationals in the new millennium: Tim Johnson, Jon Page, Todd Wells, Ryan Trebon, and me. It’s an extremely hard race to win, because it’s one day, one hour. Lots can happen.

Jon came away with another one to add to his collection this year and my congrats go out to him on riding a great race.

My race at nationals is one of two disappointing days for me this season. I came into nationals fit. I was leaner and putting out more power than the previous year. Despite that, the story is simple: I didn’t have it on the day.

I could make excuses… and I have to myself, believe me, but there isn’t a real “he was sick” or “he crashed” excuse there. I just didn’t have it. I tried to peak too many times throughout the season. I tried to be “perfect” too often, which in turn just made me lose my sharpness and dulled the snap in my legs, leaving me without the killer instinct to repeat. I think of it like a seesaw: the rest, recover side was really high and the training, sleeping, and living like a monk was buried in the dirt on the other side.

Seesaws work better when they’re more in balance.

I took a lot notes of how I felt after that day — what I would do the same, what I would do differently, and how I’ll change a couple of things going into the 2014 edition in Boulder, Colorado.

I told Luis Lemus, my 20-year-old Jelly Belly teammate and the reigning Mexican road race national champion, last year that there’s never bad days when you’re national champ. You may have hard times and you may lose the national champion designation next year, but you will always be a national champion.

I wouldn’t give up any of the podium places or wins from this season to have won nationals. I wouldn’t give up any of the wins — not the ones from August or the one from this weekend in Tokyo. One result doesn’t define my season and I’m not going to stop racing any time soon. With this season in the bag, I’m already planning for next year, with or without the stars-and-stripes. My excitement for racing hasn’t ever been higher.

There are a lot of things to be thankful for this season, and once the smoke from nationals cleared out of my ears, I was able to tell myself that I gave the season, from start to finish, August to February, 110 percent. I’ve got absolutely no regrets.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the episode!


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