The week leading up to the Fontana Pro XCT I was super excited for what was to be a great weekend of racing down in Fontana, California. After waking up early on Friday morning we began our long drive down to the race. Despite being extremely tired I was only able to get a small amount of sleep on the drive down. After making some good time on the road we arrived at Southridge Park and began setting up the team pit area with our fancy new awning.
Once everyone arrived we all picked up our race plates and got ready to pre-ride the course. After pre-riding with my teammates Cody Schwartz and Lauren Desrosiers. I headed back to my hotel to get a good nights sleep before my race on Saturday morning. Waking up on Saturday morning I was super excited for my first race as a UCI Pro. Having gotten a good breakfast and warm up in I was ready to go! The race was 6 laps of a 3.5 mile loop with approx. 400 ft of elevation gain. Lining up for the start I was pleased to get a call-up which allowed me to get a good position on the line. Once the gun went off the race was on! The first few minutes of the race were crazy. I could barely see the riders in front of me due to the vast amount of dust. I had a couple of close calls during the first few crowded sections but I was able to make it through with only coming unclipped once. Once I came to the road climb I held my pace and was able to gain quite a few positions. Upon reaching the top of the climb I was ready for the descent and the small reprieve that it would provide. However it was short lived, as I came through the finish chute the climb began again. Still feeling pretty solid I was able to gain another few positions on the climb. Once again I began the descent feeling pretty solid. After completing my second lap. I was starting to feel the fatigue settle in. After going through the feed zone I grabbed some GU and sprayed some water on my back. Going up the hill on this lap the wind had died down slightly and I felt like I was riding through an oven. By the time I started my sixth and final lap I was pretty beat. However I was able to pick up the pace and finished the race 34th out of 55 racers. After finishing my cool down it was time to rest and relax and prepare for the Short Track race on Sunday. I would also like to congratulate all of my teammates who had races this weekend: Cody Schwartz, Stella Sisneros, Tyler Sargaent, Lauren Desrosiers, Sean Dickie, Alexander Hill, and Josh Tajiri.