One thing I forgot to mention about Sunday’s race was that it was officially Dear Leader’s 2007 cross coming out party followed by his son Ben’s with the little Belgians. No, they’re not batting for the other team or anything (kidding folks) but they both did their first cross races of the 2007 season at Tacchino. The results couldn’t have been much better for them both. Ben actually spent the 2 hours leading up to his race practicing on the course, proclaiming himself to have much skill in the cycling and more importantly cross arenas. He also was not shy in letting me and anyone else around whose butt he was going to be whopping at any given moment. That kid is going to be one hell of a competitor that is for sure. He’s already got my work ethic beat on the grounds of practicing.
On top of all that he refused to go watch his old man race despite hearing his name over the load speaker countless times.
Ben: "Hey, Gibbons is my last name!"
Me: "I know, they're talking about you're old man! Let's go watch him and cheer him on!"
Ben: "He's not old!"
Me: "Oh, sorry. You're right... We should should go cheer him on and help him win!"
Ben: "No, I need to practice."
Me: "Oh, ok."
Ben: "I told him this morning to get in 3rd place." (at this point Gibbons is in 3rd)
Me: "That's cool."
Ben: "Yeah, I told him something else too."
Me: "Oh yeah? What was that?"
Ben: "I'm really good!"
(Can you tell I'm really good with kids?)
Gibbons on the other hand showed that experience and race smarts can trump all else in his tremendous 2nd place podium (which he missed) finish in the 35 + race (either that or direct orders from your 6 year old are definitely NOT to be taken lightly). Talking to him afterwards I felt like I had been racing in a completely different sport; my mind focused on finishing the race or the pain I was in. Race tactics were the last thing on my mind aside from the tactic of keeping my bike on two wheels. I have so much to learn about bicycle racing in general and I can only hope one day to have half the racing smarts and heart these top riders have in their little pinkies.
One final Huzzah! To Dear Leader bringing Glory to the Cause! HUZZAH!