Eric Christ is super tough.  He has the misfortune of being a perfectly built guy for hilly road races while living in the Midwest but makes the most of it.  Aside from some very solid wins and near wins on the few courses that suit his talents, Eric’s focus on the road in 2011 was to help his team.  That selflessness culminated with a late suicide attack at the Fall Fling that set up 3 simultaneous wins for Bicycle Heaven (masters, cat 3’s and 1-2’s raced together) in pursuit of the overall team victory.  He also played a role in his and his teammate’s category upgrades, of which there were many.

The cyclocross season was all his.  The Chicago Cross Cup has become legendary in numbers and competition and Eric wanted to rip it up.  Given a full road season he had to take a break to ensure good legs for the races that counted and so the beginning of the series was frustrating for him.  As his coach, I was biting my nails a bit.  We put everything into doing well at the Illinois State Championship in Chicago on December 4th, Resolution Cross on December 31st and the National Championship race just outside of Madison, WI on January 6th.  We rode together the week prior to Chicago and for the first time he had some concern on his face stemming from a lack of results to date.

He stuck with the original plan though and in EC like fashion raced tough as nails and made it happen.  While 10th at Montrose and 18th at Resolution Cross gave him the confidence to lay it out at nationals, it’s a tough nut to crack into the top tier of a race like that.  4 or 5 crashes couldn’t stop him and he was the first placed guy from the Midwest and 5th overall!  Given a little better luck with the crashing and 3rd was a very solid possibility.

2012 is going to be good.

Rob Kelley

TRAINING BIBLE COACH

www.ROKcoaching.com