Inspired by a post over at MissingSaddle, and the lack of posts here, I decided to do a post on non-selection. While the author of the MS article is dealing with it for the first time(!), it’s a road I’ve been down more times than I can count. Here’s a few off the top of my head:
TTT at junior nationals 1993. I made some serious progress this year, considering I had pretty much gotten dropped at every race I had done previously. I trained with the TTT team all summer, but when the decision was made on who to cut, I got the axe. The rest of the team was 17-18, and I was 16, but it sucked. On the plus side, this is the same trip where I figured out I had some ability as I went something like 7th in the RR, 12th in the crit, and 20th in the TT.
Collegiate National Crit Championships 1997. Less than a month before nationals, I won our conference crit championships. 2 weeks later, I won a local Pro 1-2 crit. The last spot on the team came down to me and another fella who had not won a race that year. The coach of the team came in to my hotel room and said,
“I think you are riding better, but so-and-so is a senior and you’ll have your chance”.
Ummm, okay, glad we based that on merit then.
Philadelphia US Pro Championships 2001. Ooooh, this one stung. I saw my name on the start list and everything. Then, got the call a week before the event.
“It’s not in the budget”.
I would’ve paid my own way if they’d have told me earlier or even given me the choice. I never understood this call. Some guys went that hadn’t finished well in a road race all year and I was doing well in all the road races and was 10 years younger than these guys. Luckily, this was all documented in a movie!! It was difficult to do some 90 minute local crits when you have been preparing for a 156 mile huge race. On the plus side, I had my best result of the year at the Pomona Valley Stage Race (now San Dimas), coming 3rd on G.C., while the other guys were on the road. It was a hard year, and the only one I can remember where I didn’t win anything. On the other hand, I probably learned more about winning races than any other year.
Please note that while I didn’t agree with these decisions, I’m not bitter about them. Rejection is part of the game, and makes you stronger.
**The first couple pictures are not from the actual event, and may not even be from the right year. They were the closest I could find on this computer.