Last Saturday, Amandy Carey (Kenda) cruised to her second-ever Iceman Cometh win in Traverse City, Michigan. Two days later, she was flat on her back with a case of the flu.
"I'm so glad I didn't get sick until after the race," said Carey, who is optimistic about recovering in time to compete in this weekend's USGP cyclo-cross racing in Fort Collins, Colorado.
It was Carey's third time racing the Iceman Cometh and her familiarity with the course from past races and the pre-ride helped the Victor, Idaho resident to the win.
"I had it in my mind where was a good place to attack," she said. Carey's attack proved successful, and she pedalled away from eventual second place finisher Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Co-op) to win by over two and a half minutes.
"This Iceman victory was sweeter. Last time (in 2008), I was a first-year pro and didn't have a game plan," Carey said to Cyclingnews. "This time there was pressure to repeat my victory, especially with a small field. I wanted to be up front and to animate the race."
"When you go in to a race as a past champion and have a plan and pull it off, it's great," she said.
Carey spent most of the season racing endurance mountain bike races. She won the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series championships, a series of 100-mile mountain bike races across the United States.
"This year was the first year I focused on endurance," she said. "I found my niche and my true passion. I'm fortunate that doing the long stuff is my passion and also what I'm good at."
Carey took a longer break than usual after the end of the endurance mountain bike season. Then she switched over to cyclo-cross. She thinks racing mostly endurance and not so much cross country may be helping her in 'cross this year.
"I wasn't burning my high end all year which is really exhausting," she said. "It made it easier to just do a few of the right kinds of work outs and up my VO2 for 'cross season."
Carey has a few more 'cross races to go this season including this weekend's USGP and US Cyclo-cross nationals before she switches her focus back to mountain biking for 2011.