We've got a couple of inches of fresh snow on the ground, and my night's been turned upside down. USA Cycling finally "rolled out" it's nationals calendar. 53 races? The good news, the NMBS (whose website is getting overhauled right now) opener in Fountain Hills is a Cat 1 race which means more points. How many more points? Who knows... I couldn't find the break down, except that Cat 4 races are the least points, Cat 1s are the most, and 2s and 3s fall somewhere in between. There's lots of races though, and several old familiars that I'd probably be attending anyhow.
But the hard part... there's a new ultra endurance series. 6 races, with half of them being within a 12 hour drive. The Mas y Menos 100k in Texas starts things off (13 hours mas y menos according to Google); the third race is the Payson Pounder and hour and a half away, and the series wraps up another 12 hours away at the Galena Grinder in Ketchum, Idaho. So now it's got me wondering... Is another year focusing on ultras the way to go? Doing any two of those races in the 19 - 29 would probably net me a series win in that division, but I did that last year. I'm wondering how many pros will be doing the open... Would three races with strong finishes be enough to take it since they're so far apart? What about an east coast challenger? The series is weighted to them since someone in the Carolinas or Georgia is within a 3 or 4 hour drive from all of the races.
The final for the ultra series would be a week after the national championships in Vermont, so I'd definitely be getting some travel in the latter part of July if I go that route and still try to do the nationals. Minus travel, I should be in as close to peak form as I'll be all year those two weeks.