The team got hooked up with our new kits on Thursday before Redlands....and like Brent says....we look good. We now look like a real pro team and can now be confident in how we look when we hit the road. Sad thing...i cant find a picture of them, that will have to wait till next time.
So although i havnt felt bad the past few weeks on the bike, i have really had no results to hang my hat on and to prove to some of the new guys on the team that i am worth working for....well that finially changes this weekend in Redlands. Although i didnt win anything or even make to podium, i did crack the top 10 for both the criterium and the circuit race.
FRI: As i mentioned in my last post....i suck at uphill time trials....i lost 1.27 to Nathan O'neill. Now sure the guys is in good form but it was only 5km. Why are there hardly any flat time trials in this country?????Booky rode a solid time and finished in 15th for the stage, giving him the team leadership.
SAT: The crit was a 90mins slog. I got a call up and for the first time got to crack out the new national kit that my team had organised for me.....it looks pretty sweet. I rode out the majority of the race mid field and then moved into the front for the last 10 laps. The wrestle for position was tough and i was continually shoved back by teams with groups of 3 or 4. Being alone this made the last 10 laps a war, where i survived, but didn't come out on top. I finished in 8th....not bad but still not quite where i should have been.
SUN: The circuit race was a much tougher affair than last years race. 12 laps of a 10km circuit with tight corners and 4km of climbing per lap. With Helath Net going into the final stage with a slim lead it was bound to be an aggressive race. Health Net controlled the breaks and rode themselves into the ground and eventually the pack was wittled down to 30 survivors on the last lap. The field then decends down and finshes on the crit circuit from the previous day. I was less aggressive than i should have been and have regretted it ever since. I came in 6th, 2 places further back than the same race last year.....but i have to say that this was a far more select field.
So after the red eye flight back from California, Im now back in freezing Michigan, living with Bob Hughes, one of the teams sponsors. It has been great to catch up with Bob and Heather again and climb back into the most comfortable bed i have ever known.
Kate has left for Germany now and over the next few days will begin her preparation for the World Track Championships. Although her arrival date is continually getting closer, the constant travel and flying are making us feel further apart. We have spoken nearly every day thanks to some sweet phone card she was able to land. Im not sure if talking everyday is a good thing or not.....it makes you so dependant on the contact....and now she is flying and we cant talk i dont know what to do with myself. Im really looking forward to her worlds campaign though, it will be fun to be part of someones success even if i cant be a competitor myself. It is also Nat Bates' birthdat today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Commonwealth Games Road Racing Champion, it was so good to see her and Kate racing together.....and boy would Judy and Rob be the proudest parents in the world. 2 girls, each with a Comm Games gold medal....what a gene pool.
So for me for the moment i will have to work off their success to get me through the home sick and empty part of our season.
This weeks MENZIES WATCH.....i can only say nice things because Menzies road like a beast on the weekend. He finished 14th in the TT, won the crit and then road the 3 laps of the circuit race on the front, in my opinion he saved them the race. Im not sure that without him O'Neill would have been able to withstand the constant attacks that Toyota-United would have unleashed. He then......riden into the ground, helped me in the final crit circuits to finish high up on the stage........Thats why he is someone i admire so much (Im not gay i promise, he's just a good guy). So for this week i dont have anything bad to say.....but i will drag out a picture from the past.....back before Menzies was the superman he is today......he used to drink....a lot.... and even then he didnt know how to talk to women.....but i wish him luck with Jamie this week....his flame from the US 2004. She is way to good for him....but if she doesnt realise it, then i wish them luck.
PS. Menzies didnt drink all that beer, i think he bought it to try and make friends....it worked....look how popular he is. Jamie wasnt far away.