Friday, August 18, 2006


So after a couple of weeks and no blog updates, i have started to cop some flack, particularly from Jude about my lack of enthusiasm for my blogging. Not only that but i have started to realise that some of my readers think i am borderline sucidal after my recent form problems. Well i have two pieces of good news for everyone....1, i am not sucidal and 2, over the past 2 weeks i have finally started to feel like a bike rider again.

For the first time in, probably, 2 months i enjoyed a day out training on Tuesday. Nothing too hard, just 2.5 hours with Tommy and Kate, but i was actually enjoying myself and also looking forward to getting up the next morning to train. It has been a long time since that was the case and i am as happy as anyone. Despite that fact my name has not appeared high up in the majority of the race results, i have finally been able to string sucessive days of intense racing together and recover in order to be a decent contributor to the team. I ran a respectable 6th in a lead up race to B of A, when i was the only Priority Health rider who started. Bank of America saw me get caught behind some crashes and also a number of people who eventually found the pace to hard....leaving me with a number of chases on my hands and eventually, by about the 6th, one too many.....No ones fault but my own, i should have moved foward earlier and i would have had a good result i believe. Tommy and Robbie flew the flag for the team and made us a decent chunk of cash.

The weekend was over and i was on my way back to Michigan to see Kate who had flown in on the thursday night and had a few lonely nights alone until i arrived. Yadah, yadah, yadah I became a happy and fulfilled man again with Kate by my side. It is so nice to have a treat like that when you have been feeling a hot chocolate to someone who has been stuck in a snow storm for 2 months....thats about the best analogy i can come up with.

Then off to Elk Grove Chicago for another big money weekend. Hilton Clarke and the Navigators dominated both the races in an impressive display of power and attacking riding. Hilt's rode awsome to take out both races, one in a break and the other in a sprint....Nav's have made a truck load of cash the past 2 weeks and well deserved....We had a disappointing weekend....Tommy was our designated sprinter for both races but we were unable to deliver him to right place in both races. On Saturday we were forced to chase the break and spend some men....we only had 5 starters....and on Sunday our tactic was to attack the race, but the impressive pace made that a hard task and Tommy was the only pair of fresh legs for the finish....not a receipe for result....disappointing.

So now i am sitting back at Bobs...this weekend we are back down to Chicago for the US Pro criterium Championships and i am finally starting to feel i said, i even enjoyed training the last few days. We will have to wait and see how the weekend pans out but hopefully we can lead out 3 US riders to a good result and also find some of the formula we have been chasing for a win.

Plans for next year keep rolling along. I have more options than i thought i would, which while i figured it would be nice is actually a pain in the ass. Sorting through all the stuff and trying to work out what is best for me and my direction but also my sense of loyalty to those who have supported me the past 2 years weighs hevily on my mind. Like i said it is good...but it is also bad.

Oh well....ill see you all on the other side of this weekend. Kate leaves you will all understand that she get my attention until then.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


So during my last post my mum started to sense that i was starting to get depressed about my form and was not overly confident about performing well and..........i was right......i didnt perform like i know i can. Im still having issues with my legs that i just cant quite get a hold explain it to my readers, my quads just dont seem to be processing lactic acid at the moment. It is very different to the overall feeling of fatigue and wastedness that i was feeling during Beauce, but my thighs just feel like they weigh 100kg each. I actually think that my legs started to lactate on the start line, before i had even riden on stage 3 of the tour. How can you help but feel depressed when your legs start to fatigue before they even start to turn.

The 1 positive thing that i got out of the tour was that i was able to make it until the finish of the road stages....only missing the criterium....and i actually was able to perform beyond how i felt at certain points and help out the guys that we had pegged as out team leaders for the week. The tour itsself fell apart for us a little on the last and hardest road stage when Teddy King, who was our best placed on GC had a bad day and fell away from the leaders......but some other notables from my past had unbelieveable tours......Karl, once again tore the race to peices and was unfortunate not to came away with the overall victory and also Frank Pipp ripped out an awesome finish on one of the hardest days to win his first NRC race of the year and also finish in the top 10 on GC. Those 2 in particular, along with their teams, rode a great race only to be pipped at the finish by bad fortune and a missing corner marshall.

So now its criterium time.....i pretty much now race each weekend and only have criteriums through until the end of my season. So it is important that i nurse myself through each week and try and avoid the sensation of these 100kg legs each weekend. Crits are something that i have developed a knack for reading the race and as such i am much more confident with, even when i dont have great form. Never will that be more important than over the next 2 weeks with the 2 richest criteriums of the year in Charlotte and then Chicago.

To top all of that off, Kate arrives back in the US on Thursday to just make my life a little bit easier. She has been going through some similar problems to me over the past few weeks and i cant wait to again have her with me. One of the worst things about loosing your confidence on the bike and at your job is when you dont have the right people around to console you. When Kate arrives i think that everyone will see and hear a much better Richard, which i can guarentee everyone, i am looking forward to as much as anyone else. I have been alone in my thoughts for too long now and i look forward to letting them spill and coming out the other side a stronger rider and person.

Thats all for now....i have to go out and hit the is about 1 billion degrees outside and i think that my skin could melt off over the coming weeks. I hope to share good news with everyone after the weekend.....if we win i will proudly display my bank share of 25k would be nice.