So....it was quite a welcome that i received to my first race in the US season. After a 6 hour drive from Banner Elk to Richmond Virginia, we woke up on Sat morning to a fairly heavy snow storm, sub 0 degree temperatures and no promise of any improvement throughout the day.
After a 90 min delay to the start, waiting for the NBC helicopter, we finally got going.....i have to say that even when we got riding it didnt warm up at all. Finally after about an hour of racing the snow and rain disappeared and we were just left to ride in the freezing cold. But then....on cue, as we started into Richmond for the finishing circuits the snow came down again.
Much to everyones delight, Richmond itself was dry with blue skies...still 2 degrees, but dry. It was all irrelevant for me as i raced like a rookie....i spent most day down the back, didnt eat or drink barely anything and eventually with 4 circuits to go i popped. It was disappointing for me and the team, because i actually felt i had really good legs....much to my surprise. After some bad luck on the circuits with punctures we ended up with 3 of 7 crossing the line in the 3rd group on the road. Not great, but personally it was satisfying to feel my legs and fitness were where they needed to be and it was just my tactics and nutrition that needed addressing.
The team car on the morning of the race. keep in mind the snow was cleared off it about 30mins before this photo was taken.
This was before the race. You could be forgiven for thinking he was looking forward to racing...in actual fact he had never seen snow fall, so he was like a little kid again.
Ben O. Our mechanic tries to fight the cold anyway he can while training in Banner Elk.
Introduction to the new equipment. It is a sweet ride. SRAM group set is something new, but not hard to adapt to.
So now we are on the road to Georgia. 1 week out and im back in Banner Elk, were the snow has also come down over the weekend. Omer and i hit the road today....it was blue skies but a frosty 1 degree (or 34 for you yanks). There is no better feeling than having the motivation and being excited about racing again, that heading out in these freezing temps is not a problem. Georgia is coming and i am going to be as ready as i can be....im looking for big things and so are the team.
Away from the bike....my girlfriend is still a world champ and i still get chills when i think about it. I even dreamt last night that someone was bagging her out at a race and i beat them up...only thing was, it was a middle aged woman....but hey, im a protective kind of person, so dont bag out my baby girl.
Setting up my TT bike in the morning for Georgia, should be fun, so ill catch you all later. Hopefully after ive torn some Pro Tour legs off.