Alright here it goes...
Hamburg was blah. A longish day of racing at about 5 hours for 216km. Started with a break going and getting upwards of 15 minutes, which led to a long day of chasing. That chasing was nice though because it made the race go a little quicker and the day did not seem so long. Long story short, the circuits were the place where you made it or not. Due to poor positioning and lack of will to fight for position in the front, I was at the back, but did manage to make it in the chase group, which after a few pulls by Jens Voight, Fabian Cancellara and myself made it back to the front group. At that point, I was working to try and help keep our sprinter Gert Steegmans in good position and I moved him to the front, but then the positioning battle resumed and I slowly got squeezed out. Then with the addition of some light rain, the game got a little bit too dicey for me and I decided to keep it upright and safe through the finish. I narrowly avoided three or four crashes as it was. Overall, a good race experience that proved to me that I have good condition, but the team did not have any outstanding performances and I still need to work on the battling for position stuff.
Holy smokes... something smells really good and is drifting through my open door. Wow! It reminds me of the day I did the same ride as today and came home to Lisa's homemade spaghetti. Holy cow was that great. I could smell it when I was in the elevator to our floor and then all the way down the hall. Ok, back on track...
Speaking of the ride I did on Lisa's spaghetti day, I did that ride with Daryl and Sam today. It was a wonderful 6.5hrs up to and through the mountains in the area. It is one of my favorite loops for sure. The ride was quite nice and we rode a decent pace, but no one was trying to rip it either; just riding. After a couple hours we stopped to refill water and get a snack before going into the mountains. It was funny to watch Sam eat three candy bars because after the first he decided they were so good that he needed another and then another. Good stuff. Then it was into the mountains.
A good bit of climbing, leg burning, chatting, enjoying the surroundings and descending later, we stopped at a grocery store for another refill. This time we each took on a donut and another pastry of our choosing. Mine was this delicious croissant type thing that had chocolate throughout. This was the first one of those I have every had and boy was it delicious! I decided to pack the Snickers in my pocket and carry on. From there was rolled back to Girona in another 2.5hrs and called it good.
Now let me tell you a little story about good post ride food... or at least what I did today. I had gone to one of the many great bakeries yesterday and bought a couple different rolls. I had one left today, so when I got home I decided it looked like good post ride food. This particular roll was a simple sweet dough (I think) topped with sunflower seeds; quite basic, but good. So here are my instructions on how to do it up right...
1. Go to your local bakery and buy a nice sweet roll that is able to be cut in half and topped with appropriate toppings. Wait, in the US these bakeries don't really exist, so let's say get your favorite bagel or roll or whatever from your favorite grocery store or bagel shop. Just find something!
2. Cut in half.
3. Place in toaster and toast until golden brown.
4. Remove one half from toaster, cover with peanut butter. Wipe knife clean however you choose (lick, fingers, paper towel, etc.)
5. Remove second half from toaster, cover with cream cheese. Clean knife.
6. Cover half of each half (following?) with jelly... for me it was strawberry. Clean knife.
7. Cover the other half of each half with honey.
On other notes, I have been packing/organizing the apartment because in one week I will be moving out and flying back to the US. Super excited for that; although, I am bummed that I am not doing a couple races originally in my program and packing is not so fun! Next race for me is this weekend: GP Plouay in France. It is another classic one day race. Quite hard from what I have heard and can see from the course profile. It has a good bit of climbing and the finish is an uphill drag with a short descent and last little kicker to line. It should be a course that will suit me, so I hope to be able to do well or help our team bring home a podium. I believe we have Haimar Zubeldia going who is riding super well right now, so I am guessing the team is riding for him. Should be fun. Thanks for reading. Good day!