First, let me summarize the US Nationals stuff, then I will move onto the title.
US Pro weekend was super fun. I was able to travel with my wife to the race and we were met by my parents and a surprise guest, my brother! It was sweet. We had a great weekend together and the races were good.
Racing began on Saturday with the TT. There were only 15 competitors I think, but it was still quite competitive with the likes of Levi and Taylor in there. Really it was a two man battle, but still a good experience and good reason to go out and give it a good old try. The conditions were less than ideal with a stiff wind blowing in all different directions on the course, but I rode my own race and managed 5th. I am not sure how I feel about the result, but I am not concerned about it either.
On Sunday, the RR was interesting to say the least. Without going into a bunch of tactics and opinions, I'll just leave it at I finished 7th, Ben King racing for Trek Livestrong (RadioShack in 2011) won with a big solo effort, and it was not the same kind of race as last year without the use of radios and people being unable to think on their bikes. Congratulations to Ben and happy to welcome him to The Shack. Most important for the weekend is that I got to see my family and it was really nice.
Moving on, now I am here in Belgium and glad I have had the opportunity to race a bit more for the experience and am gaining a new appreciation for the country. I spent a little time in Belgium earlier in the season and was not so pleased with the experience. It was pancake flat, sketchy, rainy, cold, and just not all that much fun. That left me with a bitter taste in my mouth and never allowed me to appreciate what the country actually might be. I arrived a day early yesterday and got to enjoy a ride in a different part of the country, along with another ride today in another different area and I must say that the country is actually growing on me a bit. It reminds me a lot of the Midwest/Decorah. Where we are now to the west of Brussels, almost at the border of France, it is nice farmland, rolling hills and the towns have a lot of charm. Maybe it is because it gives me a homey feeling that I kind of like it.
About the race, it is not quite what I originally thought: pancake flat, sketchy, not to my liking. In fact, it should be a bit different with rolling hills, some harder finishing circuits and hopefully good weather, although I believe it is forecasted to rain tomorrow. Oh well, I guess I'll deal with it as it comes and hope for the best. My goal for the race is to try my hardest to be up front, hopefully get in a breakaway and help the team as much as I can. I don't know for sure how my fitness currently is and I actually hope to use the racing for the next 10 days to boost my fitness to a good level in preparation for Lombardie on October 16th. We'll see how it goes.
Other notes, apparently the weather systems Lisa and Matthew track their lives according to my marriage. When Lisa and I were together, they were strong and in hurricane/tropical storm state, but now that we have separated, they too have weakened to mere tropical depressions. I suppose this is just purely random in occurrence, but still interesting.
Alright, I can't think of anything else and I need to go video chat with my wife, so excited!