I'm back to Girona now and still trying to recuperate after the Dauphine. I tried to push the pedals little harder yesterday, but the body was having none of it. Much the same for today, although I did feel a touch better. I think tomorrow I can begin to go at it again.
Since getting home, Lisa and I have enjoyed some quality time together. We got a nice lunch together on Monday, followed by an evening trip to a small town named Besalu north of Girona. It was a really nice day and evening. On Tuesday, we took advantage of nice weather and a rest day to take the scooter to Banyoles for a picnic lunch and relaxing. After that, it was home for a nice evening relaxing together. We have spent the rest of the week trying to prepare for the arrival of Lisa's parents. They are coming on vacation, arriving Saturday, and we are excited to have them.
I suppose a few reflections on the Dauphine would be expected! The race was hard, period. I don't know all the factors that played into it, but by the end of the race, my legs and head were finished. It is actually a little depressing to think about because I feel defeated and disappointed, but I have to remain positive and confident that the quality of racing was high, and that I will benefit from the race to become a stronger bike racer. The race definitely brought a new light to my eyes about the level of climbs done at the Tour de France or the level of the racers. It is inspiring because I know I can strive to be at that level in a few years if I take my time and do it step by step. One thing I must say is that the Alps are BEAUTIFUL! The pictures you see on camera look nice, but in real life it is probably more impressive.
As far as the first race in the stars and stripes, it was a unique experience. It began with quite a few compliments and recognition from guys in the peloton. It was pretty nice! Then there is always the flip side where you make a small mistake or do something questionable (nobody's perfect!) and then someone says something like "Hey, American boy!" At that point, you feel a little singled out and obviously more noticeable or noticed by others. I guess that is just the little extra pressure that comes with the jersey. Overall though, I made it through the week of racing without putting too much extra pressure on myself to perform differently and an overall positive feeling. Now I am enjoying my recovery and looking forward to good training and Lisa's parents visit.