Hello from rainy Poland. I woke up at 5am this morning to walk down and board the "Bewley bus" to Barcelona airport. My teammate (and roommate for the race) Sam rented a car to make the early journey. We met in Plaza Catalunya and were joined by Caleb Farely of HTC. After a quick drive, we were arrived, checked in and through security. I was totally cracking at this point and needed breakfast. It was time for "the usual": bocadilla tortilla (egg and potato omelet sandwich with tomato and olive oil) and cafe con leche or cappuccino. It brought me back to life, and I could now walk to the gate!
After boarding a completely full plane, it was time for sleep. I slept nearly the whole flight, it was awesome. I did have a really interesting experience though. Having recently seen the movie Inception (this year at least!), I was aware of this idea of a dream within a dream. I don't know if I believed it totally, but today I had the experience and am now a believer. I'm not sure of the exact details, but I was completely knocked out when I started dreaming that I was trying to wake up, I think. All I know is that I was dreaming something about needing to wake up from a dream because I had a banana chip or some trail mix about to fall out of my mouth. I eventually woke myself up and regained composure, only to drift away for the rest of the flight. It was a really weird experience. After a quick connection in Frankfurt, it was onto Warsaw and a short transfer to our hotel here.
We had a nice lunch and decided to give training a shot in about an hour. I was happy to use that hour for a nap. After waking myself up and convincing myself it was necessary to do some training, I went outside to continued rain and bikes on trainers. With the support of 5 other teammates, we made it through some trainer time. Funniest quote of the day was Nelson saying, "this isn't easy!" We all laughed because it was easy spinning on the trainer, not climbing a mountain! Maybe it was funnier to be there, but bare with me!
A sweet surprise awaited me when I went for training. I received a sweet new race bike with a US champion paint job. It is quite flash, and I am excited to show it off. Perhaps it will inspire a big performance! http://yfrog.com/h2qiwziaj
Post massage and dinner now, tomorrow begins the seven stage Tour of Poland. My last race, Tour of Austria, was now 3 weeks ago, so I am rested, trained and ready to race. Coming here, I don't have outright expectations, but I will give this race a go for sure. I think this race is actually similar in make up to the Tour of Denmark, so history says that makes it a great race for me! Although I don't know the exact parcours, I know there are no "mountain" days; however, similar to Denmark, there are a couple hard circuit days. Rumor is that one of the days is over 4000 meters of climbing but no mountains! I'm looking forward to the test and seeing where my fitness currently is. I hope the weather will clear soon, and we can enjoy a safe, fun and challenging race.