I am home from Tour of Austria now and very happy to have a small respite from the craziness of the last two-ish months. It has been full throttle with almost no break between Cali, US Pro, Dauphine, Lisa's parent's visit and Austria. It has been a wonderful time, but I am happy to take a small breath now.
Austria was a race with different goals for me. Usually I would go with the intention of being a GC guy, but this time I was going directly after a small holiday, so I was using the race as a test of fitness. Mainly it was the beginning of good training with goals later in the season. Overall the race was a success. I got really good training for sure, and achieved positive sensations by the end of the race. I feel really happy with how I felt considering a lack of intense training.
As far as the race goes, I wish I hadn't crashed on the run into the Kitzbuhler Horn, but maybe it was for the best that I didn't end up going full gas on it because that allowed me to finish the other days feeling stronger. The TT was anything but joyous for me. It is so flat and boring that I just struggle. I don't know if it is mental or physical "block", but trying to push a gear on that course (I remember last year, too) is nearly impossible for me. I know from experience that I usually do better when the course presents challenges to the rider such as hills because it helps me push myself. I don't feel bad about it though because I will continue to grow as a time trialist, so maybe some day I will be able to push it on the flats!
For the team in general, we were happy with the results. We came into the race with no clear GC threat or leader, so our main goal was stage wins. We accomplished that goal straight from the gun with Robbie Hunter winning stage one. With a little pressure off of our shoulders we continued to ride steady. Robbie held the yellow jersey for one stage and then continued with the points jersey until he was forced to abandon with a knee problem. It was a disappointment. From there on, we just rode consistent with our "GC" hopes resting on the shoulders of Geoffroy. He was our highest placed rider, and we hoped that with a good TT he would be able to crack the top ten. He did just that with a great TT to put him into 9th overall. We narrowly missed the stage win in the TT as well with Jesse taking second. Overall, it was a great week of racing for the team and me individually. The team atmosphere was really good.
I was very happy to arrive back to Girona on Sunday night with zero expectations to see anyone or do anything for a week. With this time to relax a little, I am able to catch up on the "to do list" and get refocused on the training. The biggest disappointment of my respite so far was the sun not showing itself yesterday for our trip to the beach. It actually turned out wonderful though as Lisa and I still enjoyed a great picnic on the beach.
Today I was back on for training and was very happy to have Steven Cozza to train with. It has been a while since we have ridden together or even hung out, so it was nice to catch up. Then following training, Lisa and I were invited to join Steven, Jen (fiancee) and Jen's parents for lunch at a new restaurant. It was a very nice lunch with great company.
The weather has continued to be cloudy since yesterday, and this morning (6am) it hailed marble size hail and rained pretty hard for a good bit of time. It has continued to rain on and off throughout the day, but I am holding hope it will clear up for me to resume training; although, the cooler temperatures are nice! Oh, I believe I might be obliged as well to say that Lisa and I broke down after about an hour long debate yesterday and bought a television. The computer screen just wasn't big enough to watch our shows and movies anymore. Ciao!