At this time in two days, I should be finished with the first stage of the Vuelta, funny to think about! I guess the big news from here is that it is less than two days until I begin my first grand tour! Yikes! Feelings of excitement and nervousness are the obvious and expected feelings at this point. It is going to be a huge experience for me, and a huge stepping stone for my future as a grand tour rider. The experience and strength I will gain from coming out of this thing alive will be huge. The team and staff we have here are going to be so helpful for me to learn from. It is also going to be a fun group to be around, which will be very important as the days/stages go on.
I arrived to Benidorm, actually a neighboring city, on Wednesday after an early wake up (5am) to catch the bus to the airport. I was already tired and sad from saying goodbye to Lisa and trying to ready myself the day before for the next three weeks, but arriving at the airport to see my flight already delayed 40min was just the cracking point I needed to cry for my bed and pillow. Figuratively of course, although it would be funny to see me on the airport floor crying for that! After having my personal space invaded by a friendly fellow in the check in line, I was through security and onto my usual routine of bocadilla tortilla and coffee. Then it was time to board and fly. I slept pretty much the whole flight. I claimed my luggage, met the soigneur and a couple teammates and then transferred to the hotel. After an easy training, it was lunch and resting.
Today was much the same or pretty standard pre-race stuff with breakfast, pre-race blood control, training, lunch, massage and dinner. Interesting thing about being here is that it was in February 2010 that I took my maiden voyage to Europe as a professional cyclist, and we had training camp 20km up the coast in Calpe. We have trained on some familiar roads the last two days. It is funny to think back on that time and the past year and a half. I have grown a lot as a husband, a cyclist and as a person in general. It is sort of ironic that this area has been the beginning of some big adventures for me. I hope the good story will continue!
Tomorrow we will get out the TT bikes and prepare for the following day's team time trial. We won't be able to preview the course until Saturday, but it is important to get comfortable on the bikes and as a group. We need to practice! I am nervous about the whole experience in general because I have never been a part of such an important team time trial and have only done one in the past. I'll take it easy though and do my best for the team. It will be important for us to do a good race. The course is rumored to be a bit technical and interesting, so we will have to see when we preview on Saturday.
I will do my best throughout the whole race to update, but as always it will be tricky with timing of races, transfers, massages, dinner, rest, etc. Anyway, I will do my best. Also, please check back and follow me on the sidebar with Twitter. As always, thanks for checking in and offering your support and encouragement. Adios!