Friday, September 2, 2011

Week 2

Ok, I'm into week two of my first grand tour, and I think am officially engulfed. I have no idea of what day of the week it is, what the date is, or any concept of happenings in the world outside of the team bus, my hotel room(s), or on my bike, which are all pretty much cycling related. If I am lucky, I get to talk with Lisa everyday to see what is happening in her life. Every so often I might get to talk to my parents, too, but my social life is void of real substance outside of this right now.

I think my life is becoming fairly "Spanish", but I am not sure I am a huge fan all the time. We wake up between 9 and 10 most mornings for breakfast, which by now is pretty nice. Then we board the bus for a transfer to the start, arriving around 1hr before hand. After a meeting on the bus, it is time to sign in and line up for the race. After finishing the stage, we clean up in the bus and transfer to our new hotel. Then it is time for relaxation, massage, trying to talk to family/friends and respond to emails, and dinner between 9 and 10PM. I think that is the part I dislike the most. Eating so late is not easy for me because then I have trouble falling asleep. Plus, it means bed time is between 11 and 12, which for me seems too late. I guess that is the way of the race though.

Anyway, now we're through 13 stages and although I am physically and mentally quite tired, I am still feeling positive. I am not depressed or dreading waking up the next day and doing it again. Well, I shouldn't say that because I do have a certain cringe when I think about suffering again after 13 stages, but that is part of the job, so I just try to embrace it! Everyone is suffering, so I have to keep on doing it and help my team as best I can.

I would like to give you a stage by stage description of the past three stages, but I honestly don't remember what happened in 11 and 12. I think that is another sign I am engulfed, everything just blends together. No stage has been easy in this Vuelta, so I think it is just suffer, eat, sleep, eat, suffer again. Given that I just finished stage 13 though, the details are fairly fresh in my mind. Let me offer the summary: lactic acid.

Everyone knew today was a good day to go to the break because of a high probability it would go to the finish. That means, there is a huge fight to try and get into the breakaway. I was essentially useless in the fight for the break. I think I may have been able to cover one or two moves, but then I was just trying to survive on the wheel. It was incredible how fast/hard we were going. And the best part of the day was that it never stopped! I fell off the lead group just before the top of the second category 1 climb when some attacks started happening. I chased down the descent/into the last category 3 climb but couldn't catch. I regrouped with a few of my other dropped compatriots and rode the rest of the stage. For those of you power meter lovers out there, I took a peek at my numbers after getting dropped and saw that after 3.5hrs I had done 280W with zeros, 336W w/o zeros, and 3600kjs. At the end of the day it was something like 255W, 310W, 4250kjs.

Ok, it has taken me a long time to write this between bus time, massage, and dinner. Now I am ready for bed, but I want to give you all an update! I will try to remember something good for the next entry. The next two stages are going to be doozies, so stay tuned! Adios.


Scott K said...

Matthew, it is interesting to hear about your daily routine but race details are the most fun. No doubt you have to play some mind games to keep pushing forward. Well keep pushing! We are with you for every stroke and climb. Ride like the wind!

DaveR said...

We had a good group ride today in Las Cruces with Lisa. She looked comfy on your old bike. But, not a one of us put out any power levels like you did. Wow! Stay safe, after today's incident with a couple guys off the road into the trees. Like Scott says the day to day is interesting for the outsiders like us.


TimK said...

Thanks for the great coverage, its nice to see the view from inside the peleton.

You're doing great, keep up the good work and thanks for the many detailed updates!

Cindy said...

In case you don't remember, you are Matthew Busche, husband, son, brother and US pro road champion!