Monday, September 26, 2011
I'm traveling home from Copenhagen, and I have to be honest by saying I am less than satisfied. I don't know what my expectations might have been going into the race, but leaving here knowing I did nothing for my team is a horrible feeling. Sure there are excuses I can make, but the bottom line is that I didn't perform as I would have hoped. I was useless at the start of the race to help cover moves, then I was not present in the middle of the race when more attacks started going, and finally I was the last one to make it through the crash and first one not to make it back to the field. I was chasing full on for almost half of a lap, but there was no way I could go fast enough to get back to the field. Writing this is almost making me feel worse, but I guess sometimes the truth/facts do that. If I try to look at positives, the whole Worlds experience was a good one to have. I hope I can take what I learned here and apply it to future races; I hope another Worlds. The race will also be a good boost for my last races of the year; all one day classics similar to the Worlds. One really good thing I have from this race is the confidence that my form/fitness after the Vuelta is probably pretty good. While I was chasing yesterday, I was missing the top gear, but I did have good heart rate and decent power, which means I recovered ok after the Vuelta. Also, if I do proper training the next week, I should be able to have good form for the last races of the season. I really need to have something at one of those races to feel good about because now that I have had more time to reflect on the Vuelta and now after Worlds, I am pretty disappointed with how I have been racing. I'm racing scared/tentative. Racing like that is not how I got to where I am, and it is not the kind of competitor I am. The disappointment of knowing this is weighing on me pretty heavily, so I need to figure out how to shake it. Ok, enough of my self-reflection and sadness. What have I done since the Vuelta? I spent one day in Girona, one week in the US where I was in Las Vegas a couple days for Interbike and at home in Las Cruces for a few days. I was at Interbike for the first time, but was excited to check it out because I have heard so many stories. Let me just say it is a incredibly large collection of everything you can imagine bike related. I definitely didn't see even half of it. I was there with Chris Horner doing some stuff for SRAM. It was really fun. We signed some autographs for SRAM and also for World Bicycle Relief; that's an incredible program. The bikes they provide for people change their lives dramatically. For my two days in Vegas, I never really left the hotel except to go see Cross Vegas, which was pretty neat. It was my first official cyclocross experience, and it was really fun. On the last night, Lisa and I were free, so we decided we had to try and see something, so we walked down the strip to the Bellagio Fountains, watched two shows, and grabbed dinner on the way home. That was our extent of "out of hotel" time. One other fun time we had was randomly bumping into Lisa's Uncle Peter and having a coffee with him. He is a big cycling enthusiast, so meeting him and chatting was great. When we returned to Las Cruces, I had four days to relax. We did the group ride on Saturday. It was great to see some people, and as always they were incredibly welcoming and friendly. I took in my share of Mexican food while home, too. I think I ate it every night! We had dinner at a friends house on Sunday. It was great to hang out with them; I was 1-1 in Taboo! It all had to end too soon though as I headed back to Europe. I had a travel delay on my way to Copenhagen and spent one night/day in Milwaukee with my parents. It was super nice to see them, and I got to ride with my Dad, which is always nice. I finally made it to Copenhagen and have been here since. My time here was pretty brief, but it was a great time getting to know the folks of USA Cycling, riders/staff alike. I was definitely feeling a bit like the odd man out when I showed up because I didn't really know anyone, but they were all welcoming and nice. I think it was much easier because we all speak English! I can't imagine trying to go onto a new team that doesn't speak English; it would be a nightmare. I'm excited to now get back to Girona, but I will certainly be missing Lisa. I haven't been in Girona at this time of year before, but it is supposed to be beautiful. I guess I will find out, assuming my to-do list doesn't consume every waking moment of my non-training time. I guess that is about all I have. Thanks for checking in, sorry for not writing in so long.