...And not sure how many to go! My trip over was a bit eventful. I made it to Ohare ok and then on to Zürich ok, too. However, the landing was quite rough due to weather, which ultimately ended up causing a cancellation of my flight to Luxembourg and then a second rebooked flight! I ended up spending the night in Zürich at a hotel, but was actually somewhat happy about it because I can honestly tell you I do not like turbulence! After my night at the Hilton Zürich, I got out to Luxembourg the next morning with minimal complications. As was to be expected after my layover, I was missing my bike. As it turns out though, my bike never actually left Chicago, so I guess it had nothing to do with the delay.
After the arrival in Luxembourg, it was straight into the business surrounding the team presentation. We had some media stuff in the mid-afternoon, followed by a dress rehearsal of the team presentation, a meal, and then the real deal. The presentation was fun; although, I will speak for everyone on the stage, it was ridiculously hard to stand for that long! (Cyclists are big wimps when it comes to standing/walking!) We survived though, and I think it was successful launch into 2012. After the presentation there was a good size VIP room where we went and mingled with guests who had VIP classification. I have no idea if they bought the ticket or were friends of someone or what, but it was a good time and it was fun to sign some autographs and talk with such enthusiastic fans.
After a late night, it was on to the Luxembourg airport for our flight to Mallorca. Thankfully that flight was easy and painless. We landed in sunny Mallorca, gathered the luggage, and took the bus to the hotel. We are staying at Robinson again. We stayed here last year, so it feels a little bit like home. It was a pleasant surprise at lunch for me to learn I would be doing a blood lactate test that evening. I was less than prepared mentally for that after 3+ days off the bike, flying across the ocean, doing the team presentation, and having a sufficient bout of jet lag. With little choice though, I persevered.
The testing protocol was simple: start at 100 watts and increase by 40 watts every 4 minutes until exhaustion. They took a blood sample from our ear lobe at the transition of each stage to monitor/plot our lactate levels throughout the test. I threw the white flag at the finish of the 420 watt stage, deciding that I had accomplished the goal of going close to maximum and giving proper/adequate data to assess current fitness and lactate threshold. I haven't spoken with the doctors or physiologists/coaches about my data yet, but I am interested to see the results.
Today we were greeted with abundant sunshine and good training temps. We did about 4.5hrs with two small climbs. I had pretty good sensations all things considered, but it is always hard to feel perfect with new clothing and a new bike. Something is always just a tiny bit different. Funny different thing for me is my new shorts. I requested my shorts to be a little bit shorter, similar to my old shorts, but after two years of longer shorts, I have a bit of a problem. There is a 2-3cm gap between my new shorts and my current short tan line! I will not tell a lie, I look a bit funny! Other news to report is that I am rooming with Oliver Zaugg, who has an awesome Haribo duffel bag. We had a good laugh when it came off the luggage belt at the airport. I guess I should also report that the new team website is up and running. You can click on the team logo on the homepage of my blog to be linked directly or go to www.radioshacknissantrek.com. Take care!