Lisa and I were enjoying a very nice dinner with some friends, Ally and Caleb Fairly (Team Spidertech), on Wednesday night when I got a message from my director asking whether or not I would like to race West Flanders. It quickly diverted the dinner conversation in another direction. After the initial hesitation and surprise, it was settled that I should/would go. I mean, why not go for an extra race? It is good experience and usually good for the future. I wasn't supposed to race for roughly 4 weeks, so this was a good opportunity to break that up and help me in training because essentially it is a nice 2-3 day training block. So anyway, I had to cut our evening a little short and get home to pack for my next morning departure. It's funny how quickly things can change/be organized in this world of cycling. After a relatively easy travel day Thursday, I made it to the hotel and was set to race.
Today was the prologue/stage 1, and we had high hopes for the first victory (stage or gc) for the team this year. Unfortunately we didn't achieve it. Both Robert and Jesse (defending champ, stage and gc) put in solid efforts placing 3rd and 5th, but it was not to be, again. We seem to be close a lot this year but haven't achieved that top spot yet. We're not out of this one yet though. The time gaps are small, and there are some time bonuses to be had, and we'll fight for them.
Tomorrow's stage could be interesting. I think the finish is slightly uphill, so some small splits could happen. Plus, this is Belgium, the land of crosswinds, small roads, cobblestones, and excitement! I believe the weather forecast is dry, which is always a nice bonus; Sunday I'm not so sure about! Hopefully I can report back with good news tomorrow!