Well this is a long overdue post, but I will do my best to summarize the past two weeks. First the last stage of Castilla Leon. It was horrific weather for yet another race, and despite a rider protest for dangerous conditions, we raced! I was not part of the original break, but I followed a move that went on the first climb of the day that made it across to the front group... barely. I was on my absolute limit by the time we were about to close the gap. Then I had to really dig deep to stay with the leaders over the top. I made it over the top completely cross-eyed, which was probably a blessing because it helped me block out the snow covered road and below freezing temps. It was a little hair-raising though when I grabbed my breaks going into the first corner only to feel that they were frozen. YIKES! A little panic set in, I won't lie. The temp was mid-high 20's on the top, so I guess it makes sense they were frozen. I tried to eat something to replenish after my efforts, but it was nearly impossible because of the dangerous conditions and my stomach was destroyed. I was certain I would be dropped on the second climb, but I survived that one and was finally able to eat something to help replenish and recharge for the final climb.
We were creeping on the final climb until about 3km to go. Then we went full gas with whatever we had left. I went over the top in the group of 4 chasing the lone leader. I knew it was ok because the leader would never make it 50km by himself. On the descent, a big group of chasers caught my group, and I was happy to see Tiago had made it in the group. Movistar had a lot of guys in the group with their gc guy in the front, so they drove it hard. We got to sit in and save energy for the final. The finish was about 1.5km of cobbles on a 4-5% grade. It was not easy after such a hard stage! We passed the line twice. The first time through, the group split. I made the front group of about a dozen with Tiago. The local lap was about 10km and again Movistar was driving for their gc guy, so we got to sit on. Everyone in the group was pretty dead. I was feeling ok and had extra motivation given I had a real chance to win the stage! I took the turn onto the cobbles about 3rd wheel. Guys attacked full steam, and I followed in about 6th wheel. About 600m from the finish everyone blew up. I was still feeling strong and powered ahead. I thought maybe I could get a gap, but some guys were able to grab my wheel. The cobbles stopped about 50m from the line, and that is where everyone jumped me. I was exhausted and devastated, but happy with my performance.
Lisa and I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday packing up in Girona. Thursday we flew to LAX, and we have been in Carlsbad since. I have been busy recovering, adjusting, training, and doing things with Spy. We went up to Malibu for two days to do some shooting for an exciting promo that will come out during ToC. Keep your eyes open for it!
I think Lisa and I have finally recovered from all the travel. We're sleeping more regularly and feeling more like ourselves during the day. I have had some good trainings the last two days. Today I went to join a local group ride. It was fun, and a nice way to take up some of my training time. I neglected to put on sunscreen today, and I am really kicking myself now because my arms are burned to a crisp. I don't know what I was thinking really, but I am pretty sure I knew I was in trouble the instant I rolled out the door this morning. Maybe it is because I figured I was riding so early that the sun wouldn't be intense. Wrong! I guess this is a good way to get my tan going though. Tomorrow I am planning a big ride out to Palomar mountain. I am excited to see what it's all about! Thanks for checking in again.