Saturday, April 7, 2012

TT Basque Style

The final stage proved to be exciting in more ways than one. There was the excitement surrounding the gc battle where Samuel Sanchez put together an incredible tt to take the stage and overall from Joachim Rodriguez who, despite the defeat, put together potentially the best tt of his career. Then there was rain, which will always make things a bit more exciting. And combined with the rain, it was not very warm. By the finish of my tt, I could barely feel my arms/hands. Really, it was a little dangerous. A last excitement was the course itself. I cannot explain how crazy the course was. Not only were there 3 Basque style climbs of incredible steepness, but there were similar descents on roads barely wide enough for a car. Best excitement though were the Basque fans. The best cycling fans live here in the Basque country, and they were there in mass on the climbs today, even with the foul weather. It definitely raises your spirits a little bit and pushes you to suffer just a little bit more when they are cheering you on so wildly.

As far as the race goes, I was taking zero risks today. I had a solid week of racing, and I want to reap the benefits of that, rather than crash and suffer for another week before my next race. As much as I want to practice my tt for the day when it really counts, today just wasn't my day. I was still feeling drained from yesterday, and I just didn't have the mental edge with the exhaustion, the rain, and last week's crash fresh in my mind. For the others, Max rode a great tt to finish 11th on the stage. Chris put together a solid tt as well and held onto 9th overall. On the whole, we're not leaving the race feeling great about the results, but the team effort was there. We rode as best we could, so that is all we could ask. One of these days we are going to hit the gold!

Tomorrow it is home to Girona where I am looking forward to some serious rest and recovery. I am excited for some sunny rides with a potential visit to donkey! I am also incredibly hyped to spend some much anticipated time sitting on my balcony having an afternoon coffee or sunset dinner with Lisa. We just got a new porch set (Lisa picked up and assembled while I was gone!), so I am ready to use it! And of course to go with the porch set, we might have a grillable meal or two! My next race is Castilla Leon, beginning next Friday. I hope with some proper recovery, the rewards of the hard racing at Catalunya and here will have me flying. Thanks for reading!


TimK in Las Cruces said...

Thanks for the updates on a really tough and exciting race. We'll be rooting for you at Castilla Leon!

All of this will be great prep for future races, I'm hoping that you will be riding TOC this year in support of Chris, keep up the good work!

Scott K said...

Matthew, thanks for the updates. Enjoy your time recovering and getting well rested for the Castilla Leon. Many of us are anxiously anticipating your return to the TOC. Your hard work will pay off - keep at it my friend! Heading to Luther in a couple to visit.