Hey everyone, please rest easy this night because my roommate won the race today! Ha, I'm just joking really, but we did have a small race in training on the infamous Coll de Rates. I asked my roommate to defend our room's honor, which he did successfully, so I can rest easy :) It was kind of funny how the race came about though. I’m sure it would have happened either way, but our director hinted at it in a not so subtle way during the explanation of the day’s plan prior to training. He explained to us how we were doing this big lap and coming back over the Coll de Rates toward the end, “and it could be a good place to do some exercises or a small race, but only if you like. You do what you want…” Ha! That’s the not so subtle way of saying, “we’d like to see you race on Coll de Rates because we want to see who’s in what kind of shape.” We rolled out.
The training was a good 6hrs and 185km with over 3000m of climbing. The good news is that I feel re-energized from the day actually. I'm not sure what to attribute it to, but I am super happy with it. I think I must finally be wearing off the jetlag and am feeling closer to myself. This leaves me feeling much more positive that whatever weird sensations I’ve been having are simply temporary and not something more serious that are lingering from whatever illness I had at the end of the December camp. Tomorrow is the second rest day of the camp, then the final three-day block. I’m sure it is going to be a doozy!
Oh, I suppose you’d like to know about “the race”. It began with the usual antics of people calling each other out as we approached the climb, no one actually wanting to be the first to attack, calling each other’s bluffs. I did my share of participation in the antics; first saying that I was not going to race, and also making sure my roommate was going to defend our honor. The first to go was Hondo, immediately followed by my roomy, Jan Bakelants. I thought people might stay easy because there was no immediate reaction from anyone, but then Kloedi had to play. He was full, I mean FULL, gas for about 1km. I was actually dropped from the whole group, at least 50 meters behind, in the cars! I decided to keep my own pace though, and I did come back. Then it was split into a couple groups. I think there were three guys up the road, then the rest of us. I followed the wheels, just trying to recover a bit, but then I followed Haimar as he set out on a nasty tempo, slowly closing the gap. He swung off, I set tempo for a little bit until Haimar came again, but we were not making up ground anymore. I was feeling maxed out with my heart rate at 181, so I was happy to stay on the wheel! As we approached the last switchback at about 300m to the summit, Frank and Maxime jumped off our wheels in a last ditch attempt to catch the leading three, which had evolved at this point to Jan, Kiserlovski, and Tony Gallopin. The three stayed away to the top, but it was close. It was a fun little race, all be it pretty difficult! I’m happy I decided to give it a nudge; maybe it will be the final switch for me to find the legs I’m used to having.
That’s all for now, I’m off to shop for a winner’s trophy for Jan. It should be a good joke :) Over and out!