Chicago O'hare, IL
A couple planes, several countries, and too many hours later I am finally back in the good ole
U S of A. Still have one more flight to go but that will seem like nothing after all the traveling I have done so far. The races were a major learning experience with valuable lessons learned in each race.
Maniago started off with a time trial on Friday. The weather all week had been overcast, gloomy, and wet. Friday was no exception, the drive there was the equivalent of a monsoon and I was not mentally prepared to go race in that. Thankfully once we got to the venue the rain had died down but everything was pretty saturated. The staff did a great job setting up the pit and were very supportive the entire trip. As I was warming up for my race one of the mechanics came up to tell me my bike hadn't passed the jig. Which all that means is there was something about my position that was off. You get one exemption and I always took the saddle one but somehow both were off. For the time being the easiest one to change was my saddle so I would have to make due. I kept falling off the front of my saddle the entire race and could never settle into a position I felt strong in. For the duration my power was still good but not what it should of been. I was frustrated but knew for the given situation I should be happy.
Saturday we had an off day while others were racing. The off days were much needed because it gave us a chance to ride else where and explore instead of just pre riding the course. A small group of us rode the country roads into the base of the mountains and went around a beautiful lake. Riding in a different country is nice but it wasn't until that day I really had the chance to appreciate what Italy had to offer for riding.
Early Sunday was our road race, the weather was shaping up to be rather nice. The sun was out, there wasn't any noticeable wind and it was the warmest it had been all week. Even before the start it was a fight for starting position to the line. Our field was rather large, the course didn't have anything super selective in it except for coming through town it was all cobble stones with a couple turns that I think had people a little worried. The race started and from the gun I raced like an idiot. Without knowing which wheels were strong ones to follow or who to watch out for I managed to follow the first move that went off the front. Then I spent the first 4-5 laps marking almost every move and just dug myself into a major hole until I was just hanging on and missed the moves that ended up going off the road. Even being a couple groups down we still averaged 26mph and I had done some power I had never seen before. I knew these guys were gonna be stronger than me and I should of just sat in and followed wheels and never touched wind. Now I know and think I can go forward with a better game plan I do better.
I'll update on Belgium once I get back to the Springs just to keep this post from running on too much longer.