Colorado Springs, CO
Well as we all know I am a bit of a liar on when I will post. It's been more than a day but I think that's a good thing. It has given me more time to reflect on the second half of the trip.
Belgium had a significantly more modern feel with English being extraordinarily more prevalent. This made day to day communication way easier. Our hotel wasn't stuck in the 1960s, not that it was a bad thing but being at a facility that was modern just took a bit of stress off from the trip. Mixed with everything we needed for the week being based out of our hotel there was no need for transportation and everything went very smoothly. Just like the week before all our riding consisted of pre-riding the courses. There wasn't anything overly technical about the TT course. Just an out and back that we had to do multiple laps on. Boring would probably be the best word to describe it. The road race course was at least decently interesting. Not as technical as previous years I've been told not that it was very tricky this year either. There was just a U turn every lap and when we came into town the road narrowed and became a type of pseudo cobble.
The racing went a lot better than it did in Italy. We had my position dialed on my TT bike thanks to the handy work of our rock star mechanics Steve, Peter, and Gianni. The course suited a bigger more powerful rider (not me) considering how flat it was and the need to get up to speed quickly from almost a stand still every turn around. The wind didn't help my case. It was a dead on headwind on the way out and a tail wind on the way back. I just had to look at it as an extended over under work out and hold as high of power as I could into the wind and try and recover when the wind was at my back. I did it to the best of my ability, set a new 20 and 30 min power, and worked my way up the result sheet.
Side note, I did start this blog right after the last entry but managed to get distracted right about here and am continuing on...
Saturday we had the day off from racing so several teammates and I rode from Oostende to Brugge. The ride was beautiful along this tiny little river pretty much all the way along the countryside. Brugge looked as if it was out of a Disney movie. The buildings were amazing, all the roads were cobbled, and simply put I felt like I was in a fairy tale. I had to make up for not having any gelato in Italy so we found a place to have a Belgium Waffle. Fun fact, not the best thing to eat for lunch. There isn't an abundance of nutrition in those.
I like to think I have the ability to be a quick learner and wanted to utilize that ability in the road race on Sunday. Honestly I think I lack of my legs feeling well and my back being wrecked from Italy is the main factor that kept me from doing anything stupid instead of self control. From the gun I just raced defensively, I knew this would be the only way I would be able to manage to stay in the race. The course wasn't as fast as Italy but we managed to go just as fast. Every turn the people on the front would smash the brakes and accelerate hard out of the corners. These efforts are absolutely my weakness but I managed to race smart and stayed mostly towards the front and tried to stay out of the yoyo effect that occurs from this kind of racing. The last lap everyone was jockeying for position. I was surprised a break wasn't established and it wasn't from a lack of effort. Coming into the finish it was hectic and fast, ending in a bunch sprint. I didn't have the power I had in Italy but was very content with my improvement in the results.
Overall this trip was such a great learning experience and I look forward to future opportunities to improve.