As we headed to the January 18 World Cup in Roubaix, France, I was excited to race again after 10 days of good weather and training rides in Spain. The race has a great atmosphere at one of the most special cycling venues in Europe.
It’s that time of the year. Riders in both the U.S. and in Europe are enjoying their respective training camps. Most professional road teams have had a couple already. Some teams divide it up by arranging one for media, one for the guys racing in the spring classics and one for the guys racing the tours.
Well for me, it’s ten days in Alicante, Spain. After the really cold weather that was ripping through Europe the last couple weeks, I just had to get out of Dodge.
I’ve been in Europe since nationals, a little over two weeks actually and usually by this point in my trip I’m tired and ready to a break and relax for a couple days. A year wiser and happier makes such a difference. This year I made a tough decision to skip the Nommay World Cup in France when I got to Europe, let myself recover, get settled in my new home away from home and then give it the stick in the hardest races of the year.
Bad days come and go. Everyone has one, no one’s immune to a real day “rocker.” It just happens.
Well folks, I had mine last weekend and it sucked. Another year is gone and the opportunity at the national title will have to wait 362 days before I get another crack at that jersey.
The race was over and done with and I barely even showed up to the race. I never put my face in the wind, I didn’t contribute to my teammates and it was the day I was dreamin’ and screaming about all season long!
The final two weekends of 'cross racing in the United States are upon us and when I think back to Star Crossed in September, just one week after finishing the Tour of Missouri and a long road season, it’s hard to remember all the racing up to this point.
This 'cross season has been packed with travel and races every weekend. So, as we barrel down to the final and most important weeks of the season, it’s really awesome to think back on some of the great battles we’ve all had against one another.
We’re back and the racing has been abundant. I picked up a win in Toronto two weeks ago and a podium last weekend at the USGP in New Jersey. Now the biggest races of the year loom on the horizon and I’m looking forward to them all: the USGP Finals in Portland and the national championship weekend in Kansas City. But, as a change of pace, this diary isn’t going to be about racing.
A lot of similar questions come along when you’re out at the races. One question I hear frequently is some variation of the famous “How do you know when you’ve made it big?” I usually give a good P.C. answer and move along, because who really knows the answer to that question!? It’s something I’m too humble to try answering.
But two weeks ago, it stunned me, even jolted me. It was right there in front of me. I came up over the horizon to the parking lot on a nice Sunday in Ohio and I had my own big orange parking cone with my last name on it! [nid:84490]
Welcome to my new diary on VeloNews.com, a diary that will offer an exciting, behind-the scenes look into my cycling ventures as I tour around the United States and Europe racing cyclo-cross this fall and winter.
I’m certain there will be great moments inevitably accompanied by some less exciting ones: Crashes, gossip, name-dropping, interviews; lousy drivers, flight attendants and race promoters. Just make sure you read every other Wednesday during this 'cross season, and I’ll do my part to keep it exciting.