It’s been awhile.
I’m pretty sure that has been the starting line for the last couple of blogs I have written… However unoriginal it may be, it’s quite true. I love to write, but for some reason the only time I get the urge to post a blog is when I can procrastinate doing something else. Well, this time there isn’t any school work to put off, no meetings to miss, nor are there any other things I can really delay by jotting down my thoughts. My reasons for writing this are twofold: I want to update my readers and friends (if there are any still out there) on my upcoming racing, and the other is that I am slightly worried that my English has downgraded after a few months away from home. I find myself speaking in “euroisms” more often than not. What does this entail? Well, let’s just say I tend to “go with the bike” instead of simply just riding it. I have been “making trainings” instead of just training. I use the expression “normally” probably every other sentence, and can’t even remember whether I am supposed to say, thanks, merci, bonjour, ciao, per favore, or hello. The line has blurred between what language I am speaking and where I come from. I’m pretty sure I am speaking as if English was my second language, the only thing is, unfortunately, no other language has taken the number one spot.
I may be exaggerating a bit. But, really, I began to worry so I figured a good dose and outporing of proper English language would sharpen me right back up. So here goes…
The last time I updated was sometime mid-season. I am pretty sure I had just finished racing the Ronde L’Isard, where I finished 11th overall, much to my disappointment. My first trip to Europe in the spring went about as well as I could have asked. I stopped going to every race hoping to get a result, and started going to every race expecting one. So when I went to Isard with the goal to win, I was disappointed to come out 11th. I was a little overly ambitious and overtrained leading up to it. I had trouble there and that was difficult for me to swallow after such a stellar spring. But, swallow it I did, and got back to racing. I took a few days off to get my feet back under me, and had a great next two races with 5th overall at the Tour of Berlin and 7th overall at Fleche du Sud. It felt good to be back in the thick of it again, but by the end of the trip I was definitely ready to go home. I went home, had a mediocre nationals, and then took 8 days off the bike.
Never have I taken a mid-season break, but it was something I definitely needed. Some time to recover mentally and physically, and then I got back into it at home in Traverse City. I had some help from the local Traverse City guys allowing me to tag along for some motorpacing sessions before heading off to Boulder for a good block at altitude. After a few weeks of crushing myself in the Colorado mountains, I came back over to Europe to start my last trip of the season, and the one I had been preparing for since the beginning of the season.
My race schedule for my last trip to Europe consisted of the Tour of Namur in Belgium, the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta in Italy, and the big one – the Tour de L’Avenir. For some reason, since the beginning of my time in the Under 23 ranks, I have had a fascination with the Tour de L’Avenir. I would research about it, look at its history, the past results, and anything else I could find. Being a rider from the US meant that the team has been so stellar over the past few years I never got a chance to go. To do the race had always been a goal of mine. After riding well all spring, it was beginning to look as that dream could be realized. I began to hone in on my goal and put much of my focus and energy towards it. And now, as I sit here, deep in the Jura mountains of France writing this blog, I am about to realize the culmination of all of my hard work over the past few weeks, months, and years when I start the race the day after tomorrow. It’s pretty exciting. But for some reason, the nerves aren’t too frayed. I know I have done everything in my ability to prepare myself for the race, I just have to pedal the bike. Fast.
We have a brilliant team for the race – I would even venture to say one of the strongest ever fielded by the US. We have great climbers, flat riders, and a really fast sprinter. If things go our way, there’s no telling how far we can go.
For those who would like to follow the team’s and my progress in the race, I’m sure it will be on cyclingnews.com every day, and I will also be writing a daily blog for the French website www.velochrono.fr. If you don’t speak French (like myself), I’m sure Google Translate will work just fine.
I hope the next update will bring some positive news. For now, it’s just putting faith in the work that has been done, the hours of training, the days of racing, the strict dieting, the traveling, and just believing.
Believing. And going for it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.