I’m here in the land of paradise with Landis Trek, racing Redlands and just loving life! HA. No but seriously, I’m incredibly depressed.
This is not going to be an uplifting post. Nor will it be an interesting or exciting post. It will not even contain that many facts about the race. The few details about the race won’t even be accurate. Due to my incredible amount of suck, I haven’t even seen the front of this race. Pack fodder is my name.
Being a worthless pile of human excrement is my game. Day 1: I sucked. I rode like a wimp, positioned poorly, and screwed up what was probably my best chance at a good result. This first stage consisted of a 2.8-mile circuit that hit a steep climb and a winding neighborhood descent each lap. We did 20 laps. I felt uncomfortable and my legs weren’t happy, but the race didn’t feel too hard. I came into the final climb far back, like 80 guys deep, which meant that I was out of contention for the sprint at the top of the hill. I went hard and passed quite a few guys to get 42nd, which was 15 seconds off the winner due to time gaps. I was pissed off mainly at my lack of positioning, not yet realizing the worst to come: shitty legs.
Day 2: The Big Bear time trial. What more to say than “Oh man that would be awesome if they cancel it due to snow because this is the stage I’ll most likely lose the most amount of time! Damn it they didn’t cancel it. What the hell, these new UCI rules are BULL! Are they trying to give me scoliosis and ED? Crap I didn’t warm up long enough. Yep, this hurts. Probably shouldn’t have gone out at 488 watts for the first minute and a half. Crap now I’m only averaging 350. I suck. Done. Despite knowing that my time is mediocre, I REALLY need to see the results! Why’s it taking them four hours to get results posted!? Oh, I was 44th. Crap. That confirms it. I suck.”
Day 3: The Beaumont road race was the day I was looking forward to the most since last year I was just barely off being able to make the front selection of eight guys that vied for the win. This year was a whole different story. The gist of it is that my form from last weekend miraculously vanished. I suffered all day long. On the climbs, on the flats, coasting, just looking at my bike before the stage started as I sat in my chair…nowhere was I comfortable and I was always in the red. I don’t know what happened to my legs the past week. Possibly external non-race related stressors are the cause, yet I don’t know. Sometimes you just suck. Coming to terms with it is hard but it’s the only thing that will get you back to sanity after four and a half hours in the saddle playing mind games with yourself, wondering if every good race you’ve ever had was just a fluke and you’re destined for poor performances for the rest of you days. I finished 82nd. Last year I was 12th. I’m now 52nd on GC out of 201 starters (Man, some guys must REALLY be having a bad week! I kid, I kid).
If I get a chance at it, I’m going all in on Sunday’s Sunset loop and making the breakaway, even if it’s just for a lap. Doing that would be better than just sitting in until I inevitably get dropped. And if by some miracle I get in the move and end up having good legs, well I guess that would be pretty nice too. Hmm. I must be in a constant state of denial/fantasy land to believe some of the things I tell myself. It’s a necessary mindset for this sport. My next post might contain some pictures and more descriptions of my teammates and the happenings of our week here. Might not though. Depends on the motivation.
In all seriousness though, I am enjoying my time here and I’m very grateful that Landis gave me an opportunity to race. A bad race is still a race, and all races make for a good time, one way or another. The team support has been fantastic so far with a great host house, awesome food prepared by our director Brian Lemke, and perfect feeds and logistics provided by Scott and also Brian. The team is in good spirits despite a lack luster showing, and while I’m suffering a bout of bad form, I assume it will only be temporary and I’ll bounce back sooner rather than later.