Just a bit late!
I've finally pulled my finger out and got around to doing this. For the last week or so I've been catching up on the world and done things I've been meaning to do for ages!
Looking back on paper I feel pretty crap about the result I got at the London world cup. 9th place looks and sounds average but personally I felt my performance was a lot better than that.
For the week leading up to the race I was quietly confident. I knew I had done a solid block of training and i was looking forward to seeing what London had got in store. The race was run really well and everything was done for a reason. If you weren't accredited you would struggle to get anywhere. The hotel was in the Canary wharf area of London and was roughly 30 minutes from the track. I'm pretty sure I could cycle there faster but with so much traffic you weren't getting anywhere in a hurry. The hotel itself was packed with every cyclist that was on the start list for the race and I don't envy the chef!! I'm talking hundreds of cyclist with an appetite!
My first track session was unstructured, the main goal was to spin the travel out of my legs and get a feel for the track. First impression were good, the track was so smooth and felt bigger than normal. The session itself was pretty busy and I couldn't help feeling I was lucky to be alive after it! Team pursuit riders, sprinters, bunch racers all doing their thing. It's like threading a needle at 45kph. Amazingly though all the practise sessions went without to much drama. There was one occasion though when the so called 'track manager' thought it was a good idea to have a chat with his mate at the top of the track! I mean at the railing on the track side! Trust me to be flying in for a fast lap when he decided to do this. I don't hesitate to call him a plank and would love to tell him how much of a wally he is. Picture it - you in the zone, focused on doing your best effort. You are about 10 secs away from going 100%, you look up and there is 17 stone piece of meat flapping his gums right in front of ya! It can be dodgy enough without an obstacle course to get through.
With only one session to do before race day I got a knock on the door. Susan and Terry were there waving and brand new Cervelo frame at me! For the last year of so I've been wanting a longer bike and finally I've got one! With the UCI rules getting tighter and tighter I was restricted to what position I could have on my old bike and the Cervelo was the only way I could get more reach. With everything setup and tweaked I had 3 cm more. Night and day in anyone's bike position.
Finally the day was here and I was racing not long after lunch. I no longer fear starting a race but I still get those horrible nerves where I feel awful. Thinking about how I want the race to go and picturing the final result always focuses my mind and seems to work for me. As history will tell you though I like to make things harder than they already are. My points races qualifier didn't exactly go to plan. Halfway through it I hit the deck pretty hard and give myself a good smack. It took me a minute or two to figure out which end of me was up and when I knew where I was I jumped on the nearest bike and rejoined the race. Thankfully everything worked, although painfully everything worked and I was able to continue racing. Im not going to go into detail of how it hurts and go looking for sympathy, shit happens. Even more thankfully though was the fact that the bike was okay. My 2 day old bike survived me dumpin it and getting ran over. I definitely wouldn't have been the flavour of the month if the Cervelo had to have been picked up in two parts!
At this point I have to skim over what happened for the rest of the day. The flying lap, Points race and elimination went well and by the end of the day I was sitting in 7th place, my best ever position going into the final day. Thinking back on it and I'm happy to say that my bunch racing has come on so much. In particular though is the points race, 12 months ago I dreaded it. I was a passenger for most of the race and was lucky to be near the top ten. Now though I'm the one animating the race and I take good pride in saying that I make the other guys lives that bit harder for 40 minutes! Anything outside the top 6 is a disappointment now.
With the usual eat and sleep routine done day 2 was here. This time though history was wrong, it would usually say day 2 is my best day and I would move up the overall ranking. With 3 solid races and every one of the results being single figures I had dropped to place to 9th by the end of the day. I couldn't really believe it, I felt that I had raced one of my better races but yet it was my worst results of the season, other than the DQ of course!
As I post this I've just arrived in Mallorca for more of the same. This time though I have even more motivation to get fitter and faster. Right now I can't wait to rip into some training and make my goals a reality.
Feel free to say hello via the usual methods and I'll do my best to keep you's posted.