Nearly current blog:)
Hey guys and gals!
Sorry I've been quiet for the last while. I really wish I'd kept this up to date as some really cool things have happened in the last few weeks. I talked to school kids about cycling, talked to the up and coming generation of riders about training and gave my penny's worth of advice. I also got some slippy stuff from U.S.E which I can't wait to get using. Oh yeah, did a bit of cycling too. I did the nationals TT and road race and a six day in Italy……and of course, lots of torture sessions with Andy!
I'll go in reverse order of the things that stand out in my mind, memory is a disaster!
I was home for a block before the nationals and got to hang out with Grace which was cool. One of the evenings we headed over to Sundrive track for a fundraiser for Down Syndrome Ireland. Roisin Kennedy organized an ice cream party to coincide with the league prize giving. It's something we both were more than happy to do. Money raised on the night went towards Down Syndrome Ireland and it was awesome to see kids on track bikes, the future's bright.
The Irish TT and road race championships were next up. I was delighted to be home for them. It baffles me why more people aren't at them but that's something I can't change. When I started out racing, I wanted to race with the good guys. I love fighting above my weight and I'm convinced when the cramp subsides and the feeling comes back into my arms and legs I'll be better for it!
Anyway, the nationals! I was looking forward to them for ages, I knew the TT was flat and I knew the roads that the road race was on. I love racing around Clonmel and I know the guys down there run an awesome race. First up was the TT which was on Thursday night. Grace really dug me out at the TT, the best plans always go out the window when you start talking to people you haven't seen in weeks, months or even a year!
The last time I'd done a 40k TT was at the nationals last year which I am choosing to forget! Going into it I knew there were 5 or 6 people that could finish in front of me so top 6 was my realistic result but a medal was the objective. I had no excuses really, I had good training and a good bike thanks to these guys: http://kinetixproducts.com/. I can't say enough good things about the bike, a Scott Plasma 3 with Di2, I could have stayed at home and did well:) Anything less though and I would have been losing before I started! There was a serious amount of equipment floating about! I went out with a plan to do 400watts for the race - I came home with 404 average watts, happy days. I was happy with my numbers and set about cooling down and packing up, ready for the trip home. As I was cooling down I heard some times and knew I was quicker than that. People were saying Roche is flying; he's 2 minutes quicker than this guy and that guy. Turns out I was flying too! When the real, actual, proper, official times came in and were added up correctly I was second. Second to Michael Hutchinson, more than happy now! I was beaten by a man who lives on his TT bike and does them every weekend and here was me who'd borrowed a bike, didn't change much on it and ridden it for an hour at most! Delighted!
So, on Thursday night, we went back home with a bonus medal and I started thinking about the road race! Weather wise, I think we got the best day of the year for it! It was a nice circuit, lots of wee drags and one main hill to split up the race. It turns out I was in really good form and before I knew it, there were only four of us left! Matt Brammeier, Nicolas Roche, Philip Lavery and myself. I gave a nice dig going into the second last lap because I was still feeling strong. My plan was to get over the hill before the other guys but they got me just before it and I just went backwards! Afterwards, I kinda felt like the biggest loser of the race because I was the only one of the four that didn’t get a medal. But in the grand scheme of things, the nationals are not my goal this year and when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be! I was really happy with my racing form and I used the race as a solid block of training for the big event in London.
After the nationals, I went back to Mallorca for another block of training in the middle of which was a six day track race in Italy. It was called Sei Giorni Della Rosa and it was a really well run race. Our whole daily schedule was turned upside down – breakfast was at lunchtime, lunch was at dinnertime and dinner was after midnight!!! Every night there were a few different team races including a Madison most nights ….. it was hard racing! I was lucky to have David Muntaner as my team mate. David is riding team pursuit for Spain in the Olympics so we have a lot in common plus he’s a really nice guy! We also had Marti Cerda there to look after us and keep us fed, watered and ready to ride hard! Needless to say, the most feared event of the week was the 100k Madison. I think it came at a good time in the week. The Madison was new to me and I spent the first few nights observing and messing up changes. By the time the 100k one came around on the 4th night, we were both able to give it full gas and had mastered the technique. We won it in the end so we were really chuffed! It was a really hard week of training and I was luck to come out all in one piece.
I got back from Italy, happy with my performance and happy to get back to the smooth indoor velodrome! Since then I’ve had lots of nasty sessions behind the motor bike and hill intervals and plenty of long road rides! There was one nice thing to split up the hard training sessions though - Gracie came to Mallorca and brought me over my Asics Olympic gear and some other bike things that I forgot!! It was nice to have a rest day to just cycle out for coffees and bocadillas:) I have to say, the gear looks and feels great. I will be so proud to wear it in London!
So, this is it. I’m going to the basement to do the usual magic trick of packing up my 2 bikes into a pretty small box! I’ve pretty much had my life here for the last year so I’ve accumulated a LOT of stuff! I fly to London tomorrow and then have the opening ceremony on Friday. I’m looking forward to enjoying the experience. I can honestly say I’ve done all the preparations right. I’m happy with the last solid block of training and I’m ready for action in London. Keep the positive vibes coming my way and I’ll check in again after all the fuss:)