My blog has been pretty uneventful the last couple of weeks but I’d like to take this moment to write about how amazing my life is…..I am truly grateful that I am a sponsored athlete and am capable of racing my bike all around the world. the people I have encountered along the way and the places I have visited I are memories I will cary and cherish for the rest of my life and experience that will be a positive asset in my future.
I’d like to thank a few sponsors who have made my season so far more enjoyable. Smith has been a great help in supplying me with sunglasses so I don’t have to end up in the hospital with another corneal eye abrasion(that was painful). Specialized shoes are the best shoes I could possibly be riding with for several reasons(see cyclingnews article). Cliff bar who provides nutrition for my races with Cliff Shots gels, cliff blocks, cliff bars, protein builder bars, and drink mix.
Recently visiting so many cycling meccas around the world, I’ve thought about starting a cycling touring business at some point in time down the road. Mallorca is the perfect place for this and if anyone is interested in a trip, let me know and I can point you in the right direction. I’ve talked with people about setting things up in the U.S as well and this is the place I know the most connections. Lastly, I have a very good friend who is already leading tours in Israel and would go out of his way to make sure you have a great experience visiting his home country. Visit his site here…..(Genesis Cycling).
Last week I got back into action at a local kermess after being sick. Just over 200 starters at a local race in Bruges was mind boggling to me, but luckily I found myself in the main break of the day of 20 riders. it was also one of the warmer days of the spring. Unfortunately with a bunch of belgians yelling at one another and a lot of determined riders in the peleton, we were caught with several laps to go. On the last lap I rode over someone’s bike and almost crashed several other times, I decided not to even try sprinting for a place and avoided the carnage that was to come AFTER the finish line! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x69JhF7VxPs).
This past weekend I lined up for Tryptique Mont et Chataeux for the first time. A 3 day 4 stage race in Belgium and northern France. The first 3 stages were filled with a fair amount of bad luck for myself.
I crashed really early on in the first stage, flying over my teammate and into one of those muddy stinky ditches on the side of the road. The kind that you see on the tv and think, ” wow, that would really suck to end up down there.” Myself and Wouter Wippert were stuck in the ditch only 25 KM into the first stage and we were sitting in the top 20 wheels of the bunch. I made the chase through the caravan only to flat the rear wheel as soon as I entered the bunch. The team car was still pacing my teammate back into the race so I was riding a flat on the back of the field for several KM’s and finally the neutral Mavic car gave me a wheel and I was back with my teammate near the end of the caravan… again. I finally got to the front of the bunch halfway through the race when we hit the first climbs of the day. I followed some attacks but just missed the main break of the day. I sat comfortable in the bunch for the rest of the day but when I was moving up the side of the bunch with 5 K to go, I was taken out AGAIN. luckily uninjured I quickly got up and raced through the cars again to get back into the bunch so I would get the same time as the field.
The second day was a Time trial in the morning and a short intense road stage in the afternoon. The time trial being the first one of the year did not go very well. I really need to work on this as I know I can perform near the top in these events but without racing my TT bike I find it really difficult to use that top end that I need to endure. A trip over to the U.K might be in store.
The afternoon stage was progressing fairly uneventful until 5 K from the first set of climbs and then everyone wanted to be at the front. I was quite close but trying to move up even further I was moved over and into a small pothole that somehow flatted both my wheels. It took some time to get both wheels fixed but after I did, I reentered the peleton just as the climbs started and I never really got a chance to recover so I could stay in the peleton, unfortunately I finished a couple minutes down.
The last stage I was determined that after 2 crashes and 3 flat tires in 2 days, it couldn’t possibly get any worse and I was going to do something to make the weekend. I followed move after move at the front of the peleton, determined to not miss thee move. I made the main break of 4 riders. I really wished I was going better up some of the short punchy climbs as my breakaway companion took home the GPM jersey I am sure. The last stage had 10 categorized GPM sprints and we stayed away for 8 of them. After the break was caught another went away with the yellow jersey and my teammate but was caught near the finish. My teammate remained in 11th overall after giving it a good shot to move up some more places. Another teammate sprinted to a top 10 finish on the stage capping off a successful weekend of racing for team 3M. We placed 2nd and 3rd for team GC the last two stages.