The race was the first one after my break and it seemed like all odds were against me. Firstly half of the team was racing Tour de Gironde and unfortunately all of our racing wheels were either there or locked where I couldn't reach them. Training wheels was all I had.
It had been sunny all week, but was pouring down with rain before my teammate even picked me up to drive to the race. Murphy's law. I soon found out that the road was extremely slippery (like it always is after the first rain) and my training tires had absolutely zero grip in the wet. To make it worse I used a new product to wash my bike before and apparently it wasn't a good idea to wash the brake surface on the rim with it, as my brakes were hardly working either.
That probably paints a good enough picture of how motivated I was.
Other riders seemed to have similar difficulties, as there were already 3 or more crashes in the neutral zone. Didn't make me feel much better!
We had 40km "en ligne" which lead us to a 5km circuit that had to be completed a felt million times. I tried to stay out of trouble and upfront but soon figured out that I went more sideways than foreward in each corner. Not risking the chance to crash meant I was overtaken by most of the peloton every time there was a bend in the road, which happened very frequently on the circuit.
Surprisingly my legs felt good though and I decided to get some good training in by sprinting past the riders on the back in each crosswind section. Then I got overtaken by them in the next corner again.
Naturally when a big crash happened I was caught behind it and was caught out when the field split. After lapping a few more times around the circuit mostly by myself (everyone around me was abandoning), I decided to pull the plug too. My lift home had abandoned a long time before me, watching me go round and round by myself, so I thought I would cheer him up a bit and get him back to his family earlier on the Sunday evening.
It just wasn't worth it without the motivation.
Obviously that didn't make me feel good about myself and the next week was hard training again, but I made some progress. Unfortunately there was no race for me this weekend as it's the regional champs, but I'll be back racing soon.
|Ass-saver was staying on for the nasty weather|
|Yes, it's slippery|